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EPA proposed "Tier 4" emissions rule likely to endanger the future of the V8 Corvette


New member
May 14, 2022
Hey, everyone. As a long-time Corvette enthusiast, this is my 2nd time posting -- I like the community you've created here! Anyway, like many of you, the Corvette is a big part of my love for American sports cars. And, the focal point of my love for the Corvette is the GM small block V8 engine. From the way the V8 engine sounds, to the way it feels as you climb toward redline, how it pairs blissfully with a paddle-shift or manual transmission, how it looks when you pop the hood, even geeking out over all the ways to modify it -- these are all things I love about the V8 Corvette experience. Yet, sadly, the time may soon come when automakers can no longer sell these cars in the United States. I work in the auto industry, and I'm pretty close to the regulatory aspect of all this, and I need to say that the very recently proposed EPA "Tier 4" auto emissions rule (https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emis...tandards-model) has me very concerned for the future of cars like the C8/C9 Corvette. Not because I disagree with the goal of protecting our environment. On the contrary, I very much want to see our environment protected. Where I vehemently disagree with this proposal, though, is how it relies on emissions counting gimmicks to effectively force automakers to transition to EV.

Even though ICE fueled by net-carbon-neutral fuels like e-fuel, biofuel, and hydrogen can achieve many of the same environmental goals as battery-electric, this proposal is written in a way that effectively disqualifies net-carbon-neutral ICE as technology automakers can pursue to achieve these environmental goals. I can go into details if you like, but because this proposal calls for a hefty reduction in CO2 emissions, and because this proposal ignores the sizable quantity of CO2 emissions generated from electricity production and battery manufacturing, this proposal acts more like a de facto EV mandate than a true performance-based standard. Meanwhile, even though renewable fuels like e-fuels and biofuels capture carbon during their production -- making them net-carbon-negative -- this EPA proposal completely ignores this scientific reality. I've studied the science of this for over a decade now, and one of the most fundamental concepts to emissions analysis science is that life cycle assessment (LCA) emissions is the only emissions quantification metric the environment actually cares about. So, why then is this proposal only considering tailpipe emissions? In essence, this proposal uses cherry-picked science, not necessarily to reduce total life cycle CO2 emissions, but to effectively force EVs per an August 2021 Presidential Executive Order.

Because this rulemaking is still in the proposal stage, there is time yet to act. I strongly encourage you to contact your U.S. Senators, your U.S. House Representative, and General Motors / Chevrolet to voice your concerns. Again, I'm actually in total agreement on the importance of environmental protections. But, by arbitrarily disqualifying the ICE -- even ICE fueled by renewable fuels -- from helping to clean up the automotive fleet, this proposal will make it tough for the V8 Corvette to live on much further into the future. What's all the more baffling about the overreach of this proposal is news coming out of Europe: the European Union, the original forerunner of ICE bans, is now recognizing net-carbon-neutral fuel ICE as a viable solution for achieving the EU's environmental goals. My hope is that EPA will look to this example and will come to reevaluate the broader picture that going all-in with battery-electric and only battery-electric will only cause its own host of serious issues: increased reliance on not-exactly-friendly foreign countries for critical minerals for batteries, reduced auto worker job count, the decimation of the domestic biofuels industry, reduced vehicle resale value on account of inevitable battery charge capacity loss, and -- circling back to the environment -- an overburdening of those parts of environment which are sensitive to electronics raw material extraction and manufacturing. Bringing the discussion back to why we're all here, my hope is that EPA simply comes to recognize that these cars really are a way of life for some of us. If the only new car I can dream about one day owning needs to be something like a Tesla or even something like an all-electric Corvette, sorry, this hobby -- this refuge from life's hardships -- dies for me. Sure, Teslas are plenty quick, but acceleration is just one of many reasons why I love these cars. That V8 exhaust note, that mechanical feel of the pistons, the eye candy of an LT or LS V8 engine bay, geeking out over cylinder heads and superchargers, even the gear head culture that goes hand-in-hand with the V8 and other ICE powertrains are all just as important to me.

On a final note, the EPA will be holding a public hearing May 9 through May 11 so that stakeholders may voice their stance on this proposal. I encourage anyone who feels affected by this to register to speak at this hearing -- this link (https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emis...tandards-model) provides instructions on how to register. Proponents of this proposal will be out in full force during the hearing, so it is important that car culture interests like ours be given proportional representation. Please try to register before the end of this weekend -- this will ensure you are allotted an opportunity to speak.

Here's to hoping the future of car culture still has a place for cars like the V8 Corvette for C8 and beyond.
Leave it to the Federal Government and the radical environmentalists to put us back in the Dark Ages!
Agreed Neveragain....
Any thing new on the nut case environmentalists nutty proposal.

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