Lyft Backs Lawsuit Against EPA Fuel Economy Roll Back

CC BY 2.0. Kārlis Dambrāns

Big Auto is increasingly coming up against Big Tech.

Most TreeHuggers know that Big Auto is busy opposing fuel efficiency standards, even as they claim to be preparing for an electric future. Fortunately, they are not the only corporate special interest group with skin in the game.

Lyft—who recently got in our good books for launching "Green Mode"—are putting their corporate funding where their PR mouth is. They are taking the government to court. Specifically, reports The Hill, they are backing a lawsuit brought by several other likeminded entities to challenge the EPA's efforts to roll back fuel efficiency requirements.

Here's how the company justified its opposition in its brief:

“Lyft relies on EPA’s greenhouse gas standards both to reduce fuel costs for drivers and to help make its rides carbon-neutral. Drivers that use Lyft need fuel-efficient cars to make the service more economic, and both Lyft and its riders count on that fuel efficiency to reduce costs and protect the environment.”

Of course, the cynical progressives among us might argue that it's a bit rich for Lyft to be talking up the economic needs of drivers while it is also suing to stop New York City's driver pay equity law, but it's hard to argue with the company's basic position that more efficient cars are a benefit to pretty much everyone—except oil barons of course.

And this is the interesting part: For years, auto companies and oil majors had very little opposition, outside of consumer groups and environmental organizations, to their mutually beneficial quest to keep churning out gas guzzlers. Now with the service/sharing/gig economy in full swing, utilities finding a rare opportunity for growth in electrified transportation, and an actual mainstream, fully electric car manufacturer flexing their muscles, the idea that burning more gas is inherently good for the economy is getting some serious, much overdue pushback.

I look forward to seeing where this goes...