In opposing the 1970 Clean Air Act, the United States automobile industry argued that meeting the act’s standards for automobile emissions was neither economically feasible nor environmentally necessary. However, the catalytic converter, invented in 1967, enabled automakers to meet the 1970 standards efficiently. Currently, automakers are lobbying against the government’s attempt to pass legislation that would tighten restrictions on automobile emissions. The automakers contend that these new restrictions would be overly expensive and unnecessary to efforts to curb air pollution. Clearly, the automobile industry’s position should not be heeded.
Which one of the following, if true, lends the most support to the automakers’ current position?