In Chapter 26, Foner discusses Nixon’s Domestic Policies and one them is The Clean Air Act. The act is a U.S. Federal environmental law that set the standards of air quality in the nation. The purpose of it is to help protect the public from hazardous chemicals in the air. Air pollution started to become a problem when more and more cars were on the road especially in interstate freeways, metropolitan areas, and areas with factories and power plants.
However, if it wasn’t for automobiles, then we wouldn’t have this bad air quality and air pollution in our ozone layer. Foner discusses the rise of the automobiles in the 1920s in Chapter 20 because of the assembly line. During the 1920s, half of all of American families owned a car. And with so many people buying cars, it causes more carbon monoxide into the air because of what the car releases out. In the 1920s, the oil that they used for the cars aren’t as clean as they are today so they let out even more toxic fumes.
This whole chain reaction of air pollution all started with the second industrial revolution discussed in Chapter 16. The only way automobiles to have actually been created is if there was no rise in factories, and factories were also the source of the air pollution problem because factories also emit carbon monoxide into the air. If factories hadn’t come around, then we wouldn’t have been able to produce steel and rubber to create the automobile, which would lead to no automobiles to be invented, which means there would be no air pollution.