The auto industry has finally wised up in Washington. Instead of publicly resisting tougher clean-air rules, the companies are cooperating with the EPA.
That is the right approach. Auto companies cannot afford to paint themselves as anti-clean air. The public clearly will not accept corporate recalcitrance on the environment. And Honda has shown that embracing the environment can polish its image and boost sales.
Of course, Detroit has no guarantee that the federal government will not require standards beyond the industry's stretch targets. But working cooperatively will build the industry's credibility - and produce the best deal in the long run for everyone.