Saturday, September 22, 2007

Joe bloviates on fuel economy standards

I did a little research of my own and again find Joe to be long on slogans and short on facts. In an article in the Eccentric Joe again makes the case that higher fuel economy standards are too costly. Guess what, Joe? You're wrong again.

This picture kind of says it all, Joe's ideas are ass backwards.

I found this little Q and A at

Q: Can't people who want fuel efficient cars buy them? Why do we need a law?
The number of fuel efficient models is currently limited. Most automakers only offer no-frills small cars to drivers who want fuel-efficient vehicles, while pouring their advertising money into the bigger cars that make them more money. Yet fuel efficient technologies can work for all types of vehicles, from sub-compacts to SUVs. Saving fuel does not mean sacrificing performance.

Some automakers promised to manufacture more efficient vehicles across the board, but those commitments yielded only about a 5 percent increase in the fuel economy of each company's fleet by 2005. This paltry improvement barely keeps up with the growth in gasoline use, consumer costs, and environmental pollution. Only through federal fuel economy standards can we lock in fuel economy gains throughout the automotive industry.

We need more energy efficient fuel economy standards because car companies do not voluntarily employ cost effective technologies that add safety and protect the environment until they are forced to do so. The government had to step in to safeguard drivers by establishing safety, fuel economy, and emissions standards--requiring air bags in all new cars, for instance, because automakers resisted adding them even though they saved lives. And the government should step up again and set fuel economy standards.

Q: Won't new CAFE standards raise car prices and cost jobs?
An increase in fuel economy standards would raise the cost of a new car by $1,000-$2,000, but will save consumers $2,500-$5,000 in lower gasoline bills. The Senate bill alone would save consumers $25 billion in 2020.

And contrary to myth, stricter fuel economy standards would create jobs. The Union of Concerned Scientists just released a report that found that the 35 mpg standard would create nearly 24,000 auto industry jobs and over 200,000 new jobs economy-wide by 2020.

And here's a link to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientsts pointing out how we can have higher fuel economy and more jobs.

So, Joe, please stop the lies.


Anonymous said...

I don't think that you have all the information on the CAFE standards. They would save money assuming they would drive the same, but unfortunately, Americans drive more when they have more fuel efficient cars and cheaper gas - thats just the way American culture works. Now, I'm not advocating against making better cars, but just buy every selling line they give you. Also, how would the Union of Concerned Scientists know more about this issue thank they UAW, etc.? Doesn't make sense. I actually do some work with the AAM, you should check out when you get the chance for the other side of this issue.

Bruce Fealk said...

Actually the UAW membership is in favor of higher CAFE standards and higher mileage imports have been kicking U.S. car manufacturers for a long time, which to me is the real reason U.S. manufacturers are in trouble. I do think scientists can take a more objective look at issues than those involved in the industry.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the UAW supports the Hill-Terry bill when it comes to CAFE check here - which raises CAFE standards to reasonable levels and treats cars and trucks separately, but doesn't just hike them way up and place all the burden on the industry.

I think the actual problem is consumer demand in the US - people want trucks, SUVs, and minivans more than smaller cars. CAFE just penalizes large cars, it doesn't do anything to address consumer choice. I think we need a plan that has CAFE standards but also takes that into account for it to work, otherwise whats to stop people from just driving older large cars that aren't fuel efficient?

Bruce Fealk said...

I'm referring to the UAW membership, the rank and file, supports higher CAFE standards and so does the public. According to a Free Press survey, car buyers are willing to pay $500 to $2000 more for vehichles that get higher mileage.

Anonymous said...

I think its good that consumers can choose to buy more expensive/higher efficiency vehicles, but the choice part is important. Right now only 44% of people drive cars in the 9th district. That means most people drive trucks, SUVs, minivans etc. - so thats something to think about.

Also, if you have a link to your stats on UAW member's and public opinion on CAFE I'd be interested in reading it.

Bruce Fealk said...

Here's the link.

Anonymous said...

But hybrid technology paves the way for plug-in hybrid technology which paves the way for all-electric increase miles per gallon, fuel

saver, increase gas mileage
vehicles.Still, hybrids run on gasoline, which is not an alternative to gasoline no matter