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President Obama is expected to announce new fuel efficiency standards and a mandate which would switch all government vehicle purchases to "green" designs. The announcement is expected to come later today.  (Source: EGM Car Tech)

The decision could give a boost to American hybrids and EVs, like the Chevy Volt. The government almost exclusively buys cars from companies whose headquarters are in America.
Government will only buy hybrids, PHEVs, BEVs, ethanol vehicles, compressed natural gas, and fuel cell vehicles

While auto purchases by the U.S. government are dwarfed by the private sector's purchases, they are still significant.  Sedans, trucks, cargo vans -- the government regularly refreshes its fleet, buying up to 50,000 vehicles a year [source].

Thus U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to shift all federal government vehicle purchases to "green" designs by 2015 could be a market-shifting event.  The President will unveil his plan today -- The Detroit News received early word of the announcement.

I.  What's a "Green" Car?

According to the government's laws "advanced vehicles" (aka "green" designs) include electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and vehicles that can run on E85 ethanol.  It is unclear if compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles will qualify, but it seems likely.

The move won't be as dramatic a transition as one might suspect.  In 2010, of its approximately 50,000 vehicles purchased, approximately 9,000 were hybrids and another 14,000 were E85-ready.

The U.S. government primarily purchases American vehicles.  Last year Ford (F) led sales to the government, with General Motors (GM) close behind.  Chrysler was a distant third.

Certain models could see a particular boost from the decision to go all green, for example Ford's Transit Connect EV (a cargo van) and GM's ethanol-capable trucks.

II. Obama Pushes Alternative Fuels

In addition to the green car promise, Obama also is expected to try to push hard for new incentives for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.  In 2010, the White House endorsed a bill that looked to give $4B USD in incentives for CNG vehicles.  It saw some support from both parties, but ultimately fell as the government sought to a degree of "fat" from the budget.

President Obama released a October 2009 mandate asking government employees to drive government vehicles less and to use alternative fuels (such as ethanol) whenever possible.

Ethanol is a hotly debated topic, which has largely flown off the radar as the EV craze has hit the market.  Corn ethanol is expensive, raises food prices, and has been shown to increase emissions of carbon dioxide and pollutants.  By contrast the growing supply of cellulosic ethanol from companies like Coskata greatly reduces lifespan emissions and mitigates the impact to food crops.  

The problem is you don't know which kind of ethanol you're getting at the pump, and the government has supported both kinds with past legislation and policy decisions under the Obama and Bush administrations.

III. New Fuel Efficiency Standards: 2017-2025

Congress in May 2009 enacted legislation to support President Obama's mandate that all automakers reach an average of 34.1 mpg for light vehicles by 2016.  That's a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency and is expected to save approximately 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles produced in the 2016 model year.  

The administration estimates that automakers will have to pay $51.5B USD to implement the proposal, but automakers have complained that the actual cost may be higher.  The administration has offered them a number of loans and research grants to help ease the burden.

Today President Obama is expected to reveal what the government fuel economy goals are for the 2017-2025 time frame.  

According to current proposals by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy targets could 47 to 62 mpg for 2025.  The low figure would represent a 3 percent annual efficiency gain, while the high one would come from a 6 percent annual gain.  The low target would cost $770 USD per vehicle, while the high target would cost an estimated $3,300 USD per vehicle.

The two agencies will announce their separate proposals on September 1.  Congress must then consider Obama's earlier proposal and the two agency proposals and try to craft legislation to implement the mandate.

Approving the plan may be tricky business given the divided, partisan nature of the House.  Without legislative backing from the U.S. Congress, the proposals will have no authority to enforce their targets.

One disadvantage to pushing fuel efficiency gains is that it tends to force automakers to push lighter vehicles out to consumers.  Lighter vehicles tend to fare worse in crashes and have higher fatality rates.

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Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By quiksilvr on 3/30/2011 11:49:53 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, it's cheaper, but here's the problem:
1) Comes from corn, worsening world hunger problems
2) Less efficient.
3) More harmful to the environment (produces way more ozone than fuel)

How about instead of ethanol, we use hemp-based biodiesel? Much more energy output, very easy to create home grown, doesn't exacerbate world hunger, and much less air polluting?

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By kattanna on 3/30/2011 11:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
Ethanol can eat all the food, and the poor people who cant afford higher food costs can die

that would have been a more accurate headline, IMO


there is simply no upside to turning our food into fuel, period.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By ppardee on 3/30/2011 8:33:07 PM , Rating: 1
There is a ton of upside for the eco-nazis. They want to reduce human population and reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Doing both at the same time is a dream come true to the far left!

Any solution you (or anyone) can come up with will have negative consequences, which promotes the status quo. Even ethanol will have some green freaks freaking out for some reason.

I agree though, any substance that is fit for human consumption should not be used as fuel (or substitute for any non-consumable resource.) Even water for fuel is a bad idea, since fresh water is a limited resource and hard to come by in many parts of the world.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By vol7ron on 3/31/2011 11:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from the current food problems.

It's already been questioned how much longer we can support our population on corn. The simple fact is, you grow corn, you pick it, it dies, it regrows.

Every life cycle it is pulling the nutrients that it needs to grow, from the ground. While it does return some of those nutrients back, the process does not permit it to be fully replenished. Simply put, the day is coming where we won't be able to grow it anymore. That day was expected to be sooner, based on the world population growth, but farmers have been using practices to minimize the effect. As they've said, they can only slow it down, but the day is not too far away.

Bio-fuels don't help this. The solution could be to encourage more people to ride bikes, or other modes of transportation, when they can.

By AnnihilatorX on 3/30/2011 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, whoever brands corn ethanol as green can go back to kindergarden and learn coloring 101

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Fanon on 3/30/2011 12:21:00 PM , Rating: 4
A better plan:

1) Increase oil production in the USA because there is not one alternative energy source that can match the price and efficiency.

2) Continue research alternative energy sources, but not implement any until one can match the price/efficiency of oil.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By gamerk2 on 3/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By FITCamaro on 3/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Murst on 3/30/2011 6:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
Oil prices are not going up because of US consumption. In fact, the US oil consumption has gone down over the last few years. We are constantly at or close to record highs in oil and gasoline reserves, yet prices aren't falling.

Probably the main reason oil prices are this high is speculation. A distant second would be emerging markets, although there is enough current supply to cover their demands (hence the speculation about future demand).

With that said, I'll all for anything that would lead to the US being energy-independent. If that means more drilling, go for it. I'm very surprised that the gov't keeps on pushing for "green" vehicles, when they could get more approval for pushing for energy independence, and basically reach a similar outcome (more alt. fuel).

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By YashBudini on 3/30/2011 7:14:45 PM , Rating: 1
We are constantly at or close to record highs in oil and gasoline reserves, yet prices aren't falling.

I'd love to see sales of gas used to get to work and back ver the last 3 years. And who in their right mind would take a drive for leisure? <- Gearhead downrating will soon be applied here.

On the + side I'm going to get another year out of all my tires because I barely used them this year.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By vapore0n on 3/31/2011 8:34:59 AM , Rating: 2

Petroleum itself has been about constant for the past 8 years.
Ethanol usage though has been going up considerably, while finished gas product has been going down in the past years.

I attribute this to all the hybrid cars on the road and the high gas prices.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Schrag4 on 3/30/2011 1:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
Please explain to us simpletons how alternatives are "cheap as dirt" but gas has to be $10/gallon in order for them to compete.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By tng on 3/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Schrag4 on 3/30/2011 4:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
Still doesn't make any sense. Why would a cheap alternative to gas powered ICE vehicles have to be pushed by oil companies?

I think the honest truth is that there is no cheaper alternative, at least not when you factor in all costs. If there were, you'd be driving it and so would I. I suspect that the "Cheap as Dirt" hydrogen that gamer2k claims to see is highly subsidized and probably involves a HUGE upfront cost for a fuel-cell vehicle in the first place. I'm genuinely interested to hear some figures on the cost of the vehicle and the cost per mile that he's seeing for the fuel in his area as well.

Please don't take my comments to mean that I'm anti-alternative. I just think that if the alternatives were already better, it would sell better than gasoline tech without any subsidies. Someday I know an alternative will dominate, but that day just isn't here yet. I mean, cmon, nobody that's good at math and likes money is going to drop an extra 20k on a new car so that they can save 1000 bucks a year on fuel.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Lerianis on 3/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Schrag4 on 3/31/2011 9:39:51 AM , Rating: 2
You are forgetting the whole "Oil companies can use their dollars to stonewall emerging and better technologies and sources for power!"

You sound very paranoid. Are you saying if you personally went into business selling alternate energy, you'd accept a bribe from an oil company to go out of business? You don't think there are ANY people that want an alternate energy source to succeed so badly that they would turn down such bribes? I personally believe there are plenty of people that would sell alternative energy at a loss if they thought they were doing a good thing for the planet.

It's been done for many years now. They have a car over in Japan that uses WATER for propulsion for goodness sakes. If they can do that, we can damned well find a way to do that.

I did a quick google search and found what you were talking about. Yes, it gets hydrogen from water in the car. Does the water magically break down into hydrogen and oxygen? No. That takes energy. The site I looked at didn't have the details, but you can rest assured that this is nothing more than a hydrogen fuel-cell car with some kind of hydrogen production plant attached instead of a compressed hydrogen tank. Without the details on how they break down water into hydrogen and oxygen I don't think we can have an intelligent discussion about whether this is cost effective.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Wererat on 3/30/2011 9:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
""Cheap as Dirt", a perfect replacement for oil, but if it doesn't make money for the oil companies, they wont push it"

Sorry, that doesn't fly. If gas (total cost to consumer after extraction, transport, refining, more transport, retailing) is $X, and a "cheap as dirt" alternative at a cost per mile is less than $X, then an oil company, sorry, ENERGY company will sell the alternative and make money.

In fact, they'd HAVE to, because otherwise the other company will do it first.

The reason "cheap as dirt" doesn't fly until gas hits $10 in his example is because the alternative would cost more if unsupported by taxpayer subsidy.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Murst on 3/30/2011 11:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
Natural gas is cheaper than oil, and unsubsidized (or at least as unsubsidized as oil - consider that oil companies get tax breaks from the US gov't).

It is already pretty widely used in europe because it is cheaper.

A huge advantage of natural gas is that we also have massive reserves of it right here in the US, although drilling for it runs into the same problems as drilling for oil.

I'm really not sure why it hasn't taken off here in the US, but I'm willing to be that its because of pressure from companies heavily invested in oil, although obviously I can't prove that. But the alternative is here, and it is cheaper and cleaner.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Schrag4 on 3/31/2011 1:17:36 PM , Rating: 3
I just spent a few minutes educating myself about Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV). From what I can tell, the reason they haven't caught on in the US is a lack of nat gas refueling stations, and to a lesser extent, a limited range (the comparison between gasoline and nat gas versions of the same vehicle they gave had ranges of 350 miles and 220 miles, respectively). The site also pointed out that the nat gas fuel tanks, which won't get you as far, take up quite a bit of space, so much so that NGVs come with RunFlat tires and no spare. NGVs also cost more than gasoline versions of the same vehicle (4k-8k more is the figure I saw), and if you want to refuel at home, you'll have to spend 500-1500 bucks to install a station that can refuel overnight.

If the site is accurate about costs and if my math is correct, NG as a fuel source would cost roughly half as much as gasoline per mile driven. Assuming you get 25 MPG from the gas equiv vehicle (that's somewhat low actually, they were citing a Honda Civic in their comparison), and with gas at $3.30 (roughly what it's at where I live today), you'd have to drive about 60k miles to make up the difference in cost for the best-case 4k vehicle cost difference.

If you can afford a higher-priced vehicle (and home-fueling station) up front, and if you don't think you'll ever need to drive more than 200 or so miles in the vehicle in one shot or if you have a "fast" NG fueling station near your house (in case you need to refuel and don't have 8 hours), and if you don't need as much cargo space, then yeah, these make sense. I'm thinking they'd be ok as a commuter. But I can easily see why someone would shy away from NGVs, especially in the US where people are a bit more spread out and we don't have a lot of NG fueling stations yet (chicken and egg, right?).

FYI, this is where I read about NGV:

By sorry dog on 4/1/2011 11:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
above post is pretty much on point.

I've occasionally considered converting a Toyota pick up mine to CNG as the local metro bus depot 10 miles from me has it for sale at $1.36 for a gallon gas equivalent.

I've priced all of the parts needed and if I DIY alot of the project, I can give the truck a 300 miles range on CNG for about $2500 while losing about half of the bed space. I could also set it up still be able to use gas if I need a range greater than that.

I do tend to drive a lot (40-50k a year), but it only starts to look attractive cost wise once gas is above $4.

I do think CNG is one of the most feasible alternatives, but like other alt fuels, gas would have to be at least as expensive as it is now and be expected to stay that way with a high degree of certainty for alternatives like this to attract infrastructure investment. Things like CNG filling stations are capital intensive projects that have long payoff time horizons.

I am curious that the government has not been more supportive of CNG as it is an alternative that have some of the fundamental problems that other strategies have: ethanol= impacts food costs, EV's = limited range , bio-fuels = not big enough scale, etc. In fact the EPA has made it difficult for people who make CNG kits for gas cars to get their kits certified and legal for use. My kit would technically not be emissions legal even the exhaust would be many times cleaner.

I can only assume the reason is mostly because of politics and money.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By tng on 3/31/2011 12:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
Nonsense. As the the poster above says Natural Gas is really cheaper than oil in many ways and yet you don't see widespread adoption of it here in the States.

The reason why? Where was the last place you seen that you can fill up a NGV powered car? That's right there is no or very little infrastructure to support it. Who owns the infrastructure that supports 99% of vehicles in the US? The oil companies do.

Car companies as a rule do sell NGV vehicles, but it is typically a expensive option, because most people can't take advantage of NGV and oil based options are much easier.

It is easy to say that build a better mouse trap and they will buy it, but reality is that you still need to ship it, present it, market it, and fight for a spot on the store shelves. Not always easy when there are just a handful of companies that are your competition and they own the stores.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Boze on 3/30/2011 6:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
You get it gamer2k, but for the wrong reasons.

I've long believed that U.S. corporations are playing a rather ingenious waiting game. Once most of the easily accessible oil from China, Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, and other countries starts to dwindle, the U.S. is going to begin silently ramping up oil production from various sources. Its my estimation that fuel will extracted from the oil shale we have, as there's roughly 2.2 trillion barrels trapped in the material (don't quote me on that figure, my memory may be off).

And then we're going to export it all over the planet, and other countries are going to be paying for it through the nose.

Now that assumes no massive breakthroughs in alternative energy, which I would personally be excited to see. Nothing would please me more than inexpensive, easily maintained nuclear fusion reactors being deployed across the world in my lifetime. I hope that will be the case, but if not, the former scenario is likely to be the correct one, in my estimation.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By ekv on 3/30/2011 3:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget nuclear. Oil for the "near" term future, nuke for the long term.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By quiksilvr on 3/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By ekv on 3/31/2011 2:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
No. You misunderstand me. I'm talking about turbine power, Frankie Avalon, and flying cars! Come on man, get With It!

Back to reality. Nuclear is about the only way you're going to get baseline power enough for all those electric cars. Plenty of uranium. And even if you don't think so, check out Traveling Wave Reactor.

By ShaolinSoccer on 3/30/2011 1:42:38 PM , Rating: 2
doesn't exacerbate world hunger

but wouldn't that just give people the munchies? lol
if anything, it would cause obesity

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Flunk on 3/30/2011 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
Actually corn ethanol is only competitively priced because of subsidies for corn farmers. Take those away and corn ethanol is much more expensive than gasoline, in fact it's so expensive that oil would have to be massively more expensive for it to be competitive.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By ekv on 3/30/2011 3:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
So taking away subsidies would lower our budget deficit AND prompt an increase in exports? Wouldn't that be a win-win?

By marvdmartian on 3/30/2011 3:39:09 PM , Rating: 1
Not in the minds of the government greenies, I'm afraid. Remember, we're talking about politicians who are likely getting, I mean, political contributions... from the farming industry, to ensure that American ethanol continues to be corn based. Never mind what the people want, the politicians always know what's better for us, right?

So long as they continue to push that God awful E85 crap on us, we're going to continue to take it in the shorts. Ethanol cannot compete with gasoline, it gives much worse mileage on engines that are "flex fuel" rated, as well as increases the cost of the infrastructure to support it, as ethanol in high concentrations is highly corrosive to aluminum....which is what most automotive fuels systems, as well as fuel dispensing units, were constructed with..... requiring those parts to be nickel plated to prevent them from being eaten up by the ethanol.

The only way you can get decent fuel mileage out of ethanol is to design the car engines for higher compression, which then precludes them from burning gasoline (unless it's VERY high octane, in the range of 100+ octane rated gasoline). This has worked out for countries like (I believe it's) Brazil, where all the vehicles have switched from gasoline to ethanol, but won't work well here, without a massive switchover.

The only real question I have, for our green president, is when will we get to see his 10,000 pound limosine switched over to use E85, or running off a hybrid system?? Hmmmmm......

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By ZachDontScare on 3/30/2011 3:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ethanol doesnt 'come from corn'. Ethanol can come from any biomass. In the US, its mostly made from corn because we have a lot of it, and because of the rediculous subsidies given out because one of our largest corn producing states happens to be the first state that votes for politicians during presidential elections. But corn is nowhere near the 'best' plant to make it from. Brazil makes most of theirs from sugar, for example, and uses it extensively. (They also drill for oil like crazy, but thats another topic)

What makes ethanol a good 'backup' fuel is that it is the only 'alternative' fuel that is an economic substitute for gasoline with existing (flex fuel) engines. Given plenty of (non-corn) ethanol available, it can act as a buffer to gas prices. When gas goes up, and it gets more expensive than ethanol, e85 cars can switch to that. When gas prices drop, they switch back to gas.

The problem is the subsidies, which shift the ethanol 'effort' to corn. They need to go, and the focus placed more on developing ethanol from 'waste' plants.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By quiksilvr on 3/30/2011 4:02:27 PM , Rating: 1
Even if they use algae (which is what they are trying to transition to) and bring the price down, it doesn't escape the fact that it isn't as efficient as fuel and pumps out more ozone.

RE: Ethanol can eat *#*$ and die.
By Lerianis on 3/30/2011 10:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily. The engines today are not designed to make the BEST of ethanol high gasoline. If they were, the ozone emissions would be a small amount of what they currently are.

By inperfectdarkness on 3/31/2011 10:18:07 AM , Rating: 2
this ^eleventy billion.

i'm getting stares from people around me because i'm laughing so hard at the BS information in this thread; including the first post which has been rated a "5", dispite the fact that it's the same untrue crap that people keep repeating as a holy mantra.

1. ethanol does NOT have to come at the expense of food. there's plenty of available farmland for use with alternative crops. there's wastewater treatment plants which can generate it with algae. and there's probably a LOT of untapped potential in reclaiming landfills for use in fuels.

2. the "ethanol's MPG sux" argument is about as logical as the amount of makeup tammy fae baker wears. let me repeat this for the 1 millionth time. flex-fuel vehicles are NOT an accurate representation for ethanol consumption. once you convert your vehicle to maximize its capitalization of the high-octane content in ethanol, the MPG margin shrinks to the point of being a non-issue. the issue is that no one has built a small-displacement, high-output engine that sips on ethanol only. e95 is a spectacular fuel; but you're not going to get everything out of it on a naturally-aspirated, 7.5:1 compression engine that also works for 86 octane.

Warm and fuzzy
By knutjb on 3/30/2011 12:00:28 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds to good to be true... He is forcing standards that cost significantly more. I don't care to pay for his misguided attempt to fix a problem that we don't fully understand. Every time politicians pick winners we lose.

I find Obama's plans and ideas delusional. He has a track record of such behavior. Close Gitmo, Stop the war, spend responsibly, transparency in government, increase oil production domestically, and so on...

RE: Warm and fuzzy
By invidious on 3/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Warm and fuzzy
By FITCamaro on 3/30/2011 12:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
It is his track record of supposedly grand ideas that he didn't deliver on. Some he most likely knew he couldn't. Others he didn't plan to in the first place. But it sounded good during the campaign to make sheeple vote for him.

RE: Warm and fuzzy
By Suntan on 3/30/2011 1:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
But it sounded good during the campaign to make sheeple vote for him.

To be fair, the man did start cautioning the American people not to get their expectations up too high months before actually swearing into office… …If memory serves, I believe the very first time his speeches touched directly on the subject was immediately after beating McCain at his election acceptance speech…

Baaahhhh! BBBaaaaahhhhh!


RE: Warm and fuzzy
By HrilL on 3/30/2011 2:17:03 PM , Rating: 3
Yet he has failed at every single thing you've listed. And in many of those areas has been worse than any previous president. Obama is all about saying one thing and doing the other unless it costs us more then he's all for actually doing those things. He is so misguided a 5th grader would know what to do better.

RE: Warm and fuzzy
By Dorkyman on 3/30/2011 3:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
We live in astonishing times. Obama gave a speech today at Georgetown. I urge you to see clips of it. Listen to the man--he is scared to death, going through the motions of reading the teleprompter but knowing that he is utterly incompetent at the job he is expected to do.

The final straw for many was when he gave his speech in Brazil last week, and urged them to develop their oil fields so that the USA could happily buy their oil--I think "win-win" is how he put it. All the while choking off our own domestic exploration.

RE: Warm and fuzzy
By marvdmartian on 3/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Warm and fuzzy
By Lerianis on 3/30/2011 10:55:59 PM , Rating: 1
Hardly. You want to see incompentent, look at the man who gave us two wars based on lies, a stock market crash, a housing market crash, torture, etc.

What are his initials? Oh yeah.... G W B Jr.! He is the worst President in history. Considering the Blue Dog Democrats (Republicans in Democrat disguise) that he had during his supposed 'super-majority' in Congress and the Senate that was actually non-existent? Obama has done damned good in office.

RE: Warm and fuzzy
By kyleb2112 on 4/2/2011 11:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
Obama has done damned good in office

Say that a few thousand more times rocking back and forth in a dark corner. Eventually you'll grow to believe it.

By Arsynic on 3/30/2011 1:41:03 PM , Rating: 3
Ethanol isn't about helping the environment or reducing foreign oil dependence, it's about saving a small constituency who should have gone out of business a long time ago.

If you can't afford to stay afloat without government subsidies, then maybe you shouldn't be in business.

By YashBudini on 3/30/2011 7:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Why put money and effort into becoming truly profitable when your lobbyists got the politicians by the balls?

By Kurz on 4/1/2011 8:23:31 AM , Rating: 2
Why not leave Free Market to make decisions?
Lobbyists and Politicians are both incompetent 'Wisdom of the Crowds' is where the knowledge lies.

By YashBudini on 4/1/2011 1:40:17 PM , Rating: 1
I agree but payoffs are apparently cheaper than real competition.

Typical - Spending
By tallcool1 on 3/30/2011 12:12:04 PM , Rating: 5
With the US Govt debt at $14 Trillion and climbing $4 Billion a day, this is just typical of them.

I would appreciate them to be a little bit more concerned about spending our money (or should I say China's money) wisely, versus purchasing hybrids which typically come at a premium price compared to other practical fuel efficient vehicles.

It is time for the US Govt to take ownership and responsibility of their debt just as they would expect us as individual tax payers to keep up with our own.

They just continue to spend without concern...

RE: Typical - Spending
By HrilL on 3/30/2011 2:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
We'll all be dead before we'll be out of debt and at the rate we're going it will still be getting larger when we die.

So what's the point?
By wolrah on 3/30/2011 4:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Almost every gasoline vehicle commonly seen in government roles is either E85 compatible standard or has at least one optional configuration which supports it. Entirely ignoring the problems with E85 and many of the other options, this alone means such a mandate would not really change much and certainly would not be a "market-shifting" event.

RE: So what's the point?
By Lerianis on 3/30/2011 10:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
You are forgetting about OLDER vehicles, which are the most massive part of our fleet of vehicles in America.

RE: So what's the point?
By Schrag4 on 3/31/2011 1:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
Older vehicles don't matter. They're not going to replace the entire fleet, this only applies to purchases going forward. Or did I miss something?

The Volt!
By tng on 3/30/2011 3:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this just one more way to give GM a shot in the arm a few years from now when they start to go downhill again?

Just think of all the Volts that GM can sell to the Feds at the full price, because what, the government is going to give itself a $7500 rebate? At that time there should be allot of Volts sitting around after the initial run on them is over and people go back to buying cars that make more sense...

RE: The Volt!
By ZachDontScare on 3/30/2011 3:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it should be no shock that GM is the mfg that happens to make most of the cars that would fit his requirements.

That is convenient...
By Saist on 3/30/2011 7:33:41 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm. 2015.

So... after Obama has been kicked out of office and his party is in shambles, liberal democrats can them blame the failed plan on the Tea Party candidates who were elected into office.

Got to admit, it's a pretty good plan on Obama's part. If there weren't people like me pointing that out right now.

RE: That is convenient...
By YashBudini on 3/30/2011 7:49:01 PM , Rating: 3
There's nothing new in taking credit for other people's successes and blaming others for our own faults. Human characteristics all too often trump truth and ethics. Both parties are epic failures here.

IE, sorry pal, old news.

It's easy being green
By eBob on 3/30/2011 2:55:40 PM , Rating: 3
Just paint the cars green and call it a day.

By Jaazu on 3/30/2011 6:36:53 PM , Rating: 1
I read the comments on here all the time and am always interested in how a good share of them are pro-oil and how the greenies are doing this, and drilling will fix everything. I'm not sure if you are unaware, or simply trolling, but the OIL industry is by far the largest receiver of subsidies. ( (FOX reference coming up for the R's that are around here that will poo poo the nytimes article as leftist propaganda)

If you want to even the playing field and see where that 'dirt-cheap' oil goes when you remove all of their subsidies also.
Here's a look at some subsidies in President Obama's 2012 Fiscal Year budget:

-$126 million for wind

-$340 million for bio fuels

-$457 million for solar

-$452 million clean coal

-$800 million for nuclear

Oil and gas get even more of your money through tax incentives, deductions, depreciation and investment credits. Those total about $3.6 billion a year , according to the Administration.

Oil is not cheap, and it's not going to be getting any cheaper... ever. The only way the price of oil is going to go is up. I don't really consider myself a conservationist or whatever many of you are calling the people trying to find renewable energy NOW, but it seems pretty intuitive and logical that we need to be sticking those subsidies into technology where they are going to be making a difference in 20-50 years when oil starts getting scarce, not trying to keep gas cheap tomorrow.

By Lerianis on 3/30/2011 10:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily. As I have pointed out numerous times before, they are going back to older oil fields and finding that they have REFILLED somewhat substantially in only a few years since they were 'tapped out'.

We are not driving the dinosaurs, the world creates oil through some process in the crust that we currently do not understand.

By Beenthere on 3/30/2011 5:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
This clown and his foolish demands will be history long before 2015.

micro particle thorium energy units
By tharik on 3/30/2011 5:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
A micro particle thorium energy unit will provide power for several years. It would be about the same size as a brief case. Larger ones, the size of a suitcase could power your house.

Friggin' excuse me?
By YashBudini on 3/30/2011 6:58:50 PM , Rating: 2

What is with leaders in the 21st Century? I've heard absolute power corrupts absolutely, but since when has it decided to go into overdrive?

By shortylickens on 4/3/2011 10:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
They will either love him for eternity just because, or they already hate him for something else entirely and this one issue wont help him.

Good article.
By spread on 3/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Good article.
By YashBudini on 3/31/2011 12:09:36 AM , Rating: 1
Considering where we are I'm surprised it took so long for you to get the -1

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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