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President also calls for increases on federal spending for CNG vehicles, vehicle research, and EV tax credits

At a speech at Georgetown University in the nation's capitol, President Barack Obama's (D) message to automakers was simple -- "told you so."

I. Obama Crows Over Fuel Economy Victories

He remarked:

The fuel standards that we put in place just a few years ago didn’t cripple automakers.  The American auto industry retooled, and today, our automakers are selling the best cars in the world at a faster rate than they have in five years — with more hybrid, more plug-in, more fuel-efficient cars.

The old rules may say we can’t protect our environment and promote economic growth at the same time, but in America, we’ve always used new technologies — we’ve used science; we’ve used research and development and discovery to make the old rules obsolete.

The Obama administration is celebrating a win in which it convinced automakers to adhere to signficant increases to the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standard.  


Under President George W. Bush (R) and the 2007 Congress, the CAFE standard -- which covers light trucks and sedans -- was scheduled to hit 35 mpg by 2020.  President Obama first succeeded in bumping that target to 34.1 mpg by 2016 after initially asking for 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Following that success, the President's team pushed for a much higher standard for 2025 -- as high as 62 mpg.  Automakers said that increase would "kill" the auto industry, but eventually begrudgingly caved to a target of 54.5 mpg by 2025.

The result is a mixed bag -- customers will save thousands of dollars at the pump over the lifetime of their vehicles (the exact amount is dependent on the price of fuel), but will pay $2,059 USD more for a new truck and $1,726 USD more for a new car on average (critics contend the true price increase will be at least twice that).  And automakers have to swallow an estimated $200B USD in costs for developing advanced fuel efficiency technologies.

In his speech, the President also plugged General Motors Comp. (GM) -- a bailout recipient -- for making a climate change pledge. The President remarked, "More than 500 businesses, including giants like GM and Nike, issued a Climate Declaration, calling action on climate change 'one of the great economic opportunities of the 21st century.'"

GM makes the Chevy Volt plug-in electric vehicle that both President Obama and former President George HW Bush are big fans of.

II. More Regulation Ahead?

Emboldened by the concessions that he has already won from the industry, the President proposed more regulation in his speech -- including a fresh round of CAFE targets for heavy duty trucks.  The heavy-duty truck segment (which includes semis, garbage trucks, buses and three-quarter-ton pickups) was first regulated under President Bush's Energy Act of 2007, which calls for a 20 percent increase in average fuel economy by 2018.

The standard refresh would go into effect by 2018, and force that vehicle segment -- which typically features inherently poor fuel economy -- to continue more yearly bumps in efficiency.  Despite the gains since 2007, heavy-duty vehicles are still the second largest source of emissions in the transportation sector, according to the White House.

Super Duty rear
President Obama was new fuel economy targets for heavy duty trucks.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Other automotive highlights of the speech included a reiteration of the President's call to bump the electric vehicle tax credit to $10,000 USD, a demand for more federal advanced vehicle research funding, and a push to give new tax credits compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

The President also called for regulations to limit the amount of carbon power plants can emit -- regulations that could force coal and oil burning plants to purchase expensive carbon capture and storage systems.

The speech compared these changes to the introduction of the federally forced introduction of the catalytic converter in 1970 (via the 1970 expansion of the Clean Air Act to cover automobiles), which critics complained would damage the industry.  He remarked:

At the time when we passed the Clean Air Act to try to get rid of some of this smog, some of the same doomsayers were saying new pollution standards will decimate the auto industry. Guess what — it didn’t happen. Our air got cleaner.

The President threatened the oil industry that he wouldn't approve the Keystone oil pipeline unless it cooperated with emissions improvements, remarking that the pipeline would be approved "only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."

Coal power station
The President wants stricter emissions standards for power plants. [Image Source: Reuters]
 
At least some of the President's demands are unlikely to be fulfilled given the Republican control of the House.  Thus far Republicans in Congress have fought efforts to bump tax credits for EVs/plug-ins and efforts to increase vehicle research funding.

Source: White House on YouTube



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He is right....
By Amiga500 on 6/26/2013 2:26:32 PM , Rating: 4
With the EU getting very draconian on carbon - producing more efficient machinery (from a carbon release perspective) is a tremendous opportunity for greater exports for the USA.

Other places (I'm thinking the Chinese mega-cities), will also be a tremendous opportunity for clean emission vehicles, due to the pollution-driven health issues that will develop over time within these cities.




RE: He is right....
By TheDoc9 on 6/26/2013 2:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
True, assuming the Chinese don't take the technology after we've footed the bill designing it.

I'm also skeptical of the 2025 fuel target. This will probably only be possible if every new vehicle is at least a hybrid.


RE: He is right....
By FITCamaro on 6/26/2013 3:42:53 PM , Rating: 3
I doubt its possible even then. A Prius sized vehicle doesn't work for a family. And even Fusion/Camry/Accord sized vehicles are topping out around 45 mpg right now. But in 12 years we're supposed to be at an AVERAGE of 54.5? Yes I know it's not quite that cut and dry to the number. But even if it was an average of 40. That means larger vehicles have to FAR better than they do today.

You can't make a pickup truck that gets 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. At least if you want it to be able to do any work. You might be able to hit 22-24 and 30 with diesels. But you know the EPA will likely try to increase emissions standards again before 2025 that will further prevent diesels from becoming big in America.


RE: He is right....
By Spuke on 6/26/2013 3:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the "real" average is somewhere in the mid 30's which is still difficult. At least not without raising prices (which they're doing already).

quote:
You can't make a pickup truck that gets 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. At least if you want it to be able to do any work. You might be able to hit 22-24 and 30 with diesels.
It's not the engine necessarily, it's the poor aero of large trucks that keeps mpg down. You can hypermile a Ford 1 ton diesel to 30 mpg but only with low speeds and no stops. Getting that kind of economy with normal driving (you know where you obey traffic laws), will take a significant, expensive change in design. I personally don't expect to be able to afford the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks in the future. My only consolation is that I only need a 1/2 ton so not a big deal really. Of course there's always used one's but my guess is that market will see prices spikes and low inventory.


RE: He is right....
By Schrag4 on 6/27/2013 9:49:16 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's not the engine necessarily, it's the poor aero of large trucks that keeps mpg down. You can hypermile a Ford 1 ton diesel to 30 mpg but only with low speeds and no stops. Getting that kind of economy with normal driving (you know where you obey traffic laws), will take a significant, expensive change in design.


And would this change in design have any significant impact on this?

quote:
You can't make a pickup truck that gets 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. At least if you want it to be able to do any work.


The point FIT was making is that nobody that pushes their trucks to the extreme will want any change in design if it means the extremes they can push them to will suffer as a result. For people that actually need a truck, such a redesign would be seen as a step backward, not forward.


RE: He is right....
By Spuke on 6/27/2013 5:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
This is all my opinion of course but I think it's a matter of money and what we are willing to buy (like always). You could make a truck get 25/35 and be just as capable but now you're talking a $120,000 (probably much more). No way is anyone buying that.

quote:
The point FIT was making is that nobody that pushes their trucks to the extreme will want any change in design if it means the extremes they can push them to will suffer as a result. For people that actually need a truck, such a redesign would be seen as a step backward, not forward.
No arguments from me here. In order to keep this affordable, a reduction in capability would have to happen and that's NOT going to happen. They might be able to get mid 20's ish mpg hwy with some aero improvements but as long as they have to use DEF the engine is not going to get them there by itself. At least not without significant expense.


RE: He is right....
By JediJeb on 6/27/2013 5:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
It is going to have to be one or the other, emissions or fuel economy. Sure we got better emissions when the catalytic converter was introduced but fuel economy also took a hit on vehicles of the same size. When more mileage was needed the move was made to smaller vehicles until the technology could improve for larger ones, but there still were limits.

The original Dodge with the Cummins Diesels would get 27mpg highway when properly tuned and geared about two decades ago, but they would certainly not pass emissions standards of today when setup like that.


RE: He is right....
By JediJeb on 6/27/2013 5:08:21 PM , Rating: 4
Since they are trying to kill the coal industry this example may not be so accurate, but around here the coal trucks haul 135,000 pounds of coal at a time down the highway(that is their permitted limits here in Kentucky). If you make a truck that gets twice the fuel mileage but can only haul half as much weight, then you have to run twice as many trucks which gains you absolutely nothing as far as emissions go. Yet it will look good on the propaganda when you tell everyone the trucks now get twice the fuel economy.

I guess next they will be wanting bulldozers to be half the size so they can get twice the economy. Wait until they mandate it for farm tractors and cause the price of food to go up. Oh wait, they will just expect farmers to absorb the costs like always so they can have their fuel economy win and keep food cheap.


RE: He is right....
By Solandri on 6/26/2013 4:08:35 PM , Rating: 4
CAFE mileages are different from EPA mileages. They used to be the same back in the 1970s when CAFE was created, but the EPA tests have been updated multiple times while CAFE has not. So 54.5 MPG CAFE is probably closer to 40 MPG EPA.
http://www.edmunds.com/autoobserver-archive/2009/0...

The bigger problem is that all these benchmarks are based on MPG, which exaggerates both the benefit of higher mileage, and the contribution of higher mileage vehicles to the fleet average. If you want to reduce the country's oil consumption, it's much more effective to discourage people from buying low-mileage SUVs, than it is to encourage people to buy high-mileage hybrids. Unfortunately, our use of MPG makes the opposite seem true.

The measure you want to be using is the inverse - gallons per mile. MPG tells you how many miles you can go on a single gallon. But that's not how people drive. You don't fill your car with 15 gallons and say "I have to make this last two weeks," and stop driving when the tank is empty. You have a fixed number of miles you need to drive in two weeks, and use however many gallons are needed to drive that distance. So the correct measure is GPM.

e.g. If your work commute is 150 miles in a week, switching from a 15 MPG SUV to a 25 MPG sedan will go from burning 10 gallons to 6 gallons - a savings of 4 gallons.

Switching from a 25 MPG sedan to a 50 MPG hybrid will go from burning 6 gallons to 3 gallons - a savings of only 3 gallons.

So in a switch from an SUV to a hybrid, the majority of the fuel savings (4 of 7 gallons saved) comes from the 15->25 MPG portion (a 10 MPG difference). Only 3 of the 7 gallons saved comes from the 25->45 MPG portion despite the difference in MPG being 2.5x larger (25 MPG). MPG exaggerates the impact and importance of high mileage vehicles.

Same thing with fleet average mileages. If you're using MPG, the correct way to calculate the average for two cars is 2/MPGavg = 1/MPG1 + 1/MPG2. If you use (MPG1 + MPG2)/2, you exaggerate the impact of the higher MPG vehicle.


RE: He is right....
By Mint on 6/26/2013 9:06:09 PM , Rating: 3
CAFE averages are calculated with the sales-weighted harmonic mean:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Average_Fu...

If a company had two models - one 20mpg, another 40mpg - of standard footprint and they sold equally, then CAFE doesn't consider the average to be 30mpg, but rather 26.7mpg.


RE: He is right....
By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 8:23:56 AM , Rating: 2
the simple explanation is the harmonic mean captures the fuel economy of driving each car in the fleet for the same number of miles, while the arithmetic mean captures the fuel economy of driving each car using the same amount of gas.


RE: He is right....
By MozeeToby on 6/26/2013 4:43:28 PM , Rating: 3
Keep in mind the average includes the eMPG estimates that are given to electric cars. The Tesla Model S gets 88/90 according to the EPA, Tesla could sell just as many 25mpg ICE cars as they do Model S's and still meet the 55mpg standard.

The aggressive goal, combined with the EPA's generous interpretation of electric vehicle mileage is basically saying to the automakers: "get electric vehicles on the road".


RE: He is right....
By FITCamaro on 6/27/2013 5:29:28 AM , Rating: 3
I know exactly what the new standards are trying to do.


RE: He is right....
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/2013 2:06:39 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
You can't make a pickup truck that gets 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.


Liberal retort: good, then trucks can finally go away. I don't need one, so nobody does!


RE: He is right....
By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 8:36:49 AM , Rating: 1
No I think it goes something like this.

Liberals: Most people don't need one so we shouldn't have it.

Conservatives: I can buy and use whatever I want.

This stereotyping is retarded and entirely inaccurate. For example, I know plenty of black people who bought low mileage big vehicles that trees seems to die as they pass it. In fact, every black person I know wants to be more like republicans but always vote democrats. The truth is it's not just black people, everyone wants to be rich and own businesses. The vast majority won't make it there so they'll vote for what gives them the most benefits. Being poor or just average, the democratic party will give you more benefits and therefore win your vote.

If you don't remember history, the democratic party was the fiscally responsible one. However, that wasn't popular back then so they aimed to get more votes by being friendly with poor people. They did just that and thus the 2 parties' platforms did a switch. This started in the 1950s.


RE: He is right....
By AlphaVirus on 6/27/2013 11:51:11 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
For example, I know plenty of black people who bought low mileage big vehicles that trees seems to die as they pass it. In fact, every black person I know wants to be more like republicans but always vote democrats. The truth is it's not just black people, everyone wants to be rich and own businesses.


This paragraph makes me cringe.


RE: He is right....
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/2013 2:15:27 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah his entire post was a bit w-t-f moment for me as well.

He accuses me of using a "stereotype", and immediately stereotypes "black people". I mean I'm not saying he's racist, I hate people who make blanket accusations, but did he really need to go there to make his point?


RE: He is right....
By ClownPuncher on 6/27/2013 2:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
They keep the demand for watermelon high, yet the prices remain low.

Wait, what the hell is anyone doing even responding to that guy?


RE: He is right....
By freedom4556 on 6/27/2013 3:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Since we're blowing stereotypes out our ass anyway...

I went to my local (rural Ark.) Dodge dealership to test drive a V8 Challenger about 6 months ago (couldn't afford one, but wanted to try it out anyway), and you know what I discovered? He didn't have one. He had six V6 Challengers and serval V8 Chargers, but by and large the lot was Ram trucks. Probably 50-75 trucks and maybe less than 20 cars. Same story at the Chevy dealer next door. Round here it's not just the black people in the Escalades with 20" chromes, but everybody.


RE: He is right....
By Spuke on 6/27/2013 5:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For example, I know plenty of black people who bought low mileage big vehicles that trees seems to die as they pass it. In fact, every black person I know wants to be more like republicans but always vote democrats. The truth is it's not just black people, everyone wants to be rich and own businesses.
LMAO!!! I'm thinking BRB's got two persons living within himself. A black rapper and an Asian dude.


RE: He is right....
By spamreader1 on 6/28/2013 8:04:28 AM , Rating: 3
It must be hard trying to be a liberal conservative.

If I'm not mistaken the Original Democrat party was huge on taking from others and giving to the Union, especially farmers (the poor) who were recognized as the Unions backbone. But this was through the idea of growth through expansion, not unlike the same time period expansions of the European empires of the time. The early history of the party advocated Manifest Destiny and opposed centralized banking, which was allowing currency to have wildly different values between transactions with little common basis in (at the time) gold or silver standard.

I can't say that either party have ever been a truly fiscally responsible one. The early Republican party was keen on higher tariffs, and running a larger national debt, as well as government aid to expanding economic infrastructure, both agriculturally and industrially.

One of the few things that hasn't changed much is that the Republican party is still viewed as a more or less pietistic Christian Party, where the Democratic Party seems to be less and less concerned with religious piety at all.

And to be fair the current Conservative view might be more of, if I can afford it, I should be able to buy and use whatever I desire. If I can't afford it, I'm not that worried about it anyway, or I can wait until I can afford it.

Where a slight adjustment to the current Liberal view might be if I can't afford it, and feel I'm entitled to it, I should regulate it and disperse it so that everyone can enjoy the regulated product now, even if it's not quite what everyone else wants.


RE: He is right....
By Argon18 on 6/26/2013 3:55:23 PM , Rating: 5
The whole carbon release thing is even funnier, since the latest studies show that global temperature is tied much more closely to CFC emissions than it is to carbon. Carbon does not explain the cooling that has occurred in the last decade, while the decline of CFC usage does. The carbon doomsayers are going to feel awfully foolish once this grand carbon myth is finally debunked.


RE: He is right....
By ebakke on 6/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: He is right....
By argleblargle on 6/26/2013 9:43:25 PM , Rating: 3
What's really funny is if you read your first sentence without the acronym: "The whole carbon release thing is even funnier, since the latest studies show that global temperature is tied much more closely to ChroroFluoroCarbon emissions than it is to carbon." Let's look more closely at that CFC... which is chlorofluoroCARBON. Notice that carbon is part of CFC? I mean, didn't you look up the acronym before posting that?

Also funny, you cite 2 studies by one guy as the latest studies. 2 studies, one researcher.... and only one is recent. There *is* an interesting correllation, but as we all know, that does not equal causation. There will be peer review and more studies to see if he's on to something real or just an interesting statistical anomaly. I suspect CFC's are part of it, but not the key.

Next, we have not been experiencing cooling, we have been experiencing a slowdown in warming. The first decade of the 21st century was still the warmest on record. C'mon, that's just sloppy, because it's info that's so easily found online.


RE: He is right....
By Mint on 6/26/2013 9:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Carbon does not explain the cooling that has occurred in the last decade
This is a myth that arose from cherry-picking. In 2008, denialists made all sorts of claims about a cooling trend over 10 years. In 2010, they were silent. This year they're using 15-year trends to show cooling.

It's all because of the exceptionally warm El-Nino year in 1998. If that's your starting point, you get a negative trend. Much of the natural variation has been accounted for:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/FR11_All.gif
The trend is pretty clear and steady. The existence of warming isn't in doubt, and the role of carbon isn't really either.

No, the REAL weakest link is not the science, but rather climate policy and economics.

The EPA pegs the social cost of carbon at $38/tonne. Using IPCC warming numbers and other accepted figures, that works out to $1 trillion for every 0.02 degrees C of warming.

I think that's ludicrous. I can tell you right now that the world's developing countries - those supposedly hit hardest by AGW - can do orders of magnitude more social good with $1T than what you get from preventing 0.02 deg C of warming.

Fuel efficiency for cars has many more important benefits than slowing global warming.


RE: He is right....
By StormyKnight on 6/27/2013 1:13:50 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/science/earth/wh...

quote:
The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.


http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/06...


RE: He is right....
By JediJeb on 6/28/2013 3:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
How about we stop tip toeing around the problem and just demand that the entire world do a reset of our civilization back to the early 1700s!

Let's do away with electricity, modern communications, modern transportation and everything. Everyone should go back to walking everywhere they go unless they can earn enough money to buy a horse to ride. Everyone should have to make their own living, do away with all welfare and entitlements and subsidies, make life simple again, simple in that if you don't work and support yourself you starve. That would cut our CO2 emissions to almost nothing!!!

Of course after doing that I would be willing to bet that we still see a warming trend because it is a natural process which the Earth goes through between all of its previous Ice Ages and the one that will come again just as they always have before. What humans are doing currently to accelerate warming is a drop in the bucket and once the Earth begins its next cooling cycle we can emit ten times the CO2 we are now and not be able to prevent the next Ice Age. The belief that humans are the cause of warming stems from humans not wanting to admit that many things are far beyond their control which causes fear when they realize the truth, and it is fueled further by the arrogant ego trips political leaders have that makes them feel they need to be in control of everything or else appear impotent.


RE: He is right....
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/2013 2:04:33 AM , Rating: 3
Talk about someone drinking the KoolAid...

I can even begin to detail my disgust at the amount of Federalism going on in this country. It's abhorrent that the President can't arbitrarily decide these issues for the entire country. This, apparently, isn't a Constitutional Republic -nope- it's a Monarchy and Obama is king.


RE: He is right....
By Amiga500 on 6/27/2013 4:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
So which particular sentence (the EU or the mega-cities) did you disagree with?

Or did you just see the post headline, draw the conclusion that Obama cannot be right (about anything) and go into Reclaminer-default-mode of "complain about the government"?


RE: He is right....
By ShieTar on 6/27/2013 5:19:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
With the EU getting very draconian on carbon - producing more efficient machinery (from a carbon release perspective) is a tremendous opportunity for greater exports for the USA.


Trying to get draconian. But they are sabotaged every step of the way by the big German producers of big luxury cars (Mercedes, BMW, Audi), and sadly enough our own chancellor is utterly unwilling of putting any kind of damper on their lobbying. So there is a big chance that the current attempts of stricter laws on the carbon-emissions for cars will be massively watered down once again.

Still, having efficient designs will be necessary in the long run, with a growing population and growing wealth contrasted by finite reserves of fossil fuels the only options are to learn to live with less or have massive wars over the existing resources.


RE: He is right....
By Schrag4 on 6/27/2013 10:08:25 AM , Rating: 3
What do you consider the "long run?" Many like me recognize that fossil fuels are finite (well not technically) but we also realize that we have several centuries before we'll run out, given what reserves we know exist today, and we're always finding more. Although we agree that alternatives should be found, we do not agree with the assessment that something must be done right away and at any cost. We believe that alternatives will flourish once the technologies become mature, and that it can happen without vast government intervention.


Emissions are a smokescreen
By superstition on 6/26/2013 2:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I know, it's not the emissions we should worry about, it's the pipeline bursting.

Cleaning up oil tar/sludge is, from what I've been told, very difficult -- even more difficult than cleaning up oil which, as far as I've been told, mainly a matter of trying to soak it up with paper towels.

Putting a dangerous (from leaks) sludge pipeline across so much farmland so China can have access to it seems like a bad move. But, given the ongoing corn ethanol debacle, the welfare of the nation is seen as less important than "donations" to politicians.




RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By FITCamaro on 6/26/2013 3:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah because the Alaska Pipeline has been so disastrous.

Seriously. Do you think before you speak? Or just listen to what some Greenpeace activist?

And why do you think we'd send it to China. Unless of course they complete their dream and run out the oil and gas producers out of America.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By superstition on 6/26/2013 4:22:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Seriously. Do you think before you speak?

Stupid cheap shots like that hardly impress.
quote:
And why do you think we'd send it to China.

Because all the analysis about the pipeline suggests that that's the primary reason for constructing it. Canada doesn't want to have more of its land sullied by the many inevitable leakages, so getting the US to serve as the conduit is a neat trick.

http://americablog.com/2013/06/british-columbia-re...
Gaius Publius:
quote:
1. The oil is bound for Asia: The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, as proposed … would carry tar sands oil by pipeline across the province, to be loaded onto supertankers for transport to Asia.

2. The ‘”sell” by the company is economic, but the bulk of the benefits (the profits) would of course go to the company, or they wouldn’t be doing it: In its written submission to the review panel on Friday, the company emphasized “the enormous economic benefits that the Project would deliver to Canada, British Columbia, Alberta and Aboriginal peoples.”

3. The company touts its excellence in “spill response”: “Northern Gateway would have comprehensive oil spill response plans for all Project components and would substantially improve existing emergency response on Canada’s pacific coast – something unprecedented for a pipeline project.”

4. Yet the BC review noted just the opposite: But the B.C. government’s submission points out that the company’s proposal indicates that “doing nothing is a possible response to a spill.”

HuffPo (Robert Redford):
quote:
Nocera might ask himself how likely this oil is really to go to China from Canada if Keystone XL is not built. He might ask why the oil companies are looking to bring tar sands almost 2000 miles south rather than just send it across British Columbia for export to Asia.

The answer can be found in the deep and fierce opposition to a new tar sands pipeline in Canada -- especially by the First Nations of British Columbia. In fact, those First Nations this week sent letters to President Hu of China and to the Chinese people letting them know their tar sands grievances in advance of Prime Minister Harper's trip this week.

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would not make the United States of America safer. Why? It would not make us safer, because the majority of the processed oil was already scheduled for export to foreign countries.

That's' right, this Keystone XL pipeline's Canadian tar sands oil would have no positive impact whatsoever on America's national security. Canada wanted to send the dirtiest oil on the planet through the heart of America so that they could access export routes.

And they proposed getting there by bringing the pipeline right over the Ogallala Aquifer, one of America's most important repositories of fresh water. Along the route, Democrats and Republicans alike opposed it.

Nocera never mentioned that a first pipeline just like the proposed Keystone XL, built by the same foreign company, TransCanada, had over 12 spills in the U.S. (30 if you count Canada) in just its first year of operation. Some of those spills have yet to be cleaned up.

Salon:
quote:
The U.S. State Department has accepted assertions that the production of heavy oil will increase regardless of whether Keystone XL is built, because the Northern Gateway pipeline would bring oil for shipment to China.

Denying permission for Keystone XL would not promote the U.S. national interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the State Department says, because China will use the energy anyway.

Canadians know better. Although the Canadian government supports Northern Gateway, and the government-appointed National Energy Board can be expected to approve, the same cannot be said of the First Nations (i.e. indigenous peoples) living along its path.

The 731-mile long Northern Gateway pipeline would cross several mountain ranges and more than 1,000 rivers and streams, many of which contain sensitive salmon spawning beds.

In December 2010, 61 First Nations from across British Columbia signed a declaration in opposition to Northern Gateway. The First Nations are skeptical about safety assurances provided by Enbridge, the company behind Northern Gateway.

In July 2010, a leak in one of the company’s pipelines in Michigan resulted in 20,000 gallons of crude oil spilling into the Kalamazoo River. A year later, more than 1,500 barrels leaked from another of Enbridge’s pipelines in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Fully 80 percent of British Columbians oppose Northern Gateway, and that public opinion has translated into political opposition.

Just a small sample of the information that's out there.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By invidious on 6/26/2013 4:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
So your attempt to validating your opinion (which was criticized as being mindlessly regurgitated Greenpeace propaganda) was to quote a bunch of unfounded claims that you found on a blatantly liberal leaning propaganda website.


By superstition on 6/26/2013 10:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm really not interested in cheap shots. If you can post some substantive rebutting information, I will be very interested in reading it. Otherwise...


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By Dorkyman on 6/26/2013 5:32:21 PM , Rating: 3
You lost me at referencing Huffington Post and then Salon. Next time try to pick objective sites.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By superstition on 6/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By Digimonkey on 6/27/2013 8:46:13 AM , Rating: 2
There has been three leaks I know about in the last three years without doing an internet search. One around Alberta Canada, one in Michigan and one in Arkansas. It's rather inevitable for a pipeline not to leak, it happens, so there should always be some concern. Especially for one that travels over a huge aquifer.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 9:02:06 AM , Rating: 2
Yes it will but it's not a big deal. You're talking like if we use trucks, ships or trains that it won't leak. If anything, using other modes of transport introduces more human errors. Usually those spills will be in places where it will be a big deal.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By Digimonkey on 6/27/2013 1:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
A million gallons of oil dumped into the Kalamazoo river is a pretty big deal. That happened in 2010 and just a month ago they were talking about having to dredge the river, so 3 years and still cleaning up the mess.

I'm not really against the pipeline if the risk/reward ratio is substantial, I'm just saying people have the right to be concerned.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By freedom4556 on 6/27/2013 3:35:51 PM , Rating: 2
They cleaned up the one in Arkansas. It's all gone. I drive by it every day. It was a tiny (in perspective) leak. Not that the local liberal media will every admit that.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By superstition on 6/27/2013 4:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
And the Kalamazoo river?


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By freedom4556 on 6/27/2013 4:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
Dunno, I don't live there. Was just providing a local perspective.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/2013 4:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
He didn't say "leaks" though, he said "bursting".

Pipeline "bursts" are so rare as to not even be brought up. And when they do happen, the flow is shut off, duh. You know you're dealing with some wacko with an agenda when such an absurd point of view is even shared.

It's like me saying we have to stop developing battery tech, because a cargo ship coming from China might sink in the ocean and create an ecological mess.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By Digimonkey on 6/27/2013 6:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
I was replying to your comment, and you said "busting". I'd agree, bursting rarely happens, and I'm for the keystone pipeline being built if it's a boon for the US economy and regulations are followed.


By superstition on 6/28/2013 5:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm for the keystone pipeline being built if it's a boon for the US economy and regulations are followed.


What if the regulations are inadequate? What, exactly, constitutes a boon for the economy that outweighs the risks? If we're going to place an aquifer, for instance, in jeopardy, doesn't it seem wise to know exactly what we're getting into and why?

I've asked those who complained about my sources to provide their own "objective" (substantive) facts, but so far I haven't seen any posted.

If it's true that this is yet another example of unwise corporate welfare like corn ethanol -- where environmental degradation is ignored in favor of certain rich people/politicians getting to skim a profit off of human misery... then I think it's worthwhile to know that. Wishful thinking won't make it a "boon", nor will placid ignorance. But, I do agree that if the overwhelming evidence (including what is reasonably obtainable) is positive then it makes sense to proceed.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 8:59:45 AM , Rating: 2
The pipe to NC was damaged and leaked several times. The damage is easily controlled because we can stop the flow. The leaked oil can be controlled with engineering, planning and damage control.

Pipes saves you a ton of money because it doesn't use trucks, ships or trains or transport this oil. It's much better for the environment than the alternatives. It also keeps the prices of gas down significantly. If you look throughout the states, places that use pipelines have lower prices overall.

Now please STFU about pipes. The worst oil spills have always been those shipping tankers at sea.


By superstition on 6/27/2013 3:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
Again, we must ask ourselves why we should risk so many miles of pipeline in the first place, carrying that stuff to China.

It makes a lot more geographical sense to move it through British Columbia than it does to bring it through the US.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By FITCamaro on 6/27/2013 5:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
The only reason it would be exported is because we don't have the refining capacity here in the US. Why? Because of people like yourself.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By superstition on 6/27/2013 4:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
A likely story. The US certainly can refine whatever it chooses to. We have plenty of land, manpower, and resources.

More believable reason for exporting the stuff to China is because the pipeline will be owned by a corporation that doesn't care that much about the economic welfare of the US in the first place and will do everything it can to maximize profits for itself, including producing a spill plan that includes doing nothing as a solution.

Corn ethanol should clue you into the fact that politicians often support projects not because of their economic quality but because of kickbacks and other forms of corruption. Creating a massive pipeline across an aquifer so that China can get easier access to tar sludge seems pretty nutty, although I freely admit this is not an area I have spent much time looking into.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/2013 4:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
There hasn't been a new oil refinery built in the United States since 1976. Your comments are shockingly ignorant. We cannot "refine" whatever we choose to if you're outright blocked from doing so.

quote:
although I freely admit this is not an area I have spent much time looking into.


Oh believe me, we can tell.


By superstition on 6/28/2013 5:14:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There hasn't been a new oil refinery built in the United States since 1976.

There is one under construction in North Dakota. I guess the false dilemma police didn't get to them first.

But, do explain why it makes good sense for America in general to pipeline the sludge from Canada, across many states and an aquifer -- all so the company that owns the pipeline can make a profit selling it to the Chinese. If you are invested in Koch Industries that could explain your viewpoint.


RE: Emissions are a smokescreen
By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 8:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The harmonic mean captures the fuel economy of driving each car in the fleet for the same number of miles, while the arithmetic mean captures the fuel economy of driving each car using the same amount of gas


Bro, you're posting other people's opinions to verify your own. You should look into real scientific articles or financial data regarding damages with spills. Some harder than blog posts and huffington lol. That's not evidence, that's unverified opinions.


By superstition on 6/27/2013 4:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing is stopping you from following your advice. Post some of these superior facts for us.


So this is why gas is over $4 a gallon
By sleepeeg3 on 6/26/2013 11:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
^




RE: So this is why gas is over $4 a gallon
By FITCamaro on 6/27/2013 5:35:52 AM , Rating: 2
No that's because of whatever ridiculous taxes your area imposes plus your distance from a refinery or port. Gas is $3.02-3.23 here in Charleston.


RE: So this is why gas is over $4 a gallon
By Dr of crap on 6/27/2013 12:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
REALLY, that your excuse as to the pricing of gas?

There are so many factors I don't think anyone could without a doubt explain why gas costs what it costs.
AND if we can ever wrestle the ability to trade oil futures away from the big investments banks, we might have a chance at cheaper gas prices, but that and hell freezing over have the same chance!


RE: So this is why gas is over $4 a gallon
By freedom4556 on 6/27/2013 3:39:04 PM , Rating: 2
Californians pay $5+, but they have a special smog-reducing blend so they can't get imports from other states during periods of high-demand or shortages. Why he pays $4/gal depends on where he is.


RE: So this is why gas is over $4 a gallon
By Spuke on 6/27/2013 5:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
$4 actually but it will be $5 in the next five years I bet. If the state gov had their way, fuel costs would track the average EU price.


By freedom4556 on 6/27/2013 6:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
I must have been remembering a spike I read about.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/...


By cjorach on 6/27/2013 10:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
In the pre industrialized world of 1762 when cheap and reliable energy from coal did not exist Jean-Jacques Rousseaus Emile was written. It contained these words:

“One half of the children who are born die before their eighth year….This is natures law; why contradict it?”

On June 25, 2013, President Obama gave his Climate Change speech. In his speech he claimed the world would be better off if cheap and reliable energy from coal did not exist. His speech contained these words.

“While we may not live to see the full realization of our ambition, we will have the satisfaction of knowing that the world we leave to our children will be better off for what we did.”

Thus in the pursuit of making “our children” “better off” President Obama declared he would use his power to extinquish the energy coal provides to the American people. Energy that provides over a third of America\’s power. He declared he will use his power to deny the American people the right to develop their vast natural fossil fuel resources. Energy resouces that would provide the American people and their children and childrens children cheap and reliable energy for 300 years or more. He declared he will use his power to destroy jobs in the coal industry and put people out of work. He declared he will use his power to waste billions of more tax payer dollars on failed green energy boondoggles like Solyndra that are toxic to the environment, unreliable and high cost sources of energy hurting the poor the most. He declared that he will use his power to “skyrocket” energy prices and thus lower the standard of living of the American people. http://orach24463.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/preside...




By roykahn on 6/28/2013 1:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
He declared that he will use his power to “skyrocket” energy prices and thus lower the standard of living of the American people.

Do you realize that the longer we do not tackle climate change the more expensive and drastic the solutions will need to be? If politicians took action earlier, like the world's scientists have been recommending for the past 30-odd years, then we wouldn't be in such a mess. Although, judging from your comments, I'm assuming you do not believe in climate change, so feel free to ignore my comment if that's the case.


By JediJeb on 6/28/2013 3:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
Around 30 years ago scientist were worried we were headed into a new Ice Age, so maybe their advice back then would not have help as much as you think.

The other side of the coin is the fact that the warming trend we see now is completely natural and not influenced by what man is doing, therefore anything that we do to "stop" the warming would be done in vain. It is a known fact that the Sun is getting hotter, yet climatologists seem to discount that changes in solar output could possibly be causing any warming even though we did see cooling happen during the last two solar minimums and warming during the last and current solar maximum. Add to that the fact that we had the "Mini Ice Age" during the deep solar minimum called the Maunder Minimum during the late 1700s early 1800s and it looks like climatologists are totally ignoring the effects that are very evident about solar activity and global temperatures.

Why should we cripple our economy and do more damage to the poor to try to control something we may not be able to control at all?


By roykahn on 6/28/2013 5:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
Your opinion about climate change goes against what ~97% of peer-reviewed scientific research suggests. Claiming that scientists are "ignoring" effects is absolutely laughable.


Ethanol is not the solution!
By scook9 on 6/26/2013 4:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Obama,

Forcing ethanol on us is counter to your improved mpg goals. Ethanol gets worse mileage than gas while also doing terrible things to both cars and the environment unnecessarily. I would rather see you chase that than auto makers.




RE: Ethanol is not the solution!
By marvdmartian on 6/27/2013 7:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yes.....and no.

Ethanol gets worse mileage in the current generation of engines, which have been designed to get a good blend of performance and economy, with some leaning more in one direction or the other.

However, in a properly designed (higher compression) engine, ethanol gets pretty good mileage, comparable to that which you'd get from a gasoline engine....but you wouldn't be able to burn gasoline in it, unless it was very high octane (100+), which isn't readily available to the consumer. So it's a matter of which direction the auto makers, and society, wish to go.

You are, however, correct that Mr Obama seems to be presenting the auto makers with a Catch-22 situation, in that they're forced to deal with higher percentage blends of gasoline with ethanol, while also being told to increase the economy of their engines.

They are further hamstrung by the fact that it's difficult to introduce a higher mpg diesel engine in this country, because of the pollution restrictions (and need to run well on Ultra-Low Sulfur diesel fuel), as well as the American public who haven't fully embraced the technology of the modern diesel engine. The diesel-equipped Chevy Cruze will perhaps finally turn that attitude around, as it's using a proven technology engine used in Europe, and is reported to be able to get combined mileage somewhere around 40mpg.


RE: Ethanol is not the solution!
By euler007 on 6/27/2013 12:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
The energy content of a gallon of Ethanol is 33% less then a gallon of Gasoline. Pushing efficiency won't change the fact that there's less energy to get out of the combustion.

Take into account the energy wasted in producing the ethanol, and what you have left is a disguised subsidy to the agro-industrial complex.

source: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=27&t=4


Messiah the magnificent
By Dorkyman on 6/26/2013 5:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, let's really make an impression. Let's insist that cars need to average, oh, 300mpg. And heavy trucks 50mpg. I mean, hey, automakers complained about going from 15 to 20mpg, so if they scream about 300 it means nothing.

No guts, no glory. When you're as irrational as Messiah you can make insane statements and the minions will just eat it up.




RE: Messiah the magnificent
By Philippine Mango on 6/26/2013 11:27:16 PM , Rating: 1
Thankfully the government is only asking the automakers to do what is technically feasible and nothing more. Unfortunately for you, the illiterate, you think that any and all demands from the govt. are akin to asking for the conversion of lead to gold or water to wine. The govt. only makes the requests for better fuel efficiency because they're aware of technologies the automakers aren't taking advantage of in order to improve fuel efficiency.


RE: Messiah the magnificent
By freedom4556 on 6/27/2013 3:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Right, the government knows better than the companies that make these things. Mmmmhmm, okay.


China name plate co. ltd.
By cindywu on 6/27/2013 6:35:49 AM , Rating: 2
"We're not going to let the president wipe out the coal industry," Are we going to let the coal industry wipe out our civilization?




RE: China name plate co. ltd.
By StormyKnight on 6/27/2013 7:16:31 AM , Rating: 2
Since coal use is on the decline, please educate us on how the coal industry would wipe out civilization. I can't begin to imagine how entertaining this will be since the coal industry has been running since the industrial revolution, and yet we're still here.


Instead of CAFE...
By Masospaghetti on 6/27/2013 12:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
...EV credits, and CNG credits, increasing fuel taxes would accomplish the same thing without picking winners and losers. Let the market figure out which technology is most effective in burning less fuel.

Offsetting this tax increase with a reduction in general taxes (income or corporate, for example) is the only chance of making it politically possible.




RE: Instead of CAFE...
By Dr of crap on 6/27/2013 1:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
Hey wait a minute there bucko, let's not make too much common sense here.

Let the market filter out the right tech to go with???
Are you crazy? Our govt obviously knows WHCICH tech is the right one to pursue.

Just yet again more stupidity from a politican, and you all think that the "right" person can be VOTED in! HA!


Of course it is
By FITCamaro on 6/26/2013 3:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"More than 500 businesses, including giants like GM and Nike, issued a Climate Declaration, calling action on climate change 'one of the great economic opportunities of the 21st century.'"


Yeah. It's a huge economic opportunity to get our money to fund their businesses.




Still haven't fixed it?
By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 8:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
President Obama was new fuel economy targets for heavy duty trucks.




Vehicle Tax Credits
By Farfignewton on 6/27/2013 11:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
I would greatly appreciate it if tax credits were reduced by a dollar for every dollar a vehicle sells over MSRP. Allowing dealerships to enrich themselves on the taxpayer's dime does nothing to encourage adoption and is a spectacular showcase of government waste.




By kleinwl on 6/28/2013 9:53:36 AM , Rating: 2
For the most part, people do not buy buses, semis, and 3/4 ton pickup trucks for cruzing around. The issue is that buses, semis, and 3/4 ton trucks usually use low tech equipment because people care more about reliability than fuel efficiency. Sure, the average budget for a class 8 semi is $100,000 in fuel per year, but sitting on the side of the road while 80,000 lbs of tyson chicken goes bad because your high tech injector exploded is not acceptable. There have been numerious technology demonstrators, mostly paid for by the DOE, that show equipment can have significantly higher fuel economy with aero and technology changes. For the most part, OEMs and Trucking Fleets have embraced the aero changes (compare a Peterbilt 579 (fleets) vs. a 389 (owner-operators)) while avoiding the engine technology changes as long as possible.

Look up DOE grant in 2010. $187 million to improve fuel efficiency for heavy and light duty trucks. HD trucks accounted for 20% of the fuel consumed in the US. So these companies companies have an impact all out of proportion to their size.




"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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