Times may be tough for the automakers, with Chrysler in bankruptcy and GM also in dire straits, but President Obama is not letting them off the hook when it comes to fuel economy standards. In fact, today he will announce a dramatic emissions reduction plan to be implemented over the next seven years and essentially transform the automotive landscape.
The new rules, according to a White House official briefing reporters, will require vehicles (including trucks and SUVs) to achieve 35.5 MPG on average by 2016. The average for cars will be 39 MPG, while the average for light trucks will be 30 MPG. The White House estimates that the new regulations, along with those passed in 2007 by the Bush administration, will raise the price of a car roughly $1,700 USD.
The official stated, "You can continue to buy whatever cars you want. All cars get cleaner."
The planned reductions are similar to California's emissions plan; in fact, California has agreed to go along with the federal government and not pursue its own fuel economy standard. The plan aims to cut down on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists believe are a major cause of global warming. The Obama administration says that the plan will cut emissions by 30 percent by 2016.
Officials say that the move will also protect national security, by reducing the national oil consumption by 1.8 billion barrels between 2011 and 2016. That represents a five percent dip from the current rate of U.S. consumption -- 7.1 billion barrels a year. Since much of America's oil comes from politically unstable regions such as the Middle East or Venezuela, this is a significant advance in protecting national security interests.
David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's climate center, cheered the move, stating, "Everybody wins. It's going to cut carbon pollution. The drivers of these cars are going to save money at the pump. It's going to cut our national oil dependence ... [and] if you're going to prosper as a carmaker, when the economy recovers, you have to be making these clean, high-mileage vehicles."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.), a strong proponent of stricter standards, along with Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.) will be on hand as President Barack Obama announces the new standards.
The new emissions are expected to dramatically alter automotive output. Most manufacturers say they will have to cut down on SUV and large vehicle production to meet the standard. Where a trip to a car dealership today features a walk through rows of SUVs and trucks, by 2016, these vehicles will likely be replaced by more sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, and hybrid vehicles.
However, some opposed the new standards, like Myron Ebell, an energy expert with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an oil industry and automotive lobby. She states, "We think these new mandatory fuel standards are most unfortunate. They will price people out of larger vehicles and force them into smaller vehicles. Smaller cars may use less fuel, but they don't meet the needs of many people and studies show they are less safe."
Former Bush administration officials, though, largely praise the move. Says one former EPA official, Jeff Holmstead, "It looks like the Obama administration is agreeing with the Bush administration that there needs to be a national standard and that it doesn't make any sense to have multiple state standards."
quote: Most economists realize the economic crisis was precipitated by volatile banking conditions worldwide.
quote: That's because they're largely not subject to the emissions standards.
quote: Otherwise, if I have to choose between a slow $25,000 hybrid getting 40 mpg and a fast $35,000 sports sedan getting 25 mpg, I'm getting the sports sedan. How do standards keep me from buying the sports sedan? If I'm buying, somebody is going to make it. Now if gas were $8 a gallon, I might think twice about that hybrid.
quote: I'd much rather have seen the car companies be forced to do this by market demand and not government regulation.
quote: i travel at 75+ on fwy and it's fun to drive unlike the faggot battery hybrids that have absolutely NO character.
quote: My japanese made SUV with a 2 liter engine (150bhp) provides all your asking of (plenty of room, torque, it's comfortable and safe etc.), and is just slightly below that new standard.
quote: So where is that demand for cars with even bigger, but more inefficient engines?
quote: Have the american consumers been mislead into thinking they absolutely HAVE to have bigger, yet more inefficient engines?
quote: "Tiny cars" are more fun than big sofas on wheels. Plus 35 mpg is not exactly hard even for big cars.
quote: Correction, people DID want those kinds of cars until gas hit nearly $5/gallon, suddenly you couldn't GIVE them away and Ford/GM/etc are going out of business...
quote: people DID want those kinds of cars until gas hit nearly $5/gallon
quote: It wouldn't happen. People want comfortable, affordable, and roomy vehicles. Which is completely at odds with this move. Safety regulations continue to make cars heavier and heavier. Gas isn't magically producing more energy. Hybrid powertrains add a substantial upfront cost that doesn't pay for itself with even $5 gas for a very long time. So we will be left with the government mandating tiny cars the average consumer has shown time and again they don't want.
quote: I can already buy big luxury sedans in the EU that meet the new "strict" MPG requirements. Look at something like the eurospec Jaguar XJ. 35.7 MPG combined, 44.5 HWY, 26.5 city. All from a 5K lb GVW car.
quote: True but that doesn't mean the government has the right to artificially inflate the cost of having a large family.
quote: If you can afford to have 7 kids, then paying a bit more for an SUV should be no problem. If it is... then they should stop having so many kids.
quote: First off, reproduction is really the basis of all life.
quote: No appeal to reproductive freedom?
quote: Besides, having a freedom doesn't mean you can exercise it free of consequences.)
quote: Personally, I like the idea of people only having a lot of kids if they can afford it
quote: Money is a pretty good indicator of fitness
quote: These days, things are backwards. We're on the verge of Idiocracy becoming a documentary.
quote: It means YOU will be paying less at the bowser for gas!
quote: . HOW HARD IS THAT TO UNDERSTAND? SHORT TERM THINKING
quote: You free marketers hate it but are you prepared for more wars for petrol?
quote: Are you willing to die for petrol?
quote: Since the light truck mileage standards were lower, the only way to get a larger station wagon type of vehicle was to get an SUV. So the EPA mileage standards ended up lowering the average fuel economy then because more people wanted the larger vehicles and purchased SUV's, which got worse mileage than the station wagons
quote: So what do you say to the family of 7 who DOES NEED a large SUV or minivan? Are they supposed to put one kid in the rear window and another in the trunk because they can't buy or can't afford an SUV or minivan because it doesn't exist or is too expensive?
quote: .it's fairly typical for americans to always blame the government
quote: Politicians who always do what their voters say they want, aren't fit to run a country.
quote: And that's the case right here, Obama won't get much support for this, but it HAS to be done.
quote: If you had demanded higher emission standards sooner, you most likely wouldn't be in the current mess, with noone wanting to buy huge, gas guzzling american cars.
quote: Sure, they'll cost more. Sure, there will be other obstacles. But they CAN and WILL be made.
quote: Maximum economy, then, of 64.3 mpg. I am getting approx. 21 mpg. My engine is running at ~33% efficiency, assuming all is correct?
quote: Aren't there too many other factors here to calculate it this simply?
quote: There are some problems in your math...
quote: I don't see it being impossible to get 30mpg from a more modern vehicle. Expensive? Perhaps. Difficult? Perhaps. Impossible? Not at all.
quote: Second, the current price for a well-equipped 1-ton truck, new, is in the neighborhood of $40,000. Increasing that by $3,000 isn't going to change much. People who want or need them will still make the purchase, and trucks last longer than cars, so there is a sizable market for used pickups.
quote: Third, there are quite a few Euro-model cars that average over 39mpg. The Opel Astra, for one. I suppose they may not meet safety requirements or emissions standards, but the economy is there.
quote: I am definately pessimistic, but I think for your 1-ton type truck
quote: Smaller cars may use less fuel, but they don't meet the needs of many people and studies show they are less safe.
quote: Many of the posts on here in favor of this legislation only speak of the desire to lower our importation of foreign oil. Yet to them there is no other solution than building smaller vehicles to burn less fuel.
quote: You want to drive it? Fine! But take responsibility for it. Acknowledge that your "simply because I can" attitude of excess is the reason the statistics say my small car is "unsafe". Your car is the problem, not mine!
quote: What's next, if you live in the ghetto are you going to blame me because there is more of a chance your home will get broken into...
quote: You can complain about SUV's making you more unsafe all you want, but until you get rid of semi's, dump trucks, moving trucks, tow trucks, industrial pickup trucks, etc, you have no right to single out a group of consumers and lay blame on them.
quote: The only person responsible for you is YOU. If you want a small car, then fine, buy and drive one. But don't complain about your safety, or lack there of, because of everyone else. No one made you buy that car.
quote: You crazy lib's never cease to amaze me.
quote: Who said I'm a liberal? I'm a liberal because I don't drive a giant SUV? That's new. Just gotta work something political into every post, dontcha?
quote: Is their extra training somehow curbing them from having accidents and killing anyone else?
quote: The problem is that people buy these giant cars as status symbols and not as a means to an end
quote: Of course you assume I don't have an SUV because I can't.
quote: I'm a programmer and my wife is a doctor.
quote: naturally people assume that anyone who isn't like them is only so because they lack the ability
quote: And what a lopsided view of this you must have to not understand leaving out specially-licensed vehicles.
quote: The problem is that people buy these giant cars as status symbols and not as a means to an end.
quote: Soccer moms who buy the biggest vehicle they can find generally don't have a clue how to drive them and try to do so like every other car they've owned, and in doing so they are much more dangerous.
quote: but I see plenty of tools driving giant cars to work who never haul more than a briefcase.
quote: could easily afford a giant SUV, but I don't want one.
quote: What dead-wrong assumption do you have about me next?
quote: There's a reason we require operators of large vehicles to get properly licensed, and it's because it reduces risk
quote: I only have a problem with it when their "god-given right of excess" leads to their inability to control their vehicle and becomes a danger to me.
quote: People do that with homes, clothing, electronics...wait, just about EVERYTHING. Do you drink bottled water or soda?
quote: Even if that SUV sells one million units, and the 3 cars combined sell only 100k units - you still have a high average.
quote: Also, you neglect the gasoline saving.
quote: When demand goes up for gas, price goes way up. When demand goes down drastically, the price goes down.
quote: About 13,000 facilities that account for as much as 90 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
quote: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.), a strong proponent of stricter standards...
quote: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.), a strong proponent of stricter standards, along with Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.) will be on hand as President Barack Obama announces the new standards.
quote: A 2005 estimate set the total world resources of oil shale at 411 gigatons — enough to yield 2.8 to 3.3 trillion barrels (520 km3) of shale oil. This exceeds the world's proven conventional oil reserves, estimated at 1.317 trillion barrels (209.4×10^9 m3), as of 1 January 2007.The largest deposits in the world occur in the United States in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming; about 70% of this resource lies on federally owned or managed land. Deposits in the United States constitute 62% of world resources;
quote: The US OCS is conservatively estimated by Minerals Management Service (MMS) to hold undiscovered technically recoverable resources of over 419 tcf of natural gas and 86 Bbbl of oil. That’s estimated to be enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for 60 years, and enough oil to drive 85 million cars for 35 years or to replace current Persian Gulf imports for almost 60 years.
quote: In fact, there may be even more oil and natural gas offshore, because the more industry explores, the more they find. In the parts of the Gulf of Mexico where industry has been allowed to buy leases and explore, it has found about five times as much oil and three times as much natural gas as was once thought to be there.
quote: In 1987, MMS estimated that the GoM held about 10 Bbbl of oil and 100 tcf of natural gas; yet, earlier this decade the Gulf was estimated to have 45 Bbbl of oil and 230 tcf of gas yet to be discovered, in addition to the 6 Bbbl of oil and 75 tcf of gas already produced since the 1987 estimates.