The calls for more efficient vehicles in the United States amidst
rising gasoline prices have not fallen on deaf ears. A bill destined to raise
the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) average to 35 MPG by 2020 passed the House of
Representatives 235-181 earlier this month.
The measured cleared again yesterday with a 314-100
vote. President Bush will sign the energy bill today.
The energy bill calls for a 40 percent increase in fuel
economy from the current 25 MPG to a loftier 35 MPG. The bill also provides
provisions to increase E85 ethanol production from six billion gallons a year
to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022 -- this is despite opposition
to the increased production of the alternative fuel.
Automobiles aren't the only consumer products targeted by
the energy bill. Household appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves
will also need to become more efficient while commercial and government
buildings will be required to use more efficient lighting including fluorescent-based
Energy companies dodged a bullet with regards to a provision
included in the bill that passed the house earlier this month, but stalled in
the Senate. It called for over $13.5 billion USD in tax breaks to be rolled
back for the United States' five largest oil companies.
President Bush said that he would veto the bill if the $13.5
billion USD rollback was included -- the money would have gone to ignite the
development of alternative energy sources like wind and solar energy.
"You are present at a moment of change, of real
change," said House speaker Nancy Pelosi. "It could have been
stronger," added Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. "It’s really
unfortunate that we didn’t have the renewable electricity standard or the
incentives for wind and solar. But we’ll fight for those another day."
House Representative Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas,
offered a counterpoint; "This legislation is a historic turning point in
Not surprisingly, representatives from America's Big Three
were quick to voice their support for the new energy bill.
"Ford has worked with lawmakers to enact nationwide
requirements that provide a significant increase in fuel economy while
protecting consumers' choices of cars, SUVs and light trucks," Ford Motor
Company said in a statement. "We are working to do our part to help reduce
greenhouse gases and U.S. dependence on foreign oil."
"We commend the Congress for passing an energy bill
today and we fully support it being signed into law. Chrysler is committed to
meeting the fuel economy standards of the bill and doing our part to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and our country's reliance on foreign oil," said
Robert Nardelli, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler LLC. "We continue to devote
significant resources to develop quality, fuel efficient products that our
"GM commends the Congress and President for passage of
an energy bill. The new fuel economy standards within the bill set a tough,
national target that GM will strive to meet," said General Motors CEO Rick
Wagoner. "We will focus our engineering and technical resources to attain
these standards and we remain hard at work applying the innovation and
developing the advanced technologies that will power tomorrow's cars and
Earlier this month, GM Vice Chairman "Maximum" Bob
Lutz said that the 35 MPG CAFE average would require "massive
restructuring of the product plan" and that GM would "start raising
prices as we introduce the new technology."
All of the major players in the American auto market are
looking to hybrids, fuel
cell and all-electric
vehicles to increase fuel economy across the board. Toyota has even gone so far
as to say that all
of its vehicles will be gasoline-electric hybrid by 2020.
Other manufacturers like Honda,
are looking to bring more diesel engines to passenger vehicles to increase fuel
economy. Americans have been hesitant to accept diesel engines in cars and
light-duty trucks in recent years, but newer technology may change many opinions.
One thing is for sure, however, we may start to see less vehicles
like the upcoming tire-shredding 2009
Chevrolet Camaro and 2009
Dodge Challenger SRT-8 and more vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda
quote: Why not:1. Phase out hydrocarbon fuels by 2020.2. Use the money from this one bill to build a bunch of nuclear reactors.3. Mandate all new vehicles to be zero emissions by 2020.4. Subsidize electric and hydrogen vehicles.5. Use the reactors to provide electricity for vehicles and to create hydrogen.6. Outlaw all Mexican/foreign trucks that do not meet regulations from entering the US starting in 2008.
quote: Why not:1. Phase out hydrocarbon fuels by 2020.
quote: 2. Use the money from this one bill to build a bunch of nuclear reactors.
quote: 3. Mandate all new vehicles to be zero emissions by 2020.
quote: 4. Subsidize electric and hydrogen vehicles.
quote: 5. Use the reactors to provide electricity for vehicles and to create hydrogen.
quote: 6. Outlaw all Mexican/foreign trucks that do not meet regulations from entering the US starting in 2008.
quote: Why not:1. Phase out hydrocarbon fuels by 2020.and the technology to do this is where? This is a great idea but it's not realistic.
quote: Few people want to pay *more* for a vehicle that's less convenient for their normal driving patterns.
quote: Shhhh.... do you hear that sound? It's the worlds smallest violin, and it's playing just for you.
quote: Because progress at the cost of the environment isn't the only way.
quote: You have a very entitled attitude, maybe start thinking about what's good in a worldly ideal.
quote: No you're right, we should destroy the environment. This post is probably as thought out as your claim that the US doesn't consume the most Oil in the world. You self-centered argumentative jerks are multiplying on these boards.
quote: There absolutely must be sports electric and fuel cell electric cars. It's actually easy to keep a high performance electric car nearly as effecient as a "wussie-mobile" design.
quote: As far as efficiency is concerned, electric wins hands down. Most of a combustion engine's energy gets wasted in heat and stopping, whereas the electric engine doesn't even waste energy when it brakes, it just recharges the batteries.
quote: Where does that electricity come from??? It comes primarily from "burning" fossil fuels.
quote: And even then its not going to be viable for everyone.
quote: You say that as if Ferrari or any other high performance auto manufacturer has something to compete with Writespeed's X1 electric car. I'm assuming that when you said 'efficient' you really meant 'faster.'
quote: Nuclear is great. It's safe. We should have 100 new plants under construction in the USA right now. But we don't. Unfortunately, there will never be enough nuclear fuel to supply all our long term needs, so lets get solar and wind working.....
quote: There should be a $100 million dollar "X-Prize" for a battery that has no memory degridation (recharge cycles killing battery life), instant charge/discharge (for performance and energy recapture), light weight, and of course - massive energy density.
quote: I think that's the direction we need to go. The government should say "We will never subsidize anything, but we will give big cash prizes for developing....
quote: A rise in fuel efficiency isn't going to hurt the oil companies, because people will drive more since their cars are so efficient.
quote: tesla roadster paves the way. electric plug-in FTW.
quote: A bill destined to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) average to 35 MPG by 2020...
quote: Automobiles aren't the only consumer products targeted by the energy bill. Household appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves will also need to become more efficient...
quote: goes flying past me at 70 on the cell phone in the snow....
quote: ... and then a few miles up the road I pass you while I'm still on the road and you're in the ditch...
quote: I guess that marketing about 4X4's being infallible really does work on a certain part of the population...
quote: Well for one - its pretty common knowledge that 4WD gives better traction in the snow
quote: I dont know anyone personally that goes out and buys snow tires for an SUV or a car for that matter.
quote: Well driving in the snow...and buying snow tires are two different things.
quote: You are probably one of the types who thinks its the end of the driving world when you get 2" of snow.
quote: I dont know anyone personally that goes out and buys snow tires for an SUV or a car for that matter.
quote: US is a biggest consumer of oil. US use 3 times more oil than the second consumer - China.
quote: You do realize that europe has pretty big train systems that take people from city to city for work, right?
quote: Using a PPP basis is arguably more useful when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using just exchange rates which may distort the real differences in income.
quote: Really? I've lived in three European nations, and ridden trains in a dozen others. And I have "no understanding" of them?
quote: Yeah they still have cars for the rural areas
quote: the dollar is floating down to a more natural level
quote: how do you explain that per-capita car ownership in the US is still increasing?
quote: And in any case, if you think transportation patterns have changed substantially in the past decade, you're mistaken.
quote: I'm only pointing out that you're trying to say we drive bigger cars cause we're richer... We drive bigger cars because our culture deems it important. Where-as the European culture doesn't, as they have a much different idea of wealth than us.
quote: France, Europe's fourth-biggest car market last year, is preparing to slap a tax of as much as ?3,200 ($3,900) on cars that emit gases believed to contribute to global warming, a move that has stirred official calls for similar levies in Britain, Europe's second-largest car market. In recent weeks, London's mayor called motorists who use SUVs in his city "complete idiots," while the Paris City Council has called for banishing SUVs to improve traffic flow.
quote: We can make as much money as we can, and be able to buy luxury items to show off, make yourself feel better, or hell, take hundred dollars bills and burn them if you want.
quote: And yes, you have every right to live as you want. Just don't complain when you and your families are in the shi* hole, so to speak.
quote: Yet I bet when something bad happens to your family, lets assume acid rain, you wouldn't do anything right? :) Why should you, you're enjoying your precious luxury materials and ignoring everything that might have been affected and the cause of your misfortune
quote: That line of thinking leads to fascism.
quote: Its all wealth envy arguments from these people.
quote: Actualy if you think that US citizens are wealthiest in the world your're wrong. In US life quality is significantly higher than medium, but not the best. That's for sure.
quote: You cannot argue with people who think this way. Its a mental disorder .... have you ever tried to argue with someone who has down syndrome?
quote: US use 3 times more oil than the second consumer - China.
quote: You can also use google if you don't trust this.
quote: each molecule of CO2 has a certain amount of energy it can absorb - it's specific heat. By adding more CO2 to the air, we drive up the number of these molecules in the air and therefore, the capacity of the air to absorb heat is also increased.
quote: here's really no reason why we can't have a public transportation system that compares to those in Europe or Japan.
quote: The difference between us and them is that they built the system with the city. It's a lot harder to add one in later.
quote: Yet another reason I'll be voting for Ron Paul.
quote: (buying that giant SUV "just in case" they ever need to tow something or go off-road).