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Automakers claim new fuel economy ratings will put hundreds of thousands out of work  (Source: Business Week)
Supporters of increased efficiency standards claim the numbers are inflated

The battle between the auto industry and the federal government over changes to fuel economy regulations is exploding. Lawmakers in Washington want to impose much more efficient standards on future vehicles that could see a fleet wide fuel economy average of 62 mpg in effect by 2025.

Some in the automotive industry argue that the costs to reach the lofty 62 mpg fleet wide average will be much higher than the cost of burning more fuel in less efficient vehicles for consumers. Automakers have previously claimed that the costs would have a dire impact on the industry.

new study by the Center for Automotive Research has been published and the study claims that the rise in efficiency standards by 2025 to 62 mpg could add up to $9,790 to the cost of a new vehicle and will reduce sales by 5.5 million units. The report also claims that the resultant price increase would force a reduction of 260,000 automotive industry jobs due to reduced demand for vehicles by consumers.

On the other side of the battle, those pushing for the increased efficiency standards claim that the tech needed to meet the efficiency standards would only add $770 to $3,500 to the price of a new vehicle.

David Friedman, deputy director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Vehicles program and supporter of the new efficiency mandate, said, "The Obama administration should ignore this industry-advocate propaganda piece and focus on setting the strongest vehicle efficiency and global warming pollution standards based on credible scientific analysis."

President and CEO of the Union, Jay Baron, says that the main difference in cost between the industry and government studies depends on how much the price of the technology will come down over the next 15 years.

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By hsew on 6/16/2011 1:02:13 AM , Rating: 2
Remember how people used to live without cell phones? It's funny how you live 45 years of your life without a cell phone and now can't leave the house without it.

Now imagine what it would be like without a bloated fed. You can't, because you've lived with it your entire life. You've become complacent, numbed to it. The bureaucracy started spouting huge numbers starting with millions, then billions, then trillions.

And what was it in the name of, you? Did you stop believing in the power of the free market? Did you stop believing in innovation? Or maybe you just stopped believing in yourself. Maybe, just maybe, as much as you statists don't want to admit it, you have lost the ability to make educated decisions on your own. Hell, the fed probably owns most of your opinions.

Just my two cents. Get rid of unnecessary regulation. If people want efficiency, they'll buy it. If they want cleaner cars, they'll buy them. And if they don't, then they don't. Simple as that. Some of us don't have an extra $3000 to spend on a car. So why should we be forced to? What, in the name of us?

In fact, let's look back at some of the regulations placed on our manufacturers. The horrors of the meat packing industry were famously exposed in Sinclair's The Jungle. But what an incredible opportunity for an entrepreneur to say, "Gee, I wonder if I can start my own company and use my competitors' practices to their disadvantage whilst simultaneously increasing the appeal of my own product?" A situation like that would have had NO NEED for government intervention, as if the buyers decided to leave the dirty packers for the clean one, the inferior, less desirable companies would have had incentive to improve their product or else they would have gone under. In fact, many of the government regulations we enjoy so very much today such as seat belts, air bags, brake lights, and turn signals, could very well have been conceived by companies looking to get ahead.

In context with the presented scenario, let us simplify the available options of today. Car A is $10K, 25 mpg, and filled with many desirable gadgets and luxuries. Car B is $10k, 25 mpg, and known to be very reliable and cheap to service and insure. Car C is $10K, 25mpg, and jolly fast (for the Top Gear viewers). Car D is $10K, 35 mpg. As you can see, plenty of choices for consumers. Admittedly too many for those who hate the free market and love others making decisions for them. This scenario is admittedly not a true parallel to the contemporary, but bear with me. If more people chose Car D because of its fuel efficiency, the company that produced said vehicle would become profitable, and the companies that weren't selling Car D would be relegated to the history books if they didn't do SOMETHING to make their offerings more desirable (such as a price reduction). If efficiency became the game, auto manufacturers would start competing on THEIR OWN TERMS to get customers.

And for those of you who are shouting "fascism", "oligarchy", "plutocracy", and the terms of those with two digit IQs such as "nazi" and "racist", It may be beneath me to use religion toenhance my argument, but GOD didn't say "and let there be (cheap) cars", or "and let there be (cheap core i7) CPUs", or my personal favorite "and let there be (sub-par, exorbitantly inefficient and fiscally suicidal) public services".

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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