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Automakers want less stringent standards on work trucks
Michigan still says proposed CAFE standards will cost jobs

Talks between the automotive industry and Washington continue as both sides try to come to an agreement that sees the environmentalists in Washington and the Obama administration happy with the CAFE standards over the coming years. The automakers are fighting for what they consider a more realistic level of improvement in fuel economy they need to build into cars each year.

Delegations from Michigan where much of the automotive industry calls home have raised concerns about the Obama administration's efforts to come to an agreement. The delegation from Michigan wrote a letter to Washington claiming that the proposed fuel economy standards aren't feasible. Automakers fear that the costs of implementing the fuel economy increases will add enough to vehicle prices to decrease sales and thereby force job cuts in the automotive industry.

The letter written by the Michigan delegation said, "With the Michigan unemployment rate standing at 10.5 percent, we are unanimous in our concern about the consequences of an excessive proposal, and we urge you to continue to work closely with U.S. manufacturers who have the most at stake." The letter continued, "[Congress has urged the White House to] sit down promptly and at one time with all three domestic auto manufacturers and the United Auto Workers to work through an acceptable solution."

So far, there has been no agreement between the two parties. The proposed fleet standard for 2025 is 56.2 mpg working out to about a 5% increase in fuel economy each year from now until 2025. The Obama administration figures that the cost of the tech needed to reach that kind of fuel economy will add about $2,100 to the cost of each new vehicle. That number has been greatly contested.

Washington already took a step back from the new fuel economy standards and the increase of 5% in fuel economy each year on light trucks by agreeing to hold trucks and SUVs to only 3.5% increase each year from 2017 to 2021. Washington and automakers are also trying to hammer out a deal on work trucks that would see less stringent standards.



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By superstition on 7/25/2011 2:51:49 PM , Rating: -1
It once made sense to Ford to produce the Pinto with an exploding gas tank. To Ford, it was the rational profit-making thing to do -- "think of the jobs!"

As when politicians use children for emotionalism, be wary whenever an automaker talks about jobs with respect to vehicle efficiency.

The only way their argument is credible is if vehicles today are as efficient as they can possibly be? Who believes that? Probably the same people who would have bought this line back in the 70s.

Sometimes the automakers are just wrong. Remember the aluminum engine in the Vega? This is one of those times. Necessity is the mother of invention, and sometimes innovation is about more than cheapening a product to make more money (as with the Pinto). Without the government forcing these companies to innovate, there is less perceived necessity and less invention. Yes, it costs money upfront. Innovation costs money, but in the long run, it saves it.

Diesel-electric hybrid powertrains are part of our more efficient future, blending the virtues of electric with combustion, for excellent city and highway mileage. There are buses in Europe that are already on this.

Our infrastructure is crumbling and more money has been spent coddling the parasitic finance sector and unnecessary wars than has been spent on environmental innovation. We need new sewer systems, better bridges, more efficient road systems, and more efficient vehicles.

It's time to bring the top tax rate back to where it was under Eisenhower and start investing in this country's future. But, good luck with that, since the government is pretty much a corporate mouthpiece. Citizens United says that not only are corporations individual human beings (which is logically absurd), they have unlimited spending power to influence elections. The problems with this are many and grave. The only solution is for each of us to become more vocal and involved, not falling for fake grassroots movements organized by billionaires like the Koch brothers, but by putting real constructive pressure on this government to start working for the public again and not merely for the rich. It's time to stop falling for the partisan warfare and the hysterics of pundits with their "death panels" and mad conspiracy theories.

The only conspiracy we need to worry about is one called plutocracy. It's not a secret conspiracy, it's as old as humanity is. People are greedy and if they're allowed to, they'll take the pie for themselves. Maybe some think there's virtue in starvation, but that's silly. Civilization is about people coming together to work together, depending upon each other's contributions to improve standard of living for all. That's a simple fact, one that's consistently obfuscated with fraudulent rhetoric about "socialism" and "freedom". Freedom comes from being able to live in a society in which everyone's potential can be met... where everyone can eat and learn and work. It doesn't come from letting a few people hoard everything. It also doesn't come from putting short-term "profit" ahead of long-term profitability.

Environment is everything. A fish out of water can't pull itself up by its bootstraps. Optimism and cliches won't solve our global problems of overpopulation and environmental degradation. We need more fuel-efficient vehicles for the same reason we need clean air and clean water. Efficiency is king. It's our only weapon against entropy, the force which ultimately will claim all of us and our species.




By Spuke on 7/25/2011 4:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They've always said it's impossible to make more efficient vehicles
They're not saying it's impossible, they're saying it's expensive. And it is. Even the governments estimate of $2100 per vehicle is ridiculous. And this is just the cost of the tech needed for fuel economy. This is not the cost of more stringent emissions and safety equipment that goes along with this also. Personally, I can afford this stuff but I see many people here on DT whine and complain about the cost of cars. Obviously, some can't afford this stuff and will hold onto their older less fuel efficient cars which defeats the entire purpose of getting people into more fuel efficient cars. If you look just a few months ago when gas prices started to hike again that should tell you clearly that people will only pay so much.


By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2011 4:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's what about you can "afford", it's just about how much you think you should put into transportation that lasts an average of 5 years. Cars aren't an investment, they depreciate. Their value never goes up, hell it never ever even holds it's value. When your car note is as much or more than the mortgage on your house there might be a problem for many people in doing that, as you pointed out.


By mindless1 on 7/25/2011 8:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
Cars are an investment. If you pick well and maintain it, that investment lets you avoid costly replacement in 5 years.

It's also an investment to the extent that it provides real, mandatory benefits for people to be able to commute to work and elsewhere.

An investment merely needs to provide more value than it's cost over a period, not necessarily a direct market, resale monetary value gain.

However, even despite that /lovely/ cash for clunkers program, "the average age for cars in the US is now 10.2 years."
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/po...


By Nfarce on 7/26/2011 10:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry dude, but cars are not an investment. Investments don't depreciate over time. Now if you are talking about a classic car like a '66 Stingray or something, that is an investment (and ironically a lot of people are turning to classic car investing these days).


By mindless1 on 7/26/2011 10:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on how you define investment, in strict dollars or in the monetary value of the function it provides and/or the monetary savings later, or saving time.

Suppose you buy a car that costs $20K instead of one that costs $16.

Suppose the $20K car saves you $3K in gas over its lifetime, $2K in repair bills, and you're not left stranded in a parking lot or the side of the road a couple times, and it lasts 3 years longer before going to the junkyard.

To me, the more expensive car was an investment that paid off. If all you can see is the most narrow definition instead of the larger picture of what the point of the money is in the first place, a higher standard of living for you and those you care about.

Another example - investing in nutritious food. It doesn't directly make your bank account larger but it improves your quality of life, possible preventing disease, obesity, improving stamina and overall fitness among other things.

An investment can be anything that has a return (of any type) later that was more valuable to you than if you'd just earned the minimal interest you would've with that money sitting in a bank.

Another example is higher education, although the value of an education has depreciated today relative to what it used to be (due to such a large % of people having them yet the cost of one has gone up), it's still an investment in your future even if it never results in your getting a job that makes more money than you otherwise would.


By FITCamaro on 7/25/2011 4:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
So you're comparing a improperly cushioned gas tank to a 5% PER YEAR increase in fuel economy. For the next 23 years.

They knew how to build a better gas tank. They don't know how to build their current vehicles to get that kind of mileage across their entire lineup. Even looking into the future.

A truck that can do anything will never get great fuel economy. It's not in the cards. Can it get better? Sure. With diesels. But even then you're looking at 10-20%. Not 100%.

And sure. 60+% tax rates would do great things for our economy....


By mindless1 on 7/25/2011 8:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
Among other factors people have already mentioned, trucks tend to get lower MPG from the automakers' strategies of increased product lifecycle, you'll typically find an engine in a truck that is 5-10 years behind the tech used in the newest cars that manufacturer makes.

Recall carbs and (finally) throttle body injection on trucks back when everything else was already multi-port fuel injected?


By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2011 5:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Freedom comes from being able to live in a society in which everyone's potential can be met... where everyone can eat and learn and work. It doesn't come from letting a few people hoard everything.


You don't even make sense. Do I have to point out how you contradict yourself here?

quote:
As when politicians use children for emotionalism


How ironic, considering you're making emotionalized sensational statements about the environment, while on the other hand demonizing the auto-industry.


By superstition on 7/25/2011 10:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Do I have to point out how you contradict yourself here?"

Yes. I re-read the statement you cited and it makes sense.


By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2011 10:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
No, you don't understand Freedom at all. If people have a right to explore and fulfill their potential, then you have to believe they also have a right to be 'rich'. But instead you spout Leftist platitudes about the evil rich "hoarding" everything, which is absurd, and other idiotic nonsense.

You clearly don't actually believe that a man or woman here can fulfill their own potential and be the best they can be. Because when they reach that point, you talk about them as if they are thieves and hoarders and not actually people who earned their stature in life.

Your "plan" for getting this country on track is like reading a suicide pact.


By Nfarce on 7/26/2011 10:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
I have come to the conclusion that people who "think" like this character have learned it by being indoctrinated in government run, public schools run by socialist, collectivist liberals. And I use "think" very loosely because the mentality that working one's ass off and reaping the fruits accordingly which means one is "hoarding" something is not thinking at all - it's mindless emotional hysteria, which liberalism is full of.

These days, when you buy school supplies for your child, they don't belong to your child. The teacher confiscates them and pools everyone's supplies together and then reallocates them so everyone is equal. Great little early Marxist adoption of philosophy.


By Nfarce on 7/25/2011 6:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Without the government forcing these companies to innovate, there is less perceived necessity and less invention. Yes, it costs money upfront. Innovation costs money, but in the long run, it saves it.


You take a couple of failures of the US auto industry and attempt to equate that into the Nanny Statist comment that government should mandate ALL of what auto manufacturers make. Yeah that makes sense.

quote:
Diesel-electric hybrid powertrains are part of our more efficient future, blending the virtues of electric with combustion, for excellent city and highway mileage. There are buses in Europe that are already on this.


Good for Europe. We have natural gas powered public transportation buses and state owned utility vehicles here in the States.

quote:
Our infrastructure is crumbling and more money has been spent coddling the parasitic finance sector and unnecessary wars than has been spent on environmental innovation.


You call the finance sector parasitic? How about the government dependent parasites out there? Specifically, the record number of food stamp recipients the US has now? Further, the "wars" are categorized as separate spending than domestic entitlement spending.

And how about the $860 billion "stimulus" bill that was passed two and a half years ago by Democrats to keep US unemployment from going above 8%, right? (It hasn't been at or below 8% since Bush was in office). And how about that $150 billion that is still unspent there, huh? Talk about failure of government.

quote:
It's time to bring the top tax rate back to where it was under Eisenhower and start investing in this country's future. But, good luck with that, since the government is pretty much a corporate mouthpiece.


We keep "investing" more and more in government public run education, but yet continue to get diminishing returns. We have "invested" in Obamacare only to have companies big and small be too spooked to hire due to it's costs, let alone worried about tax hikes. We have "invested" as stated earlier nearly a TRILLION in a so-called stimulus bill two and a half years ago which has done ZERO for the economy, only to have the liberal Left say "things would have been worse" which NOBODY has ever been able to provide a metric of.

quote:
Civilization is about people coming together to work together, depending upon each other's contributions to improve standard of living for all. That's a simple fact, one that's consistently obfuscated with fraudulent rhetoric about "socialism" and "freedom".


Yep, you are a neo-Marxists collectivist. There is no doubt about that. We live in a free America where you are free to succeed, or free to fail. And more often than not, you will see FAILURE on those who are dependent on government for their well being instead of learning to provide for themselves. That's of course nothing new. America was founded and grown on freedom and independence from government.


By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2011 7:41:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You take a couple of failures of the US auto industry and attempt to equate that into the Nanny Statist comment that government should mandate ALL of what auto manufacturers make. Yeah that makes sense.


Well you gotta remember, the Government never fails. Ever...


By superstition on 7/25/2011 10:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
Another straw man. It does help to read what I actually wrote:

"Our infrastructure is crumbling and more money has been spent coddling the parasitic finance sector and unnecessary wars than has been spent on environmental innovation. We need new sewer systems, better bridges, more efficient road systems, and more efficient vehicles.

It's time to bring the top tax rate back to where it was under Eisenhower and start investing in this country's future. But, good luck with that, since the government is pretty much a corporate mouthpiece. Citizens United says that not only are corporations individual human beings (which is logically absurd), they have unlimited spending power to influence elections. The problems with this are many and grave. The only solution is for each of us to become more vocal and involved, not falling for fake grassroots movements organized by billionaires like the Koch brothers, but by putting real constructive pressure on this government to start working for the public again and not merely for the rich."


By Nfarce on 7/26/2011 12:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
Tell ya what, super: you start your own nation, company, and military, and then get back with us on your rant. Otherwise, sit down, shut up, and take it up the backside by "the man" that you so hate.

The rest of us will get on with our lives.


By superstition on 7/25/2011 10:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
"Yep, you are a neo-Marxists collectivist. There is no doubt about that. We live in a free America where you are free to succeed, or free to fail."

So, the virtual of starvation -- a society in which people are "free" by not being able to meet their potential, to grow, learn, and work. Sorry, Timmy, your parents were "free" to fail and so you're doomed to inadequate education, nutrition, housing, and health care. Too bad for you, but your suffering makes America stronger!

You can put whatever name you like on me, but it won't change the fact that civilization is not supposed to be a shell game for exploitation. It's a cooperative collective thing by its very definition. Freedom comes from the work of all of its members. We derive a greater standard of living because others help us, like specialists. Is someone without a willingness to cooperate "freer" because they don't have access to treatment from a doctor and have to pave their own roads?

If you think freedom is individuals going about randomly without concern for their fellows, then why be in a civilization in the first place? Why not live in a cave? You'll find that cave dwelling is less free. Remember the scene where Tom Hanks yanked his tooth out? That's your "freedom".

Success and failure is not things that are separate from the basic definition of civilization, of society -- as long as you're part of a civilization.


By superstition on 7/25/2011 10:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
typo: virtue, not virtual


By Nfarce on 7/26/2011 12:02:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can put whatever name you like on me, but it won't change the fact that civilization is not supposed to be a shell game for exploitation. It's a cooperative collective thing by its very definition.


Uhm, that's YOUR definition of modern society, not mine.

And the rest of your rant is not even worth addressing, collectivist.


By Nfarce on 7/26/2011 12:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
Question for you: did you learn this so-called method of thinking in school, or were you brought up in a family that thinks like you do? I'm seriously curious.


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