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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 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.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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