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Some government officials warn that pushing manufacturers to produce EVs will take away access to cheaper hybrids, diesels. Tesla Model S pictured above.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
All lawmakers in Washington aren't behind Obama's proposed CAFE standards

One of President Obama's many focuses these days seems to be ensuring that the U.S. has less dependence on foreign oil than it has today by time he leaves office. The Obama administration has been working hard with states and automakers to come to agreement on the CAFE regulations that will govern the required fleet wide fuel economy figures in the future.

The final standard that Obama is wanting forces a fleetwide average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025. That doesn't count heavy-duty trucks though; those types of vehicles have separate fuel economy standards to adhere too. This week, John D. Graham, who headed the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 2001-2006, said that the Obama administration is overstating the benefits of the 54.5mpg fleetwide average.

Graham also criticized the plan to give automakers credits for building electric vehicles and failed to take into account the impact of generating the electricity the vehicles use. Graham also claims that Obama is overstating the long-term benefits of the increased fuel economy standards and is forecasting higher fuel prices than what the Energy Information Agency is predicting.

Graham is not alone in making claims that the CAFE standards aren't going to do what the Obama administration is claiming. Rep. Darrell Issa (R, CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, went so far as to claim that giving double credits to automakers for EVs is akin to "fudging the numbers." Issa claims that automakers might be forced into building EVs at the expense of clean diesel or hybrid vehicles.

Starting in 2017, automakers will be able to use credits on EVs for less efficient vehicles in their fleet. Rep. Mike Kelly (R, PA) went so far as to say the 54.5mpg requirement would harm consumer choice and put the future of private transportation at risk.

"We're picking and choosing what people are allowed to drive and not drive or purchase," Kelly warned.

Graham echoed that statement, adding, "[One key issue for regulators] is whether the quest for more energy savings will inadvertently hurt consumers by causing vehicle manufacturers to produce cars and trucks that do not satisfy customer preferences for vehicle size, performance and/or safety.”

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RE: This isn't just about the environment.
By Reclaimer77 on 9/15/2011 2:55:26 PM , Rating: 1
We buy oil from totalitarian regimes, like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. We should not be supporting these regimes, and doing so puts us at risk.

Yeaaah Canada, our largest exporter or oil, is real totalitarian.

As far as the economic consequences, we spend $200,000/minute for imported oil. This is an unacceptable drain on our economy. This NEEDS to be fixed.

I agree with you there. So let's drill baby drill. Unless you're actually suggesting that we can magically pretend we don't need oil and all drive EV's??

By Iaiken on 9/15/2011 3:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeaaah Canada, our largest exporter or oil, is real totalitarian.

If you feel like bowing before your hockey playing overloads, you can find us at Tim Horton's eh? And don't forget to bring some monopoly money as tribute eh?

Thanks eh?

RE: This isn't just about the environment.
By danjw1 on 9/15/2011 3:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
1. Canada is first
2. Mexico
3. Saudi Arabia
4. Venezuela


This is the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Sending any money to these countries is unacceptable.

By danjw1 on 9/15/2011 3:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
I am referring to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, not the first two, when I say sending money is unacceptable.

*Please add an edit post feature. :-)

RE: This isn't just about the environment.
By Reclaimer77 on 9/15/2011 3:34:25 PM , Rating: 1
Ok whatever, so your solution is what? Higher fuel economy standards and EV's? That's going to change anything?

RE: This isn't just about the environment.
By ipay on 9/15/2011 5:30:13 PM , Rating: 1
The solution to our energy problems are:

1. Increase fuel economy standards.
2. Increase the # of vehicles using alternative fuels, whether they are EVs or hydrogen, whatever.
3. Increase production of domestic oil.
4. Start building tons of nuclear power plants.
5. Update the electricity infrastructure - aka smart grids, etc.

Each of these items should be started immediately, and none of them would individually have much overall affect for many years to come. But in 10 years, all of them combined would make a significant difference.

Unfortunately, most of the people in the US are against at least half of the items in that list. Which is exactly why our energy problems are so bad to begin with.

By smitty3268 on 9/15/2011 10:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
and reduce ethanol use, or at least corn-based ethanol.

By Dr of crap on 9/16/2011 1:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot the one thing that would help out most of the problem - biofuel.
We can develope it, make it, and burn it.
Cars today can burn biofuel - right now!
At first it might not look to "green", but is that really a BIG consideration?
Better methods will happen after you get it going full steam and the money starts pouring in.

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