Obama Responds to Romney's CAFE Criticism
August 30, 2012 5:30 PM
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Romney says the new standards are "extreme," but Obama disagrees
This week was particularly monumental for the auto industry as the Obama administration
finalized the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards
. The new rules have faced some criticism, but President Barack Obama isn’t backing down.
criticism comes from Obama’s presidential election opponent Mitt Romney
, who believes there is a better method of increasing fuel economy than changing CAFE standards.
"Just yesterday, my opponent called my position on fuel efficiency standards extreme," said Obama. "It doesn't seem extreme to me to want to build more fuel efficient cars. Maybe the steam engine is more his speed."
Obama further added that the new CAFE standards will allow U.S. drivers to fill up their gas tanks "half as often." But when the new rules were finalized Tuesday, Romney
failed to see the benefit
to driving citizens.
"Governor Romney opposes the extreme standards that President Obama has imposed, which will limit the choices available to American families," said Andrea Saul, Romney spokeswoman. "The president tells voters that his regulations will save them thousands of dollars at the pump, but always forgets to mention that the savings will be wiped out by having to pay thousands of dollars more upfront for unproven technology that they may not even want."
The new fuel efficiency standards for 2017-2025 will cost the auto industry $157.3 billion and add an average of
$2,000 extra to the sticker price of new autos
While some are clearly unhappy with the new standards,
others are seeing added benefits
. Honda, for example, was delighted to see that the standards provided extra credits for those selling natural gas-powered vehicles. Tesla also jumped on the CAFE bandwagon when it learned that it could sell any credits for surpassing the standards to companies that haven't.
will raise the average fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks to 54.5 mpg by model year 2025. These new standards, which were created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOTs) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), were based off of the Obama Administration's first standards raised average fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg by 2016. It was intended for cars and light trucks during model years 2011-2016.
The 54.5 mpg CAFE standard aims to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump, cut U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the course of the program, and encourage the adoption of autos like electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids.
The Detroit News
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8/31/2012 8:18:50 AM
Government didn't need to mandate things like airbags to get automakers to adopt them. They were desired by consumers once they were safe to use. But what if, and lets go out on a limb here, as a free, independent adult I want to chose to buy a car without airbags because of the lower cost? You, along with government, tell me I shouldn't be able to.
But now we've gone past safety features into mandating convenience features.
8/31/2012 11:41:56 AM
My 06 TDI Jetta has the 4*4 option meaning it has rear side airbags. TPMS was an option back then and along with the package 2 trim level and built-in nav, it meant finding the exact car with the options I wanted in black came down to a selection of two cars in the US. Fast forward six years and the 2012 Passat (not just the TDI) at any trim level is not available with rear side airbags nor is the Jetta. That is a deal breaker for me.
So why would VW take a step backwards and no longer offer that option which was about $600? Its available in the A6, but the TDI A6 is not here yet. Likewise, as an independent adult, I am free to vote with my dollars and buy whatever I want. The MB E350 CDI comes to mind, but its only RWD and not AWD. So in all honesty, do not have any current options. The Jetta was just hit from behind with the two little ones in their car seats. No one got hurt and the car held up well. Thankfully my wife was driving and not me.
However, only by standardization and mandate does everyone at all price brackets benefit from the improved safety gear. If the average joe wants to save some money ($600 amoritized over 60 months works out to be $12 a month), there are better options than skimping on safety gear.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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