Obama Demands Higher Efficiency for Power Plants, Heavy Trucks
June 26, 2013 1:59 PM
comment(s) - last by
President also calls for increases on federal spending for CNG vehicles, vehicle research, and EV tax credits
At a speech at
in the nation's capitol, President Barack Obama's (D) message to automakers was simple -- "told you so."
I. Obama Crows Over Fuel Economy Victories
The fuel standards that we put in place just a few years ago didn’t cripple automakers. The American auto industry retooled, and today, our automakers are selling the best cars in the world at a faster rate than they have in five years — with more hybrid, more plug-in, more fuel-efficient cars.
The old rules may say we can’t protect our environment and promote economic growth at the same time, but in America, we’ve always used new technologies — we’ve used science; we’ve used research and development and discovery to make the old rules obsolete.
The Obama administration is celebrating a win in which it convinced automakers to adhere to signficant increases to the
CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standard
Under President George W. Bush (R) and the 2007 Congress, the CAFE standard -- which covers light trucks and sedans -- was
scheduled to hit 35 mpg by 2020
. President Obama first succeeded in
bumping that target to 34.1 mpg by 2016
after initially asking for
35.5 mpg by 2016
Following that success, the President's team pushed for a much higher standard for 2025 --
as high as 62 mpg
. Automakers said
that increase would "kill" the auto industry
, but eventually begrudgingly
caved to a target of 54.5 mpg
The result is a mixed bag -- customers will save thousands of dollars at the pump over the lifetime of their vehicles (the exact amount is dependent on the price of fuel), but will pay $2,059 USD more for a new truck and $1,726 USD more for a new car on average (critics contend
the true price increase will be at least twice that
). And automakers have to swallow an estimated $200B USD in costs for developing advanced fuel efficiency technologies.
In his speech, the President also plugged General Motors Comp. (
a bailout recipient
-- for making a climate change pledge. The President remarked, "More than 500 businesses, including giants like GM and Nike, issued a Climate Declaration, calling action on climate change 'one of the great economic opportunities of the 21st century.'"
the Chevy Volt
plug-in electric vehicle that
both President Obama
and former President George HW Bush
are big fans of.
II. More Regulation Ahead?
Emboldened by the concessions that he has already won from the industry, the President proposed more regulation in his speech -- including a fresh round of CAFE targets for
heavy duty trucks
. The heavy-duty truck segment (which includes semis, garbage trucks, buses and three-quarter-ton pickups) was first regulated under President Bush's Energy Act of 2007, which calls for a 20 percent increase in average fuel economy by 2018.
The standard refresh would go into effect by 2018, and force that vehicle segment -- which typically features inherently poor fuel economy -- to continue more yearly bumps in efficiency. Despite the gains since 2007, heavy-duty vehicles are still the second largest source of emissions in the transportation sector, according to the White House.
President Obama was new fuel economy targets for heavy duty trucks.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]
Other automotive highlights of the speech included a reiteration of the President's call to
bump the electric vehicle tax credit to $10,000 USD
, a demand for
more federal advanced vehicle research funding
, and a push to give new tax credits
compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles
The President also called for regulations to limit the amount of carbon power plants can emit -- regulations that could force coal and oil burning plants to purchase expensive carbon capture and storage systems.
The speech compared these changes to the introduction of the federally forced introduction of the catalytic converter in 1970 (via the 1970 expansion of the
Clean Air Act
to cover automobiles), which critics complained would damage the industry. He remarked:
At the time when we passed the Clean Air Act to try to get rid of some of this smog, some of the same doomsayers were saying new pollution standards will decimate the auto industry. Guess what — it didn’t happen. Our air got cleaner.
The President threatened the oil industry that he
wouldn't approve the Keystone oil pipeline
unless it cooperated with emissions improvements, remarking that the pipeline would be approved "only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."
The President wants stricter emissions standards for power plants. [Image Source: Reuters]
At least some of the President's demands are unlikely to be fulfilled given the Republican control of the House. Thus far Republicans in Congress have fought efforts to bump tax credits for EVs/plug-ins and efforts to increase vehicle research funding.
White House on YouTube
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Ethanol is not the solution!
6/26/2013 4:13:00 PM
Forcing ethanol on us is counter to your improved mpg goals. Ethanol gets worse mileage than gas while also doing terrible things to both cars and the environment unnecessarily. I would rather see you chase that than auto makers.
RE: Ethanol is not the solution!
6/27/2013 7:54:49 AM
Ethanol gets worse mileage in the current generation of engines, which have been designed to get a good blend of performance and economy, with some leaning more in one direction or the other.
However, in a properly designed (higher compression) engine, ethanol gets pretty good mileage, comparable to that which you'd get from a gasoline engine....but you wouldn't be able to burn gasoline in it, unless it was very high octane (100+), which isn't readily available to the consumer. So it's a matter of which direction the auto makers, and society, wish to go.
You are, however, correct that Mr Obama seems to be presenting the auto makers with a Catch-22 situation, in that they're forced to deal with higher percentage blends of gasoline with ethanol, while also being told to increase the economy of their engines.
They are further hamstrung by the fact that it's difficult to introduce a higher mpg diesel engine in this country, because of the pollution restrictions (and need to run well on Ultra-Low Sulfur diesel fuel), as well as the American public who haven't fully embraced the technology of the modern diesel engine. The diesel-equipped Chevy Cruze will perhaps finally turn that attitude around, as it's using a proven technology engine used in Europe, and is reported to be able to get combined mileage somewhere around 40mpg.
RE: Ethanol is not the solution!
6/27/2013 12:17:38 PM
The energy content of a gallon of Ethanol is 33% less then a gallon of Gasoline. Pushing efficiency won't change the fact that there's less energy to get out of the combustion.
Take into account the energy wasted in producing the ethanol, and what you have left is a disguised subsidy to the agro-industrial complex.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
After $84M USD Payout, House Passes "Big Brother Writ" CISPA
April 19, 2013, 10:02 AM
Report: Microsoft to Release 7-Inch Surface Tablet
April 11, 2013, 11:49 AM
Obama to Request $2B USD for EV, Hybrid Research; Tax Credit for LNG Trucks
March 15, 2013, 11:48 AM
August to be Chevrolet Volt's Best Sales Month Yet
August 30, 2012, 8:59 AM
White House Finalizes 54.5 MPG CAFE Standards for 2017-2025 Model Years
August 28, 2012, 2:52 PM
Hot Air? President Obama, G7 Pledge to Eliminate Most Fossil Fuel Use by 2100
June 8, 2015, 5:40 PM
Study Predicts Self-Driving Vehicles Could Rake in Billions
March 6, 2015, 8:34 AM
Dual-Motor Tesla Model S P85D's "Insane Mode" Shocks Passengers
January 28, 2015, 11:18 PM
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Packs 640 hp Punch with 200 mph Reach
January 23, 2015, 3:25 PM
BMW Testing Tech to Allow Users to Auto-Park, Summon Cars Via Smartwatch
December 16, 2014, 9:30 AM
Lamborghini Offers Up $6,000 Leather-Bound Android Smartphone
December 12, 2014, 3:12 PM
Most Popular Articles
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Windows 10 Hits 75 Million Users; Grows Nearly 4x as Fast as Windows 7
August 28, 2015, 10:22 PM
Best Buy Rapidly Ramps up Apple Watch Rollout After "Strong" Early Sales
August 26, 2015, 11:42 AM
Microsoft's Windows 10 Leaves Lumia 530 Behind w/ 8 GB Storage Requirement
August 25, 2015, 4:02 PM
Future of Lumia Uncertain as Microsoft Lays Off 2,300, Closes 1 of 3 Finnish Offices
August 24, 2015, 6:14 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information