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President Barack Obama's decision to give states the freedom to pick their own emissions standards will be welcome news to California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been agressively fighting for this right.
New move cuts back on federal regulation of fuel economy, likely to raise standards via tighter state restrictions

When gas prices were at an all time high, there was a lot of attention put on fuel economy standards for cars and trucks sold in the United States.  States were regulated nationally by CAFE standards, and states were not allowed to set their own standards.

Some states griped about being unable to set stricter standards.  California was among these states, and led by its Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, it went as far as to sue the national government to try to earn the right for his state to regulate its own fuel economy.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, wrote personally to the new President, Barack Obama, asking that he swiftly act to reverse the current standards.  The move was almost unanimously supported by Environmental Protection Agency lawyers and scientists, who were overruled by the EPA director, Stephen L. Johnson.

Today, President Obama is expected to hear these requests and order that states be allowed to set their own fuel standards according to the New York Times, a move lauded by many Republicans and Democrats in state government.  In total, 14 states have proposals for stricter standards and President Obama's order to federal regulators should allow them to soon set them.

The move is perhaps the biggest environmental policy decision yet for the young Obama administration and a clear sign of shifting policy.  It also marks President Obama making good on a significant campaign promise.

There still is a slight possibility that some states could have their requests rejected.  The executive order calls on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the state applications and suggests that they give states the freedom to regulate their own fuel economy.  However, it stops short of demanding they do so.

The turn of events is a great loss for the domestic auto industry, which has heavily lobbied against the measure.  If passed, higher state standards would force the auto makers to ramp up production of more efficient vehicles faster than planned.  This would mean major retooling at a time when money is already extremely tight.

For those states that choose not to regulate their own fuel economy, President Obama will push for enforcement of the existing national fuel economy laws.  The 2007 law was signed by President Bush, but at the end of his presidency, he stopped short of issuing an executive order to demand it be enforced.  President Obama will be signing an enforcement order that will force the increased standards to be met by 2011 production vehicles.  After 2011, experts will convene to come up with a revised set of standards for the next several years, based on the scientific and economic climate.

Currently, American cars have an average fuel economy of 27 MPG.  The higher Californian standards would call for 35 MPG economy by 2016, four years ahead of the national target.  Among the other states joining California are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington. 

Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress in Washington praises the move stating, "This is a complete reversal of President Bush’s policy of censoring or ignoring global warming science.  With the fuel economy measures and clean energy investments in the recovery package, President Obama has done more in one week to reduce oil dependence and global warming than George Bush did in eight years."

Some are not so cheerful about giving states the right to choose their own standards, though.  Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, argues that domestic auto makers will be unable to cope with higher emissions standards.  He states, "Applying California standards to several different states would create a complex, confusing and very difficult situation for manufacturers."

The new state regulations will likely be approved in several months after a thorough legal review.  



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huh?
By Dreifort on 1/26/2009 10:26:48 AM , Rating: 1
I thought states already had control over their own emmission standards?

I live in NC. In NC you have to pass an emissions test to get your vehicle to pass inspection. In SC, they have no Car Inspection requirement curr, but when they did a few years ago, no emissions was required while NC did during the same time period.




RE: huh?
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/26/2009 10:30:14 AM , Rating: 2
Generally those efforts fall under the category of state-implemented enforcement of national standards. National standards are relatively recent, just passing into law in 2007. Before that states had much more freedom to control how they regulated. Afterwards, proposals to regulate to a higher standard were refused. Only enforcement of the national standard was allowed, but not required as the executive order was never signed, as it was expected to be.


RE: huh?
By oab on 1/26/2009 10:31:02 AM , Rating: 3
That is for older cars, not new cars. California wanted to ban the sale of new cars that were not fuel efficient.

emissions tests generally relate not to fuel efficiency, but the output of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, etc.


RE: huh?
By Spivonious on 1/26/2009 10:40:32 AM , Rating: 2
This has to do with which cars can be sold in the states. The federal government has set a goal of an average of 30mpg across the manufacturer's line of cars by 2020, and California wanted to move up the deadline (IIRC).

I'm all for state's rights, but this decision will just make the most stringent state the state that sets the rules for the country. No auto maker is going to have multiple designs based on the standards of the state.


RE: huh?
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 10:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No auto maker is going to have multiple designs based on the standards of the state.
Agreed. The models will be the same across all states, but the mix will be different. For example, if CA sets higher MPG ratings, the net effect will be that the car companies will sell more smaller cars there.

Also note that higher MPG -> more smaller cars -> lower revenue/profit -> fewer jobs. So states need to make their choices carefully - this type of regulation is not without consequences.


RE: huh?
By Entropy42 on 1/26/2009 11:04:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also note that higher MPG -> more smaller cars -> lower revenue/profit -> fewer jobs. So states need to make their choices carefully

Is there significant car manufacturing in CA? Even if Michigan, for example, decides not to set stringent MPG reqs, the choices made by other states are still going to affect profits and jobs in MI and other car-heavy states.


RE: huh?
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 11:15:14 AM , Rating: 1
Of course, but employment and standard of living is something that our whole country is interested in. If CA drives regulation that costs our country jobs, they should consider that within their decision.

But I don't think the econonomic impact ever really enters into the discussion. There is always this assumption that higher MPG standards will create lots of new high-paying jobs due to new R&D. But history doesn't support that fantasy. In reality, higher MPG regulations just force people into buying smaller cars.

Look at Europe. Consumers there are effectively forced to maximize MPG due to crushing fuel taxes. What is the net result of decades of that? Everyone drives small cars. Have they developed any new technology? No, almost all cars are IC engines. Why would America be any different.

Look, I'm all for hybrids, electic vehicles, and "whatever's next," but we have to be practical about our expectations. The development of next-gen vehicles will take decades, not years, and I don't see any evidence that forcing higher MPG standards does anything to accelerate this process.


RE: huh?
By Radnor on 1/26/2009 11:51:45 AM , Rating: 1
European Cars do have an IC engine aswell.

The problem is the rest. I read in this same site a months ago, that Ford would sell his F-150 with a turbo to maximize MPG. And that was announced like it was a major breakthrough/green move.

All "small" cars here have a turbo, or variation of it. And several other mechanisms to maximize power/MPG. Reduced weight also means reduced MPG.

I can still have loads of smiles per gallon on a "small economic car". Just try a 900Kg car with a 160Hp engine. you would be surprised.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 1:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
Now if only the Federal government would relax crash standards to allow Ford to produce and sell the Ka here we could have cars that were fun to drive and fuel efficient. Unfortunately the low weight is at odds with Federally mandated safety requirements.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 1:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunately the low weight is at odds with Federally mandated safety requirements.
Which should remain in place. Most here don't want to trade safety with fuel efficiency. I don't.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 1:48:14 PM , Rating: 4
Personally I'm fine with it. I ride a motorcycle most days and would happily purchase a small vehicle for when its cold or I need to transport groceries. There shouldn't be a mandate that I own a larger vehicle than I need/want which will spend most of its time under a cover anyway.

Why is it that whenever anyone mentions anything that sounds remotely like a requirement for vehicles to be no larger than a certain size people come out of the woodwork to complain about how anti-American and anti-freedom the notion is, but whenever someone WANTS to buy a smaller vehicle no one seems to want to protest the regulations? Is it because people that purchase larger vehicles tend to be douches more often than people that like smaller vehicles? I seem to remember a DOT study indicating that correlation.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 2:05:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why is it that whenever anyone mentions anything that sounds remotely like a requirement for vehicles to be no larger than a certain size people come out of the woodwork to complain
So mandating what people should buy is not limiting freedoms? If not, then what is it?


RE: huh?
By on 1/26/2009 2:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
,


I will compel you to kick me,ban me,ban me permanently or kill me in real life all your stupid

life long,trust me on this hahaha

Admin is the one of those fools who targets to dictate you,to manipulate you,to own you but bans

you if he can't succeed in it, loser :D

I will goad you to kill me in outside world

You will finish me.


RE: huh?
By warrioryoko on 1/27/2009 1:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
This is going off of the assumption that absolute freedom of
*everything* should be allowed.

That's more a fantasy than most things I've ever heard, and will likely hear.

Regulating the decisions industry, and people make is nothing new, and increasing regulation does *not* mean our
country "is becoming more socialist" or any other rubbish criticism in that vein of logic.

In general, the average person makes really bad long-term decisions. That's why there is somewhat of a buffer between the voting public and those making long-term policy.

The assumed freedoms of choice and behavior of people should not supercede the overall long-term wellfare of the population. The current prevailing thought within policy makers within our government is that high petroleum-based fuel consumption is bad, and we need to retool our industry and produce vehicles and machinery that has higher fuel efficiency, or uses new types of fuel. This based on the belief that reducing the 'waste' in our consumption will benefit society and industry in the long term.

In that light, policy is being made to regulate what cars could be sold in some states, and mandates as to how fuel efficient future vehicles must be. Making this policy that suits the majority is incredibly difficult. The policy changes that are being suggested aren't entirely realistic regarding how quickly the mandates must be met, but they're probably good ideas overall.

The economy can't be allowed to be *completely* driven by the demands of consumers, since the demands of consumers are rarely such that will allow an economy to sustain itself long term, or support the well being and advancement of the people.

If people want to choose to spend their entire day doing nothing but stay at home playing video games and watch television to the exclusion of everything else, should they be allowed to? If near everyone wanted to exercise this "freedom of personal choice", should they be permitted to do so? If you say yes, you're a fool.

Just because the public wants a certain thing, demands that a desire be met, doesn't mean it's a good choice. It doesn't mean that there is any correlation between the predominant desires of society and its long term sustainability or growth. So it is with people being 'allowed' to buy whatever car they want, or manufacturers to make whatever kind of vehicles they want.

The policy being made regarding vehicle fuel efficiency is far from perfect, but it has sustainability and future growth in mind. Anyone responding extremely to these affairs with murmering about "socialist Obama" or "infringed freedoms" are having knee-jerk, nominalist reactions without having a true understand of what's going on, or why. They're just screaming about their freedom being taken away because they can't buy whatever car they want, much like a spoiled child at having a toy taken away.


RE: huh?
By MrBungle123 on 1/27/2009 2:15:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If people want to choose to spend their entire day doing nothing but stay at home playing video games and watch television to the exclusion of everything else, should they be allowed to? If near everyone wanted to exercise this "freedom of personal choice", should they be permitted to do so? If you say yes, you're a fool.


People should absolutely be able to sit at home and play video games and watch TV all day and do nothing else if they have the resources. It's gaining the resources to do so that keeps people "in check". You are the fool for not understanding this. We spend our entire lives working to get to where we can spend our time pretty much how we want without having to worry about where the money is going to come from... Its called retirement. Who are you to decide how someone else spends their time and money?

quote:
It doesn't mean that there is any correlation between the predominant desires of society and its long term sustainability or growth.


True, however, it is people who exploit the desires of individuals and society in general that end up developing new products and trends. Make no mistake it is greed and a desire for more than the next guy has that has gotten us to where we are. Just as petroleum replaced whale oil, when it becomes too expensive or impossible to harvest in the required quantities, someone somewhere will come up with a way to meet the needs of the masses. They will do this not for the "greater good" but for their own personal gain. The only long term sustainable resource that we really need is greed and it is far from being in short supply.

The people who are short sighted are not the ones demanding that these products be kept available it is the people that fail to look to the past for guidance in the future.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/27/2009 1:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
"So mandating what people should buy is not limiting freedoms? If not, then what is it?"

*sigh* One more time. Safety regulations and size regulations *BOTH* mandate what people should buy and *BOTH* limit freedom. I find it odd that there is much noise about the later but not much about the former, particularly when allowing people to get around the former HARMS NO ONE and could reduce our dependence on oil.


RE: huh?
By Screwballl on 1/27/2009 2:40:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Is it because people that purchase larger vehicles tend to be douches more often than people that like smaller vehicles? I seem to remember a DOT study indicating that correlation.


You really have no clue do you?

How do you expect Americans, that have average heights just shy of 6 foot tall to fit into some little Euro-trash econobox type car simply because YOU have no use for a larger vehicle and should have the final say as to what other people buy and drive?
I am 6'5" and there is no way I can fit into anything smaller than a 20mpg mid size car or full size truck comfortably. Add in my wife and 2 daughters and the soccer, girl scouts, stroller, chairs, groceries and everything else relating to having multiple children, and then you understand why these SUVs and similar size vehicles sell so well.

I don't understand why a single 5'5" soccer mom with one kid needs a full size SUV, but this is America where we have the right to be comfortable and safe. No one WANTS to buy a small car and sacrifice their life in the name of saving a few dollars on gas. That is why a person can drive around anywhere in the US from small towns to major metro areas in the US, and these tiny cars are few and far between. Granted since the gas prices went up, there are more mid size and less full size vehicles selling but that is the extent of their "sacrifice".

We have the technology to take this 454 V8 and modify it enough to get 200mpg and still have enough power to haul a 10,000 lb trailer... but they do not want to do it because big oil and the rest of the politicians are getting so much money to keep things moving slowly.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/27/2009 7:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
"We have the technology to take this 454 V8 and modify it enough to get 200mpg and still have enough power to haul a 10,000 lb trailer"

No they don't do it because there is simply not enough energy in a gallon of gasoline from combustion to get 200mpg in a decent sized car. As in even with some magical 100% efficient engine that violated the second law of thermal dynamics you could not get that kind of efficiency out of gasoline. Plutonium or antimatter yes, gasoline no. Gasoline engines are typically around 35% efficient which means even with 100% of the energy going to moving the vehicle (no waste heat AT ALL) you won't get more than triple the fuel economy. And there are a whole mess of reasons we haven't seen giant leaps in the efficiency of internal combustion engines in some time none of which have anything to do with an oil company conspiracy.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 1:53:10 PM , Rating: 3
Bear in mind I'm not suggesting that the safety of existing vehicle classes should be marginalized, I just believe that if there is a market for Kei cars here that the manufacturers should be allowed to sell Kei cars.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 2:02:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I just believe that if there is a market for Kei cars here that the manufacturers should be allowed to sell Kei cars.
If there's a market for these cars, then they'll be sold. With the appropriate safety regulations met.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 2:10:31 PM , Rating: 4
I think you missed the point. The "appropriate safety regulations" make cars in this class either illegal to sell or more expensive than larger conventional cars. Banning tiny cars because they cannot meet safety standards is akin to banning all motorcycles because they are inherently unsafe. Laws are to protect us from each other, not to protect us from ourselves.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 2:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
I never suggested larger vehicles should be banned, I was merely pointing out that there are always people that complain about their right to own a vehicle as large as they like but rarely people shouting about their right to own a vehicle as small as they like. As far as I'm concerned people should be able to purchase a vehicle as larger as they like provided it doesn't occupy more space than the roads are designed to bear with the stipulation that if someone with a needlessly large vehicle is at fault for an accident that causes a needless amount of damage as a result of their vehicle choice that they are liable.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 2:41:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
complain about their right to own a vehicle as large as they like but rarely people shouting about their right to own a vehicle as small as they like.
There a quite a few people that would want the much smaller cars that some other countries have. I've heard those requests for years. They could be sold as long as they meet safety regulations.

Also, laws are already in place that assign fault during accidents. Nothing new there.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 2:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
"They could be sold as long as they meet safety regulations."

Against you missed the point. People want them, they don't meet safety regulations. People should be allowed to buy them, they aren't hurting anyone.


RE: huh?
By on 1/26/2009 3:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
,


.I will compel you to kick me,ban me,ban me permanently, terminate my internet account or kill me in real life all your stupid life long,trust me on this hahaha

.Admin is the one of those fools who targets to dictate you,to manipulate you,to own you but bans you if he can't succeed in it, loser :D

.I will goad you to kill me in outside world

.You will finish me.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 5:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Against you missed the point. People want them, they don't meet safety regulations
Look to the Evo and WRX STi for example. People demanded them and now they're sold here. If people wanted those smaller cars, they would be sold here. I'm not talking about the two or three people on DT. I'm talking about a sufficient demand so that it would be in the carmakers best interests to bring them here.

Rate me down all you want. But I stand by my statements. The proof is in the pudding:

Evo and Sti demand = they're now sold in the US
Small Kei-style car demand = not enough to get sold in the US


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 5:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
Somehow SMART cars get sold in the US despite costing more than overall better vehicles from other manufacturers. Now adjust crash standards so that Kei style cars can be sold here without the expensive aluminum cage and see what happens to demand once the price drops. Regulations are driving up the price of these small cars which limits demand. Your comparison to the EVO and STI does not apply as they are trim levels to vehicles which already met American crash standards.


RE: huh?
By ajdavis on 1/27/2009 1:12:05 AM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ... The EVO VIII is a completely different car than the vanilla Lancer. As such it had to be completely redesigned for sale in the US. Please get your facts straight before making assumptions like this.


RE: huh?
By nycromes on 1/26/2009 4:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
You don't hear about people wanting smaller cars because no one is stopping them from purchasing a small car (aside from those that don't meet the safety requirements). People are trying to restrict everyone's ability to purchase trucks and SUVs in the name of environmentalism and thats why you hear such outrage.


RE: huh?
By jhb116 on 1/27/2009 1:33:45 AM , Rating: 2
So did this 'discussion' remind anyone else of Beavis and Butthead??


RE: huh?
By seamonkey79 on 1/27/2009 9:16:35 AM , Rating: 2
hehehehe... boobies


RE: huh?
By Steve1981 on 1/26/2009 2:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's fine by you because you don't want one. LOL! It's easy to give up something that you never had or wanted.


I'm curious why you suppose its OK for the government to mandate safety standards, but not MPG standards?

As you state, people are concerned with safety, with or without government mandate. We don't need any prodding to buy a car with five star crash test ratings over a car with one star crash test ratings.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 2:10:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm curious why you suppose its OK for the government to mandate safety standards, but not MPG standards?
I'm curious how you got this from my post.


RE: huh?
By Steve1981 on 1/26/2009 2:18:51 PM , Rating: 3
Your other posts on this topic seem to imply that you are opposed to MPG standards.

quote:
That's fine by you because you don't want one. LOL! It's easy to give up something that you never had or wanted. I don't want a SUV either but I won't deny that want from someone else. It's not my decision to make. And it's not yours either.


You also specifically state that federal safety standards should remain in place.

lagomorpha:
quote:
Unfortunately the low weight is at odds with Federally mandated safety requirements.


spuke:
quote:
Which should remain in place. Most here don't want to trade safety with fuel efficiency. I don't.


If I'm mistaken in my assumptions, then I apologize.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 2:48:05 PM , Rating: 1
That quoted post states nothing about my opinion on mpg standards. Still don't know where you got that from. What I said is simple, if people want buy SUV's that's fine by me. I won't tell anyone what they can or cannot buy. I won't even indirectly tell them (by voting for people that would) what they can and cannot buy. That's an individual choice.

The second quoted post speaks directly about someone's wishes that safety standards be relaxed. I don't agree even though I would prefer certain safety standards be OPTIONAL. Some just make sense, others are overkill IMO. If safety can be relaxed then other standards can be relaxed also.


RE: huh?
By Steve1981 on 1/26/2009 3:02:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
That quoted post states nothing about my opinion on mpg standards.


I'll have to respectfully disagree with your assessment. If you won't vote for government enforced mpg standards, or a politician who supports them, that generally indicates you are opposed to government enforced mpg standards. Although perhaps I'm just nuts.

quote:
The second quoted post speaks directly about someone's wishes that safety standards be relaxed. I don't agree even though I would prefer certain safety standards be OPTIONAL.


I would prefer that the government butt out altogether. I don't need them to tell me how safe my car should be or how many mpgs it gets. I want a safe, efficient vehicle regardless of what they tell me, and I doubt you'd find many cases to the contrary.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 5:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I want a safe, efficient vehicle regardless of what they tell me, and I doubt you'd find many cases to the contrary.
I agree wholeheartedly here. But there are some that would like the safety features and they should be available to those that want them. Features I think are somewhat necessary: safety glass, crumple zones, and seat belts. I really don't think government mandate is needed here to get these features. We would have had them anyways. A safe car is a great selling point. I guess we're not differing much in our opinions. But if we were it would still be ok but I just don't want sh!t shoved down my throat.


RE: huh?
By Steve1981 on 1/26/2009 5:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
Gotcha Spuke, and agreed.


RE: huh?
By Jeffk464 on 1/27/2009 11:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
The auto industry could give a crap about your safety. All of the features you listed are because of government regulations, government crash testing and reporting, and more recently the insurance institute crash testing and reporting. Companies now don't want to be seen in a news report for having a car that performs terribly in a crash test.


RE: huh?
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 4:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are wrong about lighter cars being less safe. The lighter the car the less energy their is to dissipate in a crash. The problem arises from having the large SUV's on the road, which really don't have a good safety record, mixing with the smaller cars. If all the cars on the road weighed what a honda civic weighed and were built to civic crash standards, I believe the roads would be safer.


RE: huh?
By nycromes on 1/26/2009 4:57:14 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, now try shipping goods around in a civic.

Tractor trailers aren't going anywhere and in an accident with one I would much prefer to be in my heavy SUV than be decapitated in a civic.


RE: huh?
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 5:41:40 PM , Rating: 1
Personally I'd prefer to be in the more nimble car that's more apt to avoid the collision entirely. In a collision with an 80,000 lbs (yes 80,000 lbs fully loaded) tractor trailer your Suburban will get crushed like it was made of kleenix the same as any economy car would.


RE: huh?
By log on 1/26/2009 11:55:57 AM , Rating: 2
People aren't forced to buy smaller cars, but you're right higher fuel taxes is a major decision maker wheter to choose this or that model. But people who want/ need a bigger car will still choose one, but will consider the one with extra MPG.
But there are other factors like the existing city and land planning, public transport infrastructure, space, etc.

But people don't do lees just because they have smaller cars.


RE: huh?
By MarcLeFou on 1/26/2009 12:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
That's not entirely accurate. Better mpg could easily be attained through diesel engines and a regulation toward clean diesel (less sulfur) as in Canada. And that's an engine that we barely see in the US and that's everywhere in Europe. That change alone could improve MPG significantly.

Also, it's false to say the technology hasn't evolved. Comparing canadian standards (L/100 Km), which haven't changed in the last 6 years contrarily to the US standards (good basis for comparison), my current car (mazda protege - manual 5 gear) does 7.6L/100 KM on the highway according to the canadian fuel guide. A Malibu 2008, a car I'm looking at buying right now does 6.5L/100 KM on the highway (13% difference). And that's for a car that's bigger, heavier and has a more powerful engine (2,0L - 130 hp vs 2,4L - 169HP). The Malibu I'm quoting here also has an automatic 4 gear transmition (and as you know automatics tend to guzzle down more fuel and more gears = better fuel efficiency). And I haven't even talked about the fact that the Malibu is also available in a 6 gear automatic which lowers the mpg down do 6.1L/100 Km on the highway (24% difference compared to the protege). And the 2009 Malibu 6 gear has even gotten it's fuel consumption down to 5,9L/100 KM on the highway.

If that's not technological improvement, I don't know what is.

There are costs associated with that though as diesel engines (and fuel) along with transmissions with more gears do cost more money so that's why people aren't buying but its false to say that there's no momentum forward in fuel efficient technology.

And anyway its not like its going to prevent Californians from going to Oregon or Texas to buy their SUV. Sure it's a hassle but that wouldn't be the first regulation to be a hassle for citizens and, in the long term, its going to force american manufacturers to improve their technology which is only going to benefit them when competing all around the world.


RE: huh?
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 12:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel will still have very little appeal for the consumer as long as diesel fuel prices remain higher than gasoline prices - enough to more than wipe out the inherent higher efficiency with diesel. Not to mention the higher up-front cost of diesel engines.

All cars and car types have been improving in efficiency over the years. That kind of small incremental improvement isn't going to be enough to radically change our energy usage.


RE: huh?
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 1:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure that diesel engines are more efficient then gasoline engines. Their is just more energy in a gallon of diesel then a gallon of gasoline, just as their is more energy in a gallon of gasoline then a gallon of ethanol. But with the potential of making bio-diesel from algae, it might end up being what we will all drive anyways.


RE: huh?
By chavv on 1/26/2009 2:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel engines work on Diesel engine, while gasoline use Otto :P
And Diesel engine is about 10% more efficient. Physics, nothing more.


RE: huh?
By HotFoot on 1/26/2009 2:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel engines can run at higher efficiencies than gasoline engines because they have a much higher compression ratio. Even if the fuels had the same energy content, the Diesel process is more efficient than the standard gasoline engine.

This is also why Diesel engines tend to be more expensive. They have to be built heavier for a given displacement.

Now, on the environmental front, I agree a larger mix of diesel in the consumer automotive fleet would reduce overall carbon emissions. However, diesel engines tend to produce a larger amount of very small particulate material in their exhaust. These are more hazardous on a local level in terms of air quality than the exhaust of gasoline engines. Yes, there has been a tremendous amount of progress in terms of cleaning up our fuels and the way vehicles use those fuels, but there is still a difference between diesel and gasoline in terms of air quality.

This is one example of how concern about global warming needs to be balanced against other environmental concerns like air quality. Auto exhaust in cities is attributed to the high and increasing rate of Asthma and other lung development problems in children, and has been linked to shorter lifespans. (missing link but the article was less than a week ago)

This is one thing in Canada that bothered me when the Conservatives at first had a policy of complete denial of global warming (which I disagree with) and an agenda of driving clean air policies in our cities. Then, under massive public pressure, they swiched directions and abandonned the clean air policies and started talking about global warming. I disagree with both stances of theirs, as both lack balance between the two.

The thing is, clean(er) air policies can be put in place today and we have examples around the Western world of how those policies have worked for appreciable improvements. Get a short-sighted government talking about global warming and all they will do is make long-term far-reaching promises they have no intention of ever keeping, as it will be someone else's problem by then.


RE: huh?
By Eri Hyva on 1/27/2009 12:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, diesel engines tend to produce a larger amount of very small particulate material in their exhaust. These are more hazardous on a local level in terms of air quality than the exhaust of gasoline engines. Yes, there has been a tremendous amount of progress in terms of cleaning up our fuels and the way vehicles use those fuels, but there is still a difference between diesel and gasoline in terms of air quality.


Not so anymore, Euro5 generation produces particles about the same than a gasoline engine from year 2000. Comparison of diesel and gasoline engines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_emission_sta...

Check for example the new Euro5 diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/04/10/mercedes-unveil...

Torque 500nm (enough for very large people in NA, too, same as in a huge V8), 5,1 liter per 100km (that is one third of a V8), 7,7 seconds to 100 km/h (that's 0-60 in your units)

In Europe (where most diesel engine cars are sold and used) the EU has been very aggressive in demanding better engines from the car manufacturers. Those Euro standards are not voluntarily, all cars equipped and sold with a diesel engine has to meet them in the EU.

The result: now it is the fifth generation of diesel engines since 1992.
How about North America, how many generations of new engines since the 90's?

Seems more or less the good old same V6 and V8 from the eighties. If California and New York want to join 21st century, let them do it.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/27/2009 3:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How about North America, how many generations of new engines since the 90's?
This statement alone shows you did no research and therefore makes your entire post suspect. I feel dumber for having read it.


RE: huh?
By HotFoot on 1/27/2009 4:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, generally, that diesel technology is getting better all the time. However, it's not like gasoline is sitting still, either.

Another point I remember my dad talking about when I was in high school was his concern for the air quality in a potash mine in Saskatchewan, where he worked. The older fleet of diesel vehicles produced a lot of soot. The newer vehicles produced less soot/black smoke, but according to the reports my dad was reading the finer nature of the modern engines' exhaust was actually more hazardous to the underground workers as the particles, while too small to see, were still harmful. Being smaller meant they would more readily get past our natural defenses and get further into the lungs.

So, my point really isn't to say 'death to diesel' but that there are trade-offs in everything we do.

Personally, I think electric and plug-in hybrids are bad for the environment as a whole. However, if I lived somewhere warmer I would love to see how much they might reduce local smog problems in highly-populated areas. Perhaps the increased productivity and quality of life and reduced medical expenses of the people living in that community would be worth the potential increase in environmental damage as a whole.

Okay now I'm rambling and getting off topic.


RE: huh?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 12:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And anyway its not like its going to prevent Californians from going to Oregon or Texas to buy their SUV.
Why not just buy that car from California? Why do I need to go out of state to buy a car? All this does is give business to out of state dealers while in state dealers see less sales. And those dealers will end up leaving to get those sales back. Californians are leaving the state by the 10's of thousands already, why give yet another reason for them to continue to do so?

PS - I'm leaving too. Quite fed up with this place.


RE: huh?
By Lord 666 on 1/26/2009 8:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, there is nothing but BS on DT lately. After this post, only 4 more until I am taking a break from this site.

To post something of revelance on this subject of state's rights; my main concern for this is vehicle resale value and standardization of parts. Good example of this is the Nissan Altima Hybrid that is only sold in a few states including NJ. Let's pretend car owner moves to Texas and attempts to get it serviced, but its not sold there meaning dealership isn't so kean on fixing vehicle and parts are a bit slow to come by.

What isn't mentioned is if the EPA would still be allowing grandfathering of vehicles based on manufacture date or mileage on the clock. When diesels were not 50 state mandated, someone could purchase a new vehicle in NJ, register it, and then put 6500 miles on it to then transfer it into NY.

Ran into the above situation myself when purchasing my 2006 TDI. Work was going to register my car in the company name, but due to the 45 state approval and company being in NY, couldn't do it brand new so I just did it in my name. Plus, none of these cars were in NY or Mass and hard to come by equiped as I wanted in NJ. Had to take a train to CT and wrestle with their BS registration/insurance laws delaying delivery of the car for a month.

Anyway, this is a very bad move by Obama and his team. Strike two in my book... first one was the DTV delay request.


RE: huh?
By Athena on 1/26/2009 3:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Look, I'm all for hybrids, electic vehicles, and "whatever's next," but we have to be practical about our expectations. The development of next-gen vehicles will take decades, not years, and I don't see any evidence that forcing higher MPG standards does anything to accelerate this process
I've never read anything, anywhere that implied that increasing MPG would generate jobs. The pupose of highter MPG standards is to reduce gasoline consumption and thereby reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil PERIOD.

Over the longterm, electric and Hybrid vehicles will also contribute to that and also include other "green" benefits. In the more immediate term though, the only way to reduce dependence is to use less gasoline...iow increase MPG.


RE: huh?
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 5:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've never read anything, anywhere that implied that increasing MPG would generate jobs. The pupose of highter MPG standards is to reduce gasoline consumption and thereby reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil PERIOD.
You must have tuned out the liberal US politicians.


RE: huh?
By Murloc on 1/26/2009 5:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
I live in switzerland, and for me the gas prices here are normal, and I was surprised on how low they are in the US.
We are forced to buy small cars? False.
Many ppl here drives SUVs.
And you don't need trucks, because here we don't have those extra large roads, if you buy a large car you have to accept the consequences, including parking problems (the free places to park your car are often small).


RE: huh?
By Samus on 1/26/2009 1:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No auto maker is going to have multiple designs based on the standards of the state.


Right, but auto makers WILL make their design meet requirements of the most demanding state. California is a great example.

In the 80's when CAFE and California regulators really started demanding lowers emmisions, there were 'California cars' because auto makers couldn't just leave a huge market like Cali out of their sales market.

Today, most auto manufactures initial designs already meet California emmisions standards, so they don't call it a 'California car' its just a ULEV (ultra low emmisions vehicle) or NZEV (near-zero emmisions vehicle.)

One of my recent cars, a 1998 Mazda Protege with a 1.5L, was a ULEV and didn't have a special redesign for California as it had the same catalyst and EPROM in all models. I will also add it achieved 35 MPG no matter how hard I beat on it, and although it only had 96HP, it also had a curb weight under 3000lbs, so it was managable. Even base-model Civic's and Corolla's were faster and more powerful, but they had more emmisions, and all had California-model's with different exhausts.


RE: huh?
By Alexvrb on 1/26/2009 7:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
Just so you know, that's a load of crap. California (and the roughly 9 other states that have adopted California emissions) make life more difficult for manufacturers and parts suppliers, both OEM and aftermarket. Even the 98 1.5L Protege has different cats for California models. Yours probably was the Cali variant, which is usually listed on the emissions sticker as "meeting federal and california emissions standards". But that doesn't mean there weren't federal-only variants of that vehicle, because there are probably a whole lot more of those on the road than california models.

http://www.apexhaust.com/catalog.asp

Note that "exc." means excluding. Before you look up your 98 Protege's exhaust, read the note at the top. Do not sell any cats from this catalog in California. The reason is the recent law they passed in California regarding catalytic converters. They went berserk. If the emissions system passes the test, what need is there to further complicate things?

Anyway, there were previously two widely accepted emissions standards, Federal, and California. Now, who the heck knows anymore. In the end that's going to mean more complicated emissions systems and more OEM-only availability on emissions components. Furthermore, stricter emissions hinders MPG increases, with both gas and diesel engines.

But honestly, the part that really bothers me is the state-by-state MPG mandates. Why should the government (state or otherwise) take control of this? That's so far from a free market its not even funny. We might as well just let the government take over the domestic automakers entirely and let the government build our cars and tell us exactly what to drive.


RE: huh?
By Samus on 1/27/2009 1:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
You must agree that auto manufacturers will manufacture their model's around the strictest standards instead of making multiple models. Any other way would be financial suicide.


RE: huh?
By Alexvrb on 1/27/2009 7:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
No. In fact, I'm trying to tell you that they sell models with different emissions systems right now. I will say that they do attempt to make everything the same whenever it is feasible. This means that the cars are virtually the same. But as an example: why should they install a $1000 converter on every model, when a $250 converter will do the job fine for the other 40 states? They're going to pass the costs onto the consumer.

Furthermore, stricter emissions requirements cause manufacturers to use modified components, software, and make design decisions that can slightly hinder performance or mileage progress (everything else remaining equal). It used to be a larger impact, but modern engines and emissions systems are a lot more advanced, so the hit isn't as big. However, this still applies quite a bit to diesel engines. California is already fairly strict on diesels. Some of those fancy pants diesels you hear about in Europe won't pass California emissions without mileage-robbing and/or cost-increasing modifications. They should transition to US Federal emissions easily enough though - but maybe not for long.

Oh, as a side note, keep in mind that mileage numbers for other countries can not be directly compared to our EPA numbers, since they use a different testing cycle. EPA numbers are also a lot more accurate now that they modified them recently for 2008 and beyond.

Finally, I'd like point out that I am not against CAFE or stricter emissions. I just think that such requirements should be handled at a federal level, and that individual states pushing their own emissions laws and fleet mileage requirements above and beyond CAFE will lead to a bit of a confusing mess. It also will put the auto manufacturers in a bind, at the worst possible time. If the manufacturers were doing peachy and the economy was in better shape, it wouldn't be as big an issue.


RE: huh?
By FITCamaro on 1/26/2009 12:20:24 PM , Rating: 1
It was 35 mpg.


RE: huh?
By Athena on 1/26/2009 3:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm all for state's rights, but this decision will just make the most stringent state the state that sets the rules for the country. No auto maker is going to have multiple designs based on the standards of the state.
California always had higher emission standards than the federal standards and the manufacturers dealt with it. The whole point of the current clash was that for the first time ever, the Bush administration decided to deny the waiver that was included in the original legislation.

The money Detroit money spent on fighting this would have been much better spent on R&D to maintain some sort of competitiveness with foreign makers who are in fact prepared to meet the California standards.


RE: huh?
By Oregonian2 on 1/26/2009 4:15:06 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it doesn't matter now. Detroit's car makers were already sitting in their coffins -- California will nail the cover shut on them. Too bad there aren't more car plants (I know there are some) in California so that they can feel the fallout of their actions more directly. I know here in Oregon we'll follow California, but we've no car plants here either (just the dealerships that will go away).

P.S. - If a waiver was required, then that says something I think.


RE: huh?
By Starcub on 1/27/2009 5:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
Will states be able to set separate standards for different engine types? I'm wonding what impact this policy will have on influencing automakers to develop better alternatives. Theoretically this could be used to push clean diesel or bio-diesel to the status it has abroad.

Also, since when is an executive order required for the enforcement of a law? Laws that can't be enforced aren't laws, they are guidelines. Seems pretty lame to me to grant automakers the oportunity to lobby state politicians for the right to ignore the law.


RE: huh?
By Alexvrb on 1/27/2009 7:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
If your "clean diesel" or biodiesel is so great for the enviroment, you shouldn't need a seperate standard from any other diesel-powered vehicle. That would be like saying "well since it burns biodiesel, it doesn't matter that it pollutes our air more than those evil gasoline powered cars!".


RE: huh?
By RandallMoore on 1/26/2009 6:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
I also live in NC. This is disturbing news considering what kinds of taxes we deal with. This is going to suck, really bad.


Coming Soon: My state is greener than yours.
By BernardP on 1/26/2009 11:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
Now, many states will want to be seen as greener than the others. Such a fragmentation of regulation will likely lead to politically driven competition between states to set more and more stingent fuel economy regulations.

Then people will start going out-of-state to buy the vehicle they want, this leading to dealers complaints in the greenest states.




By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 11:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
Why can't we take all these environmentalist wacko lefties, pack them all into a emissions free sail driven ship and send them off to somewhere that fits their ideals a little better? you know, like china or cuba, where everything is controlled and regulated by the government.


RE: Coming Soon: My state is greener than yours.
By Suomynona on 1/26/2009 12:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
Um, you realize that this is actually giving the power to regulate back to the states, right? So the federal government would actually be wielding less control...


By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 1:58:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Um, you realize that this is actually giving the power to regulate back to the states, right? So the federal government would actually be wielding less control...


Yes I know that, I live in Oregon and its this part that iritates me:

quote:
The higher Californian standards would call for 35 MPG economy by 2016, four years ahead of the national target. Among the other states joining California are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington.


RE: Coming Soon: My state is greener than yours.
By rudolphna on 1/26/2009 2:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
So its bad that your next car will have better gas mileage than what you drive now?


By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 2:32:26 PM , Rating: 3
No, its bad that the cross section of vehicles that are available for purchase is going to be smaller because it is not technologically possible to offer all that is availble today and have them average 35 MPG.

The government cannot legislate technology into existence, if they could why not simply mandate that all auto makers offer giant 10,000lb 4x4's that get 2500 MPG and only cost $10?

They are narrowing the playing field when it comes to what the auto makers can offer that will fit inside the government guidelines, as a consequence we are going to lose freedom of choice when it comes to the cars we drive in the future.


RE: Coming Soon: My state is greener than yours.
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 2:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
Just go across the border and get what you want from there. Of course, your in state dealer won't get that sale and, in the long term, may end up leaving your state to get that sale back.


By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 4:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
I may end up doing that.


By Darkskypoet on 1/26/2009 11:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
Umm.. not technologically possible for the average to be 35mpg??? Are you on crack? It is entirely technologically possible for the average to hit 35mpg... A Corvette can do 30mpg plus on the highway easily... So a Cobalt for every corvette (yes silly as Cobalts outsell corvettes in huge volumes) at 40mpg easily achieves this... Similar to trucks, the new Silverados get easily 20-25mpg on hwy... If not higher... And again apply same math small car vs blah... Also, if we wanted to dig deeper... Sell one Volt for every what... 4 or 5 trucks, and the average is maintained.

It is fleet wide average of 35mpg I think... Which is fairly easy to maintain, when given 8 years to get it done. Especially considering Toyota, and Honda will be able to do it.. As will BMW, Mercedes, etc.

"technologically impossible" So sad. So Very sad.


By lagomorpha on 1/27/2009 9:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
Except that it isn't highway mileage that's counted, but combined mileage. The 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt only gets 30mpg combined by EPA estimates (25city/37hwy). A fleet wide average of 35mpg isn't going to happen without producing a lot of cars SMALLER than the Cobalt, going all Hybrid like Toyota claims they plan to, producing a lot of diesels, or just designing the cars with tall skinny tires with little grip, aerodynamics that people think are ugly, and expensive materials.


By Atheist Icon on 1/28/2009 11:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A Corvette can do 30mpg plus on the highway easily...


Must be a V-6 Corvette, or a non-factory turboed/supercharged, everyone of the people I know with vettes get about 23-27 on the highway and about 13-18 city. EPA rating for a Vette is 26MPG.


By Dreifort on 1/26/2009 11:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
Ignorance is bliss...i guess?
By HammerFan on 1/26/2009 11:06:43 AM , Rating: 1
Clearly some people here have never attempted to tow 15k lbs with a prius (a fully loaded cattle trailer, for instance). Try it sometime, let me know how it works out, and if you get anything close to 30mpg. As for families and their choice of vehicle, I agree that a 4dr sedan is all that most families (up to 5 people total) need. The exception is when there are more than 5 people, or they tow/ haul things on a semi-regular basis, which most sedans and wagons just aren't able to do.




RE: Ignorance is bliss...i guess?
By Dreifort on 1/26/2009 11:20:32 AM , Rating: 3
Walter (Jeff Dunham) says a Prius makes this sound...

IMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...gaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAY

as it goes whizzing by.


RE: Ignorance is bliss...i guess?
By Dreifort on 1/26/2009 11:23:46 AM , Rating: 2
By Screwballl on 1/26/2009 1:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
when it idles it goes.......... (oh wait gotta see the video)


RE: Ignorance is bliss...i guess?
By walk2k on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Ignorance is bliss...i guess?
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 2:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh yea you see a lot of Navigators and Escalades towing trailers. Idiot.
Anecdotal. I see tons of these vehicles towing trailers and such. Most every weekend.


By JoshuaBuss on 1/26/2009 8:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Anecdotal:

I see far more sparkling clean SUVs in the city/suburbs than I do dirty ones used for real work in the country. I see more pickup trucks in the country, but they're actually needed by most of the people I know who have them there.


RE: Ignorance is bliss...i guess?
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 1:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously there has to be an exemption for commercial and farm use.


RE: Ignorance is bliss...i guess?
By Schrag4 on 1/26/2009 2:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
What about a large boat? A family camper? Now you have to get special licenses to tow those? (and I'm sure it would cost extra) Sounds like tons more legislation to me just to figure out who can and can't buy a large vehicle.

Regulation/legistlation always makes everything much better... </sarcasm>


By Spivonious on 1/26/2009 1:35:29 PM , Rating: 3
You can't be serious. If I had to tow a cattle trailer, I'd own a pickup truck, and a big one at that.

But since I don't, I own a 4cyl hatchback.


Meh
By Steve1981 on 1/26/2009 1:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
Mandating mpg standards seems like a half-assed way to cut gasoline consumption. They could raise the gas tax and use the laws of economics in their favor for a change. Then if they really wanted to be green, they could put a portion of that added revenue towards researching alternative fuels.




RE: Meh
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 1:34:45 PM , Rating: 1
Very true, I would like to see a gas tax the fluctuates to keep the price of gas around $3.50 regardless of the price of oil.


RE: Meh
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 2:10:03 PM , Rating: 3
why don't you put your money where you mouth is and figure out what the difference is between what you're paying now and what it would be at $3.50. Add it up over the rest of the year then in 2010 when you go to do your taxes send all the money you saved up to the IRS. If you do this you will get to pay an adjusted tax so that gas will always cost you $3.50 a gallon just like you want.


RE: Meh
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 2:20:37 PM , Rating: 1
Basically because people don't look that far ahead you need to see the pain immediately at the pump, or it does no good.


RE: Meh
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 3:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Basically because people don't look that far ahead you need to see the pain immediately at the pump, or it does no good.
Sorry but people like me weren't in pain at all even when gas was nearly $5 a gallon here in CA. Sure, some people complained but only a few changed their cars. Most people kept driving what they owned and buying what they wanted. My wife and I own a sports car and a truck. My car gets decent enough mileage but we figured it would take $10 gas to justify buying another car for her (to commute) and even then that car would only need to get 28 mpg.

Only the not so well off and poor would feel any pain. The rest of us will just continue to do what we want.


RE: Meh
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 2:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
No, he meant that you and I should pay $3.50 a gallon, not him! As you rightly pointed out, he is probably doing that already since he feels so strongly, but you and I are not! We are the problem, not him!


RE: Meh
By HotFoot on 1/26/2009 2:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
I fail to see the mechanism that would keep gasoline merchants from then just setting their prices to a minimum of $3.50, since there will be no way for one to compete against the other by having lower prices than that.

If you want to put an environmental tax on gasoline, I can only see it working if it's a fixed price, like gas taxes used for road maintennance in many places, or a percentage price, like an extra sales tax. Otherwise you remove the market from the economy.


RE: Meh
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 3:28:52 PM , Rating: 1
That makes a lot of sense, I would just like to see the tax pushing the gas prices to point where it pushes people into smaller cars without making it impossible for them to drive. At $5 a gallon it was making it very hard on a lot of people to balance their budget.

P.S. when gas was high it did encourage me to cut back on my driving. I tried to combine my trips, go to the store on the way home from work etc, or just skip unnecessary trips altogether. So yes it did have a personal impact on my lifestyle, but for the bigger picture I think its probably a good thing. Americans have become gluttonous consumers of resources and I think this recession/depression is probably going to change our lifestyles for the better. I was watching a show where they were talking to Danish people because they were recently rated the happiest of any country and their overall advice to Americans was not to chase the american dream of wealth being the top goal in life. Life should not be about materialism and selfishness in my opinion and apparently the Danish opinion.


RE: Meh
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 3:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So yes it did have a personal impact on my lifestyle, but for the bigger picture I think its probably a good thing.
If you really believed that, then you would do it all the time, regardless of gas prices.
quote:
Americans have become gluttonous consumers of resources and I think this recession/depression is probably going to change our lifestyles for the better.
I don't think so. Past recessions and depressions did not have any kind of "silver lining." Heck, many historians believe that the Great Depression was a strong contributing factor towards WWII. It doesn't get any worse than that. (And ironically, it was WWII that finally got us out of the Great Depression.)

No, the current recession will put millions out of work, help hundreds of thousands of families lose their homes, and reduce the net worth of nearly all of us. Just pain, no gain.


RE: Meh
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Meh
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 4:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
If you really cared about americans having more jobs you would not be in favor of gas and taxes getting more expensive. When people have more disposable income they spend it on goods and services which means people have to work to fill their needs, which leads to more spending on goods and services. What you are advocating goes against the very thing you are saying you want.


RE: Meh
By FITCamaro on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
Let's get a few things straight, Mr. Mick
By clovell on 1/26/2009 12:06:29 PM , Rating: 3
> Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress in Washington praises the move stating, "This is a complete reversal of President Bush’s policy of censoring or ignoring global warming science. With the fuel economy measures and clean energy investments in the recovery package, President Obama has done more in one week to reduce oil dependence and global warming than George Bush did in eight years."

Make no mistake, this legislation has not resulted in any new regulation, yet. It was the Bush administration that passed the recent round of CAFE standards. The quote doesn't seem to add much to the article but a displaced sense of bias.

I'm very surprised we didn't see a more balanced, direct commentary. Something that goes more like this:

> On the one hand Conservatives (or the last remaining few anti-federalists) may be happy to see more power adjudicated to the individual states, encouraging the electorate to play a more direct role via their state legislators rather than through the quagmire of federal bureaucracy.

On the other hand, the Federal Government does preside over inter-state commerce. One could argue that a couple dozen different sets of regulations would be a nightmare for automobile manufacturers - both foreign and domestic. Plants and assembly lines would have to be retooled, and new workers would have to be hired - all of which would drive up the cost of vehicles far more than the cost of parts. Since auto manufcturers undoubtedly engage in what is primarily inter-state commerce, it stands to reason that the Federal Government should mantain some jurisdiction over said standards.

With that said, it is interesting that this movement is spearheaded by a Republican (if only in name) Governor and backed by a Democratic President. One questions why the Governor was not able to move forward with the Senate. Regardless of the politics, it seems a bit of a mixed bag with all the legislative gerrymandering going on across party lines. It is certainly a time for the electorate to keep their eyes, ears, and minds open as the technological and economic landscapes of our country shift.




By TomZ on 1/26/2009 12:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Very well-said and very true...I am starting to think that this is a great period of brainwashing of the American people.

Everyone seems to think that we are in a great period of renewal, of change, of moving to the next level, doing things right. We are being asked to blindly follow, to not question, since we are in unprecendented times that require urgent attention and a strong response. Is this the case of history repeating itself...?


RE: Let's get a few things straight, Mr. Mick
By walk2k on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
By nycromes on 1/26/2009 1:25:02 PM , Rating: 3
It was still passed by the Bush Administration regardless of any changes made to it. Stop trying to spin.


what ever happened to...
By justinmcg67 on 1/26/2009 8:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand this huge safety thing, what ever happened to, "Don't hit sh!t?" Or to conserve fuel, "Drive the posted speed limit?" Seriously, it's not hard to maximise MPG; people just tend to be careless and not appply commonsense to a common problem. If you go full throttle and drive like a 16 year old, which sadly most people do, not just Americans but Europeans as well, you'd save gas, which saves you money, not to mention helps with safety on roads.

It's really gotten out of hand with how people drive these days, espcially from older drivers. Yes, teens drive rather dumb, but they're not nearly as experienced as adults, whom are the ones I see more often than not doing the speeding and generally unsafe acts. I blame this on complacency more than anything...

If people would drive with more care and less carelessness, perhaps we wouldn't need a jumbo sized soccer-mom SUV with 10 airbags just in the front and another 15 in the rear all-the-while consuming a whopping 10 MPG because I have to get from point A to point B quick-fast-and in a hurry. Apply a little logic to your driving and maybe you wouldn't have to fill up every week, maybe every week and a half, or maybe you wouldn't have to be so dependent on your safety devices if the crap hits the fan because I sped through an intersection blowing a yield sign and smashing into someone in my 3 ton SUV to get to the grocery store.

If only if only...




RE: what ever happened to...
By superflex on 1/27/2009 5:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
Go peddle your bike to your wacko save the planet meetings and continue drinking the kool-aid.


RE: what ever happened to...
By lagomorpha on 1/27/2009 5:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
You do have to keep in mind that modern pickups have a 3 drink minimum before you can even get in the cab.


By FranksAndBeans on 1/26/2009 11:28:59 AM , Rating: 5
Rest assured the net result of all of this is going to be more money out of everyone's pockets to benefit a few pita states.

I can only hope the unrealistic states are rewarded with accordingly narrow product ranges, reduced content, or even a flat out refusal to sell certain products in those states. I want to see a CA version of a pickup with 30% less HP & torque vs. Nevada.

Until people in those states are directly inconvenienced by it, nothing will change, and everyone else will be forced to pay up.

I'm in full support that there should be emissions regulations, but I don't agree with individual state decisions. For the states with the problems, the focus should be on getting gross offending old clunkers off the road.

Far as fuel economy regulations go, I've never agreed with them. I'd rather see higher taxes on gas. Let people drive what they want and can afford.




Screwed if....
By v1001 on 1/26/2009 1:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
So I'm guessing you're going to be screwed too if you decide to move and bring your car with you into another state?? That state could have totally different emission standards. How will they handle this? A huge fee will be paid? This can turn out very lame and frustrating. Having a general standard that everyone goes by is best.




RE: Screwed if....
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 4:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That state could have totally different emission standards.
California and other states already have differing emissions standards than the Federal one's. This is about giving the states the right to mandate their own MPG standards. Since all cars meet CA emission regs, you can simply bring an out of state car into the state.


By Wastedspacer on 1/27/2009 2:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
Why not have all the states that think they know the best emission standards duke it out with the federal standards folk and agree upon what is best for the nation! Why on earth have each state duplicate efforts and create entire departments with their local government bodies (at increased taxpayer costs). For goodness sake, if one state has an excellent emissions standard, how come that isn't considered good for the whole country? We don't need dozens of departments created to do pretty much the same thing do we (or is this considered "creating jobs"?). *sigh*




By MrBungle123 on 1/27/2009 2:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Make no mistake this is not being done because it makes sense, its being done to push the agenda of the global warming alarmists who helped Obama get elected.


Obama will destroy the US
By segerstein on 1/26/2009 6:12:05 PM , Rating: 1
Obama will destroy everything that is great about America.

America under George W Bush used to be a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guided freedom-loving people everywhere.

Otherwise, I'm from Europe and it really saddens me how your new president wants to implement policies that have failed so miserably both on the Old Continent and in Japan.




By MisterChristopher on 1/28/2009 4:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
I am not really sure how you consider Bush to be such a shining light considering his seemingly complete disregard for the bill of rights, habeus corpus, due process, and most other concepts that could be considered natural rights of humanity.

However, considering the amount of bombs that were dropped, and guns that were fired in the name of policing other peoples countries, maybe you are referring to the light from the flames he created.


By tastyratz on 1/26/2009 11:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
People can argue about fuel economy benefits all they want, but end result is that all of the technologies that increase gas mileage cost money. This leads to more expensive and complex vehicles. They will get far more complex and expensive for small gains at this point.

While beneficial as a whole to seek better fuel economy across the board, its just not the time. We are in the middle of a recession. We footed the bill for a costly bailout of struggling auto manufacturers who seem to have the most trouble with new cafe regulations.

Our dependency on foreign oil should not be a topic at hand during an economic crisis. Lowering the financial burden on consumers and stimulating commerce should be. We need to be focusing more on incentives and less on regulations for fuel efficient vehicles at this time. Lets get back on our feet before we find new ways to drown.

Stemming a little; One thing that should be mandatory for new vehicles is a tire pressure monitoring system. Tire pressure plays a very large role in fuel economy and the marginal costs of these systems easily pay for itself over the life of the vehicle with consumers who do not pay attention. While it wont increase gas mileage from the factory, it will in time.
How many people do you see on the road with under inflated tires?




Sham
By WackyDan on 1/26/2009 1:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
This only provides the current admin the ability to not have to mandate the stricter regs at the federal level, and keep the lobby dollars flowing to their pockets.

It also means that the liberals get to their agenda faster, as states tend to pass legislation more quickly, and unfortunately, with less thought than the federal gov't... Like that was even possible right?




Automakers already failing
By ZachDontScare on 1/26/2009 2:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
So with the automakers already flirting with bankruptcy, what's Obama's solution? Burden them with even more expensive regulations!

And I imagine, after this helps finally drive them into bankruptcy, the tax payers will have to bail them out. And them I'm sure Obama will be out there blaming it all on the failure of 'the free market system'.




By Beenthere on 1/26/2009 3:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
...each state will use a crystal ball to determine the correct emission standards for their state instead of continuing to use the properly functioning federal auto emissions standard.

All car companies should pass on the increased R&D costs directly to consumers in the states that require auto emissions different from the federal standard. That should be about $2500 or more depending how many cars of each model are sold to these renegade states.




Good and Bad Thing
By geokilla on 1/26/2009 4:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
I see this as a good and bad thing. Bad thing is that if auto manufacturers can't meet a specific target in the States, then that car can't be sold, bringing millions of losses to that auto manufacturer. The good thing is that maybe now it'll help push auto manufacturers to bring more hybrids and diesels to the market at a cost that is similar to that of their gasoline models. Also, I suspect that travelers who drive to the USA for holidays and stuff will be exempt from this, as well as import cars.

That is my initial thoughts. Good thing up here in Canada we don't have anything like this, I think.




Read Between the Lines People.
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2009 6:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There still is a slight possibility that some states could have their requests rejected . The executive order calls on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the state applications and suggests that they give states the freedom to regulate their own fuel economy. However, it stops short of demanding they do so.


Obama isn't "letting" states pick their own MPG standards. He's MANDATING that they do. And if he doesn't like what they pick for their standards, they don't get to pick them.

Socialism, dressed up as choice, is still socialism.

I would love it if just one state, ONE, chose to have NO standard. What do you think Washington's reaction to that would be ? States Rights indeed...




gasoline tax
By lucyfek on 1/26/2009 8:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
should be the way to teach people to conserve. not only the easiest but the cheapest to enforce
no pain no game
drive a hummer (as far as you can afford it, cdl license required;)




it worked so good for GAS
By Pwnt Soup on 1/26/2009 11:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
maybe some of you remember why we had such high gas prices? do you recal the refinerys had too produce so many different types of gas for different regions, all because states had individual blends too meet individual standards. so if you follow the logic, we should now require auto makers, and everyone involved in the auto industry inc. parts and service, have different standards, procedures, and further complicate our daily lives and raise the cost of everything involved, so that a few save the planet tree hugging wacko's can feel better about themselves?

well done mr president...




By corduroygt on 1/28/2009 12:03:33 AM , Rating: 2
You stop breathing first, and then I'll get rid of my V8.




competition
By MisterChristopher on 1/28/2009 4:42:14 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully this should allow new markets to open up that cater to individual states. It should create areas within those localized markets where smaller companies can develop and compete where they might not have been able to before.

The necessity for new manufacturing plants that are able to taylor to the various markets could also create jobs in the building industry.

This seems like a positive. Certainly should be a boon to competition. The question I have is; How much power will the FEDERAL government maintain through the EPA?




LOL
By reader1 on 1/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: LOL
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 4:01:46 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You dumb-ass hicks lost again! Enjoy your new hybrids!
I can still afford a truck/SUV!! LOL! Enjoy YOUR hybrid.


RE: LOL
By RSutcliffe on 1/27/2009 6:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
Is America's back so broken that you cant even concieve of designing more fuel efficient cars that can still pull camper vans etc. What happened to the generation that went to the moon, I want those guys back!


RE: LOL
By DeepBlue1975 on 1/27/2009 7:37:45 AM , Rating: 2
Seems they decided to stay there and never come back.
Some people think they are affected by some special form of lunacy, which has been called as "moonacy".


RE: LOL
By Spuke on 1/27/2009 1:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that automakers are global, why can't we simply import these fuel efficient trucks and SUV's from you guys?


RE: LOL
By MrBungle123 on 1/27/2009 2:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
Because they cannot pass the emissions requirements that are imposed by the same people that are pushing these mileage requrements. We have a few hundred people living in DC that have never built or designed a car in their life trying to tell the auto industry how to run their business.


RE: LOL
By Spuke on 1/27/2009 3:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
I know. ;) I was just being sarcastic. No such truck or SUV exists that can be imported that meets these mileage requirements. Hell, there aren't many cars that exist either that meet these requirements. Like I said before, people will simply give their business to an out of state dealership and bring the cars back here. Long term effects are dealership movings/closings and loss of sales tax revenue (from said dealerships). There are towns in the LA are where 50% of their revenues are from dealerships. Expect future bankruptcy filings from these towns in the future.


RE: LOL
By Dreifort on 1/27/2009 3:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Think of politicians as sideline quarterbacks (fan).

They see the whole field. The quarterback has limited vision. Both (fan and QB) want to achieve the same goal - score a touchdown.

The QB practices days and days on end to find the best way to read the field and create a touchdown. The fan stuffs himself with pork and beer all week then sits down 10 mins after kickoff.

When the QB misses an open receiver, he works with his teammates and coaches to fig out how to make them connect next time. The fan wants to fire the QB because (as being the sideline QB) he knows more than the on-field QB and cannot understand how the QB (behind 3 rushing lineman and huge pressure) couldn't see the open receiver. So the fan calls for the QB to be traded and if the team coach doesn't listen, he wants the team coach fired. Eventually everything fails to the fan because HE and only HE really knows what's going on. Not the 11 guys on the field.


Digging their own grave
By FITCamaro on 1/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Digging their own grave
By Spivonious on 1/26/2009 10:41:33 AM , Rating: 3
Why do you need an SUV if you have a family? I managed to grow up just fine with sedans, station wagons, and minivans, all of which get better fuel economy than SUVs.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 10:47:04 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Why do you need an SUV if you have a family?
Vehicle choice is strictly a question of want - not need. Obviously we don't "need" most types of cars. Many families want SUVs - just look at sales statistics.

People who tell other people how to live their lives, suck.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spivonious on 1/26/2009 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 4
People who use commas incorrectly, suck. ;)

I'm not saying he's not allowed to buy an SUV, I'm just saying that for most families it's just not very practical.


RE: Digging their own grave
By SandmanWN on 1/26/2009 10:50:52 AM , Rating: 2
What sort of station wagon or mini-van did you have that long ago that got anywhere near 27mpg more or less 34mpg? Care to name any that even meet that criteria today.

Most mass people carriers (station wagon, mini-van, suv) struggle to even get 20 mpg today from any manufacturer.


RE: Digging their own grave
By quiksilvr on 1/26/2009 7:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
The Toyota Highlander gets 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway and its Hybrid Highlander gets 27 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The Honda CR-V gets 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo have SUVs with a mid to high 20s mpg as well.

As for each state having their own standard without government interference, I think its a great idea. Not every state is the same and they should be able to set up their own standards (so long as its standards don't mess up with the emission ratings in the state).


RE: Digging their own grave
By SandmanWN on 1/27/2009 10:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
actually the 20/27* (notice the star) mpg you quoted, no doubt pulled from the front page of toyota website, is in error. The EPA rating is 18/24. They list this on their website on a separate spec page all to its self. How toyota gets away with this number fudging is a bit ludicrous to me. All US manufacturers and even Honda, Subaru, etc, use the EPA numbers.

The laws California intends to enact will undoubtedly be based on EPA testing or possibly even more stringent testing in all likelihood given the Californian mentality on this issue.

In any case the vehicles you pointed out have less room than a typical sedan. Maximum of 5 and that is hardly comfortable on those tiny middle jump seats that usual end up being fold down arm rests that supposedly count as the 5th seat. In other words they are small suv's that aren't in the same category of vehicle being discussed. Unless you are truly trying to compare those with vans and station wagons???

I do think it is correct however that each state decide. I am not debating that, but rather they should be more mindful of the limitations they are placing on the people of California and elsewhere. Currently there are only 5 cars in America that meet the 37mpg average. The car landscape in California is about to get really boring.

Not only that but the dealerships in California are in for a truly rough ride as a lot of people will drive to neighboring states and purchase a vehicle of their choice there. For a state already struggling more than any other state in the union, this is going to hurt A LOT.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/27/2009 12:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
I only count the Smart, Civic Hybrid, and Prius. The Camry Hybrid and Altima Hybrid both almost make it at 34mpg combined.

What I'm curious about is how exactly the state CAFE standards will be set up. If a state chooses to have higher CAFE standards then does the EPA collect the extra fines from the manufactures for missing the targets or does the state government? If the later I can definitely see why California and so many other states are keen to increase their CAFE standards - being able to collect revenue indirectly is always a popular way to hide taxation.


RE: Digging their own grave
By SandmanWN on 1/27/2009 5:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
I tried to be as fair as possible and looked ahead to mid year releases. I think the Fusion and Honda Insight will make spring debuts.

I don't know exactly who collects the fines. In the past the states collected on emissions and still do for testing, but since some time during the 90's that control was taken over by the government. This new law may put more fines back in the hands of the state.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/27/2009 12:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For a state already struggling more than any other state in the union, this is going to hurt A LOT.
What's funny is that the state lawmakers are talking about getting businesses to stay in CA and getting people working but they do the exact opposite of that. I really don't know what their goal is here. People and businesses are (have been) leaving in droves which causes LESS tax revenue to be collected not more. LOL! Eventually, CA will just be illegal aliens and celebrities.


RE: Digging their own grave
By SandmanWN on 1/27/2009 5:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Eventually, CA will just be illegal aliens and celebrities.

Now that you mention it, doesn't sound like a half bad idea. All the bad apples in one place. Set off the fault line and trouble free times with a $40B tax break to the rest of the country.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 11:06:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm not saying he's not allowed to buy an SUV, I'm just saying that for most families it's just not very practical.
Yes, again, you are "judging" that it is not practical for everyone. That's exactly what I'm talking about.

Reality: SUVs are practical and desired by a lot of families.

I myself prefer a minivan for my family, but I also don't feel inclined to dictate to others about what kind of vehicles they "need."

In case you're missing the point - it's really about personal choice/freedom and personal responsibility. Car makers should have the right to make whatever kinds of cars they want (within reason) and consumers should have the right to buy whatever they want and can afford.


RE: Digging their own grave
By qdemn7 on 1/26/2009 11:19:24 AM , Rating: 1
Right....and we saw what 40 years of the market got us when gas went to nearly $5 a gallon nationwide. The Big 3 are in trouble now because they relied for so long only on fuel guzzling trucks and SUVs to make their bottom line grow, and the consumer only starting giving a damn about fuel economy when it hit them in the wallet. The hard fact is the auto companies have never done anything for fuel economy or the environment without being dragged kicking and screaming by state and federal governments.

I have zero sympathy or empathy for ANYONE who drives a truck or SUV that is not their primary vehicle for farm or work (as in construction and / or trades).


RE: Digging their own grave
By teldar on 1/26/2009 11:42:29 AM , Rating: 2
our vehicles have NOTHING to do with the price of gas.
It's price setting by OPEC, primarily.

You need to learn a few facts before you go spouting off.

The Big 3 made SUV's because that's what people wanted. Is it somehow their's or Bush's fault that China is actually developing and the middle east decided to drive up oil prices?

It's their faults their vehicles are not the most efficient, but that's not what most americans wanted.


RE: Digging their own grave
By 67STANG on 1/26/2009 11:57:47 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, OPEC has very little to do with the cost of U.S. fuel prices.

It really comes down to these factors:

1) Oil is traded in U.S. dollars world-wide. How much our dollar is worth varies daily, and thus the amount of oil that can be bought with it, varies daily.

2) Consumption forecasts play a major role in the what oil trades at. If OPEC cuts production, it might not matter...

3) Reserve levels play a major role in what oil trades at. If OPEC custs production, it might not matter...

4) Availability of Refineries, Ports and Oil Fields typically have some inmpact on pricing. If refineries are shut down for repairs or due to a natural disaster, prices go up, typically.

4) Stock prices are the top of the food chain in the above 4 itms. If consuption forecasts are low and reserve levels are high, the cost per barrel generally goes down. Conversely, if consumption forecasts go up and/or reserve levels dip, then prices generally go up.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 11:43:41 AM , Rating: 3
First of all, your entire argument makes the assumption that there is some large inherent "problem" in the mix of vehicles made by automaters and purchased by consumers. There is not. Big cars are not morally "bad" and small cars are not morally virtuous. That's only in the mind of many extreme liberals and environmentalists.

Automakers - both domestic and foreign - are producing exactly what consumers want when you average out the short-term demand transients due to fluctuating fuel prices and economic conditions. They are all highly optimized in this way.

Second, the domestic automakers are in trouble because their cost structures are out of whack due to their history of being forced to accept the situation with the unions. Did they choose that? No. Would they love to jettison them now? Of course. Were companies that arrived late into this market forced into the same situation? No.

Bottom line is that if everyone - based on their values - chooses to buy the type of vehicle - small or large - they want, then our country will continue to have the perfect mix of vehicle types based on the mix of social-political views that also exist. Regulation that overtly attempts to force people to purchase different than their moral compass is inherently evil, in my view.


RE: Digging their own grave
By dever on 1/26/2009 12:01:48 PM , Rating: 1
This is the crux of the matter: Some people (politicians and those who support them) feel morally superior to others and decide to dictate their decisions for them... using the blunt hammer of state.

This will always lead to less efficiency than allowing individuals to decide what is best for themselves.

Side Note: Many people who drive SUVs are getting a much higher Person-MPGs than the do-gooders who drive their small hybrids. Example, a family of five who drives an 18mpg suv, gets better gas mileage per person than a self-righteous, single Prius driver.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 1:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
True, you also have to consider how close people live to their work. A do-gooder who buys a honda civic but commutes 150 miles a day is doing worse then an SUV owner that commutes 30 miles a day. All of which could be influenced by using the European model of decreasing oil usage through higher taxes. One thing that is also important here is that this is not ONLY an environmental issue, we are transferring our wealth to the middle east.


RE: Digging their own grave
By callmeroy on 1/26/2009 2:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
lol no kidding...wow really if you drive alone all the time you are less efficiently using energy (fuel) than if you constantly cart around a full load of people?

Wow genius....


RE: Digging their own grave
By dever on 1/29/2009 11:59:42 AM , Rating: 2
No, it doesn't take a lot to understand this... but there are so many people in these forums and elsewhere, who complain bitterly as to why anyone would possibly need anything bigger than a Geo Metro.


RE: Digging their own grave
By 440sixpack on 1/26/2009 11:51:57 AM , Rating: 2
I don't ask for any sympathy. My daily driver is a 2003 Dodge Ram that gets around 10-12 mpg city and 15-17 mpg highway. I have never moaned or complained to anyone when gas went up and I was paying $80 to fill my tank. I was perfectly aware that my decision to own a truck would have some downsides to counterbalance it's pluses. I am willing to pay for these advantages and will continue to do so.

So please don't think every truck/SUV owner is a whiner who wants a big vehicle but doesn't want to deal with the downsides (although I am sure there are a large contingent of these vehicle owners that do just that).


RE: Digging their own grave
By truss64130 on 1/26/2009 12:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
For the longest time, I had a hyundai accent 2 door as my primary car. Last year, I bought a truck to allow me to haul building supplies when I work on my house. I couldn't even fit a 6 foot board in my old car. The truck was my weekend ride and I drove the car to work (+30 MPG in rush hour) The car finally died 4 months ago and now I only have the truck. It is just not affordable for me to purchase another small car at this time. The money saved on insurance, maintenance, and car payment outweighs the cost for a second vehicle.

Sometimes, people have to use what they have to get by. I am not willing to sell the truck since its benefits of ownership far outweigh the 14mpg it gets stuck in rush hour.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Ytsejamer1 on 1/26/2009 11:33:28 AM , Rating: 2
Where I generally agree with your opinion about the freedom to buy and drive what you want, it's far from anything resembling a right of any US citizen. I'd say it's more of a privilege. Yes, we might be talking semantics here, but it is important to realize that the mindset needs to change.

I think overall though that the US citizens will be able to get by without driving a 4-5 ton SUV. We have done without SUVs before, I'm sure we'll be okay as a society without them should they fade away as mileage standards are hopefully enforced.

I wouldn't say that SUVs are worthless and attempt argue that point, but I do believe (IMO) that they are excessive and most times, completely unnecessary.

Giving up certain conveniences will be the part that us as consumers HAVE to do in order to get our house in order in terms of energy use. Politicians can pass laws, but they can't do it alone...the consumer has to make sacrifices as well. IF SUVs are no more, then so be it.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 11:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
Your entire argument rests on the assumption that our energy use is completely out of whack. That is an idea put forth by liberals that doesn't really seem to have much logic behind it as far as I can tell. They've repeated it enough times that we all seem to believe it - but does it really make sense?

Yes, it is inconvenient when we have depend on the rest of the world for a portion of our energy needs. Sometimes this is a real problem - such as during war - but it is really a problem during normal times?

If energy independence really was our goal, we should be building nuclear power plants like there is no tomorrow. That's the only it is going to happen for us, without destroying our standard of living that is.


RE: Digging their own grave
By MadMan007 on 1/27/2009 1:26:28 AM , Rating: 2
The logic is quite simple actually, and numerical to boot. In the US we use much more energy per capita than anywhere else in the world, it's something like 25% of the world's energy consumption with <5% of the population.


RE: Digging their own grave
By MrBungle123 on 1/27/2009 10:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
No, our energy use is not out of whack. The rest of the world needs to build more power plants.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 12:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
IF SUVs are no more, then so be it.
That's fine by you because you don't want one. LOL! It's easy to give up something that you never had or wanted. I don't want a SUV either but I won't deny that want from someone else. It's not my decision to make. And it's not yours either.

Another note, SUV's and trucks will remain, they'll just be a much higher price point than today. The not so well off and poor will not be able to afford them but the well off and rich will. I wonder if the point is to make these vehicles inaccessible to the average American much like they are inaccessible to the average European.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Ytsejamer1 on 1/26/2009 12:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
Spuke...i hear ya...absolutely correct. It's not my decision to make. I wouldn't push anything on anyone. My point was to indicate that there may need to be a change in people's overall mindset who think it is a god given right to drive around an SUV. I'm talking in overall general points here...not to pass ridicule or take rights away from anyone. Of course it's my opinion...but if SUVs go away, I doubt that the United States would grind to a halt because poor Nancy can't take her two kids to the game in an SUV.

Tomz...sticking our heads in the sand about everyday energy use when we're not at war isn't the best idea either. I agree with your Nuclear power statement though...we need to use that power as well to establish a broader energy base. One type of energy isn't the only answer, but can be part of the overall solution.


RE: Digging their own grave
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 10:57:32 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Why do you need an SUV if you have a family? I managed to grow up just fine with sedans, station wagons, and minivans, all of which get better fuel economy than SUVs.


Why do you need a car and indoor plumbing? My 86 year old grandfather managed to grow up just fine in a farm house in Kansas using an outhouse and a horse and buggy?



RE: Digging their own grave
By Motoman on 1/26/2009 12:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. My great grandfather, who died at 91 when I was about 22 or so, had lived through the entire process of getting indoor plumbing for the first time, getting electricity for the first time, getting an automobile in lieu of driving a horse-drawn wagon for the first time, so on and so forth. To the best of my knowledge, he wasn't even sick a day in his life until about a month before he died...even without modern medical care for a big chunk of his life.

The point is that choices like buying an SUV vs. a minivan are part of the process of a person/family making decisions about the quality of their life. Can you get by with a minivan with a family of anywhere from 2-4 kids? Sure. Is it easier in an SUV? Yes. Do you "feel" better about owning an SUV than a minivan? Do you feel safer in an SUV (and in all reality, are you safer...I say yes)?

No one needs an SUV in the truest sense...no one needs an automobile at all. We *could* get around on horses, bicycles, or tennis shoes. We don't *need* TVs, computers, or even refrigerators and stoves...there's not any real reason you couldn't buy (or kill/gather) fresh food every day and cook it over a campfire. Actually, to some people, that's a pretty good time...but I digress. The point is that we *want* to live fulfilled lives, and that is a qualitiative thing. We *want* to have these things because we feel like they make our lives better. And you know what? If you don't feel you need such things to make your life better, don't buy them. And if you live in a state that makes it hard or impossible for you to pursue the quailty of life you desire...move and/or vote.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spivonious on 1/26/2009 1:29:13 PM , Rating: 3
Just want to point out that multiple studies have shown that SUV ownership correlates to a higher risk of getting into an accident. Maybe it's overconfidence in AWD, maybe it's the kind of people who buy SUVs, or maybe it's just idiots driving 55mph in the snow and are surprised when they spin out into a ditch.

Anyway, you're taking my comment way too far. I like technology. I enjoy the convenience of having a vehicle. All I'm saying is that people seem to believe that if you have kids you have to get an SUV. There are tons of other cheaper options.

I'm not telling SUV owners to sell their vehicles. I'm not telling anyone to do anything. I'm simply pointing out the flaw in the reasoning behind FIT's statement that families feel a need SUVs.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 1:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget about less visibility and agility making accident avoidance more difficult.


RE: Digging their own grave
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 2:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
you're forgetting half of what is going on.

when people say they "need" an SUV what they should be saying is that to maintian their current quality of life given the selection of vehilces available today they "need" an SUV. As much as I dispise the things I have to admit there is no other class of vehilce that can carry that many people with a reasonable amount of interior cargo space and offers options like 4WD and the engines and drive train required to tow heavy trailers. They are very practical vehicles which is why they are so popular. Why should it be up to the government to decide what individual families need/want to make their way of life possible?


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 1:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
"Is it easier in an SUV? Yes. "

What Minivan has less people and cargo capacity than a BMW X6? Than a Ford Explorer? How about less than a Dodge Durango? Less than a Nissan Armada? You can generally transport more people and stuff in a Mazda5 than you can an H2.


RE: Digging their own grave
By rudolphna on 1/26/2009 2:01:41 PM , Rating: 1
This man deserves a +10 for that post. Sure, I dont "need" my expedition. But it makes it a hell of a lot easier, and safer, to move 5 people 2 dogs, luggage for said 5 people, while towing a boat/jeep/camper halfway across the country if you have an SUV. Sure, I "could" get away with it in an edge, or a town and country. It wouldnt be very good for it though. And it certainly would be a tight fit. Not to mention, I love driving it. It weighs 5000lb yet that 230HP V8 can definetely motivate it to move. You want to save gas mileage? DOWNSIZE THE ENGINES. Jesus. The 230HP out of my 4.6L V8 can easily be reached by a 3L Turbo V6 anymore. Why do we need 300+ HP? Oooh you can go 0-60 in 6 seconds. WHO CARES? Unless its a sports car, it doesnt really matter!


RE: Digging their own grave
By Screwballl on 1/26/2009 11:28:15 AM , Rating: 2
We are living to make things better and easier on ourselves and others.

Yes I do NEED an SUV for my family. No it is not a full size 10mpg beast but we still NEED the SUV for our lives. You try to haul around a full sized stroller along with stuff for Soccer games, girl scouts, baseball/softball, chairs for races and picnics, computer equipment for my work... we looked at the minivans, we were lucky to have room for the stroller by itself much less the rest of the stuff needed. Also since there are plenty of sand/clay roads here to get to the lakes for fishing and picnics and outdoor activities, the stronger SUV was also a major factor in that decision.
So we bought a 2004 Dodge Durango (used in 2006) and have loved it since day 1. Since most minivans we saw got 16-18mpg and we get 16, its not like we are sacrificing much or using that much more gas.


RE: Digging their own grave
By rburnham on 1/26/2009 12:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Same here. My parents always drove either 4-door sedans or station wagons. The station wagon was especially nice for kids. If the argument is "I have lots of kids" then a minivan does fine. SUVs seem to be bought because people still want to appear "cool".


RE: Digging their own grave
By Staples on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Digging their own grave
By FITCamaro on 1/26/2009 12:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
Uh..no.


RE: Digging their own grave
By FITCamaro on 1/26/2009 12:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
Large families don't fit in a Camry. And minivans get pretty much the same fuel economy as SUVs. Cramming three kids into a 4 door sedan or wagon doesn't play out too well. I know from experience.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 2:01:10 PM , Rating: 1
Somehow fat Italian families manage with Fiat Pandas. Have you tried disciplining your kids?


RE: Digging their own grave
By FITCamaro on 1/26/2009 4:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have kids. I was the kid. Family of 5 in an old Oldsmobile station wagon growing up. When we got a minivan it was heaven. And the point is many people don't want a minivan nor do minivans get any better fuel economy really than SUVs.

And if you have a family larger than 5, a sedan or station wagon really won't cut it. Even the Subaru Outback only gets like 24 mpg highway.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 4:37:33 PM , Rating: 1
That doesn't really excuse the people that buy SUVs that have no third row seat (which seems to be almost all of them). And of SUVs that DO have a third row seat they are almost always of the LARGE variety and do get significantly worse mileage than minivans and wagons (Suburbans and Expeditions, the Subaru Tribeca is a notable exception and something I like). A Mazda5 gets 23mpg combined which is significantly better than any SUV that seats 6-7 other than the RAV4 or Highlander Hybrid.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 5:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That doesn't really excuse the people that buy SUVs that have no third row seat
Some people buy them for cargo carrying ability too. Suburbans and such are great at carrying 5 people and their stuff. Quite frankly, the 'Burb and the Sequoia are the only SUV's I'd buy if I needed one.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 7:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
And those two make sense as utility trucks. What baffles me are the people that buy 4 seat SUVs with minimal trunk room and no off-road capability like the BMW X6. Its like they're intentionally saying "I want this because I want to show off how much money I can spend even though it has absolutely no practical value to anyone."


RE: Digging their own grave
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2009 7:23:17 PM , Rating: 1
Why be baffled ? It's their choice, deal with it.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/27/2009 12:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I want to show off how much money I can spend even though it has absolutely no practical value to anyone.
If that's what floats their collective boats, fine by me.


RE: Digging their own grave
By UNHchabo on 1/26/2009 7:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised this hasn't come up yet -- how many companies still make minivans? Honda, that I can think of. And I haven't seen a sedan ever, or a wagon in about 10-15 years, that has more than 5 seats. The Volvo XC90 is arguably the best family car made in the world.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 8:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
I hate cars like that, especially when you have children trying to get in and out of the back seats. When they get older and bigger, forget about it. Also, very little cargo space - just a tiny "trunk" area. Give me a minivan over an XC90 any day.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Lord 666 on 1/26/2009 9:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
Are you serious? Ever heard of the Dodge Caravan? What about Toyota Sienna? Even VW rebadges the Caravan into the Routan. You can get a R320 as well with seating for 7 and with the excellent diesel option and AWD. There are also wagons that meet your requirement. 2002 Volvo XC70 has rear jump seats as an option.

The XC90 is a great truck, I'm looking for used V8 or 3.2 that has the color/options I want (Black/Black, Nav, DVD, 7 passenger, 2006 or newer.) Since the gas spike in the summer, you can get a used 2005 V8 for about 17,000 in warranty. Brand new that truck was 50,000. Would prefer the diesel motor in the XC90 (its sold in PR), but not going to hold my breath waiting for them to come. Possibly going to pick up a R320 CDI 4matic.


RE: Digging their own grave
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 10:59:48 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The standards they want will pretty much not allow any trucks and SUVs to be sold.


I'm guessing that truck and SUV sales are going to skyrocket in Nevada after California effectively bans their sale.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 12:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm guessing that truck and SUV sales are going to skyrocket in Nevada after California effectively bans their sale.
I don't know what the automakers have in mind for trucks/SUV's to meet this standard. My guess is they already have accounted for it considering this was supposed to be the federal standard. I think that California (other states) cars and trucks will be more expensive if the automakers decide to go back to separate lines like back in the 70's and 80's. I won't pay more a California car and since the smog impact fee was deemed unconstitutional a few years ago, I'll go out of state and buy a car and bring it back in. Emissions standards will still be the same and that's what you'll need to worry about when bring in a car from out of state.

In truth, I'm moving anyways in a couple of years and I'll just put off buying a car until I'm gone. I am in the market for a used diesel 3/4 ton. I guess I better get a move on before the prices go up on those.


RE: Digging their own grave
By log on 1/26/2009 12:05:28 PM , Rating: 1
The regulations don't apply to vehicle size, just their fuel efficiency!


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 12:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The regulations don't apply to vehicle size, just their fuel efficiency!
Too bad the laws of physics very strongly correlate the two. Therefore to regulate MPG is effectively to regulate the vehicle size. Regulating MPG just sounds better than the government saying that they want people to drive smaller cars, that's all.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 1:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's currently true that smaller vehicles get better mileage then larger vehicles, but that doesn't have to be the case. The key to the correlation is weight and the size of the power train to move that weight. If you concentrated on weight reductions their is no reason you can't get a vehicle the size of a honda accord to weigh what a current honda civic weighs. At that point you could use the same power train as the honda civic and get the same mileage as a honda civic. I think the key is weight reduction through the heavy use of aluminum and composites, basically take a cue from the aerospace industry. One more concept would really help, we need to get americans to be less power hungry. My mom drives the 4cylinder honda accord which has plenty of power and gets good mileage for the weight of the car, but most people think they need the V6.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 1:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
1) Don't neglect coefficient of drag. An Accord that has the same weight as a Civic is still going to displace more air than a Civic and therefor get inferior highway mileage.

2) With less cost for weight reduction (less aluminum and carbon fiber would be needed) the Civic could be made even lighter than it is now meaning comparing a Civic made with conventional materials with an Accord made of more exotic materials isn't terribly relevant.

You are absolutely right about the power hungry bit though. The Honda Fit's 109hp is plenty for a commuter vehicle of its size. If fuel costs become more significant it wouldn't surprise me to see performance cars purchased purely as secondary vehicles more frequently with less powerful vehicles driven for commutes.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 1:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with everything you say. But some people really do need larger vehicles, putting five people in a honda civic and driving for hours doesn't sound all that pleasant. It would be nice to see them really up the mileage of the family sedan. Also it would be nice to bring back the station wagon version of the family sedan that it seems to me has about the same room as your average SUV.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 2:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I'm just a little biased about larger cars as I don't feel any more comfortable in an Accord than I do a Civic (I have friends and relatives with both), but I'm skinny.

I'm also a big fan of wagons but 90% of the people I talk to about wagons turn up their nose at the idea and say they don't like the way they look. As far as I can tell there is still some massive stigma attached to wagons that I can only blame the big 3 for for making wood paneled wagons back in the 70s, and the concept of a "sport wagon" is almost completely alien here in the Midwest to most people. The big 3 ruined America's perception of the diesel (I'm looking at YOU GM 5.7L Diesel!) and they ruined America's perception of the wagon.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 2:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and they ruined America's perception of the wagon
No, the minivan killed the wagon, at least in the US. Everyone who used to buy station wagons, e.g., families with kids, all buy minivans now.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 4:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With less cost for weight reduction
Since when? Weight reduction costs FAR more than adding power. Especially when current and future safety standards must be met. And no one's going to give up their safety for less weight. So exotic materials must be used and vehicle expense will go up (in addition to the expense of meeting mpg standards). I hope you guys can afford this stuff. I can.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/26/2009 4:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
You may want to reread my post. "less cost for weight reduction" referred to how the equivalent weight reduction materials would be cheaper to do to a Civic than they would to an Accord, basically that if you are going to compare the two then you should compare them with all else being equal. Comparing a traditional Civic to an all aluminum/carbon fiber Accord is pretty meaningless even ignoring the massive price difference.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 5:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
how the equivalent weight reduction materials would be cheaper to do to a Civic than they would to an Accord
Yep, I read that wrong. Thanks for the correction.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 4:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hope you guys can afford this stuff. I can.
No you can't. :o)

Use of exotic materials to reduce the weight of the car will not just bump up the price by a small percentage, it would cause its price to multiply 2X, 3X, 4X. Don't think about fictional inventions like the fools in Washington do, think about what we already have today, like what we use to make race cars and what that costs.

Because after all, it's not enough to make the car light. It also has to be strong, non-flammable, non-toxic, cheap to produce, easy to work with, made with minimal environmental impact, and easy to recycle. Those are a lot of constraints that have to be met!


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 6:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Those are a lot of constraints that have to be met!
True indeed but I'm thinking there will "some" cost savings with economies of scale. It wouldn't cost GM as much as it would a race car builder or even Ferrari to do this. Look at Audi with their significant use of aluminum. They charge a premium for those cars but it's not ridiculous. Cut out the luxury items for the more pedestrian cars and you still have a pricey car but not a F430 by any means.

Of course, the price would still alienate a good chunk of the market.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Jeffk464 on 1/27/2009 11:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think aluminum is considered exotic. I was reading an article about the aluminum Jag, and they were saying that the switch to aluminum would be expensive, but once established it wouldn't really cost more then steel.


RE: Digging their own grave
By lagomorpha on 1/27/2009 12:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention if they really wanted to make exotic materials cost effective they could offset the cost by increasing the lifespan of the cars. Designing them to be able to be repaired easily after most accidents and using wet sleeved engines that can be rebuilt on an assembly line like International's truck engines could make cars typically last decades. Of course it would eat into sales figures substantially... see "Ring Around the Sun" by Clifford D. Simak.


RE: Digging their own grave
By AntiM on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Digging their own grave
By walk2k on 1/26/2009 2:02:57 PM , Rating: 1
The gov't regulates plenty of things in the name of public health and safety. The auto industry is probably one of the most heavily regulated, in case you didn't know.

I don't see the problem with enforcing slightly stricter CAFE standards, a few years earlier than orginally planned.

What some people don't understand about this (and what the neo-cons don't want you to know) is that automakers will not stop making pickup trucks AND they CAN continue to make SUVs if they want. They CAN make SUVs with better fuel economy, they will just cost a lot more. That $30,000 Explorer might cost $45,000 and the $70,000 Escalade might cost $90,000. In essence the government has been "subsidizing" SUV prices by not enforcing fuel economy (and safety) standards on them as tight as other passenger vehicles (they were exempted as "utility" vehicles). SO if people still want to buy SUVs they can, they will just have to pay much higher prices.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 2:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They CAN make SUVs with better fuel economy, they will just cost a lot more. That $30,000 Explorer might cost $45,000 and the $70,000 Escalade might cost $90,000.
Yes, that would be by using the magic technology that many people believe exists, including most politicians. Automakers can just "spend more money" and make radical gains in fuel efficiency. Uh-huh.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 4:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't see the problem with enforcing slightly stricter CAFE standards, a few years earlier than orginally planned.
They can, it will just cost YOU more money to buy these vehicles. You and I won't get this for free or even cheap. You gotta pay to play. Is your wallet ready? Or are you gonna be a hypocrite and buy a used car instead?


RE: Digging their own grave
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 4:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
CAFE: Corporate Average Fuel Economy

What will happen is the auto manufacturers will jack up the prices on the SUV's not because they will require newer expensive technology but because they will need to slow their sales, the average MPG achived per vehicle must be 35 so if you sell one 15MPG truck you will need to sell 4 cars that get 40MPG so that the average MPG of the vehicles sold is 35.

Not having these requirement is not a subsidy, its allowing the market to function. Adding CAFE standards is a back door method of artificially increasing prices.


RE: Digging their own grave
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 4:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Liberal politicians will tell you that higher CAFE will lead to higher R&D leading to higher MPG. And that might be true in the long term, but in the short term, it just means that more Americans will not be able to afford the larger cars that they want to buy.


RE: Digging their own grave
By corduroygt on 1/27/2009 2:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
Since the "hip" californians want to reduce CO2 emissions, which is totally unnecessary by the way, they can tax their gas to $10/gallon so they can trule live like the europeans they like to pretend to. This way both the budget deficit goes away (or significantly reduced) and they get less CO2.

I love America (I emigrated from Europe) because it's not Europe. The American lifestyle of having big cars and houses is much better than living in a box and driving a 3 cylinder turbodiesel compact car, I know because that's what I had there. This is why the world envies us. I've been driving a Pontiac GTO for the last 35k miles, and this would have been impossible in my home country, with the taxes and fuel bills I wouldn't be able to afford. My next car will be a SUV and fuel economy isn't my concern, I emit much less CO2 than many people who have hybrids because I live 4 miles away from work, not because I care about how much CO2 I produce, but because I care about not spending my life commuting and secondarily my gas bill.


RE: Digging their own grave
By walk2k on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Digging their own grave
By DeepBlue1975 on 1/27/2009 6:38:37 AM , Rating: 1
Not every family forcibly wants a truck / SUV. Besides, as every fashion, some day in the future I'm sure most of the people will be rejecting SUVs because they think they're incredibly ugly :D

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that you're talking about current vehicles. How could we know that in the next 7 years auto makers won't come up with better, more efficient engines that actually can use more than 30% of the consumed fuel to move the vehicle?

ICE engines are just dinosaurs. I can't believe we've been using the same tech for more than a 100 years, it's depressing :(

I don't care about the global warming, but I hate lazy industries, and the auto makers, when it comes to research of really new technologies, are usually very lazy.

This new laws will be like a kick in the butt to their lazy asses, forcing them to invest more in R&D and come up with solutions.

R&D is what really moves the world forward... And speaking of cars, I think moving on is a long overdue pending assignment.


RE: Digging their own grave
By Spuke on 1/27/2009 1:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This new laws will be like a kick in the butt to their lazy asses, forcing them to invest more in R&D and come up with solutions.
No it won't. It'll just limit what cars can be sold in states like CA. You can see what exactly will happen by looking at diesel cars in CA. There's an effective ban on them. Certain cars will not be sold here just like diesel cars until just this model year. People like me will simply drive to the next state, buy a car and drive it back. CA dealers will shrink or leave the state to recapture that lost business and the CA lawmakers will continue to wonder why tax revenues are dropping and why people and businesses are leaving.

Californians are ALREADY leaving by the 10's of thousands. Businesses are already leaving. Why give us yet another reason to leave? For the first time in history, CA could lose a Congressional seat because of the population loss. We'll see after the 2010 Census.


Stupid
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Stupid
By TomZ on 1/26/2009 11:01:56 AM , Rating: 1
Damn right - because after all, the consumer is far too stupid to decide on their own what kind of car to buy.

From the standpoint of the liberals who are now running this country - the market has failed to come to the "correct solution." So through greater regulation, the correct solution shall be imposed upon us all.

I mean, after all - who is going to oppose greater fuel efficiency, especially if it can be had for free as we are led to believe?


RE: Stupid
By Jeffk464 on 1/26/2009 1:25:33 PM , Rating: 1
I agree the consumer is far to stupid. You had all of these soccer mom's buying giant SUV's capable of towing 10,000 lbs to move their 50 lbs kids around. Obviously they don't know how too choose.


RE: Stupid
By rudolphna on 1/26/2009 1:54:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they LIKE having space. Maybe they LIKE being able to tow, or pack 3 kids and 2 dogs in a car. Thats why we bought our expedition. 3 Kids, 2 dogs, Luggage for 5 people, and towing a jeep/camper/boat. Show me a small car that can do that. Hell, show me a mini van that can happily do that.


RE: Stupid
By Spuke on 1/26/2009 6:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree the consumer is far to stupid.
Yes because choice is definitely idiotic.


RE: Stupid
By itlnstln on 1/26/2009 11:12:13 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
because of a bunch of liberal politicans trying to control the auto industry


Funny, when there are plenty of Republicans pushing for this, too. Decisions moving to the state-level tends to be a conservative preference.

You could vote, too. Not saying you didn't, but this is a democratic country, and it's not like the liberals took over by military coup or something.


RE: Stupid
By MrBungle123 on 1/26/2009 11:21:13 AM , Rating: 5
Republican != Conservative

They are just typically less liberal than the Democrats.


RE: Stupid
By Screwballl on 1/26/2009 11:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
Correct, this was something that Republicans pushed for moving to the state level so states can author their own standards. Better in the hands of the states to decide, usually by what the voters want, instead of federal mandates and legislation that force us to accept what they think is "for the greater good" which is almost never good.

Too bad this liberal leadership cannot learn from previous mistakes and leave other major issues (like abortion and gay marriage) up to the states and not force the public to accept their liberal "social standards".


RE: Stupid
By Sandok on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Stupid
By Tyndel on 1/26/2009 2:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
While it has the final say the fed government was supposed to primarily protect us militarily, our freedoms individually, communicate with foreign powers, and police the states(including a court the states have to answer too).

State government was supposed to be what affected most a persons daily life and every person has a right to leave a state who's laws they don't agree with and go to another state without fear of extradition so long as they haven't broken any laws.

While its very hard to add new amendments to the constitution the 'interpretation' and the ability to execute has allowed to the fed government to blossom over the last 200 years to the size it is now. :P