What the New CAFE Standards Really Mean

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smart car

Yesterday, the Obama administration upped the corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards for the U.S. automobile fleet from 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) to 35.5 mpg by 2016. According to the government, the new standards will add about $1,000 to the price of new automobiles, but drivers will be able to recoup the cost through buying less gasoline over the life of the vehicles. Maybe. But this convoluted effort to reduce American consumption of gasoline actually functions as a kind of inefficient stealth tax on driving. It's inefficient because drivers pay more, car companies make less money, and state and federal governments don't get any extra revenues.

In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report on CAFE standards which correctly observed:

There is a marked inconsistency between pressing automotive manufacturers for improved fuel economy from new vehicles on the one hand and insisting on low real gasoline prices on the other. Higher real prices for gasoline—through increased gasoline taxes—would create both the demand for fuel efficient new vehicles and an incentive for owners of existing vehicles to drive them less."

In other words, taxing gasoline would achieve the Obama administration's stated goals of reducing imports of foreign oil and cutting greenhouse gas emissions much more efficiently than labyrinthine CAFE standards—since taxes would apply to all vehicles, not just new ones.

Utlimately, there is no getting around the fact that setting higher CAFE standards is just a way for cowardly politicians to avoid telling their fellow citizens that they should pay more for the privilege of driving.

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219 responses to “What the New CAFE Standards Really Mean

  1. Why should I pay more for the privilege of driving?

    1. …because driving gives you freedom.

    2. You shouldn’t – just make sure you are only driving on private property using gasoline not secured by the US military, and that your pollution stays in the air that you own…

      1. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD AND WHOLESOME SHUT THE FUCKING GODDAM HELL UP YOU SHIT EATING TROLL. GO BACK TO YOU FUCKING BLOG IF YOU WANT TO WASTE TIME. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

        EOM

        1. This might be a good time for everyone to take a “Free minds, indeed” drink.

          1. Shit Facktory.

            1. Feed me!

          2. Fine, same goes for you. Don’t buy any food (or other products) purchased on the (semi) free market, or use any other good or service that is voluntarily provided.

            1. But I’m not against the free market.

                1. Bullshit.

                  Stupid threading, that was in reply to Scotch, not Penguin.

          3. Freedom of speech includes the right to suggest clueless people STFU (though not the right to compel that desirable outcome).

      2. The same road you ride your fooking bicycle on? That road? You fooking freeloader.

        1. And another thing, stop breathing my air…

        2. The good roads movement makes me want to run down a fucking cyclist. I’m sure Hamiltonian dipshit realizes that subsidized roads are directly responsible for the other things he seems to be concerned about.

        3. Yeah, the bicycle riders are the real deadbeats. They aren’t even paying fuel taxes to pay for the roads.

          1. Your using our air for your tires aren’t you? You filthy two wheeler!

            (sarcasm)

      3. Gee, I’m trying to recall the last time the US military invaded Canada or Venezuela to “secure gasoline”.

        The slogan says “Free Minds…” not “Simple Minds…”

        1. Free Dumb of Speech.

        2. Don’t you forget about him

          1. Neil, LOL.

      4. If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

      5. Scotch Hamilton|4.2.10 @ 12:12PM|#
        “You shouldn’t – just make sure you are only driving on private property using gasoline not secured by the US military, and that your pollution stays in the air that you own…”

        And I presume this is so because you said so?
        Majored in Self-Righteous Twit, did you?

        1. Pope Gore really sunk his claws into ol’ Scotchy, didn’t he?

          1. Al Gore,or “Pope Gore” as you call him,is nothing more than an “Eco-Hypocrite”,and a big “Phony”!!The recent scandal that he brought on himself has reduced his credibility considerably!!So now is the time to get that “Stinkin’ CAFE” figure reduced from 36MPG,to 30 or 31MPG in 2016!! There are going to be a lot of “Democraps”,losing their jobs in the next two years,so now is the time to get some reasonability and sanity to these CAFE figures!!This is because the same polititians who are trying to “Cram A Prius Down People’s Throats”,are the same people who have stalled or “Stonewalled”,getting E85 and other “Alternate Fuel” pumps, in our communities!! What needs to be done is that the “Eco-Nuts” are going to have to compromise a little,in exchange for lowering CAFE milage figures,push “Alternate Fuels” more,because the production of “Alternate Fuels”,creates good paying American jobs!!This will still give the consumer his or her choice in the marketplace, and help the auto industry to recover and save jobs!! Creating jobs is something “Eco-Nuts”,don’t give a damn about,and polititians shouldn’t pander to groups like the “Sierra Club”!!

      6. Don’t feed them.

  2. There is a marked inconsistency between pressing automotive manufacturers for improved fuel economy from new vehicles on the one hand and insisting on low real gasoline prices on the other.

    No kidding.

  3. It’s inefficient because drivers pay more, car companies make less money, and state and federal governments don’t get any extra revenues.

    So, basically, the feds are becoming less subtle — they’re not even trying to pretend there’s a veneer of fiscal responsibility to this, just nakedly using taxation to control behaviors. Fuck.

    1. Try to look on the bright side X. The more brazen they are, perhaps the more people will see what they’re actually doing and help put an end to it.

      1. You know, you might be ri…oh look, Idol’s on.

        1. Where’s my fucking pony?!

          1. We put it down, carbon emissions were off the chart.

            1. Intestinal problems?

          2. See that big pile of shit? Your fucking free pony must be there, so go dig it out of the pile, mmm-kay?

  4. And what will happen if GM and Chrysler don’t hit the new CAFE standards? Will the government shut them down?

    1. “…unforeseen manufacturing costs…”

      “…unexpected demand…”

      “…HOOKERZ!…”

      Some type of excuse as to why those two companies would be given more time or leeway whereas Toyota, Honda, Ford, and the like would have the spurs put to them.

      1. Phew! Worried for a sec…

  5. VOLTS for everyone!

    (Except me; I’ll give up my Porsche when the pry the keys from my cold, dead fingers.)

    1. Porsche

      1. Hmmm, you don’t say?

        1. He really loves that Porsche;-)

          1. Damn can he work that stick shift!

            1. stick shit…I mean shift

              1. stick shift, at least you get to be the pitcher. He makes me play catch.

    2. I’m on record (here and elsewhere) predicting the Chevy Volt will be a complete business failure.

      Anyone wish to differ?

      1. Not I.

      2. I’ll take that bet. (And you’re gonna regret cause I’m the best that’s ever been…)

        The first gen Volt will be a mild success. After that it will die a slow and painful death.

        This is providing that Tesla or some other company doesn’t get a genuinely well made and accessible electric vehicle up and running in the time frame.

        Really I’m just offering an opposing view to be “edgy”.

        1. I’m betting the Nissan Leaf crushes the Volt.

      3. Define “complete”. They will likely produce some cars, at a huge loss apiece, thereby placating liberals in Congress and getting taxpayer funds. And maybe a credit from the CAFE standards by counting the high mileage, thereby allowing them to crank out more low-mileage but profitable cars.

        If you count the stolen money, they might even turn a “profit” on each car, if they have the common sense to not produce many of them.

        1. Just curious but since an all electric car gets infinite miles to the gallon, doesn’t simply producing one electric car allow you to meet the CAFE standards?

          1. Because it’s the total gallons of gas consumed versus the total miles driven:

            1 gas-guzzler at 10 MPG plus 1 VOLT at infinite miles per gallon, driven at 10,000 miles per year apiece, results in 1,000 gallons of gas consumed in 20,000 miles of annual driving, for a “fleet” average of 20 MPG.

            Thus, 1 MPG improvement on a gas guzzler counts for way more for CAFE averages than a 1 MPG improvement on an econobox pushing 40 MPG.

            1. “The Chevy Volt is scheduled for release in late 2010 and is rated at 230 mpg. You can drive a Volt 40 miles using just lithium-ion batteries, then begin to use gasoline beyond 40 miles. The overall mpg rating is calculated by making assumptions about how many miles the average person drives on each trip.”

              http://www.zimbio.com/Chevy+Volt+2010

              40 miles on a charge? I thought this was suppose to be an electric car, not a hybrid.

              1. What happens to your electric bill? And won’t all these electric cars cause more pollution from the coal fired powerplants? I’ll stick to my Toyota Corolla, thank you.

        2. Surprisingly enough, I’ve factored all of that into the equation.

          Chevy Volt = Business FAIL.

  6. “Higher real prices for gasoline?through increased gasoline taxes?would create both the demand for fuel efficient new vehicles and an incentive for owners of existing vehicles to drive them less.”

    Well, more fuel efficient cars would undermine the latter; efficiency does not lead to decreased used of something – see Jevon’s Paradox.

  7. And what will happen if GM and Chrysler don’t hit the new CAFE standards? Will the government shut them down?
    No, they’ll just create some fake hysteria about sudden-acceleration in Toyotas and make them testify in front
    of Congress…or did they do that already?

    1. YOU are the reason people think libertarians are cynics…

      1. Many of us are proudly cynics, thank-you very much.

      2. Describing the most likely scenario, said scenario not including rainbow-farting free ponies — is that cynicism or realism?

    2. Everything old is new again!

  8. The purpose of gas taxes is (supposed to be) to pay for the roads and other infrastructure costs which cars require. If you consider car pollution to be a significant externality, you can make the case for a modest additional tax to fund clean-up efforts (provided that’s what the money is actually used for.)

    How much gasoline (foreign or otherwise) costs ought to be determined by the market.

    1. Who pays for bike paths?

      1. Ed Begley? – by generating electricity on a bike generator at peak demand times? Of course, thats only 0.0014 or so cents an hour of revenue, so undoubtedly why we have so few bikepaths.

    2. If you consider car pollution to be a significant externality

      COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
      COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE

      Hadnt had the chance to do that in a while.

    3. Liberals consider CO2 to be a pollution, so that “if” is a big “if”.

      1. We’re all polluters now, every single second of every day, just for breathing. It’s the best thing going since original sin.

        1. We don’t pollute every second…we need time to inhale too.

          1. He farts when he inhales.

  9. that hotlink is taking its time loading

    1. What’s the O/U on how long until it is replaced by goatse or tubgirl?

  10. Agreed CAFE standards are an EXTREMELY ineffient way to do this. Much better to do a net zero gas tax.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/…..9rsrgi.asp

    1. The government? Inefficient? Say it ain’t so!

  11. The more brazen they are, the more people will see what they’re actually doing and help.

    FTFY

  12. How about a law that says every vehicle in the federal fleet, except the presidential limo and emergency vehicles, but including all vehicles owned or driven by members of Congress, must meet or exceed CAFE standards?

    1. Including the presidential limo.

  13. Yesterday, the Obama administration upped the corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards for the U.S. automobile fleet from 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

    This is just another example of congressional cowardice ceding authority to the executive because they lack the stones to go on record addressing controversial issues.

    This (ceding constitutionally authorized legislative authority to the executive branch) is a serious issue that very few want to address.

    Left or right, you should be concerned about this trend.

    1. So, you would rather live in America now than under an enlightened libertarian-minded monarchy?

      Interesting. See, in my world (and I thought yours too), what is right is right, regardless of the sometimes painful ways that right outcome is achieved.

      1. Reading comprehension fail. J sub talked about ceding constitutional authority. In a true (non-constitutional) monarchy, where the king or queen is the law, how they wield their power whether libertarian or socialist or whatever, cannot be ceded by the people or representatives to them because they already have it by definition.

        1. Hi Nick.

      2. Reading comprehension problems? I was quite clearly bemoaning the concentration of what should be legislative power in the executive branch.

    2. It’s not “ceding” authority, because they have no fucking constitutional power to do CAFE in the first place. It’s “giving” unauthorized authority.

      /nitpicking

      1. [big picture] The U.S. clearly gives the legislative branch the power to regulate interstate commerce. Since, as SCOTUS has determned, vehicles are involved in interstate commerce, CAFE standards are a legislative concern. Like all of the authority that was ceded to the executive in the wake of 9/11, this is clearly an an example of congress abrogating its responsibility.

        It ain’t a left or right or even a libertarian thingee, it is a constitution thingee.
        [/bigpicture]

    3. This isn’t a trend. It’s been going on since the 30s.

  14. Meanwhile, Bob Lutz (this asshole still has a job?!) just announced that the Volt won’t make any money. I’m not shitting you.

    1. You’ve GOT to be shitting me.

      1. Finally found the link:
        http://www.cnn.com/video/#/vid…..cnn?hpt=T2

        1. Don’t worry, they’ll make it up in volume.

          1. Classic!

          2. Not at $40,000 per vehicle they won’t!!! 😉

        2. So what is the “formula” for the MPG output of the trip taken in the Volt at the end of the video? (963 MPG, I believe.) Does it use gasoline, then?

        3. Also, a $40,000 price tag? Wow.

  15. “and state and federal governments don’t get any extra revenues”

    How is this an inefficiency?

    1. If the choices are between a regulation that imposes $X of cost on the economy and produces no government revenue, and a tax that imposes $X of cost on the economy and produces ~$X of government revenue, the former is clearly inefficient.

  16. I can afford an extra grand on a new car. The poor? Who cares. Fuck the poor. Half of them don’t have soles souls anyway. Let em walk.

    I don’t know why the rest of you find it so difficult to jump on this Obama bandwagon. It’s a hoot if you ask me.

    1. Agreed.

      My next car is still going to be a 400HP German hot rod. Sorry to the rest of you who’ll be priced out and into yugos, but them’s the breaks.

    2. caught your sarcasm here, but I had a very similar conversation with a left coast liberal 6+ years ago when electric hybrids first came out & he bought one. He honestly thought the gas tax should double the price of a gallon of gas b/c cars are so harmful to the environment, etc. When I asked him about the poor who wouldn’t be able to afford it he gave me the Zorak blank look and blink. Seriously, this guy is super bright and it just never even occurred to him that poor people would be adversely impacted by a large gas tax!

    3. I deal with the “Poor” when I have to ride the bus,when my lady has the car for the day!! It is the “Gross Polutting Klunkers”that the poor drive,that do about 80% to 90% of the polluting in the state of California.That is because this economic group has to choose between feeding their “Welfare Rats”,or properly maintaining their vehicles!!These are people who need to be offered low cost public transportation,as to keep their “Gross Polluting Klunkers” off the roads!! A lot of those people also have issues with drugs and/or alcohol,so putting them in public transportation,keeps at least some drunk drivers off the road,as they are a hazard to themselves,and to others!!

  17. “”CAFE standards is just a way for cowardly politicians to avoid telling their fellow citizens that they should pay more for the privilege of driving.””

    I see cowardly polliticians trying to get NYers to pay more for the privilege of driving, and it doesn’t look like cafe standards. Pay per mile, toll all the bridges, assorted fees, ect.

    1. Upstate New Yorkers pay more every time they do this. We get robbed to pay for downstate services where fewer people, far fewer per capita, own vehicles or if they do they barely drive them.

  18. “According to the government, the new standards will add about $1,000 to the price of new automobiles, but drivers will be able to recoup the cost through buying less gasoline over the life of the vehicles.”

    I think peak demand should be a bigger story than it is.

    Gasoline usage peaked in 2007, and chances are we’ll never see that level of demand for gasoline again. And I think that has less to do with efficiency standards than most people think.

    In California, the utilities have already installed millions of smart meters. …say what you will about electric cars now, but the utilities will be able to compete directly with gasoline in the future. In fact, KB Home will now pre-wire your new home for a charging station…

    http://investor.kbhome.com/rel…..eID=450393

    There’s a bit of a flight to downtown again. The Bedroom Community isn’t necessarily where people want to live anymore. Now, maybe when these Gen Y and Z kids start having families of their own, that may change, but for the time being, people are moving closer to town just about everywhere.

    Another change is social stigma. I think a lot of people who might have bought big gas guzzlers in the past don’t anymore for the same reason they don’t point at handicapped people–because it’s become socially unacceptable. Yes, there are a few insensitive dolts who want to drive those monsters specifically because it’s socially unacceptable, but there weren’t enough to keep Hummer in business.

    So, I see a lot of signs that the decline in gasoline consumption is here to stay. It seems to be an under reported phenomenon, but the fact is that gasoline consumption peaked in 2007, and a lot of people don’t think we’ll ever see that level of consumption again.

    So why force people to do what they’re already doing?

    1. Let me be clear: because we can.

    2. California … utilities will be able to compete directly with gasoline in the future
      Arguments against
      1) Rolling Blackouts
      2) Tiered pricing based on usage. We had our electricity provider mess up on a bill an despite the usage only doubling the bill was $800+

      1. I’m not sure I understand why that means electric utilities will not be able to compete with gasoline in the future.

        The thing that makes smart meters smart (among other things) is that they charge at a much lower rate during off peak hours–the idea being that you can charge your plug-in the middle of the night for much less than you’d have to pay for the equivalent in gas.

        Why what you’ve said means that utilities won’t be able to compete for the car energy market in the future is beyond me, quite frankly.

        Gasoline hasn’t had much competition in the past. In the future, that won’t be the case. …so gasoline probably won’t be in demand the same way.

        Where’s the beef?

        1. I’m not sure I understand why that means electric utilities will not be able to compete with gasoline in the future.

          None of this discussion has anything to do with the competivenss of electric vehiles in the future. If they can supplant petroleun powered vehicles in a (relatively) free market, more power to them.

          1. “None of this discussion has anything to do with the competivenss of electric vehiles in the future.”

            Uh, well my part of the discussion did.

            Fact is that utilities around the country have already invested billions of dollars and installed millions of smart meters, and they can go after powering the car market now.

            I’m not talking about something that might happen in the future if the government or utilities do something–I’m talking about what’s likely to happen because of what the utilities have already done.

        2. Has anyone who has a smart meter installed see a decrease in their bill?

          The problem with smart meters is it allows the government to get a minute by minute look at how you use electricity. One day you may be regulated as to how much power you can use during certain times and fined for non-compliance.

          Sadly, with government, we need to avoid letting them put their foot in the door if we don’t want them coming in. If the choice is great technology with greater government intrusion, or less tech. I’ll take less tech.

          1. I’m actually a big supporter of the idea of taxing everybody for externalities like that. IF AND ONLY IF we use it to replace some of the dumber taxes like taxes on income and capital gains.

            …but if we’re starting from scratch? If anything should be taxed, it’s externalities.

            And I think you might actually be able to split the left and get rid of things like the income tax if you tied it to something enviornmental.

            And from a privacy standpoint, I’d rather they were poking around in my electricity usage than paying close attention to how much money I make.

  19. “I think a lot of people who might have bought big gas guzzlers in the past don’t anymore for the same reason they don’t point at handicapped people–because it’s become socially unacceptable.”

    “Socially unacceptable”?

    Maybe in lefty enclaves around the country.

    Elsewhere I don’t think so.

    1. Awaiting delivery of my new F250 pickup and a Mustang convertible (V8, of course). To replace my Expedition and a Fusion.

      If others don’t like that, well, they can suck start my Harley.

      1. “Yes, there are a few insensitive dolts who want to drive those monsters specifically because it’s socially unacceptable, but there weren’t enough to keep Hummer in business.”

        Someone in another thread was criticizing me for being wordy, but it’s all there for a reason, you know?

      2. I love my Fusion, but the new Mustangs look pretty damn sweet. All the reviews about them are off the charts. Glad to see the Pony back on top.

        300hp + 30mpg = your CAFE argument is invalid.

        1. You can’t both use the 300hp and get the 30 mpg. If you enjoy all that power, your mileage will suck. The 30mpg is based on driving at a steady speed on the highway at the posted speed limit, for which a tiny 4 cylinder engine would suffice.

          But, Ford did a nice job of engineering a compromise between two diametrically opposed goals.

          1. My gut feeling (I’m an automotive business junkie and it all comes down to product) is that Ford will continue to gain market share and post greater profits.

            Governent Motors and the Toyota behemouth be damned, the century old family run business is gonna make some noise.

      3. And you can suck anything you have a mind to. You should absolutely have the right to drive whatever you want to, but that doesn’t mean you are not an insensitive dolt for doing so. Maybe you have a need for a large pickup, in which case I take it back halfway. Waste is bad.

      4. If I saw you on your Harley, I’d just have to suck your cock.

      5. Bitchin’. Did you get that 412hp monster power plant?

    2. No seriously.

      If you’re driving around in Hummer?

      Women are making fun of you.

      In Orange County. In Chicago.

      Promise.

      And if when you’re talking about “liberal enclaves” you’re talking about New York, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Orange County and other MSAs where most of the car buyers live?

      Then you’re talking about a trend that’s effecting where most car buyers live.

      1. Hummer went belly up because it was part of the GM that was going down the drain and because of the big spike in gas prices – not because there was any “socially unacceptable” stigma about it.

        There are still plenty of gas guzzling vehicles being built – big pickup trucks, etc.

        1. Big pickups are useful. Unless you need to drive 10 people around on class 6 roads, Hummers are not.

        2. “Hummer went belly up because it was part of the GM that was going down the drain and because of the big spike in gas prices – not because there was any “socially unacceptable” stigma about it.”

          Hummers were bought as a fashion statement, especially around 9/11 when rich stupid people thought they were going to flee the big anthrax attack…

          Let’s look at it from the other side.

          Would you argue that there’s no cache to driving a hybrid? That people just bought them to save money on gas?

          1. “Would you argue that there’s no cache to driving a hybrid?”

            Only to liberals.

            But they aren’t normal people.

          2. Actually, I bought a hybrid, and then a second one, because I thought the technology was neat and wanted to see it succeed.

            and really, the was I drive, I don’t save much on gas anyway.

            Not that I disagree with your point.

          3. It takes a looong time to offset the additional price of the hybrid versus fuel savings.

      2. Liberal women are making fun of you. Even in liberal enclaves there are women who delight in someone who goes out of their way to be politically incorrect.

        Many ways to get pussy.

        1. Or, you don’t get laid by appealing to women on average. You get laid by appealing to specific women.

          Or men (NTTAWWT).

          1. Hey, I’m not saying you should conform to societal norms, pick your nose in public all you want to…

            Doesn’t mean there aren’t any societal norms or that people aren’t buying different cars, in part, because buying what they used to associates them with a social stigma.

            Some people really do like being thought of a stupid redneck, and if you’re one of those people–good for you!

            …doesn’t mean people don’t associate certain behaviors with being a dolt. They do.

            If you don’t like that, so what? All I’m saying is that’s the way it is, and that the way the trends are going, it’ll likely lead to less gasoline consumption anyway, so why change the standard?

            Somehow this is being turned around on the suggestion that there are societal norms? Am I supposed to think that there aren’t any social stigmas attached with buying certain kinds of cars? That’s almost too ridiculous to respond to.

            1. I agree. For some people, the more expensive your car is the more I think you’re a moron. The vast majority of cars are a poor investment and money spent better elsewhere.

        2. Pfft, as a libertarian woman I am making fun of you. There are plenty of rational thinkers in the world who think Hummers are ugly, wasteful, useless, etc. When I see them, I think “You must have a tiny penis, poor you, but hey! you’ve got a big ol’ vehicle!”

      3. There are more car buyers per family outside of cities…for a reason, ya know?

  20. taxing gasoline would achieve the Obama administration’s stated goals of reducing imports of foreign oil and cutting greenhouse gas emissions much more efficiently than labyrinthine CAFE standards

    Can I take what’s behind door number three, which is we choose neither of the first two options listed?

    I’m a little tired of this “we have to lower our import of foreign oil” bullshit too. We get most of our oil from Canada and Mexico, why is this so bad? We barely get anything from Saudi Arabia, and nothing from Iran. All those assholes who screamed “no blood for oil” about Iraq sure look pretty fooking schtoopid right now since Iraq is a democracy and we haven’t seen a drop of crude from Mosul in the US yet. There is nothing wrong with our current imports of foreign oil, so any argument about reducing our gasoline consumption should not include this as a reason.

    And as far as emissions go, we already have pretty high standards for what is expelled out of our tailpipe these days, so I’m not buying that we need to reduce our oil consumption to reduce pollution that much more substantially either. That low hanging fruit was picked through the clean air act quite successfully as most cities are light years cleaner emission-wise than 30 years ago.

    Basically, let’s NOT impose either higher CAFE standards OR increased gas taxes to solve a problem that isn’t exactly a clear cut issue to begin with.

    1. And the existence of a large supply from Iraq has no impact on world oil prices, right?

      1. Well, yeah of course it will. And your point is?

      2. What “large supply” would that be?

        I was under the impression Iraq was producing oil before we invaded… and that it was being sold at below market prices in the “Oil for Food” program.

  21. One might, as Tara said above, see that driving causes massive externalities, and (again, as with other market failures), libertarians are usually down with government correcting true market failures. Car drivers have to be forced to internalize the costs they inflict on society. Car drivers have been skimming surplus value for a long time.

    1. Yaaaaaaaaawn. You’re still here? I’d say [citation needed], but that would just encourage you.

      As noted above – you can suck start my Harley.

      1. Fascinating, you libertarians! This plan totally internalizes costs to the main beneficiaries of the externalities, all without increasing TEH EVUL GOVERNMENT’s revenue, and you still complain.

        I guess people should be able to pollute all they wish, without paying the costs associated? Is that the state of modern libertarianism?

        1. Can you not fucking read? I will repeat once for you:

          COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
          COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE

          1. How is Coase applicable to a problem where car owners and producers have no incentive to negotiate and the costs of pollution are extremely disbursed?

            I mean, who owns the air?

            1. How is it not applicable?

              Both have incentives to negotiate depending on who owns the air.

              Which is the right question to ask.

              1. Describe, in detail, how the government (and yes, it would be the government artificially creating ownership where none existed) should parcel out air-ownership rights to the point that one is able to efficiently monitor particulate matter that would fall inside one’s (air) property.

                Parceling out air ownership is one of the dumber things I have heard a libertarian say.

                1. Parceling out air ownership is one of the dumber things I have heard a libertarian say.

                  Can you point out where its been said?

                2. From David Friedman:

                  Part of what Coase showed was that, for some problems, there is no legal rule, no form of regulation, that will generate a fully efficient solution. He thus anticipated public choice economists, such as James Buchanan (another Nobel winner), in arguing that the real choice was not between an inefficient market and an efficient government solution but rather among a variety of inefficient alternatives, private and governmental. In Coase’s words: “All solutions have costs and there is no reason to suppose that government regulation is called for simply because the problem is not well handled by the market or the firm.”

                3. Dan T. |4.2.10 @ 1:36PM|#
                  Describe, in detail, how the government (and yes, it would be the government artificially creating ownership where none existed) should parcel out air-ownership rights to the point that one is able to efficiently monitor particulate matter that would fall inside one’s (air) property.

                  Describe, in detail, why anyone should.

        2. We already are taxed on gasoline to pay partly for emissions, not to mention federal smog emissions standards ($20 bucks a piece before you re-register each year in TN) and the air is cleaner in US cities today despite the fact that we drive more miles with more cars.

          You want to make the global warming argument be my guest (I will still disagree but that’s besides the point), but the pollution one is moot.

          MOOT I SAY!!!

        3. This plan totally internalizes costs to the main beneficiaries of the externalities, all without increasing TEH EVUL GOVERNMENT’s revenue, and you still complain.

          You keep using these words but don’t know what they mean.

          CAFE passes costs along to purchasers of new vehicles, which is inherently less fair than a gas tax. It has a host of other inefficiencies and unfair qualities, such as relatively penalizing those who don’t drive much and thus presumably aren’t subsidized so much, even if we grant your unproven assertion that the pollution externalities exceed the subsidy of transit and other modes of transportation that drivers already perform.

          Furthermore, CAFE is inherently inefficient. Why would I prefer a horribly inefficient regulation to a more efficient one, just because the regulation creates hidden costs and doesn’t increase government revenue?

        4. Dan T. |4.2.10 @ 1:23PM|#
          “Fascinating, you libertarians!”
          Fascinating, you troll!

          “This plan totally internalizes costs to the main beneficiaries of the externalities, all without increasing TEH EVUL GOVERNMENT’s revenue, and you still complain.”
          Supposed externalities not shown, so any claim of ‘cost distribution’ is so much bullshit.

          “I guess people should be able to pollute all they wish, without paying the costs associated? Is that the state of modern libertarianism?”
          Bastiat had your number long ago; care to balance the value of moving, say food, more cheaply against your unsupported claim of damages?
          Is this the state of modern troll-hood!?

    2. Car drivers have been skimming surplus value for a long time.

      I’d like to see a proof. Car drivers have, at the federal level, been subsidizing all sorts of other transit for a long time. See here for reference. Until the stimulus package and last year’s highway bill, of course. It’s possible that the externalities actually exceed that amount, but it takes more evidence.

      At the local level, it is different, as general property taxes are often used, but that’s not a federal issue.

      A moderate increase in the gas tax is probably needed right now, simply to pay for highways, since the tax isn’t indexed to inflation.

    3. There is no such thing as a market failure.

      1. Indeed not.

        Markets are not required to achieve any particular outcome.

        The market is simply a term used to describe the aggregate result of the billions of individual trades make people engaging in freedom of contract.

      2. All markets ineluctably fail.

    4. Car drivers have been subsidizing other passenger modes at the federal level for years. At least until the 2008 highway bill and the stimulus.

      You really have to provide evidence that your hand-waving eternalities exceed this enormous subsidy of transit by drivers, at least at the federal level.

      The state and especially local level is different, but that’s not a federal issue.

      I agree that a moderate increase in the gas tax is warranted, considering that it’s not indexed to inflation nor is ad valorem.

      1. At the local level, 60% of my local bus company income is funded via occupational taxes. Needless to say, they are getting hurt right now.

        I cant imagine that roads are being subsidized at anywhere near the same level. Im sure gas tax doesnt cover them entirely, but is covering more than 40%.

        1. Well, it varies tremendously from locale to locale, but in general local governments don’t use gas taxes or user fees hardly at all.

    5. Dan T. |4.2.10 @ 1:10PM|#
      “….Car drivers have to be forced to internalize the costs they inflict on society. Car drivers have been skimming surplus value for a long time.”
      Cite, please.

  22. Meanwhile, Bob Lutz (this asshole still has a job?!) just announced that the Volt won’t make any money.

    Nobody who isn’t completely retarded (Mister President, I’m looking at YOU) ever believed for a second the VOLT would make money.

    1. This is the best quote along those lines I’ve yet found:

      Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi’s US arm, says, “No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a Corolla. So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

  23. Just when things seemingly couldn’t get any worse, back comes Dan T. Fuck.

    1. Im not convinced its him yet.

      1. Because you’re losing the argument?

        1. No, because you havent made any standard DanTisms yet. You have yet to claim that a contractual structure (HOA) is a government.

          1. God, I remember that.

            1. It wasnt a one time thing. He consistently claimed that HoAs were government organizations.

              1. I wasted a very, very long afternoon on that topic.

                I learned my lesson. Dan T. is a griefer, there is not point in engaging him in a dialog.

  24. Obama is doing this because he hates cars. He wants everyone to live in big city highrises and either walk or take a train to work.

    “I’m not interested in the suburbs. Suburbs bore me”–Barack Obama

    Well, I like my house, and my yard, and my car, so fuck you, Obama.

    1. “Obama is doing this because he hates cars.”

      And yet he runs most of the American auto industry!

      Go figure.

      1. What better way of making sure it fails that for a nitwit like Obama to be calling the shots?

      2. You are both wrong. Like me, Obama just hates America. That’s why he said he wanted to “fundamentally reshape America” Weren’t you listening?

    2. Suburbs bore me too. Too crowded.

    3. Don’t worry,unless the GOP puts that “Palin Witch” on the ticket for 2012,”Obummer” is on his way out in 2012!!That is because the job market hasn’t gotten any brighter for a lot of Americans,and as I mentioned in a previous post,a lot of “Democraps”,are going to be out on their asses come election day!!

  25. Is there some sort of troll convergence happening? This isn’t good.

  26. I think it’s important to put yet another hardship on car manufacturers and consumers as we stumble through a recession.
    I think Obama is right on.
    I think I’ll have a bourbon and masturbate my orangutan while tossing Jane Goodall’s salad.
    I think plaid Leptoprin shanghais doinkin’ frog wallets.

    1. I think plaid Leptoprin shanghais doinkin’ frog wallets.

      This sentence is amazing.

  27. OT: Rep. Hank Johnson “Clarifies” Guam Remarks

    I wasn’t suggesting that the island of Guam would literally tip over,” said Johnson. “I was using a metaphor to say that with the addition of 8,000 Marines and their dependents ? an additional 80,000 people during peak construction to the port on the tiny island with a population of 180,000 ? could be a tipping point which would adversely affect the island’s fragile ecosystem and over burden its already overstressed infrastructure.

    Having traveled to Guam last year, I saw firsthand how this beautiful ? but vulnerable island ? is already overburdened, and I was simply voicing my concerns that the addition of that many people could tip the delicate balance and do harm to Guam.

    Beautiful.

    1. Your Majesty is like a stream of bat’s piss.

      1. I, um, I, ah, I merely meant, Your Majesty, that, ah, you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.

  28. The only bright spot in this is watching Obama fuck the UAW in the ass.

  29. Fastest way to increase fuel economy increase mpg, reduce emissions, etc is to eliminate ethanol from the gasoline

  30. Wait till my man hears about this.

    MOUNT DORA ? A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care “elsewhere.”

    “I’m not turning anybody away ? that would be unethical,” Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. “But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”

    The sign reads: “If you voted for Obama ? seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com…..full.story

    1. “If you voted for Obama ? seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”

      They’ll be joining the waiting list for my care soon enough. Take that you republican asshole.

  31. How many people will die in car crashes when their cars, made with significantly lower mass in order meet these standards, run into older, bigger cars and trucks, trees, walls, etc.? We have a Volvo SUV that gets absolutely crap mileage but it’s a freakin’ tank and protects our little ones as well as anything on the market. I sure as heck don’t want them having to ride around in a tinfoil econobox so some leftist environut/bureaucrat can feel better about himself.

    If we had a free market for energy production, there’s be plenty of oil and gas, at cheap prices, to fuel all the cars we actually want to buy. Instead, we artificially limit the supply of gasoline and now have to artificially limit the consumer’s choice of cars so as to artificially limit the consumption of gasoline in order to combat the artificial lack of gasoline. It is a viciously stupid circle that will cost people’s lives. But remember, those bureaucrats in the current Administration are sooooooo much smarter than the rest of us.

    1. Maybe the answer’s right here:

      http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA546CAFEStandards.html

      The answer is, probably, in the tens of thousands:

      “According to a 2003 NHTSA study, when a vehicle is reduced by 100 pounds the estimated fatality rate increases as much as 5.63 percent for light cars weighing less than 2,950 pounds, 4.70 percent for heavier cars weighing over 2,950 pounds and 3.06 percent for light trucks. Between model years 1996 and 1999, these rates translated into additional traffic fatalities of 13,608 for light cars, 10,884 for heavier cars and 14,705 for light trucks.”

      Feel better, America?

      1. Except we have the lowest highway death rate since 1954.

        http://www.kbb.com/car-news/al…..since-1954

        1. The logic of this should be obvious. Those fatalities would be lower still without the policy. Not like the NHTSA is some partisan private think tank. This is the government telling us that a deliberate government policy killed tens of thousands of Americans. I don’t mind policies like having to equip cars with seat belts, brake lights, etc., since these actually help with car safety, but I do mind very much a policy derived specifically to save on fuel, the supply of which is artificially limited by the same government. The government (aided and abetted by the legions of sanctimonious eco-nuts ready to sue to stop every effort made to increase domestic supplies) created the gas shortage, and then passed legislation to supposedly address it, which legislation is designed to cut consumer choices in the types of cars they can buy, and, as a bonus, kills many of them.

          1. Only a statist shitstain would say NHTSA is non-partisan.

            1. Perhaps you could enlighten us, then, as to which party the NHTSA represents?

              My view is that this agency has actually been pretty honest and even-handed over the years. The fact that they would publish a study showing that CAFE standards would kill tens of thousands of people indicates that they’re not really toeing any particular ideological line.

              As an aside, do you really think that referring to somebody else a “shitstain” adds any credibility to your point?

  32. Doncher all know? In the brave new regulated world economy overly rich American mammalian work units are tasked with subsidizing China’s industrialization.

    China pollutes —> Overly rich America soaks up higher standards and carbon taxes to compensate…To appease the Earth goddess and promote balance so that whole continents won’t capsize.

  33. but drivers will be able to recoup the cost through buying less gasoline over the life of the vehicles.

    Someone call Tim Cavanaugh for a ruling on this. Should this be ‘fewer’ gasoline?

  34. But these new regulations on the car industry amount to a regulation which largely lands on the government itself.

    This would be like putting onerous and costly service requirements on Amtrak.

    What would it matter?

    1. Government can, in effect, run at a loss – like Amtrak, and just keep up the subsidies. To the extent that this regulation falls on and hurts the other car companies, the ones not owned by the government and whose continued existence we should all be championing, we should strongly oppose this.

      1. But if the goal is to nationalize (or some percentage thereof) all auto companies, this would be a tool for doing that. By further weakening the remaining un-nationalized firms, this will then create an opening for additional government cash, bailouts and involvement. Then the entire U.S. auto industry will be government owned. This is a feature, not a bug in the minds of many a politician.

        1. I agree that complete nationalization of the auto industry would seem to be a feature for a lot of politicians on the Left. However, at least for the moment, our nation is organized around the principle that it is the will of the people that matters, not the government (if the insurance mandate survives legal challenge, then I’m afraid that position will be irreversibly reversed). I’m betting you agree that this would be a terrible result.

          1. “irreversibly reversed” I talk pritty!

  35. I own a smart car. Everyone should have one. Mine doesn’t even use gasoline. LOL! Just make sure no one flips it over (has happened to us).

    1. If cars were really smart, they wouldn’t let soft little monkeys tell them what to do…

      1. Don’t worry. You’ll get yours.

    2. “”Just make sure no one flips it over (has happened to us).””

      That’s what happens when your car is too small for a Trunk Monkey.
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/31859/trunk_monkey/

      1. Oooh! Can that be retrofitted to a ’93 Toyota Paseo?

        Yeah, yeah, it’s a “chick car”, but it gets 28 MPG, and I own the fuck out of it. Just rolled over 180K, so it’s just now broken-in.

  36. Come on, everybody knows that the car companies are in bed with Big Oil, so if they don’t make them get better gas mileage it will never happen. That’s why I drive a Prius, it’s my personal flip off to the freakin oil companies. Plus I can drive into Berkeley and nobody will mess with my car.

  37. I would explain briefly and concisely why you’re all wrong, but watching you all flail about like this is more fun. Also, pearls before swine.

    1. Now tell us how the economy’s turned the corner.

    2. HURRRR HURRRR DURRRR HURRR

    3. So in other words, Forrest, you have absolutely no defense for CAFE over a gasoline tax, except that CAFE can be done in stealth?

  38. Huurrrrr Duurrrrrr Hurrrrr

  39. The Obama Administration, having absolutely no experience with actual markets, is attempting to legislate utopia.

    This will, as these things are wont to do, invariably end in tears.

    The socialists, being victims of higher education, are just to stupid to realize that they will be the ones crying.

  40. Where’s Chad been? This is a great time for him to pop in and spew some smug.

  41. Missed the boat again: CAFE standards make cars less safe, thus killing more car occupants.

  42. This may make it well worth it to keep the 1997 Chevrolet full-size sedan.

  43. Uh. When did using the public highways become a privilege?

    Drivers license NOT required.

    http://www.apfn.org/apfn/travel.htm

    There is lots of case law on the right to travel in the motor vehicle age.

  44. When the mfgs can’t meet the standard they will have to pay a tax. This will most affect Ford, GM, and Chrysler.

    He is doing it to help his union buddies.

    What I’m looking for is a repeal of the law of gravity in order to reduce the cost of space travel.

  45. More efficient cars means more miles for the same dollar, so you get more driving, not less, or the same, when efficiency increases. That, in turn exposes drivers to a greater risk of collision, in a smaller, lighter car. Ultimately, that means more human lives lost on the road.

  46. Per the NHTSA;every 1 mpg increase in corporate fuel average results in an additional 3,000 deaths on the road per year. Cars become smaller,’crush space does also, (crush space is the ammount of room you have before a crash intrudes into the space where you are), Also in a contest between heavy car and light car, light looses every time (heavy carries more energy,thus punting light out of the way.). As for electric cars, the batteries don’t like extremes in temp, hot or cold. In the desert southwest this means they wilt in the summer and freeze in the winter,(results; less range). Don’t even talk about the increasingly stressed power grid, what happens when all of those cars get plueed in for the night?

  47. Opine
    Cafe Standard are just another OBNA Action Front.
    Opine on this aspect of our lives
    April 3, 2010
    Action Front, Frontal Assault
    Operation Drill; by OBNA
    EPA (Cap Co2 Emissions from Energy Producers, Left Flank)
    Dept of Energy (Control via permits, Regulations, Energy Producers, Right Flank)
    Environmentalists NGOs, Czar Agencies & Organizations (Watch dogs in Federal Courts, Middle sector)
    Czar led Agencies attendant to and parallel with (Logistics Support for Operation Drill)
    Tactic: Obfuscate, Divert attention, buy time, shell game for Centrists & GOP, Tea Party members.
    Strategy: Eliminate attention on HC Potholes, HC court actions, draw monies, draw attention to Operation Drill, while HC settles into USA Electorate consciences.” Once Bill is passed you will understand and like it ” Senator Pelosi 3/20/10.
    Mission: Obtain NN% of GNP, with attendant gains in GNP for HC, Automotive Production, SEC Fiscal GNP control, States Fiscal Demise via Education subsidies control, Housing Market GNP control, Fiscal Control of GNP via Banking, Insurance industry.
    End
    We Will Prevail
    Semper Fi

  48. I’ve always maintained that regulations like this should be stricken as an establishment of religion, since they’re based on a judgment of the morality of driving lower mpg cars, and the myth of peak oil.

  49. Glad I am debt free and making 90K a year. I can afford $5 a gallon no problem.

    Jason the Fed

  50. In evaluating the cost of CAFE standards, why did you not include the externalities? “It’s inefficient because drivers pay more, car companies make less money, and state and federal governments don’t get any extra revenues.” But those aren’t all the costs in play, are they?

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