Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards
You're not going to like what's cooking in this CAFE.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are being implemented by the decree of President Obama, at the behest of America's left-wing environmentalists.  Small cars will be the only cars available under Obama's plan.  Individual liberty and consumer freedom have been displaced by rabid irrational environmentalism, mostly in an effort to "save the Earth," which is a delusional goal in itself.  America has plenty of petroleum and natural gas available, which could be turned into affordable gasoline, if these same environmentalists would just get out of the way and let the oil companies produce it.

Of course, President Obama will still travel in a multi-car motorcade wherever he goes, unless he's in a helicopter or a jumbo jet, so the new standards are for us, not for him.

For years, it has been widely known that small cars are inherently more unsafe than larger vehicles.  Inevitably, more people will die on America's highways as a result of this misguided policy.  The people who are pushing this nonsense, in many cases, are the same people who used to chant "No blood for oil" during the recent wars in Iraq.

If and when cars are built that can actually get 54½ mpg, as the rules prescribe for 2025, such cars will be very light, very small, and very weak.  It will be a major accomplishment to get onto a freeway (uphill and against the wind) without impeding traffic or causing a wreck.  I drive my 2010 Hyundai sub-compact very gently and can only get about 32 mpg in city commuting, with the air conditioner off.

This tells me that the goal of 54½ mpg is unattainable.  There just isn't that much energy available from a gallon of gasoline.  Gas mileage that high is not something that can be decreed, because it exceeds the limits of chemistry.

If you can buy a car in 2025 that gets 54 mpg, don't be surprised if it only has three wheels.  You will probably find that the entire car is made of plastic and carbon fiber, the engine will quit when you stop at a traffic light, and the car will probably have great difficulty going uphill, which means it will be a challenge to get in and out of a parking garage — or Colorado.

Ethanol makes matters worse, because it has less energy available per gallon than gasoline or diesel, and ethanol diminishes the world's food supply in the process.

And here's the worst part of the story:  The constant push for higher gas mileage, fuel conservation, ethanol, and electric cars is all because the left-wing environmentalists oppose all forms of energy production in this country, and refineries, and the pipelines that carry oil from the well to the refinery.  We're going to great lengths to conserve oil and gas at a moment in history when the production of oil is getting easier, and we're finding more and more oil in the United States.  The production of domestic oil and gas would drive the world-wide price of oil down.  Alaska is floating on oil, but it's illegal to drill there because of the environmentalists.  If the left-wing tax-and-spend Democrats and their earth-worshiping hippie friends would just get out of the way, gasoline would cost half as much as it does today.

Another bad idea:  Touchscreens in cars.  In 2018 when my car was built, Audi was building cars with features controlled with a simple and intuitive driver interface.  One could navigate through systems with tactile controls requiring minimal distraction from the road.  For the 2020 model year, the engineers at Ingolstadt decided that touch screens would become the new control method in Audi interiors.  Many of the physical buttons were removed.  Controls are now in the center screen, activated by pushing on a flat panel without any haptic feedback.  In many cases, previously simple tasks are now buried behind several menus.

The Editor says...
To achieve high gas mileage, everything in the car has to be flimsy and lightweight.  To keep the profits high, and the shareholders happy, everything has to be cheap.  Flimsy and cheap.  Thanks, Democrats!

Mandate for Leadership.  [Scroll down to page 626]  One reason for the high numbers of injuries on American roadways is that national fuel economy standards raise the price of cars, disincentivizing people from purchasing newer, safer vehicles.  Congress requires the Secretary of Transportation to set national fuel economy standards for new motor vehicles sold in the United States.  This mandate was established in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), a law passed in the wake of the Arab oil embargo to promote greater energy efficiency and lessen the national security threat of U.S. dependence on foreign oil.  The statute directs DOT to prescribe the "maximum feasible" mileage requirements for different categories of internal-combustion engine (ICE) automobiles for each model year.  The standards must be achievable using available ICE technologies running on gasoline, diesel fuel, or similar combustible fuels and must not be set so high as to prevent automakers from profitably producing new vehicles at sufficient volume to meet consumer demand.  Congress recognized that the ICE-powered automobile has been instrumental to advancing the mobility and prosperity of the American people and that the domestic mass production of new ICE vehicles generates millions of jobs and remains critical to the overall health of the U.S. economy and the strength of the nation's industrial base.

Five things the Biden administration has attempted to restrict.  [#4] Gas-powered cars:  The Biden administration has been a strong advocate of electric cars and phasing out gas-powered vehicles, with the Department of Transportation's proposed fuel efficiency rules being a recent example of this push.  The proposed rule would raise standards for fuel efficiency to 66 miles per gallon for cars and 54 mpg for trucks by 2032, something National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acting Administrator Ann Carlson has said is "good news for everyone."  "The new standards we're proposing today would advance our energy security, reduce harmful emissions, and save families and business owners money at the pump," Carlson said.  "That's good news for everyone."

The Editor says...
A gas-engine car would almost have to have a styrofoam frame and aluminum-foil doors to get that kind of gas mileage.  Such a car would only be safe at school zone speeds or less.  Who gave the Department of Transportation the authority to issue such an edict?  Who among us believes that 54-mpg cracker-box cars will "save the earth?"

Time to Tell America's Climate Cult 'Stop!'  Unfortunately, the mismatch between means and aspirations, as well as the disregard for democratic principles, characterizes much of what passes for the national climate policies of both the UK and the United States.  In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency set the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards for model year 2026 automobiles at 55 miles per gallon for sedans and 39 mpg for trucks and light-duty trucks/SUVs.  Those are enormous increases of 25 percent and 28 percent, respectively, just since 2020.  The clear intention in raising the CAFE standards so quickly is to force consumers into buying new cars that are either fully or partially electric, hybrids, or fully electric. [...] These new CAFE standards and other climate-related mandates weren't decisions arrived at by referendum or consensus; they were decreed by bureaucrats.  New York City Council, which is imposing mandate after mandate, is dominated overwhelmingly by Democrats, and most of those are "woke" progressives whose principal life experience is working in politics or at not-for-profits funded by the city.

The Disastrous Potential of The EPA's Proposed Rule for Model Year 2027.  The benefit/cost analysis published by the Environmental Protection Agency in its proposed rule "Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Year 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles" is fatally flawed; accordingly, the proposed rule should not be finalized.  EPA claims that the fuel savings attendant upon implementation of the proposed rule would yield benefits in present value terms of $380-$770 billion (net of EVSE port costs), depending on the choice of discount rate.  But fuel savings are an illegitimate dimension of any such benefit/cost analysis because the value of fuel savings measured as a function of market prices represents no divergence per se between market prices and true resource costs in standard externality analysis.  If "fuel savings" are to be considered relevant for purposes of benefit/cost analysis, then the adverse effects or costs of a (forced) reduction in fuel consumption in terms of the quality of transportation services must be included in the analysis also.

Biden Admin Fires Next Regulatory Salvo In Its Push For EVs.  The Biden administration proposed a new and ambitious set of fuel economy standards for cars and light-duty trucks Friday, its latest move to prod American consumers towards adopting electric vehicles (EVs).  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a subagency of the Department of Transportation (DOT), unveiled the updated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which would require cars and lighter trucks to improve their respective fuel efficiencies by 2% and 4% starting in 2027, according to a DOT press release announcing the proposal.  The rule would also mandate work vans and pickup trucks to increase their fuel efficiencies by 10% each year, starting in 2030, according to the DOT press release.  If manufacturers fail to meet the stipulations of the proposed CAFE standards, they will have to pay punitive fines to the government, according to the rule's text.

Brandon's CAFE Standards To Drastically Increase.  This is going to make vehicles a great deal more expensive, making it harder for the working class and middle class afford vehicles, even used ones.  Of course this is being pushed by rich folks who do not have to worry about all this.  Oh, and many of them, like Joe Biden, are not even driving compliant vehicles[.] [...] Automakers know the customer base.  They know what people can afford, and have already been pushed too far since the start of COVID.  Will their own banks start doing 7 years plus loans as business as usual?  This will destroy leasing for the average American, and making financing costs too high for most to afford.  This couldn't possibly be the next step in forcing the peasants out of their privately owned vehicles and onto mass transit, could it?  Nah, that would be a crazy thought.  [Tweet]

Skipping over 30, 32 and 35 mpg:
New vehicles must average 40 mpg by 2026, up from 28 mpg.  New vehicles sold in the U.S. will have to average at least 40 miles per gallon of gasoline in 2026, up from about 28 mpg, under new federal rules unveiled Friday that undo a rollback of standards enacted under President Donald Trump.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its new fuel economy requirements are the strongest to date and the maximum the industry can achieve over the time period.  They will reduce gasoline consumption by more than 220 billion gallons over the life of vehicles, compared with the Trump standards.  They're expected to decrease carbon dioxide emissions — but not as much as some environmentalists want — and raise new vehicle prices in an industry already pressed by inflation and supply chain issues.

The Editor says...
[#1] The far-left Socialist Democrats are making an error here, by departing from their usual method of slow, incremental changes that keep the public from noticing that they're being strangled.  This is a very big increase.  [#2] Will the roads be safer when everybody's driving street-legal go-karts in order to achieve 50 mpg?  Is this really going to "save the earth?"

How Leftist Global Warming Policy Will Wreck Your Truck.  [Scroll down]  The other relevant regulation comes out of the Department of Transportation, and it's a fuel economy regulation known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE).  Established in the mid-'70s, it requires that the average fuel economy of various segments of a manufacturer's cars and light trucks meet a particular number of miles per gallon (MPG).  Compared to EPA regulations, this is a walk in the park.  First, it's an average.  If you want to sell high-margin, powerful luxury cars, you just need to basically give away a bunch of cheap little econoboxes.  And then there's the problem of penalties.  They're really cheap — set in the original law passed by Congress when it was established in the mid-'70s and never updated for inflation.  Manufacturers can make the cost of the fines back up by charging customers an extra $10 or $20 on list prices of $40,000 or $50,000.  And finally, it requires a manufacturer to tell the agency what it's sold after model year and send a check in for its fines, if any.

The Hidden Agenda Behind Biden's Insane Gas Mileage Requirements.  The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that all new cars that aren't electric must average 55 miles per gallon by 2026.  This amounts to a Great Leap Forward of almost 20 miles per gallon from the currently ordered 36 miles per gallon that all new cars must achieve, else their manufacturers be punished for making them via "gas guzzler" fines applied to them.  Which are then passed on to the people who buy them.  Which makes it progressively more difficult to afford them.  That being the point of the fines, you understand.  The Biden administration considers it their right and duty to punish you for buying the car you want if it doesn't do what they like.  The free market being an intolerable affront to them.

New Mexico Governor's Car Gets 13 MPG As She Demands State Average Of 52 MPG.  New Mexico Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants state residents to drive cars with an average of 52 miles per gallon (mpg). Her own car, however, possesses an average fuel economy of less than 13 mpg.  According to gas logs released from an Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) between July 2020 and June 2021 filed by the energy non-profit Power the Future and shared with The Federalist, the average fuel economy for the governor's car was 12.65 mpg.  That fuel mileage is far short of the 52 mpg goal set in 2019 when Grisham committed New Mexico to energy-restrictive car regulations adopted by 14 other states.  "To combat climate change, to keep New Mexico's citizens safe, to protect the air we all breathe, it's essential we adopt more stringent clean car standards that increase fuel economy and reduce emissions," Grisham said in a September 2019 statement as the Trump administration removed burdensome regulation to drive innovation.  "New Mexico will stand up and deliver on our commitment to environmental leadership."  But the New Mexico governor's office hasn't.

Biden to unveil stricter emissions standards for vehicles, exceeding Obama-era regulations.  President Biden will unveil sweeping new regulations on cars and trucks on Thursday, returning America over the next five years to the strict standards that the Obama administration had imposed but former President Trump walked back.  The proposed rules drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation would tighten emissions standards to be more in line with aggressive measures established by California in 2019, but which Mr. Trump had blocked.  On mileage rules, automakers also will be required to raise their average miles-per-gallon score of their fleets by 3.7% starting with the model year 2023, which would include cars sold next year.  That standard also had been proposed by California.

Post-coronavirus, easing up on CAFE rules makes more sense than ever.  The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule rolls back an Obama-era regulation that made US Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards some of the strictest in the world, beating even carbon-obsessed Europe.  The change means that automakers' fleets will have to average around 40 miles per gallon by 2025, not the 54 mpg set by the last administration in 2012. [...] Most Americans simply aren't interested in tiny, difficult-to-maintain electric vehicles.  (In much of the country, they simply don't make sense since there's nowhere to charge them.)  The CAFE standards in place now raise the price of a car by an average of $3,800 — pricing some people out of the new-car market, so they keep on driving older, dirtier vehicles.  The administration estimates the new rule will lower the price of a new vehicle by about $1,000 — and cut costs for struggling American automakers by as much as $100 billion by the time 2030 models are rolled out.

Trump's Move To Ease Fuel Efficiency Rules Will Save Money — And Lives.  With the economy in turmoil from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, automakers will not have the means to retool, research and revamp their car lines to obey President Barack Obama's absurdly stringent rules.  Auto sales are now plunging.  Obama's rules would have required automakers to push the Corporate Average Fuel Economy from 25.3 miles per gallon per vehicle in 2012 to 54.5 mpg by 2025.  To do that, fuel efficiency had to increase about 5% a year.  Contrary to complaints in the media of Trump's "rollback" of standards, all the new rules do is reduce the fuel efficiency gains required to 1.5% a year, rather than the unreachable 5%.  So the U.S. fleet average will be 40 mpg, not 54.5, by 2025.  Even so, that will still be 28% higher than Obama's rules.  More importantly, automakers strained to meet the Obama requirements, forced to radically downsize cars and create a money-losing electric-car fleet that still requires subsidies even to exist.  Of course, everyone likes clean air.  But our fuel-efficiency standards didn't start out with that as their goal.

Trump blasts automakers wary of Obama fuel economy standards rollback.  President Trump said Tuesday [3/31/2020] his administration's weakening of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards would slash the cost of new vehicles and help auto industry workers, and he bashed industry officials skeptical of the move as "foolish executives."  "My Administration is helping U.S. auto workers by replacing the failed Obama Emissions Rule," Trump said in a series of tweets.  "Impossible to satisfy its Green New Deal Standard; Lots of unnecessary and expensive penalties to car buyers!"  Trump also boasted that his agencies' new rule would lower average car prices "by more than $3500, while at the same time making cars substantially safer," and he slammed auto companies, some of whom have sided with California in a feud with the federal government over the rules, as "politically correct."

Seven Silly Laws That Shred Our Personal Freedom.  [#3] In a small village within Westchester County, New York, you cannot idle your car longer than one minute, including on your own private property.  Otherwise you'll face a fine.  This is two minutes more restrictive — or more "progressive," as one community leader put it — than Westchester County itself, which has a three-minute anti-idling law.  "No person shall allow or permit the engine of a motor vehicle to idle for more than three consecutive minutes when the motor vehicle is not in motion," that law states.  There are some exemptions, including for first responder vehicles, for hybrid-electric vehicles that are recharging, and during freezing weather conditions.

The Editor says...
[#1] A car that is idling emits the same pollution as a car that is in motion; probably less.  [#2] I have owned more than one vehicle that was difficult to get started, and I'd be reluctant to shut down the engine just to keep from wrecking the earth.  [#3] Does every traffic signal have an extra feature now, to let you know you'll be stopped there for more than a minute?  Otherwise, how would you know?  [#4] All you have to do is drive forward an inch every 59 seconds to get around this law when you're out in public.  [#5] What about all the airplanes at the airport?  Many of those engines are idling, as the planes wait for takeoff or wait for a gate to open up.  And each of those engines burns a lot more gas than your car.

The Electric Car Fantasy.  SUVs and pickups now account for 70 percent of all vehicles purchased.  Most people, it seems, like big vehicles.  The minority who buy purely for economy choose small cars with gasoline engines.  This option, by the way, puts less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than a Tesla.  Consumers are price-sensitive in every category, a reality that politicians ignore at their peril.

California's Fuel Mileage Standards, Revoked.  President Donald Trump says his administration is revoking California's authority to set auto mileage standards stricter than those issued by federal regulators.  In a tweet, Trump said his move would result in less expensive and safer cars.  He insisted that new cars would be cleaner, even as they burn more gasoline than they would have under Obama-era fuel efficiency standards he wants to replace.  California's authority to set its own, tougher emissions standards goes back to a waiver issued by Congress during passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970.  Even before the announcement revoking that authority, California and environmental groups said they planned legal action.  California officials and environmental groups are criticizing the Trump administration's decision to revoke the state's authority to set auto mileage standards.

DOT, EPA announce 'one, and only one' national fuel standard.  The Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced that there will be "one, and only one" national fuel standard, a move made to cut the costs of vehicles and bar California from making stricter standards.  In a release and in a briefing today [9/19/2019], the department said, "This action will help ensure that there will be one, and only one, set of national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles."  The department, in the release shared in advance with [the Washington Examiner], also took a shot at California which will lose its waiver to require different fuel standards, a model followed by a dozen other states.

Trump Is Right to Ditch the California Auto Waiver.  The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a plan we endorsed previously.  It will revoke California's ability to set separate greenhouse-gas standards for cars — so that a single policy will apply to the entire country, and so that California can't use the threat of a bifurcated regulatory regime to influence that policy in a way other states cannot.  We are fans of federalism.  But Congress, understandably not wanting automakers to have to comply with 50 different sets of regulations, has generally preempted state regulation in this area — with the exception that California, and California alone, may apply for a waiver to create its own emission rules to address "compelling and extraordinary conditions." Other states may then adopt these rules if they choose.  "Compelling and extraordinary conditions" was intended as a reference to smog.  And in contrast to Californian smog, there is nothing compelling and extraordinary about Californian climate change.

Mark Levin:  CAFE Standards Are 'Mass Killers;' Yet Congress Is Focusing on Gun Control.  Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin went after Congress on "The Mark Levin Show" Monday [9/9/2019] for focusing on gun control instead of focusing on CAFE standards, which Levin says are "mass killers."  "Has anybody heard this issue raised by anybody?" Mark Levin asked about CAFE standards and the reported deaths.  "Has anybody heard this issue raised on CNN, MSNBC, frankly, any cable show, network show, newspaper?  No, you haven't.  And yet, CAFE standards are killers by the thousands and thousands — mass killers."

Why Are Automakers Caving To California's Radical Greens?  Anyone who thinks that big business hates regulation should look at what's happening in the auto industry today.  While the Trump administration is pushing much-needed regulatory relief, four major carmakers are embracing California's plans to kill the internal combustion engine.  The issue involves federal fuel economy mandates, a vestige of the 1970s "energy crisis" that forced carmakers to meet increasingly strict fuel economy standards for their new cars.  These "corporate average fuel economy" standards resulted in a radical downsizing of the American car fleet back then, and were instrumental in destroying the U.S. auto industry's lead in the car business.

Spare Tires in New Cars.  Decades ago, nearly every car came with a full-size spare tire.  But fuel economy requirements, trunk space considerations and the dangers involved in setting up a jack on the side of a road prompted automakers to shift toward smaller, temporary spares.  Today, some vehicles have no spare at all.

Why Your New Car Doesn't Have a Spare Tire.  Fewer tires, higher taxes.  That may be what's in store for drivers under the federal government's spiraling fuel economy mandates (known as CAFE, for Corporate Average Fuel Economy).  The Department of Transportation is floating 62 mpg as a possible standard for 2025, more than double the current 27.5 mpg standard.  How the industry can meet that target, and at what cost, is anyone's guess.  A new study in mid-June by the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. put the tab at about $10,000 extra per new vehicle, while admitting that even this estimate might be far too low.  And that's not the only bad news; in the past few weeks there have been two other unwelcome developments.  First, GM announced that several versions of its compact Chevy Cruze would no longer have spare tires; instead, they'll have vehicle-powered sealant repair kits.  This is a major jump in the trend toward eliminating spare tires, a trend due largely to CAFE's drive to shed every possible ounce of car weight.

How Bureaucrats Ruin Everything From Dishwashers To Gas Cans To Cars.  Why is it that cars made 40 years ago or more are captivating, and varied, with real personalities, while new cars today are, for the most part, indistinguishable?  The reason is that there's basically only one way to design a car today that meets all the government-imposed safety and environmental regulations.  Jeffrey Tucker, writing for the American Institute for Economic Research, notes that "the designs of new cars are boring because regulations forced this result."  Today, the government dictates nearly every single aspect of a car's design.  Big fronts for safety, low tops for fuel economy, tiny windows, high belt lines, etc.  That's just the exterior.  Almost every feature of a car's interior is also regulated by government.

The "New Energy Economy": An Exercise in Magical Thinking.  Combustion engines have what's called a Carnot Efficiency Limit, which is anchored in the temperature of combustion and the energy available in the fuel.  The limits are long established and well understood.  In theory, at a high enough temperature, 80% of the chemical energy that exists in the fuel can be turned into power.  Using today's high-temperature materials, the best hydrocarbon engines convert about 50% [to] 60% to power.  There's still room to improve but nothing like the 10-fold to nearly hundred-fold revolutionary advances achieved in the first couple of decades after their invention.

Flaws with a "Green New Deal," Part 2 of 2.  [Scroll down]  Regarding fuel economy, the simple fact is that in order for vehicles to achieve more miles to the gallon, automakers must make them more expensive, but also lighter and smaller.  That means more Americans dying in car accidents than would otherwise be the case.  How big a deal is this?  Reputable studies have estimated that CAFE standards have caused anywhere from 40,000 [to] 125,000 excess vehicle fatalities.  Of course, proponents of stricter CAFE standards could quibble with these numbers, but the more significant point is that neither [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez nor [Paul] Krugman even admit that there is a tradeoff.  They speak of cranking up mileage standards as if it's a mere technical problem, without reckoning the tremendous human cost.

Obama's 'car of the future' goes kaput.  It came with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, churned out about 140 horsepower, and made upwards 40 mpg highway.  What's more, the Chevy Cruze was the only compact sedan to come with a presidential seal of approval.  When a prototype of the 2011 model rolled off the assembly line, then President Barack Obama put his signature on the hood writing that the Cruze was "the car of the future."  But the future lasted only seven years.  Responding to slumping sales, General Motors announced plans to push the Cruze out of their showrooms and off of a cliff.

The Automotive Low Flush Toilet.  [Scroll down]  Now comes Auto-stop/start.  It's the same bad idea as the low-flow toilet, applied to cars.  Use less gas by using the engine less — by automatically shutting it off whenever the vehicle comes to a complete stop.  When the driver takes his foot off the brake — indicating his desire to get moving again — a high-torque starter motor is automatically engaged to re-start the engine and off you go — until the next stop, when the cycle repeats.  In theory — in government testing — it does save a little gas.  On the order of 1-2 miles-per-gallon vs. an otherwise identical vehicle without the system.  But it costs a lot more money.  The system requires the already mentioned high-torque starter motor (and solenoid), which must be made tougher and more durable than a regular starter motor which is only expected to start the vehicle once — prior to starting your trip — not numerous times (often, a dozen or more times) in the course of your trip.

Electric Cars:  The Real Killers.  There weren't any "zero emissions" mandates or carbon credits back in the mid-'90s and while CAFE — the government's fuel economy edicts — did exist, back then it was only 27-something miles-per-gallon and so it wasn't yet necessary to build EVs as compliance cars, just to even out the MPG math (as it is now; this is one of the non-market mechanisms being used to nudge EVs onto the market).  So the EV1 had to stand on its own two bowed and rickety legs — and of course, couldn't.  As today, it was much too expensive ($35,000 in mid-1990s dollars) to make any kind of economic sense and didn't go very far and took forever to recharge before you could go not-far again.  Which didn't make sense generally.  GM tried give-away leases but that was just the problem.  The only way to get people into an EV1 was to basically give it to them.

Obama's third term: 13 times courts said Trump must continue Obama's lawless policies.  [#10] Obama now sets regulations on cars ... forever?  In April, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction on the Department of Transportation's delay of penalties to auto makers that didn't comply with Obama's added Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.  Obama dramatically expanded the penalty, and his decisions are now final.

The Other Shoe Has Dropped in the VW Diesel Wars.  Germany's federal motor vehicle authority, the KBA, had already de-registered Audi and VW cars fitted with the "affected" Euro 5 diesel engines after owners ignored successive reminders to heed a voluntary recall.  Recalls, of course, usually pertain to cars that have something wrong with them which makes them unsafe to drive.  This is the first time a car that works perfectly has been subject to a recall — one which results in the "fixed" cars working less well.  The "fix" entails making various adjustments to the "affected" car's computer code — or the grafting on of a Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection system.  The end result is a mauled car that delivers lower mileage but is now compliant [...]

Trump kills Obama's unhelpful emissions regulation.  The Trump administration has finally come out with its proposal to reverse Obama-era regulations on vehicle emissions.  This is welcome, for current standards make cars unnecessarily expensive and limit choices while producing scant environmental benefit.  The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which jointly administer the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) program, unveiled eight options for fuel-economy standards for vehicles made between 2021 and 2026.  Of those, the agencies recommend freezing standards at 2020 levels through 2026 as the best option.  If accepted, this would block mandatory yearly increases, which were ordered under Obama.  The practical outcome will be to save car buyers about $2,340 per new vehicle, according to the administration.

Trump unravels more of Obama's legacy, with proposed freeze on mileage rules.  The Trump administration on Thursday [8/2/2018] moved to freeze fuel economy standards in what officials described as an effort to give drivers access to "safer" and "more affordable" vehicles, in the latest swipe at former President Barack Obama's legacy.  The proposal comes just one day after the Trump administration announced major changes to health plans, providing consumers with more options to buy cheaper, short-term health insurance.

U.S. says no need for better gas mileage, heavy vehicles safer.  A draft of a regulation prepared this summer would freeze an Obama-era program that was intended to improve fuel efficiency and cut pollution.

Freeze, reduce or eliminate CAFE fuel standards.  A 2002 National Academy of Sciences study estimated that automotive mileage standards had helped cause as many as 2,600 extra fatalities in 1993 — at a relatively lenient standard of 27.5 miles per gallon.  Other studies reached similar conclusions.  And yet, in 2012, the Obama Administration began ratcheting the standards upward, with the goal of hitting 54.5 mpg by 2025.  Thankfully, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to re-examine the 54.5-mpg standard, possibly freeze it at the 2020 level of 39 mpg, and rein in other aspects of this harmful government program.  His proposal drew howls of outrage from predictable factions.

Chuck Schumer calls on EPA to lower gas prices.  Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the Environmental Protection Agency on Sunday not to follow through with plans to rollback mile-per-gallon standards to lessen the pain at the pump for motorists as gas prices hit their highest rates in four years.  "If prices stay as high as they are, this summer the average motorist will pay $200 to $300 more out of their pockets than they would have otherwise," the New York Democrat said during a news conference at a Mobil gas station in Manhattan where the price is $4.15 a gallon.  "Now with the price the way it is, the better mileage the motorist gets, the better everyone does."  The EPA announced last week that it has submitted plans to weaken an Obama administration rule for automakers to increase their cars' fuel economy by 50 mpg by 2025.

Why the aluminum lobby, carmakers, and the power companies favor fuel-efficiency regulations.  If you believed the press and the Democrats, the White House was handing the keys over to the automaker lobby and other big business "polluters" with its plan to dial back efficiency standards for cars. [...] The truth is far more complicated.  There have been corporate lobbyists on all sides of the fuel-efficiency debate.  And the most laissez-faire position — the one staked out by the administration — has almost no corporate lobbyists supporting it at all.  In short, some businesses want a ton of regulation, some want moderate regulation, and almost nobody is lobbying for low or no regulation.

EPA Head Says Vehicle Emissions Standards Set by Obama Should Be Revised Downward.  A news release posted on the EPA website on April 2 said that the agency's administrator, Scott Pruitt, announced the completion of the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025.  Pruitt's final determination is that, in light of recent data, the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised.  The current standards were set by the Obama administration.  "The Obama Administration's determination was wrong," said Pruitt.  "Obama's EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn't comport with reality, and set the standards too high."

Ford And The Folly Of Federal Fuel Economy Mandates.  It's been a bad couple of weeks for environmentalists who want to force Americans into battery-powered econoboxes.  First, the Trump administration said it will likely freeze fuel economy standards.  Then Ford announced plans to drop most of its passenger cars in favor of trucks and SUVs.  Both are good news for consumers.

Obama fuel standards so bad even Axios thinks they should be dumped.  President Obama was always big on forcing bad things down the throat of the American voter and consumer. [...] One of the worst things Obama tried to foist on us was in his executive orders to raise fuel standards on automakers in the name of going green, as if such technology could be commanded into existence, and more importantly, as if consumers would be happy buying ugly, European-style blatt-blatt cars they didn't like.  Even Axios, a left-leaning news site, finds that one a no-go, arguing that such standards should be at least reformed, even as the rest of us think they should be scrapped.

The Fuel Economy Fraud.  The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday took the Obama fuel economy rules off autopilot.  This is good news for consumers, automakers and the U.S. economy, but the Trump Administration's big test will be negotiating around the political potholes.

Corporate average fuel economy (Cafe) standards are a vestige of the 1970s gas shortages.  Like the Nixon-era price controls, the fuel standards were intended to reduce gas consumption.  But the environmental left long ago hijacked the rules [...]

Coffee Won't Kill You, But CAFE Might.  The federal government's auto fuel economy standards have for decades posed a simple problem:  They kill people.  Worse, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has covered this up.  The Environmental Protection Agency, which since 2009 has helped manage the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, known as CAFE, also played a role in burying their deleterious effects.  But change finally is coming.

American Journalists Are Hysterical Knuckleheads.  [Scroll down]  Or take the reporting on the EPA's expected rollback of Obama's fuel-economy mandate.  The mandate required automakers to hit targets of 54.5 miles per gallon — an absurd number based on zero science (the decimal point was a snarky joke) which automakers could duck by jumping through a bunch of largely cosmetic "green" hoops that cost them money but made the administration look good.  It was scientific, political and environmental hogwash that hurt American business.  Here's how CBS reported it.  "The Trump administration is set to roll back one of President Barack Obama's signature policies on the environment."  "It's expected to ignite a firestorm of criticism."  And then, despicably, they picked up a series of likely coordinated and unfounded attacks on EPA Chief Scott Pruitt's ethics — travel expenses that are in keeping with those of previous directors, an apartment he rented from an energy guy who had no business in front of the EPA, and so on — clearly designed to take the man down.

Make them build cars nobody wants.  Apparently [Scott Pruitt] is the first EPA director to get death threats.  That does not stop him from doing his job — or speaking out.  "I think the focus in the past has been on making manufacturers in Detroit, making manufacturers in various parts of the country make cars that people aren't going to buy, and our focus should be on making cars that people actually purchase more efficient," Pruitt told CNS News and other news outlets.  "To have arbitrary percentages of our fleet made up of vehicles that aren't going to be purchase, that defeats the very purpose of what the CAFE standards are supposed to address."  And arbitrary the numbers are.  Marxists pluck some number out of the air for fuel mileage requirements for no reason at all.  To save oil?  We're almost swimming in domestic oil — without touching offshore oil outside the Gulf of Mexico.

Trump Dismantles Another Obama 'Achievement' — Just One More To Go.  EPA head Scott Pruitt said Tuesday that the administration would rewrite Obama's fuel economy standards starting with model year 2022.  Obama's plan was to mandate that all cars sold average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, up from 38.3 mpg this year.  As we have repeatedly explained in this space, Obama's fuel economy mandate was little more than a thinly disguised electric car mandate, since hitting that level would have required a substantial increase in plug-in sales.  As it stands, there are only a handful of powered cars that can go more than 54 miles on a gallon of gas.  Pruitt said that, instead of trying to force consumers into more expensive cars that environmentalists like, the focus at the EPA will be "on making cars that people actually buy and that are efficient."

EPA Administrator:  Obama's Emissions Standards Forced Automakers to Make Cars People Won't Buy.  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said the Obama administration's focus was on forcing car manufacturers to make cars that people won't buy when the focus should have been on making cars that people actually buy more efficient.  Pruitt said the emissions standards for cars and light trucks set by the previous administration were "inappropriate and should be revised."  His agency announced Monday [4/2/2018] that it planned to revise the standards, but did not specify what specific standards would be set going forward.

EPA poised to scrap fuel economy targets that are key to curbing global warming.  The Trump administration is poised to abandon America's pioneering fuel economy targets for cars and SUVs, a move that would undermine one of the world's most aggressive programs to confront climate change and invite another major confrontation with California.  The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce in the coming days that it will scrap mileage targets the Obama administration drafted in tandem with California that aim to boost average fuel economy for passenger cars and SUVs to 55 miles per gallon by 2025, according to people familiar with the plans.  The agency plans to replace those targets with a weaker standard that will be unveiled soon, according to the people, who did not want to be identified discussing the plan before it was announced.

Bias alert!
If all the internal combustion engines in the world stopped tomorrow, global warming or cooling would continue uninterrupted, except by each other(!), because warming and cooling result from the variable output power of the sun, and the effects of naturally-occurring greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  Fuel economy is not the key to "curbing global warming," as falsely stated in the headline above.

EPA to hold hearing on Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.  The Trump administration this week may move closer to undoing yet another of President Obama's signature environmental achievements as it weighs whether to weaken vehicle fuel economy standards.  The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday [9/6/2017] will hold a public hearing as part of its ongoing review process, which was announced earlier this year at the direction of the president.  The agency is considering watering down the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE standards, for model years 2022 through 2025.  Such action would derail a deal the Obama administration made with automakers that requires the nation's cars and light trucks get nearly 50 miles per gallon on average by 2025.

Reeling in the power of the EPA.  Since the oil shortages of the 1970s, fuel regulations have been imposed on the automobile industry, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has used CAFE standards to combat climate change and lower greenhouse gas emissions.  In 2011, the Obama EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) came together to force automakers to improve fuel efficiency standards by 2025, with a midterm review occurring in 2016.  Theoretically, in 2016 the EPA and the NHTSA would communicate with automakers to create standards that are feasible for compliance before they issued their Final Determination for CAFE standards; but instead, the unrestrained power Obama gave the EPA allowed them to usurp the automakers most affected by this policy and even the NHTSA, who the EPA is supposed to be working with.

Federal Fuel Economy Mandates Are Deadly.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that of the 10 cars with the highest death rates over model years 2012-2015, eight are either small or minicars.  On the other hand, of the 10 cars with the lowest death rates, four were large and five were midsize.  The other was a Toyota pickup.  Looked at another way, small 4-door cars had death rates more than twice those of large 4-doors.  The death rate for mini station wagons was three times that of midsize wagons.

Giddy Up!  Automakers raise horsepower, speed to new heights.  Horsepower has risen so high that some experts are proclaiming a new "golden age of muscle cars" that far outpace the first generation from the 1960s.

Somewhat relevant:
From killer diesel fumes to ruinous floods, every green initiative imposed on us by politicians has ended in disaster.  What a parable for our times the great diesel scandal has been, as councils vie to see which can devise the heaviest taxes on nearly half the cars in Britain because they are powered by nasty, polluting diesel.  This week, it was announced many diesel drivers will soon have to pay fully £24 a day to drive into Central London, while 35 towns across the country are thinking of following suit.  Already some councils charge up to £90 more for a permit to park a diesel car.  The roots of this debacle go back to the heyday of Tony Blair's government, when his chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, became obsessed with the need to fight global warming.  Although he was an expert in 'surface chemistry' — roughly speaking, the study of what happens when, for example, a liquid meets a gas — King had no qualifications in climate science.

Trump to visit Detroit to stop EPA's rushed auto rules.  President Trump will visit Detroit Wednesday [3/15/2017] to halt Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would force manufacturers to make cars that average more than 50 miles a gallon.  An industry executive privy to the White House plan told the Washington Examiner to expect Trump to roll back a final decision that the EPA rushed out late last year, when President Obama was heading for the exit, imposing stricter fuel economy and emissions standards for vehicles beginning this year.

EPA to announce reversal on fuel economy standards next week.  The Environmental Protection Agency will announce a change in automobile emissions standards next week, undoing a last minute effort by the Obama administration to lock in the rules through 2025. [...] As I noted last month, a group of 18 automakers sent the Trump administration a letter asking for a reconsideration of fuel standards.  The Obama administration had until 2018 to complete a midterm review of the progress made by automakers.  They had hoped for some relief from the standards during that review.  Instead, the administration rushed through the process and announced a final decision one week before Trump took office.

Obama focusing on regulatory footprint before end of term.  The Obama administration is introducing a last-minute barrage of costly environmental regulation pronouncements that Republicans have vowed to repeal as soon as possible after Donald Trump's January 20 presidential inauguration. [...] Case in point:  an announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the administration's most energetic rule-makers, on Wednesday [11/30/2016] that after lengthy study, it would push ahead with tougher greenhouse gas emission standards, equivalent to 54.1 miles per gallon fuel efficiency, for passenger cars and light trucks for the years 2022-2025.

Obama Administration Imposes New Efficiency Regulations on Heavy Duty Trucks.  On August 16, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized new fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as called for by President Obama's Climate Action Plan.  The standards are expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program, an amount the Obama administration has admitted is amount too small to have a measurable effect on temperature or climate change.  The new standards will affect engine performance standards for truck model years 2018-2027, including for semi-trucks, large pickup trucks, vans, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks.  The costs will vary based on the size of the vehicle but it could add as much as $15,100 to the price of a large truck within the next decade.

EPA's Absurd New Fuel Standards for Trucks Will Raise Upfront Costs.  In a continued effort to address alleged man-made global warming, the Obama administration has finalized energy efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks.  While the administration is pledging to reduce fuel use and cut greenhouse gas emissions, its stringent energy mandate will do nothing to affect climate change.  What it will do, however, is take decisions away from the American individuals and businesses and consolidate more power in Washington.  The regulation requires a wide variety of vehicles — from school buses and passenger vans, to garbage and delivery trucks and long-haul tractor-trailers — to improve fuel efficiency.

1,690-Page 'Climate Change' Reg Increases Cost of Tractor-Trailer Up to $15,119.  The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly issued a new regulation last week that is meant to help protect the world from "climate change" by limiting "greenhouse gas emissions" and improving fuel efficiency in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles operated in the United States.  The 1,690-page regulation is approximately 700,000 words long.  A "regulatory impact analysis" published by EPA and NHTSA estimates the regulation will add an average of as much as $13,749 to the cost of a tractor truck and $1,370 to a trailer, making some tractor-trailer combinations $15,119 more expensive in 2027 than they would be under current regulations.

The EPA's gas mileage testing standards don't work.  For one example which came out on Monday, the EPA said they were on track to meet the goals announced by the Obama administration in 2012.  These CAFE standards call for auto manufacturers to produce fleets of vehicles which average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  Of course, that's an average.  If you produce some gas guzzling trucks, you'll also need to sell hybrids to make up the difference.  But inside the same report, the EPA hedged their bets, saying that cheap gas will likely prompt more consumers to purchase bigger, less fuel efficient cars.  And on top of that, the mileage standard really isn't 54.5 miles per gallon anyway.

US says fuel economy likely won't meet 2025 targets.  The U.S. government says the nation's cars and trucks are well on their way to meeting fuel economy and emissions standards set for 2025, but cheaper gas prices could ultimately lower those targets by encouraging consumers to buy less-efficient vehicles.

The EPA's Fuel Efficiency Testing May Not Work.  Like, at All.  In 2012 President Obama instituted new, aggressive fuel economy standards for automakers selling cars in the United States.  The executive branch — represented here by the Environmental Protection Agency, basically — mandated that every car manufacturer would have to have a fleetwide average gas mileage of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  The Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFE to transit nerds) take the gas mileage of every car a company sells — from Yaris to Tundra, Verano to Enclave, Golf to whatever — and average it out.  You want to build a gas-guzzling, smoke-pumping, V-18 for hauling a camper dragging a boat?  You're gonna need to sell a hybrid, too.

Low Energy.  [Scroll down]  Fuel economy has steadily improved since the mass marketing of cars back in the stone age.  That's due to better engineering.  The cars not only get better fuel economy today, they ride better, they are of better quality, they use better components.  A new car off the lot in the 1950's suffered from rattles, wind noise, poor fitting components and it needed constant maintenance.  In other words, fuel efficiency is mostly just a byproduct of better engineering of cars in general.

Study: Electric Vehicles Pollute More Than Gas-powered Cars.  [Scroll down]  That conventional vehicles pollute less isn't quite as shocking when you consider, as American Thinker's Thomas Lifson points out, "that internal combustion engine performance has improved so radically over the past several decades that they actually emit very few pollutants compared to engines of the past.  The internal combustion engine is the most highly engineered product on the planet, having been worked on for well over a century by hundreds of thousands of engineers all over the planet."  The proof is in the pudding.  Consider the evolution of popular sports car the Chevrolet Camaro:  While the 2017 version is actually about 300 pounds heavier and has horsepower approximately equal to or greater than the 1970 version, it also goes fairly close to twice as many miles on a gallon of gas.  But electric vehicles have gone 10 times as far on a gallon of hype.

GM Stops Sale of SUVS; Mileage on Window Stickers Was Wrong.  General Motors Co. is telling dealers not to sell about 60,000 SUVs in the U.S. because the gas mileage listed on the window stickers was inadvertently overstated.  The company told dealers that the Environmental Protection Agency-estimated mileage on the stickers is one-to-two miles per gallon too high.  GM says it reported the mistake to the EPA as soon as it was discovered.

Shell unveils 89 mpg car.  Built on a tubular steel frame with carbon fiber and composite structural elements and bodywork, the car weighs just 1,212 pounds and needs just a 43 hp 660cc three-cylinder engine mounted in the rear to hit 98 mph.  Shell formulated an experimental oil to maximize the motor's efficiency.  Like the F1, the driver sits in the middle with two passengers to the sides and behind, giving all three a reasonable amount of space, even though the car is so narrow that five of them could fit side by side in a soccer goal. [...] Shell isn't planning on building the car itself, it's just a concept.

The Editor says...
Of course, if they ever crash-test this thing, it will probably explode like a well-struck piñata.  89 mpg is only attainable by sacrificing mass (i.e., safety), power (i.e., air conditioning), and passenger space.  Engines and aerodynamic design have improved since the late 1950's, because this little  death trap  car gets better mileage than the old Isetta.

Fuel Economy Standards Are a Costly Mistake.  The Obama Administration's regulations intended to force very rapid increases in vehicle fuel economy are adding thousands of dollars to the prices of new cars.  Vehicle prices are rising in ways that are consistent with the predictions of studies undertaken several years ago.  It is likely that the regulations are adding at least $3,800 (perhaps much more) to the average price of new vehicles, thus pricing many Americans out of the new car market altogether.  The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were originally put in place in order to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.  Economists have roundly rejected the wisdom of that goal.  Under the Obama Administration, CAFE standards have become a tool for combatting global warming, at which they are utterly ineffective.  Americans are paying excessively for regulations that fail any reasonable cost-benefit test.  The CAFE standards should be scrapped.

A New Car Will Cost You at Least $3,800 Extra Because of Government Regulation.  In a recently released Heritage Foundation research paper, we've compared the recent price trends to the scholarly predictions, and found that if U.S. vehicle prices had followed one of the comparable trends, cars would be between $3,975 and $7,140 cheaper today than they are.  This massive expense buys very little change in global warming:  less than two hundredths of a degree according to the Obama administration's own estimate.  Congress should scrap Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards entirely — they cost consumers dearly while having a negligible impact on carbon emissions.  Failing that, a new administration can freeze the standards at 2016 levels to prevent the Corporate Average Fuel Economy tax from doubling by 2025, as the Obama administration has planned.

The Left's Fuel Economy Regulations Could Cost You $3,800.  Federal regulations that force ever-increasing automobile fuel economy standards cost consumers thousands of dollars more than what they save on using less gas.  These burdensome regulations also reduce new-car purchases and, therefore, autoworker employment.  How much more expensive are the gas mileage gains?  Scholars estimated that the new standards would add at least $3,800 to the cost of a car in 2016 and at least $7,200 in 2025.  This cost includes the gasoline savings.  Empirical Heritage Foundation research supports those estimates.

Dems Are At War With Americans On Cars, Guns And Refugees.  Democrats like to portray themselves as champions of the good ol' middle-class.  Yet on key issues, they've staked out positions diametrically opposed to the desires of those same Americans.  Item 1:  Democrats have been trying to force American consumers to buy cars they clearly don't want.  One of the first things President Obama did in office was push through a 35% increase in the federal fuel-economy mandate for cars and trucks.  Next year, the average mileage per gallon for all cars sold is supposed to be 34.1.  Ten years from now, it's supposed to hit 54.5.  Obama constantly sells this as a big win for consumers, who are supposedly being denied the gas-sipping cars they want by Big Auto.  But actual car buyers are voting with their wallets against what the president wants.

Are Stringent Vehicle Emissions Standards Driving a Surge in Coal?  While the rise in coal generated electricity to smelt Aluminium is dramatic, Aluminium smelting is only one of a range of factors driving the rise in global coal usage.  The 400 TwH used in Aluminium production is only a portion of the rapidly growing multi-terawatt hours of electricity produced every year (40% of which is generated from coal, according to World Coal).  But the rise in Aluminium car components, largely driven by stringent emission regulations, and pressure to improve fuel efficiency, is making a significant and increasing impact on global CO2 emissions.

Spare us: Automakers removing trunk tires in more new car models.  Nearly four in 10 new cars are sold without a most basic feature — the spare tire.  A study by the American Automobile Association, or AAA, found that 36 percent of 2015 models come with run-flat tires or tire inflation kits instead of a spare tire.  That's up from just 5 percent in 2006. [...] The Auto Club wants car companies to equip all their new vehicles with spare tires.  Automakers are removing the spares to save money and trim weight to improve efficiency as they face increasingly stringent fuel economy standards.  Trading a spare tire for an inflation kit removes about 25 pounds from the car.

Buick only U.S. brand in top 15 of reliability survey.  Only one American car brand — Buick — cracked the top 15 list in Consumer Reports' latest Auto Reliability Survey.  Cadillac struggled the most in the annual ratings because of problems with its infotainment system.  And fuel-saving transmissions emerged as trouble spots for some makes.  Dual-clutch transmissions and those with as many as nine speeds were developed as part of the race to build more fuel-efficient vehicles.  But they have led to cars breaking down, according to Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing.

Ford F-150 gets mixed crash test results.  Ford's new aluminum-sided F-150 pickup saw mixed results in new crash tests by the insurance industry, and the damaged trucks cost more to repair than steel-bodied ones.

EPA's New Fuel Regulations Will Avert 0.0026 Degrees Of Warming.  The EPA's new carbon dioxide regulations for heavy trucks is meant to help the U.S. meet its goal of reducing emissions to fight global warming.  There's just one problem:  CO2 regulations on heavy trucks will have little to no impact on global warming over the next 85 years, according to the EPA's own analysis.  The EPA says limiting carbon dioxide from heavy trucks will reduce emissions by more than 1 billion metric tons by 2050.  Cutting CO2, the agency says, will create up to $34 billion in "climate benefits" along with up to $40 billion from reducing traditional pollutants.

EPA proposes tougher mileage standards for trucks.  The Environmental Protection Agency issued new rules that would lower carbon dioxide emissions from trucks and vans by 24 percent by 2027.

The Editor says...
Lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy are two separate issues.  The two goals can be met simultaneously by reducing the horsepower of truck engines.  So the EPA will soon be causing massive traffic jams on the freeways as the rest of us get stuck behind big trucks with tiny Obama-compliant engines.

Trucking industry braces for new EPA rules for big rigs.  President Obama is expected to soon add emission rules for big-rig trucks to a growing list of regulations to combat the threat of climate change.  The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new rules for heavy-duty trucks to make them more fuel efficient, while lowering their carbon dioxide emissions to lessen the effects of global warming.  Trucking manufacturers will be looking to see if they are able to meet the standards without driving smaller trucking fleets out of business, according to industry representatives.

EPA is putting heavy-duty trucks on a new diesel diet.  This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks, a major new environmental mandate by the Obama administration that could dramatically transform America's trucking industry.  A tractor-trailer now averages 5 and 6 miles to a gallon of diesel.  The new regulations would seek to raise that average to as much as 9 mpg, requiring that fuel economy increase up to 40 percent by 2027 compared with 2010 levels, according to people briefed on the proposal.

Energy Department Gives $259 Million 'Green' Conditional Loan to Politically Connected Corporation.  The Department of Energy's disastrous loan program lost taxpayers at least $780 million as companies like Solyndra, Fisker Automotive, and Abound Solar crashed and burned.  But as I write today, after a four-year hiatus, the Energy Department has announced a new fuel-efficient-vehicle loan — a $259 million conditional award to Alcoa.  It's a pretty sweet deal:  The Energy Department touts on its website how this loan program "offers attractive financing for U.S. auto industry," including no application fees, a closing fee of just 0.1 percent, and interest rates estimated at no more than 4 percent.  Of course, one might wonder why a company like Alcoa, which brought in $23.9 billion in revenue last year, needs government (read: taxpayer) help.  But it turns out Alcoa has major Obama administration ties.

Successful companies don't kill their customers.  Selling a three-wheeled car to the American public skeptical of change might be a tough sell.  If this company wants to last for more than a few years, it has to, you know, keeps its customers alive.

Ford Starts Production of New Aluminum F-150.  Aluminum — which is lighter than steel but just as strong — isn't new to the auto industry, but this is the first time it will cover the entire body of such a high-volume vehicle.

The Editor says...
Lighter than steel but just as strong?  Really?  Aluminum is more malleable and elastic than steel.*  It is also less rigid.*  It is also more expensive.

Maker of 3-wheeled car thinks big.  Your next commuter car could have two seats, three wheels and get 84 miles to the gallon.

Federal Regulators Could Be Empowered To Enter Your Property To Inspect Your Cars.  President Barack Obama's $302 billion transportation bill gives federal regulators the power to enter the premises of car dealerships to determine if their vehicles are in compliance with federal fuel-economy mandates.  The Department of Transportation (DOT) could see its vehicle inspection authority expanded if Congress passes Obama's Grow America Act.  Currently, DOT officials are only allowed to inspect records and information from companies that must comply with federal fuel economy standards.  But Obama's bill would allow federal bureaucrats to enter the premises of car dealerships to physically inspect to see if vehicles are in compliance with federal fuel economy standards.

Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Smart Cars.  A needless tragedy in North Carolina as a woman involved in a single-car crash perished when her "Smart" Car repeatedly rolled over. [...] These tiny demi-cars are dangerous simply because they do not possess the size or weight to survive serious impacts with conventional vehicles.  They are the product of government intervention, beginning in 1975, when Congress first authorized CAFE standards ostensibly to "save fuel."  As Deroy Murdock observes, "In a crash, most drivers would trade lower MPG for protective layers of thick steel."

Car-tipping? Vandals upend ultra-compact Smart cars in San Francisco.  Urbanites have apparently found an answer to rural California's long nefarious history of cow-tipping.  A group of men in San Francisco have allegedly taken to car-tipping.  Three Smart cars were "tipped over" late Sunday [4/6/2014] or early Monday, local media reported.  The pint-sized, two-door coupes were either set on their hind quarters or tipped completely over.  The feat of upending a car listed at roughly 1,800 pounds may take more muscle than merely pushing over a snoozing cow, but the vandals also appeared to know what they were doing, according to one witness.

The Editor says...
Usually the mocking derision of little clown cars isn't demonstrated in physical violence.

Big Trucks, Obama, and the Rule of Law.  Along with other new regulations that are being promulgated without benefit of the approval of Congress, the big truck rule is part of the president's effort to show the world that he is working to save the planet from climate change.  But while energy efficiency and a potential reduction in the amount of oil consumption sound like ideas that everyone can get behind, the problem here is twofold.  On the one hand, the imposition of the new regulations will almost certainly raise the costs of these vehicles as well as make them less safe.

Heavy-duty vehicles in Obama crosshairs.  President Obama will unveil the next phase of fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles on Tuesday [2/18/2014].  During his visit to a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Obama will announce the new standards, which build upon the first standards the administration finalized for big rigs, semi trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles in 2011.  The new standards continue Obama's promised "year of action," a White House official said on Monday.  In the last five days, including the new fuel economy standards, the administration has set a stricter tone on the president's climate policies.

Obama orders new green rules.  President Obama on Tuesday [2/18/2014] announced he was ordering his administration to develop a set of new fuel efficiency standards for trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles.  Obama did not detail specific targets for heavy-duty vehicles, but said he expected a draft proposal by March of next year and for the rule to be implemented by 2016.  The proposal will be an extension of standards first launched in 2011, and apply to future model years.  While heavy-duty trucks and buses represent just 4 percent of the vehicles on the road, they generate 20 percent of the nation's vehicular carbon pollution.

The Editor says...
Here's a handy code-cracker for the benefit of those of you who attended public schools: If "4 percent of the vehicles on the road... generate 20 percent" of the CO2, that's probably because their engines are five times as powerful.  Therefore, it is a meaningless statistic.  And notice once again, "they generate 20 percent of the nation's vehicular carbon pollution."  That's a double-sided canard:  Carbon dioxide is not carbon, nor is it a pollutant.  Carbon dioxide obviously does not cause global warming, because carbon dioxide is steadily increasing in the atmosphere, and global warming stopped in the late 1990's.  Any battle against the production of carbon dioxide is futile, wasteful and unnecessary.  Why then are leftist politicians like Obama promoting such a battle (at taxpayers' expense)?  Leftists hate capitalism, and big trucks (and cars) are essential to capitalism.

Obama to issue executive order on truck fuel standards.  The preisdent just "can't wait" for Congress to develop new fuel efficiency standards for trucks, so he will do it for them using his power of executive authority. [...] It isn't so much that Congress won't develop new fuel standards.  It's that they won't do it the way he wants it done.  Like any good king, the president knows what's best and things like, "compromise," and "consensus" shouldn't stand in the way of his royal pronouncements.

Greenies and their twisted sense of risk.  One of the latest badges of greenie virtue is the mini-car.  Supposedly, if you drive one of these contraptions, you demonstrate your concern for Mother Gaia and help diminish the risk that catastrophic global warming will engulf low lying coastal areas and fry the rest of us in temperatures that will be a couple of degrees higher in the next hundred years.  In this worldview, people who drive around in SUVs are carelessly risking the very future of humanity. [...] But is that perceived risk worth cramming yourself into one of these contraptions?  And what about the risk of serious injury when one of these tiny vehicles encounters an obstacle?

Somewhat related:
Is There An ObamaCar In Your Future?  Every time federal regulators force some new bit of tech into cars, they proclaim it to be the biggest advance in safety since the brake pedal, only to find real-world results disappointing.  They claimed, for example, that "electronic stability control" — required in all new cars since 2011 — would be like "a guardian angel" that would save 10,000 lives a year.  Fatalities climbed in 2012.  The government promised that air bags would cut the risk of dying by 40%, saving 12,000 lives a year.  The actual benefit turned out to be about one-fourth that.

How many miles per gallon does your Prius really get?  At issue are recent auto tests conducted by the venerable watchdog Consumer Reports.  The organization found, for instance, that the EPA rates the Ford C-Max hybrid as getting 47 mpg overall.  But the Consumer Reports tests mimicking real-world conditions showed it got only 37 mph.  Why the discrepancy?  Consumer Reports says the EPA is using outdated testing methods that favor hybrid vehicles.

Inaccurate EPA Mileage Tests Mislead Consumers.  Are automakers designing cars for drivers — or federal bureaucrats?  It's worth asking.  Tests found that some top-rated cars performed far worse in the real world than they did in official EPA mileage tests.

The Regulatory Landscape in America — A Morass Of Red Tape.  In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in tandem with the Environmental Protection Agency, finalized fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2017|2025.  The rules require a whopping average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  Sticker prices will jump by hundreds of dollars.

Having killed the coal industry, Obama's next target is steel.
Carmakers Steering Away From Steel in Order to Meet Fuel Economy Standards.  Faced with increasingly stringent benchmarks — the government's new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards require a passenger vehicle fleet that averages 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — carmakers are taking another approach to achieving better fuel mileage: shaving weight off vehicles by experimenting with lighter materials.  Automobiles have long been made from steel — a very strong, but heavy material.  Now manufacturers are experimenting with new materials — ranging from aluminum to carbon fiber composites to metal alloys — to help companies reach the ambitious fuel efficiency standards.

The 10 Worst Regulations of 2012.  [#3]  Fuel Economy Standards:  In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in tandem with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), finalized new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2017-2025.  The rules require a whopping average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  Sticker prices will jump by hundreds of dollars.  Regulators argue that the fuel savings will make up these costs.  Whether consumers want to make such a trade-off does not matter.  The government has decided for them.

Mandating cars people don't want.  On Tuesday [12/4/2012], just before jetting off to yet another pointless climate conference, in Doha, [Canadian Environment Minister Peter] Kent announced what he called "good news."  The government would be forcing the auto industry to make cars consumers might not want, but this could save motorists $900 in gasoline a year.  He quoted a marvellously precise and yet random-seeming average fuel consumption of "54.5 miles per U.S. gallon" by 2025.  The units make it clear that the figure was dictated by Washington, not Ottawa.

Obama finalizes auto mileage mandate.  The Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced joint mileage and carbon emissions rules for model years 2017 through 2025 that will eventually force automakers to meet a standard equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon.

Ten Little-Known Consequences of a Second Obama Term.  The president's new rule on vehicle emissions standards requires automakers to increase their fleet averages to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and a whopping 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  The National Automobile Dealers Association calculates that this will drive up the price of the average car or light truck by $3,000.

Tata Nano: The $3,500 car with 37 HP and a 4-gallon gas tank is coming to the U.S..  The Tata Nano has never really taken off in India.  Perhaps that's because it's perfect for the U.S. market.  If so, however, Americans will have to warm up to a 4-seater bubble of a car with a 15-liter gas tank (about four gallons), a 624 CC two-cylinder engine with under 40 horsepower, and under three cubic feet of storage space.

New CAFE standards will increase the cost of buying a new car by $3,000.  Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) codified their war on American drivers by finalizing new car mileage mandates, otherwise known as CAFE standards.  Increasing the cost of new cars by thousands of dollars, new CAFE rules will require cars built in 2025 to get at least 54.5 miles per gallon.  With current 2011 cars averaging 28.6 miles per gallon, the EPA is going to require automotive manufacturers to nearly double fuel economy standards in a little more than a decade.

Obama's 'Doubled Fuel Efficiency' Con.  The MPG edict is, in fact, evidence of the false promise of government regulation.  Never mind the "doubling" of fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, cars won't come close to increasing fuel economy by 30 percent to 35.5 mpg (from the current, random, 27.5 mpg federal standard) that Obama has mandated just three years from now.  That's because, in Obama World (coming soon to a health care system near you) standards are meant to be gamed by lobbyists with deep pockets.

Obama Mileage Mandate Will Fuel Auto Disaster.  The latest "corporate average fuel economy" (CAFE) standards will require the average fuel economy of all the cars an automaker sells to almost double to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. [...] The Honda Fit would need to get 61 mpg by 2025, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  That's double what it gets today.  How Honda can possibly close that gap is anyone's guess.  In contrast, the EPA gives electric cars huge "miles per gallon equivalent" ratings.  The all-electric Nissan Leaf gets a 99 "mpge" rating, the Volt a 60.  That, along with generous credits for electric cars in the new CAFE rule, means automakers will have little choice but to try to push plug-in cars onto the market.  This might please Obama, who wants a million electric cars on the road by 2015.  But it's small comfort to consumers, who clearly aren't interested in buying them.

Saving gas, wasting lives.  President Obama's latest fuel-efficiency decree means consumers will have to turn in their SUVs and pickup trucks for tiny, European-style city cars within the next few years.  It's also likely to produce another, more costly consequence:  a lot more death on America's roads.  Last month, the president proudly announced a "groundbreaking" rule that will more than double the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandate from an average of 25.2 miles per gallon (mpg) for model year 2012 to 54.5 mpg for model year 2025. [...] An extensive study of crash data by USA Today in 1999 found that as autos got smaller and more fuel-efficient, every mile-per-gallon increase in gas economy resulted in about 7,700 roadway deaths.

55 MPG is Going to Cost Us.  There are exactly two 2013 model non-hybrid cars on the market that meet — just barely, or not quite — the pending 35.5 MPG CAFE edict that goes into effect only three years from now (and that's only two short model years from now):  The Scion iQ (37 MPG) and the Smart car (36 MPG).  They are microscopic in size — the iQ, all of ten feet long, end to end; the Smart having room for just two people.  These cars — call them Obama Cars — are the kinds of cars all of us can expect to be driving within the next few years.  Oh, there are also hybrids like the Toyota Prius.  But while the 2013 Prius does manage to pass the 2016 bar of 35.5 MPG, even it falls well short of averaging 55 MPG.  The Chevy Volt electric car easily passes muster on CAFE — but it also costs $40,000.

Obama's Stealth Killer Car Tax.  While all eyes were on the Republican National Convention in Tampa and Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, the White House was quietly jacking up the price of automobiles and putting future drivers at risk.  Yes, the same cast of fable-tellers who falsely accused GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of murdering a steelworker's cancer-stricken wife is now directly imposing a draconian environmental regulation that will cost untold American lives.

Obama's Sneaky, Deadly, Costly Car Tax.  My column today looks at the latest radical maneuver by the Obama administration — slipped through yesterday [8/28/2012] while much of the media's attention was on Hurricane Isaac and the RNC convention.  GOP leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a related statement today on the flawed, rushed rules that were cooked up in secret.

New fuel standards = Obama punishing drivers.  The EPA and Department of Transporation have announced new fuel efficiency standards that the White House calls "historic," but like much that comes from this administration it is going to cost you, the car consumer.  The idea behind the new standards is to make cars need less gas to go further.  Gas is expensive, and as the Obama administration has learned can be turned against the party in power as an election issue.  Burning gas to run your car also causes supposedly harmful greenhouse-gas emissions.  The Obama administration's solution to high gas prices and dirty emissions is to lower the latter rather than try to lower the former.

Why You Will Never Buy a Car Again.  If you've been waiting around to buy a new car, better hurry up.  If Obama gets his way, the only car you will be able to buy will be a small hybrid cube and will cost more than you can afford. [...] A 54.5 mpg increase could bring costs up to $15,000 extra per vehicle.  That might not be such a big deal for Obama, but for millions of American workers and small business owners who depend on their car to get to work and to earn a living, this will mean the difference between being able to feed their families and not being able to feed their families.

Goodbye, V-8s, the Engines That Could.  V-8s are on the way out — again.  The first mass extinction occurred circa late 1970s/early '80s, as a result of the first round of the government fuel economy edicts known by the acronym, CAFE — or Corporate Average Fuel Economy.  CAFE mandated that cars (but not trucks) achieve an average of at least 22.5 MPG or else the automakers who continued to build such wastrels would be hit with "gas guzzler" fines, which they in turn would pass on to the consumer.

Electric car tour stops in Paramus to charge up at Bergen Community College.  To drum up support for President Obama's new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, which would require an average 54.4 miles per gallon by 2025, environmentalists in New Jersey staged an electric car tour Thursday which included a stop at a charging station in a parking lot on the Bergen Community College campus in Paramus.

54.5 MPG And The Law Of Unintended Consequences.  [Scroll down]  Another, far worse consequence of the skyrocketing mileage requirements is that many cars will need to be made smaller, lighter, and with thinner metal and more plastic, to achieve the new "corporate average fleet economy" (CAFE) standards.  These vehicles — even with seatbelts, air bags and expensive vehicle modifications — will not be as safe as they would be if mileage weren't a major consideration.  They will have less "armor" to protect drivers and passengers, and less space between vehicle occupants and whatever car, truck, bus, wall, tree or embankment their car might hit.  The NHTSA, Brookings Institution, Harvard School of Public Health, National Academy of Sciences and USA Today discovered a shocking reality.  Even past and current mileage standards have resulted in thousands of additional fatalities, and tens of thousands of serious injuries, every year — above what would have happened if the government had not imposed those standards.

Obama Fuel Economy Standards to Boost Vehicle Prices.  Moving forward with President Obama's environmental agenda, the White House is expected to authorize new federal auto standards in the coming weeks that will nearly double fuel economy requirements for vehicles by 2025.  The regulations require a "fleet wide" gas mileage, or the average fuel economy for all cars, vans, trucks, and other vehicles, of 54.4 miles per gallon.

Ford's Trade-In: Truck to Use Aluminum in Place of Steel.  In this suburb just west of Detroit, Ford Motor Co. is working on one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history:  a pickup truck with a largely aluminum body.  The radical redesign will help meet tougher federal fuel-economy targets now starting to have wide-ranging effects on Detroit's auto makers.

EPA's new CAFÉ mileage standards kill.  Washington taxes and regulations keep yanking money from Americans' wallets.  Now EPA is preparing to make prices for cars and light trucks rise beyond the reach of low-income drivers.  That's bad enough.  But from there, things grow deadly.  At fault is a regulatory regime known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy, and commonly called CAFÉ standards.  Congress mandated these mileage rules in 1975, during a seemingly decade-long energy crisis.  Washington has periodically hiked CAFÉ standards in an ongoing effort to boost automobile efficiency.

Blogger Busts EPA's Fake Fuel Figures.  Blogger Lindsay Leveen at Green Explored explains, in layman's terms, how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created data "that disobey the laws of thermodynamics so that the worthless government policy of favoring plug in vehicles over gas or diesel powered vehicles can be supported by the public."  The key, according to Leveen, is that the EPA deliberately ignores energy losses at each stage of the electrical process — meaning that the EPA's claim of 118 miles per gallon (MPG) for the Honda Fit means less than 41 MPG in reality.

The Search for the 100-MPG Car.  Since the 1970s, it has been the quest of the United States to achieve energy-independence.  To that end, President Jimmy Carter established the Department of Energy so that the federal government could write checks to companies like Solyndra — companies that generate not power, but rather questions.  More recently, the grail quest has inspired the EPA and the Department of Transportation (DoT) to wave a magic wand and mandate corporate average fuel economy standards (CAFE standards) for vehicles at 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — a mileage standard that not even a Harley-Davison motorcycle can achieve.

CAFE Standards Kill.  As Washington keeps yanking money from Americans' wallets, car prices are set to rise beyond the reach of low-income drivers.  And from there, things grow deadly.  At fault is a regulatory regime called Corporate Average Fuel Economy, commonly called CAFE standards.  Congress mandated these rules in 1975, during a seemingly decade-long energy crisis.  Washington generally has hiked CAFE standards in an ongoing effort to boost automobile efficiency.  Lacking magic wands, car manufacturers spend money to obey these laws.  And then — surprise! — up go sticker prices.

Obama EPA Fuel Efficiency Standard Will Eliminate Half of U.S. New Car Buyers.  In another attempt to circumvent the market by political fiat, the Obama administration has positioned itself to force half of the new car buying population in the country out of the market, which would seriously maim all three American car companies and cost millions of good jobs.  How can they do this?  The Obama EPA is planning to enact their stunning 2025 EPA fleet fuel efficiency standard, raising it from the already high 35.5 miles per gallon mark by 2016, to a whopping 54.5 miles per gallon, according to Judson Berger's FOXNews article yesterday [2/15/2012].

IER files comment on EPA's proposed light-duty rule.  The Institute for Energy Research filed a comment yesterday [2/13/2012] with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding a proposed rule to establish light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards. ... "By EPA's own estimates, this proposed rule will only reduce global temperature at most by .018 of a degree by the year 2100.  With such negligible climactic benefits — if any at all — it is hard to understand why the federal government would push new regulations that will effectively increase the cost of buying a car by thousands of dollars and push 7 million drivers out of the market," noted IER President Tom Pyle.

Peak Climate?  Massive subsidy spending by government in so-called alternative sources of energy — like solar panels and wind power — drives up our national debt by billions annually, while corporate average fuel economy standards which dictate how many miles per gallon a manufacturer's overall fleet of cars must achieve have made cars less safe in case of an accident.  Both have redistributed capital from what could be more productive pursuits into a vain attempt to turn the clock back to a pattern of weather which was more hospitable.

Coming soon: Individual mandate to buy Chevy Volts.  The CAFE rule is the fleet-wide average fuel economy rating manufacturers are required by Washington to achieve.  The new rule — issued in response to a 2010 Obama directive, not to specific legislation passed by Congress — would require automakers to achieve a 40.9 mpg CAFE average by 2021 and 54.5 mpg by 2025.  In case you're wondering whatever happened to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has been supplanted in the CAFE process by the EPA. ... Total costs, as calculated by the EPA, will exceed $157 billion, making this by far the most expensive CAFE rule ever.

CAFE standards, market distortion and the usual results.  With the switch from the NHTSA to EPA, the auto industry most likely had no place at the table.  An agency with an agenda but little experience with the industry came up with the new rules.

Smallest car for sale in U.S. receives top crash scores.  Unlike most cars on the road, the pint-sized 2008 Smart fortwo evokes a simple question at first glance:  "How safe is it?"  The micro car, the smallest car for sale in the U.S. market, offers a good level of safety, according to new crash tests conducted by the insurance industry.

California Issues Clown Car Mandate.  Golden State regulators have passed sweeping emission standards requiring one in seven new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle. ... [I]f we've learned anything in recent years, it's that industrial policy and telling consumers what they need and must have vs. what they want and find useful doesn't work.  Only the marketplace can accurately pick winners and losers.  The government, having no competition, usually picks losers.  We have also learned that climate change is an overhyped fantasy based on ideology rather than science.

Destroying America by Denying Access to Energy.  The Obama administration fuel economy agenda, a call for 54.5 miles per gallon ignores simple physics.  There is a finite amount of energy a gallon of gas can generate.  If you dilute it with ethanol as is currently required, you get even less mileage.  The administration is trying to circumvent Congress by issuing standards based on regulating "greenhouse gas emissions", but there is no need for this.  It is a false argument.

A Honda Civic Lesson.  Heather Peters is hopping mad at Honda.  She says her '06 hybrid Civic's actual mileage more than just varied:  About 30 MPG vs. the EPA (and Honda) advertised 50 MPG.  So she's going after Honda in court — small claims court — for $10,000.  Which is the maximum payday she can get there.  Honda is concerned because if Peters wins, other hybrid owners may use the same tactic...

Driver Wins Honda Fuel Economy Case.  The owner of a Honda hybrid has won a small claims court case in the US against the car maker which could trigger a flood of similar actions across the world.  Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan awarded Heather Peters 9,867 US dollars (£6,244), saying Honda misled her about the car's expected fuel economy.  "At a bare minimum Honda was aware ... that by the time Peters bought her car there were problems with its living up to its advertised mileage," he said in the judgment.

Honda Hounded.  Heather Peters just won her lawsuit against Honda over what she argued were misleading claims about the gas mileage she'd get out of her then-new 2006 Civic hybrid.  She was awarded $9,867 in compensation, the maximum amount she could have been awarded in small claims court.  Now comes the deluge.  Because while Peters' $9k judgment is small potatoes, the fact that she succeeded could encourage a tsunami of similar court cases that might end up costing Honda (and potentially other hybrid car sellers and so, ultimately, consumers) a lot more than $9k.

Honda gets $9,867 hybrid mpg judgement overturned.  A judge overturned a nearly $10,000 small-claims judgment against American Honda Motor Co. that was won by a car owner who said the automaker misrepresented the gas mileage of her hybrid Civic, according to a ruling released Wednesday [5/9/2012].

Clown Cars: The Disastrous Results of Lawyers, Not Gearheads, Running the Auto Industry.  For years, the lawyers have not been able to resist instructing the auto industry.  Since Ralph Nader began tinkering in the sixties, cars have gone from iconic to ridiculous.  We have seen great cars like the Impala turned into a tiny little go-cart filled with airbags and other safety equipment. ... Most attorneys are not as comfortable working beneath the hood of a car as they are running behind an ambulance.  So a wise nation keeps attorneys as far away from their automotive plants as possible.

CAFE Spells RIP for Trucks.  The government's pending (2016) 35.5 MPG CAFE fuel economy requirements — which for the first time apply to trucks as well as passenger cars — are going to make it very difficult for any automaker to sell trucks in volume in this country. ... Even a small truck with a four-cylinder engine will have a hard time averaging 35.5 MPG.  To get there, the truck would need to be capable of 40 MPG on the highway and 30 MPG in city driving.  There are only a handful of economy cars that achieve 40 MPG on the highway right now.

The United States of EPA.  The EPA heaved its weight against another industry this month, issuing a regulation to sharply increase fuel economy.  Under this new rule, America's fleet of passenger cars and light trucks will have to meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a doubling of today's average of about 27 mpg.

EPA: By 2025, Pigs Will Fly.  Washington's press corps this afternoon dutifully parroted the White House announcement that by 2025, cars must get 54.5 mpg. ... But for harder numbers, how are the automakers doing on the more immediate EPA mandate of 35.5 mpg by 2015?  They're not even close.

New federal fuel economy rules of 54.5 m.p.g. for cars to be announced Wednesday.  New rules requiring cars and light trucks to achieve a combined 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 will be announced Wednesday [11/16/2011], a Capitol Hill source told the Free Press this evening.

Three Is the New Four as Engines Downsize.  Two automakers make big news with little three-cylinder engines that have the displacement of a soda bottle.  And three is apparently the new four.  Ford unveiled its 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine at the Frankfurt auto show this week, promising to offer it in Europe later this year and in the United States ... sometime.

Ford Revives the Three-Cylinder Engine in a Quest for Fuel Efficiency.  With the sole exception of the three-cylinder Smart Fortwo, four cylinders is as low as carmakers have expected Americans to go.  Three-cylinders are common in Europe but have been scorned in the U.S., where they're tainted by association with claptrap cars like the mousy Geo Metro.

Obama's New Fuel Economy Standards Will Increase Cost of a Car More Than $11,000.  The Obama Administration's new fuel economy standards will cause the retail price of average motor vehicles to increase over $11,000, according to a study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research.  "A fuel economy standard of 37.6 mpg is associated with a price increase of $5,244, 18.1 percent higher than the 2009 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) average price of $28,966.

Barack Obama, Auto Expert.  President Obama told automakers Monday [8/15/2011] they should focus on making smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.  Another breathtaking show of arrogance from a Harvard Law-trained social activist?  Call it a breathtaking show of ignorance.  "You can't just make money on SUVs and trucks," Obama said at a Minnesota town hall.  "There is a place for SUVs and trucks, but as gas prices keep on going up, you have got to understand the market."  Automakers know their market just fine.  It is Obama who needs a lesson.

A Big Welcome To EPA Motors.  It's bad enough that the Obama administration owns GM.  Now it's taking over the entire auto industry by imposing a radical fuel economy mandate.  Worst still, carmakers are letting them get away with it.

'Energy Independence' is a Pipe Dream.  Late last month, President Obama announced new automobile fuel-efficiency standards that will require cars to achieve an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  Vehicle fleets currently average 27 miles per gallon, so the new target would boost fuel efficiency by an unprecedented 100 percent within 14 years.  But barring an engineering miracle, that's probably pie in the sky.

Issa investigating Obama's new fuel economy standards.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) launched an investigation Friday [7/29/2011] into a series of closed-door meetings between Obama administration officials and major automakers that resulted in beefed-up vehicle fuel economy standards.  Issa sent out letters to executives of the country's major automakers Friday [7/29/2011] alerting them to the investigation and requesting that they keep all documents related to meetings with administration officials on the standards.

Obama Taking Heat over Proposed Fuel Economy Standard.  The Obama administration recently proposed raising corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards affecting cars and light trucks sold in America to 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025.  However, in a surprising development, the administration is now taking heat from Democratic legislators from Michigan including liberal Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who is up for re-election in 2012, in addition to congressmen representing districts in which German automakers operate in the South.

Obama to set U.S. fuel standard goal at 54.5 mpg by 2025.  U.S. President Barack Obama will announce a program to improve fuel efficiency for cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2017-2025 on Friday [7/29/2011], the White House said.  The target will be 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, Democratic Congressman Edward Markey said.  That would be a significant step up from current standards that require automakers to achieve 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Mandated Mischief: Obama's 54.5 MPG Standard.  President Obama today announced a deal with 13 automakers to boost new-car fuel economy standards from 35.5 mpg in 2016 to 54.5 mpg in 2025.  Obama claimed the new standards will save Americans $1.7 trillion over the lifetime of vehicles and $8,000 per vehicle by 2025.  But you've got to wonder, if the fuel-saving technologies requisite to meet the new standards are such a great bargain, why do we need a law forcing automakers to adopt them?

EPA gas mileage ratings don't add up in real world.  The EPA's tests that measure a vehicle's fuel economy are outdated.  They're conducted with professional drivers inside of laboratories using better-performing fuel and with air conditioning turned off for most of the ride.

Automakers Warn of Huge Job Losses Under Obama Fuel Efficiency Plan.  Automakers are pushing back against an Obama administration proposal that would almost double vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, launching a new ad campaign warning of hundreds of thousands of job losses across the country.  The White House has long been negotiating with automakers and environmentalists over the enormous increase in fuel efficiency standards.

The left's brilliant lie.  The bureaucracy doesn't care about functionality.  It wants to wipe out inventions it has long hated, such as the internal-combustion engine.  That's why the latest proposals to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements are set at unattainable levels.  Currently, manufacturers achieve an average rating of 30.3, but a few manufacturers like Ferrari score just 16.2.  By increasing noncompliance penalties, it simply won't be feasible to make a fun car even in low volumes.  Only boring hybrids and impractical electric cars will remain.

Obama's subsidymobiles.  Having invested heavily in luxury electric automakers Tesla and Fisker, the Obama administration is now putting the screws to their gas-engine competitors, Porsche, BMW & Co.  In its regulatory plot to make the gas engine go the way of the incandescent light bulb, President Obama's EPA isn't just mandating 56 miles per gallon by 2025 — effectively creating a standard only hybrid electrics can meet — but mandating harsh fines for companies that make engines the agency doesn't like.

Feds set sights on 56.2 mpg by 2025.  The Obama administration is considering requiring cars and light trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025 — a move that could boost the cost of vehicles by $2,100 or more.

RINOs for Traffic Fatalities?  A group of 15 so-called Republicans wrote President Obama urging him to double average fuel efficiency to as much as 62 miles per gallon by 2025.  But barring some new, magical technology and/or magical fuel, such a policy would put Americans in smaller, lighter and more deadly cars.

Cost of Obama's Green-Car Mandate: 260,000 jobs.  The purpose of federal fuel-economy mandates is to keep the agenda of green pols hidden lest the public awaken to their enormous costs.  Want to make cars fuel efficient?  Tax gas.  And commit political suicide.  So instead we get the stealthy Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) laws, which forces automakers to compromise cars to government standards, not those of customers.  But sometimes those costs still leak out.

Barack Obama, Detroit on collision course.  In 2009, President Barack Obama pushed through the first increase in gas mileage standards in decades, signing a rule that will raise fuel economy standards to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.  Now he's back for more, with plans that could raise standards for cars and light-duty trucks as high as 62 mpg by 2025.  But when Obama had his way with the automakers two years ago, the federal government still had an ownership stake in General Motors and Chrysler.

Fiat Qubo is perfect for very short drivers whose legs are about as big as my thumbs.
Interior of the Fiat Qubo,
not the roomiest car on the road.

EPA unveils new fuel economy labels.  The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the three types of new labels Wednesday [5/25/2011].  One type is for cars that use gasoline or diesel, or hybrids that use only self-generated electricity.  A second is for gas and electric hybrids that use some plug-in electricity, and the third is for vehicles running strictly on plug-in power.

U.S. may require at least 2% better fuel efficiency annually.  Federal regulators say they won't require annual improvements in automotive fuel efficiency of less than 2 percent between 2017 and 2025, but have "tentatively concluded" that an annual improvement of 7 percent is as high as automakers can be expected to reach.  In a notice posted Tuesday [5/10/2011], the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is researching the impact of raising fuel efficiency in the 2 percent to 7 percent annual range.

Will consumers revolt against the Volt?  [Scroll down]  Just four years from now, Mr. Obama has mandated a CAFE average of 35.5 MPG for all manufacturers.  The current average achieved is 22.2 MPG.  It is not possible, with current technology, to say nothing of customer preferences, to reach this absurd goal.

Obama's Pricey Electric Toys.  Obama's new diktat, announced in a Washington speech this morning, fits his centralized planning goal of internal-combustion-engine elimination by 2025 with a draconian, 62 mpg standard.  A global warming zealot, Obama had promised a transformation of the U.S. auto industry — even as he has taken credit for GM's return to profitability thanks to increased light-truck sales.  Obama's auto fancy, however, will be enormously expensive to taxpayers:  the $41,000 Chevy Volt electric vehicle cost more than double the gas-powered, $17,000 Chevy Cruze built on the same platform.  The public already forks over $7,500 dollars to the (generally wealthy) buyers of each Volt.  Of, course, many Washington officials — including the president — are transported in giant, gas-guzzling SUVs.  Obama's 10 mpg Caddy — codenamed "The Beast" by the Secret Service — is regularly escorted by a fleet of giant GM SUVs.

It's called the Jevon Paradox.
Oops! More green cars means more emissions.  Government mandates to auto manufacturers to build greener vehicles and tax subsidies to consumers who buy them will result in lower emissions, right?  Well, that's not what has happened in Sweden, according to Autoblog.

EPA will raise gas prices.  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asserted today that the Energy Tax Prevention Act "would increase our oil dependence by hundreds of millions of gallons" because it would remove EPA's authority to regulate carbon dioxide from automobiles under the Clean Air Act — and thereby forgo "hundreds of millions of barrels of oil savings."  This is false.  Congress gave explicit authority to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish fuel economy in automobiles, otherwise known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.  The Energy Tax Prevention Act in no way restricts or impedes NHTSA's authority over CAFE.

No So Smart.  Not even the legendary Roger Penske could make the Smart car a success in the U.S.A. ... Since selling 24,622 units in its 2008 debut year, Smart ForTwo sales have slumped.  Even as overall U.S. vehicle sales rebounded in 2010, Smart sales plummeted 60 percent to 5,927.  The news caught no one by surprise.  In truth, the only people who ever thought the Smart would be a U.S. bestseller were the Germans, the MSM, and Barack Obama, all of whom have proven spectacularly out-of-touch with American middle-class reality.

The CAFE Effect.  The problem was that removing mass and weight exposed passengers to stronger impact forces, resulting in higher death rate in accidents and collisions.  This has been repeatedly demonstrated in studies carried out by such organizations as the Harvard School of Public Health, the Brookings Institution, USA Today, and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.  Depending on the study, the CAFE standards have been responsible for 41,600 to 124,800 deaths and up to 624,000 serious injuries over the past thirty-five years.  It will come as a shock to no one to learn that the standards have generated no oil savings or other measurable benefits.

Outwitting Lethal Government Policies.  [Scroll down]  The second-largest democidal killer is automobile fuel standards, and particularly the CAFE standards.  These were passed in the mid-'70s as an answer to a bogus "oil shortage."  They were intended to lower gasoline use and protect the environment, and they succeeded at neither.  Instead, they have killed from 41,000 to 125,000 drivers and passengers, depending on methodology used.  The answer here is to avoid the type of cars — the class often dismissed as "skateboards," which are lightweight, ill-designed, and engineered to use as little fuel as possible — that the government would dearly like you to buy.  Unfortunately, most if not all subcompact to mid-sized vehicles fit this description.  They are dangerous and must be avoided.

Keep On Truckin'.  Ever since the first Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were enacted, Americans have consistently rejected efforts by government and environmentalists to force them to drive what many deride as "clown cars."  They've opted instead for full-size cars, SUVs and trucks that can actually carry a family and all its stuff in comfort and safety.  The auto industry was particularly hard hit during this recession, so it's interesting to learn how consumers are spending their precious dollars.  They're again picking SUVs and trucks to do the job.

Mileage Rules Prompt Backlash.  Auto makers and car dealers, emboldened by rising profits and a more business-friendly Congress, say they will fight the Obama administration's proposal to boost average new-car fuel economy to as much as 62 miles a gallon by 2025.  The auto makers' main trade group accused regulators in documents filed last week of understating the costs by billions of dollars and suggested the industry might go to court over the issue.  It's a fresh sign that the "go along to get along" approach some industries took during the first two years of the Obama administration is over.

The EPA's Odd View of 'Consumer Choice'.  Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in a "Notice of Intent" that passenger vehicle fuel economy average as much as 62 miles per gallon 14 years from now.  The agency was able to arrive at this lofty mark by conveniently ignoring everything we know about the state of automotive art and the marketplace today. ... To bolster its 62-mpg proposal, EPA produced a numbing 245-page analysis of prospective automotive technologies — many of which don't exist, the rest of which have been rejected by consumers.

Experts Say CAFE Still Kills Despite Congressional Support.  In a questionnaire put out by the Associated Press last week, Michigan congressmen Fred Upton (R-7th District), Mark Schauer (D-8th District) and Gary Peters (D-9th District) all expressed support for "stronger emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks."  But some transportation experts say this will lead to higher fatality rates in Michigan and nationally.

Transparency According to Carol Browner.  "Put nothing in writing, ever," sounds like a command a veteran CIA official may give to an incoming class of new officers.  One would not expect such a directive to issue from one of the President's trusted advisors, especially from a White House that proudly proclaims itself to be the most transparent in history.  But according to various media reports, that "cloak and dagger" tactic was Energy and Climate Change Czar Carol Browner's underlying rule for auto industry executives involved with secret negotiations concerning the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.  Yet, we should not be surprised about her oral-communication-only policy, since she has apparently learned from her past mistakes.

EPA Proposes More Regulations.  In yet another economically destructive ploy to "go green," the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended an unprecedented barrage of harsh federal regulations on fuel efficiency standards for semi-trucks, buses, delivery vans, garbage trucks, and heavy-duty pickup tricks.  According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), "The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are proposing mandatory reductions in fuel use of between 10 and 20 percent from the largest vehicles.  And in January, the EPA will begin regulating large stationary sources such as power plants and factories."

Designing Obamacar.  It's not enough for the Obama administration to take over America's largest automaker.  The O Force is pushing to redesign every car on the road to reflect the bland, lifeless vision of an activist base committed to undoing the Industrial Revolution.  Proposed rules floated Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation would raise the existing corporate average fuel economy mandate of 35.5 mpg by 2016 to 60 mpg by 2025.

CAFE standards sacrifice lives for oil.  [Scroll down to page 18]  Increasing federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is a standard part of the legislative agenda of those who seek to solve environmental and energy problems by restricting the types of vehicles Americans can purchase and drive.  But there are more cost-effective ways to save fuel, and CAFE standards have a terrible unintended consequence:  needless highway deaths. ... CAFE standards caused between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths every year since they were established in 1975.  This is because the best way to achieve fuel economy is to build lighter cars, which do not protect passengers as well as heavier vehicles during traffic accidents.

Obama seeks tougher mileage, efficiency standards.  President Barack Obama is setting the nation's sights on vehicles that run on half the fuel they now use and give off half the pollution.

Coming Soon:  The Auto Purchase Mandate.  As threatened, the new CAFE standards have arrived, with the EPA muscling in on territory reserved by statute to the Transportation Department.  As Marlo Lewis and I have noted repeatedly, this is an unconstitutional step on a road to economic devastation.

Death by CAFE Standards.  Like much else in the way of nonsense, mileage regulation was a product of the 1970s.  The decade was marked by several "oil shortages," which media, government, and Green activists all attributed to resource depletion.  In truth, they were triggered by Arab manipulation of oil prices in an attempt to undercut support for Israel, then amplified by U.S. government incompetence and public hysteria generated by the Greens.  Fuel standards are the longest-lived of an entirely futile array of attempts to address 1970s oil shortages.  They first went into effect in the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program, better known as CAFE.

What the New CAFE Standards Really Mean:  Yesterday [4/1/2010], 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.

New vehicle efficiency rules could paralyze recovery.  Just what a struggling American economy needs:  new fuel efficiency standards that will make cars and trucks more expensive.  The new standards, issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency, will cost automakers $51.5 billion over the next five years and add $985 to the price of an average vehicle in 2016, according to the regulators.

Congress, Toyota, and CAFE Standards.  As a public policy, CAFE standards are an abysmal failure.  As far as human life is concerned the program is a tragedy.  Government interference and regulation in the free-market kills Americans.  Is this the government our founding fathers envisioned?

The EPA's Carbon Footprint:  The immediate consequence of the sweeping new EPA authority will be more stringent regulation of automobiles.  Section 202 of the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to adopt emission controls once an "endangerment" finding is made.  In September, anticipating that finding, the EPA and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration proposed new regulations that would effectively require automakers to produce cars and light trucks with an average fuel efficiency rating of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

CAFE Vs. Toyota:  Sudden-acceleration events in Toyota and Lexus vehicles have been blamed for at least 19 fatalities and 815 vehicle crashes since 1999.  That's fewer than two fatalities a year in a country that makes 1.8 million cars annually.  How many crashes and fatalities are caused by the use of cell phones and text-messaging while driving?  Let us take a look at the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards enacted by the federal government in response to the Arab oil embargo.  Lately, supporters have sought to increase these standards in the name of fighting climate change.  They have neither reduced our dependence on foreign oil nor saved the Earth.  What they have done over time is to force Americans into smaller and less-safe vehicles.

Reactions to E.P.A.'s Climate Finding.  The Environmental Protection Agency declared Monday that greenhouse gases, 23 percent of which come from car and truck tailpipes, "threaten the public health and welfare of the American people."  The so-called endangerment finding was not unexpected and allows the E.P.A. to complete its standards for greenhouse-gas emissions and fuel economy for model years 2012-16 (when cars will be expected to reach the equivalent of 35.5 miles a gallon combined).

Running Cars on Water?  A number of studies over the years concluded that no more than 40% of the chemical energy contained in gasoline was being converted by the internal combustion engine into motion.  Why only 40%?  Because any chemical process is inefficient — and especially a chemical process as clumsy as exploding gasoline vapor.  Once you have converted that chemical energy into rotation, you lose some of it because of friction in the driveline, wind resistance against the body of the car, and flexing of the tires.

The President's New Cars.  Even if there is no rebound effect [from CAFE standards], my colleague Pat Michaels finds that global temperatures will only be reduced by 0.005° Celsius by 2050 and 0.0078° Celsius by 2100 once you plug those emissions reductions into the computer models used by the IPCC.  (These are thousandths of a degree, mind you.)  Of course, proponents contend that U.S. action on fuel efficiency will lead to like action abroad.  Well, good luck with that.

Will Detroit find buyers for new small cars?  Ever since fuel prices soared to record highs last year, American consumers have been trading in their gas-guzzling trucks and full-sized cars for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles — or, at least that's the conventional wisdom.  In fact, while the small car segment of the market has gained some momentum, though, U.S. motorists have remained stubbornly attached to their pickups, SUVs and larger passenger cars.

Driving America:  Your Car, Your Government, Your Choice.  If asked whether he or she would like a prospective new car to get 40 miles per gallon and still meet all his or her other needs, any consumer would say "Yes."  This is what CAFE advocates promise — a no-cost, penalty-free boost in fuel economy provided through government regulation.  Of course, like all purveyors of the proverbial free lunch, they cannot deliver.

Obama's Five-percent Folly.  The Obama administration Tuesday [9/15/2009] issued final rules requiring U.S. automakers to increase their fleets' average fuel economy by five percent a year to meet a federally mandated 35.5 mpg by 2016.  (American pants makers will also be required to sell slacks with an average waste size of 32 by 2016 and home builders will be required to sell homes averaging 1,500 square feet.  Just kidding. ...but what's the difference?)

'Put nothing in writing,' Browner told auto execs on secret White House CAFE talks.  Carol Browner, former Clinton administration EPA head and current Obama White House climate czar, instructed auto industry execs "to put nothing in writing, ever" regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated regarding a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.  Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-WI, is demanding a congressional investigation of Browner's conduct in the CAFE talks, saying in a letter to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, that Browner "intended to leave little or no documentation of the deliberations that lead to stringent new CAFE standards."

The Hidden Death Toll of Higher CAFE Standards.  With all that the Obama administration has been hitting us with of late, the news about CAFE and how it will affect us has been given far less coverage than it deserves.  I wonder if Obama's motive is to flood the field so as to slip stuff like this by us. ... What we're being sold on is lower fuel consumption for our cars which will lead to less "global warming."  The science surrounding the global warming scare is questionable at best, as has been covered in many venues.  So CAFE has a questionable goal from the start.

The Myth of Ever Increasing Fuel Economy.  By proposing a set limit for economy on all classes of passenger vehicles, Barack Obama has basically said one of two things:  In 2016, he wants only economy cars to be sold in the US or he is instructing car companies to squeeze gas from a stone.  Since he cannot change the laws of physics, I envision the date those proposed standards take effect will either be repealed by the next administration, or continually be delayed.  This is just another dictate similar to all the rest of Obama's plans:  not based in reality, but wishful thinking.

Obama Motors: Costly, Bureaucratic, and Pointless.  It is overwhelming to consider the ways this new mandate will harm the American economy.  This stealth energy tax will significantly increase the cost of every single new car on the market.  Early reports suggest that consumers can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 more for small cars and up to $5,000 more for large cars. ... The mandate demonstrates just how seriously the feds are taking their new role as car company chief:  The government isn't just going to make decisions about how best to run their operations.  They're also going to limit your choice of automobile and force you to pay more in the process — that is, those who can still afford a new car.

Obama Motors:  The Cars You Don't Want at a Price You Can't Afford.  When President Obama took office, he got a new car -- an 8 mile-per-gallon custom Cadillac limousine.  The reason his car gets such poor fuel economy is that it is designed to protect the Commander-in-Chief from multiple threats. ... Because the car's armor and accessories weigh so much, the car is powered by a 6.5 liter diesel engine. ... President Obama didn't have the luxury of choosing a fuel-efficient car.  His car was chosen for him based on several factors, most importantly the need to protect the President of the United States.  Unfortunately, with this new national fuel efficiency standard, President Obama is not giving Americans the ability to select the car of their choosing.

Fuel Standards Are Killing GM.  General Motors can survive bankruptcy far more easily than it can survive President Barack Obama's ambitious fuel economy standards, which mandate that all new vehicles average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.  The actual Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) results will depend on the mixture of fuel-thrifty and fuel-thirsty vehicles consumers choose to buy from each manufacturer — not on what producers hope to sell.

Obama Announces New Fuel Mileage Restrictions.  "We will keep America healthier, cut tons of pollution from the air we breathe, and make a lasting down payment on cutting our greenhouse gas emissions," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in a May 19 press statement.  "Lisa Jackson talking about keeping America healthier through these restrictions is sadly ironic," said Jay Lehr, science director for The Heartland Institute.  "Because fuel economy restrictions force vehicles to be lighter and less crashworthy, the National Research Council reports that existing standards kill approximately 2,000 people per year.  "These new restrictions will likely be a death sentence for about 2,000 more Americans each and every year," Lehr noted.

Global warming fuel rules put freeze on automakers.  The usual rule in America — even in rough-and-tumble Washington, D.C. — is:  "You don't kick 'em when they're down."  So why — with the American car industry practically on its death bed — is the Obama administration stomping it hard with costly new emissions control mandates?

The Newest Unnecessary 'Car' Fad.  A collaborative effort between General Motors and Segway Inc. debuted Tuesday, April 7, in New York:  the new PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility vehicle).  With the assistance of GM, Segway did something everyone thought was absolutely impossible:  They made the Segway even dorkier.

Small cars kill.  President Obama's push to force Americans into smaller cars ignores one big problem — small cars are less safe than big cars.  Ignoring this fact will cost lives.  Mr. Obama announced new miles-per-gallon regulations on May 19 that mandate that automobiles achieve 42 mpg by 2016.

'World's cheapest car' coming to US.  India's Tata Motors hopes to offer the Nano, dubbed the world's cheapest car, in the United States within two years, its chairman said.  "It will need to meet all emission and crash standards and so we hope in the next two years we will be offering such a vehicle in the U.S," Ratan Tata told a panel at the Cornell Global Forum on Sustainable Global Enterprise late Wednesday.

The Editor says...
It will be amusing to see how much the US emission and crash standards add to the price of the car.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Enviro-idiocy.  I always knew that if we just waited long enough, the enviro-twits would start self-selecting themselves from the gene pool. ... This was inevitable, given the green movement's inability to grasp such complexities as cause and effect.  Remember when they started demanding better gas mileage in cars?  The U.S. government passed such laws and the car companies reacted by reducing the amount of metal in vehicles and making the cars smaller and smaller.  Now there are automobiles on the road today that resemble nothing so much as a skateboard with a seatbelt...

Obama's Transportation Secretary Says He Wants to 'Coerce People Out of Their Cars'.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told a group of reporters at the National Press Club on Thursday [5/28/2009] that he wants to "coerce people out of their cars."  In Newsweek magazine last week, nationally syndicated columnist George Will published a piece critical of Lahood, entitled, "Ray LaHood, Transformed — Secretary of Behavior Modification."

Transportation Secretary: 'Coerce People Out of Their Cars'.  I applaud the Secretary's honesty, as I deplore the elitist mentality that seeks to coerce Americans.  I hope that my fellow lab rat Americans will wake up before it is too late.  We live in an American where the authorities will bully us into lifestyles they have chosen.

I Have Seen the Future of the Automobile — and It [Stinks].  If your idea of a car is something bigger than a penalty box, or more powerful than a moped, or maybe slightly fun to drive, then I suggest you get yourself down to your local dealer (assuming he hasn't already folded), pronto, and buy yourself something pretty.  It might just be your last chance for a good long while.  President Obama put his signature to new CAFE rules last week, requiring that by 2016, automakers must meet fleet-wide gas mileage averages of 39 mpg for cars and 30 for trucks.  This is easy enough to accomplish — build smaller vehicles with smaller engines.

Little Green Cars.  Get ready folks:  America is about to own a car company.  As of Monday [6/1/2009], we the taxpayers will own more than 70 percent of GM.  Whether the company will be formally renamed Government Motors remains to be seen.  But that's what it will be.  Instead of putting the failed car enterprise into bankruptcy six months ago — where Carl Icahn or Wilbur Ross could have bought it — the Bush administration chose Bailout Nation.  Under Team Obama, that bailout has morphed into full-scale government ownership.

Car Crazy.  All that's left to arrive at the President's new destination for the American way of driving are huge, unanswered questions about technology, financing and the marketability of cars that will be small and expensive.  Start with technology.  The President's proposed standards would raise fuel economy goals higher and faster than even the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration believes is practical.

Coming to Your Garage:  Le Car.  Finally, Americans can start moving forward?albeit in small, unsafe, state-mandated, subsidized pieces of junk.  We all remember a time when we drove around in nearly any variety of automobile desired.  Well, thank goodness we're getting past that kind of anarchy.  Rejoice, my fellow citizens, in the forthcoming automobile emissions and efficiency standards, even if they happen to add more than $1,000 to the cost of your average car.

Obama at the Auto Buffet.  With his latest installment of ever-higher fuel mileage requirements for the auto industry, Barack Obama embraces a momentary, crisis-spawned expansion of the art of the possible, unleavened by any art of the rationally desirable.  Detroit is dependent on Washington loans for survival.  The industry's lobbyists and its congressional allies have collapsed in a heap, offering no resistance.

CEObama: The Car Czar.  Is there really a consumer preference for smaller vehicles?  Apparently not. reports that in 2008, sales of fuel-efficient hybrids dropped 10.3 percent.  Small cars are languishing on dealer lots, The Wall Street Journal notes.  That's astounding, since throughout 2008 the price of gasoline reached levels most Americans had never dreamed it could.  Yet as soon as gas prices tumbled, so did hybrid sales.  Meanwhile, in November GM had workers at its auto plant in Texas — the only one where its big SUVs are made — working overtime to produce the vehicles that people were actually buying.  Half the cars sold in the U.S. in December were SUVs.

Fuel efficient cars can kill you.  Forgive us for being the skunk at the White House party, but nobody there said anything about the most important consequence of President Obama's widely lauded decision to increase the national Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard.  Namely, that thousands more Americans will die or be grievously injured in auto accidents, thanks to the mandate that new vehicles average no less than 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Obama Nails the Coffin Shut.  [Scroll down]  Even the Obama people concede the new mileage standards will cost American consumers about $1,600 per vehicle by 2016 — in effect, a massive tax increase in the middle of a neo-Depression.  The difference is this tax increase will be optional.  People can avoid it by avoiding new cars — which will make it that much harder for the car industry to recover from the catastrophic state it finds itself in right now, with sales down anywhere from 30-50 percent depending on the make.  Pure genius!

This Isn't About Oil or the Planet! It's About Cutting Us Down to Size.  The assault is on your liberty and your freedom, and it's, of course, under the guise of taking care of you.  You're not competent enough to buy the right kind of car; you're not competent enough to buy the right kind of food; you're not competent enough to bank at the right bank; you're not competent enough to do anything.  Government has to make these decisions for you because otherwise you will destroy the planet.

Emission Control.  The administration announced Tuesday [5/19/2009] that it wants to increase car mileage standards.  That will cause an inevitable increase in carnage on our highways, and could kill a car company or two.

Deadly Dreams in Tiny Cars.  According to MSNBC, President Obama is enjoying amazing support from "an uncommon alliance of auto executives, union leaders and environmental activists" concerning is new proposal to raise mileage standards and curb vehicle emissions.  But if you look at this support, you can see why it's as pathetic as spoilers on a Yugo.  Of course, the auto executives are behind it, because the government is paying them to be behind it.

Gaseous Emissions.  Barack Obama was not the candidate in last year's presidential race who reminded us the most of a used-car salesman — that distinction went to his eventual running mate, Joe Biden. ... Obama's hard sell — "This is a winning proposition for folks looking to buy a car" — is premised on some sketchy math.  For one thing, experts outside the administration say the added per-vehicle cost could go as high as $8,000.  You can't save money getting more miles to the gallon if you can't afford the car in the first place.

If It's a Smart Car, Why Does It Look So Stupid?  It's 8 feet of automotive amusement wrapped around a rockin' "3-cylinder, 1-liter gasoline powered engine."  OK, that's only impressive if you like driving around in a golf-cart with sides or you find a riding mower cooler than a Maserati. ... It's already the car of the present for micro Europeans, but if environmentalists have their way, it might be the kind of car that will be your future.  There's really only one problem — even this dorky motor scooter of a car doesn't meet Barack Obama's new mileage standards.

Obama's Euro Dream Cars.  Explicit in the Obama administration's new mpg edict is Euro-envy (a sentiment that informs much of this president's economics).  If the Europeans can drive 39 mpg cars, why can't we?  Yes, European cars average 39 mpg.  That's under the duress of $7-a-gallon petrol.  And on a smaller continent with less space and narrower roads. And ... in vehicles less capable and considerably more expensive than ours.

Light Cars Are Dangerous Cars.  The national press has uncritically reported that the new standards will make cars "cleaner."  In fact, the rules could impose substantial costs in terms of urban air pollution and human life. ... The Obama fuel efficiency plan may also contribute to a significant increase in highway deaths as vehicles are required to quickly meet the new CAFE standard and will likely become lighter in weight as a result. ... Specifically, the NRC estimated that in 1993 there were between 1,300 and 2,600 motor vehicle crash deaths that would not have occurred if cars were as heavy as they were in 1976.

Small cars get poor marks in collision tests.  Micro cars can give motorists top-notch fuel efficiency at a competitive price, but the insurance industry says they don't fare too well in collisions with larger vehicles.

Fuel economy zealots can kill you.
Small Cars Are Dangerous Cars.  The super-high efficiency minicar has become the Holy Grail for many environmentalists.  But on Tuesday, a new study on minicar safety tossed some cold water on the dream.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that in a series of test crashes between minicars and midsize models, minis such as the Smart car provided significantly less protection for their passengers.  The tests did not involve the much ballyhooed mismatches between subcompacts and Hummers, but measured the effect of relatively modest differences in size and weight.

Clown Cars.  In exchange for lower emissions of CO2, which is a pollutant based on politics, not reality, and is such a weak greenhouse gas that man's puny contribution can't possibly have any effect on climate, we'll have more death on the roads.  Is this the trade-off that the country should be willing to accept?  Do we really want more of these minis and micros being knocked around and crushed by bigger automobiles?  Are we willing to see these cars lose deadly battles with utility poles, guard rails and concrete walls?

A global warming scam:  Years of improved engine efficiencies have reduced emissions per ton-mile, but now the only practical way to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to push motorists into ever smaller vehicles that use less fuel per mile, or expensive hybrids and other exotic vehicles powered by fuel cells, compressed air, or batteries. ... [This] will mean that about six years from now many Vermonters registering a new car will have to pay more — probably a lot more — for an exotic upscale hybrid, or cram themselves into a smaller and less crashworthy car, van or truck.

In Detroit, Failure's a Done Deal.  Congress could help the Detroit Three by allowing them, when meeting CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards imposed by Congress, to count fuel-efficient cars they import from their overseas factories.  Congressional Democrats oppose that because those imports are not made by members of the United Auto Workers.  Those Democrats, their rhetoric notwithstanding, really care most about the union.  "Saving the planet" comes second and last comes the health of the auto companies.

The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have.  If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it:  a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon.  … The company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe.  "We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields.  "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S."  The main one:  The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.

New fuel economy standard will be 31.6 mpg.  The next generation of new cars and trucks will need to meet a fleet average of 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015, the Bush administration proposed Tuesday, seeking more fuel-efficient vehicles in the face of high gasoline prices and concerns over global warming.

Research and Commentary on Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards.  Synopsis:  CAFE kills people and doesn't help the environment.

Democide:  [Scroll down]  We can add the CAFE standards, federal regulations dictating mileage rates for new cars.  The only method of achieving the drastic new rates was by cutting automobile size and weight, increasing impact dangers to drivers and passengers.  Studies by Harvard University and the Brookings Institution suggest that the numbers of ensuing deaths may exceed 120,000.

Haven't CAFE Regulations Killed Enough People?  For over a decade, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has argued that CAFE increases traffic deaths by restricting the production of larger, more crashworthy cars.  This past August the National Academy of Sciences agreed; it issued a study on the program that concluded that CAFE contributes to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths per year.  Given that CAFE has been in effect for more than two decades, its likely death toll is ten thousand or more.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007...
A Lightbulb Tea Party?  First, the law requires auto fuel efficiency standards to increase by 40 percent by 2020.  Unfortunately, this goal is presently only achievable by reducing vehicle weight — but lighter cars are deadlier cars.  So what's the purported benefit of mandating 4,000 or more deaths per year?  The law's supporters claim that it may reduce national oil consumption by about 5 percent (400 million barrels of oil per year).  Doing the math, your life is now worth about 100,000 barrels of oil.

Leave Those Car Buyers Alone.  Last week, environmentalists and the auto industry struck a deal to require new cars sold 13 years hence to average 35 miles per gallon; a 40-percent increase over the existing 27.5 mpg mandate. … As the president prepares to sign the energy bill passed yesterday [12/18/2007] by the House, Congress's 32-year-old fight over automotive fuel-economy standards is probably over … for now.

CAFE Rule Will Add $900 to $10,000 to Cost of Car.  The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards — set by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in the new energy bill — will require vehicles to get 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020 and will add somewhere between $900 and $10,000 to the cost of buying a car, dependent upon which expert is consulted.  That cost, high or low, will boost the average price of a new car, which will be passed onto consumers, according to carmakers and independent analysts.

Coping With The New CAFE Standards.  Spies in Washington, DC tell us the congressional parking lot is filled with large sedans, SUV's, and trucks.  While there are a few economy cars in the lot, the estimated mileage for the cars in the lot is less than 20 mpg.  But don't expect to see Ted Kennedy in a Smart Car because we know that politicians reek with hypocrisy.  They exempt themselves from the very laws they expect us to follow.  So, rest assured that the Congress Critters will not be driving the micro-cars that they will require you to drive.  This is supposed to be the 'Land of the Free' so why should Americans be denied the opportunity to choose the vehicle that meets their needs?

The Tax They Didn't Tell You About:  The CAFE standards embedded in the Energy Independence Act require fuel efficiency to jump to a fleet average 35 miles a gallon in 2020 from about 25 mpg now.  That means you will soon be paying more — a lot more — to buy a car. … Based on what we know now, it'll cost automakers some $85 billion to comply.  When all costs are factored in, other estimates put the total cost at about $18 billion a year.  Fine, say the populist politicians.  Stick it to the automakers.  But do they really think Ford and GM will pick up the tab?  Of course not.

Congress Conjures Up an Energy Deficit.  When Congress passed a so-called energy bill in mid-December that demanded more "fuel efficiency" by a measure of forty percent, requiring that automobiles be built to get 35 miles per gallon in 2020 as opposed to the former mandate of 25 mpg, it was essentially telling American auto makers to start making cars out of paper mache or something so lightweight that the driver and passengers will have to be extracted from a crash with a sponge.

Why Only the Grinch Would Love Higher CAFE Standards:  With cars in most showrooms showing greater savings in fuel, consumers will buy more cars or put more miles on the cars they buy.  Fuel consumption goes up, not down, at least for part of the fleet.  The resulting rebound takes some of the edge off economy gains that might otherwise come with tighter CAFE standards.

The Ninth Circus strikes again.
Court tosses new fuel standards for SUVs, trucks, cites threat of global warming.  The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today [11/15/2007] tossed new federal fuel economy standards for some sport utility vehicles, minivans and light trucks, arguing that regulators failed to properly assess the risk of global warming and that the new rules didn't include larger SUVs and trucks.  The decision is a huge win for several environmental groups and 11 states that argued that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's new fuel economy standards, announced in March 2006, ignored the effects of carbon dioxide emissions.

Is the 'Smart Car' really Smart?  Remember the station wagon?  Previous CAFE standards led to the end of the station wagon and the birth of the popular SUV.  Station wagons were categorized as cars and because they were bigger, heavier and required larger engines it was impossible to meet the CAFE standards for the manufacturer's passenger car fleet.  But the public weren't interested in a micro-car, they wanted a vehicle that could carry the family.

Controversy Surrounds NAS Selection of CAFE Panelists.  The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) ... was criticized for packing its 2002 panel with members with financial incentives or a philosophical predisposition for developing new engine technologies.  Even so, the 2002 report confirmed existing fuel economy mandates have caused between 1,300 and 2,600 additional traffic deaths each and every year since 1973.  The 2002 report also confirmed that for every 100-pound reduction in vehicle weight (the principal means by which fuel economy mandates are met), an extra 250 people die in traffic accidents each year.

CAFE Battle Rages on Capitol Hill.  The battle over more stringent fuel economy restrictions is being fought in the House, as the Senate has already approved legislation requiring new cars and light trucks to average at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020.  The Senate legislation represents a 30 percent increase in car fuel economy and a 50 percent increase in light truck fuel economy relative to current requirements.

Hybrid Cars' Fantasy Mileage Ratings Drive Into the Sunset.  Hybrid car economics will face a new road test this month with the arrival of fresh models sporting revised mileage ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency.  This year, new test standards have forced manufacturers to lower advertised efficiency claims on most models compared to previous years, and car lots are bracing for a tougher environment for hybrid sales.

Note:  More information about hybrid cars can be found here.

Beware of Anti-Consumer Energy Bills On Tap in Congress.  In order to meet tougher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, cars and trucks would need to be made lighter, which also makes them less safe in collisions.  According to a 2002 National Academy of Sciences study, vehicle downsizing has cost 1,300 to 2,600 lives per year in the U.S.  Tougher miles per gallon requirements would likely add to the death toll, especially if they are ambitious and inflexible.

Harry Reid's gas rants:  ignorance or arrogance?  That Harry Reid is a hypocrite about fuel economy and a variety of other topics isn't a surprise. … Reid uses a Suburban because he "has to" for security purposes.  Why?  Becuase you sit higher, are safer, or gasp, have more room for all your stuff (ego excepted)?  Heaven forbid a family choose that vehicle for the same purposes.

Pay Less, Drive More.  Last Wednesday the Bush administration announced new fuel economy standards for light trucks and SUVs.  Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta asserted that the new regulations, which will affect vehicles sold from 2008 to 2011, will save 10.7 billion gallons of fuel during those years by mandating greater vehicle efficiency.  But this projection ignores the fact that improved efficiency tends to lead to greater consumer use, whether in motor vehicle driving or desktop computing.

Green but Unsafe.  In 1974, Congress mandated a doubling in car fuel efficiency to 28 miles per gallon from 14; the rules duly led to a cut of fuel consumption.  However, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences estimated that they also resulted each year in 2,000 additional traffic deaths and 30,000 nonfatal injuries.

President Bush Should Reconsider his Call to Increase Fuel Economy Standards.  "CAFE standards kill," said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research.  "In our view, the best way to 'reform and modernize' fuel economy standards is to eliminate them.  It is hypocritical, and to some, lethal, for a government that forbids drilling in ANWR to, in the name of energy independence, force families into vehicles that are less safe than they otherwise would be."

Safe at Any Speed.  It's another summer weekend, when millions of families pack up the minivan or SUV and hit the road.  So this is also an apt moment to trumpet some good, and underreported, news:  Driving on the highways is safer today than ever before.

[And that's because so many people drive large SUV's and pickup trucks.  The highways would get even safer if drunk drivers spent more time in jail.]

Why the Government's CAFE Standards for Fuel Efficiency Should Be Repealed, not Increased.  In 1975, Congress reacted to the 1973 oil embargo imposed by OPEC by establishing the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Program as part of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.  The goal of the program was to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil and consumption of gasoline.  Advocates also hoped it would improve air quality.  But the evidence shows that it has failed to meet its goals; worse, it has had unintended consequences that increase the risk of injury to Americans.

Planet-conscious cars not safe for drivers.  Tiny cars that sip fuel might not be as good for your health as they are for the planet.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is releasing crash test results Tuesday [12/19/2006] for six minicars that find only one — the Nissan Versa — to be safe.

Road Watchers.  Jim Whitty, from the Oregon Department of Transportation, ... says the car industry is moving towards more fuel-efficient cars on its own, including gas-electric hybrid SUVs.  So he says the environmentalists don't have to worry about people choosing the fuel-efficient option to save money, the fuel-efficient option is the only one they'll have.

This was written in 1988:
The Mounting Dangers of the CAFE Mileage Standards:  Although CAFE was first proposed to foster more fuel efficient cars, the average fuel efficiency of cars driven in the U.S. actually began to increase even before standards were enacted.  The reason was simple.  With gasoline prices rising from 36 cents per gallon in 1972 to 53 cents per gallon in 1974, consumers began to demand more efficient automobiles. … No federal regulation was needed to tell auto makers to improve fuel economy the market was sending an unmistakable signal.  As fuel prices began to drop in the early 1980s, however, consumers began to look for other important qualities in their cars, like size, comfort, and safety.

The Editor says...
For those of you who don't remember, when the price of unleaded gasoline hit 55 cents a gallon, the price of diesel was 19 cents a gallon.  This made small diesel cars, like the Volkswagen Rabbit, an attractive money-saving option.  But within a few years, the price of diesel was roughly equal to the price of unleaded gasoline, even though the demand for diesel powered automobiles really wasn't that great, and still isn't.

Time to Fight the CAFE Leviathan.  Ronald Reagan once said that a federal program, once started, is the closest thing we know to immortality.  That saying is being proven true in spades with efforts in the U.S. Senate to perpetuate and strengthen corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) mandates.

Anti-SUV Activists Versus the American Family:  When you get behind the wheel of your SUV or minivan, do you automatically become a member of a hate group?  According to the radicals now dominating the environmental movement, driving one of these vehicles proves you hate the planet.  While the owners of compact and hybrid cars can smugly believe they are saving the world and saving money at the gas pump, their choice of vehicle is not for everyone.  SUV-haters fail to understand the needs of the average American family and these vehicles are now more popular than traditional passenger cars.

CBO Hangs a Price Tag on Tougher Fuel Economy Standards.  According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates released on January 5, [2004,] a federally mandated increase in corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks would raise average vehicle prices $228, costing consumers an extra $2.4 billion a year and the auto industry another $1.2 billion.

CAFE's Three Strikes - It Should be Out.  CAFE has three strikes against it:  (1) The best evidence suggests that raising CAFE standards will not reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.  (2) Even if human activity is contributing to global warming, raising CAFE standards will have little or no effect.  (3) CAFE standards – both at their present level and at the proposed higher levels – pose a significant risk to life and health.

The Problem with Raising CAFE:  Raising CAFE is not going to reduce the U.S.'s dependence on oil.  That's right, forcing auto makers to build more fuel-efficient cars is not going to reduce the overall amount of fuel Americans use.  Why am I so sure?  Because they already tried it, and it didn't work.

Redesigning trucks in Washington:  Average fuel economy of new vehicles did not jump from 19.9 mpg in 1978 to 24.6 mpg in 1981 because Big Brother could mandate what sort of vehicles we buy, but because sales of domestic cars collapsed by 40 percent from 1978 to 1981 (from 9.1 million to 5.4 million), while sales of fuel-frugal imports rose.

Moralizing Environmentalist Dogma Is Immoral.  Eco-activist groups oppose oil drilling virtually everywhere, and say we should just drive smaller cars.  Unfortunately, reducing the size and weight of cars to help meet mileage standards costs lives: an additional 1,300 to 2,600 fatalities every year, and ten times that many injuries, than if people had been driving bigger cars, according to the National Academy of Sciences and other serious analyses.

SUVs:  How Safe Are They?  Size and weight equals better occupant protection – it is basic physics – and a big reason for the ongoing popularity of SUVs.  You (and your family) stand a much better chance of surviving a major crash in a 4,500 pound mid-size SUV than in a 2,400 pound subcompact, especially in a head-on collision.  Yet, ironically, it is SUVs that are increasingly being denounced as "unsafe" – typically by the same crowd that has been trying to force the public into smaller, less crashworthy cars for the past quarter century via government-mandated fuel economy standards.

The Car They Want You to Drive:  When you order a pizza, it's up to you what the toppings will be.  No government busybody or special interest "advocate" has yet figured out a way to deprive you of your double pepperoni — if that's what you're hankering after.  Why should it be any different when it comes to cars?

Death by Government.  Even though air bags are responsible for scores of deaths, they pale in comparison to the carnage that has been created by corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards.  To meet these standards the automobile industry has dramatically downsized its fleet, making cars narrower, shorter, and lighter.  The result, according to a study by Robert Crandall published in the Journal of Law and Economics, is responsible for approximately 2,500 additional traffic fatalities each year.

I Want My SUV.  Activists at the federal level have dressed up their disdain for SUVs as an environmental issue and they support increases in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to apply to SUVs instead of an outright ban.  But CAFE is what killed the family station wagon, as automakers found the easiest way to meet the government's arbitrary miles per gallon standard was to reduce the weight of vehicles.  Last summer, a National Academy of Sciences report estimated CAFE's effect on vehicle size caused between 1,300 to 2,600 deaths annually.

Energy disinformation:  Blaming cyclical swings in energy prices on SUVs may be politically correct, but it's really quite absurd.  Transportation accounts for 67 percent of petroleum use, but only 27 percent of total energy use.  The other third of each barrel of petroleum goes into producing plastics, synthetic fibers, pesticides and fertilizer, fueling farm machinery, generating some electricity and heating some homes.

No Apologies Needed for Driving an SUV.  Americans like the environment.  But the November 2002 elections demonstrated they don't particularly like the advocacy groups that claim to speak for the "environmental movement."  Why?  Perhaps it's the moral self-righteousness, political shrillness, and, well, sheer loopiness that is part and parcel of Green rhetoric today.  The campaign to shame people out of their SUVs is a clear case in point.

Hybrids' Disappointing Mileage Confounding State Laws.  Hybrid cars are the flavor of the moment for environmental activists and some state legislators, particularly on the east and west coasts.  California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont have enacted low-emission vehicle programs, and several other states are considering doing so.  The programs use a combination of taxpayer subsidies and outright mandates that encourage and sometimes force automakers to build, and consumers to buy, gas-electric hybrid vehicles.

What Would Jesus Drive?  What kind of silly question is that?  It seems environmentalists have found God.  Last week top auto executives in Detroit agreed to meet with leaders of a group called the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, which has launched an anti-SUV campaign dubbed "What Would Jesus Drive?"

Would Jesus Take The Bus?  The largely secular press corps does not usually regard Jesus Christ as a suitable authority to cite in political or policy discussions.  When George W. Bush invoked Christ's name in a December 1999 debate, for instance, journalists gasped at the insertion of religion into the public square, something to make non-Christians squirm.  To liberal media purists, the slightest acknowledgement of Christianity by a public official is evidence of a sinful desire to impose a Taliban-style theocracy in America.

Death by Regulation:  The purpose of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is to reduce consumption of foreign oil.  Auto manufacturers have complied with CAFE standards by building lighter vehicles.  It doesn't take a physicist to know lighter vehicles offer less protection to occupants in collisions than heavier vehicles, thereby yielding more traffic fatalities.

Have you driven a Freedom CAR lately?  After approximately one billion dollars of government funding, there is no car, no hope of one and only continued bureaucratic double talk.  The program was good for the politicians, especially for the titular head of the program, Vice President Al Gore.  Gore and his buddies could proudly point to how much they were doing to make the world a better place. … Taxpayers are the one group that is clearly worse off.

The spin on SUVs and doomsday:  Critics have said SUVs are unfairly safe because, being big and heavy, they protect passengers in crashes with the sort of smaller vehicles that environmentalists want to shoehorn Americans into.

4x4s to be priced off the road.  Gas-guzzling sports cars, 4x4s and people carriers could be priced off the road within five years after a crackdown on carbon emissions to be announced by the European Commission this month. … The rule change could add more than £3,300 to the cost of a vehicle.

"As to the "WWJD?" clerics' question, Jesus reportedly arrived in Jerusalem on a fuel-guzzling and high-pollution conveyance, a donkey.  For millennia, before automobiles arrived to offend liberals, quadrupeds ruled the streets.  A century ago in fragrant New York City, the healthiest of the 150,000 horses each put up to 25 pounds of manure each day onto the streets, to the delight of swarms of flies, or in stables — most blocks had one — filled with urine-soaked hay.  In dry weather, traffic pounded manure to dust that penetrated noses and houses.  Then automobiles, and especially SUVs, spoiled paradise."

-- George F. Will  

Demonizing SUVs:  The anti-choice crowd is after your car.  No, it's not the religious right-wing; it's the religious left-wing.  The National Religious Partnership for the Environment is mounting a national campaign to demonize SUVs, to make you feel guilty, even sinful, for choosing to drive a car that makes you feel safe.

Senate rejects tighter CAFE as new data link program to thousands of deaths.  Efforts to toughen a federal program initiated in response to the 1973 Arab oil embargo were rejected by the U.S. Senate on March 12, when Senators from both parties opted only to require that the Department of Transportation develop new standards within two years.

Nothing Good in This Old CAFE:  Government rules requiring higher gasoline mileage for cars and light trucks have the superficial appearance of a good deal.  Who wouldn't want better fuel economy?  What the political sponsors of government-mandated mileage improvements fail to tell the public is that these regulations have harmful consequences.  They restrict the choice of vehicles their constituents may buy.  And they do even more serious harm by degrading vehicle safety and undermining the national economy.

Congress ducks out of the CAFE:  For a libertarian, what could be less principled than forcing new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards onto automakers and auto consumers?  For a liberal, what could be less principled than an energy policy without strict new CAFE standards?  Leave it to Congress to find a compromise that fails everyone's principles, putting CAFE standards into unaccountable bureaucratic hands while at the same time fending off legislative consideration of stiffer standards.

Raising Federal CAFE Standards:  A Misguided and Costly Mandate:  As the U.S. Senate prepares to debate energy legislation, lawmakers are wrangling over reducing America's dependence on foreign oil.  Some of the more astute are advocating increased domestic production, including limited exploration in a tiny sliver of land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) — an area specifically set aside by Congress for that purpose.  Others, led by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Fritz Hollings (D-SC) have proposed raising the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, a mandate determining the minimum average miles per gallon (mpg) for vehicles sold in this country.

Federal Government Should Not Mandate Higher Gas Mileage for SUVsA federal law known as CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) has been proven to kill people by forcing the downsizing of automobiles.

Should the Government Choose What Kind of Car You Should Drive?  As a simple matter of personal freedom and consumer choice, it should not be up to the government to determine how many miles my car can travel on a gallon of gasoline.

The American Dream:  Why Environmentalists Attack the SUV:  The real casualty of the environmentalists' war against the SUV is freedom.  Environmentalists Attack the SUV Because it is the Symbol of the American Dream.

Conservative Group Says Fuel Economy Standards Should be Scrapped:  The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative public policy group, says that corporate average fuel economy standards actually kill people each year.  The government-implemented regulations, put in place during the 1980s, required American automakers to make more fuel-efficient cars, and in many cases, that translates into smaller, dangerous cars, said Sam Kazman, the CEI's general counsel.

Amtraking Automakers:  Smaller cars may receive Al Gore's seal of approval, but plenty of tests demonstrate that smaller cars are less safe.  Even if every last man, woman and teenager in America drove small cars, it wouldn't make the roads safer.  Two small cars plowing into one another are tantamount to sure death.  Most Americans aren't willing to risk their lives — or their families — for a dubious environmental trade-off.

See the USA in your SUV.  The real casualty of the environmentalists' war against the SUV is freedom.

Somewhat related:
Department of Transportation new rules will make cars more expensive.  Thought that new car was expensive now?  Wait till the Department of Transportation implements its latest plan to protect Americans from themselves.  Last week, the department announced regulations that would require all new vehicles to install video cameras on their back bumpers.  The idea is to make backing up safer, and it's not optional.

Video:  Mercedes C300 Versus Smart ForTwo.  IIHS crash test of Mercedes C300 versus Smart ForTwo in a front, offset collision from 40 mph.  Watch this video clip, then ask yourself which car you'd rather be in.

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Updated March 25, 2024.

 Entire contents Copyright 2024 by Andrew K. Dart