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Obama makes "green" moves

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Obama Goes Green

At first blush, most of this makes some sense. But some are saying, "Uh, maybe not so much..."

One thing they are especially calling attention to is that California's proposed rule on fuel economy actually doesn't require any improvement in economy in individual cars. What it does, they say, is impose a "CAFE" type of requirement on each manufacturer. That means the manufacturer must meet a certain average fuel economy for the fleet of cars it sells in California.

What does this mean, in practice?

It means that the manufacturer can sell only a limited number of lower-mileage cars, such as SUV's, which must be offset by a large number of smaller cars. In theory, this might work. In fact, it may mean rationing of pickup trucks, etc. Maybe a good thing, right?

The fly in the ointment is that Californians can go to other states and buy those vehicles and then take them to California. The cars sold in most of the states in the area meet all the requirements for California sale. They just won't be able to be sold there, originally.

There is actually a precedent for this problem. Diesel fuel in California is a very special mix, designed to reduce diesel emissions. But it costs a lot more than diesel in the surrounding states, and produces less power. The result is that truckers buy fuel out in New Mexico on their way to California, and don't buy fuel in the state. So they actually end up burning dirtier fuel in California than they would otherwise.

The unintended consequences of any law are certainly hard to predict, and the moves today will, undoubtedly, take a while to shake out.
post #2 of 4
To me, this seems like another nail in the coffin of the US automakers. They are already having problems selling cars. They are already trying to make more fuel efficient cars - they needed money from the government to retool to make them. Maybe they haven't been very good at it in recent years, but to think that anyone in Washington knows how to sell cars better than the automakers is just absurd.

It wasn't too long ago that I recall hearing Obama say that we could not allow these companies to fail. Imposing these tougher standards on them when they are already gasping for air isn't going to help matters any. Unless, of course, you want to see the government take over the auto industry.
post #3 of 4
I think people will buy whatever car they want and can afford, the mileage doesn't really figure into it at initial purchase. The past few months sales showed even with the high gas prices, SUVs and trucks had the higher sales totals.

All this will do is put extra burden on the companies to make products no one wants. There's been too much of that already.
post #4 of 4
This columnist is conservative, but at least I'm not alone in my thinking. And she actually comes up with an idea that makes sense, at least to my meager first-thing-in-the-morning mind:

Obama to Detroit: Drop Dead
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