2007/01/23

SOTU Day, Part 2 - CAFE Standards To CAFE Obfuscation

Tonight in his State of the Union address, the Great Confabulator is likely to call for better fuel economy standards. Bush knows that the American people are tired of watching his administration ignore the subject of global climate change, or worse, offer up economic calamity as an excuse for doing nothing.

But don't be fooled. The most likely proposal, eliminating current CAFE standards based on 'fleet averages' in favor of individual vehicle ratings, is just more administration dissembling. This proposal was cooked up by the very people who have an interest in not seeing the MPG average go up--Big Auto executives. And the purpose here is to put in place a system that will guarantee, through sheer complexity, that CAFE standards are never raised again.

8 Comments:

The Bush agenda, running out of gas...

I was watching an interesting bit earlier during lunch on CNN about renewed interest in geothermal research the Government abandoned right around the time AWOL left Texas for Alabama:

LISOVICZ: Heidi, there is so much interest in new forms of energy, this is actually developed 30 years ago with the last energy crisis. Now, with this renewed interest, experts say tapping granite for energy could result in 100 billion watts by 2050, it's about 20 percent of the country's current generating capacity, its spread equal to all the nuclear power that it is presently generated. This could be important obviously energy demand is expected to grow. The current supply system threatened because many plants that generate nuclear and coal fired energy will soon be retired. The study claims geo thermal energy provides a robust and long lasting option.

Sounds much better than Nuclear, I'd plug an electric car into it any day.
I note the talk about bio fuels for government fleets there. I used to be a big fan of ethanol, a few life times back. I'm not so sure now when you consider the amount of potential food production which would go into another form of greenhouse gas emission.
Even batteries need to be powered up with some sort of carbon fuel - in current thinking at least.
Better public transport cold be a key, with free passes for government workers! Take their cars off them all together. Put the pollies right out there with the people.
I was just reading the official transcript from the WH briefing on SOTU tonight. OMG!!! You are dead-on right on the CAFE thing. And just wait until you read about the new initiative "Affordable Choices." My eyes are bleeding I'm so angry.
Fred... I'd still say that we should hang on to nuclear and even expand it. Consider if geo-thermal is as promising as they say, 50% of our energy requirements could be delivered by a combination of nuclear, geo-thermal, and fringe tech (solar, wind, etc...). Now that would be something.

Cartledge... I'm all for better, more comprehensive public transit, but that's easy for me to say as one of the carless.

Old Broad...oh jeez! "Affrodable Choices" sounds like another spin on "The Ownership Society". Well at least it will provide good blog fodder.
CAFE standards are a bigger joke than you may even think. Until a few short years ago, they weren't based on "what kind and how many" of each type vehicle you made: It was based on What "your" expected production was for that year!

All official production schedules came filled with helium.:) We expected to build two trucks, and eight billion roller skates!:)
They're not doing nothing! They're earning money. Better than any of us!
TFWY... I didn't know that. That's good information. So, setting aside the standard itself, the rules could use some tightening. Say, average the production values over the last three years to get the fleet distribution might produce a more realistic picture.

Romunov...but in the Big Auto's case that's not necessarily true, right? Many studies have stated that GM, for example, is losing money on most models, once rebates and giveaways are factored in.
Bush might as well be singing the words from an Elvis Costello classic...

"Lip service... is all you'll ever get from me..."

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