By on August 2, 2011


A final rule for 2017-2025 CAFE standards won’t be published until September, but a pre-publication notice by the EPA [PDF here] reveals some of the key details we’ve been looking for. The broad strokes, which we are already well aware of are shaping up as follows:

NHTSA currently intends to propose standards that would be projected to require, on an average industry fleet wide basis, 40.9 mpg in model year 2021, and 49.6 mpg in model year 2025.  For passenger cars, the annual increase in stringency between model years 2017 to 2021 is expected to average 4.1 percent, and to average 4.3 percent between model years 2017 and 2025. Like EPA, in recognition of the utility requirements of full-size pick-up trucks and the unique challenges to improving fuel economy compared to other light-duty trucks and passenger cars, NHTSA intends to propose a lower annual rate of improvement for light-duty trucks in the early years of the program. For light-duty trucks, the proposed overall annual rate of fuel economy improvement in model years 2017 through 2021 would be 2.9 percent per year.  NHTSA expects to change the slopes of the fuel economy footprint curves for light-duty trucks from those in the 2012-2016 rule, which would effectively make the annual rate of improvement for smaller light-duty trucks in model years 2017 through 2021 higher than 2.9 percent, and the annual rate of improvement for larger light-duty trucks over the same time period lower than 2.9 percent.  For model years 2022 through 2025, NHTSA expects to propose conditional standards with an overall annual rate of fuel economy improvement for light-duty trucks of 4.7 percent per year

We had heard that trucks would improve their efficiency at a rate of 3.5% rather than 2.9% for the 2017-2021, and a 2022-2025 growth rate of 5% rather than 4.7%. But then, cars were supposed to improve by 5% in the 2017-2025 period, so both truck and car standards seem likely to end up lower than what the president’s report seemed to promise. But that’s not the only bad news for anyone hoping for tough fuel efficiency standards (or, good news for truck-dependent automakers)… with the release of this notice, we have an initial sense of the loopholes that will be included, and they appear to be of the hefty variety.

The first of the “key program elements” is the off-cycle credit program, which aims to

promote the early market penetration of tailpipe CO2/fuel consumption reducing technologies that are not appropriately accounted for in the current test procedure

This is typically thought to include improvements in C02 output from systems whose energy consumption or C02 output is not measured on the EPA test. According to the document

EPA and NHTSA intend to develop a minimum credit value on a subset of technologies for which we have sufficient data.  We expect this list to include at least six defined technologies, if not more.9 The total number of technologies will be dependent on the available data. In order to make use of the pre-defined credit list of off-cycle technologies, a manufacturer must utilize the technology on a minimum percentage of the company’s vehicles.  EPA and NHTSA will continue to assess the appropriate level and will propose a level in the NPRM.  The specific percentage values may vary by off-cycle technology, and will consider the applicability of the technology across vehicle type.  Under the planned proposal, the total gram/mile credit from the predefined list for any given model year would not exceed a 10 gram/mile10 impact on the company’s combined fleet average. This limit would only apply to the total for technologies where the company chooses to use the agency provided credit values. Automakers can apply for additional credits beyond the minimum credit value of listed technologies if they have sufficient supporting data.

We will, of course, have to see what technologies make it onto the EPA list, and what technologies the OEMs apply for credits with, but in general this provision makes sense. Certainly when compared to the other credit programs, it seems to be the most consistent with the stated goal of reducing fleetwide emissions by all possible means.

The second “key feature” is one of the biggest, and most objectionable of the bunch: the EV/plug-in “super credit.”

To facilitate market penetration of the most advanced vehicle technologies as rapidly as possible, EPA intends to propose an incentive multiplier for all electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) sold in MYs 2017 through 2021.  This multiplier approach means that each EV/PHEV/FCV would count as more than one vehicle in the manufacturer’s compliance calculation.  EPA intends to propose that EVs and FCVs start with a multiplier value of 2.0 in MY 2017, phasing down to a value of 1.5 in MY 2021.  PHEVs would start at a multiplier value of 1.6 in MY 2017 and phase down to a value of 1.3 in MY 2021. 11 These multipliers would be proposed for incorporation in EPA’s GHG program.

As an additional incentive for EVs, PHEVs and FCVs, EPA intends to propose allowing a value of 0 g/mile for the tailpipe compliance value for EVs, PHEVs (electricity usage) and FCVs for MY 2017-2021, with no limit on the quantity of vehicles eligible for 0 g/mi tailpipe emissions accounting.  For MY 2022-2025, 0 g/mi will only be allowed up to a per-company cumulative sales cap based on significant penetration of these advanced vehicles in the marketplace.  EPA intends to propose an appropriate cap in the NPRM.

Regulators argue that the credit system is designed to incentivize “game changing” technology, its major result will likely be less admirable. As I argued in an earlier piece which anticipated the resurrection of the “super credit,” this loophole will encourage automakers to build the overly expensive, advanced technology “green cars” that they themselves argue consumers aren’t interested in buying, because the credits will allow them to build more profitable non-compliant pickups by offsetting their C02 output. The net result: more expensive passenger cars (which the OEMs can blame on the government regulation) and business-as-usual on the incredibly profitable  truck side of the equation. The combination of an artificial zero-C02-per-mile emission rating for EVs (in what universe is grid power carbon-neutral?) and a “multiplier” super credit was left out of the 2012-2016 standard because

EPA has concluded that the combination of the zero grams/mile and multiplier credits would be excessive.

Why? As the National Resources Defense Council argued, the credits would

undermine the emissions benefits of the program and will have the unintended consequence of slowing the development of conventional cleaner vehicle emission reduction technologies into the fleet

And because these credits are likely to be bankable, giving automakers the ability to “carry forward” or “carry back” their benefits to future or past model-years, the wiggle room is even greater. But loophole madness is just getting started…

Next up: “Incentives for “Game Changing” Technologies Performance for Full-Size Pickup Truck including Hybridization.” As if generous over-compliance credits for cars being used to offset under-compliance for pickups weren’t enough, there’s this:

The agencies intend to solicit information on technologies that offer significant increases in fuel efficiency and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  We intend to propose a credit for manufacturers that employ significant quantities of hybridization on full size pickup trucks, by including a per-vehicle credit available for mild and strong hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).  This provides the opportunity to begin to transform the most challenging category of vehicles in terms of the penetration of advanced technologies, allowing additional opportunities to successfully achieve the higher levels of truck stringencies in MY 2022-2025.

The agencies intend that access to this credit is conditioned on a minimum penetration of the technology in a manufacturer’s full size pickup truck fleet, with defined criteria for a full size pickup truck (e.g., minimum bed size and minimum towing capability).  The agencies intend to propose that mild HEV pickup trucks are eligible for a 10 g/mi12 credit during 2017-2021 if the technology is used on a minimum percentage of a company’s full size pickups, beginning with at least 30% of a company’s full size pickup production in 2017 and ramping up to at least 80% in 2021.  Strong HEV pickup trucks would be eligible for a 20g/mi credit during 2017-2025 if the technology is used on at least 10% of the company’s full size pickups.

The agencies will propose specific definitions of mild and strong HEV pickup trucks, but expect to include stop/start, regenerative braking, minimum motor power, minimum battery voltage value and minimum energy storage capacity, or similar types of objective metrics.  The agencies expect that a “mild” HEV will include moderate hybridization and not just start/stop, and that a “strong” HEV will include launch assist. The agencies also intend to propose a performance based incentive credit for full size pickup trucks which achieve a significant reduction below the applicable target.  This credit could also be on the order of 10-20 gm/mile vehicle.  The same vehicle would not receive credit under both the HEV and the performance based approaches.

Now, even with the reduced improvement rate and “super credits,” there might have been some incentive for automakers to invest in smaller, more efficient pickups of the kind that have been woefully underinvested-in in recent decades. But with this provision, the message is clear: rather than incentivizing downsizing, or even offering this credit to all trucks and letting the chips fall where they may, the government explicitly wants to keep full-sized trucks on the forefront by encouraging their hybridization (despite likely market trends in the opposite direction). And apparently it never occurred to regulators that creating a higher truck standard might have led to the hybridization of more pickups anyway… but sometimes loopholes create the need for more loopholes.

Then we get to the treatment of CNG, PHEV and Flex-fuel vehicles.

EPA intends that CO2 credits for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and bi-fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles will be based on the recognition that, once a consumer has paid several thousand dollars to be able to use a fuel that is considerably cheaper than gasoline, it is very likely that the consumer will seek to use the cheaper fuel as much as possible.  Accordingly, for CO2 emissions compliance, EPA expects to use the Society of Automotive Engineers “utility factor” methodology (based on vehicle range on the alternative fuel and typical daily travel mileage) to determine the assumed percentage of operation on alternative fuel and percentage of operation on CNG for both PHEVs and bi-fuel CNG vehicles, along with the CO2 emissions test values on the alternative fuel and gasoline. EPA does not expect to extend this method to flexible fueled vehicles (FFVs) using E-85 and gasoline, since there is not a significant cost differential between an FFV and conventional gasoline vehicle and historically consumers have only fueled these vehicles with E85 a very small percentage of the time.  Therefore, treatment of E85 FFVs will continue as the MY2016 program, based on actual usage of E85 which represents a real-world reduction attributed to alternative fuels.

In the NHTSA program for MYs 2017-2019, NHTSA expects that the fuel economy of dual fuel vehicles will be determined in the same manner as specified in the MY 2012-2016 rule, and as defined by EISA. Beginning in MY 2020, EISA does not specify how to measure the fuel economy of dual fuel vehicles, and it is expected NHTSA will propose to use the EPA “utility factor” methodology for PHEV and CNG vehicles to determine how to proportion the fuel economy when operating on gasoline or diesel fuel and the fuel economy when operating on the alternative fuel. For FFVs, NHTSA expects to propose to use the same methodology as EPA to determine how to proportion the fuel economy, which would be based on actual usage of E85.  NHTSA expects to continue to use Petroleum Equivalency Factors and the incentive multipliers that are used in the MY 2012-2016 rule, however with no cap on the amount of fuel economy increase allowed.

The first half of this sounds reasonable, but when we turn to the flex-fuel credits, my anti-ethanol anger becomes to much to contain. Because ethanol offers no real environmental benefits, has numerous social and environmental costs and sucks billions of dollars in subsidies each year, all credits for flex-fuel vehicles should be cut. But even if that’s not possible, the methodology used to estimate FFV C02 output is not great. According to 2012-2016 rules

 

EPA will base MY 2012–2015 credits on the assumption that the vehicles would operate 50% of the time on the alternative fuel and 50% of the time on conventional fuel, resulting in CO2 emissions that are based on an arithmetic average of alternative fuel and conventional fuel CO2 emissions… the CO2 emissions value for the vehicle is calculated to be significantly lower than it actually would be otherwise, even if the vehicle were assumed to operate on the alternative fuel at all times. This represents a ‘‘credit’’ being provided to FFVs.

EPA is requiring for MY 2016 and later that manufacturers will need to reliably estimate the extent to which the alternative fuel is actually being used by vehicles in order to count the alternative fuel use in the vehicle’s CO2 emissions level determination… the default is to assume FFVs operate on 100% gasoline, and the emissions value for the FFV vehicle will be based on the vehicle’s tested value on gasoline. However, if a manufacturer can demonstrate that a portion of its FFVs are using an alternative fuel in use, then the FFV emissions compliance value can be calculated based on the vehicle’s tested value using the alternative fuel, prorated based on the percentage of the fleet using the alternative fuel in the field.

The most complex part of this approach is to establish what data are needed for a manufacturer to accurately demonstrate use of the alternative fuel, where the manufacturer intends for its performance to be calculated based on some use of alternative fuels.

In essence, the EPA will either do its own calculations on vehicle miles traveled per year for FFVs, and calculate E85 usage per VMT based on overall E85 sales. This process would have to take place every year. Alternatively, manufacturers could present their own data from demonstration studies to make an argument about what the C02 reduction actually is. In any case, the FFV system is a serious crapshoot, and though the 2016-2025 methodology may be a bit more accurate (if far more complicated), it still amounts to a credit because it doesn’t include “upstream” GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis. If the aim of CAFE is to reduce C02 output, this qualifies as yet another counter-productive loophole.

The final loophole is the most obvious: police and emergency response vehicles are exempt from CAFE. While this is very understandable in many respects, it certainly adds to the impression that government refuses to hold itself to the same standard as it holds its citizens. No surprises there, really.

Meanwhile, the mid-term review might seem like a loophole, and it’s certainly raised fears among environmental groups, but I see it simply as a safeguard. Nobody knows what the market will be like come 2025, so a review to make sure assumptions are on track makes sense for 2017. After all,

Where EPA decides that the standards are not appropriate, EPA will initiate a rulemaking to adopt  standards that are appropriate under section 202(a), which could result in standards that are either less or more stringent [emphasis added]

So, what does this all mean? Again, these details will all be hammered out before a final rule is made official in September, but it’s obvious that the 2017-2025 standard will not only be easier on trucks than cars, but it also offers huge loopholes with which automakers can offset emissions for non-compliant but high-profit trucks. Though it’s a tough standard compared to what the industry has been used to, it’s also got loopholes (like the combination of 0g/mile EV rating and “multiplier credits”) that were considered before and rejected as too lenient. The proof of the pudding though, will be in the eating. If these credits allow automakers to plan for truck sales levels that disappear under the force of rising gas prices, it could be a disaster on par with the very first round of CAFE legislation. On the other hand, if truck-heavy manufacturers continue to make huge profits due to the loopholes in this proposal, the mid-term review could be a far more feisty battle. And, if nothing else, the layers of loopholes on top of already-complex calculations prove how much more efficient it would be to simply tax gas and let the market sort the details out. Sadly though, that’s simply not an option.

Like Batman in The Dark Knight, CAFE isn’t the policy we need, but it’s the policy we deserve.

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41 Comments on “2017-2025 CAFE Details Emerge, Loopholes Appear Gaping...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Well of course there are huge loopholes, in fact they’re likely big enough to drive an Escalade, Sequoia, and Navigator through as long as you sell enough Volts, Prii, and electric Focuses. Oh and don’t forget the vehicles that burn corn alcohol! You can build E85 compatible trucks and laugh all the way to the bank.

    BTW this is the outcome I would have expected regaurdless of which party was in power.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      If you wanted Hope and Change, you should have voted for Nader.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If you wanted Hope and Change, you should have voted for Nader.

        The last time that Americans voted for Nader, they ended up with Bush.

        As for the topic, CAFE is a charade that allows us to feel that we’re “doing something”, even though we aren’t. I know that this is a car site, so it is somewhat obligatory to discuss it here, but it isn’t all that important and this focus on it implicitly exaggerates how relevant it is.

        And Dan is right. The products that roll off of the assembly line in the future are going to be about the same that they would have been, regardless of who was president in 2011.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        To be fair to old Ralph, the 2000 election was the result of Gore’s stunning incompetence rather than Nader’s ability to sway things one way or the other.

        But yes, CAFE isn’t worth the electrons spent on it, you’re right there.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        Psar, that’s an amazingly astute observation about American politics. If stronger candidates than John Kerry or John McCain had been selected, the world would be far different. Of course, I think the Democrats should have run Mike Gravel — in 2004 — and won with a war-ending, Fair-Tax-supporting “different kind of Democrat”, but you can’t ever underestimate the foolishness of electoral choices.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        I always kind of liked Ralph, he probably wouldn’t have made a good President but at least he wasn’t a member of the establishment.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Nader was correct that accidents are an unfortunate part of driving and that vehicles therefore need to be made in a way that offers protection to occupants.

        On the other hand, the auto makers were entirely correct in their contention that the vast majority of customers simply were not interested in safety. If given the choice between paying extra for bucket seats and styled wheels or collapsible steering columns and safety belts, most customers would have chosen the former by a wide margin. Everyone I know didn’t even start wearing safety belts regularly until the mid-1980s.

        The “problem” wasn’t that automakers were ignoring customer demands for safer cars – it was that they were giving people what they wanted. But blaming the big, bad faceless corporation plays better in the press.

        His case against the Corvair was flawed, and the federal government and independent testers (not the buff books, by the way), later cleared the car. A much more egregious case featured in his book was how GM handled the failure of power brakes on the 1953 Buick. GM never recalled the cars, and several owners experienced total brake failure because of a defective O-ring. Thanks to his book, there are now recalls for this sort of problem. He had a stronger case of corporate misbehavior with the 1953 Buick power brake fiasco than the alleged handling quirks of the Corvair, but in 1965 the Corvair was the car still on the market.

        Where he really jumped the shark was in the 1970s, when he hopped on the stupid “speed kills” bandwagon and supported the dumb 55 mph speed limit. His histrionics when Congress and President Clinton wisely repealed the nationwide 65 mph speed limit were laughable. When his predictions of death on the highways failed to materialize because some states dared to allow people to drive 75 mph on interstate highways (never mind that people everywhere were already doing this), he ended up looking like a fool. Like many celebrities and politicians, he should have retired when he was on top.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        The “problem” wasn’t that automakers were ignoring customer demands for safer cars – it was that they were giving people what they wanted.

        Well, yeah. Read about Prospect Theory sometime, it won Kahneman a Nobel Prize. Short version: people generally prefer risk when it comes to possible losses and prefer risk aversion when it comes to possible gains. Or, put more plainly: give someone a choice between a sure gain of $X or a 50% chance of $2X and a 50% chance of $0, they’ll likely choose the sure thing. Give someone a choice between a sure loss of $X or a 50% chance of a loss of $2X and a 50% chance of $0, they’ll likely choose the coin toss. In theory, both situations are economically the same thing, but in practice people don’t treat them the same way.

        People aren’t “rational economic actors”, basically; they don’t even fake it particularly well.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        And how, exactly, is this GM’s fault…?

        Remember, Unsafe at Any Speed was supposed to be an indictment of the American automobile industry. There were two counts.

        Count number one was that the auto industry was shipping defective, potentially dangerous cars and then not doing anything to repair the problems. In the case of the Corvair, the federal government and independent testers eventually cleared GM.

        In the case of the 1953 Buick, this was true, and GM deserved to be condemned. Thanks to Nader’s book, the federal government has the authority to order recalls when this sort of thing happens. Today, they happen much less often because of dramatically improved engineering practices and quality control procedures introduced by the Japanese.

        Count number two was that the automobile industry was cruelly denying customers the safer cars that they were supposedly demanding. Which, of course, was false. Customers were not interested in safety at that time. This was not the fault nor the responsibility of GM, Nobel Prize winning theories aside.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        I don’t believe I said it was GM’s fault. I wasn’t really having “fault” or “blame” enter into it on anyone’s part.

        Consumers did not value safety because consumers did not perceive that the chances of an injury were particularly high or that the potential costs were particularly severe relative to the certain costs (money, time, effort) of the safety features in the first place. (Eventually this perception changed, sometime around the late eighties and early nineties, when the number of airbags in the car became a selling point touted in every commercial. But I digress.) Whose fault is this? Who knows. Who cares. Consumer perception is impossible to pin down.

        Regardless, people have this crazy idea that maybe the government has at least some level of interest in trying to prevent easily avoidable deaths, and therefore that collision safety standards are desirable even in the absence of consumer demand.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Nader’s whole book, and virtually all of his subsequent statements regarding the domestic auto industry, were about assigning fault, and it wasn’t to the customer.

        And while regulation is certainly helpful to some extent, Nader strongly supported such stupid ideas as the ignition interlock of 1974, air bags as the primary restraint system, the 85-mph speedometer rule, 5-mph bumpers and the 55- and 65-mph nationwide speed limits. I seem to remember a lot of inflammatory invective hurled by him and his supporters (particularly Joan Claybrook) at anyone who had the temerity to disagree with them on those issues.

        I can only hope and pray that no one is going to defend those today…

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        I’m not Ralph Nader, dude. You’re beating on a strawman. I’m just saying that customer demand shouldn’t be the only thing dictating auto safety features. It’s not a “fault” thing, it’s prospect theory, i.e. “human nature”.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        I’m sorry if I came across as attacking you, which was not my intent. But the original discussion was about Ralph Nader, and what he said and wrote regarding automotive safety, and which parties are responsible for what, are very relevant to this subject.

        He is regarded as the founder of the automotive safety movement – and he is happy to claim the mantle – so an examination of just what he said, and which parties he blamed, and the accuracy of his assessments, is entirely appropriate. His book wasn’t about customers demanding bucket seats or hot V-8s instead of safety belts; it was about heartless companies forcing customers to buy those things instead of the safety features and economical vehicles that all supposedly good citizens want. The real story is much more complicated.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    Welcome to a world that we, as voters, have made for ourselves. All this nonsense could be eliminated by actually taxing gas approriately. Fuel costs go up, fuel consumption and emission go down. Day 1 economics. As a benefit, meney actually goes to investing in infastructure from the gas tax. No acutal government involvement in regulating emissions is needed. it takes care of itself. the whole system is easy to use, easy to clean.

    Instead, “taxing is bad” so we have thousands of government employees paid government wages and collecting government pensions to make up elaborate testing and validation programs that cost us money as taxpayers and cost us money as car shoppers, since all the BS costs of meeting EPA requirements get passed along to the consumer. No net money is made by anyone, and the government spend massive funds trying to make the mess work, somehow.

    Thank you America, and thank you to the Teabagger “party”. You’ve screwed us all and wasted everyone’s time and money.

    • 0 avatar

      Blaming EPA’s misdeeds on Tea Party is pretty awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      The CAFE standard is the flowering of the cult of social science and the desire for people who go into government to meddle and control people’s lives. It is the professional bureaucracy that engenders these crazy schemes — as we got the parade last week, when the Congress wants to vote for “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!”, the easiest way is to put those jobs on the public payroll confirming that the little rocks are indeed small enough or devising ways of converting them back into big rocks.

      A gas tax would be a welcome thing if it worked as you described — but, like the social security payroll tax, it would be robbed and put into the general fund until we needed to create a national committee on road financing to handle the decaying infrastructure.

      Your fuel tax would run afoul of the class warfare politics typical of the Marxist left because they would trot out — it is regressive, and therefore cannot be. You will find TEA Partiers pledging support to a national sales tax in place of an income tax — and that would be the exact thing you talk about – consumption taxes instead of production taxes. They will be vilified for it.

      And that’s why I love those cars from before Nixon/Ford/Carter meddled in how cars are made and saddled us with CAFE, rather than just letting people buy what they could afford to fuel, like a 1971 Olds 98, with tons of Pennsylvania steel, rubber-burning power, making four gallons to the mile.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        As a member of the Marxist left, I’d like to clarify that we’re all pretty much ok with a gas tax. Of course, most of us bicycle from the organic food market to the café to the art house and so forth, though having to wear a helmet instead of a beret crimps the style a little.

        Never mind that a car is just so bourgeois.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Psar, I can see you peddling around on your bike wearing a beret and smoking unfiltered Gauloises. Peddling, no doubt, to the barricades to protest a longer work week. Don’t forget to pick up a baguette on the way home.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Mike, you say that like it’s a bad thing.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Sundowner, do you really believe what you wrote? Are you serious? What goes through your head to mke that seem logical? As I have done several times before here and gotten no response, I’ll invite you, if you really think that taxes are too low, to write a check to the Treasury. They will take it and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your part to build infrastructure. Or are you one of those who thinks that evryone else ought to pay more but not you?

      As far ss the rest of your rant, anyone who uses the word teabagger is disgusting. One of the ways the Nazis programmed their people to become genocidal monsters was to teach them that their enemies were less than human. That is exactly what you are doing. It’s easy to hate and worse when your enemies aren’t even human to you. Hope you stew in your own hatred.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        And….. Godwin!

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I would be careful before you accuse one side only of being “hateful” – some of your like minded compatriots on here regularly say how certain people are parasites or scum. That seems, to me, pretty much like viewing people less than human!

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        …And now it’s time for Dot’s Poetry Corner

        “Fuzzy Wuzzy”

        Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,
        Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair,
        Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy
        So he changed his name to Ed Asner.

        This has been Dot’s Poetry Corner…

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Actually Mike, you’re right about that. I don’t recall anyone using parasite or scum but I don’t read or remember everything. But if it has happened then it is wrong. But you will admit that the word teabagger is highly offensive and should be kept out of the discussion.

        I will say that most of the offensive language is coming from the left now. For example, the VP calling Republicans terrorists today.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        MikeAR – I didn`t want to name names but CJinSD on some of the UAW related articles used the terms parasite and hate.

        I think the heated language comes from both sides and yes the VP comment was quite recent but people like Bachmann and Palin along with some Fox News commentators like Hannity regularly say overheated things. Two wrongs don`t make a right.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        http://www.google.com/search?q=parasite+mikear+site%3Awww.thetruthaboutcars.com&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        And….. Godwin!

        Godwin was undoubtedly a pinko commie who worked at a death camp and who hated your freedom. (Well, my freedom, anyway — as a Canadian, you wouldn’t know what freedom is!)

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        @mazder3 LOVE IT!

        Miss Flamiel: Yakko, can you conjugate?
        Yakko: Who, me? I’ve never even *kissed* a girl!
        Miss Flamiel: No no no. It’s easy. I’ll conjugate with you.
        Yakko: Goodnight, everybody!

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Well, my freedom, anyway — as a Canadian, you wouldn’t know what freedom is!

        Are you kidding? Have you seen the variety of donuts that Tim Horton’s sells? And they have muffins and cookies. And sandwiches. And tea biscuits. They even have seasonal specials now, too.

        Oh, and timbits! They’re not even a buck-oh-five!

        If that’s not freedom, I don’t know what is!

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Now that it has the menu down pat, perhaps Tim Horton’s will ensure that all of its branches actually take Visa debit cards. The one across from our hotel in Mississauga didn’t, to our surprise and annoyance. It is 2011, after all…

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Nobody likes a punitive gas tax. Rightists don’t like it because it’s a tax. Leftists don’t like it because it’s a regressive tax. The general public doesn’t like it because “gas is expensive enough as it is” and “man it cost me $60 to fill up last week and I’m only driving a midsize car” and “I want to pay less at the pump, not more”. People are already calling to remove the tiny gas tax we already have, and highway maintenance is going to get… interesting.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    What happens if a company doesn’t achieve the required CAFE values? Do they just pay a tiny fine like under the current system? Is the fine going to be made larger; and if so, how much larger? Large enough to be painful to people buying $50k cars or $100k cars or $300k cars? Really, this whole CAFE thing could be a bunch of hot air if it’s only $100 per MPG under per car.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Germans have the right strategy:

      -Sell cars for a lot of money
      -Pay some fines using some of that excess money

      Nobody even thinks twice about this before buying a German car. Has anyone heard of a single person who refuses to buy a BMW, Porsche or Mercedes because of their respective CAFE track records?

    • 0 avatar

      I will have to look into this further… for the 2012-2016 standards, the fine continues to be

      “$5.50 for each tenth of a mpg that a manufacturer’s average fuel economy falls short of the standard for a given model year, multiplied by the total volume of those vehicles in the affected fleet, manufactured for that model year.”

      …although apparently up to $10 per tenth was authorized, and now that EPA is involved there are more options on the table. It’s a confusing topic, but I’ll tackle it in the near future.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Well, I can see that this thread is headed toward a tragic end. Didn’t take long.

    • 0 avatar
      mazder3

      I don’t understand why this is tragic. This thread had a brief yet eventful life and although this one may be ending there will be another. Edward is already working on part 2 and it can all start again with fresh ideas and deeper insight.

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Since CAFE applies to vastly different vehicles, it has very different formulas.
    These are intentional provisions rather than loopholes.

    Else, CAFE would be an absurdly simple one-size-fits-all requirement of X.X mpg for everything from micro EV pods to gasoline powered big trucks.

    If you’re going to have a CAFE system, then the byzantine gaggle of CAFE provisions has a logic to itself but the entire program should not exist in the first place.

  • avatar
    NN

    I wonder how much it cost to fund the army of bureaucrats, lawyers, engineers, specialists, lobbyists, etc. to create this steaming pile of ….. legislation. This is a great example of massive government waste for little means.

    Cancel CAFE and raise the federal gas tax in incremental steps (ex: 10 cents a year for 5 years). I’m with the conservative crowd economically, however; this is a consumption tax that makes sense. Cut income and corporate taxes. Raise the gas tax. People will adjust and buy more fuel efficient cars–they’re already doing so.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Call it better for truck makers, but I think what I have read is pretty fair. Trucks mpg is going to be difficult to get to the levels that CAFE wants. There is going to be some significant reworking there to make them complaint.

    The EV and PHEV credits can be used for anything. But don’t forget, the car number is going to be tough to reach as well, so I would expect many manufactures need this for their cars too.

    But, the basis of your argument doesn’t take into account why the buying public wants. If gas prices continue to climb, it will do much more for gasoline usage than CAFE will ever do. The rise in prices will effect the fleets much more and probably help make automakers more CAFE complaint by buying smaller vehicles.

    Now, CAFE is promoting smaller trucks. You are wrong about that. To make the MPG numbers with the technology that they will have, trucks will get smaller, less capable and weigh less. They may still be full sized trucks, but full sized trucks from 10 years ago are much smaller than today’s trucks. Also, if the math doesn’t work out for these full sized trucks, because those numbers are still hard to meet, the price will significantly increase. With higher gas prices, it may not be much of a market for these at all.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    Increasingly higher gas tax is a terrific idea. Elected policymakers and their minions will make the highest and best use of the appropriated funds. They can be trusted. They promised.

    Tax bicycles and junk food too. Make ‘em walk to the government cheese distribution center.

    Hunched over.

    Shuffling.


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