By on January 30, 2014

CNG Pump + Truck Deluxe Combo With Fries

President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address was relevant to auto industry types for more than just the hosting of GM CEO Mary Barra, as President Obama also called fortougher fuel economy standards for heavy duty trucks, as well as increased exploration of natural gas as an alternative fuel.

President Obama believes the fuel source, if “extracted safely,” could serve as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and alternative energy, powering the United States economy with less carbon pollution deemed responsible for climate change. His aim is to cut the traditional red tape to help states build fuel stations, in turn helping Americans into CNG vehicles while also shaking off the ball and chain of foreign oil.

Speaking of greener vehicles, Obama also focused some attention on trucks. In the next few months, the President plans to work with manufacturers and regulators to establish standards for the big rigs hauling goods across America; light trucks are already covered by the 2025 CAFE target of 54.5 mpg. Natural gas has often been cited as a breakthrough fuel for long haul trucking as well.

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152 Comments on “President Obama Promises Tougher Truck MPG Standards, More Renewables...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Let’s worry more about improving public education / fixing our broken healthcare / slowing inflation / worrisome extended low interest rates / economic recovery THEN worry about how many MPG’s we can get out of a Silverado. It’s just foolish.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      This latest regulatory attempt is for BIG RIGS and yes I agree there are more pressing problems than this EPA led circus.

      The Silvy, F 150 and Ram are already included in current EPA standards.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “This latest regulatory attempt is for BIG RIGS”

        I’m not so sure about that. CAFE covers “light trucks”, which include the F-150, Silverado 1500, etc. Anything larger than that is in the EPA’s “heavy duty” category.

        (The EPA’s classification system is not the same one that is used by other agencies.)

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I think you’ll find there is a significant difference for vehicles over 8 500lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      AlternateReality

      And the Boy King will be just as ineffectual on this issue as all the others you mentioned.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Education is primarily a states or locality responsibility. As seen by the difference between Mississippi and Massachusetts.
        Inflation is not out of control, contrary to some who have worried over the past 4 or five years that because of QE it would go out of control. Deflation seems to be a worry for a lot of the western world.

        He could have always mentioned a manned mission to Mars. But that has already been done!

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Our petroleum trade deficit costs us about 1-2% GDP growth per annum. It is one of our most important priorities.

      We will never have the funding to fix public education (which is a state/local matter) or fix our broken health insurance markets, unless we address our trade deficit. Reducing the trade deficit will strengthen the dollar, and raw materials prices and food stuffs will ease.

      • 0 avatar
        gmichaelj

        @TW5

        1-2%? Could you post some links to that? I’d be interested in reading more about that and how they get that estimate. Thanks

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Just look at the latest NAICS data. Consumptive imports of crude oil are $189B through November 2013. It’s a lot better than $300B in 2008, but we will still eclipse $200B again this year.

          http://censtats.census.gov/cgi-bin/naic3_6/naicMonth.pl

          Oil imports over $200B represent about 1.5% of US GDP. Light-duty passenger cars and freight trucks are about 50% (.75% GDP) of oil consumption, but much of that consumption is wasted as luxuriously inefficient vehicles. The goal is to double light-duty fleet efficiency, and cut imports in half (.375%). Simple velocity of money multiplier is 4, which yields 1.5% GDP. Then you fudge the numbers up for the rollout of fuel efficient planes like 787, 777X and strengthening of the dollar, or you fudge them down for the possibility of hybrid imports, Jevon’s paradox, rising oil imports with economic recovery, etc.

          I’ve given a shoddy short-hand explanation, but it matches economists forecast between 1%-2%. I’m more of an optimist when it comes to reducing oil imports.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I agree the trade deficit is a bigger problem than most realize.

        I disagree with your conclusions that we can’t address other issues separately. Rather, I think we have been pushing the wrong ‘solutions’ to those problems.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          The US does not have the economic integrity or the political willpower to address entitlement reform. Democratically speaking, it is impossible to reform education, infrastructure or the general lack of middle class investment, if the electorate is diverting a lion’s share of the budget to entitlements for the elderly, poor, and unemployed. This trend is 50 years old. It’s not going to change any time soon. Every president since Reagan has sworn to fix it, and all of them have been defeated by the entrenched bureaucracy.

          Unless we have some sort of socio-economic awakening in the US, our only chance is to close the trade deficit, and hope that falling unemployment rates free up funds. We might be able to address infrastructure with gasoline excise tax, but it would have to be offset by regulatory burdens elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Not defeated by the entrenched bureaucracy, defeated by the AARP. Geezers vote, children don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            guevera

            It is amazing that our congresscritters have so far managed not to enact cuts to the various benefits programs people rely on.

            Congress has not acted despite a constant drumbeat from the powerful and priviliged that America will collapse unless we gut Social Security, etc.

            This is perhaps the only area in which congress has respected the will of a large majority of ordinary citizens. Everytime the issue is polled, a solid majority wants to see Social Security and Medicare continue in thier present form.

            Of course that’s usually no deterent for congress, but it does suggest the forces blocking these cuts consist of more than just members of the ‘entrenched bureaucracy.’

            Personally, I’ve got no problem with ‘entitlement reform.’ As long as I get every penny I’ve paid into the trust funds since I was 15 back, along with 8% compound interest.

            Otherwise, I expect every damn penny I’ve earned and am expecting to be there when I retire. This is worth shooting people over.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            You’ll only lose your benefits if we do nothing because the FICA tax trap is wiping out the people who pay the bills. If you start shooting people because they reform entitlements, you definitely won’t have anyone to pay the bills. The concept of spending money on programs that pay dividends is not particularly complex. If you look at the budget, it’s not terribly controversial, either.

            The US is virtually the only nation on earth that attempts to adhere to defined benefit public pension, and the last FICA reform was a relic of stagflation era thinking. If we can’t do better than allowing the aging middle class to sell everything that isn’t nailed down, we might as well shoot ourselves so we don’t have to endure another 20 years of prolonged, insolvent decline.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @TW5

            Slow prolonged decline is the name of the game.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Dual fuel compression ignition engines which use a mixture of diesel fuel and natural gas already exist. This may be the path improve efficiency and lower emissions.

    Additional tricks, like electrically powered air pumps or fans could also be considered for further MPG improvements.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Regulatory attention in the area of heavy class trucks isn’t needed and is a waste of taxpayer funding. Transport companies are already highly sensitive to fuel economy and are already pushing manufacturers to the fuel economy limits that their market will bear. All regulations can do is force changes to the trucks that the customers DON’T want.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    We Support highway construction with a general fund addition that amounts to at least 40 cents per gallon. Raise the gas tax to 50 cents per gallon. Sanitize the effect by doubling the child tax credit. The roads become self-supporting with perhaps a nickel a gallon towards energy efficiency. don’t subsidize trucks on one hand, and then impose command and control mileage
    mandates on the other.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    here’s my question. Why don’t Ford, GM and Ram offer the v8′s from their half-ton trucks as an option in their 3/4 ton models? I’d like the ability to put a heavy duty snow plow on a truck that can still get better than 14 mpg. I don’t need to tow 20,000 lbs. I see lots of heavy duty trucks running around empty or with loads that could easily be handled with the power found in the so called light duty engines.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It will happen eventually. The new SuperDuty comes out this year, with all holdover engines. Don’t expect the current engine lineup to stay the same throughout the whole product run.

    • 0 avatar
      Bluegrass

      They usually have, the big 1/2 ton v8 is usually the entry level motor on the 3/4 ton on up. Most dealers usually keep at least one fleet grade 3/4 ton work truck with basic options on the lot. But most optioned up trucks that people actually buy will have the Diesel, as the big block gassers were all phased out in the early 2000′s.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I think he wants something even smaller than the top tier gas engine from the half tons. Now the the 6.2L isn’t in the F150, there is no engine overlap between the F150 and SuperDuty.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      The RAM 2500 base engine is the 5.7 liter gasoline V-8 that is optional in the 1500. The Ford F-250 base engine is the 6.2 liter gasoline V-8 that is optional in the higher line models of the F-150 (although it’s rumored to be a gas guzzler). The Silverado 2500 base engine is the the 6 liter V-8 that formerly was optional in the 1500. I would imagine that the larger of the two new engines now offered in the Silverado — the 6.2 liter V-8, with DI, VVT and cylinder shutoff — will be available in the 3/4 ton model, probably when the existing inventory of 6-liters is exhausted and/or when production of the new engine ramps up.

      I’m assuming that you’re not asking for the V-6 base engines offered by all three U.S. brands in their 1/2 ton models to be available in the 3/4 ton versions.

      The much more interesting question is, with Chevy’s 6.2 liter 420 hp V-8 getting an EPA 22 mpg highway rating in the Silverado 1500, what is the case for buying the $7,000 more expensive 6.6 liter diesel in the 2500, once the new gasoline engine is available in that truck? Probably not fuel savings, given the price premium of diesel over gasoline.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I doubt the 3/4 will get the ecotec 6.2.

        Waaaayy to much fuel efficiency crap, the 6.2 is a terrible engine under heavy load, the 6.0 is a much superior engine under loa and doesn’t have any of the crap that’s on the 6.2l.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      What the HD trucks need isn’t a smaller gasser, it’s a smaller diesel option. Not everyone needs to tow their 10,000 pound trailer at 90 mph. Europeans get it; their heavy van lines start off with four-cylinder diesels that get 30 mpg. In our market it wouldn’t go that far, but a 4.0l diesel six would be a great fuel economy option for a 3/4 ton pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @dal20402
        The Transit when released in the US can have a cab chassis variant running the 3.2 diesel.

        They can come with a 13′ flat bed and tow over 7 000lbs. I think they will be struggling to get 30mpg, but they will come close. With a flat bed that long a trailer will not be as necessary.

        Because the truck can be used as a truck and not a tow vehicle to move weight around.

        In Australia we don’t have no where’s as many HDs as the US. But we don’t tow as many heavy trailers around. We use a truck as a truck.

        Our truck sizes are on average bigger than US trucks. Our midsizers can have load capacities of around 3 000lbs as well with a 6′x8′ flatbeds and get around or over 30mpg.

        I think a better mix of commericial vehicles in the US like we have would be a better solution. The US commercial vehicle market seems quite insular with fewer options available for the average business man.

        When in France last year I was being passed on the auto routes by large vans with 3 litre diesels and I was sitting on 130kph.

        • 0 avatar
          Les

          The US mix of ‘commercial vehicles’ might be a side-effect of the line between ‘commercial’ and ‘consumer’ vehicles going blurry to non-existent for anything without at least six axles.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @dal20402 – When you need or want a pickup truck, a van usually isn’t a suitable alternative. Now a 3/4 ton pickup with a small diesel would be a nice option, but just never mind the style and luxury of pickups for a second. OK, offroad and 4X4 too. Nothing against vans, the more options we have, the better. But HD pickups can and do haul up to half as much as big rigs. They’re just the most efficient vehicles out there for small companies and farm/ranches with lots of stock/feed/merchandise and equipment/machinery to move around. Yes they drive around empty most of the time, but so do all big rigs. And pickups wear many hats and easily replace several cars, SUVs, etc, in a way that no van can.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Just look at the goals: higher truck MPGs, more “alternative” energy, more anti-pollution measures, and less dependence on foreign oil. At the same time, dependence has already been reduced by the boom in shale oil production on private land while public lands with even larger deposits are off limits, along with drilling on the continental shelves, and a refusal to approve pipelines that could move Bakken shale oil instead of rail cars.

    It’s a scatter shot approach with contradictory measures, all in service to this pressure group or that party base. Politics as usual in D.C. from leaders who take their advice from their political consultants and pollsters instead of economists and industry experts. Better solutions are possible, but changes are needed in the way Washington does business – in both parties – before it can happen.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    “Natural gas has often been cited as a breakthrough fuel for long haul trucking as well.”
    Define “breakthrough”.
    Does N gas per gallon have the same BTU as a gallon of diesel?
    It would require significantly more N gas and the “breakthrough” is emissions and perhaps in cost per gallon. Now but if demand goes up will price be an advantage?
    CNG conversions are offered Class 8 engines as a retrofit. Engines are being designed to run on LNG. Initially intrastate due to fueling stations.
    For certain, EPA Class 8 truck emissions requirements have caused reliable diesel engines to become unreliable. Beginning 2007 with EGR then DPF. Major maintenance and cost problems not yet solved.

  • avatar

    #1 Global warming is nothing more than a liberal agenda to RAISE TAXES ON BUSINESSES.

    #2 Global Warming is a FARCE.
    The Earth is slowly cooling down.

    #3. The liberals are trying to rename Global Warming into “climate change”.

    #4. Studies show that as the mass of the average vehicle decreases, fatalities have gone up.

    #5. No truck that ever rolls out of a Detroit production line will EVER get 54mpg unless it’s a Hybrid or a EV.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      On #1-3 unfortunately you are part of a small minority of the global population comprised mainly of Fox News watchers and energy lobbyists that still believe that.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I am in neither category, and I see the farce as a ploy on the part of the noble/elite social class to have additional control on the masses.

        In the case of cars its quite simple, you want a car sure we’ll sell you a ZEV one. Oh wait your not in the 10% income bracket to afford it because it starts at 90K? Too bad, take the bus.

        • 0 avatar
          gmichaelj

          You don’t seem to understand that your sacrifices will make a better world for all of our children. We can all breath better air. Or at least your sacrifices can make a better world for our kids. Your kids can help best by volunteering to be cops or soldiers. Our kids are best at investing and creating jobs for the likes of you. You need to be a team player.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Not all ZEV vehicles cost $90,000. Last I checked, you can buy a Leaf for about $28,000 – before the tax credit.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Today. No guarantee this will continue into the future. Throw about a dozen more unrealistic requirements and regs on that Leaf and the price goes up.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            My money’s on the Leaf being LESS expensive as time goes on, actually.

      • 0 avatar

        XBOX WATCH FOX NEWS

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Right, and the scandal at the University of East Anglia was about some climate change “deniers” conspiring to falsify data.

      • 0 avatar
        mic

        Really? I dont watch Fox News. 1 fact is that we havent even been tracking global temps long enough to know what “normal” is so how do we know that the earth is getting too warm and isn’t just returning to “normal” from the last ice age? Land in the mid-west is pretty reasonable right now lol

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Wow. I didn’t know it was possible to fit so much factual inaccuracy into one comment, but you did it.

      #1 – Most liberal proposals to deal with climate change involve either 1) trading schemes that don’t include taxes or 2) broad-based carbon taxes which will be paid by individuals and businesses alike. Even if climate change were a liberal plot, you’d still be wrong.

      #2 – You’re some guy ranting on YouTube. The people who actually know this stuff, because they do it for a living, disagree with you. Emphatically. All of them.

      #3 – “Climate change” was invented by conservative message guru Frank Luntz because it sounded less scary than “global warming.” That said, it was actually adopted after he invented it because people realized it was more descriptive.

      #4 – Show me one. You won’t be able to, because fatalities have been on a sustained downward trajectory now for almost two decades.

      #5 – Maybe this one’s true, but hybrid trucks will be commonplace in due time. The technology is too good to pass up, particularly with remotely located motors. Peak torque at 0 rpm? Driving individual wheels in low-traction conditions? Sounds like something truck owners might find pretty useful. There’s a reason hybrids are taking over medium-duty city truck and bus applications.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I didn’t know it was possible to fit so much factual inaccuracy into one comment”

        Everyone has a talent.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        #1- So increased costs driving by trading schemes (emphasis on scheme) to buy carbon credits, passed on to the consumer as punishment for such profligate behavior as heating their homes and driving to work, are not really “taxes” because they don’t get paid directly to the government. They only feel that way.

        #2- There has been no warming trend for 17 years. Your so-called experts have no explanation for this, just as they have no way to explain why their models, when run backwards against known recorded data, are unable to “predict” what historical climate conditions were.

        #3- “Climate change” was adopted in order to make any trend or phenomena qualify for alarm. Warming, cooling, storms, whatever – it’s all climate change. Heads I win, tails you lose.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          I would appreciate control data for global warming. What?! They don’t have any. The emperor has no clothes.

          The saddest part about AGW theory is how pathetically ineffective it is. Tom Clancy can move millions of people to movie theaters with fictional stories. Shrill liberals can’t even sell a few thousand ZEV’s.

          It’s a culture steeped in failure, and denial of their own failure. They are mirror images of the pickup truck commuters they claim to hate.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          “#2- There has been no warming trend for 17 years.”

          Actually, that’s not true. We do have a surface warming trend for the last 17 years but it’s not obvious because of the immense spike of a particularly vigorous El Nino back in ’98 or so.

          In addition, ocean heat has been steadily increasing. This will show up in surface heat, probably with a vengeance, at some point.

          “Your so-called experts have no explanation for this, just as they have no way to explain why their models, when run backwards against known recorded data, are unable to “predict” what historical climate conditions were.”

          It’s true that they can’t hindcast with perfect accuracy. However, models that include CO2 forcings are a much better match to reality than models that ignore it.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “#4 – Show me one. You won’t be able to, because fatalities have been on a sustained downward trajectory now for almost two decades.”

        You sound so sure of yourself. Perhaps you should conduct some research of your own. The NHTSA has the information.

        There are numerous reports, you could start with “Vehicle Weight, Fatality Risk and Crash Compatibility of Model Year 1991-99 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks”

        That’s a more recent report, but the most dramatic effects of #4 were demonstrated after CAFE was first enacted when traffic fatalities rose significantly between 1975 and 1985. It has been attributed to the dramatic mass reduction in newer cars which then got in accidents with heavier legacy vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Fatality rates per 100 million miles:

          1974 3.53
          1975 3.35
          1976 3.25
          1977 3.26
          1978 3.26
          1979 3.34
          1980 3.35
          1981 3.18
          1982 2.76
          1983 2.58
          1984 2.57
          1985 2.47

          The number of deaths did increase, because the amount of driving increased significantly each year during that time period.

          One of the most effective ways to get reduce road fatality rates is to get people to reduce their driving. The OPEC crisis had that effect in 1974.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Exposure is certainly a factor, as well as increased saftey belt use, decreases in inexperienced drivers on the road etc.

            If the above data is graphed over a longer period of time, we see that in the decades before and after the period of mass introduction of downsized models due to CAFE regulations experienced significant declines in fatalities per exposure. But during the time period after CAFE, the data figures remained stagnant and move upward certain years bucking the trend. Many papers, including those by the NHTSA, have attributed this to the popularization of significant weight reduction in vehicles during that time.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            Here’s an interactive map originally from the WHO. I suppose they are a socialist organisation. Check out the figures, sort of makes you look the goat.

            http://roadskillmap.com/

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The arithmetic is such that as the fatality rates go down, the benefit of incremental improvements decreases.

            That’s just a math issue — when cars were death traps, then things could only get better. Now that fatality rates are a mere fraction of what they once were, it becomes increasingly difficult to move the needle.

            But still, the rates keep falling, thanks to better safety equipment and crash design. If we had the same fatality rates today that we did when CAFE began, there would be about 100,000 Americans killed in crashes each year, triple what it is today.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            It’s more than vehicle safety that are giving the US near on developing nation like fatality figures on your roads.

            I think its more to do with driver training, licencing, enforcement and variation between states and even maybe you medical system;)

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Big Al–

            No, it’s because of passive safety systems and design.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        1. Both schemes are effective taxes, either indirectly through a trading scheme or directly on the citizens/corporations. It should be noted taxes on corporations are invariably passed on to the consumer.

        2. People who “do it for a living” are biased and should be ignored because it is in their self interest to tow the line whatever that may be.

        3. Source?

        4. He’d have to cite a source.

        5. Agreed.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          1. Follow the money. Find out who profits from the proposed system. That’s why I have grave concerns about any trading scheme.

          2. Again, follow the money. They are not incentivized to “tow the line.” Rather, they are incentivized to perform research in accordance with the interests of those who pay the bills, whichever side that may fall.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Cap-and-trade is merely a market-oriented approach to regulating pollution levels.

          Under the traditional system, government passes laws with limits that are necessarily somewhat arbitrary (since they tend to be some version of one-size-fits-all) and regulates accordingly.

          With a cap-and-trade, government accepts that there will some sort of pollution produced by industry, establishes a maximum level for the whole (the cap), and then lets the individual producers of pollution to decide how much they are willing to pay to contribute to that pollution.

          What you would expect to see is that the high-value producers would choose to stay, since it’s worth it to pay to pollute, while the low-value producers would leave since it isn’t worth the cost. The theory isn’t a bad one, although not everyone benefits from it.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Doing nothing about climate change would also be an “effective tax,” because you count on all the effects of it being horrifyingly expensive to deal with.

          You could start with having to save New York City from being swamped, or kissing Miami goodbye, for starters. That might cost a few bucks here and there.

          Assuming it’s true, and we can do something about it, it’s pay me now or pay me later. If we pay now, we also get a bunch of new energy technologies that work a lot better than the ones we have now.

          Seems to me like the smarter move is to do something.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      bigtruck,

      Ever notice how anthropogenic climate change (ACC) looks like the rantings of the stereotypical conspiracy theorist?

      If the world gets hotter, it’s because of ACC. But if it gets colder, it’s ALSO because of ACC?

      “Oh, that doesn’t make any sense?” they say, looking down their nose at you. “Well, you’re just not sophisticated enough to understand it, then. Go back to watching your Fox News, you simpleton peasant.”

      For the environmentalist, every random weather fluctuation is evidence of ACC. Just like everything in the world is part of the Illuminati’s evil master plan to the tinfoil hat crowd.

      Every victory for the shadowy cabal is evidence that all is going according to plan. But every DEFEAT is ALSO evidence that the plan is working, too.

      One tenet of logic is falsifiability, and frankly, when EVERY random atmospheric event is evidence of the impending end of the world, then it sounds more like a large, chaotic system (the atmosphere) just doing it’s thing.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “If the world gets hotter, it’s because of ACC. But if it gets colder, it’s ALSO because of ACC?”

        Right, but the temperature trend is DEFINITELY an upward one. What’s causing it is the question.

        • 0 avatar
          mcarr

          “Right, but the temperature trend is DEFINITELY an upward one. What’s causing it is the question.”

          According to whom? When did this trend start? The huge problem with ACC is that anyone with a modicum of common sense can shoot all kinda of holes in the theory.

          For instance, how many ice ages has the world gone through that we know of? The human industrial age only began maybe 200 years ago, yet “climate change” has been going on as long as the earth existed. What caused it before humans? Dinosaur flatulence? Swamp gas?

          I will concede that there is indeed “climate change” in the sense the the climate does change. I vehemently disagree with the “mad-made” addition to the term. The technology does not exist to raise or lower the temperature of the earth even a tenth of a degree and it’s the height of arrogance to presume that humans can do this. Anyone who believes it can be done is either a useful idiot, or stands to gain somehow from the farce.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          This.

          There really isn’t anyone with a shred of credibility that is not saying things have gotten on aggregate warmer.

          Yes – Atlanta is shivering and California is drying like a prune and Alaska has record warmth – Australia is melting in record heat. One event in one spot doesn’t a global picture make.

          The real question is – WHY – not if.

      • 0 avatar
        MidWestern

        May I ask you just one question? Why is it that there always has to be some big shadowy cabal that is trying to “increase its control over everybody.”? I kind of miss the days when people had a little bit more respect for one another. Back in the 1970′s, when we were wracked with supply shocks, inflation, and stagnant growth Jimmy Carter embraced some minor conservative ideals, privatizing or reducing government influence in certain sectors in the economy and placing Paul Volker in the Fed so that they could put into place the kind of high interest rate contractionary monetary policy that conservative economists had predicted would help tamp down inflation and return the economy to normalcy. You don’t see that today.

        Going back to Climate Change, global warming, etc. What incentive do these people have to make something like this up? Throw a bunch of money at an issue for no reason? No one is that stupid (and don’t even try to bring up solyndra, that was a case of recession and poor management wasting an investment and driving themselves into the ground. It happens in the free market.) If Barack Obama, liberals, scientists, etc. all were just trying to persuade people to believe in global warming in order to “increase control” or whatever, then why would they avoid approving Keystone XL, or opening up federal park land to fracking? You know what would control people better? If they legalized that and it did happen to dramatically drop the price of fuel Obama would become ridiculously popular, or at least better than 42%, and would be able to consolidate power much more effectively. What better PR could you have than “Hey everybody, cheap gas!”

        What annoys me is that all of these people claiming conspiracy theories all forget one of the most critical aspects of science, and it isn’t just the focus on trying to disprove existing theories. Scientific parsimony, or the idea that the simplest explanation is often the most preferable, should guide us when we determine what is true or not. The idea that Obama is hijacking climate change theories to propose spending money on purposely failing green businesses which would help him consolidate power (somehow?) and become a dictator makes no sense.

        BTW: There is some data to support other natural weather events limiting or stalling the growth in global temperatures, such as an odd prevalence of el nino and la nina events within the past 10 years. http://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/why-did-earth%E2%80%99s-surface-temperature-stop-rising-past-decade

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          People have a lot of incentives to make it up.. MONEY

          How is that not an incentive, that’s billions of dollars of wealth transfer.

        • 0 avatar

          May I ask you just one question? Why is it that there always has to be some big shadowy cabal that is trying to “increase its control over everybody.”?

          BECAUSE THERE IS. “Global WARMING” is the Liberal’s determination to CONTROL ENERGY.

          They have some bullsht planned called “Urban planning” where they want us to RENT cars rather than own. It’s spelled out in Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. These people freely admit to being socialists for God’s sakes.

          These same liars claimed OIL would have run out by now.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yes, I’m sure all liberals want us to rent cars. That’s why we insisted on bailing out GM and Chrysler – so they can rent cars to everyone.

            Take off the f**king tinfoil hat already, dude.

        • 0 avatar
          bnolt

          At the risk of getting further OT and IMHO: Incentive? Politics aside, the reward for solving a problem is to have your funding withdrawn. Along with the adulation from media and rent-seekers for what was a scientific backwater until recent times. Nobel Prizes. Flying to and fro for climate conferences in exotic lands on the public dime.
          Anyone that’s convinced that a catastrophe is right around the corner is just not well read. The planet is warming marginally. The various and sundry climate models aren’t even close to validating. What percentage mankind is responsible for the warming is very debatable. Those that are looking for excuses as to why there’s been no significant global warming for that last 15 years can’t discount that the same natural processes may have caused the 80s & 90s warming.
          There are serious pollution/environmental issues that deserve real attention; this obsession with CO2 is counterproductive.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Precisely — I’ll start believing it’s a crisis when the people saying that start acting like it’s a crisis.

            Yes, that means I have (marginally) more respect for that weatherman who cried in an airport and promises to neuter himself than for Al Gore or Michael Mann. Morality aside, at least that guy walks the walk. The others are just transparent rent-seekers.

      • 0 avatar
        This Is Dawg

        http://whowhatwhy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/395940_842169154111_1010664_37712606_1688554057_n1.jpg

        Admittedly, I don’t have TV so I have no clue what talking heads are saying these days, but when I studied Environmental Science in school, it was definitely not a tenet that “every random weather fluctuation is evidence of ACC.” Sure, people that look at evidence and see the trend may want to see this trend everywhere, but I don’t really think a majority of scientists believe every little breeze is because of cow farts heating the earth.

        That being said, the idea is basically that human industry has drastically increased the rate of release of chemicals into the atmosphere that trap heat and energy that would normally dissipate back into space. This energy can easily cause more chaos in a system we don’t already fully grasp. So amount of storms, severity of storms, global average temperature, and atypical rain patterns seem to be the biggest takeaways.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, here’s the truth about climate change, whether it’s human-caused or not: it’s impacting the planet now, and the impact will get more severe over time. Eventually, if nothing else, this is going to become a national security issue, and national security issues cost tax money to fix.

      You’ll pay now, or you’ll pay later.

      But you knew that. My guess is that your 401k is all ate up with Exxon stock.

      • 0 avatar

        CAN ANY OF YOU GENTLEMEN EXPLAIN TO ME WHY:

        #1 Humans have only had the technology to study “climate change” for less than 2000 years OUT OF 4,600,000,000 years and we are 100% certain “Global Warming” is real???

        #2 The government is setting standards that DETROIT can’t meet – and then resetting them to make them even HARDER for anything other than a PRIUS to meet? Mark my words NO TRUCK THAT EVER ROLLS OUT OF DETROIT WILL EVER get 54MPG unless it’s a Hybrid or EV.

        #3 the government is forcing these cars to meet MPG standards, when the vast majority of America’s energy comes from POLLUTING SOURCES such as coal and oil – which put out gasses more polluting than CO2???

        #4 the government continues to give WINDMILLS a pass when they are MURDERING migratory birds???

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @BigTruck
          Here’s a truck that get’s 55mpg and can carry a 2 500lb payload. It’s a pickup as well.

          Made by that new European pickup manufacturer in Detroit, Fiat.

          http://www.businessvans.co.uk/the-versatile-fiat-doblo-work-up-in-a-class-of-its-own/

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          BTSR, climb down, you’re getting kinda shrill. If it doesn’t have a birth certificate, it’s not “murder”, it’s “kill”.

          Some birds are killed by windmills. Boo-hoo. Birds and other animals are killed by lots of things for lots of reasons, mainly because they’re tasty. We don’t use that as a reason to stop other human activities. If birds had a tendency to fly into cracking towers, would you advocate for the abandonment of fossil fuels? If birds had a statistical preference for flying into SRT trucks, would you sell yours? This is as ridiculous an argument as devastating California agriculture to protect the delta smelt.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          @bigtruck:

          #1. As a personage with Masters in the science field, I would think that you already know there are very few certainties in science. Nearly 98% of climatologists, meterologists, et al, use most probable, which is sci-speak for yep, its happening.

          #2. Government has to set standards as long as they are playing the role of honest broker. If not, then we as citizens need to ensure it does. If, as you say, only a Prius can pass them, which let’s face it, bigtruck, is hyperbolic at best. But see Bigal for the rest of the argument.

          #3. Good point. We need to continue to work on ways to cut the coal and oil use for our power needs.

          #4. The best argument you have is migratory birds? I could say the same for airplanes, power lines, rocket ships, alien invasions, cow farts, list goes on. However, by stating this you admit to the windmill being a good tool for the future, as long as we handle the horrible bird problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      The climate is changing, there’s no arguing this, it just is.

      The climate has Been changing ever since this planet developed an atmosphere.

      What human activity can or cannot do to affect the climate, for good or for ill, is debatable.

      Naturally, as it is in any large-scale public debate. a whole host of ill-informed laypeople on both sides are confusing the issue.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I didn’t watch Obama’s State of the Union speech. I had more important things to do – I had to get used to my new lawn ornament.

    The only workable “alternative” energy source is fusion which, as far as I know, hasn’t been made to work yet.

    Until some mad genius gets his homebuilt prototype past the ignition point, the only practical fuels in existence are petroleum and its derivatives.

    I’m all for natural gas, though. But again, it needs to be a PRACTICAL source of energy – inexpensive, easy to handle, stable and available everywhere.

    It would probably be a better use of resources and time to just start drilling for more oil and gas than to try to squeeze increasingly small gains out of the internal combustion engine.

    I’m probably alone in saying this, but I’m right, so here goes: the modern internal combustion engine is CLEAN ENOUGH.

    It’s way past the point of diminishing returns regarding its emissions performance, and the small gains achieved from here on out do not justify the time, effort and money needed to get them.

    Those efforts translate into real-world dollars – why do you think the modern new car is so expensive? Maybe in part because of this unicorn-chasing to construct a zero-emissions, combustion-powered vehicle?

    But the worst part is that this whole emissions nonsense is driven by people who don’t really want “clean, fuel-efficient” cars – they want to make automobiles legally impossible to manufacture economically, and later, just legally impossible period.

    Really, why do we as a society allow the environmental debate to be driven and defined by Marxist ideologues who are laughably ignorant and dismissive of economics, technology and human nature?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      We have actually achieved fusion: a thermonuclear bomb. Edward Teller figured out how to achieve fusion of two hydrogen atoms, by using a fission atomic bomb to reach the temperature and pressure needed. Unfortunately, it releases all the energy at once.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, there’s the small matter of how to achieve fusion without obliterating everything within five square miles…:)

        Best estimates put workable fusion reactors anywhere from 20-50 years away. Now, if we initiated a Manhattan Project-style effort, we could cut that time considerably. But that would mean 1) paying taxes for it, which freaks out conservatives, and 2) the impending end of coal, oil and natural gas as electric generating sources, which freaks out Big Energy AND conservatives.

        This much is clear: whoever invents this is going to make John D. Rockefeller look like a piker.

      • 0 avatar
        rnc

        Teller didn’t figure out that little work around (another physicist did, don’t remember his name), Teller’s research was getting nowhere when it came to producing a fusion weapon. He and the other physicist were both awarded the Nobel prize, Teller refused to accept.

      • 0 avatar

        FUSION POWER.

        The sun achieves fusion by forcing H atoms together to create HE. It will run out of H and fuse He atoms to heavier atoms. It will eventually collapse into a white dwarf.

        There isn’t enough energy on EARTH to match the sun’s gravity.

  • avatar
    carguy

    On #1-3 unfortunately you are part of a small minority of the global population comprised mainly of Fox News watchers and energy lobbyists that still believe that.

    • 0 avatar

      Regardless the TV shows I watch, I’ll have you know I hold an M.S. In Geology and one in Physics.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Really?

      • 0 avatar
        dartman

        “…Regardless the TV shows I watch, I’ll have you know I hold an M.S. In Geology and one in Physics…”

        ROTF-LMAO!. Sure you do, bigtroll; uhh I mean bigtruck; sure you do…now, come on away from that computer for a while and calm down. If you do I will grant you three honorary degrees from the online University of Trolling(numbered just like you like ‘em)

        #1. BS – We all know what that stands for, and none is more full of it than you big fella.

        #2. MS – More(of the)Same – Never give up! don’t get confused with facts and education, particularly from some damn LIBERAL!

        #3. PhD – Piled Higher and Deeper – If in doubt, just make it up.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      @carguy, those of you who disparage Fox news are self identifying as members or followers of a particular persuasion that is itself a small minority. Within that echo chamber the claim that almost everybody agrees with the man-made global warming hypothesis is accepted by the faithful. Outside, there is considerable opposition to the hypothesis, and it’s not “deniers” or deluded Fox News watchers, but quite a few eminent scientists.

      Just remember this forum is not one of those echo chambers, but one that includes people with considerable engineering and scientific backgrounds. The usual tactics of ganging up on people who don’t accept AGW, or disparaging them, doesn’t work here. It will only cause others here to discount your opinions in other matters.

      • 0 avatar
        Number6

        Rubbish. I disparage Fox because they’re as full of it as CNN or any other US-based Ministry of Truth. If you follow any mainstream media in this country, regardless of side, you’re deliberately choosing to be polarized. and as a citizen, you’re being delinquent in your selection of acceptable candidates. I’m getting pretty tired of having to pick between two organ-banks that survived being vetted by the two “sides” of American media. Oddly enough, that’s not a popular opinion.

        As for the anti-socialist rants, if you’re gonna piss and moan about welfare, let’s not leave out the free ride a 10+ year war has given a massive complex in terms of welfare, or maybe the silly ethanol subsidy that neither side wants to get rid of. Can we do that?

        Anyway…..the only way nat gas will work as a fuel with this thermodynamically challenged government is if some fool finds a way to get ethanol in there..I still think ethanol lobbies drive the lack of Diesel engines in Amican cars.

        And in this damn cold winter, do we really need a feedstock for home heating competing against automotive fuel demand?

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          I think most people agree that Iraq was a questionable campaign, but military spending was cut from 9% of GDP to 3% of GDP between 1960 and 2000. Bush bumped it back to 4.5% of GDP.

          As military spending has declined, the US middle class has deteriorated and distribution of wealth has worsened (exception: dot com boom). I understand that the US military is not the middle-class jobs/education/training/healthcare/housing entitlement people prefer, but truth be told, raising military spending as a percentage of GDP probably helped the middle class.

          The middle class have no idea that our productivity entitlements have been defunded over the last half century, and we’re borrowing to plug the difference. If we try to transfer funding to middle-class productivity entitlements, people accuse policy-makers of throwing grandma off a cliff or leaving homeless people to die in the cold night air.

          Bush was just the stooge in office when the music stopped. The problem is much bigger than a man. The elderly and the poor ratchet up their handouts, which kills the people paying the bills. The middle class are too dumb to understand why they can’t let that happen, for their own good and the good of the people who need charitable entitlements to remain solvent.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Oh, did I mention that another ruse of AGW proponents is to set up straw man arguments or change the subject? Both are on display here, from number6 and TW5. It’s really not worth anyone’s time to argue with you. Just stick to car-related topics, please.

  • avatar
    Atum

    The reply thing isn’t working, so I can’t do it up above, but I agree with Corey’s first comment. There are many more problems with this country that Obama has caused/made worse; fuel economy isn’t a priority.

    Besides, the Liberals creating these laws probably drive Bentleys that get 12 MPG on Premium gas.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      That’s the point. The Soviets were no different, one “peoples solidarity” philosophy for the masses as long as they had their cars, dachas, mistresses, caviar and vodka.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Plenty of liberals walk the walk when it comes to conservation. So do many conservatives.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Sounds like a talking point Gore/Pelosi/etc say right before hopping in their armored Suburban and heading to the airport to ride on a private jet.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            And on the flip side, how many times did Larry Craig rail about homosexuality being an abomination before he got busted trying to pick up men in an airport bathroom?

            If our leaders were all perfect non-hypocrites, it’d be wonderful. But they aren’t. The question, then, is not whether they’re hypocrites, but whether the ideas they come up with are worth a s**t or not.

            This one doesn’t make much sense to me, but dealing with climate change IS a vital issue, and liberals are really the only ones addressing it. For our trouble, we’re compared to communists, which means one thing: the accusers didn’t pass social studies. If they had, they’d know how ridiculous the comparison is.

            Republicans don’t want to address this because they’re bought and sold by Big Oil and Big Coal – the two groups with the most to lose if the alt energy movement picks up steam.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            January 15, 2014

            United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.

            China may be the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and struggling with major pollution problems of their own, but the country is “doing it right” when it comes to fighting global warming says Figueres.

            http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/15/un-climate-chief-communism-is-best-to-fight-global-warming/#ixzz2qUfP8lsr

            Liberals are intent on destroying freedom and self-determination. At some point something will have to be done about them.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @FreedMike

            Political parties don’t enter into douchbaggery, at this point both are mere distractions to rally the masses into red team/blue team formations and keep them in check.

            If there is one thing I personally loathe, its a hypocrite. From Washington DC to my cubicle and all the way back, mean what you say or keep your mouth shut. If the warmists really believe what they say they should start resembling the hippies of old and cruise around in biodiesel Benzs, at least then I could respect them for their beliefs.

            @CJ

            Well said, but its a shame as a species we seem to go through a cycle of pogroms and tyranny throughout our history.

          • 0 avatar
            This Is Dawg

            This is aimed at CJinSD’s 2:46 post: (Replies on this website leave a little to be desired.)

            Imagine if you didn’t have to listen to people and could do whatever you thought was right for them. Would that be easier than having everybody in the country vote on the issue? Absolutely. Would that be right? Dubious. Admitting communism can change national policy faster than democracy doesn’t mean everyone should just up and become communist… It also doesn’t mean people want to. Can doesn’t equal should.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I find it unsettling to see the UN endorsing a system who mas murdered tens of millions of its own people over decades.

          • 0 avatar

            Liberals are intent on destroying freedom and self-determination. At some point something will have to be done about them.

            Really?

            Honestly, one person running their mouth at a UN function does not mean the liberals are lusting to turn the US into a Communist wonderland.

            If anything, I expect the US to transform itself into a mirror image of Augusto Pinochet’s Chile before that ever happens, but then that’s just me.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I know you mentioned your biography somewhere else in the past but I cannot remember it. Are you the 14 year old, who has never driven or owned a car, doesn`t work for a living and hasn`t voted?

      I thought it was only liberals who drove Volts, Leaf’s etc – hardly Bentleys.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, you see, it’s convenient for conservatives to cast liberals in the worst possible light, based on whatever they are trying to prove. When it comes to more public transportation, we instantly become car-hating hairshirts who would rather bike to work (in Mao suits, preferably). But when the point is to try to paint us as out of touch, we all become drivers of 12-mpg Bentleys.

        Clearly, all car-hating bicyclists drive 12-mpg Bentleys. Right?

      • 0 avatar
        Atum

        Yeah. What about the crazy teenagers who are Liberals, Humanists, and Dreamers? But this is a car site, not NBC, so let’s drop that.

        My point was to prove that people are hypocrites, and that’s what the repliers caught on to.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Yes more rules, regulations, restraints, red tape, etc. Because that’s been working all this time.

    A big rig already averages about 6-7mpg. That’s pretty damn good when you consider the weight that is being pulled. The new emission systems are killing these trucks, they’re problematic, I know, I see it everyday.

    It’s frustrating….. these people know nothing, they don’t have to deal with anything, they just assign out the rules and leave the rest of us to figure it out and clean up their mess.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    If Obama is serious about pickup FE he will make the following changes.

    1. Remove the chicken tax and increase competition of more pickup that overall have better FE.

    2. Up the current 40 cetane for US diesel to 51 cetane and run 10ppm ULSD. This will make it easier for manufacturers to produce lower emissions.

    3. Remove CAFE.

    4. Change some EPA regulations for diesel vs gasoline.

    5. Reduce corn subsidies and/or have canola subsidies for bio-diesel.

    6. Increase the gasoline tax and use the money FOR infrastructure improvement and not bicycle paths, etc.

    Just creating harsher regulations will not be as beneficial as making the pickup/energy market more competitive. It’s a very closed market in the US.

    There are many fine pickups outside of the US that could and would sell in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Amen! Pass the plate!

      But it will never happen. Big oil and big trucking does not want to have a bunch of oil burners on the road. Money is the obvious reason. Cars that get poorer mpgs will fill up more often for one and demand for diesel will stay at a nice median for another making it easier to forecast costs by not having an additional demand of passenger cars added to it. Gasoline is just too lucrative.

      Living in Iowa now, I can tell you the fight for keeping the corn subs going. The corn belt is petitioning for futher E-85 access across the country.

      Love the bicycle paths. However much of America has built itself around the car, making biking dangerous in most cities, towns, and suburbs. It would take a major mindset change and infrastructure rebuild to move in this direction.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Here’s the “logic” of climate change deniers: we’re not 100% certain that global warming (which IS happening) is caused by humans, so we should do nothing about it.

    By the same logic:
    We’re not 100% certain that smokers will die of lung cancer, so smoke away.

    We’re not 100% certain that people who McDonalds for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day will die of a heart attack, so keep eating McDonalds.

    Put differently: what if we figure out 100 years from now that global warming isn’t caused by human activities, and we develop all these new energy technologies to fight it anyway? We’ll have far more advanced technologies that pollute less, don’t use up finite resources, and work better than what we have today. Can someone honestly say that this would be a bad thing?

    And let’s keep this in mind too – energy is a MASSIVE moneymaker, and the person or company that invents the better energy mousetrap is going to be AWASH in profits. One hundred years ago, it was John Rockefeller who brought his better energy mousetrap – oil – to market, and last I checked, not only did he get rich, but his company created wealth for his employees and shareholders that is incalculable. How can conservatives say no to this? If you look who LOSES if alt energy takes off, and the party that the losers support, the answer becomes clear.

    • 0 avatar
      mcarr

      Here’s the thing. We are 100% sure that climate change is not caused by humans. You know why? It was happening long before humans started the sort of behavior that the “climate change wack jobs” tell us cause global warming er.. climate change.

      Soo… if humans are not the cause of CC, what the hell can we do to stop it? Stop cow flatulence? Keep volcanoes from erupting? Prevent solar flares? I’m all for exploring energy alternatives and promoting responsible stewardship of our natural resources, but I wish we didn’t have to continuously be brow beaten by the global warming religious zealots.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Do you know the difference between a theory and a hypothesis?
      A theory is repeatedly tested, with substantial results, BUT IT IS NEVER A FACT
      Therefore a theory is always open to question, liberals will not argue the science of CC, to these people it is seen as “fact” which it in no way, shape, or form is scientifically possible.

      200 or even 200,000 years of patterns is a drop in the bucket to earth 4,540,000,000 age

      All carbon contained in all living organisms once existed in release on the earth, and in that environment under those conditions life formed an progressed to where we are now. To say that releasing even half that amount of carbon onto earth will make a measureable change on the organisms and their environment in existence today is ludicrous.

      • 0 avatar
        This Is Dawg

        Wait wait wait wait wait. What!? You don’t think that releasing all the carbon trapped underground or undersea would have ANY effect on current life forms? That’s mass extinction levels of change.

        True the historical temperature has fluctuated like crazy. There is not a single scientist worth listening to who will argue it was colder during the dinosaurs’ ages than it is now. HOWEVER, humans have been the only species to industrialize releasing stored carbon back into the atmosphere. If you acknowledge volcanoes release chemicals and particulate that trap heat and energy, why can’t you understand that the total of human emission points now far outweighs whatever volcanoes are active any given day? The point isn’t that temperature change is unprecedented, it’s that we’re making it change way faster than it’s happened before, and way faster than other species can adapt.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “All carbon contained in all living organisms once existed in release on the earth, and in that environment under those conditions life formed an progressed to where we are now. To say that releasing even half that amount of carbon onto earth will make a measureable change on the organisms and their environment in existence today is ludicrous.”

        To quote Pauli, “That’s not even wrong.”

        Back in the day, it was hot. Really hot. The pace of change in atmospheric CO2 was far more gradual over those last few million years than the pace of change we’re causing today. Expecting nothing to happen if we suddenly roll the atmosphere back to the way it was a million years ago (which is what we have done in the last 100 years) is ludicrous.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Much like the smoking analogy, there is an element of choice that is missing. Sure people can choose hybrid or EV technology in terms of automobiles, but it ends there. Do people have a right to choose to tell the EPA to buzz off about their wood stoves? Do people have the right to reject gov’t interference in the coal industry as additional regs are forcing the closure of 32 plants which will drive up their utility bills? You are correct energy is a massive moneymaker which is why choice is not on the menu and why the truth about nuclear power isn’t even on the radar of MSM. Fukushima is slowly poisoning the entire planet and is more dangerous than any element of global warming as it has the potential to kill millions over time. Money is the real mechanism of global warmingism.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2014/01/29/epas-wood-burning-stove-ban-has-chilling-consequences-for-many-rural-people/

      http://www.governing.com/gov-data/energy-environment/coal-plants-to-shut-down-from-EPA-regulations.html

      http://www.livescience.com/42630-fukushima-ocean-radioactivity-to-be-tracked.html

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You could easily turn your argument around and ask whether nuclear plant operators have the right to tell the government to go pound sand with its regulations. The answer to that is obvious: no, they don’t, and Fukushima is a good illustration of why.

        Any large scale use of energy is a public policy question, particularly when the energy source creates risks that all of us have to deal with. Coal and nuclear power clearly pose those risks; whether wood burning stoves do or not is a good question, and the people affected by that do have the right to turn to their elected officials or courts to overturn the EPA’s decision. Frankly, I wouldn’t sleep any worse at night if that happened.

        But coal is another story. It is the dirtiest ‘modern’ energy source known, and has a whole range of effects, some known, some less obvious but still devastating, and some debatable.

        We know coal causes massive particulate pollution, covering whole cities in soot, and blocking the sun. As I recall, you’re from Pittsburgh, and no city was hurt more by this type of pollution. The pollution causes a whole range of diseases and sicknesses in people. We also know coal causes things like acid rain, which has huge ecological implications. This is all obvious, well documented stuff.

        Some effects are less obvious, but still horrifying. Look up what’s happening in West Virginia, which is a major coal producing state. You have slurry lakes, full of sludge and toxic chemicals, that can flood entire neighborhoods or towns, and that leach toxins into the drinking water. As I understand it, most well water in the state is now non-potable due to this kind of pollution. Think about that – an entire state whose groundwater is so polluted you can’t drink it anymore. And there are entire mountain ranges where the peaks have been blown off to extract coal – they end up looking like some alien landscape. West Virginia has basically been assaulted ecologically, and we don’t hear much about that from the MSM because it’s happening in a backwater state, and the state government is allowing it.

        And then there’s the debatable effects of coal, which include the CO2 emissions that may be causing global warming. But that’s an open question, and there’s enough real, non-debatable effects of coal to completely justify regulating the hell out of its use. Personally, I’ll pay more for electricity that isn’t generated this way.

        Clean coal is a myth. Even if they can burn it cleaner, there’s no way to mine it cleaner.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      I guarantee you that if human beings had the ability to alter climate, there’d be a multi-TRILLION dollar industry ensuring that no droughts ever occurred in agricultural areas, that no monsoons ever flooded out low-lying tropical zones and that it never got below freezing or above 90 anywhere in the world.

      But there’s no such industry. I wonder why…

      • 0 avatar
        This Is Dawg

        Lol you’re just trolling now right?

        That’s like saying “If smoking affected your lungs, why wouldn’t there be a TRILLION dollar industry focussed on smoking in just a certain way to burn out other afflictions.” Just because we found out we’re changing the environmant doesn’t mean anyone, ANYONE assumes they can just magically control weather patterns everywhere.

        By your logic, if the problem exists, people can instantly control it for their own benefit. Do you think there’s no such thing as cancer because nobody has used controlled cancer cells to replace silicone in breast implants?

        • 0 avatar
          OneAlpha

          I don’t troll.

          Ever.

          My point is that if there is a way to make money doing something, SOMEBODY will figure out how to do that thing.

          If there’s money to be made modifying climate to ensure profitable harvests, and there sure as hell is, then some brilliant eccentric or some corporation will quickly exploit that hole in the market.

          The fact that humans don’t control the climate for profit is strong evidence that humans CAN’T control the climate, period.

          For good or for bad.

          • 0 avatar
            This Is Dawg

            Nobody said controlling the climate. Polluting isn’t controlling. Right now it’s a byproduct of other profitable activities. I agree that controlling the climate would not only be amazing, but also incredibly profitable. Think of the “aid” or “sanctions” we could weaponize! Just because we aren’t doing that, though, doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything.

            Given 50-100 years, who knows, there probably will be agencies and rogue entities controlling local climates. It’s not forever impossible. However,imagine the CEO of BP launching climate control as the next big corporate initiative. You think anyone would want to hear those plans? The person with the right backing and initiative and knowledge just isn’t there yet. Just because we aren’t there yet DOES NOT mean there’s nothing going on.

            Sorry about the accusation, but “There’s no such industry. I wonder why…” sounds just a bit like trolling.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Oh, we can *alter* the climate, all right. We’re doing that right now. What we can’t do is *control* it.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Assuming the truth of global warming (certainly true in the short term, as measured by shrinkage of glaciers in multiple locations) and assuming that human activity is a material cause (a much more difficult proposition, given all of the variables in play, the obvious limitations of current climate models which cannot account for the plateauing of global warming in the past 15 years, there are two really big problems.

      Problem #1, even AGW proponents admit that all of the things they advocate will not have a material effect on global CO2 concentration (leaving aside the effect of such concentration changes on global temperature).

      Problem #2, the AGW proponents have not even attempted to calculate — as against the costs of all that they advocate (which are huge) — the costs of adapting. It’s kind of like if you owned a beach house and you noticed that the high tide was getting closer and closer. So, you have a choice: build a big seawall to limit the tide, or move the house back 50 yards. Probably moving the house back 50 yards is the cheaper alternative, so that’s what you do.

      The reason that AGW proponents are suspect is that, rather than consider the costs of adaption — which does not involve modifying people’s conduct on a mass scale — they have chose to advocate modifying people’s conduct.

      As to this latest regulatory folly: consider that these large vehicles are not owned and operated by rhinestone cowboys. Rather they are owned by people in business and used for business purposes. As business people, they’re interested in reducing costs, and for a transportation company, fuel is a big cost item. My point being that they already have plenty of incentives to strive for fuel efficiency . . . in a way that saves them money. The hand of the government is not going to make a positive contribution to this process.

      I am aware that implementation of emission standards to diesel engines has been problematic . . . but what is beyond dispute is that diesel smoke is unpleasant, bad for people’s lungs and carcinogenic. So, in my mind, that’s a trade-off that makes sense. Hopefully, with experience these systems — like was the case for the ones for gasoline engines — will get more reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        This Is Dawg

        “The reason that AGW proponents are suspect is that, rather than consider the costs of adaption — which does not involve modifying people’s conduct on a mass scale — they have chose to advocate modifying people’s conduct.”

        Last comment, I promise.

        Think of the people that can’t move their house. Do we become the society that leaves them behind? Are you ready to accept the shitstorm of Chinese refugees that leave valleys kept alive by glacier-fed rivers? With that kind of adaptation, it does seem like a more immediate fix to make everyone stop escalating the problem. There’s also the unfortunate aspect that those who contribute to the problem the most feel the least consequence. Have you heard of the “Tradgedy of the Commons?”

        If everybody can feed infinite sheep on a finite field, it makes no sense for any one man to limit his flock size. He’ll miss out on profits from wool and meat! But this makes the field get eaten up very quickly. The most fortunate person is the one who raises the most sheep before the field is gone.

        Now obviously we’re not going to eat the whole Earth’s supply of resources, but we may just make farmlands into deserts and rivers into riverbeds and oceans into slightly deeper oceans.

        You ever hear of the dustbowl? How did adapting to that work out for farmers?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “So, you have a choice: build a big seawall to limit the tide, or move the house back 50 yards. Probably moving the house back 50 yards is the cheaper alternative, so that’s what you do.”

        I’m glad you mentioned sea levels, which are one byproduct of global warming. The seas ARE rising. And, yes, confronted with rising sea levels, the INDIVIDUAL homeowner can move his house back. No problem. But what do you do about New York City? Last I checked, that can’t be moved. Neither can London, Venice, Miami, or the entire country of Bangladesh, all of which would be directly affected by sea level increases.

        And, yes, our efforts to stop global warming may or may not be 100% effective, but that’s no reason not to try.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Somewhere, out there, Bertel is reading the comments from the B&B and going like Emperor Palpatine, “good, good, let the anger flow through you…good.”

    I wish I had made popcorn before reading all of this.

    Anyone know of some good tin mining stocks? With the amount of hats being made here tin mining has to be on a tear. Huh, I wonder if tin mining contributes to global warming, errr climate change, makes things colder…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Release your anger! Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey towards the VAG Side will be complete!

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I doubt if he even checks this site. He has his own website now, and even former alumni Ed Niedermeyer writes for him. I find that now that he’s left, I’ve missed his deep understanding of the back room politics and marketing decisions that go into product planning and execution.

      And after looking at the last several months of comments since he’s left, it’s hard for me to disagree with how he ran things at TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Disagree, seeing how the former EIC was made a “former” in part due to his obsession with Jalopnik and previous writers.

        I miss his insights on key issues (I was thinking to myself on the Toyota doubling sales in China by 2018 story and the 15% reduction in production in Japan story that Bertel would have great insight).

        I however do not miss coming here to read about guns, right wing politics, or the evils of the United States and how much it sucks. There are plenty of sites I visit for noise – I come here to read and discuss cars.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    I still don’t understand how this skidmark ever got elected – well,
    actually I understand how he got elected, I just don’t understand how
    he ever managed to raise the money to do it.

    The automakers need to tell the government to shove their CAFE standards.
    We are literally awash in oil. Our biggest problem is how to get it to
    refineries.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Our biggest problem is not how to get it to refineries.

      In 2011 and 2012 the biggest US exports were…refined fuel products (in terms of dollars).

      2013 export data is not available yet.

      We can pipeline as much as we want here – it isn’t staying here. We’ve reduced our energy consumption by 20% since 2005, and that isn’t all due to recessionary pressure. We’ve gotten a lot more efficient in both our light vehicle fleet, and lighting and appliances.

      It’s global economics. Buyers in South American and Asia are willing to pay more for the refined products than consumers in the United States. So the oil companies – export the product. For the first time in over 20 years we produced more of our oil than we produced.

      We don’t have a pipeline capacity problem. We don’t have a refinery problem. We don’t have a problem. You’re right – we’re awash in oil. The problem is American consumers don’t want to spend much more than $4 a gallon for gasoline – and it hurts the economy top to bottom and drives inflation over that price. Other countries are willing to pay more per barrel.

      Even supporters of Keystone XL admit that the oil that right now flows to refineries in Ohio, Indiana and other Midwestern states would be bypassed with Keystone XL, which wants to send the oil to the Golden Triangle region of the Gulf Coast – for export.

      There is a specific ban on exporting US oil – that is why it must be refined for export first. I purposely chose Fox News and the AEI so one can’t wail, “liberal bias,” or fudged numbers.

      The oil companies are making a KILLING – refining US oil and shipping it overseas – global economics sure is interesting!

      http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/02/the-new-age-of-americas-energy-abundance-the-top-two-us-exports-last-year-were-a-fuel-oil-and-b-petroleum-products/

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/americas-top-export-in-2011-was–fuel/2011/12/31/gIQAzlvgSP_blog.html

      http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/01/21/iea-regulatory-ban-us-oil-exports-may-hurt-domestic-production

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        If we import 40% of US oil consumption, how can we be exporting US oil as gasoline? We’re not.

        Of course, some of the gasoline to be shipped overseas was drilled in the US, but in aggregate, we export gasoline made from imported oil. Canada and Mexico both have refining capacity below their consumption rate. Therefore, Canada and Mexico send us their crude, we refine it, and send it back to them. Venezuela’s infrastructure, never runs near full capacity, and it is immensely short of their production capability. Venezuela sends their oil to the gulf coast, where we have lots of heavy sour refining infrastructure. The US exports gasoline to Central/South American countries that have inadequate refinery infrastructure. Over the last few years, we’ve exported more to Europe and Asia, but it’s still the same routine of importing oil from the Americas and exporting gasoline to the Americas.

        Canada wants the Keystone XL to have access to the Atlantic and to crowd out Venezuelan sour heavy. The US is probably worried about Canadian oil crowding out US oil, and we need to buy votes in OPEC (Venezuela), so we block the pipeline. Next thing you know, Chavez is Obama’s best friend.

        How we move oil to refineries is always one of the biggest problems on earth.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I can’t understand why people would devote their lives to studying science and conducting research, when they can get everything that they need to know from World Net Daily and Breitbart.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Let’s try an engineering basic: Modeling / Mock-up.
    Start with an enclosed sports stadium. In it will be green plants, and trees with a powered air scrubber. Add lights and heat lamps at the very top.
    Then we will introduce a very small gas powered engine that runs 24/7.
    Now what will happen if that engine keeps running….at first the plants and scrubber will easily keep up. But then the scrubber is slowly reduced as a second engine is added. It is a huge space, at first the bad air is not noticed, or ignored. But it is there, causing some effect. As you model this in your mind; is the effect good, or bad? Is it a place for your children/grandchildren to live?
    There are glaring flaws in this simple model, but for every good one, a bad one exists. Left out are: Chemical vapors from manufacturing, organic decay from farms, (methane), metals in rivers, fumes from two strokes and diesels, etc.

  • avatar
    JD321

    “I’m probably alone in saying this, but I’m right, so here goes: the modern internal combustion engine is CLEAN ENOUGH”

    This should be obvious.

    Raw HC, C0, NOx have been naturally spewing from the earth for billions of years and yet there are only traces of these things in the atmosphere today…Unstable bonds do not last long. The criminals and morons that steal thru “Climate Change” and “Environmentalism” terror ignore this fact of physical reality. Modern ICE are even clean enough for places like LA and Mexico City.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Every time I read one of these entertaining reply threads, I come to the same conclusion:
    10 FOR X = 1 to 1000000
    20 POSTURE “Conservatives” by definition like to keep things the way they are (or go back to the way things WERE).”
    30 POSTURE “Liberals” like to look to the future, and espouse policies to protect the environment, the poor, but at great potential change to the way things are.
    40 POSTURE “Conservatives” call “Liberals” “Elitist” “Liberals” call “Conservatives” “Ignorant”
    50 NEXT X
    60 GOTO 10
    70 END (OF IT ALL)

    Another ‘gem’ from “Persona Non-grata”, Shaker

  • avatar
    JD321

    …And those who “think” C02 is a pollutant are criminal or too stupid to be free.


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