Greens Launch ""

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
greens launch truthabouttoyota com

This truth thing seems to be catching on. First, Ford buys Then Audi capitalizes (literally) on TRUTH IN ENGINEERING. And now a coalition of nine environmental groups– the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Environmental Trust, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Friends of the Earth, Conservation Law Foundation and Environment California– have launched The hate site takes Toyota to task for opposing the more aggressive of two congressional bills mandating hikes in federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) averages. The accompanying USA Today full-page ad and press release takes plenty of media-friendly bites out of ToMoCo's ass. "Just because Toyota is taking over General Motor's market share does not mean that Toyota has to take on GM's anti-environmental lobbying practices," pronounced Brendan Bell, Washington Representative for the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Toyota needs to start living up to its slogan, 'moving forward' instead of driving us backward," warned Philip Clapp, President of the National Environmental Trust. You can be sure Toyota's none-too-happy about playing truth or consequences with America's greens.

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  • Altoids Altoids on Oct 12, 2007

    jkross, Nicknick: Pork spending should be eliminated, agreed. In general, the guvvmint should be as small as possible, taxing and spending as little as possible. But gas taxes and pork spending are entirely separate things - just because Congress throws money away doesn't make a gas tax a bad idea. Why? Because gas costs more than it costs at the pump. I don't want to wade too deep into politics, but Middle East oil really screws everything up. It gives money to the wrong people, and it costs the military a pretty penny to keep the oil flowing. All that should be in the cost of oil, because that is how much it really costs to get oil. It's a negative externality, that should be compensated with taxes. What would a gas tax do? Look around. Americans complain about gas prices, but we don't change our behavior. We don't car pool, we still have three cars, we still get into giant traffic jams. Look at anywhere that has a gas tax - Europe, Japan - smaller cars, more diesel cars, more public transportation. All things Americans hate. But that's the point. We'll never reduce consumption unless we give up some of the convenience and comfort. As for the hypothetical giant poor family - we could give them deductions or tax credits. A gas tax would be regressive, so they should be compensated in some fair way. Environmentalists and public-policy types can b-tch and moan about energy efficiency, but unless they advocate a gas tax, they just aren't being serious.

  • 210delray 210delray on Oct 12, 2007

    Well, one man's pork is another man's beef. Or another woman's tofu. Look at one small example of supposed pork: the Bud Shuster By-Way (I think it's officially hyphenated) around the little town of Everett, PA. It was championed by longtime congressman Bud Shuster (his son now holds the seat). I'm sure the locals love their byway, but even I, some 200 miles or so away in VA, get to take advantage of it. That is, when I go visit my extended family in Pittsburgh and don't want to use the PA Turnpike, I can take parallel US 30, which includes the Bud Shuster B-W. Going through Everett used to be a pain -- traffic lights and 25 mph speed limits. Back to Toyota, what is the problem? Last I heard, its corporate-wide fuel economy stands in 2nd place among the major automakers selling in the US, behind only Honda.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Oct 12, 2007

    "Until you can give me real values for ALL of it, you may not clamor for gasoline taxes." Unfortunately, real human individual and group decisions need to be made without every last piece of desirable data. In fact, nearly all decisions are made without the degree of precision you are looking for. Holding out for information perfection on the topic of fuel taxes is no more sensible than it would be to hold out for perfect information before getting married or having a baby. The reality is that all of the really important decisions in life are made in the face of a shortage of facts and reliable forecasts.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Oct 12, 2007

    "Until pork spending is fixed, no more money from us." How about this then. Eliminate all sales taxes and replace that money dollar for dollar with increased fuel taxes. The general sales tax is the most regressive tax their is. Increasing fuel taxes doesn't have to mean an overall higher tax load.