WSJ: Hillary's 55mpg by 2030 is "No Problem"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
wsj hillary s 55mpg by 2030 is no problem

In case you were wondering how U.S. automakers could meet presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's ambitious plan to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 55 mpg by 2030, Wall Street Journal columnist Joseph P. White's got your answer. Actually, his solutions come from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). White joins the chorus of environmental campaigners quoting liberally from " Factor of Two: Halving the Fuel Consumption of New Automobiles by 2035." "Consumers will have to accept little further improvements in acceleration performance, a large fraction of new light-duty vehicles sold must be propelled by alternative powertrains, and vehicle weight must be reduced by 20% to 35% from today." So go slow, go hybrid and go on a diet. White then shares one of the report's case studies. "A hypothetical Camry that weighed 2,525 pounds (1,148 kg), and had a 1.4 liter, 128-horsepower engine could accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 9.2 seconds, but would average 42 miles per gallon (5.5 liters per 100 km.) The same exercise applied to a Ford F-150 pickup would produce a vehicle that weighs 877 pounds less than today's vehicle, gets around on a 162 horsepower engine and averages 27 mpg, compared with 17.3 mpg today." White concludes his diatribe by dismissing Ye Olde Lutzian industry cost kvetching– and completely fails to mention safety. Side note: I'd LOVE to see White driving a Messerschmitt into Manhattan.

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on Nov 20, 2007

    It looks like we aren't going to need a gas tax after all, the free market is driving up the cost of fuel plenty fast as it is. For years I've been saying that it would take $5/gallon gasoline for the US to start dealing seriously with fuel use issues. Soon we will find out if I'm right or not. I got my driver's license right after the fuel scares of the 1970s and it has amazed me that by the 1990s everything learned in that era was unlearned.

  • Terry Parkhurst Terry Parkhurst on Nov 20, 2007

    The words of the late, great David Brinkley, in regards to the other half of the partners in power, comes to mind: doesn't have a creative bone in his body. Now, the same could be said for the senator from New York. As the top of her class at Wellseley in 1969, it's hard to call Hillary Clinton a pandering nitwit, but certainly she is pandering here. Raising CAFE standards is just a standard way of grinding Detroit, while allowing the petroleum - aka "energy" - industry to keep reaping record profits with no benefit to the public; and at this juncture, that's hardly what is needed. Andrew Sullivan was correct, back in 2004, when he suggested in Time magazine that the Federal government put a dollar a gallon tax on gasoline to pay down the debt incurred by the Iraq war (which Senator Clinton voted for, in case anyone has forgotten). Mr. Sullivan was on the Michael Medved (radio) show today and I called in and asked him if he still felt that same way, and what presidential candidates might be most inclined to try to work with Congress to enact such a tax. He responded that indeed he did still feel the same, with the caveat that some sort of way of making allowance for the poor be made. And in response to the second question, he responded by saying that no presidential candidate has had "the cajones" (direct quote) to even bring up the idea of taxing gasoline. If you want to see Detroit change its products, tell Congress to tax gasoline to pay down the Federal debt incurred by the Iraq war. Currently, that debt is (what economists call) the hidden cost of the invasion of Iraq.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Nov 20, 2007

    Hey, I'd pay an additional tax on gas if I thought they'd pay down our national debt or invest in alternative energy technology but I know better. Like social insecurity they'd likely invent some quiet port barrel projects to soak up that revenue somehow. Europe's current fleet average is around 35 mpg. Remember there are alot more mini-cars and diesels in their mix. I don't see us improving on our fleet average any time soon with the number of large vehicles we have in the mix. Watched the traffic this morn. Most of the large vehicles I saw (pickups, SUVs, and minivans) were carrying a single person. Stupid...

  • Hooligan6a Hooligan6a on Aug 05, 2010

    I have a 30 year old VW pickup that gets 50MPG If they could do it 30 years ago why can't they do it now? Way to go GREENIES !!