Pistonheads' Presidential Primer Part Three
In parts One and Two of this series, we looked at the websites of eight aspiring Chief Executives in an attempt to divine their positions on policies relating to automobiles. To say that our commentators considered their remarks fatuous would be like saying that a Hummer H1 would be slightly out of place at a Prius Owners Group. Still, civic duty inspires us to press on. Here’s what (the other) John, Joe, Chris and Ron have to say about alt. fuels, mpgs, etc.
Unlike every other candidate so far, the issues’ page on former naval aviator and Arizona Senator John McCain’s website doesn’t have an “energy” section. In a speech at a Bio Economy conference in Iowa, McCain came out against subsidies for big oil, ethanol and hydrogen; and promised “no mandates” for renewable fuels. Instead, McCain promised “a declaration of independence from the risk bred by our reliance on petro-dictators and our vulnerability to the troubled politics of the lands they rule” with a “national energy strategy.”
McCain says the government should set targets for “the diversification and conservation of our energy sources and conservation” and then get the Hell out of the way.
Delaware Senator Joe Biden has been in the US Senate since the dawn of time (1979). On his Energy issues page, Senator Biden promises to create a five-year, $50b “Apollo Project” for energy and climate change. He’d reduce greenhouse gas emissions by imposing a cap and trade system.
According to Senator Biden, “China alone is expected to add 120 million vehicles in the next five years,” and since “more than 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from passenger vehicles, increasing alternative fuels is critical.” Biden would raise fuel economy standards by one mpg per year, using the fiendish, industry-friendly footprint system. This slight of hand would increase fuel economy to “40 mpg by 2017.”
Senator Biden would invest $100m into research on lithium ion batteries “needed for the next generation of plug-in hybrids, which can get up to 100 miles per gallon…” He’d require that all new cars run on E85 by 2017, and force the major oil companies to sell E85. Finally, Senator Biden says he’d “provide new incentives to vehicle manufacturers and parts suppliers to retool for the future by giving them credits for “investments and employee training.”
Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has been hanging with Joe in the Senate for five terms. Dodd’s Energy Independence page also favors a cap and trade system to “reduce 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” He’s hot for a corporate carbon tax, with the income to be put in a “trust fund” used for research into renewable technologies like “wind, solar, as well as ethanol and other biofuels.”
Senator Dodd swears he’ll “eliminate our dependence on Middle East oil by 2015.” He claims “America will lead the world in fuel economy standards,” and says all cars will get 50 mpg by 2017. As for hybrids: “Americans will purchase more efficient cars and trucks like hybrid[s] and by providing an array of incentives and tax rebates, we can speed the transition from traditional cars to much more efficient hybrid vehicles.”
Finally, to save on fuel costs and lower pollution “by reducing the number of cars on the road during rush hours,” Senator Dodd would “increase access to affordable and convenient mass transit systems” across the USA.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul is a 72-year-old medical doctor turned politician. On his Environment page, Paul says he encourages “the development of alternative and sustainable energy properties,” such as solar, fuel cell and wind, but makes no mention of cars.
On the subject of pollution, Congressman Paul says “The federal government has proven itself untrustworthy with environmental policy by facilitating polluters.” He says property owners should sue. “If your property is being damaged, you have every right to sue the polluter, and government should protect that right.”
As for cross-border car shopping or auto manufacturing, Congressman Paul’s American Independence and Sovereignty page points out that he’s no NAFTA fan. According to Paul, “NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system.”
And there you have it. All of the candidates from all of the parties promise energy independence. All (save McCain and Paul) aren’t afraid to redeploy your tax dollars to achieve it. At the same time, none present what might be called a comprehensive energy policy, and no one seems particularly big on conservation. Given the uniformity of platitudes and policies affecting the auto industry, pistonheads would be well advised to cast their vote according to other issues.
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- TheEndlessEnigma GM, Ford and Stellantis have significant oversupply of product sitting on dealer lots and banked up in holding yards across the country. Big 3 management is taking advantage of UAW's action to bring their inventories inline to what they deem reasonable. When you have models pushing 6 months of supply having your productions lines shut down by a strike is not something that's going to worry you. UAW does not have any advantages here, but they are directly impacting the financial well being of their membership. Who will be the first to blink? Those UAW members waving the signs around and receiving "strike pay" that is, what, 20% of their wages? UAW is screwing up this time around.
- CEastwood Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !
- Not Previous Used Car of the Day entries that spent decades in the weeds would still be a better purchase than this car. The sucker who takes on this depreciated machine will learn the hard way that a cheap German car is actually a very expensive way to drive around.
- Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
- Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks