By on January 17, 2017

pumping fuel

It would be fair to suggest that government agencies have held the automotive industry by the testicles with both hands for much of the Obama administration. America’s fuel economy and emissions targets are noble, but have cost manufacturers peace of mind and plenty of money. Enter President-elect Donald Trump, who spent a great deal of his campaign promising to repeal some of those standards and change things for the industry.

Are the current targets too lofty? Most automakers would say yes, but it depends on who you’re asking. However, the odds of Trump rolling back efficiency standards in a meaningful way is on par with us returning to the Bronze Age. While not impossible, it’s incredibly difficult to turn back the tide of progress. Even if the 45th President of the United States did manage to dismantle the EPA, abolish Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations, and convince China to nuke us into the Stone Age, there remains the outside world to consider.

Asia and Europe are pursuing the electric car rather aggressively and it isn’t like the European Union doesn’t have its own fuel economy policies. Even automotive executives are admitting that any changes Trump might make to U.S. gas mileage standards could easily become irrelevant — thanks to emission targets in countries where America’s automakers  need to remain competitive.

“Let’s not forget that this is a global issue, and we develop engines for the global market,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told The Detroit News at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

“That means we have to develop for the U.S. but also for something that will serve us in Europe, will serve us in China, will serve us in Japan. So what is really driving alternative energy is a global trend, a global trend independent of what happens locally in big markets. Global trend is driving higher levels of fuel efficiency no matter what happens in the U.S.”

It also must be said that the wheels are already in motion. BEVs, hybrid solutions, and new super-efficient ICEs are all coming down the pipeline because automakers, anticipating a market shift, backed those projects.

While General Motors CEO Mary Barra claims she would like to see economy and emission standards streamlined to help vehicle affordability, she also said GM is committed to environmental stewardship on a global scale. Barra claimed that the possibility of Trump bulldozing EPA regulations won’t affect her company’s focus toward enhanced economy and electrification.

“From a portfolio perspective, when you look at the Bolt EV and along with the other hybrid vehicles that we have, the investment in fuel cells, we see the Bolt EV and building on the learnings of the Volt to be the platform that we’re going to launch off of to have a much broader electrification portfolio as we move forward,” she told reporters at the NAIAS.

Let’s also not forget that the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation have done everything in their power to lock-in the 2025 mileage rules before the new administration can take office. And, even if Trump does change the nature of the game, green states — like California — would undoubtedly try and enforce their own ordinances to combat any federal changes.

However, consumers are enjoying low fuel prices and the U.S. has a surging fondness for less-efficient vehicles. Ford CEO Mark Fields is concerned that CAFE standards don’t accurately reflect American tastes and that electric vehicles won’t surpass their niche status. “You can’t meet these goals without consumer participation,” Fields said.

That’s a fair point to make and possibly the only thing that could handicap the march toward an industry average of 54.5 mpg. Trump can impose import tariffs and strong-arm corporate investments from auto companies but, without the help of millions of individuals shopping for new cars in North America, Europe, and China, he’s not going to shrink the gas mileage rating on any window stickers.

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204 Comments on “For Trump, Erasing Stringent Fuel Economy Rules Might be a Wasted Effort...”


  • avatar
    arj9084

    A few reasonable critiques;

    How many markets have been created by government requirement?

    How many vehicles in Europe are dissimilar in their powertrains vs. the US?

    Are Americans ready to spend ten thousand dollars more per vehicle in 2025 so that we may hit 54.5 MPG, to receive vehicles with half the horsepower/longevity of relatively simpler technology?

    Is this in the interest of global warming, and if so, how much longer can the pause be ignored?

    Are oil and gas supplies as limited as were estimated 10 years ago?

    Should the American people get a vote as to what types of vehicles their government/overlords require they be permitted to buy? If not, should they at least be provided fair data as to the cost consequences of said government’s requirements?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Reasonable indeed. “Overlords” LMAO.

      Much of your belly aching can be solved by either 1. keeping the car you have or 2. buying used. If that’s not enough, you are always free to live in a country with more automotive freedom than the US (if you can find one; one doesn’t exist yet).

      If you want to see what freedom from environmental protection tyranny looks like, see China, with its cities mired in smog from its dirty, ancient coal powerplants and polluted waterways. No thanks. I would hope you have more to derive happiness and autonomy from than “having the choice” to drive a dirty + inefficient car.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        2008 standards seemed to work well. But that’s really not the objective of Big Government.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – There’s a very short list of world autos we crave but can’t get. Most those would hardly sell here. But the complete list of what we can buy right now is simply astounding!

          Hate it all you want, we love it!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        sportyaccordy,
        It amazes me how some, like yourself believe that the US vehicle market is so free.

        Try NZ or even Australia for much freer aoto markets. In these two markets you can just about own any vehicle.

        Can I import any vehicle into the US? No, unless it’s over 25 years old. Is the US market represented by over 70 brands? No, we are able to achieve this woth proces comparative to the US market, or in some cases cheaper.

        How free is your market when regulations, technical barriers, 25% import taxes, massive industry support is needed?

        There is a much wider world outside of the US. Go out and have a look.

        When is all said and done the US does have basically an open market in small vehicles, because the US can’t compeye effectively in this segment.

        • 0 avatar
          Eyeflyistheeye

          Nobody’s jealous of the Australian market. On the other hand, you should take up something like abortion one way or the other or saving the termites because your cause celebre is just pointless. Your criticism of the American market is falling on deaf ears, is something American citizens don’t want (hell, most Australians would kill for a $35k F150) and just reeks of petty jealousy that we get better vehicles for less money.

          1. You guys can’t make a car without our help. Once tariffs and subsidies ended, everyone pulled out of Australia.

          2. Nobody in North America would want to pay $60k for a mid-size SUV or $45k for a Camry-class of car in exchange for having access to third-rate Chinese vehicles. We don’t have to drive those piles. You’re the only Australian I know who doesn’t salivate over a full-size American pickup truck and loves a GAC over an F-150 which has more to do with your misplaced nationalism.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Eye,
            This isn’t about jealousy. You are attempting to turn an objective statement into a subjective and emotive argument.

            Really, put out some facts.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Al I think you miss “Eyefly” point . We in North America have plenty of vehicles to choose from . I live in Canada, and yes we pay more for a vehicle than our Southern neighbours . I’m thinking the 77 cent loony may have something to do with that.

            Never the less ,within 20 minutes of my home i can buy just about any configuration of vehicle that should strike my fancy.

            We have plenty of competitive products. We don’t need any more.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Mikey,
            I don’t dispute the US has some choice.

            But the original comment by sporty alludrs to the fact the US has the most choice. This is pure bulls!t.

            Eyesfly, then attempted to justify sporty’s commemt with another emotive and subjective (childish) comment stating no one cares about other markets (AU/NZ).

            This to me can only come from shallow people with little idea of the world, ie “we only have Burger King in town, so Burger King are the world’s best burger.

            Quite simplistic and rustic types they are.

      • 0 avatar
        April

        Yeah, how dare those evil government overlords ban lead in gasoline. We should let our benevolent oil companies decide!

        (Who cares about a little brain damage in kids due to lead in the environment)

    • 0 avatar
      delow48

      Answers:
      1 Zero
      2. I think quite a few, diesels are huge over there due to the high tax on gasoline.
      3. No
      4. It is in the interest of the worship of the fake religion of climateglobalchange warming. Facts like the pause are not relevant, just the narrative. Plus, it is easy to fake the results up, it already happens in all the “scientific” research on climate.
      5. No, there have been huge discoveries. Makes you wonder if oil is truly a renewable resource that is produced by some process in the earth.
      6. Yes, that is why we voted for change. Unfortunately we will likely get a bunch of wussing out.

      What the new administration needs to do if they cannot strike the rules with an executive order is to extend the due date to 200 years out.

      • 0 avatar

        I know of at least one geologist who sees petroleum as renewable. Apparently she’s not alone.

        Let THAT roll around in your head for a minute. Imagine the global geopolitical fallout if that mindset ever took hold.

        I say keep the current standards (whatever they are for 2017) unless/until there’s a compelling case to go to the 54.5 MPG standard currently set for 2025.

        China is where the US was 75 years ago and needs to get to the place we are now. Ditto India. It can be done.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          delow, your answers to 4 and 5 are troubling. You’re admitting that you simultaneously reject majority scientific opinion on one topic but do accept an intriguing but very much unproven minority hypothesis on a different one. Conveniently, they align with your world view. Be careful with that.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          There are 2 theories on oil creation. Abiogenic and biogenic. There have been some abiogenic oil discovered but in negligible quantities. Biogenic oil creation occurs over millennia. One can argue that it is renewable but not on a timeline that is going to keep us in V8’s Ad Infinitum.

          The 98% of the scientific community believes climate change to be a problem exacerbated by man. Only 65% of the populace believes the same thing.
          That scientific community is made up of a broad range of scientists. We see biologists, botanists, oceanographers, climatographers and other disciplines doing research that show evidence of change.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “The 98% of the scientific community believes climate change to be a problem exacerbated by man.”

            That’s not true. That statistic is based on data that conflates not rejecting AGW with “accepting” it.

            And amusingly – by the global warming alarmists’ own studies – if the U.S.A. reduced emissions to zero by 2050 (i.e., if everyone in the U.S.A. croaked), “the average global temperature in the year 2100 would be 0.1°C (that’s one‐tenth of a degree) lower than would otherwise be the case.” Quite apparently, the U.S.A. is not the big problem here, it’s China and India: https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/cato-working-paper-33.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I’ll reword that…. 97.3 % of papers published on the subject point to man as a factor in climate change.

            Feel better?

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “That’s not true.”

            It’s close enough to make you look a bit silly:

            http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2016/apr/04/don-beyer/don-beyer-says-97-percent-scientists-believe-human/

            I’m curious though, if you don’t accept scientific evidence that global warming is occurring, why would you accept evidence that India and China are having a larger forcing on global temperatures? You’re not cherry-picking facts based on what you want to believe are you?

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Read the data. Don’t be a Denier of Facts.

            Politifact is not the unbiased fact checker you appear to believe it is. Science is seldom settled.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            GeneralMalaise – it is refreshing to see someone from the right trying to present facts.
            I’ll look it over and tweet you.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            You quote Cato and you’re lecturing someone on bias? Unbelievable irony.

            Yes, science is rarely settled. But the scientific definition of being unsettled is far different from the political definition and that’s a distinction that you self-minted climate science hobbyist experts do not understand.

            You know next to nothing about the science. You just don’t like the the policy implications. You should really focus on moderating the latter instead of pretending you are an expert on the former. It would be a far more honest position to take.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Hey, I’m a climate change skeptic skeptic… that is I am skeptical of the climate change skeptics. But that doesn’t mean I’m a climate change hysteric. But it also doesn’t mean that I reject the notion that the planet is warming, or that humans may be contributing to that.

            In short, I am not a scientist, but I do get perturbed by some of the phony statistics the hysterics throw around. Cut the crap.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            You’re not a scientist but you know the statistics are crap and are intent on lumping majority scientific opinion into the “hysterics” column.

            You’re the one who needs to cut the crap. If you know something about the science and can provide a cogent scientific argument about methodology and erroneous conclusions, do it. If not, shut up about it.

            However, if you are concerned that evidence of anthropogenic warming will lead to policy decisions you feel are detrimental to your quality of life and simply go “too far” or are unfair to the US given other nation’s emissions, then that’s a very understandable argument and one you have every authority to weigh in on.

            Sitting on this board conflating difficult and skilled scientific research with hysterics and some gaia worshiping pseudo religious agenda is just utter garbage.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Take the hissy fit down a few notches, fetcher. Who appointed you the arbiter of what’s factual? You’ve only expressed an opinion, with nothing to back it up. Oh… I get it. You’re one of those “hysterics”. Heh!

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            When in trouble, just double down and insult everyone. That will surely endear you to others.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I’ve got the majority conclusion of many incredibly skilled and intelligent researchers expressed through thousands of pages of peer review literature to back my opinon. Therefore my opinion is simply that they’re more likely to be correct than is the confirmation bias of some internet commenter who doesn’t like the politics of it.

            As I wrote, if you don’t like the policy being formed because of this research, work on that end. Neither you or I are qualified to question the science.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          {I know of at least one geologist who sees petroleum as renewable. Apparently she’s not alone.}

          As I hear it oil wells “seem” to be refiling by an as yet unknown mechanism deep inside the earth.

          That pops up from time to time but I think its been debunked.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “As I hear it oil wells “seem” to be refiling by an as yet unknown mechanism deep inside the earth.”

            The Christian God is refilling them, to free us of reliance on the Muslim World for our high-octane Blessings.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        4. [Citation needed]

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        Delow48,
        Are you BTSR w a new name, I suggest a quick trip to china to see how no policy toward clean air has worked out for them.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Fuel economy and clean air aren’t really the same thing.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          I suggest you look at photos of London, Pittsburgh, LA, and Tokyo from 50 to 100 years ago and compare them to today. Notice the air is much cleaner now? This cleaner environment did not occur because of government regulations, but because we got rich enough to afford clean water and air. Regulation without wealth means a bunch of poor people living and dying early in filth indefinitely.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “This cleaner environment did not occur because of government regulations, but because we got rich enough to afford clean water and air”

            Umm, no. Not at all.

            The reason, at least in the case of LA and London is specifically because of regulations that discouraged the use of dirty fuels and encouraged more stringent emissions control.

            The costs of pollution are, until it’s catastrophically bad, almost completely externalized. Externalized costs are something that deregulated markets are spectacularly bad at.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Except that London did get rid of its smog through government regulation, the Clean Air Act 1956. And it only took 4,000 deaths three and a half years before to make it happen. Might I ask where you learned the opposite?

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            “Might I ask where you learned the opposite?”

            I’m guessing it begins with either a “K” or a “W.”

            BTW, how much longer can the fact that the pause has been thoroughly debunked be ignored?

          • 0 avatar
            Snooder

            Are you actually retarded?

            There are arguments for an against government regulation, but the improved air quality in first world countries is very much a direct result of government regulation.

      • 0 avatar
        nic_mach

        Can someone please shut down the fake global warming religion so I can go skiing every weekend again? That would help the ice caps out, too, thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      DearS

      54.5 MPG = 36 MPGs converting to the modern standard for a Accord size car. The current Accord gets 30MPG. It would not cost $10k to improve this to 36 MPG. The Accord Hybrid gets 48 MPG, A mild hybrid should be able to get 36. HYbrids are getting more affordable.

      I don’t like that these rules will start adding to the cost of a car, I’m ok with relaxing them a little, maybe to 33 combined MPG for an Accord sized car, and increasing it over a longer period of time.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      In regards to “the pause,” 2014 was a record hot year (average global surface temperature). Then 2015 broke that record. Then 2016 broke it again. There was a pause a few years ago – a low point in the sunspot cycle. It occurs an average of every 11 years.

      NASA data:
      https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/01/NASA-graph.png&w=1484

      Temperatures prior to 1880 can be recreated by proxy (e.g. ice cores, tree rings) but we don’t have reliable direct measurements. The late 1600s were particularly cold and we know that it correlated to a period low in sunspots – temperatures followed the sun’s fluctuations until pretty recently (solar activity was measured by proxy – number of sunspots – until satellite measurements started in the late ’70s). There was a Medieval Warm Period too, with temperatures almost matching those of the late 20th century.

  • avatar
    George B

    Matt, there are two separate fuel economy standards that are getting conflated here. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 raised CAFE fleet average to 35 mpg by 2020. That remains unless Congress changes it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Independence_and_Security_Act_of_2007#A._Increased_Corporate_Average_Fuel_Economy
    In 2012 the EPA created a fuel economy standard that requires the US fleet to average 54.5 mpg by 2025. That set of regulations rests not on a new law passed by Congress, but on a judicial interpreting the Clean Air Act to allow the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. This can be scaled back without getting a new law passed.

    Even if other countries keep stringent fuel economy standards, there are entire popular categories of vehicles that sell almost entirely in the US. Less stringent fuel economy requirements mean auto manufacturers can sell more high-profit trucks and fewer low-profit small cars.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Matt, your argument certainly applies to most cars that are using some sort of global platform (which usually include engines). It’s agreed that we won’t see a V8 Honda Accord any time soon.

    However, the abolition of CAFE could definitely affect vehicles such as trucks and large SUVs which are made primarily for the US domestic market.

  • avatar
    arj9084

    Well that escalated quickly. I guess Obama’s EPA just knows more about what Americans want than Bill Ford (or the incoming administration). And if I don’t like that I should move to China. Got it.

    Being committed to niche money losers like the Volt etc. is noble and everything, but the US2.5 make their money on trucks and SUV thingies, and in truth the SUV market with 250+ HP ICE engines is what the Japanese/German/Koreans are making money on as well.

    If it were easy and profitable to make a Tesla/Leaf mish mash for the masses for $12K I think some folks would have done it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      You can have any vehicle you want in any colour you want as long as it is a pickup!

      …………….since profitability is the only metric that matters.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      “What Americans want” is not, and never has been the issue.

      The issue is long term prospects vis a vis the inevitable decline of oil reserves (cause that shit ain’t infinite) and the likelihood of anthropogenic climate change.

      See, because oil isn’t infinite, we need to lower demand and figure out a transition to other sources of fuel. That should be obvious to anyone who isn’t a drooling retard. Admittedly, we could wait for the inevitable “free market” adjustment, but that carries the risk of any adjustment. Which is unpredictability and volatility. It would really suck if by the time we (America) get on the alternative energy bandwagon, some other country already has a lock on the industry. You know, the way GM and Ford fucked us all by letting the Japanese beat them to the punch on small cars in the 70s.

      The second prong is that global warming js definitely happening. Not maybe, not probably, definitely. It’s not a disaster for the simple reason that we are already working on solutions to it, but if idiots just close their eyes and pretend that every competent scientist is in a global conspiracy to stop them from awesome burnouts, then yeah, it’s gonna be a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      If it were easy and profitable to build cars in the US instead of Mexico, you’d think companies would do it more.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The UAW has made that impossible. They helped drive two US automakers into bankruptcy, and will try to do so again when automakers start building them in the US.

        What goes around, comes around because the past is prologue.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Well, the UAW has sided with putinspotus.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            They sure did! UAW members voted for Trump in droves!

            I never knew that Trump was a pro-union guy, but by bringing jobs back to the US, Trump is facilitating fertile grounds for Richard Trump ka et al to beat these employers into submission to set up union shops.

        • 0 avatar

          Nobody put a gun to the head of the Big 3 to make them agree to ludicrously unproductive work rules and stuff like the job bank. They bought labor peace at the price of quality and productivity. They didn’t care because they were making money.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            True.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            And when they set their labour costs, they were doing so in comparison only with each other.

            The introduction of competitive autos from lower wage nations, started their decline. Eventually wage/labour costs in Germany and Japan equalled or exceeded those in the USA and Canada, however by then the floodgates had opened and autos and auto parts were being sourced from and manufactured in a myriad of 3rd world nations.

            No matter how much unions concede, North American labour rates can never compete with those in 3rd world nations. Unless we want our workers living in company dormitories.

        • 0 avatar
          nic_mach

          The decline of manufacturing in the US tracks perfectly with the entire world market. It’s automation, not unions. What’s different since the unions closed up is that wages are depressed and health care is a fn mess.

          Manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back, even in China. Foxconn just announced more automation for their iphone lines. No union there afaict, the communist party looks after those workers.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      {I guess Obama’s EPA just knows more about what Americans want than Bill Ford (or the incoming administration)}

      Noam Chomsky accurately described Trump as an ignorant thin-skinned megalomaniac (too much praise IMO). I’m inclined to think the EPA is probably right on this one more so than the great orange one and his horsemen of the apocaly… I mean cabinet.

      And while I can’t verify the picture I’ve seen on FB about a bunch of riders from Florida going to the inauguration in the caption it says Trump is the greatest president ever (paraphrasing there). If that’s so at least one person thinks its true and that just further justifies the EPA’s action.

      • 0 avatar

        Has Noam Chomsky ever accurately described anything in his life? Even his linguistic theories (the only field to which he can claim actual competence) are being overturned. If Chomsky said the sky was blue, I’d go outside and doublecheck.

        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evidence-rebuts-chomsky-s-theory-of-language-learning/

      • 0 avatar
        nic_mach

        The Bush administration started set the policies originally and were the first ones to regulate diesel trains, among other things.

        So that was 8 years ago, I know, but I’m pretty sure the CAFE targets are older than Obama, is all I’m saying.

        No, maybe those were already passed:

        “Beginning promptly next year, the proposal mandates a 4% annual increase in fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks to 34 miles per gallon by the year 2017. By comparison, current federal CAFE standards require that passenger cars achieve 27.5 miles per gallon, and light trucks must achieve 22.2 miles per gallon. The regulations will also require an increase in renewable and alternative fuels to 35 billion gallons per year (from approximately only 5 billion gallons per year currently).

        As always, this government folly will result in even higher gas and automobile prices, as well as decreased auto safety, for consumers”

        https://www.cfif.org/htdocs/legislative_issues/federal_issues/hot_issues_in_congress/energy/CAFE-regulations.htm

        Nice bipartisan write-up (lol)

  • avatar
    arj9084

    Thought experiment: If CAFE requirements were just abolished on Jan 21 thru legislation, what would actually change in the next few years?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “While not impossible, it’s incredibly difficult to turn back the tide of progress.”

    My issue is “progress” is frequently applied as “f**king everything up and waiting for things to adjust to the f**kup accordingly”.

    My thought? Stop intentionally f**king everything up.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    This is indeed a global issue, and likewise with the market price of fuel. The market price of fuel should be dictating what people actually WANT to buy, and subsequently what OEMs produce.

    Much hand-wringing was done right after the Arab Oil Embargo of the early 70’s, but the results cannot be questioned: Americans demanded fuel-efficient vehicles, and the OEMs didn’t need to be REQUIRED by law to produce them (eventually). It worked in the 70’s, and it can work again: let the market decide, not the EPA.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      You can hardly expect the coffee shop snowflakes to remember 1973, or to have even been alive in 1973. But you don’t have to go back nearly that far, either.

      It wasn’t 10 years ago that gas was expensive and Priuses came with ADM.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      Actually, the 70s is a perfect example of the reverse.

      American car makers abject inability to move with the times is what allowed a foothold for the japanese. Letting the “market” decide basically fucked the American car industry in the ass, and we’re only just now recovering.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “letting the market decide” also is what led to the crash of 2008. and we were stupid enough to elect someone perfectly willing to unwind the regulations passed since in an effort to prevent a recurrence of that.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’d rather see the Renewable Fuel Standard bite the dust first. No more of this ethanol crap.

  • avatar

    Markets have little to do with this, and the gummit could care little about the consumer. This is all about ensuring go juice can be stretched as far as possible in the event of a national incident. The side benefit is lofty MPG standards slowly punish gas burners out of existence.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    I disagree that these sort of standards are set in stone.

    The US is a big enough market that it would most certainly make a difference in what sort of vehicles were made for the American market if these standards were relaxed.

    The sorts of vehicles the average European drives are FAR different than what we have here already. SUVs and trucks are few and far between, here they are the best selling vehicles and what actually generates profits.

    The Big 3 in particular would love to not have to pump out loss leader econoboxes in order to sell their trucks and SUVs, they just can’t admit that publicly because they want to keep their “green” credentials.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      They loved it the last time around, too. Until gas shot up at $4 a gallon at the same time as there was a market crash, and pretty much overnight Detroit had to go to Washington with cap in hand and ask for tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans because it didn’t have any products Americans wanted to buy, while Honda, Toyota etc. had spent decades building high-quality cars that worked for consumers no matter the price of a gallon of gas, and couldn’t make them fast enough for our consumption.

      But yeah, until then it was _great_!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Only one green car earns a profit, the Prius, and even the Prius does not earn the cost of capital profit level after 10+ years of having over 50% share of the green car segment. No other hybrid, electric, or hydrogen car generates a profit, and they all benefit from government subsidies to even achieve those losses. So it surely makes good policy sense to force automakers to produce even “greener” cars that are even more unprofitable, rather than produce somewhat less green cars that more people actually want. Obviously the government has much better understanding of economics and business than managers since they are proven to be so good at managing their own spending (huge deficits) and pension schemes (huge short-falls).

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      You can’t eat money.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Zhivago – unless you are among the 2% who still farm, you can’t eat without money.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          If you knew anything about the history of commentors here, you would know that yes, I am part of that 2%, at least for now. And at the same time, we farmers are aware of the positive and negative consequences our actions can have, and we try to put sustainability before profit.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Zhivago – to address you earlier response to my comment – yes regulation cleaned up London and LA, but only because they became rich enough to afford the regulation. Only rich people can afford expensive green technologies and the cost of regulations that mandate such technologies. When you can barely afford cheap coal generated electricity, you aren’t going to be interested in “renewables” that cost 20 or 50 or 100% more.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Postwar London, still on rationing, “became rich enough to afford the regulation”? Try again.

            Our entire region is powered by hydroelectric. Adjusted for inflation, no one’s seen any more than a negligible increase in their energy bills.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Your attack on the narrative WILL NOT STAND!

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        “You can’t eat money.”

        Well, you can, but it’s not very nutritious. The paper is high in fiber, but I’m told any coins larger than a dime have a tendency to get lodged in one’s throat.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Europe has had very high gasoline prices for as long as I can remember. It just meant they were forced to drive smaller cars and have suffered a lower standard of living, so I don’t see what’s new here. Sure automakers would prefer global platforms, but if some of their models only sell over here, so what? We’re the world’s largest car market, so our regulatory environment absolutely matters.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      “Europe has had very high gasoline prices for as long as I can remember. It just meant they were forced to drive smaller cars and have suffered a lower standard of living.”

      Um…

      http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-quality-of-life-map.html

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Smaller cars does not equate to ‘lower standard of living’.
      In fact as of 2014 many Northern European nations have a higher standard of living than the USA.

      As to being the world’s largest automotive market, that too has changed. Remember China? 2015 new vehicle sales: China 20,047,200, USA 17,386,200, E.U 14,201,900. And the EU market share was climbing faster than China’s.

      http://www.best-selling-cars.com/international/2015-full-year-international-worldwide-car-sales/

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Actually Northern Europeans (and Europeans generally) do not have a higher standard of living in terms of material goods. The poorest 20% of Americans have more living space per person than the average Swede. The poorest Americans are also more likely to have a car, air-conditioning, modern appliances, etc. than the average European. The average Swede will have higher income, longer vacation, and be less likely to be physically attacked (although that is changing in a negative direction due to recent immigration patterns), than the average American, but much the higher Swedish income is lost due to higher taxes and higher prices, while income and crime differences are also main due to cultural differences (i.e. Nordic settled regions of the US such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, Dakotas, etc. have lower crime and higher incomes than Sweden).

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Don’t move the goalposts.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Material goods only mean so much if you hate your overbearing job and have poor health, so choose the metric that works best for your priorities.

          I’d rather have a better shot at living a long time in decent health and enjoying an appropriate work/life balance than owning stuff at the expense of those.

          Here’s a fun website for tinkering with this: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/#/11111111111

          If you bias it towards housing, income, jobs at the expense of work/life balance, general happiness, civic engagement, education, and environment its usa,usa,usa. Maximize all those feely-goody mushy things at a modest decrease in housing, income, jobs and the US drops back a bit. It might be crap because Big V8 and McMansion Availability isn’t heavily weighted in the metrics, but still interesting.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            “Why do we work so hard? For what? For this? For stuff? Other countries, they work, they stroll home, the stop by the cafe, they take August off. Off! Why aren’t you like that? Why aren’t we like that?”

            People just loved that guy.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Be careful about believing all the Bernie Sanders campaign rhetoric about Scandinavia. The average Swedish-American lives longer than the average Swede, so the “free” health care and longer vacations in Sweden don’t seem to be helping lifespan. The “care-free” Nordic lifestyle may also not be as great as advertised by Bernie in another respect, because European-Nordics also have higher suicide rates than Nordic-Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Where did anyone explictly bring up Sanders?

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “Material goods only mean so much if you hate your overbearing job and have poor health, so choose the metric that works best for your priorities.”

            What is this “Hints From Helouise”? I’ve got one: Save one of the two bags of peanuts you get when you fly coach. It makes for a tasty snack later when you arrive at your destination.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          (although that is changing in a negative direction due to recent immigration patterns)

          Citation required!

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “Citation required!”

            Just Google image “muslim rape europe”. The results are too sickening to link.

            Especially heart-warming are the animals’ protests and media messaging blaming the women for enticing them.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Especially heart-warming are the animals’ protests and media messaging blaming the women for enticing them.”

            Wellllllllllll, them German, Dutch, Danish and Swedish girls did not leave much to MY imagination this past summer…….. Long blond hair, lily-white skin, blue eyes, short-shorts, tank tops, bare-foot.

            Even lesbians would be turned-on by them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Sigh……

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        I love how people pick nits with comments without addressing the underlying point. Does China being the largest car market mean my point is invalid because we’re in fact the 2nd largest market? (And I would say we’re still probably larger by $ volume, but I can’t find that data.)

        Is the fact that someone weights socialized medicine higher in evaluating a country’s “standard of living” have anything to do with the point I was making?
        .
        .

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Obviously the rest of the world must have a liberal bias if it thinks universal healthcare contributes positively to standard of living.

          (I do agree with you re: China being biggest in numbers vs. $, at least for now.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Healthcare/food quality in most of First World = Unavoidable cost.

            Healthcare/food quality in Amerika = opportunity for business.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Well then to address a valid point, Europeans drive and drove smaller cars. The reasons for this being 1) they have a great many roads that are smaller/narrower, ii) parking is harder to find and generally any driveways or garages available are smaller iii) they generally travel much shorter distances and iv) their public transit systems are much better and usually less expensive.

          And now, for distances that North Americans generally travel by car. a European can jump on something like RyanAir and fly for around 20 Euros.

          So large cars there are generally counterproductive. Again not indicative of standard of living. Europe introduced the idea of a small, ‘luxury’ or premium car, while North Americans were still buying cars, ‘by the pound’.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        “In fact as of 2014 many Northern European nations have a higher standard of living than the USA.”

        Propaganda.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I like reading pronouncements by defeated defeatists. I suppose not being smart enough to realize you weren’t as smart as you thought you were is its own reward.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “I like reading pronouncements by defeated defeatists.”

      Please explain?

      “I suppose not being smart enough to realize you weren’t as smart as you thought you were is its own reward.”

      People underestimated the power of emotions and how effective triggering all of those fear centers can be. The mistake was assuming people were smart enough to se through all of the bullsh!t.

      Good luck with Putin’s orange Potus.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        Says the guy who’s led by Castro’s Clown.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Castro’s Clown” ??

          Never heard that one before. No hits with Google either.

          USA’s foreign policy created the Castro that you love.

          On that note, didn’t you see the tweet?

          “ORANGE IS THE NEW RED”

          Oh, try putinspotus in Google.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            So you’re Canadian and you’ve no knowledge of Trudeau’s slap-down for his useful idiot praise of the then recently departed Fidel Castro?

            Interesting. Try googling Justin Trudeau ridicule, lol.

            “a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century.” Unusual way of describing torture, imprisonment for political beliefs, impoverishment, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Pierre Elliot Trudeau considered Castro to be a personal friend. Castro was in fact an honourary pall bearer at PET’s funeral.

            Personally I do not agree with what Castro did to Cuba or dictatorships or dynastic rulers in general. However a great deal of what Castro became is directly the result of how the US reacted to him.

            Without American support and with active US government attempts to overthrow or murder him, at that time in history there was only one other nation that Castro could turn to for support. And he did, just as any other rational human would.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Yeah, the U.S. forced Castro and Che Guevara to murder gays and political opponents. Excuses are lies wearing make-up.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Interesting.

            I never liked Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

            Slap down?

            “U.S. senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz mocked Trudeau”

            I thought the new political modus operandi for “slap down” was to use CAPSLOCK and TWITTER!

            I wonder what history will say about putinspontus?

            Back to Cuba.

            “Unusual way of describing torture, imprisonment for political beliefs, impoverishment, etc.”

            Operation Condor and assorted other political messes in the America’s created by the USA mustn’t matter then.

            “Members of Congress could not avoid realizing that by passing the Platt Amendment, they would be reneging on the pledge they had made to Cuba less than three years before. Each had to ask himself a painful question that the New York Evening Post framed in a pithy editorial:”Given a solemn and unmistakable promise of independence to Cuba, how can I lie out of it and still go to church to thank God that I am not as other men are?
            Senators resolved this dilemma without evident difficulty. On February 27, 1901, they approved the Platt Amendment by a vote of forty-three to twenty. Republicans cast all the affirmative votes. Later the House of Representatives joined in approval, also on a party-line vote. President McKinley signed the amendment into law on March 2. That plunged Cuba into what one historian called
            “a storm of excitement.”

            “The Cuban revolution, and especially Castro’s turn toward anti-Yankee radicalism, baffled most Americans. Few had any idea of how the United States had treated Cuba in the past, so naturally they could not understand why Cubans wished so fervently to break out of the American orbit. Many were astonished, just as their grandparents had been in 1898, to learn that “liberated” Cubans were ungrateful to the United States”

            Manifest Destiny.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Says the guy who’s led by Castro’s Clown.”

          Chavez? He’s officially dead like Castro is now (although I think Fidel has been dead for years).

          Chalky is many things, but Castro’s pawn is/was not one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      “I like reading pronouncements by defeated defeatists.

      You can also bathe in their tears, Todd. But the salt dries your skin out a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      “torture, imprisonment for political beliefs, impoverishment”

      Because America would never do or have these things, right?

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    You know, this blog turned into “The Trump About Cars” so gradually, I didn’t even notice. Yeesh.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    I bet we wouldn’t see 8k premiums for V8s on muscle cars if CAFE were abolished.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I suspect it would throw us into a repeat of previous decades – we start buying thirsty vehicles, gas prices spike due to demand, we panic and sell them and buy Civics and Priuses, the Big 3 are caught flat-footed and beg for help, rinse and repeat.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do believe the longer the US drags the chain concerning Global Vehicle Harmonisation, the greater the cost the US will incur. This cost will come in the form of job losses and greater costs to buy a vehicle.

    This goes against the likes of Trump.

    The US auto industry mainly exists because of all the differring regulations, controls, handouts,import taxes, etc.

    The US vehicle market 4 decades plus ago represented a huge chunk of global production.

    The energy crissis illustrated how ill prepared the US was. It was not competitive on the global stage.

    The US needs to be competitive and gradually relax all the controls and regulations aligning itself closer to what its competitors are doing.

    By creating an automotive Jurrasic Park will eventually bring the US vehicle market unstuck.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Um, no electronic media in the outback?

      What you say is what should happen but putinspotus prefers isolating the USA, letting NATO die and break up the EU. Oh and a trade war with China.

      Putin will be very proud of his cheeto potus.

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    Why are the Canadian liberals on this board so upset about Trump anyway? Yes, the US is important to global politics, but Canada is an independent country after all. Get over this inferiority complex, have some dignity. You don’t see many Americans upset over the policies of Trudeau or whomever you have as your Prime Minister, do you?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      By worrying about our leadership, it allows them to avoid issues stemming from electing a PM whose two daddies were a cuckold and a tyrant. They know they’re naked, but they want us to believe that its more important that our belt doesn’t match our shoes.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Probably for the same reason that most of our allies are upset about Trump. The most powerful country in the world electing an ignorant blowhard who disdains historical alliances and admires hostile dictators is almost as bad for them as it is for us.

      • 0 avatar
        Sceptic

        Anybody, I repeat, anybody is better than Obama! Now officially the worst president in American history.
        It’s ridiculous how many people I would never imagine voting for Trump voted for him. Amazing. And this is in a blue state that Dems won…

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          “Anybody, I repeat, anybody is better than Obama! Now officially the worst president in American history.”

          Why?

          As Obama’s approval is currently twenty-five points north of his successor’s, let’s just say that yours is not a universally shared opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            Sceptic

            For the same reason why Hillary Clinton is not being inaugurated this Friday. The American people! Vox Populi!

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Nothing more tedious than smoked meat eating, Molson swilling yohans and knobs opining about matters they know nothing of.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “Anybody, I repeat, anybody is better than Obama!”

          I guarantee *I* wouldn’t be. But I’d have hella fun before my impeachment :-D

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            OldManPants – that sounds like the orange one’s strategy

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Lou, I guarantee I’d make Thump seem like Adlai Stevenson with a win.

            “Deport everyone except chubby chicks!”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Deport everyone except chubby chicks!”

            Ha ha! Funny you should mention that. Trump isn’t even in office yet and already more people are crossing the US border, going into Mexico!

            Tomorrow should be a busy day on US54 going South. All those illegals stampeding to Mexico. Chubby chicks among them.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “Chubby chicks among them.”

            We need to keep them. Hispanic BBWs FTW!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “We need to keep them. Hispanic BBWs FTW!”

            I don’t think they want to stay. Too much fear and uncertainty for illegals in the US right now.

            Many illegals sweating it. Many deciding to un-ass before the dreaded knock on the door.

            “Better to be a master in Hell than a slave in Heaven” with a twist: better to be working in Old Mexico now than to be waiting to be deported from the US later.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            OldManPants 2020

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Sceptic: anybody would include Stalin, Mao, Caligula and yourself. So was that really a credible statement?

          This is one of the biggest concerns regarding Trump, the fact that his supporters make such outrageous and patently untrue statements.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “The steel industry is producing as much steel in the United States as it ever was. It’s just (that) it needs one-tenth of the workers that it used to.”

            “”Fast and Furious” began under the Bush administration.”

            “For the first time since 1990, American manufacturers are creating new jobs.”

            “We’ve got close to 7 million Americans who have access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion.”

            “Under the White House’s budget proposal, “we will not be adding more to the national debt” by the middle of the decade.”

            “I didn’t raise taxes once.”

            “The vast majority of the money I got was from small donors all across the country.”

            “I know that Hillary on occasion has said — just last year said this (NAFTA) was a boon to the economy.”

            http://www.politifact.com/personalities/barack-obama/statements/byruling/false/?page=1

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            That’s hate speech up there, Arthur. Lawyer up.

      • 0 avatar
        GeneralMalaise

        “The most powerful country in the world electing an ignorant blowhard who disdains historical alliances and admires hostile dictators is almost as bad for them as it is for us.”

        You’ve just inadvertently described the fellow who’ll be vacating the Oval Office in less than 48 hours. Good show!

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      This Canadian was initially skeptical of Trump. But somewhere between the outrageously dishonest media coverage and the hysterical screaming from the intolerant left (Hollywood in particular) I realized that he is exactly what the western world needs right now.

      As for our Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Bambi, my guess is that he will keep his anti-American snobbery in check when going toe-to-toe with Godzilla in front of the cameras.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “outrageously dishonest media coverage”

    I do agree that Hitlery got the kid gloves from the press but Trump on the other hand deserves all of the negative press he has received.

    “Intolerant Left” – Yes. Agreed. It is hard to tolerate racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and pro-Putin narcissistic megalomaniacs .

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Maybe I’m blind when I start watching those cell phone shot videos showing intolerant leftist in action, but to me it is clear there are a whole bunch who are absolutely out of their minds. The hate and loathing on display is reminiscent of KKK, Chekists, or SS-Totenkopfverbände members. I realize it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole otherwise decent lot, but this stuff is real and it is happening in the US right now.

      black/white
      good/evil
      tolerance —> intolerance

      …all it takes is a slight push from one side to the other

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        That is another fear regarding the USA. Since the rise of the Tea Party there seems to be very little actual constructive dialogue between the two sides. Everything seems to be mud slinging, innuendo and fake news. And both sides are guilty.

        That historically does not make for a constructive society nor for a strong democracy.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Arthur Dailey – agreed and with the new orange potus, that ever widening chasm has just been flooded with nitromethane.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            Good luck with your pretty boy, Narcissist-in-Chief, frosty yohans of the Great White North! Worked out so well here in the U.S.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            And thus another outstanding demonstration of the reason that Trump’s Presidency is viewed with such trepidation The fact that so many of his supporters tend to resort to slogans and insults instead of civilized discourse and the use of facts. Just because someone yells the loudest does not mean that what they say is correct.

            Trump may be a good President. However to date he has appointed 5 ex-Goldman Sachs employees to his Cabinet. That does not appear to be either draining the swamp nor listening to the needs of the middle class.

            As for past Presidents, I am with Old Man. If I was Nixon, I would have pushed the button/turned the key rather than resigned. Yahooo, just like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. And love the Adlai Stevenson reference.

            However JFK is still ‘The Man’, threatening Kruschev into backing down, while ‘entertaining’ Marilyn Monroe is probably the definition of Alpha Male.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Prior to the previous mad cap year, I would have certainly argued it was because of the impending planned implosion of the US empire and planned convergence with the East (or failing that, UN occupation). I still believe this is a distinct possibility I just can’t decide if Trump is part of the plot, trying to stop it, or is completely ignorant of the situation.

          “Everything seems to be mud slinging, innuendo and fake news”

          Excluding Facebook and Twitter, six companies (at my last count) own media which is used to convey news, information, and opinion. I have no doubt the same people running FB and TWTR have the same goals and political interests.

          “The limits of debate are established in this country before the debate even begins. Everybody else is marginalized, made to seem like Communists or some other disloyal person. Kook, there’s a word! Now it’s conspiracy. They’ve made that something that can’t even be entertained for a minute – that powerful people might get together and have a plan? Doesn’t happen! You’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!”

          George Carlin

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      “Intolerant Left” – Yes. Agreed. It is hard to tolerate racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and pro-Putin narcissistic megalomaniacs.”

      And yet your onanism is tolerated. So we’re not all bad.

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