By on April 15, 2020

Fuel economy. Shutterstock user hxdbzxy

Center-left political/culture magazine The Atlantic dropped an interesting piece onto the Web Tuesday. In it, author Robinson Meyer lays out a case, based in part on the Trump administration’s own writings, that the fuel economy rollback approved in late March will actually cost jobs and reduce the amount Americans drive.

Meyer piggybacks off his previous reporting, suggesting the Department of Transportation froze out the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of California while working on the rollback. He further suggests, by citing passages from the 2,000-page report the administration prepared on the rollback (officially dubbed Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles, or SAFE), that 13,500 automotive-related jobs will be lost.

He also cites the report to suggest that cars will cost more, climate change will be made worse (and people will die because of that), and that Americans will drive less. Meyer’s piece notes that if one averages out the four cost-benefit analyses in the report, you get a net negative of $3 billion. He quotes one academic who says Trump’s numbers are wrong, but even if they weren’t, the new rules would have costs outweighing the benefits.

Meyer also makes mention of errors in the rollback proposal, including what he describes as “backward” math that somehow made the Obama administration’s stricter rules appear to lead to less-safe roadways.

I’m no proponent of Trump’s rollback, or rolling back the Obama rules in general, although as other TTACers have pointed out in our Slack discussions, the Obama rules had flaws that inadvertently incentivized automakers to concentrate on building crossovers with improved fuel efficiency as opposed to investing in and marketing high-mpg small cars that were already in their fleets. Some of these fuel-efficient cars disappeared from brands’ lineups, as they were costlier to build and/or less profitable than crossovers, and crossover-crazed shoppers seemed to notice fuel-economy gains in those vehicles while ignoring the compact sedan that achieved an even higher mpg rating.

Automakers got themselves into a bit of a regulatory pickle here by not being careful what they wished for. Whether the Obama-era rules truly were too onerous to achieve, or automakers simply wanted looser rules to reduce costs, they ended up with a set of rules that may do more harm than good – if Meyer and the critics he quoted are correct, and if the rule isn’t tossed aside by federal courts under the Administration Procedure Act due to its failure to pass a cost/benefit analysis.

This is a regulatory process that bears watching – especially since the rollback is supposed to start with 2021 model-year vehicles. Of course, the disruption caused by the coronavirus is already delaying launches of at least some of those cars, trucks, and crossovers. That adds an extra element of intrigue to an already important debate.

I don’t know if Meyer is right – I haven’t yet spent my copious quarantine free time digging through the 2,000-page document. Blame Netflix. One thing that does make sense: If automakers don’t need to invest in certain fuel-saving tech, that could reduce certain needs for labor, and possibly lead to fewer jobs.

If Meyer is correct, automakers may really have cause to remember that when it comes to this particular presidential administration, even seemingly straightforward regulatory change can take a twist into the twilight zone.

[Image: Shutterstock user hxdbzxy]

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104 Comments on “Will Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback Cost Jobs?...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    Atlantic editorial directive.
    3 words
    Orange Man Bad.

    Methinks
    Orange Orange man bad bad.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      exactly

      Atlantic = BS

      “If Meyer is correct, automakers may really have cause to remember that when it comes to this particular presidential administration, even seemingly straightforward regulatory change can take a twist into the twilight zone.”

      No, the Atlantic can twist things into their Twilight Zone

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        yep.

        we know the REAL truth comes from an anonymous 4chan poster who somehow has been leaking classified info for years, yet somehow hasn’t been caught.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          the Atlantic spent three/four years propagating the fraudulent Russian Collusion conspiracy theory so their credibility is shot like most of the MSM

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Thornmark. Look at the facts. Robert Mueller specifically said that he could not exonerate the President, but that he had no power to indict, that only the Congress had the power to try a sitting President. The House of Reps did and found the President guilty. The Senate did not.

            So Russian collusion is a fact. Admitted by the US Military and Intelligence services.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I don’t know @Arthur…we are more of a.”Prove the defendant is guilty” rather than a “Defendant, prove you are not guilty” sort of country. Given what has come out with respect to what the FBI was doing warrant wise, I’m not sure any court would convict. Love the guy, hate the guy, but this wasn’t a particularly strong case. Perhaps they should have subpoenaed some more people in the house to help bolster it, but I felt it wasn’t a strong case.

            And I think you are thinking of the obstruction. I felt that was a stronger case but the Russia stuff was even per Mueller, pretty weak.

          • 0 avatar
            zerofoo

            @Arthur – you may want to actually read the report: https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf

            “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

            If Russian collusion is a “fact” as you put it. Why did Robert Muller and Rod Rosenstein both fail to find it?

            Russians may have wanted to cause havoc in our elections, but it appears no Americans were involved in that activity.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I mean random Privates have been known to leak classified stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Don’t forget that the President and many of his supporters actively worked to block the subpoenas that the House demanded, intentionally making it more difficult for the House to prove its points. With so many subpoenas actively going to court even to be served and their opponents playing every kind of delaying tactic that they could, the impeachment might never have been held at all, considering now how this Coronavirus has delayed so many legal proceedings on its own and once Trump (hopefully) gets voted out this fall, the whole process would be moot.

            I will note that I would not be at all surprised that true criminal charges are placed against him and many of his supporters once he is out of office.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Vulpine of course he did. Nixon did as well. The House should have taken it to court. The Watergate example suggests the courts recognize the importance of things like this and would have expedited the hearings. That was the right answer and what they would have done were this a serious effort to remove him from office. As it went down, the whole thing reeked of theater to many folks. It needed to take as long as it needed to take in order to respect and follow the process. Again, I don’t care what you think of Trump…the impeachment process was botched badly.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandelay: Nixon didn’t have the near-unanimous support of the Tea Party conservatives, either. Nor did he have a prejudiced Supreme Court in which he had just installed a Party judge after his Party had just spent more than a year preventing the installation of a judge to that exact position..

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I keep hearing of this prejudiced supreme court, yet I keep seeing it render decisions which make conservatives unhappy based on the swing vote of a republican nominees. The only arena that conservatives can claim true victories in at the court is 2nd Amendment cases to this point.

            Nixon also had Democratic majorities in both houses. Still, at the end of the day those republicans were ready to flip on Nixon because the house took it seriously and did their job, wherever it led and however long it took to include in the courts. Based on the votes of the conservative end of the bench, especially John Roberts, it is impossible to know how they would have voted on those subponeas. We will never know, but it feels like the conservative side of the bench breaks with their “party line: fairly frequently.

            At the end of the day, Trump was not impeached because the house didn’t do their job. Rather than compelling those people to testify and having the truth come out, one way or another, they gave people who were on Trump’s side cover by presenting an incomplete case and at the end of the day leaving the general feeling much closer to Clinton’s impeachment than Nixon’s (Had Nixon’s gone to a vote). They should have let the system work and done their job.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Took you long enough to respond, Art. Of course, you are mistaken in at least one very recent case:

            • https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/19a1016_o759.pdf
            This one upheld a Republican requirement that despite the Covid issue at hand, absentee voting would not be extended beyond Primary day, despite the fact that not all voters who had requested absentee ballots had received them or would be able to mail them by the end of Primary Day. — What is funny, however, is the fact that the Republican effort backfired, with the Democratic candidate winning the vote by a double-digit percentage when they were expecting the Democratic voters to be too afraid to come out to place their ballots.

            • https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf
            — Essentially supported a Republican mandate that makes Abortion and the results of Abortion more difficult for Abortion providers over and above previously-established requirements.

            • https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-1364_h3dj.pdf
            — Gerrymandering. While agreeing that the district map was gerrymandered in favor of non-white voters, they refused to reduce the existing Representatives’ terms in office and force a new election based on a re-sectioned map.

            In three years, while most of the decisions were legitimate criminal judgements, those that pitted a litigant against a Republican official or state tended to support the Republican side of the argument in opposition to the Appeals court taking a more neutral stance and judging strictly on the merits of the case.

            I’ve only begun to touch on all of the arguments addressed by the US Supreme Court over the last three years.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Yep, Art. When your nations’ privates start leaking, you know you got trouble.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      The fact is everything Trunt does enriches the one percent and screws over regular customers.

      Just look at where the virus bailout went.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Sounds more like what BO did w/ his bailout plus his Solyndra corruption

        remember him laughing about their failed “shovel ready” jobs program w/ Slow Joe Biden

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Compare Trump’s daily briefings to that of Cuomo. Both are rather abrasive people, but at least Cuomo works with facts, data, and takes as much of an apolitical as stance as possible. Trump uses these briefings to inflate his ego, obscure facts, and change his recent history. He is an absolute disgrace, an embarrassment to the country, and a danger to public health. Now he wants his signature on the checks being handed out. Yeah that sure is an important issue during a pandemic. Kansas was a bellwether for November. “Absolute Power” indeed. Americans need to keep in mind those statements come election day – an unrestrained Trump is a danger worse than any pandemic. COVID-45

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            And today he just threatened to “adjourn” both houses of Congress because they haven’t confirmed his appointees. So where are all of those internet “Constitutional scholars” who screamed about “Obama the dictator?”

            they’re strangely silent… nah, it’s not strange. they’re just worthless hypocrites as usual; they’re just fine with it when their guy does it.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Uhm, have you noticed that female, black, and hispanic employment rates were at all time highs until the virus? As such, your assertion is not supported by evidence.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        Nothing he’s done has been as utterly stooopid as mandating the crushing of thousands of vehicles full of parts that could have helped keep thousands of other vehicles on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        You know the president doesn’t have the power to spend – only congress does right?

        If you don’t like the content of a law that spends tax dollars – your beef is with congress – not the president.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      The Atlantic = toiletpaper with print.

      However, I fully support the rollback of the Obama era fuel economy standards. Trump is allowed to do so, since Obama issued them by executive order, and Trump should. With oil being lower than $30/barrel, who cares?

      And the market should solve this problem inherently. To a degree, the market is already doing so. There are a lot of Tesla vehicles on the road, and many of the cab companies and gig drivers use hybrids, etc. Let the market decide – if someone wants to spend a ton of money on gas, so be it. Its their wallet. As long as their vehicles abide by emissions standards, I really dont care what anyone drives. Freedom beats feel-good but ultimately fruitless legislation.

    • 0 avatar
      6250Claimer

      To call the Atlantic “center-left”, it would have to first make a drastic move rightward. It’s just as far-left as the NY Times, The Bezos Post, and anything under the Vox umbrella.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    The point is moot….

    Those jobs and more are now long gone…

    2004 cars just got a 5-7 year life extension. It will be an air quality improvement when a car with today’s standards replaces those 20 year old cars.

    at least it gives the auto makers a few years to get back on their feet before having to face another unrealist push.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Wait a minute! You mean my 2005 Buick was going to go poof in 2025? Since I’m in California, it’s a “suspected” gross polluter that must be tested at a test-only station, even though it has passed smog every (other) year it’s been tested, and has only 63K on the odometer, and I drive it about 4k/year. What part of this ruling superseded the Cali smog laws?

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      With all of the PM2.5 coming from direct injection now I wouldn’t be so sure. Less soda bubbles though.

  • avatar
    ScarecrowRepair

    Damn foolishness. The more people spend on fuel, the less they spend elsewhere. People don’t burn excess dollars not spent on fuel.

    Exactly the same as tariffs raising prices — whatever extra money goes to washing machine manufacturers is that much less money spent on other things. Employment goes up at washing machine companies and down elsewhere.

    It ain’t magic.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Fortunately this change does not change the price of fuel nor does it affect consumer buying habits. So the result does not cost consumers any more in fuel than they already pay.

      Likewise,

      “ Employment goes up at washing machine companies and down elsewhere.”

      I.e. up at Speed Queen based in Wisconsin and down at GE washing machine plants in China.

      That’s a trade I’m willing to make.

      • 0 avatar
        ScarecrowRepair

        That’s not the trade you get to make.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Well I already made that trade, instead of buying a $500-600 Chinese washing machine that falls apart by year 5 I bought a $900 Speed Queen with a 20 year warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            ScarecrowRepair

            Yes, but you are one shopper. You don’t get to make that decision for all the other shoppers, who usually decide to spend elsewhere. Your one expensive purchase doesn’t make up for all the lost purchases. Also, your 20 year purchase means half the purchase price over 20 years. And your expensive 20 year purchase was always an option.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Frankly $900 for a washing machine in 2020 is very middle of the road if not lower end. People talk, if you have something that works good then word gets around.

            Ending the Chinese onslaught of cheaply made and cheaply priced products that are negatively impacting our country is a positive by all means.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            pffft. give me an Amana (Whirlpool) conventional top loader for under $400. Built in the USA, works better, does a load in 1/3rd the time of an HE, and since I live right on the Great Lakes what do I care about how much water it uses?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Jim I would generally agree but new laws took affect in 2016? that require washing machines to use water more efficiently effectively hurting how well they work. I bought mine right before that law passed with one of the older designs fortunately.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            The new HE front loaders actually do a better job of cleaning than the top loaders with the agitator that shortens the life of clothing. I still have a top loader Maytag that I won’t replace until it dies, but the real old school Maytags outlast all new machines -top or front loading. I am talking consumer-grade equipment BTW.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Golden aren’t you in Canada?

            You guys have a lot of stuff that was outlawed here, high flow (I.e. regular) toilets for one. As far as front loaders go I’m always afraid those will just end up leaking, shoddy Chinese construction and water pressure do not mix imo. I know the US military uses Speed Queens based on what I’ve seen on Lackland AFB, and they have some of the best reviews out there combined with the warranty, they wash better than any other modern unit I’ve ever used.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Hummer: “As far as front loaders go I’m always afraid those will just end up leaking, shoddy Chinese construction and water pressure do not mix imo.”

            — This comment suggests to me that you don’t know how front loaders work. Then again, maybe you don’t know that we had front-loading washing machines here in this country over 60 years ago, hmmm? Front loaders do not use water pressure to wash the clothes any more than top loaders do. The only real difference in them is the way they agitate the clothing in the washing process and front-loading styles are simply more efficient as they don’t require a transmission that reverses direction every few seconds, nor do they use a spindle-mounted set of paddles to shove the clothing back and forth in the water. They simply use gravity and get away with using roughly half the amount of water as a top-loader. They’re also far less likely to ‘shake, rattle and roll’ during the spin cycle as the spin is vertical, rather than horizontal, meaning again that gravity helps to balance the load.

            Again, no water pressure is used in the washing, so leaks are no more likely than in a top loader as long as the door seals are kept clear by the user during loading.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The new HE front loaders actually do a better job of cleaning than the top loaders with the agitator that shortens the life of clothing.”

            if you’re talking about HE top loaders, then maybe. if a conventional top loader is damaging your clothes you’re overloading it or using too low a water level. the agitator is supposed to move everything around, not beat things into submission.

          • 0 avatar
            zerofoo

            +1 on speed queen.

            Fabulous machines. Replaced our 4 year old Bosch front loaders that became full of mold and would not dry clothes properly.

            Simple, mechanical, made of steel – in America….awesome.

        • 0 avatar
          ScarecrowRepair

          Well, my exit window closed, so ….

          To expand on that — the whole purpose of tariffs is to raise import prices so much that domestic suppliers can also raise prices. Higher prices mean lower sales, so much that domestic producers actually sell fewer machines than they did before the tariffs.

          People aren’t fools. When washing machine prices suddenly jump 20%, people postpone buying, or put the money into repairs.

          Just as these fuel efficiency experts don’t understand the first thing about how people spend and don’t spend money.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            People aren’t going to go without a washing machine, I mean it’s an appliance, the longer it lasts the better but no one is going to have a huge heartache over paying a little more for American built appliances that have a good chance of living multiple times longer than their Chinese counterparts.

            As an aside charging China to bring those POS washing machines into our country allows us to put that money right back into our economy, we are the winner either directly or indirectly.

            Allowing unfettered trade from China is the worst possible move, which seems to be what you are suggesting.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Hummer, China does not pay the tariff. The manufacturer or the importer pays the tariff and then marks the price up so that the consumer pays more.

            The idea being that the consumer will then purchase the domestic product, as the price is similar.

            We have seen that this works well for low and mid range products. However a consumer who purchases the truly high end products does not care about price, or will often spend more, on the basis that the more you pay the greater the prestige.

            I do however agree that entering into ‘unfettered’/free trade with China is a mistake.

            And I paid extra to purchase a mid-range HE, top load washing machine because it was manufactured in North America. Unfortunately it has been a bit of a lemon.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            China pays by manufacturing leaving their country, and remember most of these companies going there are partnered with Chinese corporations (CCP).

            If Consumers choose to buy a product made in America or Brazil for instance than they are not giving money to these Chinese countries. Cheap crap can be built anywhere, no reason we need to give that manufacturing to a country that is desperately trying to control the world economy through very hostile means.

          • 0 avatar
            zerofoo

            @Arthur

            Have you ever imported from China? We occasionally import LED tiles direct from China. Post Trump tariffs our costs have not gone up one penny. The manufacturer lowered their prices to absorb the tariffs.

            How much have prices increased on all the Chinese junk sold on Amazon? I haven’t noticed much of an increase at all.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          @Scarecrow and you don’t get to save a buck on your washing machine at the expense of people being deprived of basic rights. Chinese workers are in the same boat with illegals picking your .49 cent lettuce. They are exploited and denied basic protections. If it costs 900 bucks to bring a washer to market that affords those building it basic rights and legal wages, then that is what it costs. If you can’t afford it, to freaking bad but you don’t get it cheaper at someone else’s expense.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandelay: “Chinese workers are in the same boat with illegals picking your .49 cent lettuce.”
            — False. The “illegals” picking your 49¢ lettuce come into the States specifically for seasonal work at jobs Americans are unwilling to perform. The average American is lazy and wants to work in a clean, air-conditioned environment making more money than a mere $5 to $8 per hour. These people are literally doing the excrable tasks the rest of us don’t want to do and don’t demand high union wages to do it.

            Interestingly, these “illegals” are able to succeed and even build their own businesses by efficient use of the monies they earn while so many of us waste our income on unnecessary and expensive status symbols. These people aren’t “Taking our jobs,” they’re taking the jobs we refuse to take.

            The Chinese situation may be different but even there, the poor take whatever job they can find and if management abuses their workers it’s because they don’t have the kinds of governmental protections that we Americans have. Worker abuse over there is a governmental policy whereas worker abuse here is on the head of the abuser. I will grant that the seasonal workers don’t have a lot of rights but they do have the ability, if they so choose, to not work for an abusive owner/manager. Not so for the Chinese worker.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            “at jobs Americans are unwilling to perform…FOR THE ILLEGALLY LOW WAGES THOSE EMPLOYERS WANT TO PAY”

            There, fixed.

            You see @Vulpine, labor is a commodity also. If you as an employer can’t get people to perform said task at the wages you are offering, you have to increase the wages paid. That is the other end of capitalism. When employers are allowed to simply subvert the system by hiring illegals they twist the system. Social safety nets break because they aren’t being paid into and should those workers get injured they become the taxpayers problem. Additionally you put artificial downward pressure on wages that ripple to all sectors. At the end of the day you end up with something that is maybe a step better than 1860 or so in the south. Sure, the cotton was cheaper, but at what cost?

            I don’t get to say, “You know, I want that Ferrari but it is too expensive…I’ll just have some factory in China or wherever make me an exact copy for a fraction of the price.” You have to pay what the market will bear. Well the same holds through for people’s labor. You have to pay what the labor market will bear, not subvert it as is the case you describe.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandalay: “at jobs Americans are unwilling to perform…FOR THE ILLEGALLY LOW WAGES THOSE EMPLOYERS WANT TO PAY”

            — The problem with that argument is that you are 50 years out of date. American farmers have been doing this since the ’60s, if not longer. You might reference a 1974 movie entitled, Mr. Majestyk, with Charles Bronson.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandalay: “at jobs Americans are unwilling to perform…FOR THE ILLEGALLY LOW WAGES THOSE EMPLOYERS WANT TO PAY”

            — You’re 50 years out of date. Go watch Mr. Majestyk, with Charles Bronson.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Lettuce is a commodity. Except we don’t know exactly what the profit margin is, with or without illegal labor. I’m sure it varies but it’s probably obscene.

            Although now would be an excellent time to finally enforce US labor laws, but we don’t know exactly how much the illegal workforce pays in taxes but goes un-refunded (from hijacked SS#’s). I’ll bet someone in DC knows.

            Yeah these dang modern computers still can’t figure out when a single SS# is hard at work at hundreds of locations simultaneously.

            Illegals also pay up to 10% in stores like anyone else.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t know that consumer spending vs a tariff is a great comparison.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    It should be noted that the prior standards WERE NOT LAW – they were added through Executive Action – so they can be done by Executive action. This is criminal to think that a leftist can impose his own standards but someone with a contrary political view cannot equally undue those actions.

    There is no story here – Trump had the authority to do this and there should be no legal basis to stop him.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @cprescott: Except that Trump expressly does NOT have the authority to do so, as stated by the US Constitution and at least one of its amendments prohibiting such actions.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Amendment X:
        The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          To these people, states’ rights go right out the window once a state tries to do something they don’t agree with. And/or has a Democrat for a governor.

          Hypocrisy runs deep in “conservative” circles; they demand freedom to do what they want, and the ability to force others to comply with their demands.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Then CARB doesn’t have anything to worry about. The executive branch will lose in court on a 10th amendment ruling and the states that want to can keep those regulations in place.

          I’m still in favor of an alteration of the federal standard though.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            California had a waiver, it ended. What makes you think CARB has a strong case?

            Car, diesel, truck/bus emissions were horrible back then, but today there’s not much more to do or accomplish, short of limiting new ICE vehicle sales.

            When it becomes more about collecting fines/fees/etc, than actually improving the environment, it’s time to pull the plug.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        As chief executive, the President has full authority over ALL executive departments, including the EPA. Any rules, regulations, and/or requirements made by executive agencies are subject to review by the chief executive.

        Only Congress can restrain the chief executive, through it’s power over appropriations, or a law specifically tailored to counter an executive decision, such law being subject to veto, if not found unconstitutional by SCOTUS.

        I find it amazing that people cite one amendment or another in isolation, ignoring the articles that establish the separation of powers. Schools stopped teaching the structure of American government sometime after 1980, so your belief that the tenth amendment supersedes the establishment articles of the Constitution pegs you to be someone under the age of fifty or so.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Yet again you are wrong, Lorenzo. Our government is a triumvirate; with three separate branches designed, by the Constitution, as checks and balances over the others. This is one of the first times in US history where one party has control in ALL THREE BRANCHES of our government.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Nice diversion, but the fact remains all administrative agencies of the federal government are under the executive branch, including the EPA, and the President sets policy, with statutory guidelines by Congress. None are independent.

            Bottom line, the EPA is an executive agency under the direction of the President, and the law that created the EPA did not include exceptions to EPA regulations for states. California was granted an administrative waiver, with approval of the President at the time (Nixon), and not being a law, the waiver can be withdrawn.

  • avatar
    JMII

    You used the trigger words Trump and Obama so the answers will be predictable and predetermined. Sorry not hunger for click bait today.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Not click bait. I thought it was worth pondering. I don’t even know if Meyer is right or wrong

      • 0 avatar
        Deontologist

        And you think that anyone here has the knowledge to definitely tell you whether Meyer is “right” or “wrong”?

        For starters, that’s like asking if the 7 day weather forecast is right or wrong. You don’t know until it happens. All you can do is make an educated guess.

        Second, if it’s not already obvious to you, no one here has even found the download link to the PDF document of the SAFE act. No one here is interested or qualified in analyzing the legislation. All that’s happening is that someone comes up with a mantra, like “freedom good, legislation bad” or “global warming bad, legislation good” and then they hide behind these hackneyed, inchoate thoughts. You want an answer, you should know to ask a few economists. But we all know you weren’t groveling for any answers. You just wanted people to click.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Most of us don’t respond to comments from either side anymore, and just let the comments hang there. Many of the participants in either wing have tired of the flame wars and limit themselves to one or two responses, and then let the thread die. You can’t even call it click bait – most people, when they see the extended tit for tat, just kick out of the comments and go to another article.

      • 0 avatar
        A Scientist

        This. The responses/comments from the usual suspects (obligatory: “from both sides”) are as predictable as the sunrise. It’s all so tiresome and boring. I could sum up the comments in this article by paraphrasing Homer Simpson: “Yeah, but when MY SIDE does it it’s cute!”

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Meanwhile, two more states have signed onto CARB.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    I think the Chinese have chosen the form of their destructor – their suppression of information about the Wuhan flu. In regard to this report, Chinese actions will likely change major assumptions and conclusions about how and where you do manufacturing.
    Even if the WUflu hadn’t happened, the assertions summarized here simply don’t sound credible.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Keeping politics out of my answer – you all already know what I think of the Orange Crackpot – is that no, it will not have an impact on total jobs, but could cause a redistribution of those jobs. The reality is that people need vehicles – and a host of variables influence what they buy. The cost of fuel (or how much they consume) is just one of those variables. If fuel costs become a big concern, the sales will go to those who build more efficient choices. Conversely, if gas stays cheap, those sales will likely go to those manufacturers who supply less efficient vehicles. The key is those sales still have to happen at some point – manufacturers who offer what the buyers want will see the demand for jobs.

  • avatar
    ajla

    So reading parts of the 2000 page document that The Atlantic refers to:

    -The EPA writeup does conclude that 13,500 fewer new automotive positions will be created as a direct result of the rollback. I’d consider this different than 13,500 existing workers being fired, but I’ll let you all decide how important that nuance is.

    -The EPA justifies this job creation shortfall by saying automakers overall will save $15B from the change which can then be used as an investment in other areas that could create new jobs, increase pay/benefits in existing jobs, or add to the overall financial stability of the manufacturers. Again, you can all decide how compelling the argument is. The Atlantic didn’t specifically call out the $15B number but backing into it does require a lot of long-form math and assumptions.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Let’s look back – from 2013 to 2018 the real world mpg of the new vehicle fleet has increased by less than 1 mpg. (As stated by the epa.) Did the Obama administration claim this would be the result of his regulations? I kind of doubt it.

    The entire Atlantic article is just a bunch of pundits talking to their bias – at one point the “journalist” quotes an “expert” who claims the data is all wrong but accepts the conclusion that it costs jobs, costs the consumer. Huh? The Atlantic should be ashamed.

    I’ve said it before – make vehicles more efficient, and consumers will buy bigger, faster, vehicles. The so-called experts can not accept this despite years of evidence. They know they can’t sell the one real solution if you want consumers to burn less gas – raise taxes.

  • avatar
    Duaney

    Meyer is a typical leftist, he claims Trump’s tinkering with the standards will cause death and destruction, but he has no evidence.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      He has all the evidence he needs–just over the last six months. Death and destruction due to Trump’s incompetence is rampant and proven by the thousands of people dying every day because he claimed everything was “under control” three months ago.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        To be fair, it’s been an unknown, a “new thing” since Day One. Everyone was working with unknowns and at the same time trying not to incite a panic. To say you would have done better under the circumstances is disingenuine.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Miata…et.al: Perhaps. But then, I don’t rely on a single data source for all my decisions as he has. I was aware of the disease in China AND its potential long before he said, ‘No problem, we have this covered.’ There wouldn’t have been all this “panic buying” we saw if we had given a proper advanced warning and actually tried to prepare instead of saying, “We’ve got this under control” while doing nothing to truly mitigate the problem.

          I was self-isolating before my state Governor made it mandatory.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The standards should be frozen or rolled back until things get better. It really doesn’t matter how efficient a vehicle you drive if you cannot go anywhere. What is happening is people are buying suvs, trucks, and crossovers instead of automobiles.

    For now the standards should be frozen or temporarily rolled back, people are not buying new vehicles with the coronavirus. Automobiles have been getting the most stringent EPA standards while trucks and truck like vehicles get less stringent standards. Stricter efficiency standards have resulted in cars with unusable trunks, sloping roof lines with less headroom, and turbo 4s with CVTs which is driving more buyers away from the traditional sedan into crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks. The loop hole allowing trucks to be less penalized by EPA standards encourages buyers to buy larger less efficient vehicles and gives auto companies more reason to discontinue automobiles. This is not going to change and if trucks and truck like vehicles were more regulated buyers would find seek other alternatives such as buying used or keeping their vehicles even longer. If states and regulatory want cleaner more efficient vehicles making newer vehicles more expensive and less reliable will decrease sales of new vehicles thus increasing the number of older less efficient and more polluting vehicles on the road. This is counterproductive and at the very least the newer more restrictive standards need to be delayed.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’m interested to see if Europe will delay implementation of any emission regulations (like by 2-3 years). I guess it depends how dire the financial situation gets for their automakers.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    @Chuckrs: I hope that you are correct.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Interesting rebuttals…It is much easier to claim leftist reporting or anti-Trump hate propaganda than wade through a 2,000 page report and post a fact based counterpoint.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      was funny watching all of the morons gather in Lansing today to “protest” the stay at home order. I guess these inbred morons think standing on the sidewalk with an AR-15 thinking they look like [email protected] is supposed to change things.

      be a shame if a lot of them end up contracting this virus and end up on ventilators.

      • 0 avatar
        OverHypedVirusVSTheB&B

        I imagine you sat in your house like the coward you are and finger popped yourself while fantasizing about bootlicking your masters. Sure ya did. Folks like you lined up to give up Jews to the Nazis. Be a shame if you manned up and did something beside whine and call people names anywhere but online.

  • avatar

    It is all Trumps fault. He is a Devil.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t believe higher efficiency standards are really going to accomplish cleaner air unless the ultimate goal is to make ICE so expensive and unreliable that people will be forced to go to EVs and even it is debatable whether EVs are the answer to cleaner air. Turbo I3s and I4s with CVTs are more likely to drive buyers into more trucks and truck like vehicles. It is not just the extra cost to make a vehicle that complies with the stricter efficiency standards but it is also less reliability, less longevity, and higher cost of repair of many of the newer vehicles. That is a much bigger concern to me than paying an extra 1k or more for a new vehicle. If a vehicle is more expensive to repair and does not last as long that would be a good reason not to buy new. Eventually it might not be feasible to manufacture ICE vehicles.

  • avatar
    Zipster

    Overhyped:

    You appear to have some very serious issues. Have you considered therapy or is it just the whiskey talking?

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I just don’t get it. What do I care if California wants to have tighter standards? That’s an issue between California Citizens and their elected officials.

    And if the manufacturers decide to build everything to that standard than so be it. Even back in the day there were always a couple of cars you couldn’t get out there but honestly we have really gotten to the point where you just don’t think about emissions equipment anymore…it is pretty unobtrusive unless you own a modern diesel.

    We have had multiple standards before and the world rolled along just fine.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I wouldn’t care what California standards are except that it will eventually effect the rest of the US. I am not so much against having stricter standards as much as the manufactures trying to meet the stricter standards with small turbo charged displacement engines with CVTs and more complex electronics that make new vehicles less reliable and more costly to own. What has happened and what will continue to happen is any vehicle that is classified as a truck is not subject to as strict a standards so more people will buy a truck like vehicle and more manufacturers will discontinue car models because of the cost of meeting stricter fuel standards and less buyers wanting cars. It would be better to raise fuel taxes and maybe have a higher tax on less efficient vehicles. Additionally the more complex and costly vehicles become the less new vehicles will be sold which over the long run creates even more pollution and higher fuel usage. If you are going to require fuel averages of say 54 mpg then manufacturers are going to have to sell a lot of vehicles getting higher fuel economy and they will be forced to produce more vehicles that buyers won’t buy. At the very least extend the deadline for this regulation and give the manufacturers more time to comply especially during this time when the corona virus has brought car manufacturing to a halt and has caused new vehicle sales to plummet.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I wouldn’t care what California standards are except that it will eventually effect the rest of the US”

      Tough s**t. No man is an island, at least not in anything resembling a society.

      there are still places on Earth where you can go if you want to live your life completely unaffected by anyone else.

      ” If you are going to require fuel averages of say 54 mpg then manufacturers are going to have to sell a lot of vehicles getting higher fuel economy and they will be forced to produce more vehicles that buyers won’t buy. ”

      those higher economy vehicles exist today and have existed for years. who’s “not buying” them? ‘cos I’ve sure missed the mass scrapping of unsold new cars that you seem to think occurs every year.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        Actually Jim, the US is increasingly irrelevant. The US produces 2X the air pollution as India and China produces 2X the air pollution as the US. China is building more coal plants at home and abroad. (I’m not going to paste in a laundry list, but the first two search hits I got for that were NPR and the Guardian, neither known as US or Trump boosters). Take the US out of CO2 production entirely and you still have a problem. And it will increase. I don’t think the Emperor Xi much cares what you or I think.
        And for a kicker, 80% of all ocean plastic pollution is sourced to six rivers in Africa and South Asia.
        These pollution problems won’t abate until the 2nd and 3rd world start to object to pollution as much as we do. Until that happens, probably through more improvements in their living conditions, this will remain a 1st world luxury concept.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @chuckrs: I recommend some more research; you will discover that some of your data is misleading at best.

          • China is moving to renewable energy at a record-setting rate, with far more solar and wind installations going in than coal-fired plants.
          • China is REPLACING something like 35 obsolete coal fired plants with a mere 5 modern ones over the course of the next five years with reports being that those five are the last five to be authorized by that nation. (As a side not, the last US coal-fired plant to be approved has had its permits revoked–it will NOT be built.)

          I do question your sources for that ocean-plastic data. South Asia may be part of it but I find the idea of Africa the next largest source… questionable, at best. I’m willing to learn, so if you can offer non-biased references I would be appreciative.

          And honestly, I consider any “US or Trump-boosters” publications as biased. This isn’t to mean that the rest are non-biased; only that they are less likely to show a political slant that is clearly biased. I personally pay no more attention to NPR or the Guardian than you do, I’m sure… and probably far less. My sources are typically non-political in nature and of a VERY BROAD scope that goes far beyond mere political matters.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            They have to move to renewables. First off, it is difficult to breath in their large cities. They have to clean up, like LA in the 70’s or people are going to croak.

            Secondly, as the US is pretty close to energy independence it becomes increasingly likely that the next time the middle east blows up, we are going to say “Meh, not interested…looks like a job for the PLA” and for all China’s bluster, their Army’s only real tests have come in places like Tienanmen Square and Hong Kong. “Oh, but they don’t care…They’ll go in scortched Earth you say” Maybe…Just like the Soviets in Afghanistan.

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            @Vulpine: The best suggestion I have concerning ocean plastic waste is that you search for yourself. How else would you know if I were cherry picking? Plus you might learn a little more that way. I searched on duckduckgo with the exact phrase sources of ocean plastic pollution. Consensus on rivers as the source of most, number of offending rivers all over the place. One lead is that 80% of plastic pollution comes from land-based sources. Somehow, I think that number would be 100%.

            Re: coal. I searched on duckduckgo with the exact phrase chinese coal power plants being built. Read the first several entries – noting the sources, and then get back to me on how virtuous the Chinese are being with respect to coal and carbon.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Where did I say that new unsold cars were going to be scrapped? Automakers are fleeing from making automobiles and stricter standards will just increase that. Agree no man is an island and I never said they were as for the 54 mpgs those are not the current standards. You need to read my comments and not make assumptions. If anything I would encourage scrapping of older vehicles that are more polluting and that are basically hoopties. If you increase the price and the reliability decreases as a result of making vehicles more complex with smaller turbo motors then you will have less new cars made and sold and people will likely hold onto their vehicles longer. I believe we have about reached the limit to what extra efficiencies we can get out of internal combustion engines and eventually you might not be able to buy a new ICE vehicle. I am not against buying an EV eventually but the battery technology, infrastructure, and price need to improve to become more competitive. Forcing the manufacturers to these standards now especially when plants have been shut down and could possible shutdown again if there is a resurgence of the corona virus. You are entitled to your own opinions and I am entitled to mine but I do not base my opinions on politics but on pragmatism.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Agreed that the rollback was a mistake. Mileage standards should have been eliminated. Consumers should decide what mileage works for them. Automakers can adjust their products to suit the consumer.

    “Peak oil” was just another lie, like catastrophic man-made global warming.

    The world is awash in hydrocarbons, and more is being discovered all the time. The government should get out of the MPG business.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agreed, consumers are going to decide what vehicles they want and most likely that will be a truck or truck like vehicle. Why drive anymore customers away from automobiles which is what these standards will do.

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