When combined with other missteps this administration has taken to increase energy efficiency, this proposal will, the agencies guessed, save Americans over $1.7 trillion at the pump, nearly $8,000 per vehicle by 2025. How this President loves to save Americans money! But the figures are largely happy guesses.
These bureaucratically controlled actions also are supposed to “reduce America’s dependence on oil by an estimated 12 billion barrels, and, by 2025, reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day – enough to offset almost a quarter of the current level of our foreign oil imports.” Taken together, these actions will also “slash 6 billion metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the programs.” Even if true, it won’t matter because greenhouse gases have very little, if any, effect on climate.
These “unprecedented standards” were proudly labeled a “remarkable leap forward in improving fuel efficiency, strengthening national security by reducing our dependence on oil, and protecting our climate for generations to come.”
“By setting a course for steady improvements in fuel economy over the long term, the Obama Administration is ensuring that American car buyers have their choice of the most efficient vehicles ever produced in our country,” added purported automobile authority Lisa Jackson, the EPA Administrator. “This is an important addition to the landmark clean cars program…”
The “progress we made with the help of the auto industry [Read: twisted arms], the environmental community, consumer groups and others will be expanded upon in the years to come…” A warning for the future.
Transportation Secretary LaHood and Jackson said, full of optimism, the new fuel regulations would save consumers up to $6,600 in fuel costs over the lifetime of a model year 2025 vehicle for a net lifetime savings of $4,400 after factoring in related increases in vehicle cost (which no one on earth can foretell). Overall, the net benefit to society from this rule would total more than $420 billion over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in model year 2017-2025. Another wild guess.
Major auto manufacturers are already heavily invested in developing advanced technologies that can significantly reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions beyond the existing model year 2012-2016 standards. In addition, a wide range of technologies are currently available for automakers to meet new standards, including advanced gasoline engines and transmissions, vehicle weight reduction, lower tire rolling resistance, improvements in aerodynamics, diesel engines, more efficient accessories, and improvements in air conditioning systems, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles.
There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposal for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. In addition, DOT and EPA plan to hold several public hearings around the country to push for public support.
The Center for Automotive Research now expects Detroit car manufacturers and their suppliers to add 167,000 jobs by 2015, a return to pre-recession levels. But that increase would still replace only a third of the jobs lost in the past several years.
With unemployment hovering at 9 percent, this is not great news for one of the most important industries in the country.
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