Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Light headed trucks

Truly this is ridiculous.

      Nine states have sued the administration of President George W. Bush for lenient automotive fuel economy standards that they say worsen an energy crunch and contribute to air pollution and climate change.

What they are talking about is that the President asked Congress for permission to change the standards that govern what car manufacturers must meet in all cars and trucks.  He changed the standard for SUVs, minivans and trucks so that anything in the Light Truck class (including all the above types) must increase their mpg by 1.9 – to 24.1 mpg. 

So, now forgive me if I’m being daft or missing something, but isn’t that IMPROVING the amount of pollution exhaled by that class of car?  How do you get “At a time when consumers are struggling to pay surging gas prices and the challenge of global climate change has become even more clear, it is unconscionable that the Bush Administration is not requiring greater mileage efficiency for light trucks.”

What??!?!?!  Bush IS requiring greater mileage efficiency for light trucks.  Perhaps it’s not quite enough for these lawyers, though.

The second thing I have to say to that is that any talk about forcing the auto industry to change to make life easier on citizens who are suffering from higher gas prices is horribly misplaced.  That’s what we need: more regulations and restrictions.  If citizens really are feeling the crunch they will modify behavior and car manufacturers will have to respond, via the market, by creating a more efficient car. 

Again, the effect on current automobile use and global warming is still a matter for serious debate, so alarmist use of the “become even more clear” banter is just making this seem like a showboat fest.

The administration insists, later in the article, that it in fact has done it’s homework and this lawsuit will come to nothing.  But I wonder if we’ll hear about that.

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