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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Increasing fuel standards

So California has adopted some more stringent fuel standards that several states (NY, VT, RI) have also adopted. Car companies are obviously trying to block this in federal court, even thought he recent EPA v. Massachusetts case takes some of the wind out of their sails. The Court basically said that EPA CAN regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases from cars, but did not say they had it. The Court sent the case back to district court to determine whether EPA had a valid reason not to.

This brings us to a case in Vermont where the car companies are challenging the California emissions standards. They are arguing the usual: can't be done, will actually increase emissions, etc. Some of my favorite lines from the article are:

An expert hired by automakers said, according to court filings, that DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor and G.M. “will need largely to exit” from the passenger car and small truck markets.
Because those companies have been in the passenger car market? They have been the most resistent to making good small vehicles. They are years behind Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and the others. Maybe if they started focusing on making fuel efficient vehicles that people want to buy they would not be in the financial troubles that they are.

Among other points, the industry says more fuel efficient cars could be dangerous, because they will be cheaper to drive and lead people to drive more and potentially have more accidents.
LOL. This is classic which came with an even more classic response from the Sierra Club:

“Everybody’s getting a good laugh out of the safety claim,” said David Bookbinder, a lawyer for the Sierra Club, which is a party to the case. “Detroit is saying it’s a bad idea for everybody to drive more.”
Just suck it up and make more fuel efficient cars and trucks. It will be better for your companies financial health and that of the country. If we do not break our oil addiction in the next couple of decades (if not soon) our economy is going to be in big trouble because the price of gas will be 10+ dollars a gallon and your companies will be bankrupt.

NYTimes Article Link