Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Freedom is the miles I'm rollin' on.....not if you can't meet GHG standards

People think about the importance of certain freedoms, like freedom of speech or the right to bear arms. But one freedom we might think less about is the freedom to travel...to move from place to place at will..to work...to enjoy life. Its in many ways the essence of the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately overzealous regulations are indirectly taxing this important freedom, and it is showing up in the price of new trucks and SUVs.



"Ford Motor Co. executives spared no expense in overhauling the crown jewel of their empire, the F-150. They gave the truck a new aluminum body, smaller turbocharged engines and a lighter and stronger steel frame -- all with an eye to appease U.S. regulators demanding cleaner vehicles. The initiative took six years and cost Ford more than $1 billion."

“Not meeting the standards is not really an option, especially on your most profitable product,’’ said Gopal Duleep, president of H-D Systems, a Washington research company. “On fuel economy, the regulators allow you to pay a fine if you fall short. But on greenhouse gas, they don’t. You either meet the standard or they shut you down.’’

"The new technologies save fuel but add thousands in consumer costs…Between 2011 and May 2016, the average price of full-size pickups jumped 24 percent -- almost triple the pace for all new vehicles -- to $41,606, according to J.D. Power & Associates."

These costs are outrageous. How are middle and working class Americans supposed to afford these kinds of increases? Even if you buy used, more people turning to less expensive older vehicles likely will translate in to increased demand and higher prices in those markets as well.

Adding insult to injury, these regulations are NOT science based. At best they are political feathers in bureaucratic hats, at worst they are based on pseudo-scientific quasi-religious claims about the impacts of emissions on climate change. These regulations and costs are way out of proportion to any scientific consensus on climate change. It is way too weak to offer much guidance on actions, or very precise estimates of actual risks/benefits. ( see here, here, and here).

There are too many margins and too many market based and technological possibilities to use such a blunt and REGRESSIVE regulatory apparatus to address climate change.

See also: Hybrid Corn vs Hybrid Cars

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