Friday, July 29, 2011

Your Mileage May Vary

File this one under Your Government Actually Works. Today the Obama Administration will announce that by 2025, the Big Three automakers must ensure that their fleets of cars get 54.5 miles per gallon of gasoline. That's a more than 100% increase over the 27 mpg they're required to have now.

Here's the NY Times story.

So, after saving the auto industry--and hundreds of thousands of jobs-- in 2009 with a huge infusion of government money, President Obama has done what every Republican president decided wasn't important enough: to actually make some real progress in weaning the United States from imported oil.

This deal will put some muscle behind hybrid and, I'm sure, electric car technology that should have been U.S. policy since the 1970s. The problem was that Ronald Reagan, both Bush presidents and Vice President Dick Cheney were so protective of the oil industry that they decided it would be best to pursue policies that produced giant SUV's that were both gas guzzlers and a menace to other cars on the road.

In the end, Detroit saw that it had little choice. From the article;
Still, the industry’s meek acceptance of what are considered extremely challenging fuel-economy goals is a marked retreat from years past, when the companies argued that consumers would not be willing to pay for the technology needed to meet higher mileage requirements. 

And for those of you who are religious,

“The auto companies’ level of vitriol and rhetoric has changed,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, a group that works to mitigate global warming. “We welcome all epiphanies.”

Amen to that.

1 comment:

  1. As Roger Waters said...

    "By the grace of God almighty
    And the pressures of the marketplace
    The human race has civilized
    It's a miracle."