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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I mean we have had and still have PZEV vehicles so it can not be entirely about the environment.

We have lots of oil at home and really don't buy much from our 'enemies' if we wanted to stop that we could trade embargo OPEC or just drill our own oil.

So why is mileage so important? People that buy new cars will only benefit from it reducing the chance that someone struggling to pay for gas will get help, so why mess with private companies product lines and what people buy and want?

Seriously I have been pondering this lately...
 

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somehow people think that it will save the environment. And targeting only the automotive industry is really the best way to do that. but oil companies are allowed to kill polar bears and bribe, i mean lobby, our officials into screwing over the public. Most government officials don't pay for their gas anyway they have our tax money to use for that. I think that all of the 'speculation' is secretly backed by the oil companies.
 

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To make Bob Putz.....er LUTZ.....sweaty, uncomfortable and constipated.......
 

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Well gas prices have increased sales of the 2008 Malibu and 2008 Focus so cafe is pointless the market worked it's self out. Trailblazer sales YTD down over 70%
 

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Because the government doesn't have its hands in enough stuff already, of course! *rolls eyes*
 

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CAFE is pointless, and kills great vehicles, as mentioned above.

Better mileage is necessary, but rising fuel prices are making sure this will happen anyway. The government just interferes with the vehicle mix, which is unacceptable. If they really wanted to speed up the process, they should institute excise tax on fuel (and cover the Bush-made deficit by the way).
 

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First, we import 30% of our petroleum.
- That contributes to our trade deficit (importing more foreign stuff than we export)
- That contributes to the drop in value of the dollar, since we're spending more dollars buying foreign oil than foreigners spend buying US stuff.
- Foreign countries like Saudi Arabia own hundreds of billions of dollars of stock in US companies because of money they received selling us oil.
- Our government is constantly monitoring and influencing the political situation in Nigeria, Russia, Venezuala, and the Middle East because if any of those places has a problem, we get hurt by jumps in the price of petroleum. Saudi Arabia treats its women like cows, and we're great allies with them because we need their fuel for economic stability.

Second, if anything the current price increase in gas says CAFE has been too low.
If every automaker was already making a good selection of cars getting over 30 mpg, the jump to $4 per gallon fuel wouldn't have kneecapped auto sales.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler are getting hammered right now, so obviously their free market plans for fuel efficient cars were inadequate. If Uncle Sam had forced them to move this way a few years back, they wouldn't be in this mess.
 

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It exists so that GM can shift the blame for canceling unpopular products (large RWD sedans, luxury V8 engines, etc).
 

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First, we import 30% of our petroleum.
- That contributes to our trade deficit (importing more foreign stuff than we export)
- That contributes to the drop in value of the dollar, since we're spending more dollars buying foreign oil than foreigners spend buying US stuff.
- Foreign countries like Saudi Arabia own hundreds of billions of dollars of stock in US companies because of money they received selling us oil.
- Our government is constantly monitoring and influencing the political situation in Nigeria, Russia, Venezuala, and the Middle East because if any of those places has a problem, we get hurt by jumps in the price of petroleum. Saudi Arabia treats its women like cows, and we're great allies with them because we need their fuel for economic stability.

Second, if anything the current price increase in gas says CAFE has been too low.
If every automaker was already making a good selection of cars getting over 30 mpg, the jump to $4 per gallon fuel wouldn't have kneecapped auto sales.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler are getting hammered right now, so obviously their free market plans for fuel efficient cars were inadequate. If Uncle Sam had forced them to move this way a few years back, they wouldn't be in this mess.
Wow, that was one of THE most thoughtful, fact-based, and well-spoken posts I have ever seen at GMI. I especially appreciate the reference to the Saudis and how they treat their women (plus the public there is BANNED from seeing movies but the kings and princes have HUGE private theaters) as Saudi royalty and the Bush dynasty go WAY back......gee, all but two of the 9-11 hijackers came from there yet Bush tried to block a 9-11 commission from being formed...gee.... so much for us being perceived as "promoting democracy".

While I tend to cringe at government intrustion into matters, I feel that CAFE has value in that it gives an incentive AND target for car manufacturers. Let's not forget that in the 50's, cars had no seat belts required and did NOT have safety glass windshields. Despite many horrific decapitations in the US as a result, the car manufacturers did NOT voluntarily address both design deficits. It took Congress to get them in a remedial mode.
 

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Michael S has said what most selfish Americans who thoughtlessly consume a lot and produce little in return don't want to hear. It is not about environmentalism. An increasing dependence on imported resources affects national security and the strength of the country in a number of ways. Americans have gone from lean and hungry, self-sufficient pioneers -- to fat, happy and dependent on other countries to supply us with our wants and needs. Too few people are thinking long term about the damage this is doing to the U.S., or they simply do not care as long as they can drive around town in their Navigators and Suburbans, giving the convenient boogeymen - the Enviro-Greenies - the finger. Meanwhile they consume twice as much gas as they could if they chose to keep themselves and their country more secure. It's a concept the WW2 generation understood, having gone through the Great Depression and a war where every bit of rubber, metal and gas mattered. Now you have a situation where neither the political "Left" nor "Right" really care about conservation for the sake of reducing our dependence on other countries. It's either that you're for saving polar bears and drinking shade-grown organic lattes, or for living the most gluttonous lifestyle possible to display your wealth -- the two extremes that Americans these days seem to love to go to. I drove a Chevy Metro back in 1998 because I'm stingy and I wanted to live a life where things like gasoline didn't affect me. People asked me why I chose to buy and drive a new Metro when I could have bought something more expensive with the job I had. As time went by I too got sucked in to the Conspicuous Consumption lifestyle, but now I'm back in the mindset I had in 1998.

All that said, I understand people who want a toy like a muscle car to have fun in. But the flood of fuel inefficient SUVs as a trend wasn't just about the niche of people who tow boats and seat 7 -- it was a symptom of Affluenza .

 

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CAFE is in place so useless politicians can brag at the podium about how great they are and what wonderfull things they have done for the planet without making people feel they had to pay financially for it.

CAFE can force Manufacturers to build small cars that get great mileage but if gasoline is $1.75 a gallon no one is going to buy them anyhow. The ONE and only reason people are buying small cars is simply because of the price of gasoline, so essentially CAFE had nothing to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
e Let's not forget that in the 50's, cars had no seat belts required and did NOT have safety glass windshields. Despite many horrific decapitations in the US as a result, the car manufacturers did NOT voluntarily address both design deficits. It took Congress to get them in a remedial mode.
And the gov't and big business killed things like the Tucker and other inventions along the way. Delorean and Saturns are all very safe. Don't understand why people thing they can tell other people what to buy or not. If I don't want to wear my seatbelt why should I pay the govt a fine?
 

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Just in case nobody saw this the first time it was posted, and because it saves me time writing my opinion.
CAFE is in place so useless politicians can brag at the podium about how great they are and what wonderfull things they have done for the planet without making people feel they had to pay financially for it.

CAFE can force Manufacturers to build small cars that get great mileage but if gasoline is $1.75 a gallon no one is going to buy them anyhow. The ONE and only reason people are buying small cars is simply because of the price of gasoline, so essentially CAFE had nothing to do with it.
 

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CAFE is there to get you to beleive that the same petty politicians are doing what you asked them to do.. so that you can vote them back in.

The current great leaders, the best of the congressional leadership

 

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I mean we have had and still have PZEV vehicles so it can not be entirely about the environment.

We have lots of oil at home and really don't buy much from our 'enemies' if we wanted to stop that we could trade embargo OPEC or just drill our own oil.

So why is mileage so important? People that buy new cars will only benefit from it reducing the chance that someone struggling to pay for gas will get help, so why mess with private companies product lines and what people buy and want?

Seriously I have been pondering this lately...
IMO well-posed and serious questions. I will give the not-so-popular view which is pro-CAFE, but not for the reasons you may think. I also believe that market forces in the form of escalating fuel prices will probably make CAFE moot because every vehicle maker will voluntarily drop it's SUVs and trucks by 2020 or go out of business.

Why CAFE?
If fuel prices didn't jump so dramatically recently, if they were still at $2.85 / gal and only got up to say $5 / gal by 2020, then there would be very little pressure on us to move away from our 17 mpg vehicles. Nothing bad on the surface of that. It's our money.

But what the Intelligence and Military and Oil Industry statistics were showing to the President and Congress was that there wasn't going to be enough oil for our own domestic usage not to mention for all the greedy 'furriners' in other parts of the world that wanted 'our oil'.

We today use 25% of the world's daily output. Effectively 25% of every well on earth comes to the US. Our population today is 305 million. In 2030 it will be over 400 million. That's a 30% increase. We will need 30% more just for our own internal usage. IOW instead of 21 mmbpd of oil we will need 27-28 mmbpd. That would be just to keep you and I on the road using today's technologies ( fuel is the biggest use of petroleum ). The military is a HUGE user of fuel. Everything we buy is moved by fuel-driven transport.

What the intelligence, military and industry people have told the President and Congress is that the fuel we will need for 2030 is not going to be available. It's just not there....at least not with inexpensive methods. So if it's not there then what do we use to fuel phish's vehicle and CJ's vehicle? For all those excoriating the leaders of Congress remember it was the President that made the initial move to update CAFE. It is the President that gets the input from the Intelligence community and the Pentagon and his own 5-yr Energy Task Force.

Mexico is tapped out and in decline. Russia is soon to be tapped out. The North Sea is tapped out and in decline. Our own continental sources currently in production are tapped out and in decline. Should we start a war and take over Iran or Saudi Arabia? Take over Venezuela? Neither is an option as our daily reports from Iraq show.

Our proven reserves if we could get them into production quickly would last us exactly 3 years..then they're gone forever. They could never come on stream fast enough though to be anything other than a small buffer over the the next 25 yrs...then they will be gone forever. That includes ANWR. The new potential sources are in horrendously expensive places and will take at least 8-10+ years to come onstream. At that time we will be really hurting for supplies. No fuel for phishie or CJ some days.

OK one of our two best friends is our neighbor in Canada which just happens to have the 2nd largest supply in the world. So we are probably not going to run out. But its massive supply cannot be turned on and off like a water spigot. Tar-sand bitumen will come out of the ground in a slowly increasing stream. It's just that the rate of increase of supply will not be as fast as the rate of increase in demand PLUS the rate of decline in other traditional sources ( Mexico, North Sea, US Continental supply ). Not only does the new supply have to get here faster it has to get here double-fast to make up for the fields going out of production.

Then there's the rest of the world.

India, China and the rest of Asia are growing twice as fast as we are. Combined they are more than 10 x larger than we are ( 3.0 Billion people vs our 305 million ) and they've just entered the 20th Century. They also want everything we have. So we will have to outbid them to keep our 'rightful share'. How much do you want to bid against the government of China to keep your vehicle on the road?

What is going to happen, and this is where the Intelligence communities get involved, is that partnerships and barters and alliances will be formed; e.g. China's nuclear technologies for Iraq's oil, controlled by Iran of course; Europe says to Nigeria and Libya and Saudi "the US has Canada as it's main supplier so we'll pay you in the more valuable EURO vs their worthless US$ if you give us their share".

Finally as we are seeing right now today this increase in demand that's outstripping supply will drive the prices up and up and up and up. That's the market forces at work. But for every increase in price the Ayatollahs and Saudi princes and Nigerian/Venezuelan despots all get richer and richer and richer directly from your pocket and mine. It doesn't matter that most of our payments go directly to the Canadian sources. Just the fact that prices go up means that the rest of the world's users make our enemies richer and richer. Oil is a fungible product. Japanese Yen and Euro's pay for bombs, bullets and terrorism just as easily as US$ do.

But then there is the situation at home. If our internal demand for fuel is going to be 6-7 mmbpd more in 2030 and supply is not sufficient to feed the demand who's going to sit on the bench, phish or CJ? Who will volunteer to give up their personal wheels so that another citizen can drive? A fairer resolution would be for all of us to use less so that all of us can use some. It could be done with rationing where phish and CJ both are allowed 15 gal / week per adult in each household. Or the vehicles could be rationed, we're allowed one per household. Or your/my right to use the roads could be rationed, carpooling is mandatory. Or we could just ensure that all the vehicles on the road each use less fuel, CAFE35.

If things become really bad then all of the above might be in force. There is already a precedent. Again I think from a simple self-preservation perspective we all will be driving 35-50 mpg vehicles by 2020 because we will have run through a significant shortage at some time in these next 12 years and prices will then be in the $10.00 per gallon range. Nobody wants to pay $250 to fillup a 25 gal beast that gets 17 mpg.

Fire away.
 

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somehow people think that it will save the environment. And targeting only the automotive industry is really the best way to do that. but oil companies are allowed to kill polar bears and bribe, i mean lobby, our officials into screwing over the public. Most government officials don't pay for their gas anyway they have our tax money to use for that. I think that all of the 'speculation' is secretly backed by the oil companies.

CAFE has nothing at all to do with the environment. Zero, Zilch.. That's a huge misconception.

It has to do with economics, military expenses, national security and peace in the streets. These actually are the very reasons we have a strong Federal Govt. Disabuse yourself of this enviro-greenie rationale. It's a lot more mundane than that. It's about dollars, bullets, bombs, fuel for ships and keeping each of us from killing each other at the pump.
 

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PhishPhood,

Nice post. I agree with a lot of what you say.

But I think gas rationing may never be necessary. If gas passes $10 or $15 per gallon, nobody will need to mandate household limits on use. People won't be able to afford enough to cause a shortage.
 
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