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  • States sue Bush over fuel efficiency

    Cast it off as 10 'blue' states, but it's still 10 out of 50 states sueing the White House, and it's not just a creative way to get funding. The lawsuit suggests that the Bush Administration broke the law by failing to take fuel conservation and emissions into account and instead making policy decisions primarily based on the perceived need to help bolster the American automotive industry (who was making almost all of their profits off of trucks and SUV's), and the economy in general. Unfortunately, this will not save the U.S. automotive industry, and it will likely have a negative impact on fuel consumption (and prices). And there's that 'climate change' button again...

    http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...EL-LAWSUIT.xml

  • #2
    Re: States sue Bush over fuel efficiency

    Is a lawsuit the normal way for a state government to express it's opposition to a federal policy?

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    • #3
      Re: States sue Bush over fuel efficiency

      If they believe that the Executive has enacted policy that violates standing federal law, then yes, judicial action is a legitimate course. If the policy is legal, then a state government would have to go through normal Congressional channels to rewrite the law (assuming that a change in the law would compel the executive to change the policy, which is not always the case).
      In game handle: Steel Scion
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      • #4
        Re: States sue Bush over fuel efficiency

        Related/simultaneous story - Transportation Sec Norman Mineta has appealed to congress for permission to change the vehicle classifications within the federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) guidlines. Democrats claim that the proposal is meant to give the impession that the administration is making effort, but is in fact not doing anything.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/03/wa...rtner=homepage

        I know why they (the administration) would not want to change the guidelines - because even a 1-mile-per-gallon change would mean significant costs for American car manufacturers, such as GM, who are currently facing severe cutbacks already as sagging sales (due to years of foreign competition) and union retirees collecting pensions are bringing the corporations to their knees.

        My question in this is whether or not Bush's administration is right in assuming that holding back on increasing/upping CAFE standards will really stave off the depression that's forecast to become the American automotive industry. I wish the administration would be more honest in bringing these policy reasons and implications out instead of putting up smokescreens (like the Mineta request). Their reason for holding back is a legitimate one - why try and conceal it?

        The issue means a whole lot more now that we are facing rising fuel prices. This is one area where the government has leverage, and it is chosing not to use it.

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        • #5
          Re: States sue Bush over fuel efficiency

          Hmmm.....the prez proposes increasing the CAFE requirement for SUVs, Minivans and pick-ups by 1.9 MPG & these states say this could "worsen an energy crunch and contribute to air pollution and climate change" ?!?! That makes absolutely no sense to anyone with some common sense.

          The administration has the authority to amend the CAFE requirements:
          http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/cafe/overview.htm

          Let's be honest here...these "blue states" really want trucks to meet the same fuel economy standards as cars. They have wanted this for some time now....problem is, it is not technologically nor economically feasible for this to happen anytime soon.

          If you are buying a truck to tow a trailer or haul 1,000 lbs of payload, you need a heavier duty vehicle (full frame, V8 in all likelihood, etc). Now, you tell me how it's supposed to do all this an get the same gas mileage as a Chevy Impala. It won't.

          No wait, the panacea for everything is the hybrid vehicle...great...let's pay $4,000 extra for the hybrid option and wait 4+ years to break even based on today's gas prices. Wait there's more....these blue states should be joining with the consumers who are forming a class action lawsuit because their "55 highway mpg hybrid" is only getting 35 mpg...that's the real crime if you ask me. But do you really think this would happen....hell no.

          All in all, the real problem is the environmentalists have wished for years that gas prices would get this high. Now that it's happened, they say the oil companies are ripping off the consumer as gas shouldn't be this high (so, they think gas should be expensive so people will conserve more/drive less, but it shouldn't be this expensive...fine line i guess).

          We are finally paying the price for not building more capacity in the form of refineries, etc. China and India's oil consumption has increased something like 20-50% in the last 4 years. People in India who used to ride bikes now have motorcycles. People who had motorcycles now buy cars...all this is due to their tremendous economic growth and jobs moving overseas to their country.

          I dropped out of economics in college, but one thing that is simple to understand is the supply vs demand equation. No increase in refining capacity and a higher worldwide demand = $$$ gas prices. Don't get me wrong, do I think the oil companies are shady...you bet. The oil industry is the only one i know where the price goes up based on SPECULATION and then goes back down on FACTS.
          |TG-1stMIP| Ransack



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          • #6
            Re: States sue Bush over fuel efficiency

            What they should have done, and what was suggested back in the mid 90s, is remove the loophole that allowed SUVs to be classified as light trucks, thereby bypassing the existing CAFE standards. But since GM sunk all their R&D and the next 2 decades of production into SUVs, that never happened. So now we are subsidising the US auto industry's poor planning while they get pounded by foreign companies.

            I think meat of the lawsuit (hard to say from this article) is that the 1.9mpg increase is lip service, while other language undermines stiffer state regulations. Basically, it's an industry-friendly policy change, and the states feel that it goes against the administration's stated requirements to "determine the impact of regulation on fuel conservation and the environment." Now, it could be that they already determined the impact of the change and said "screw it." Not sure if there is a legal consequence for bad decisions. I'd like to think that there is at least an electoral one...

            The "hybrids that are not really hybrids" problem is another issue that isn't helping any.

            Welcome to peak oil.
            In game handle: Steel Scion
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