Imagine if Congress mandated a “tree economy standard” for newspapers requiring them to decrease their newsprint by 40 percent by 2020 in order to save trees, fight global warming, and force readers to use “alternatives” like the Internet. The industry might protest that many readers still prefer the print edition and that it would unfairly benefit TV and Internet at a time when newspapers are struggling.
Clearly, the news media couldn’t imagine such absurd legislation applied to themselves – yet they have consistently aided Washington’s push for similar “fuel economy standards” on the auto industry.
So-called CAFÉ legislation has been a notable public policy disaster since its passage in 1975. Today, the U. S. is more dependent on foreign oil than ever, its fuel consumption (and resulting CO2 emissions) have increased by 20 percent, and NHTSA says that CAFÉ has accelerated traffic fatalities by at least 1,300 a year by forcing the production of lighter vehicles. The rules also caused irreparable harm to US manufacturers who are more dependent on big vehicles for profits than their foreign competitors.
Says Ford CEO Alan Mullally: “It’s difficult to understand the degree to which the CAFE regulations distort the market . . . Ford had to put out two small cars and discount their prices to get people to take them, so that we could also make and sell cars customers really wanted.”
If the public only knew.
None of last week’s MSM news reports covering Nancy Pelosi’s CAFÉ increase by another 40 percent by 2020 mentioned any of the above facts. None. Instead, the stories universally noted that the standards “had not changed since 1984,” implying that the government had been dragging its feet on a good law.
As for “tree economy standards,” they haven’t been increased since . . . .