The purpose of federal fuel-economy mandates is to keep the agenda of green pols hidden lest the public awaken to their enormous costs. Want to make cars fuel efficient? Tax gas. And commit political suicide. So instead we get the stealthy Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) laws, which forces automakers to compromise cars to government standards, not those of customers.
But sometimes those costs still leak out.
The Detroit News’s dogged David Shepardson has unearthed a study by one of world’s most respected automotive research firms that reveals that President Obama’s radical CAFE mandate that vehicles average — average! — 62 MPG by 2025 “could force vehicle prices up by nearly $10,000, reduce sales by 5.5 million vehicles annually, and eliminate more than 260,000 jobs.”
Shepardson is quoting from the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research and the 260,000 job loss figure (consistent with past job losses from CAFE rule hikes) is another dent in White House’s propaganda that Green creates jobs.
The CAR study also reveals that Obama’s NHTSA and EPA have been gaming the figures when it comes to the cost of their new rules. The center’s study predicts it will cost between $3,744 and $9,790 per vehicle, while the agencies have low-balled the figure at $770 to $3,500 per vehicle.
The resulting costs would shrink the new-car market, with 5.5 million potential buyers disappearing (and manufacturing jobs with them) by 2025. That assumes that the auto fleet can even be built to meet such an absurd spec. Currently, no car — much less the average — meets 62 mpg. Indeed, only a handful of small vehicles meet the 35-mpg fleet-wide standard mandated in just five years.
As a result, there is more gaming of the system, as automakers pour lobbying money into D.C. to effect regulatory agency rules handing credits to electric cars — whether customers buy them or not.
This is change, Obama-style: More rules, more lobbyists, more corruption of government standards. It all adds up to more jobs for Washington bureaucrats, and fewer for the rest of the country.