Planet Gore

Harry Reid’s Chevy Suburban and mpg mandates

Despite auto industry protests, Senator Harry Reid is urging passage of new federal mileage standards this week that would mandate an average 35 mpg for all vehicles by 2020 (and 52 mpg by 2030). Yet a call to the senator’s office confirms that he tools around DC in a Chevy Suburban, GM’s biggest SUV weighing in at 5800 pounds and guzzling 15 mpg. A press spokesman is quick to point out that Reid is required by Capitol police to use the vehicle for security (he has another back home in Nevada).
Fair enough. But thousands of Americans also buy Chevy Suburbans for personal convenience – because they have large families, cargo needs, a boat to tow, etc. Yet, under the senator’s restrictive fuel mandate, consumers could well lose the choice of vehicles like the Suburban.
In lecturing automakers to take their medicine, Reid scolded Detroit in particular (including GM) for not making more small, fuel efficient cars: “Perhaps if they had joined us instead of fighting us these last 20 years, they might not be in the financial mess they’re in today.”
But, as the senator’s own wheels indicate, GM is meeting market demand – for Democratic pols who need a big, powerful vehicle for security, for example.
We await the senator’s next mandate that Capitol security vehicles be planet-saving, 4-cylinder gas hybrid Priuses made by non-union Toyota Motor Company. . . .

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