The Obama administration will mandate 35.5 mpg cars by 2015. It will mandate 56 mpg hybrids by 2025. And it will mandate flying carpets by 2035.
The fuel mandate is a one of those federal edicts that reveal the true nature of our dictatorial president. The 2025 rules are raw ideology. They are the regulatory handiwork put in place (sometimes stealthily) by the extreme greens of his regime — with names like Science Czar Holdren and Climate Czar Browner and EPA Chief Jackson. These rules will destroy union jobs and cripple auto sales. They are completely divorced from consumer demand. They are in effect a religious edict, a dogma of the church of global warming.
The sorry episode is also revealing of Obama’s liberal mouthpiece, the New York Times.
The Green Lady finally caught up to the fuel-mandate story a full week after Dave Shepardson broke it in the Detroit News. But during that week, Times reporter John Broder did no digging on the rule’s real-world impact. Instead — incredibly — Broder padded the piece with White House propaganda.
Highlights (with comment):
‐ “The deal could also reduce global warming emissions by millions of tons a year and cut oil imports by billions of barrels over the life of the program.” White House mantra. But what does it mean? Millions of tons, billions of barrels? In fact, scientists say such cuts would have no effect on global temperatures (even assuming warming science hadn’t been gutted by Climategate).
‐ “The administration is proposing regulations that will require . . . 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level.” Do any gas-powered cars get that currently? No. Do any cars get the 35.5 required in four years? Only the electric Leaf, Smart, and Volt, and the hybrid Prius and Civic. The most efficient gas cars — the tiny Ford Fiesta and Fiat 500 — get just 33 mpg. And Obama wants to mandate all cars AVERAGE 35.5 by 2015? And 56 by 2025? By this standard, the Times would seem disposed to uncritically print that pigs will fly by 2025.
‐ “The standard would put domestic vehicle fuel efficiency on a par with that in Europe, China and Japan . . . creating for the first time a truly global automobile market. The United States has the world’s most lenient vehicle emissions and mileage standards, lagging as much as 10 mpg behind the rest of the world. ” Wow, where to start? In Europe gas is taxed to $8 a gallon, a market reality that makes mpg a consumer priority; arbitrary efficiency rules didn’t do it. And China? It is a communist nation. The Times has no issue with a “global auto market?” How about a global media market? The U.S. lags the rest of the world with its pesky First Amendment protections. How about ditching that for a global standard?
‐ “The automakers say the standard is technically achievable.” So is a newspaper market without tree-chewing newsprint. But would the Times write so bloodlessly about a government edict forcing it to go digital?
‐ “The new, more conservative Congress is clearly not inclined to support intrusive federal regulation of a vital American industry, but it is really not a party to the negotiations.” That is, democracy is being bypassed. The people’s representatives are on the sidelines while government agencies dictate what cars consumers buy. This is disturbing. But not to the Times.
In the words of its prominent columnist Tom Friedman, if only we could be “China for a day”: ”If only our government could get its act together and launch a green revolution with the same persistence, focus, stick-to-it-iveness and direction that China does through authoritarian means,” Friedman told Stephen Colbert in 2008.
The Obama administration — with the Times’s blessing — seems to be taking Friedman’s authoritarian idea to heart.