Planet Gore

Washington Plays ‘Absurd’ MPG Numbers Game

Detroit — In early 2008, when the Bush administration — or “Obama Lite” — first proposed increasing fuel-economy mandates by 40 percent to 35.5 mpg by 2020, carmakers protested loudly. At the Detroit Auto Show, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told reporters the standard would cost $4,000 to $10,000 per vehicle, or an average of $6,000. 

“This is going to be a net average of cost of $6,000 per vehicle which will have to be passed onto the consumer,” he said.

Yet when the Obama administration claimed this week that its new rules accelerating the 35.5 mpg to 2016 would only cost $1,300 per vehicle, automakers were notably silent. Asked which figure was correct — $6,000 or $1,300 — GM spokesman Greg Martin said the company had no position, saying only that “a lot has changed at our company in the last two years.”

Yes it has.

But the science of auto engineering has not. As a general rule, technology advances internal combustion engine efficiency by 1.5 percent a year. The Obama administration is demanding mpg increases of five percent a year to meet its utopian goals. That means companies will have to resort to more expensive, alternative technologies.

“Car companies have an extensive menu of options to meet the aggressive targets,” writes Car & Driver, “but each has a high price tag. Diesel engines . . . mean thousands of dollars in extra costs. Hybrid technology works, but economy increases are closer to 30 percent (not the 40 percent needed). . . . The systems cost $4,000 to $10,000, depending on the size of the vehicle. GM won’t even talk about the cost of (the plug-in hybrid) Volt, but industry sources quote a $10,000 premium per vehicle — and that’s for a small car.”

“All of this means,” continues the respected auto monthly, “that the anticipated $1,300 price increase per vehicle quoted by the Obama administration is absurd.”

Absurd. Which is what General Motors used to say before it became Government Motors.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More
Elections

Vote Your Conscience

At the 2016 Republican convention, Senator Ted Cruz spoke a controversial phrase: “vote your conscience.” I think about this phrase, this idea, fairly often. I’m not one to give advice on voting (or much else). But when asked for advice, I usually say, “Vote your conscience.” Sweet conscience! One of ... Read More
Elections

Vote Your Conscience

At the 2016 Republican convention, Senator Ted Cruz spoke a controversial phrase: “vote your conscience.” I think about this phrase, this idea, fairly often. I’m not one to give advice on voting (or much else). But when asked for advice, I usually say, “Vote your conscience.” Sweet conscience! One of ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More