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‘Green Cars’ Are Virtually Free, Aren’t They?

Two years ago, Peter Glover introduced his American Thinker column about “the wishful thinking of greenie dreams” saying, “The social engineering spin of the green mindset dictates that we should buy ‘green' cars, divert food crops to fuel them, restrict air travel and ban plasma TVs and, of course, traditional light-bulbs.”

The ‘greenies’ might may want us to think that all those ‘green products’ come at little or no additional cost, but let’s take a look at the real world. In the American Thinker blog on Friday, Rick Moran points us to a “sobering piece” at National Review Online’s blog Planet Gore and to a Detroit News article.

At NRO’s Planet Gore, Henry Payne writes:

“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.”

Shepardson writes in his Detroit News article:

“The two government agencies and California plan to propose fuel efficiency standards and tailpipe emissions limits for the 2017-25 model years in September. The EPA and NHTSA will finalize the new requirements by July 2012, after getting public comment.

“The agencies are considering annual increases in fuel efficiency ranging from 3-6 percent between 2017 and 2025, translating to a fleetwide average of 47-62 mpg by the end of the period.

“The fleetwide average has been set at 34.1 by 2016.

“Environmentalists who want the fleet average set at 60 mpg or more have won the backing of prominent governors and have touted polls claiming Americans support that standard.

“Automakers are running radio spots aimed at policymakers, warning of potential job losses if regulations are set too high.

“The center warned Americans' personal mobility — and the freedom to drive a car — is "under threat by extreme mandates."

"The risk connected to mandating permanent fuel economy standards in the long run is very serious," the report said."

Shepardson adds the following proviso, however:

“But some environmentalists say automakers and supporters continue a pattern of overstating the impact of federal regulations.

"Over the past four decades, the auto industry has consistently exaggerated the cost for meeting new pollution standards by as much as 9.5 times the actual costs," Roland Hwang, the transportation program director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a blog posting."

Just what we need on the road -- more higher-priced clown cars. Wrong! Something else to thank our Capitol Hill potentates for? If you agree, the Capitol Hill switchboard phone number is (202) 224-3121.

The Center for Automotive Research webpage is here.

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