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The Price Of Your Next Car Is About To Skyrocket

According to a “webmemo” (No. 3421, November 28, 2011) by Diane Katz, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, writes:

“Automakers would be required to double current fleet-wide fuel economy by 2025 under regulations proposed last week by the Obama Administration. Advocates contend that this crackdown on the internal combustion engine would reduce Americans’ “dependence on oil” and cut emissions of so-called greenhouse gases.”

“Whether the standard is achievable remains to be seen, but the effort would cost tens of billions of dollars, untold numbers of manufacturing jobs, and—most inexcusable—the loss of lives."

The new proposal, she writes would bump the “fleet-wide fuel economy standard to 54.5 mpg by 2025 from the current 27.3 mpg. According to Ms. Katz, the government says the cost of compliance would be about $8.5 billion annually, saying it “translates into a spike in sticker prices of at least $2,000–$2,800, according to official projections, which typically run lower than industry estimates.”

At Hot Air on December 1, Tina Korbe wonders if “the new regulation on CAFE standards delay publication of the Federal Register," writing:"

“Ordinarily, the Federal Register — the daily record of rules, proposed rules and notices of the federal government — publishes at 8 a.m. But, as late as 2:45 p.m. ET today, the Register’s website displayed a little red bar across the top of the homepage that read, “Today’s issue is currently unavailable; we apologize for any inconvenience.”Why the delay? It could be holiday fever. It could be just plain ol’ bureaucratic ineptitude. Or it could be that today’s issue of the Federal Register took longer to prepare because it was to include (and ultimately did include) one of the most massive regulations yet proposed under the Obama administration . . . ."

All may not be well, though. While the San Francisco Chronicle was pleased to write on December 9 that “new 54.5 mpg fuel economy standard (was) moving toward reality,” an article in Popular Mechanic on December 8 points out: “The Obama administration’s aggressive new fuel-economy standards—54.5 mpg average across the fleet by 2025—would seem to suggest cars are going to get much smaller, and hybrids more prevalent. But a catch in the rules—along with consumer demand for big cars—means the opposite might become true,” adding:

“According to a new paper from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, however, CAFE will likely have the opposite effect: It will lead to an increase in size for most vehicles, and more SUVs and light trucks on the road.

“The researchers, whose results will be published in the January issue of the journal Energy Policy, put themselves in the shoes of carmakers designing for the 2014 model year. By weighing what they know about what cars customers want—taken from existing surveys and recent market data—against the projected costs of efficiency-boosting features and technologies, they concluded that practically every type of vehicle would get a size bump. Overall, the footprint of the entire U.S. fleet could get between 2 to 32 percent bigger, resulting in a 1 to 4 mpg drop in efficiency. In terms of emissions, that’s the equivalent of running three to 10 extra 10,000-megawatt-class coal-fired plants for a single year.”

If that loophole proves true, it should set-off the ecofanatics at the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to fix that “error.” But why do the political elitists think they know better than ordinary American citizens about which cars citizens want? Sheesh!

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