Theodore's World: The Sad CAFE

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May 21, 2009

The Sad CAFE

FrontPage Magazine

The Obama administration’s proposed mileage standards that will be announced today may kill more Americans at a faster rate than the Iraq War, his signature issue in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Obama’s standards will require automakers to meet a 35 miles-per-gallon standard by 2016, ­ four years earlier than the same standard imposed by the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007.

The only way for carmakers to meet these standard is to make smaller, lighter -- and deadlier cars.

The National Academy of Sciences has linked mileage standards with about 2,000 deaths per year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every 100-pound reduction in the weight of small cars increases annual traffic fatalities by as much as 715.

In contrast in the more than six years since the Iraq war began, there have been 4,296 deaths among American military personnel.

And what will be gained by the new mileage standards?

The Natural Resources Defense Council said that the 35 MPG standard would save about one million gallons of gas per day. So how does that savings balance against the 2,000 fatalities per year that the National Academy of Sciences says are caused by those same lighter cars?

For the sake of being utilitarian, let’s generously assume that the mileage standards reduced the price of gasoline by $1. That would translate to a daily savings of $1 million. Is that savings worth killing more than five people per day, plus other non-fatal injuries and property damage?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- for the purposes of risk assessment -- values a single human life at $6.9 million dollars. So the new mileage standards would cost about $35 million per day in human lives (not including non-fatal injuries) to save $1 million in gas.

There’s also another lesson hidden in the proposed standards, ­ one that applies to businesses trying to game global warming legislation.

Carmakers lobbied hard against overly stringent mileage standards in the 2007 energy bill, finally negotiating with Congress a compromise standard they thought they at least had a chance to meet. President Obama has now pulled the rug out from under the carmakers and their 2007 deal with Congress.

This ought to serve as a lesson for businesses that are trying to negotiate a climate deal they think they can survive. Rest assured that as soon as business groups agree to a climate deal, the Greens and the Obama administration will go to work the next day figuring out ways to bulldoze the deal in order to make greenhouse gas limitations more stringent and more expensive.

Businesses often operate under the misimpression that they can cut lasting, win-win compromise deals with environmental groups. But such dealing is an impossibility since the Green Left is ideologically driven and will not be happy until capitalism is stamped out. The Greens are not interested in compromise. Like blood in the water to sharks, compromise by businesses signals weakness and vulnerability, and, therefore, opportunity for the Green movement to impose an agenda that is costly in treasure, and costlier in human lives and suffering.


Worse or Worser: Automakers consider new mpg standard to prevent Senate bill

Auto Blog

In the Wild West, the order would have been "Cut them off at the pass!" For carmakers today battling with wildly fluctuating forecasts for mpg, CO2, and CAFE standards, the mission is to cut them off at the Capital. Taking matters upon themselves, some manufacturers are considering a proposal that would require 36 mpg for cars and 30 mpg for light trucks.

That proposal is being offered in an attempt to derail the fuel economy measure being taken up by the Senate in a couple of weeks. That's the one that calls for a CAFE standard of 35 mpg fleetwide by 2020 and a 4% increase every year for ten years, to which the automakers have unanimously replied, 'never gonna happen.'

Environmentalists are trying to make that bill even stronger, seeing that is has a provision allowing the government to reduce the standard if it is found to be too technologically or financially difficult for automakers to achieve.

Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who's a friend of the industry, is proposing an alternative that mandates 36 mpg for cars by 2022, and a 30 mpg for trucks by 2025.

Let's see -- that would give a 33 mpg average for cars and trucks in a maker's fleet by 2025, which is 2 mpg and 5 years shy of the CAFE standard requested in the bill the carmakers don't like. Is it us, or is this really just about timing?


Wild Thing's comment..........

Obama just took over the job of Congress by passing his own laws, what are we paying those clowns on the Hill for.

The Obama & Congress have nationalized the Auto Industry and is forcing it to build 'Mickey Mouse Cars' that no one wants to buy.

The Obama & Congress have refused to lets us drill for oil, natural gas, use of coal that would free us from foreign imports.

The Obama & Congress are willing to Sacrafice/Kill 2,000 people a day in "MIckey Mouse Cars" at a cost of 35 million dollars to save 1 million dollars worth of gas made from foreign oil.

All of this regardless of the fact that we could produce cheaper gas from our own oil and save 2,000 lives a year or more with cars people want.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at May 21, 2009 05:47 AM


Remember when Bonehead Biden said that we would realize that all the stuff the new administration would have to do us would be worth it in the end? They gave away the game plan from the very beginning-to break us down and build us back up in the Lord most merciful Obamanation's image. Like zombies or those who blindly followed Imhotep in the Mummy movies. We must not drive SUVs, we must not run the central air in the house, we must give full quarter to the brown shirt goon squad members, we must give all our money to Obama.
I don't think it's gonna be "worth" it one bit.

Posted by: Lynn at May 21, 2009 08:22 AM

The government has been trying for years to get us to drive Euro type autos. The FREE marketplace has shown that Americans prefer suvs and trucks, like the President is chauffeured around in. So now Obama takes government control of two American auto manufacturers, promises unrealistic emissions and mileage requirements and creates an artificial gas shortage(no drilling). Presto, the government controls our automobile choices.

Posted by: TomR at May 21, 2009 12:25 PM

I guess when you look at it through the jaundiced eye of a democrat, losing people to these pea sized cars, will be that much less gasoline we will need. I wouldn't doubt that that is part of the reason for these new rolling death traps.

It amounts to less freedom. There will be no class envy when they are done, there won't be any class just like the Obama administration.

Posted by: Mark at May 21, 2009 12:28 PM

Lynn, I don't either, now way is all of
this going to be worth it in the end.


Posted by: Wild Thing at May 21, 2009 11:52 PM

Tom, it surprises me he is not getting
some kind of protests about all of this.
Even from NSCAR and other car groups.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 21, 2009 11:59 PM

Mark, I bet your right, they will do
anything they can not to drill more
for our Oil that God has given to
our country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 22, 2009 12:03 AM