• Jul 17, 2007
While talk of increased CAFE requirements usually gets the automakers all riled up, a new report says there might be some good that comes from making the standards much stricter, and we're not just talking beneficial for the environment. This new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says that higher fuel economy standards could create a quarter million new jobs by 2020. As many as 24,000 of those could be in the automotive sector.
UCS is one of the groups urging the government to raise fuel economy standards by 40-percent within ten years, so painting the change in a favorable light helps them promote their cause. The automakers, for their part, say it will have the opposite effect on their industry. They tend to see more layoffs and plant closings with those kinds of new requirements in place. The UCS report sees more of consumers' money being diverted from fuel bills to consumer goods. Rather than spending so much of our income on fuel, the study assumes we'd be spending our savings on new technology, shopping, home improvements, dining out, entertainment and similar purchases, which could arguably be called an improvement.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      'You have to disbelieve everything science has learned about the earths previous temperature and CO2 changes to fall for the premise Al Gore & Co are peddling.
      '

      Like I said, noise. You're actually trying to say the science supports the right when my whole point is that the right uses science to deflect the issue. They don't care about the science, they care about not introducing more government regulation of industry.
      I bet you're the type who argues against global warming with 'truths' like the sun is getting warmer. Keep thinking that. The truthiness shall set you free.
        • 7 Years Ago
        True science is not political. Scientists whose sole source of funding comes from politicians desperate for a cause will say anything to keep the money coming.

        Let me ask you a few questions and explain to me how higher CAFE standards apply:

        1) Why is it getting hotter on Mars without any SUVs and private jets emitting carbon dioxide? If it’s the sun that’s responsible for the warming on Mars, then maybe it’s also responsible for the warming of the Earth.

        2) How can you explain past warming and cooling cycles that started long before the introduction of the first internal combustion engine? There was a Medieval Warm Period from 900-1300 and then a Little Ice Age from about 1500-1800. By simply looking at the covers of our most popular periodicals over the past century, these cycles are clearly evident. We worried about a coming Ice Age from 1895 to 1930, then it was the threat of global warming from the 1930s to the 1960s, followed by another imminent Ice Age during the 1970s, and now we’re back to the threat of global warming again. There’s no such thing as an “ideal temperature" for the earth. Average surface temperatures are constantly in flux, up or down about a few tenths of a degree every year. These cycles are normal.

        3) If man is solely responsible for the increased levels of CO2, then how do you explain the Ordovician Period, 440 million years ago, when the CO2 level was 16 times higher than today? Or, the Cretaceous Period, 140 million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and CO2 was 8 times higher? Or, the CO2 levels from 95 million years ago which were about the same as levels today? How can these levels be changing long before the appearance of man?

        The problem with the notion that those who don't buy into the whole global warming hype are anti-science is completely false. In fact, it is just the opposite. Those who foist this malarkey are in denial of everything science has learned about the earth over the last 100 years. If the truth doesn't fit your agenda- create a new one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If car companies need to hire more people... that means higher costs... which could mean the collapse of the big 3... which means far fewer automotive jobs
        • 7 Years Ago
        There is so much rhetoric on this topic. An increase in CAFE doesn't necessarily mean higher costs. Current engineers and designers could just as easily design cars that are more fuel efficient as they currently design for more horsepower. There are some easy things that could be done, for example, lower horsepower in V8s, reduce the number of V8s, put more R/D in small vehicles instead of SUVs. All of these things only require a refocusing of current resourses. There are other alternatives that in the long run could be used such as hybrids, diesels, and other alternative fuels. Again this is an allocation of resourse decision. Over the next 20 years, The Big 3 will be spending money on R&D for something, it's a question of what.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Government mandates make sense where the market doesn't work. The government must force anti-pollution hardware into cars because most people would not voluntarily buy emission controls.

      But gas mileage standards aren't needed because as the price of fuel rises, car buyers will feel the strain on their wallets and choose more economical vehicles without government involvement. That's why Ford and GM suffer from backed-up inventories of trucks and SUVs as people switch to the Prius and other economy cars.

      Congress always wants to "do something" which often means that it'll do more harm than good. With all the anti-Bush talk out there, note that the Democrat Congress has an even lower approval rating.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "because as the price of fuel rises, car buyers will feel the strain on their wallets and choose more economical vehicles"

        I can't agree. This is not the first "fuel crisis" nor the same price of fuel 1 year, 2 year or more years ago. We still got Hemi's again and bigger diesels and bigger cars. Nothing has changed since the 25¢ gallon. People adapt and then want the "bigger is better".
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's OK--no problem! The Hemi sold well when introduced at the time gas was under $2 per gallon. Far fewer Hemis are sold now.

        Yes, people do adapt. And if they can afford thirsty cars, so what? We use Arab oil because it's the cheapest fuel we can buy.

        The best way to move away from foreign oil is for its price to rise to the point where people economize voluntarily and, with gas costing much more, alternative fuels become cost effective at higher prices.

        Forcing car makers to make what bureaucrats dictate instead of what people want was a bad idea in the '70s and it's a bad idea now. It was also a failure then and will be again.

      • 7 Years Ago
      If we increase CAFE standards the terrorists win.......or something.

      Any 'reasons' for not raising CAFE standards that come from the right are nothing but noise, a distraction. CAFE adds government regulation of industry, the right is against that. End of story. Same with global warming. Its an issue of idealology not science.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I am a lefty and I am totally against increasing CAFE. Why? Because it won't help the environment ,but will cost us jobs.

        Increasing gas mileage 40% will not take any existing car off the road, plus despite all the environemental movement's rhetoric, American-market cars produce less than 1.5% of the worlds CO2. So we can't even reduce the 1.5% by 40%, so what's the point?

        Instead of forcing all the companies to come up with stopgap engineering to meet these new standards, we should stop wasting R&D on CAFE and allow companies to continue researching a replacement for the internal combustion engine.

        A few weeks ago GM moved 700 engineers to work on the Volt. If CAFE increases happen, GM will likely have to move them into other areas to try and tweak more mileage out of existing powertrains.

        Now onto these nuts:

        "This new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says that higher fuel economy standards could create a quarter million new jobs by 2020. As many as 24,000 of those could be in the automotive sector."

        These are the same idiots who claim that GM can make a 40mpg minivan with $400 of off the shelf parts. If that's the case, why isn't one single maker of cars in the world producing such a vehicle? These nitwits have no credibility.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Another thing to consider that has been repeatedly shown to be true is that if you increase fuel economy, people will simply drive more.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're right- global warming is about idealogy and not science. You have to disbelieve everything science has learned about the earths previous temperature and CO2 changes to fall for the premise Al Gore & Co are peddling.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Amigos, they are missing the point once again. By automotive jobs they are referring to illiegal immigrants that will find work pushing around cars owned by people no longer able to afford a car that meets cafe standards, not to mention not being able to afford the fuel to run such a car. We will go from measuring miles per gallon to meters by migrant. One must wonder what puts out more CO2 - a modern car or a team of pushers trying to get a car up to ski slopes in Colorado.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting spin from the very liberal UCS; so now it's a government jobs program? Who pays for those jobs? Oh yes, you and I do by paying thousands more for each new car.

      Likely 24,000 new jobs at Honda and Toyota, by the way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is highly unlikely. CAFE increases will cause car prices to go up and investment in alternative fuels to go down. To me that sounds like fewer jobs. I think it would be far better do limit the fuel economy cars can get. That'll create some incentive to invest in alternative fuels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe the auto assemblers will offer a car for $15K that has a 6 speed automatic. (come on new cororlla)
      • 7 Years Ago
      It will also create new jobs in the medical industry, putting drivers back together after they are crippled for life in their tiny sardine cars.
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