• May 19, 2009
Aside from the Daimler-Tesla announcement earlier today, the big green car news for May 19 is the increase in CAFE standards that President Obama made just a short while ago, joined by Governors Jennifer Granholm (MI), Deval Patrick (MA) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), members of Congress and Ron Gettelfinger (of the UAW), among others. Obama said the agreement was "an historic agreement to help America break its addiction to oil." Here are the details:
  • Currently, the DOT manages fuel economy, the EPA deals with emissions, and CA can use the Clean Air Act to come up with even more stringent rules. This could create a situation where car makers have to deal with rules from three agencies. The new rule is a national standard that CA will support and the DOT and EPA will both adopt.
  • The CAFE standard will increase by five percent each year, building on the 2011 standard, until we get to 2016. This means an Industry standard of 35.5 mpg by 2016, an average increase of eight mpg per vehicle.
  • Drivers will recoup the additional cost to buy one of these more-efficient vehicles in three years. Drivers will, over the life of the vehicle, save $2,800, on average, he said.
  • Obama said the new rule will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the next five years, and is the projected equivalent of taking 58 million vehicles off the road.
  • Despite previous disagreements between environmental and industry groups, the national policy has been agreed on and a series of "major lawsuits" will be dropped.
Yesterday, we heard that, much to the automakers' delight, the new CAFE standards create a national standard and incorporate California's strict emissions rules to raise the national fleet mpg average to 42 mpg for cars and 26 mpg for light trucks for an overall average of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Current CAFE standards require an automaker's fleet of cars to average 27.5 mpg and trucks must get 24 mpg.

[Source: Whitehouse.gov]


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  • 98 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Leave it to the mindless, hard left socialists here on Autoblog to portray this massive government intrusion into what should be an entirely private matter: the choice of what to drive.

      And of course, the usual trotting out of the Keith Obermann - Code Pink crap about the Iraq war as being all about oil.

      And of course the usual lapping up of the dog-vomit BIG LIE from Obama about how this is all going to actually SAVE the average American $2500. That neglects the much higher costs that these radical new mandates will dictate for new cars, and the massive socialist wealth transfer from the American middle class from Obama's cap and trade scam, not to mention the soon to be announced massive increase in the gas tax.

      God help us, this incompetent socialist clown is going to damage this country to the point it will never recover.

      Yes, this is all going to be GOOD for us.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Angleo

        The Iraq War was about oil. My favorite admission was from Alan Greenspan. Once he out from under his (political) obligations, he came out and admitted it in his book that yes, it was about the oil.

        And you complain about the 'the massive socialist wealth transfer from the American middle class' from Obama. How about the massive wealth tranfer from the American middle class to the rich in the last 8 years. How convenient you forgot to leave that one out. Ditch the AM hate radio. Welcome to the 21st century.
        • 5 Years Ago
        tyecies

        Defining CO2 as a pollutant is ridiculous. It simply is not. And those blaming it for warming (even though the earth stopped warming in 1998) are ridiculous as well when the sun plays such a greater role in the climate of our earth. Only, the politicians haven't found a way to tax that yet. Heaven help us if they do!




        • 5 Years Ago
        You're not very bright and rather troubled with the modern world. I'd love to hear your opinions on Blacks, Gays, Women, endangered species and all manner of things ,but, the 21st century is calling and I need to get back.

        Sad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Obama said the agreement was "an historic agreement to help America break its addiction to oil."

      How about a common sense solution that will put Americans to work like drilling for and refining oil right here at home. There are many other options like nuclear power and clean coal that will put Americans to work that make too much sense for the environmentalist wackos.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Must you insult you right wing neanderthal?

        Oops.

        Listen, the minute one of the drill baby drill types says that oil will stay in the USA i'm for it.

        I'm waiting......
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not 50 or 60 mpg? He should just decree that gravity no longer applies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Uhh...

      Uhhhhhhhhh....

      Explain that?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I get 50+ MPG. But I say BITE ME to BHO!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Even with this law USA is far behind EU, Japan and China. As always, national security does not matter compared to the freedom to drive what we want.

      Average Soccer mom is far more outraged by gas increasing by 10 pennies than by the war the nation has to fight to make that oil available.

      Obama should do what is right, CAFÉ+ at 50 cent tax on gas now and 50 cent tax on gas in 2011 (after mid term elections)


        • 5 Years Ago
        PJ, it is popular to hate any sort of progress these days.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "@ John, no, people like him and me will only be happy when the US will have the public transit, public education system and health care that are worthy of the greatest nation on the earth as Americans like to claim it is."

        Coming from a guy just a few posts ago was applauding the government for directing industry more and more with less from private equity.

        Take your socialism someone else, Comrade. Go find a nice Eurotrash forum to post on.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ John, Obama is a socialist, but how does that matter here? Say Bush was re-elected again, would that somehow solve the issue at hand, dirty air, oil addiction?

        Yes, the guy is a commie, but that does not mean that THIS law in particular is bad.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Beastage, I suggest you go back to school and learn a lesson or two on the philosophy behind individualism and individual liberty. I should be able to do whatever I want without people like you forcing me onto a bus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I personally like having a President who gets down into the muck and forces things to happen"

        That's called a dictator. Live in North Korea or Cuba for a while and see if you still like one person forcing decisions down the throats of the citizens.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And how does going to war make oil available? Before the Iraq war all oil was sold on an open global market. After the Iraq war all oil was sold on an open global market. Attacking Iraq changes nothing about how the oil economy works. We are currently buying oil from anyone that will sell it. We aren't taking it as a war would have you believe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, I suggest you go back to school and learn a lesson or two on the philosophy behind individualism and individual liberty. I should be able to do whatever I want without people like you forcing me into a car.

        In Europe and most of the world you have a choice. You can live just fine without a car if that is what you choose. In the US? Many suburban streets don't even have sidewalks anymore - without a car you're homebound.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The amount of people on here volunteering to give up their freedom for what they believe is best for society, while trying to force their beliefs on other people, is simply shocking... I have read "*insert stereotypical person here* doesn't need a crossover/SUV/truck/house/shoes/whatever" about a 1000 times this week alone. Why the hell are there so many people deciding what someone else needs or justifying someones choice when they don't even have to? What's next? You don't "need" a lot of things. Don't need a car at all, get a scooter or walk!

        brainwashing really does work:(
        • 5 Years Ago
        For the love god, there is no such thing as socialism in the world today! there never was and there never will be, there is a huge difference between Socialism and Social-Democracy which is nearly identical to democratic party values anyway.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy

        Obama is not a socialists , all you right wing nutters need to stop watching FOX News fascist propaganda machine and actually educate yourself.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bravo!

        All of you who constantly bitch about Obama being a big govt socialist (which, to be honest, you have no idea what that means. And it's no more true than if I called Bush a Fascist. Cheney on the other hand...) should be happy about this.

        Obama gave the nation ONE standard which should go right along with your argument that California had gone "rogue".

        Of course, now you'll probably argue "states rights". Try to remember where that got you in the past before you travel that road.

        American companies are the best in the world, they just got lazy (like everyone else during the Bush regime) and needed a prod to get us back to reality. I personally like having a President who gets down into the muck and forces things to happen as opposed to one (Rep or Dem) who sits on his or her ass while the country disintegrates around us.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Obama = POS.

        I hate this control-happy MF more than I can say. Worthless SOB is worse than Bush.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Obama is not a socialists , "

        You can choose to stay in ignorance. There must be an awful lot of bliss in your world....
        • 5 Years Ago
        What happened to the spirit of innovation in this country? CAFÉ regulations have applied to new vehicles since the 1978 model year. Since then, the standard has gone from 18.0 MPG to 27.5 MPG, and is increasing to 35.5 MPG by 2016. Are we really crying “socialism” over the expectation that our cars should be twice as fuel-efficient after 40 years of development?

        If you asked folks in 1978 what they thought we’d be driving in the year 2016, they’d have guessed electric power, AI, hovering, you name it. If you instead informed them that we still hadn’t made a safe, roomy car go twice as far on a gallon of gas—and, dammit, we don’t *want* to because that’s un-American!—they’d probably euthanize themselves with a handful of Quaaludes. Can’t say I’d blame them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin and others...

        So taxing people who are already struggling is the better thing to do. Remember not all of us are driving SUVs. I leave it to you to tell those families who have to spend 3 to 4 grand more on a vehicle with higher monthly notes, that they'll recoupe their cost 3 years down.

        I have a Mini and last summers gas prices still had me suffering...costing me $60 bucks to fill up and I get 28 mpg in the city and 36 hwy.

        Any economist will tell you that raising taxes and increasing spending or cost especially in a recession doesn't work.

        I live in Texas and we have the best economy of any state in the union with 75% of the jobs created in this country last year were created here....and is shown by Cali residents fleeing to Texas and Nevada (no income tax state).

        So many citizens and folks abroad hate this country, yet it still is looked on as a life boat to the world. What happens when the life boat sinks!!!

        If you are a liberal now, you'll feel like a conservative once all Americans get a real taste of authentic liberal thinking!
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Jaguar 3-litre diesel is already running 35 mpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Obama gave the nation ONE standard which should go right along with your argument that California had gone 'rogue'." - the vegas style guy

        In general, I find myself disagreeing with your posts pretty much all the time, but this statement is pretty close to my take on all this. If there must be a standard for emissions and fuel efficiency, then it should be only one on the national level. I tend to see this as an interstate commerce issue, which is well within the purview of the federal government as defined by the Constitution. A standard strong enough to protect the more delicate areas of the country will protect the more robust locales just the same. This makes sense, and costs us all less in the long run.

        Obama got this one right, and I'd support it just the same had this action come from any other administration.

        ------------------

        "Of course, now you'll probably argue "states rights". Try to remember where that got you in the past before you travel that road." - the vegas style guy

        Because you can definitely prove that following the "states rights" argument results *only* in whatever the hell situation you tried to imply. No other conclusion is possible.

        Whatever.

        ------------------

        "American companies are the best in the world, they just got lazy (like everyone else during the Bush regime)..." - the vegas style guy

        As if this was unique to the Bush years. Anyone serious about having an honest discussion regarding the troubled current affairs of the auto industry would never be stupid enough put something this asinine to written record.

        BTW...what's the relevance of this point to the article? To CAFE?

        ------------------

        "I personally like having a President who gets down into the muck and forces things to happen as opposed to one (Rep or Dem) who sits on his or her ass while the country disintegrates around us." - the vegas style guy

        Where do you see America disintegrating? The standard of living for the vast majority of Americans is at it's highest in our history. You sound just like those hysterical headcases complaining their rights were being taken away by President Bush, but when questioned, could not come up with a single right granted in law or the Constitution that had been legally rescinded.

        It's precisely this kind of hyperbole that makes you, and so many others "on your side" so completely impossible to take seriously.

        Oh, and what does any of this have to do with CAFE anyway?

        ......................

        The concerns around important issues like CAFE, and indeed many others, would be far better served if people cared more about solving the problem and less about being "right" ..or worse: abusing the topic to get on their broken soapboxes to whine about the past instead of looking to the future.

        Seems like everyone has to make a point about what MIGHT happen if we follow "their plan" as opposed to highlighting HOW EXACTLY their own positions can help to fix whatever it is we've already agreed needs improvement.

        Imagine the problems that could be solved if action was taken on good science instead of defaulting to juvenile options that range from spouting catty falsehoods to shouting someone else down. A half-decent example would be how I responded to the first point I quoted in this post.
      • 5 Years Ago
      About time.
      Willie
      • 5 Years Ago
      So let me get this straight. President Obama heard both sides of the story from the environmentalists and the automakers. Then created decent standards that both sides could agree upon and will benefit the consumers and the world. In addition, it will lessen our dependence on foreign oil (and oil period). Yet people still think this man should not lead us? I am so happy to call Barack Obama our President. Somebody with a brain and knows how to put it to good use.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Willie
        Heard both sides of the story?


        Nevermind the fact that 2/3 of America's automakers are being held hostage by the tax-evading Federa Car Czar.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Willie
        This deal was in motion long before Captain Teleprompter got in office. He was just there to sign the deal at the 11th hour.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The government that governs most, governs best.

      Is there any problem, either real or imaginary, that the government isn't the best entity to solve?
      • 5 Years Ago
      shouldnt it be "a historic agreement" not " an historic agreement " ???
      maybe its just me but it sounds wrong...
      • 5 Years Ago
      All this talk about socialism - blah blah

      Did anyone ever take an econ course? Think about it this way -- if this whole "sharing is caring attitude" is adopted it will be nice for a while but I will tell you exactly what will happen. The "whales" aka very rich people will get tired of having their money taken away to support trailer trash and crack heads and will eventually get so sick they pack their bags and move elsewhere. Taxes are part of modern life, that is accepted, but there is a limit to how much you can hit someone for before they just say "screw it' and go someplace else.

      What happens when the wealthy get tired and start leaving in droves? How do you pull off a socialist system when everyone is poor? The robin hood argument works for a little bit, but much like crude oil it will eventually run out.

      Why do people seem incapable of paying for their own stuff? The concept of saving/planning/budgeting is lost these days, at the personal, local, state and federal level. I'm not rich, but even I don't support jacking someone's bank account via taxes just because they worked hard and built a successful business or had a "great idea"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly why Socialism (sharing is caring is a good slogan for Socialism...) never has worked. It reduces everyone to a least common denominator.

        You mention Robin Hood, as do many...

        But in the story of Robin Hood, Robin didn't steal from the rich to give to the poor. That is a false construct, and way out of context.

        Robin stole from the autocratic rulers, who were seizing homes, food, and relative freedom from the people they ruled. He was stealing taxes and giving them back to the taxed.

        Robin himself was from a "priviledged" noble household, not from a tent in Sherwood Forest, and got spurred when he found his family gone, and wealth and lands seized while he was away.

        Robin Hood was a story of retaliation against government TYRANNY, not an example of government re-distribution for mutual benefit, which never happens, by the definition of government control.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Recoup the costs? We're in a depression, d-bag. A lot of people aren't going to have more money to spend up front.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While I'd love to whip up some of my usual tact and quick-witted humor, I just don't feel like it today.

        That's a good idea you had, though. Let's just all not buy cars. That's brilliant. A really sound investment from your tax dollars, and a great way to help the economy. You should go be a political adviser.

        But, that's exactly what's going to happen with this plan. Less people are going to be buying cars that already a lot of people can't afford anyways.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The high gas prices were the only thing in American history to make soccer moms realize they didn't need 9MPG Suburbans for their one child."

        THAAAAAAAAANK YOOOOOUUUUUUUUU!!!!!! Next election, I'm putting a write-in for Johnson! I used to work at a restaurant spitting distance from a major intersection in an affluent neigborhood, and the one thing that always caught my eye EVERY DAY was this petite blonde woman driving a black QX56. I'd see her drive one way down the street, then 20 minutes later the other way with a kid in the backseat with his hand waving out the window like he was trying to make the car fly. It was actually the kid that got my attention because he always did it, and I thought it was hilarious. But the reality of the bigger picture definitely got under my skin...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree that a person should try to buy within their price bracket, don't get me wrong. But most people here in America are hard headed and don't like to lower their standards. It's just not very economically stimulating - people aren't gonna wanna spend $20k on a Focus. It's going to cause even less new car sales.

        I personally do believe in more expensive gas. Let the tax provide extra money for education (not built in to the budget, but extra). The economy will then drive the direction of car makers. The high gas prices were the only thing in American history to make soccer moms realize they didn't need 9MPG Suburbans for their one child.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Er, recession, not depression - my bad ;)
        Willie
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you can't afford the upfront cost of buying a new car, maybe you should not be buying one at all.
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