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The Clean Air Act of 2007 gave the Environmental Protection Agency the right to regulate tailpipe emissions due to their dangers to public health. The law also gave states like California the right to set their own emissions policies; a move that could force automakers to meet several different standards in the U.S. alone. That led the federal government to essentially adopt California's standard, resulting in a mandate of 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.

The Detroit News reports that Fred Upton, R-MI and Ed Whitfield, R-KY have sponsored a bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would overturn the Clean Air Act. The proposed measure would remove emissions regulations authority from the EPA and individual states, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration instead having sole authority to set corporate average fuel economy standards. "We feel it is not right that California should be dictating standards for the rest of the country," said Whitfield.

The move may be well-received by automakers, since the current regulations in place will cost OEMs billions of dollars. In fact, experts claim the stiff regulations currently on the books will cost automakers up to $52 billion over the next five years. That's a lot of cabbage, but the Obama Administration claims fuel economy improvements will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and save car owners up to $3,000 over the life of the vehicle.

The sponsored bill has been given the go-ahead by the Energy and Power subcommittee, and The Detroit News claims house Republicans plan to fast-track the bill through Congress.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Clinton Steeds – C.C. 2.0]


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  • 46 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, the humanity!

      CO2 with skull and crossbones. bwahahahaha! More moonbat propaganda from the Al Gore bots.

      More sky-is-falling, sensationalist, loonie toons from the globull warming religious sect never fail to entertain.

      "The internal combustion engine is evil! Repent sinning motorists!"

      Of course, we know Bush caused the earthquake yesterday although I think Carl Rove actually pushed the button.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Like it or don't-- National Security and Foreign Oil Dependency are in lock-step. We send billions of dollars out of the country to nations that don't even like us, and billions more fighting to maintain the ability to get the oil we think we need so badly.

        I would love nothing more than to cut-off that pipeline, and reinvest the money in this country. And this happens to be a side-effect of the Clean Air Act. The thought of my money spent at the gas station supporting corrupt regimes and killing our soldiers if sickening. Every gallon I don't buy due to more effecient cars is a step toward ending this dark chapter in our history.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh, c'mon guys!

        Can't you see Potpie is simply seeking a reaction from you?

        I think, (well, I hope) he is satirising the sanctimonious greenie whining that goes on when any of these issues is raised.

        The issue is a little clouded by the fact that Bill Ford Jr complained some years ago about the difficulties involved in national laws setting standards for all states that may be a problem in only one or two states.

        Bill Ford Jr went on to recommend a national advisory board that would be funded by and include all stake holders, to prepare well researched, legislation that could be cohesively enforced.

        This quite sensible proposal was rejected by left and right, leaving the usual adversarial squabble suiting no-one and angering everyone!

        Incidentally, Japan, Germany, UK, South Korea, Australia, Spain, have all adopted this model.

        • 4 Years Ago
        ^---rotflmao

        yeah sorry piehole if you don't believe in science, maybe you shouldn't be reading ABG and get back to your cave.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Shut the f*** up, you are letting WAY to much stupid flow out of that pie hole.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hate to shock you with actual facts, but much more toxic gases are emitted then CO2.
        Sit in a closed garage with a car motor running for a while and let me know how you feel about it.

        Hmm. Wonder if there's potential class action suit potential against these Republican clowns by people with lung diseases?
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is just more of the same old rhetoric that has been around since the days of the Whigs;
      'Government interference in business raises costs and puts people out of work.'
      Well Shit!
      10 years of tax cuts and de-regulation and the world economy is on it's knee's.
      So if the mantra from the right was ever correct,where are the jobs?
      8+ trillion in tax cuts later and erosion of the health,safety and welfare not to mention the hit to the environment and infra-structure should equal an influx of talented people from other countries to fill all the high paying jobs that their bullshit was supposed to encourage.
      Right?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The reality is that America's time as a superpower has came and gone a long time ago, and has been on a decline for a while.

        Makes for a real bad political speech but it is true.
        There are thousands of reasons for this that are never talked about.

        As for taxes, they are extremely low compared to other time periods in history.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#History_of_federal_income_tax

        Some of our most productive periods have had absolutely nothing to do with tax rates.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for the reply 2WM.
        Mostly,i get the Asshats who gloss over the link I provided then tell me what "it really,actually and indisputably say's" apparently after only reading the page header.

        This link does a better job of explaining the economic stability which exists when the wealth of a nation is held by an minuscule portion of the population due (in our current state)to taxation versus economic decline due to job loss.
        http://8020vision.com/2010/11/16/when-does-the-wealth-of-%20%20a-nation-hurt-its-wellbeing/

        The Gini Index or Gini Co-efficient ranks the stability of the nation:
        "Canada, Denmark, and Norway ranking most stable. Notably, the US, once the standard-setter of a stable democracy and middle class, has quickly fallen to an underwhelming rank 110 out of 165 countries."

        I digress though,if you look at the periods of the highest tax rate versus
        the highest rates of Economic Expansion,you will see a direct impact.
        This calls Bullshit on the lauded Laffer curve and the Neo-Con's latest economic architect,namely one Grover Norquist.
        Here is a link to Norquist's page: http://www.atr.org/#
        here you can see where the right wing's talking points come from.
      • 4 Years Ago
      First of all I am not sure I buy that this is a shill of the automotive industry. The automotive manufactures want one regulation (RATHER than building to three different standards - California, US, and Canada, in this current round it is defacto one standard for a market of 330M+), they want the standard predictable, and they want it to apply to all manufacturers.

      They really don't care who sets it. They probably do care about what the number is, but this is not necessarily the expense that is being argued.

      All of them sell in other markets, with the possible exception of Chrysler, vehicles with engines that would meet or approach these targets (note that 34 MPG does NOT MEAN 34 MPG, but closer to 30 as the target uses the old EPA methodology, which as we know, significantly underestimated real world consumption).
      • 4 Years Ago
      "will cost automakers up to $52 billion over the next five years."

      The US will spend that much on imported oil in less than two months, so why would we want to use more oil? Exactly how is that good for our country?

      BTW, our friends over in China have set their standard at 42.2 mpg.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Would you like the US to have the same safety standards as China?
        • 4 Years Ago
        and how much will air pollution cost us down the line?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its like the recovering alcoholic that falls off the wagon
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL ABG, I have been to that spot in the picture many a time, thats Horseshoe Lake in Mammoth Lakes and the sign is to warn people about the massive amounts of C02 that is coming from the ground as a result of volcanic activity, what does that have to do with autos?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The EPA's power to regulate emissions is why NYC lost their case in their attempt to regulate taxicab emissions; that power is clearly vested to a Federal Agency through the Clean Air Act.

      California does not "dictate" what standards other States must follow. The EPA does that with a basic standard; the EPA also allows the States the *option* to follow California's standard if they choose (aka CARB states).

      Neither Michigan nor Kentucky are even CARB states. They follow the EPA national standard already, so what's their issue?
        • 4 Years Ago
        More Political Theater. Republicans in Congress will do anything for corporate dollars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow!

      Here I thought this was a site for car buffs interested in newer tech.

      So far it looks like I have to be a Republican bashing, Fox news hating, smug, tree hugging extremist, or I'll have people jumping down my throat.

      As a true political independant, I have a news flash for you....BOTH parties cash the check big oil writes. G.W. Bush has more green energy at his ranch than most know about, while Al Gore has the carbon footprint of a small town on his own.

      As far as this story goes, I doubt it will have a huge impact,especially since nothing has really happened yet.
      • 4 Years Ago
      bst!ra!a!ds!

      That's my thinking.
      Make of it what you will.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm there with you. Anyone who defends the Republican Establishment is an idiot.
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      The will of the people be done.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Unfortunately your totalitarian utopia still has to get by the voters, short sighted walking cliche demos.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I can't argue with you Nick, but I still wan't to have the right to express my opinion at the polls.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        The will of the people be damned.

        Dumbass Republicans...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        @joevicoe

        "The majority of "People" are lazy, forgetful, and easy influenced by lies and propaganda from a corrupt media."

        Yep. And dumb, uninformed masses are a blessing for the true power (money). It makes me wonder if under-educating people and defunding the education system are not part of the plan.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Yup. To some, "states rights" means that the states should have the right to ignore Federal policy when they can pass a more conservative version, but should absolutely have to follow it whenever they might do something more liberal.

        Oh, I forgot - "Commerce between the states," means anything that might ever at some point involve money and movement. Except abortion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        As much as I like the idea of a Republic... it is FAR too easy to slip things past voters.

        By the time this legislation passes, is implemented, and begins to have an environmental effect.... nobody will remember the congressmen who did it. And it is FAR too easy to spin the facts that will confuse voters as to what really happened.

        Representative government is the best we have... but it is NOT truly "Will of the People". Members of Congress can get away with scandalous acts and still be reelected. The majority of "People" are lazy, forgetful, and easy influenced by lies and propaganda from a corrupt media.

        And this goes for both sides. I am an independent.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        I love how the Repubes shudder at the idea that the power lies within the hands of a single state (CA), but have no issue with the idea of having the NHTSA decide for all (since it's a GOPer controlled agency).

        Murdoch and the Koch brothers really melted their brains away.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        The will of what people? The bottom IQ types...otherwise known as Republicans?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gee, a republican from Michigan trying to turn back the clock on emissions regulations, who woulda thunk it?

      I don't think Detroit will ever get it.. 6 billion people on the planet, headed for 7 billion and beyond.. combustion engines are naughty by nature and it would be easier to build smaller cars with smaller engines than sit around and try to fight regulations that keep emissions in check.

      Instead they take the hard road and give in kicking and screaming.
      That's funny, i never hear Japanese or Korean companies complaining about meeting CA standards. In fact, they often voluntarily meet the emissions standards before they are required.

      I really wish we even had a fraction of the mentality of Japan and western Europe.
      We would have less dependence on foreign oil, less health problems, and cheaper gas due to lower demand.
        • 4 Years Ago
        FTA: "The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — the trade association representing Detroit's Big Three automakers and Toyota Motor Corp. — hasn't taken a position, saying it is still "reviewing" the bill."

        Sounds like neither the Detroit automakers nor Toyota have actually weighed in. ABG was injecting its own editorial commentary when they wrote, "The move may be well-received by automakers..."

        "The alliance's top public policy priority is to ensure one national program to regulate vehicle fuel economy," the automakers said in a statement. "A national program that reflects the input and consideration of all stakeholders is the only way to deliver maximum energy savings and environmental benefits without negative impacts on affordability, jobs, safety or consumer choice."

        Wait a sec, it sounds like Toyota's lobbyists *like* the idea of having a single regulatory program, as opposed to several different standards.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So, it's OK to pollute so long as our CEOs get their deserved $100M+ annual bonuses. whoo-hoo.

        >:P

        The bill is also flawed in that they want the safety board to regulate efficiency, not the EPA. They want a board that has no environmental expertise or authority to regulate efficiency. Brilliant.

        Then, when that fails, the GOP can blame the gov't, conveniently ignoring the fact that it was the GOP that deliberately gave authority to an agency that has no competency in that area.

        Shameless whores. Maybe next election cycle, their campaign will consist of strutting around on a stage screaming "Obama controls your mind!" while the Koch brothers are in the front row slipping some Benjamins into their garters..............
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM & Ford wouldn't even have to do do much to meet the new stricter standards, they would just need to start selling the more fuel efficient vehicles that they currently sell in Europe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can't speak for Toyota, but look at Bob Lutz in the past.. he would publicly deride any regulation in regards to higher fuel economy or lower emissions.

        Our government still has a very large stake in General Motors. Who knows what the current higher ups at GM think..

        ---

        Paul; you have a great point.
        What's weird is that they always say.... those cars won't sell in the USA.

        But look at what Asia's bread and butter are... the small, fuel efficient cars! It has been that way since the 80's when Japan really starting making a dent in the big 3's sales.

        I think if Detroit started focusing on making excellent small cars, this gap would be lessened. Ford is starting to get it.. but only because they are required to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe GM has lost that enthousiasm for new technologies and innovation (if it was ever there). It seems the bean-counters have taken over for good.

        Tech heads enjoy the challenge of getting more power and miles from a gallon (in what ever form or shape, directly or indirectly)

        Bean-counters and money-people don't. They only seem to see the short-term cost, not the long-term profit and advantages..
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can understand regulated smog causing emissions. Beyond that, you are just hurting the efficiency of the engine... causing it to use more fuel and pollute more, as well. We had cars in the 80s that with pretty basic technology were good for around 50 mpg EPA estimated.

      Now, however, we can't use engines like that because they run too lean and that can hurt emissions. Regulating emissions is a double edged sword.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Care to elaborate a bit on that one?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Basic chemistry:
        Complete Combustion of a hydrocarbon:
        HxCx + O2 = CO2 + H2O

        Restricting Carbon Dioxide emissions is, by definition, reducing the amount of hydrocarbons being burned, and therefore increasing efficiency.

        NOx is a smog-producing compound created by the endothermic oxidation of nitrogen in the air during combustion, which happens when combustion is too hot, typically during lean burn operation. Reducing smog-related compounds can make it harder to operate lean, and therefore reducing efficiency in some engines (particularly diesels that tend to burn hot AND have incomplete combustion, leading to particulate filters and lean/rich cycling of the engine). So reducing smog emissions may reduce efficiency in some engines, but reducing CO2 emissions is by definition increasing efficiency.
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