• Oct 4th 2011 at 6:43PM
  • 29
If you thought the new fuel economy standards that are designed to bring average mileage up to 54.5 mpg by 2025 were a done deal, think again.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced that he wants to investigate how the rules were written, stating that forcing auto makers to create vehicles that can meet the mileage requirements could compromise safety. Issa has demanded to see all emails between the White House and automakers as well as internal documents. Issa has also demanded emails from the California Air Resources Board during their deliberations for state rules.

So far, White House officials have punted Issa's requests to the EPA, though White House Council Kathryn Ruemmler has informed Issa that the rulemaking process will follow the traditional process and that there will be opportunities for public comment.

Congressman Issa has also demanded that Ford provide documentation of the reason it stopped running its anti-bailout ad, out of suspicion that government pressure was involved.

In January, Rep Issa came under fire for circulating a letter to over 150 industry lobbyists, asking them to name regulations that they wanted to repeal, including safety regulations. He also asked for federal funding for Aptera.


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  • 29 Comments
      GR
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know, it be really nice if Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House Republicans would focus less on wasting everyone's time until we get to the 2012 elections, and focus more on working with the President and the Democrats to create jobs. Some of these bills and committee hearings that they are proposing are beyond ridiculous. We understand you want to make the other side look bad so you can win an election. Really we get it. But don't do it at the expense of helping our economy grow. Get back to work doing what we pay you to do, or we'll replace you with someone who will.
      StanSmith
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm voting this guy out
        Richard Gozinya
        • 3 Years Ago
        @StanSmith
        Good luck with that. By all the evidence, he's extremely secure in his district. It's a very conservative area, between the Marines (Especially the retired ones), and the rural areas, it's pretty well locked up.
          Chris M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Richard Gozinya
          Don't be so sure, California redistricting is going on and will be in place for the 2012 election. Before, redistricting was done by the legislature, who created lots of "safe seats" for Democrats and Republicans, but this time it's an independent panel doing the redistricting, so fewer safe seats, and with an increasingly Democratic populace, Republicans are likely to loose ground. Not surprising that the same Republicans that pushed for the "independent redistricting panel" now want to go back to the old legislative redistricting process!
      Chris M
      • 3 Years Ago
      So on the one hand, Darrell Issa is worried about the remote possibility of higher fuel economy resulting in less safe cars, but on the other hand, wants to eliminate safety regulations? That smells of rank political hypocrisy. We haven't heard much objection to the fuel economy rules from the auto makers, as they've already got plans to meet those goals, so why is Issa complaining? Because the oil companies donating to him don't like the idea, and because Issa likes selling his Viper car alarms to big expensive gas guzzler cars.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      We should have 2 non-oil cars/trucks per company, and 80-100 mpg CAFE standards.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Politicians like Congressman Darrell Issa, are a product of the US committee system. Originally designed to be a watchdog on government spending, preventing corruption and cronyism, these committees have provided soap boxes for the worst type of political manipulator. These committees far from preventing corruption and cronyism become hotbeds of political influence peddling, horse-trading and lobbying chicanery. It's not impossible to tell where the fault lies, is it the lobbyist seducing the legislators, or the legislators blackmailing, and extorting the lobbyists? Congressman Darrell Issa, is a prime example of this malaise of US government. Unable to usefully contribute, all he can do is wastefully interfere with the executive government and private industry, with time wasting, negative gestures, hoping to baffle his constituents with his political flim-flam. No wonder observers like Aaron Swartz, develop a deep anti-corporate hatred! The easiest target to blame is the major corporations, the problem is the US is losing most of these corporate targets of easy bias, and hatred. Everywhere, Corporate America is on the retreat. The last bastions of US corporate dominance are US Oil companies. Aaron. may hate the truth, but the US desperately needs those corporations contributions to the economy. True, Nissan,Toyota and other foreign companies build plants in America and employ Americans. But, the profits are repatriated to Japan and reinvested in the Japanese economy. US corporations contribute to the US economy in many diverse ways. It's too simplistic to just look at just taxes. (Taxes are only a small part of corporate contributions). The USA is a large powerful nation, its economy demands a strong, powerful, wealth generating, vibrant Corporate Sector. What will Aaron do when that is destroyed? Will he dance with joy around the campfire of US rivals? Or will they treat him with contempt, for being either a naive fool or treacherous turncoat? Such is the fate of all collaborators! Aaron Swartz and his fellow anti-big business fellow travellers, are just like the old self-sufficiency movement, as relevant as Don Quiote, not bad or evil, just living in fantasy! While Americans squabble and revile each other, the US grows weaker. The US should look at the UK, and witness what happens when the citizens give up and accept being second rate. The only reason the UK is not hopelessly bankrupt was the Thatcher/Major decision not to join the Euro. IMHO the US is suffering from a lack of inspirational leadership, (the Democrats may not be as rabid as the GOP incumbents, but hardly inspirational) is the derision and abuse political candidates must endure to get elected. From the media's obsession with candidates private lives to abuse from ranting ignoramuses, who in their right mind would seek office?!
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Who outsourced all of our jobs? Small businesses or Large Businesses? Which one produces obscenely wealthy overcompensated billionaires that dont pay their fair share of personal income tax, small business or big businesses? Your right about me in some ways. I have a real problem with viral disgusting companies like walmart, who put more people out of work than they employ. If you actually took some time to learn something, you would see that the middle class has been shrinking in the US every year for many decades as income inequality increases. You think this big banks, big oil companies and big agrochemical companies want to share the profit by creating a larger middle class? I am totally oppossed to more more government. Our government has failed miserably in almost every possible way. It prevents the private sector from thriving by imposes taxes and absurd amounts of red tape to industry that makes it impossible produce anything in the US with a reasonable profit margin. I want smaller smarter government that makes laws designed to encourage a truly free market, fair competition, innovation and technological progress. It is because of huge sleazy companies, the ones that can afford to lobby for their special interests, that America has degenerated into a bribeocracy/ oligarchy/ plutocracy. The social science statistics in income inequality changes over the last 70 years in America paint a very interesting story about how huge corporations like Enron, Worldcom, Comcast, Exon, Monsanto, Walmat- have effectively been running sector monopolies that funnel billions of $ in the hands of a tiny minority. GM made some really forward thinking choices didn't they..... I am not bashing the new GM, I am talking about the old GM... the one that made ignorant short sighted greedy choices designed to maximize short term profit that drove GM bankrupt. Facts are hard to swallow sometimes. The new GM is focused on producing quality high technology vehicles that balance cost with the environmental, public healthy and economic implications that foreign oil have on America's future. I never said I disliked all large businesses. Infact, I have been a long time supporter, philosophically and financially of Intel, AMD, Proctor and Gamble, ect. ect. You can bash me with inaccurate assumptions and statements all you want, but my record is perfectly clear. I am sick and tired of the status quo give the money to the billionairs so they can hord and squander it. What I want is a thriving economy with competition, not more price fixing, small business destroying walmart virus. I like any business that treats its customers, employees, shareholders and interested parties fairly and honestly. I like business that are forward thinking, innovative, creative, adapted and interesting. You seem think I am the only one who cares about increasing fuel economy standards?
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Explain why the financially broken us government should give the oil companies anything Marco? Did not microsoft, amazon, apple, yahoo, boeing and comcast create jobs? You think the oil companies are the only companies that employ Americans? And you say I live in a fantasy?
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Hate the truth? That the automakers have been able to build safe, practical, affordable vehicles that get 50MPG since the early 1970's using off the shelf technology? You sound like a luddite. If you dont like technology progress and innovation, then what do you like? You want another rerun 20MPG vehicle? You like to waste foreign oil, creating smog and emissions that cause billions in avoidable sickness and health care costs? You think the GOP doesn't have special interests from big oil bribing them into being puppets of those who gave them the bribes? You think that there is something wrong with high technology vehicles with advanced drivetrains, better aerodynamics, cleaner emissions, better passenger safety and sustainable materials ? You think 20MPG in 2011 is acceptable? Tell us more?
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Sorry, (no edit) "not impossible" should read "not possible"
          Aaron Schwarz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          my last name is Schwarz not Swartz! The german word for black. If your going to insult my name, at least spell it correctly... reminds me of "I can see russia in my backyard".....
      Yespage
      • 3 Years Ago
      For goodness sake. Obama announces a rather unexciting increase for mileage and now these Republicans are using their minority power, again, to be the majority rule. The absurd just continues to occur.
      MarcCBR
      • 3 Years Ago
      Aren’t Conservative Republicans supposed to be antigovernment involvement in private business and Issa keeps asking about Fords advertisement practices what’s next is he going to want to know why they changed a knob. If anyone needs to be investigated it should be him for his involvement with Aptera.
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MarcCBR
        He wants that money for Aptera because it's in his district. Remember the Republican funding rule - money for Someone Else's district is a boondoggle and wasteful spending that must be cut, but money for My District is merely returning taxpayer funds to the taxpayers!
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Aaron Schwarz Es tut mir leid! I do apologise for the misspelling, it seems spell-check must have something against coupling Aaron with Schwarz. (insists on adding a T). It's a little difficult to reply to so many posts! However, I hope I am correct with my interpretation of your points. AS: Why should government give oil companies anything? MP: They shouldn't and don't! (Outside of normal business tax deductions). But nor should they be demonized or penalised for the risk associated with producing products essential to everyone. AS: automakers could build safe, practical, 50MPG,affordable vehicles since 1970 with off the shelf technology? MS: Evidence? (Oh yeah, the Trabant!) A silly conspiracy theory, as valid as "100mpg carburettors" AS:Other Companies create employment. MS; True, but not on the scale of Oil to the economy. AS; Luddite,create smog and emissions, etc .. MS: Considering my 20 year passion for EV's (including building a 460 vehicle EV rental business ) and my personal transport for the last 9 years is EV, I think Luddite may be a little harsh? Oh, I also sponsor a pending Legal challenge to the planet's greatest polluter, Marine grade No. 6 Bunker Oil. In addition I co-sponsor an alternate energy R&D scholarship for rural students specialising the application of alternate energy for rural communities or agricultural machinery.. Any other questions ? AS: big banks, big oil companies and big agrochemical companies don't want to share profits by creating a larger middle class. MS: Nearly all large corporations are owned by middle class shareholders. The biggest institutional investors are Insurance/retirement funds. Without the large corporations, there would be no middle class. After that, you seem to have abandoned questions in favour of a confusing tirade about bad big business, sleazy politicians, etc, which I hope I correctly summarise as: AS: Unethical Corporate practises are bad and governments should regulate more diligently to ensure fair competition and good practise. (there was more about sleazy republicans,etc.. but I think I got the gist of your diatribe) . MP: Absolutely! The corporate world Relies on clear and constructive regulations to ensure Corporations are good citizens. But, there is a world outside the US! Most large corporations are multi-national. Many corporations are partly or fully owned by national governments(or at least supported). This creates an unfair international playing field. The US is suffering because no one else plays by the same rules! The PRC doesn't think we're are good friends, nobly helping them out! They think we've grown weak and stupid, the 'Bosses in Beijing' sneer, and continue to break all the rules. You talk about Microsoft? The PRC not only steals mirco-soft IP inside the PRC, but brazenly exports counterfeit Microsoft copies to the world, including the USA! .
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        http://www.mpgomatic.com/2007/10/08/super-cheap-high-mpg-cars-1978-1981/ That web site has the information about the fuel economy of some high MPG vehicles from 1978-1981. Misguided engineering. To quote one of GM's head engineers "Consumers have distorted idea of what they need from a vehicle, this has forced us and other automakers into increasing the size and power output of vehicle after every model revision, in general if you look at any given make or model of a vehicle and take a look at their size and mass change over the last 30 years, they have all become a lot larger and heavier and more powerful: the progress we made in engineering was wasted making the vehicles larger and more powerful to maintain performance dynamics consumers expect, whilst fuel economy stagnated around 20MPG during this interval". In the US, the federal government has paid US$74 billion for energy subsidies to support R&D for nuclear power ($50 billion) and fossil fuels ($24 billion) from 1973 to 2003. During this same timeframe, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency received a total of US$26 billion. Tax break or hand out, the net impact on the federal budget (almost 15trillion in the red) is the same. I am glad to hear that you vote for EV's in a variety of different contexts, and that you help the poorest of people, and that you combat marine pollution actively, and that you support renewable energy education outreach programs! That is very nice of you to invest so heavily into progressive systems like that for the benefit of others and the future. Walmart is the largest employer of us citizens in the US private sector! You claim that the middle class owns the majority of the shares in the largest private companies in the US. I almost starting cracking up when I read this one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States News flash marco, while you were busy building your business and doing the other things you were doing, I was off in college for almost a decade until recently studying the facts about income distribution, pollution, trade, public policy, chemistry, ect. If you are saying the income inequality is decreasing in the USA then you show me the facts. The encyclopedia is perfectly clear about this one! Yes, I believe that Unethical Corporate practises are bad for everything and governments should regulate more diligently to ensure fair competition and good practices for the benefit of the people they are elected to serve!!!!! I am not speaking about other countries! I am talking about the USA. I can make huge generalizations about what is happening in other countries. The fact that these companies I dislike operate as multionationals is only further evidence that the shift around like sleazy evil slugs to avoid regulations. A lot of manufacturing left the US because OSHA wanted safe working conditions, so they outsource to a country without worker safety regulations!
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        And while I find the would outside the US interesting, I live, eat, breath and work here in the US. I am concerned about the downward trajectory of this nation. I am concerned that vain, short sighted ignorance, greed and apathy have overcome this nation: I see people living in fear of the government, afraid to speak out and It makes me wonder. I go out and see all of the obesity, inefficient vehicles, smog, traffic congestion, vanity, excessive materialism... where people pay rent to store stuff they never use in storage bins..... where walmart has extinguished the operation of thousands of small business and consolidated it into a trashy mega consumption dump full of walmartians and other normal people trying to get the best price on the things they buy. Consumers voted for walmart because walmart was able to manipulate pricing with their vendors to undercut everyone else... effectively moving to create a retail monopoly. I dont like monopolies for a lot of reasons. With comcast for example, their monopoly keeps the price of slow broadband artificially high. With the BIG 4 cell phone companies, their monopoly forces people into getting data plans they don't need or want, which cost hundreds of dollars extra every year. Speaking of industry price fixing, the petroleum industry more than any other group engages in wildly absurd price fixing schemes. The US economy is suffering for a lot of reasons. In one generation we let education slide; producing tens of millions of misinformed, uneducated, unfit, unhealthy people who make choices without information. I feet bad for these people. They listen to FOX and think that doing so will give them a good idea of whats going on. They believe that everything is Obama's fault because some goofy toolbag gop bung plug like Sarah Palin said so. She should just stick to helicopter assassinating wild animals up there in Alaska since that is what she is good at! Yea, your completely right about China, they want the US to fail. I have a book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann, that speaks directly to this issue. The government leadership, the inside big 9 in China, they plan to crush America economically. Just as our light is dimming, China's light is coming online. They have spent centuries in the dark behind the rest of the world, but the table has turned. http://www.ted.com/talks/niall_ferguson_the_6_killer_apps_of_prosperity.html He talks about the great diversion: how the west prospered while the east stagnated. The tables are turning however. The piracy that microsoft has to deal with is really sick too. Companies that pirate are exactly the kind of institutions I dislike. Rather than competing fairly, they cheat, and steal, ripoff and defraud. To week to compete and to greedy to innovate, these unethical companies are just like a virus, and need to be treated accordingly!
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Aaron, how about this,. from your gloating of the demise of the USA. :IE: [quote]inside big 9 in China, they plan to crush America economically. Just as our light is dimming, China's light is coming online. They have spent centuries in the dark behind the rest of the world, but the table has turned.How the west prospered while the east stagnated. The tables are turning.[/quote] I would suggest you buy a course in learning to speak Mandarin. Y'know with your hatred of America, you may find somewhere in the PRC that will take a turncoat appeaser. Me, I'll stay faithful to the old ensigns.
      james
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm gobsmacked. I've really never seen such an unapologetic group of ignorant people in the House of Representatives. They have gone out of their way to be even more reactionary and beholden to industry than even Newt's congress, back in the days when John Boehner was handing out tobacco lobby checks on the House floor. They largely reject science, they almost universally and wholeheartedly embrace primitive religion, and they don't give a damn about the environment, even the one they have to live in. I live in a metro area with horrible pollution, and I don't want people to drill, baby, drill, I want them to give me better public transportation and more electric cars (or hydrogen cars, or any kind of car that doesn't leave a yellow haze over my city). I feel like I live in bizarro world, where everything is opposite.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @james
        Was Reagan this bad? I just learned that during the Nixon administration, he too Shut down the SEC, and allowed Business Fraud [ Wall Street Fraud ] to run rampant. Nixon's SEC actually put in jail a whistle blower who revealed Corporate Fraud.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Republicans: All Progress Must be Stopped!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Strange, I thought all of the automakers had already agreed to this as being no problem?
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 3 Years Ago
      54.5MPG's is weak. Aging fleets of Prii get 46MPG's, with all of their hatchback utility and hefty steel mass and airbags ect. If GM can build a car in 1992 that gets 80MPG's using off the shelf technology, then absolutely no excuse for this garbage 20MPG crap the auto industry has been giving consumers year after year after year after year... For the sake of our economy, the health of our people and the integrity of the environment from which our food comes.... please wake up and raise the CAFE standards to match what industry is able to do feasibly with technology the have had since the 1970's. Idel stop is not exactly hard to do. Putting an aerodynamic underpanel to reduce drag is not rocket science either. Low rolling resistance tires are not exactly rare either. Switching from incandescent to LED is not confusing or costly. CVTs and 7spd transmissions are not new either! Aluminum does not cost that much more than steel, and you require much less of it for the same size, strength and shape! Iron is old news, drop it, it rusts and fails and weighs way too much. Hybrid drive trains have been on rail trains since the 1960's. The automakers acts as if there has been 0 progress with battery technology over the last 50 years; fail! Wrong! Time to move forward. 20MPG is embarrassingly inefficient if 70% of the fuels energy is being wasted in an inefficient antiquated ICE! Speaking of which, there is not shortage of cost friendly engine technology readily available to boost the thermodynamic efficiency of engines. Polishing the bearings alone can boost the efficiency by a few %. Direct injection. Turbo-Charging, HCCI, ect ect ect.... more holes in the injectors, better piston geometry, better combustion chamber geometry, intercooling, ect ect ect. All things thing that have been around long before I was born, and they keep churning out the same trash year after year............. sad. It absolutely sad. We could have been at 50MPG CAFE, 15 years ago!
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