So before we get into having stricter fuel economy standards that will save Americans as much as $1.7 trillion at the pump, let's spend some more money studying the issue a little more, shall we?

Last week, the always-fiscal-minded U.S. House of Representatives passed an energy bill. It mandates that the Obama Administration conduct more studies on how the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) that is set to take effect in 2017 will impact the U.S. economy, according to the Detroit News. Specifically, the amendment, which passed by an almost 3-to-2 margin, requires that the administration look into how many jobs will be lost because of the new standards (assuming more auto sales go offshore) and how many more people will be killed (assuming fatalities go up) from driving lighter, theoretically more dangerous, cars.

And, in case anyone was wondering, the amendment was written by Mike Kelly (R-PA), who is also (wait for it) a car dealer.

The stricter CAFE standards for 2017-25, which were first proposed in July 2011, were made official late last month. The regulations require the U.S. light-duty vehicles reach a 54.5 mile per gallon CAFE standard (which is equal to about 40 mpg in real-world figures) by 2017. These standards could cost the U.S. economy about $200 billion in higher vehicle costs but save Americans as much as $1.7 trillion in lower refueling costs.

Next up: we expect a study to estimate how much all the studies spurred by the new fuel economy standards will cost. Here's betting that it's a tidy sum.


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  • 33 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Go back to SUVs, people! uncle sam needs more support for the oil wars!
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        LOL in 100 years time when their no oil left to fight over, there will still be wars, they used to happen before the internal combustion engine was invented. I don't just watch Jerry Springer punch-ups shows to see what happening to keep me informed of whats going on in American culture, l like watching those old John Wayne cowboy & indians movies where they enjoyed a good punch-up but they never managed to ban the horse & cart that got used in wars over land.
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      One thing people miss is that while more fuel efficient cars means less use of oil at the pump, it also means less taxes collected at the pump. The less oil consumed, the less taxes taken in. Those taxes are targeted for infrastructure upkeep. I am not a fan of CAFE regulations. I think it drives up the cost of vehicles too much. I prefer to attack it at the pump and raise taxes on gasoline. Make people that want to either a) travel a lot, or b) buy gas guzzlers, pay more. We've seen what happens when the cost of gas goes up. People flock to fuel efficient cars. So instead of setting higher CAFE standards they should set higher tax rates that gradually go up over the next 10 years. Then people would start shopping for more fuel efficient vehicles. Manufacturers would automatically build more fuel efficient cars to win business. But they wouldn't be penalized if customers still wanted to buy a thirsty truck.
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        We have seen what happens if there are no CAFE regulations. You get the boats and the SUVs. We should have 100mpg cars easily by now with no new technological advances, but nope. I wonder how much the oil companies have contributed in cash to the congressmen and their campaigns and super-pacs to get that energy bill...
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Raising the gas tax or implementing a carbon tax is not now, nor in the near future, something ANY politician wants. I don't disagree with you, but it really just isn't feasible. It's like saying that we could drastically increase US manufacturing if we paid 15% more for a pair of shoes or a toaster. Nobody is willing to give that low cost up. Shame - but people are idiots.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Raising the gas tax or implementing a carbon tax is not now, nor in the near future, something ANY politician wants. I don't disagree with you, but it really just isn't feasible. It's like saying that we could drastically increase US manufacturing if we paid 15% more for a pair of shoes or a toaster. Nobody is willing to give that low cost up. Shame - but people are idiots.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        "raise taxes on gasoline" That's instant political suicide and thus will never happen. CAFE and subsides are the only viable way to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on oil.
      GoodCheer
      • 2 Years Ago
      So if we spend $1,700,000,000.00 less on gasoline, then we'll spend just about exactly that much more on other things, at least that's the fundamental principle of economic efficiency. So the question is; will there be more american jobs supported by those other things, or by the exploration, extraction, refining, and delivery of gasoline?
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer
        LOL the US Government will tax those savings back out of the motorist, with fiscal cliff big job losses, and all that phoney Fiat money thats being printed to buy a phoney short term artificial boom now, will have to be paid back in the future.
          GoodCheer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rick
          Rick; That may or may not be so, but it being so does not seem to me to have anything to do with whether that money is spent on gasoline or on other things.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      "the always-fiscal-minded U.S. House of Representatives" That's the funniest mistatement of fact I have seen in a while. Hey, let's cut taxes for the rich and spend more on the defense budget, because, that's really fiscally responsible. Look, I expect Fox to say this crap, but why is everyone else still referring to the House as fiscally responsible. It must be a stupidity test or something. If your dumb enough to believe that, then you have the perfect intelligence level to make a good serf. These people need to be identified so we can get the good followers into the factories, and everyone who doesn't buy it will be labeled as difficult personalities.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      FWD GM, FWD Ford FWD Peugeot, FWD Fiat woes in Europe cannot make a profit out of selling these small cars, come 2017 it will have to be EPA/GMs business plan. Bloomberg... General Motors Co. (GM) said Europe’s car industry will remain unprofitable at current vehicle pricing levels, while Volkswagen AG said some competitors are at risk of going out of business without state aid. GM, the Detroit-based owner of the Opel and Vauxhall brands in Europe, has racked up $16.8 billion in losses in the region since 1999. The business posted a first-half loss before interest and taxes of $617 million, and wrote down $590 million of goodwill. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. (F) is projecting a loss of more than $1 billion in Europe this year. Fiat, forecasting a loss of about 700 million euros ($900 million) in the region for 2012, isn’t introducing any new models at the Paris event, Europe’s biggest showcase for carmakers this year. Peugeot, Europe’s biggest carmaker after VW, has been burning through 200 million euros in cash a month as the market contracts, a figure that Chief Executive Officer Philippe Varin said today may fall by 50 percent in 2013. Paris-based Peugeot plans to cut jobs and close an auto plant, amid resistance from the French government, and has been selling assets to cut debt. “It is unclear if all carmakers will survive without governmental help,” VW Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch told reporters yesterday. “Especially carmakers in southern Europe that produce small cars will be affected.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/vw-says-some-carmakers-may-go-bankrupt-without-assistance.html RWD profits continue to surge unabated. Bloomberg With the completion of its purchase of Porsche in August, VW controls an unrivaled slate of high-margin luxury nameplates including Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. If Porsche profit, which started flowing into VW’s books this quarter, had been included in the first half, luxury brands would have accounted for 54 percent of VW’s earnings, up from 39 percent. With the addition of high-margin cars such as Porsche’s 911 and Cayenne sport-utility vehicle, the luxury group’s profit margins should rise to nearly 13 percent, from 11.4 percent in the first half. That compares with a margin of 4.2 percent for the mass-market VW, Skoda and Seat brands. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-23/porsche-profit-to-power-vw-from-people-s-car-to-luxury Can we have just one high profit yielding fun to drive RWD Drivers car with superb handling similar to a 145 MPH BMW 3 Series 320D Efficient Dynamics Diesel that return up to 80 MPG in Europe from GM or Ford, l would by one in an instant right now, instead l am locked out of your all FWD huge loss generating making car showrooms in Europe.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Safety wise all cars including Volt - Leaf - Tesla will all be fitted with crash avoidance systems like the TCAS system fitted to civil aircraft, Airbus next generation of aircraft are looking to being catapulted of of short runways like gliders will climb up at very steep angles to conserve fuel, and will fly/glide together in formation like geese to cutdown on drag to conserve fuel, they are also looking at computer controlled steeper approaches on landing where they will land like gliders burning no fuel http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/913062-smarter-skies-project-offers-a-vision-of-air-travel-in-2050 Cars will follow suit they will conserve fuel by computers allowing cars to drive close to each other like the peloton in cycling to cut down on drag.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just for you 2 Wheeled Menace one of my favourite old Tamla Motown classics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX7V6FAoTLc
      Eideard
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congress and the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican should be required to spend their next vacation at an honest job.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eideard
        They are still called 'republican' last I checked. They have 'R's after their names...
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      'So the US had 10.6 deaths per 100,000 people, and 5,701 vehicle miles travelled per person per year; that's 570.1 million miles per 100K people, and 0.0186 deaths per million miles travelled. In the UK, there are 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people, and 3,967 vehicle miles travelled per person per year; that's 396.7 million miles per 100K people, and 0.0078 deaths per million miles travelled. In other words, the US road system is a little over twice as dangerous to its' users on a per-mile basis. There are probably a large number of reasons. Some of them include: - Drunk driving deaths are much lower in the UK, probably due to a mix of factors from societal pressure to land use (there are more 'local pubs' within walking distance of homes). - Larger, heavier vehicles that have more inertia and force. - Difference in training and licensing; the UK test has a pass rate of 43%, while some California DMVs have pass rates ranging from 61% to 83%. - Difference in health care system; many collisions are not immediately fatal, and the health care response has an effect in the road death rate. One particular issue is that the US has the kind of totally rural areas (much of the Southwest and Plains) that the UK doesn't. If you're involved in a collision in the least accessible area in the UK, you're probably not nearly as far from a hospital capable of handling a trauma victim as compared with West Texas. - Difference in societal attitudes; not having a car is much more acceptable and practical in the UK, and many people who might otherwise be marginal drivers may choose to not drive. http://ask.metafilter.com/202150/American-Roads-are-more-dangerous-that-British-Roads Note that one of the factors noted as increasing deaths is specifically heavier vehicles causing more damage.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM Europe have such a business model in place now in Europe, expensive German labour costs building low profit FWD ecnoboxes fleet dumped in Avis/Hertz fleet rentals in big batches at a big loss. That Average Joes can no longer afford to buy new, so they buy boring dull Avis/Hertz fleet rental second hand cast offs they don't want instead. Most of GM cars are already CAFE rule compliant in Europe, GM have lost $16,000,000,000 in last decade in making low profit yielding FWD cars, hope the US taxpayer had a nice deep pocket to pay for it all. Big thank you to the US taxpayer for bailing out GM's FWD $16,000,000,000 losses in Europe, we will look forward to receiving another $16,000,000,000 of US taxpayers money in the next decade as nothing much has changed in Europe we have the same cars the ole $h!t. Buying more fuel efficient cars has not made us better off in Europe, any savings made are soon taxed back out of us so the Government gets to keep the profits with higher and higher taxes imposed on cars owner, so much so those on low incomes have been forced out of owning a car. Small fuel efficient cars are hard impossible to make a profit on, can see Detroit car production migrating to China as they fail to make a profit on them, only high profit yield RWD car companies like BMW, Mercedes Jaguar etc will remain in Europe, and high profit yielding trucks & muscle cars like the F-Series & Stangs will remain Stateside as profits head south, but even the big trucks the big US profit generators will be hit high prices in future, so the pressure to follow to Apple, Dell & HPs of this world into China will be great.
        kEiThZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Profits determined by FWD vs. RWD? Seriously? Lay off the sauce.
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Last I checked the Prius was a serious money maker for Toyota. And vehicles like the A3 TDI and Lexus CT200h show you can have an upscale efficient car that is priced accordingly. Even the dumb as hell Yukon Hybrid sold like hotcakes for a premium over the regular model. I fail to see any evidence of anything you said. Besides that, maybe people will just have to deal with spending more money on a car and less on a 4000 sq ft house and their cable/phone/Internet bill. Shocking, I know. I'm sure it goes against your ideas of freedom too.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      $10 a gallon gas, big US 3 profits will nosedive put them into Chapter 11 instantly, if the Pick-ups can't run on that gas. Via Motors Chevy Silverado E-REV 100 MPG/40 miles on electric coming out next year might just offer some hope, as you won't make much money on small FWD cars. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5STy6HRZEQ 1. RWD Ford F-series 1996-2008 - EBIT $50bn 2. RWD Silverado Pick-ups - EBIT $40bn 3. RWD Dodge Ram - EBIT $18bn 4. RWD Mercedes S Class - EBIT $18bn 5. RWD BMW 5-series (E39/E90) and X5 - EBIT US$24bn 6. RWD BMW 3-series (E36/E46/E90) - EBIT US$17bn 7. RWD Mercedes E-Class W210 - US$13bn. 8. RWD Lexus - EBIT US$12bn 9. FWD Honda Accord (1997-2010) EBIT - US$11bn. 10. AWD Jeep Grand Cherokee c.US$7bn. http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/autos/1111/gallery.most_profitable_cars/index.html
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        -2 and no commentary on why you are wrong....
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      p.s. small cars are safer than they have ever been. The more that there are on the road, the less likely you are to crash into a larger car. That's a good thing.
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        There won't be crashes between big cars and small trucks in the future, you name any two civil aircraft both fitted with TCAS that have crashed into each other in the sky, the answer is none there has not been one, but you still find accidents where they are towed on the ground clip each other funny enough. Simular systems will be fitted to all cars and trucks in the future there won't be and crashes so the little cars will be safe as a big truck. If it was fitted to motor cycles it would end those nasty accidents where the sweet little ole lady in Mini pull out in front of the motor cycle, the two computers will talk to each other and cut gas on the offending vehicle knowing the Mini should be making the manoeuvre probably with an aural alert warning her and the biker. Maybe they should start to create more safer segregated roads for cycling on that keep cars and bikes apart, that would help a lot, better for the environment better, better for the nations health. Cyclists use the cleanest for of transport. Big brother will own cars in the future, and probably legislate against bringing cars into big cities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbyZVwycfpA
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