Common Sense In The Automotive Industry

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about the Trump administration’s decision regarding CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. The administration is freezing current gas mileage requirements rather than instituting the drastic standards put in place just before President Obama left office. Regulators required that automakers achieve an average 54.5 mpg by 2025, but they relaxed that target to between 50.8 mpg and 52.6 mpg last year. The argument against the draconian standards was that they would increase the price of a car by almost $2000 and create unemployment in the auto industry. The harsh standards would also make our roads less safe.

The Washington Times reports:

A draft of a regulation prepared this summer would freeze an Obama-era program that was intended to improve fuel efficiency and cut pollution.

In excerpts obtained by The Associated Press, the administration argues that heavier vehicles are safer than lighter ones and that people would drive more — and be exposed to increased risk — if their cars get better mileage.

Until we can come up with a material to make cars that is light, strong, and inexpensive, heavier vehicles are safer. American roads have many semi-trailers and trucks on them. A lightweight vehicle does not have a chance of survival in a crash with a heavier vehicle. Fuel economy is a good thing, but the safety of Americans is also very important.

Bringing An Out-Of-Control Agency Under Control

On April  5, Steve Forbes posted an article at Investor’s Business Daily. The article deals with the changes being made at the Environmental Protection Agency under the leadership of Scott Pruitt.

The article states:

It should come as no surprise how the man who is boldly redirecting the EPA — a once rogue agency that operated far beyond its constitutional authority — is now the subject of routine attacks from liberal news outlets and activists who want him fired. Scott Pruitt has taken his job as EPA Administrator seriously and has done more to reinstate the EPA’s true, core mission than any of his modern-day predecessors.

Pruitt’s sharp focus is correct — to restore contaminated lands, safeguard our nation’s air and water, and do so by respecting real science rather than the ideologically driven fake science of his predecessors. He is demonstrating that we can both have a cleaner environment and greater economic growth and job creation. Contrary to the extreme environmentalist, prosperity and a safer environment can go hand-in-hand.

As Scott Pruitt observes, our nation can be, “pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment.”

That is a statement of a concept that has been lost by the environmental movement in recent years.

The article concludes with the accomplishments of the EPA under Scott Pruitt’s leadership:

And the notion that enforcement under Scott Pruitt’s EPA is lacking is just plain wrong. In fiscal 2017, EPA collected $1.6 billion in administrative and civil judicial penalties. That figure is higher than any of the previous ten years of EPA enforcement operations, excluding fiscal 2016.

President Trump and Administrator Pruitt rightfully believe we can protect our environment without saddling American factories, manufacturing plants and energy operations with billions in unneeded regulatory costs while offering no way to measure any improvement to the environment or our quality of life.

By halting burdensome, often duplicative regulations, Pruitt’s EPA can focus on measurable environmental protection, guided by peer-reviewed science without hurting consumers or Americans looking for skilled jobs in the energy or manufacturing sectors.

Perhaps the most important change of all, Pruitt’s EPA is now operating under the proper rule of law and staying true to its mandate and defined authority by respecting facts rather than ideological fiction. The days of a rogue, agenda driven EPA are over. Pruitt is the right man for the job and it’s no wonder the radical left is screaming for his ouster.

Hopefully Mr. Pruitt will be able to stand firm and remain to complete the job he has begun.

Lied To Again

The Daily Signal is reporting that thanks to more government regulations (courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency) a new car will cost you at least $3.800 more (even after fuel economy is considered).

The article reports:

When Congress and the Obama administration passed and implemented extremely strict fuel economy regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that it would save consumers a few thousand dollars on gas and only add $948 to the price of a new car.

Three teams of independent economists and engineers went up against the EPA’s analysts—finding much larger costs and smaller benefits. The most modest of the independent estimates works out to $3,800 per vehicle, even after the fuel savings are taken into account.

The chart below is included in the article:

CarPricesBig government and government regulations impact all of us.

The article concludes:

In a recently released Heritage Foundation research paper, we’ve compared the recent price trends to the scholarly predictions, and found that if U.S. vehicle prices had followed one of the comparable trends, cars would be between $3,975 and $7,140 cheaper today than they are. This massive expense buys very little change in global warming: less than two hundredths of a degree according to the Obama administration’s own estimate.

Congress should scrap Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards entirely—they cost consumers dearly while having a negligible impact on carbon emissions. Failing that, a new administration can freeze the standards at 2016 levels to prevent the Corporate Average Fuel Economy tax from doubling by 2025, as the Obama administration has planned.

It is time to get back to the concept of laws made by Congress outlined in our Constitution, so that we can hold our lawmakers accountable. The EPA and similar organizations have become the fourth branch of government, and they need to be put out of business.

I Had No Idea Why My Dishwasher Took So Long

My house was built in approximately 2013. Because of when it was built, it has relatively new appliances. I wondered what was going on the first time the dishwasher took more than two hours, but now I know.

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday about how government regulations impact home appliances.

Some of the examples given:

Exhibit A: A federal rule to cut energy use of microwave ovens when they are off (this is not a joke). To reduce energy use by two watts per oven (also not a joke) the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office pushed manufacturers to adopt a technology that caused the ovens to fail 50 percent of the time in the Department of Energy’s own tests.

Exhibit B: Dishwashers with interminable cycle times. To save eight cents of hot water, federal mandates led to wash cycles taking much longer to complete. Two- and three-hour cycles, virtually unheard of 20 years ago, are commonplace today.

My washing machine also takes twice as long as my old clunker used to take.

The article concludes:

The bureaucrats-know-better-than-consumers mindset is especially nonsensical when it is applied to businesses that relentlessly monitor energy use. Such is the case with the trucking industry, which employs GPS and a host of driver and truck monitoring technologies to shave fuel use to the minimum. A 10th of a mile per gallon is a big deal. Operators do not need federal mandates to spur cost cuts.

That isn’t stopping the federal government from pushing costly new efficiency rules on the trucking industry. Regulatory proponents, of course, claim it won’t cost a thing. The director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies said, “The beauty of the proposal is that the cost of the necessary improvements will be paid for by the savings associated with the increased fuel efficiency.” This association of regulators either believes in free lunches or stupid executives.

What regulation mongers don’t seem to believe is that consumers and businesses can be trusted to make intelligent decisions. Maybe we need an Independence Day from busybodies.

It would be nice if the government would let the free market determine these things. I suspect we would not only have more efficient appliances, we would have appliances that performed their tasks quickly and efficiently.