Archive for Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fuel standards

June 26, 2007

Advertisement

To the editor:

Our new Democratic Congress is voting on new standards to require auto manufacturers to meet average fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon. This includes cars, trucks and SUVs. They have attempted to raise oil taxes and use the money to promote renewable fuels and clean energy programs. This all while Democrats continue to block Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling.

As expected, this is the initial result of the Al Gore-induced hysteria about global warming that Democrats are eager to use to control how we live our lives. Will the Democratic lawmakers pushing these new standards drive what we are forced to drive? Will they park their jets? I doubt it.

Tom Shewmon,

Linwood

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 9 months ago

Oh the horror. Politicians finally begin to understand that it is idiotic that a car that weighs half as much as an older car, with better efficiency, only gets 2mpg more. They are somehow "evil" for wanting to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and want to actually reduce pollution? What? You like chewing on your air? Whether or not you want to accept Global Warming does not change the fact that pollution is bad.

It's not pollution that is the problem. It's the impurities in the air and water that are the problem. ~ Dan Quayle

acg 7 years, 9 months ago

Oh, come one ragingbear, this guy doesn't have to worry about it. After all, the earth is going to self destruct long after he's dead so why should he care, right? I mean, it's only his kids, grandkids and great grandkids we're talking about. Why should this waste of space lose any sleep about it?

Mackadoo 7 years, 9 months ago

"Will the Democratic lawmakers pushing these new standards drive what we are forced to drive?"

Hey Tom, maybe you should actually try out a fuel-efficient car before you judge it. I'll let you test drive my hybrid -- I got over 600 miles on my last 12 gallon tank of gas. I promise it's not the miserable experience the oil company execs have painted it to be.

Jaehde 7 years, 9 months ago

I laughed out loud as I listened to the announcement that mileage would be increased to 35 MPG by 2020. 2020??!! Baby steps! Yet, someone is opposed to this?! Different worlds, for sure. Please let's don't look for more oil, anywhere. My son is in Iraq, in the 130* desert, taking bottled water showers, our insatiable thirst for oil has something to do with that.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately, by the time they actually "require" the changes, and manage to get cars to 35 mpg by 2020, we'll probably need cars that get 45 mpg or more.

Why should it take thirteen years for a bunch of engineers to make the changes? Aren't they smart enough to know how to do it?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 9 months ago

They do it in other countries. They keep claiming that Americans only want to drive huge vehicles. People only drive these monstrosities, because the car companies market them so successfully.

sourpuss 7 years, 9 months ago

I think there should be special licensing for large trucks and all SUVs. That would cut down on the number of drivers of them right there. Then start slapping on luxury taxes for large SUVs (and gas sucking luxury sedans) over $30,000. The milage standards should be in place by 2010, not 2020, and if a manufacturer can't make that deadline, start fining them and putting a surtax on their gas-guzzlers. A surtax on any car not meeting the guidelines should also be put in place. Give people 10 years to replace their old cars and by 2020, start charging (exemptions to antiques that are driven less than 5000 miles a year).

You have to make the choice to buy a gas hog so expensive, many people will opt out of it, regardless of the "cool" factor. As well, it is no one's fault but Ford, GM and Chevy's that they did not invest in smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles before now. In an open, capitalist system, don't companies that make bad decisions and no plans for the future deserve to fail? I thought that is how the system worked. Let the companies go under. New companies will be started to fill the void.

Jaehde 7 years, 9 months ago

Has anyone seen, Who Killed the Electric Car? GM successfully marketed an elec. car in Ca. in the late '90's(?). It was so well done and in demand that they couldn't supply demand. The oil industry, car parts people, etc got the gov. to recall them. People who had them and wanted to keep them were not allowed to. All you had to do was plug them in at night. Wasn't GM recently asking for gov. help due to lagging sales? Insanity. Incidentally, my car already gets 30-35 MPG. It small but it's wonderful, except that it uses gasoline.

redneckwoman 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes I would love to go green but, if you want everyone to switch to hybrid then they need to drop the $$$$$$! Not everyone can afford one. One hybrid costs more than most make in one year(not to mention the cost of maintenance). Plus they're not big enough for my 6 member family. I drive a mini-van.

Mackadoo 7 years, 9 months ago

I bought my Honda Civic hybrid used and it was just the same cost as a regular Civic of the same year.

Priuses are dropping in price in KC due to the supply being so high now. High price is not an excuse anymore. Most new hybrids still qualify for the tax credit, some credits in the multiple $1,000's.

If you are in the market for a different car there is no reason not to look at hybrids.

And right_thinker, I don't see how Ford Escape hybrids are any more likely to "fold like a napkin in an accident" than their non-hybrid peers.

coneflower 7 years, 9 months ago

Gee, I was hoping that by 2020 we wouldn't be using gasoline in our cars at all.

redneckwoman 7 years, 9 months ago

$20,000-$30,000 is still too high. Can't do it!

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 9 months ago

Great web site ... on this subject.

http://www.fuh2.com

(By the way, the writer of this letter is selfish, moronic shill for al Qaeda who must hate America and his own children).

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

First of all the LTE writer is a complete moron (probably another 10 year old). The 35mpg standards Congress is trying to pass is a joke, we need to have that standard by 2010 not 2020. We could all be driving cars that get Much higher than 35mpg Right Now, and they don't all have to hybrids or small cars.

Drilling in ANWR will not make one bit of difference in our oil supply crisis. The amount of oil up there is tiny compared to what we consume on a daily basis, all it will do is prolong our oil glutany a few more months, this is not a long term plan.

But the most important point I want to make is that we must demand higher fuel economy right now, and it has Nothing to do with Global Warming. It has everything to do with the crisis of Peak Oil which is happening at this present moment. If your not familiar with Hubbert's Theory then please do some research and educate yourself, Google is your friend.

This is not a crisis that will affect our children and grandchildren only, this will greatly affect Your Life, infact it already has. This country and much of the world is now entering most terrible energy crisis in history. The age of cheap oil and gas is over and it will never come again. We have crossed the half-way mark in global oil production and now the world's reserves are heading into a steap decline (along with natural gas). The problem is that our Demand is forever growing in the face of this dwindling supply, thus economic disaster is only a matter a matter of time.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

Affordable for whom, Ag?

I've never owned a new car in my entire life. I've never been able to afford one. And I never wanted car payments for years and years.

Doesn't matter to me if the price of hybrids comes down to $5,000. It's still too much for me. Might as well be a million dollars.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

Ferd: "Your first sentence discredited all that followed because you act like a 10-year-old child. Grow up."


Anyone who takes the time to complain about higher fuel standards and does not even research the amount of oil in ANWR before they speak is a moron is my book. Sorry if that hits too close to home for some. We are heading into a serious energy crisis and this guy is playing partisian poilitics about issues he does not understand. So I'll say it again, he is a moron. I don't have time to make everyone feel good about themselves. Deal with it.

Tychoman 7 years, 9 months ago

And why, RT, is it such a bad idea that people should want fuel-efficient cars anyway, whether global warming is real or not?

Tychoman 7 years, 9 months ago

Ferdinand, Clinton tried multiple times while in office to raise CAFE standards.

redneckwoman 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Agn & crazyks.

I'm all for fuel-efficiant cars, but I can only do what my pocketbook let's me do. The price tag of a hybrid may eventually go down but it still might not be low enough for my pocketbook. So in the meantime I have to get my 10 yrold minivan to last at least 14 more years (that's when the youngest goes off to college). And even then I'll have to just downsize to a "pre-owned" sedan that I can afford because we have 4 to put through college. I just can't afford a "must have" or "gotta keep up with the Jones" mentality. And I'm sure there're some in the same boat.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

And I'm still waiting for the price tag on those HDTVs to go down more, Ag, before I'm required to buy one (by FCC rules), or have to rent one of those damn boxes from the cable company.

$500 for a TV is still a LOT of money to me...and any of them that cost under that have such a small screen you'd need a magnifying glass to watch it.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

"I'm all for fuel-efficiant cars, but I can only do what my pocketbook let's me do"

I completely understand what you are saying redneckwoman. But keep in mind that in five years, not to mention ten years, having a fuel effeciant car is what will exclusively be Good for your pocketbook. Oil prices are not going to go back down, sure they will move from highs and lows, but the bottom end low will always be higher than the year before. The best thing you can do for your own financial situation is to begin to drive less and start to arrange more activities around not using your car. Cutting back on everyday gas usage might not raise your van's mpg, but it will save you money none the less.

zimmerman 7 years, 9 months ago

Whether you think Al Gore or Bill Clinton or Ronald Regan or George Bush is a bad politician (yes I would have to agree none of them live up to my standards), it really doesn't change the facts. Global Warming is happening. Most experts agree that it is happening, so we can either take believe them or shut our eyes to the problem.
The same goes for Peak Oil. It is definitely going to happen soon, if it hasn't happened already, and though it doesn't mean we'll run out of oil, it does mean that most of us won't be able to afford the comforts that come from cheap, abundant energy. 35mpg by 2020? Is this a joke? That's like telling someone with lung cancer that they need to cut down to smoking only 1 pack of cigarettes in the next 15 years.
The fact that some people are actually arguing over such a small step in the right direction does not give me a lot of hope for the future. Seriously though, if you don't believe in global warming because you don't like Al Gore, at least look up Peak Oil. This is going to be a serious problem and everyone should be educated about it.

Jaehde 7 years, 9 months ago

I realize everyone can't drive a small car because of family size. I have hauled five fifteen year old boys, but they were in closer contact than they really wanted to be. When I bought my small car, new,(first new one for me), the cost was about that of a larger used one. I dreaded changing ins., figured it would dramatically increase. Surprise! The ins was hundreds per year less. When I asked the ins person why, was told because it's a safer, better made car(than my former larger American made car). Perhaps if the elec car had been nurtured or encouraged or allowed, they would have by now evolved to larger size vehicles with smaller price tags. The fact is a lot of things don't get to happen because corporate is in charge of our world and they're the 'deciders', based on greed. I guess I understand oil is finite, but if the oil industry is in crises, why are the oil companies making record profits year after year? I used to fear driving a smaller car because of a possible accident, but in view of all the other crazy possibilities anymore, it doesn't worry me, besides, if it's my time it's my time, no matter what.

Jamesaust 7 years, 9 months ago

"...this is the initial result of the Al Gore-induced hysteria about global warming...."

Actually, it is the result of the reality about funding global oil producing extremists. Just how many soldiers died today so you can drive your Hummer? (Apparently, not enough - not only with the government not penalize you for endangering the nation's security, it'll even subsidize your purchase!) The Pentagon's budget is equal to the gross total of the next 25 largest countries - a significant portion of which is budgeted because of instability in most every oil exporting country outside of N. America.

There's not enough oil in Alaska to supply even a small portion of BOUNDLESS American demand. We'd save more oil from high standards for car tires than from unlimited Alaskan drilling.

The problems is not dependence on FOREIGN oil but dependence on oil PERIOD. Its a global commodity. It doesn't matter (much) whether it comes from Alaska, Canada, or Iran.

One wonders how meek and mild Saddam, the Saudis, the Iranians, the genocidal Sudanese, V. Putin, or H. Chavez would be in a world of $20/b oil instead of $70/b. (My guess is no one would care but they'd all be nobodies in that world. It should be our policy to move as quickly to that world as possible.)

packrat 7 years, 9 months ago

The government should be setting fuel standards at all. I agree with pollution standards but the market not the government should set fuel standards.

Smaller government and less interference is the true measure of conservatism.

kansas778 7 years, 9 months ago

And what's wrong with letting the market decide fuel standards? As oil prices go up, so will demand for fuel efficient cars; that's exactly what happened in the late 70s and early 80s. Get your government out of my decision making because contrary to your beliefs, you don't know what's best for everyone else.

redneckwoman 7 years, 9 months ago

I live way out in the country. I limit my driving to town once a week sometime once every two weeks. I do VERY little that allows me to leave my hill. If somebody has an appointment of some kind that I have to take them to then that is my one time in town for the week to do my grocery shop, etc. For the daily food like milk & bread my husband picks it up on his way home from work. I do my bday & holiday shopping through the internet because the shipping & handling is cheaper then gas. My friends & family wonder how I haven't lost my sanity because I'm so isolated on my hill. We can't pay $400 a month on a new car payment, not to mention the extra in fullcoverage insurance & taxes just to save what $200 a month in gas.

gogoplata 7 years, 9 months ago

Here is what I don't understand. My dad bought a diesel 1985 VW Golf in 1985. It got around 45 miles per gallon. That was over 20 years ago. Since that time we have had a lot of new technology and very few cars today do as well as that old 1985 VW. What gives?

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

"Seriously though, if you don't believe in global warming because you don't like Al Gore, at least look up Peak Oil. This is going to be a serious problem and everyone should be educated about it."

Thank You Zimmerman! It's like pulling teeth around here trying to get folks to stop the partisan bickering and focus on the important issues at hand.

bugmenot 7 years, 9 months ago

"Guess what folks? When Clinton and Gore left office in January 2001, the CAFE standards stood at 27.5 miles per gallon. They had eight years and didn't do a darn thing. "

That's because they're not in Congress, genius. That's Congress' arena; Clinton and Gore can't really do much about it without violating separation of powers.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

I hear you again redneckwoman, I lived out in the country for years and know exactly what you mean. It sounds to me like your taking the necessary steps to reduce your spending on oil and gas. If you have good land and you don't already grow your own food, that is the next step. With rising oil prices our food will get extremely expensive as it is mostly transported by truck over many miles.

bugmenot 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, and Bush has courageously stepped up to tell soccer moms to drop their expeditions and suburbans. This isn't as much about partisan BS (although Dems seem slightly more inclined to make CAFE standards an issue than Republicans) than it is a sad commentary on the innovative capabilities of American industry. Whether or not you agree we need higher MPG standards, they're likely coming. Foreign automakers know this and are creating newer, sleeker cars with better efficient engines. American car companies are lining Congress' pockets (Rep AND Dem) with money to slow the timetable. If they invested even a quarter of the money they spend to whine about higher efficiency standards on good engineers, they'd be keeping up. The market, sadly, is trending towards higher efficiency, and the American automakers will be left behind. Even if Congress does nothing about standards, this will be true because there's a finite amount of oil left in the earth and we're getting closer to exhausting this amount every day.

Jaehde 7 years, 9 months ago

Democrats? Republicans? Beyond some superficial things, I don't see much difference. They're both in bed with corporate. Corporate rules our world, period.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

There is no real difference between them Jaehde. But they really really want you to believe there is a difference.

bugmenot 7 years, 9 months ago

I think Jaehde has it exactly. It's not so much a Democrat or Republican issue. Both parties should be ashamed of letting industry (oil and auto) retard this process. Sadly, as oil supply dwindles, prices will go up, there will be more demand for gas-efficient vehicles, foreign carmakers will have the supply, and American carmakers won't. I'm sure, at that point, they'll seek some kind of a bailout from Congress, who will gladly give it because of the money they've gotten from Big Auto all these years. No matter that it was the American carmakers who shot themselves in the foot by resisting Congressional standards which would make them more competitive and continuing to resist innovating and favor producing cheap trucks with big markups (SUVs) because it was easier than being innovative.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

Actually, BushCo courageously invaded Iraq so their oil-pumping cronies could continue to sell fuel to those soccer moms completely unabated. Hasn't worked out, yet, given that very little oil is coming from Iraq right now, and not for the foreseeable future. But they now have the permanent bases in Iraq nearly complete, so that the permanent military presence there will prop up oil profits for generations to come (all courtesy of your tax dollars, which in a sane world would otherwise be funding alternative energy research and infrastructure development -- Kevin/Arminius/Ferdy is battling mightily to prevent that, and if he succeeds, he might just get that secret-decoder ring.)

zimmerman 7 years, 9 months ago

ferdinandlanghoff--- Of course no one "makes the argument" that they don't believe in global warming because they don't like Al Gore. No one would actually want to admit that. My point was that instead of an actual discussion of the facts on these issues, people try to discredit a whole load of scientific research by putting down someone who happens to be talking about the research. I guess all I was trying to say is that Al Gore and global warming are not one in the same.
When the Tom Shewmon writes "this is the initial result of the Al Gore-induced hysteria" he's implying that Al Gore is the reason anyone would care about global warming, and that a 35mpg fuel standard is a crazy knee jerk reaction to a movie.
It's along the same lines as the "liberal fad" argument, that tries to downplay any kind of public interest in education on important topics as being a trend that will pass before next year's spring fashion hits the shelves. Instead of talking about facts and their validity, we're talking about someone who's reading the facts and then how the public reacts to the facts. It's so unconstructive.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

While I agree with Ferd that Gore didn't "do anything" when he was in office (Vice President). We must remember that Repubs took over Congress in 94 and gridlocked Gov't on even lesser issues, so what can one expect?

Earth in the Balance is a great book by the way. I only wish Gore talked more like he did in his book on his campaign in 99.

Julia Rose-Weston 7 years, 9 months ago

Well, this is a "hot" set of comments! Against my better judgment, here's my comment. 3 years ago I bought a used diesel car. I get over 40 mpg, I fill my tank once a month. I look forward to biodiesel becoming available. Now, who did I set off with my comment?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

Have no fear Toyota and Honda have 50 mpg cars now. Toyota will have a 100 mpg car in the near future. So what is wrong with 50 mpg comfortable quiet cars?

It's not that the technology is not available to USA cars it's just USA auto executives are in bed with the oil executives. Instead of putting out fuel efficient autos they put out propaganda,fancy advertising and collect astonishing salaries with golden parachutes.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

I never said I didn't own a car, Ag, or that I don't drive...I certainly do. But I don't own a NEW car, never have, and probably never will.

My car is a 1989 model. I got it in 2001. And that is the "newest" car I have ever owned.

Because of my income, I'm forced to get by with the cheapest USED car I can afford, which is not necessarily going to be the most fuel efficient...and a lot of other people are in the same boat.

Although my car does really well, efficiency-wise. I only gas up every 2-3 weeks. (Keeping it tuned up and the oil changed regularly probably helps.) But then, I never go anywhere I don't absolutely have to, like to work and to get groceries.

But I will probably never be able to afford a new car, and certainly not a hybrid.

bisky1 7 years, 9 months ago

saw a story the other day about how selfish prius (sp) owners are, seems a prius creates a larger carbon footprint than a hummer (over the life of the vehicle) when you take into account the process of manufacturing and disposing of the battery, sooo what is the right thing to do now,if this is true, buy a hummer or a prius? the troubles of being a liberal.

Jaehde 7 years, 9 months ago

right thinker, isn't it the repubs that are oilmen?, so they'd be the ones more apt to soil their clothing if people curbed their oil usage, hmmm? repubs, demos, liberals, conservatives, - Labels - meaningless Please look at Leonard Pitts column in yesterdays J World., entitled, Nation quietly getting liberal. This might cause somemore soiled clothing.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

bisky1 (Anonymous) says:

"saw a story the other day about how selfish prius (sp) owners are, seems a prius creates a larger carbon footprint than a hummer (over the life of the vehicle) when you take into account the process of manufacturing and disposing of the battery, sooo what is the right thing to do now,if this is true, buy a hummer or a prius? the troubles of being a liberal."


Do you honestly believe that? Don't be that gullable, this story has been proven wrong by several studies.

http://www.thecarconnection.com/Auto_News/Green_Car_News/Prius_Versus_HUMMER_Exploding_the_Myth.S196.A12220.html?pg=1

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

Fuel standards are a critical issue folks. This has very little to do with Clinton/Gore and Bush/Cheney, or even who recycles what at Walmart. Very soon you will not have a choice of what you are going to consume. The decision will not be yours or the governemnts, it will be the choice of your pocketbook because it will be too expensive to consume without thought.

If we do not take huge necessary steps Right Now to brace ourselves for expensive oil then our economy will be swept right out from under our feet. Think about everything that is created from/with oil... all the plastics, computers, food, medicine, etc. Even the dollar is based on oil. Everything is built on this finite commodity which can no longer be produced at a rate to meet increasing demand.

We are going to be faced with serious problems that are going to require everyone to work together as a Community. The first step is to stop looking through the partisan lense and learn the facts...

p>www.peakoil.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil www.hubbertpeak.com www.theoildrum.com http://www.peakoilportal.com/ http://www.oildecline.com/ http://www.peak-oil-crisis.com/ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4077802.stm

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow. Ferd really does make up things as he/she goes along. GOP raised CAFE standards in 1981? Wow, You mean after the fuel shortages that wrecked the Carter Administration and saw the decline of American Automakers in the late 70's?.? Yeah, they were really forward thinking pioneers, huh? So, it's blame Clinton/Gore and Regan/Bush/Quail were giants among men. Your mindless allegiance to the Grand Ol' Party is truly an inspiration to us all.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/cafe/overview.htm Ferd,

If you look here Congress passed CAFE standards in the mid to late 1970's not 1980's. They were, however, met in 1985 and so on. Should we really be thanking Reagan for this? I mean, C'mon. I will concede that Clinton and Gore did not do enough to raise CAFE standards. I still dispute your argument that they were increased under a GOP president.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

sourpuss (Anonymous) says: I think there should be special licensing for large trucks and all SUVs. That would cut down on the number of drivers of them right there. Then start slapping on luxury taxes for large SUVs (and gas sucking luxury sedans) over $30,000.

This administration did just the opposite. About four years ago they invented a special tax credit for business owners who purchased vehicles but it was based on weight - only the biggest trucks or SUVs would qualify. BushCo are shameless whores to big oil.

imastinker 7 years, 9 months ago

Emissions laws have dramatically lowered the efficiency of automobiles in the last ten years. My wife and I just returned from a 1500 mile trip to nashville and back in her town car. It's a 1996 model. Average MPG was 26 down and 24 back (I drove faster). My grandpa sold us this car and got a 2005 town car. He has been upset ever since about mileage. It has the same transmission, engine, rear end with a more aeordynamic body. He's lucky to get 20 out of that thing. It should be more effieient.

Here's the proof that was asked for about bigger cars being safer:

http://www.iihs.org/sr/pdfs/sr4204.pdf

http://money.aol.com/insurance/auto/canvas3/_a/which-cars-have-highest-and-lowest-risk/20070425165409990001

imastinker 7 years, 9 months ago

Which Cars Have Highest and Lowest Risk of Driver Deaths? By CINDY SCHWALB Insurance Quotes

It's not the safety of your car that is called into question. Every vehicle on the road must receive or earn the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's (NHTSA) safety compliance certification. Beyond these standard government requirements, automobile manufacturers continue to install innovative safety measures such as driver-side airbags and anti-lock brakes.

But how safe is your car -- if you crash? Safety measures work to prevent accidents and cannot determine the outcome after one occurs.

In a recent study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) investigated driver fatalities among more than 125,000 automobile-related deaths from 2002 through 2005 for car models between the years of 2001 to 2004.

It discovered that some vehicles pose a greater risk of driver deaths in a car accident, while others decrease this risk.

Which Cars Have Highest and Lowest Driver Death Fatalities?

Chevrolet takes a major win -- and loss -- in both categories. The automaker's Chevrolet Astro minivan is rated to have the lowest risk of driver fatalities at seven driver deaths per million registered vehicle years (see ratings explanation below). While the automaker's two-door Chevy Blazer receives the highest driver fatality risk rating with a 232 driver death rate for the same period and year models.

Yet, both vehicles scored identical safety-crash test ratings as performed by the NHTSA.

What's It All Mean? According to the IIHS report, the cars with the least and highest rates of driver deaths (see slideshow above) reveal key factors for consumers to consider when purchasing a new or used vehicle:

The bigger the car, the lower the risk of a driver fatality. (Except for large station wagons)

Smaller cars, in a classification, inherit a higher risk of a driver fatality. "None of the 15 vehicles with the lowest driver death rates is a small model. In contrast, 11 of the 16 vehicles with the highest death rates are mini or small models ... ", the IIHS report states.

Weight being equal, cars have lower fatality rates than pickups or SUVs.

Though safety-crash test ratings performed by the NHTSA are not relevant in determining driver fatalities when a crash does occur, a growing optional safety standard called ESC (electronic stability control) does impact driver fatalities. "All but 3 of the 15 vehicles with the lowest overall death rates have this feature," reports the IIHS, but "ESC isn't standard on any of the vehicles with the highest death rates. "

It still remains that the highest risk of driver death is beholden to the drivers themselves and their own standards of safe driving.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

What difference does it make who raised CAFE standards when? That has nothing to do with the present situation. We have got to raise standards dramatically right now and start a great period of transition where we ween ourselves off of total oil dependence. It's going to be a long hard road and a very difficult transition, but we don't have a choice. Stop arguing about the past and start to help plan for the future.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Ferd,

I will be the first to tell you that Clinton and Gore failed us on CAFE standards and other environmental regulations, but to claim that the GOP in any way, shape, or form (with the exception of Teddy Roosevelt) has faired better is not only laughable but outright ludicrous. They (Clinton/Gore) have certainly served us (and the environment) better than the current administration (Bush/Cheney).

See article... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19448394/

fletch 7 years, 9 months ago

The Detroit automakers have been left to their own devices for 20 years and have nearly destroyed their companies. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming to invest in safety technology. Meanwhile Toyota, Honda, Volvo, and VW did it on their own. The four of them are rising steadily, while the Detroit companies are falling rapidly. Now it's happening with fuel consumption. I say good riddance to poor management and poor innovation.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Water efficiency? Water Sense is another Bush attempt to circumvent the Clean Water Act. Just like the Clearer Skies initiative was a way to create a "market-based" solution to reducing greenhouse gases and other air pollution.

1992 Bush, Sr. was President? Umm. until January 19th. EnergyStar was enacted in March of that year after Bush was well out of office.

I'll give you Nixon and the EPA, but only after the CAA, CWA, and ESA were passed by Congress.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

My mistake, 1993 for Engery Star. That is March of 1993 when Clinton was in office.

Kodiac 7 years, 9 months ago

Kev...er I mean Ferd,

I suggest you educate yourself about the history of the CAFE standards. They were decreased during the 1980s under Republican presidents.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

"Mkh on other historical events:

Sure, the Germans killed 6 million Jews. It does not matter as long as they don't kill any more. End of story.

Sure, al Qaeda killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11. It does not matter as long as they don't kill any more? End of story.

The government did not respond adequately after Katrina struck. It Does Not Matter! Respond now, end of story.

History is bunk, says Mkh."

Are you serious? You really are delusional Ferd. Please tell what else I said...good job staying on topic there champ.

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 9 months ago

The neocons theme song: "Don't know much biology"

Seriously, it won't be long before it will cost $3000 for a plane ticket from KC to Chicago with the way we're burning fuel. Whether you believe global warming or not, the fact of the matter is that we're going through fossil fuel at an alarming rate and it IS polluting the air. The good news on the pollution front is that the fossil fuel consumption will be non-existent in the not-to-distant future. However, we still need to figure out alternatives.

Ideally, I'd like to see a solar/electric cars and solar/electric powered rail system developed soon that can travel all over the US and in inner cities. The technology is there and the sooner the better for all, even you neocons who seem to think Jesus will come back to make everything better.

Kodiac 7 years, 9 months ago

Hey Ferd,

But what I said was true right? (sarc*)

Oh I see you have to look at the whole picture don't you. Oh wait do the Presidents really control any of that. It does say Congress doesn't it? From where I stand Ferd, as the far-sighted individuals of mkh and agno point out, it really doesn't what has happened in the past, what are we going to do about it now. As most of the posters are saying, it is being done by both repubs and dems so it really makes no difference at all who did what in the past, what are we going to do now. You know I was thinking if you would spend a fraction of the effort you put forth obssessing about Clinton and dwelling on the past into researching and suggesting possible solutions, that might be useful and interesting. Just a though you know Ferd....

staff04 7 years, 9 months ago

"One of the main problems is Clinton and Gore lacked the moral courage to tell soccer moms that they did not need those huge SUVs. Gas was cheaper at the time and their goverance by poll would not have allowed them to follow through on their 1992 promise."

Uh-huh...and your homeboy W did so much better by telling people that they DO need them and that they should continue to drive and buy them...

staff04 7 years, 9 months ago

Curious, do you right-wingers believe that the earth is flat?

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 9 months ago

"Curious, does the far-left believe in ET's and UFO's?" Not yet, I don't have any proof but to believe in UFOs is just as ridiculous as Christianity.

The fact of the matter is that none of the previous presidents have done enough to help promote and develop alternatives to fossil fuel. Yes, the past is relevant but only to see what mistakes were made. If you think Bush gives a $hit about alternatives, you're extremely naive...he's an oil tycoon (a failed one at that).

Ferd wrote: "Poor choice. See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg:"

I couldn't get this link to work.

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 9 months ago

Staff04 wrote: "Uh-huh:and your homeboy W did so much better by telling people that they DO need them and that they should continue to drive and buy them:"

Ferd wrote: "Please show us where Bush said that."

Does Kyoto ring a bell?

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

Ferd: "It makes a huge difference. If Clinton and Gore had kept their 1992 promise, we would have been in the position to do so much more today. Our options in the present are limited because of failed leadership in the past."


What in the world are you talking about? Are you a grown adult? These are nothing but pathetic excuses so you can still do nothing. Quit whining that nobody fixed the problems way back when, it doesn't matter one bit. These fuel standards are for New automobiles, these regulations could be put in place tomorrow and the automakers would never miss a beat. You are so bogged down in parisan ideology that you cannot rise above it to see what needs to be done in the world. Truly Sad.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow. "Schools stop teaching hstory", what are you talking about? You are using a useless excuse to still not raise fuel standards, it's weak and pathetic.

btw, exactly what "name" did I call you?

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 9 months ago

No, ferdi. Wrong Kyoto. I was talking about this:

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jun2002/2002-06-05-06.asp

Now, I don't have any proof of what Staff04 said specifically in regards to the "drive your SUVs more" argument. But, I do seem to remember a certian provision that allowed you to write off your Hummer on your taxes. I'd have to do more research but here's what I quickly found:

http://www.hybridcenter.org/hybrid-vs-hummer.html

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 9 months ago

"That write off was just for small businesses, not a general public."

You'd be surprised how many Hummer owners suddenly became "small businesses."

And by pulling out of the Kyoto treaty, he pretty much said that the US won't do anything to slow down consumer use of fossil fuels. Yes, he mentioned a need for alternative energy but what has he done other than mentioning it? Nothing. Why? Because he's an oil tycoon that profits from oil consumption.

Like I've said before, I can understand why you'd vote for a conservative into the White House but I can't understand why you'd vote a failed oil tycoon into the White House...I guess the only requirement is to be a born again Christian these days.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

Ferd: " I clearly noted above that I support the raising of fuel standards. I applauded Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 for taking steps to increase those standards. I faulted Clinton and Gore for breaking their promise and doing nothing to raise those standards"


LOL! Oh I get it now, you are in favor of higher fuel standards if it looks good for a Republican. Classic.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

"I can't praise that record. Can you?"

It Does Not Matter! Raise them now, end of story.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

Do you dream about Clinton and Gore, and all the other Democrats you moan about, every night?

Boy...if I were you, I'd see a therapist about that obsession...

samuelisironman 7 years, 9 months ago

Ridiculous. Why should we still even be pursuing the notion of using gasoline at all, even in a vehicle that gets 100 mpg. Electric cars don't make sense either, until we can find a better energy source than coal. What we need is to completely pursue an entirely clean fuel (hydrogen) that we can burn in our cars with a byproduct of nothing more than water and air. That seems like it makes the most sense to me.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

Electric cars, powered by wind or solar electricity.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

That's the same technique cops in Lawrence use to find underage drinkers.

Mkh 7 years, 9 months ago

Fine Ferd hold Clinton/Gore "accountable" for fuel standards, global warming, or whatever else you want. Do it now, I'll wait... OK, did you do it?

Good, do you feel better now? Great, now can we move on?

I'm not dismissing history in any regard Ferd; but, when you are trying to solve problems in the Present, it doesn't do much good to say "we should have done that then", just do what has to be done Now. If you want to get into a game of "things would be better if this happened" we could be here for Weeks if not Months going back over the human mistakes and misopprotunities of the 20th Century. But I don't have that kind of time, we have serious energy issues that need to be delt with immediately no matter who did what in the past or who agreed with who. Every Administration and Congress could have done much more to prepare for the future of energy, but did not. There is failure across the board, and not just from politicians but from every citizen as well. Put your partisan hatred aside and come to the table with your hands clean, ready to work with your friends and enemies for the good of the entire Community.

As I said before Global Warming is not why we have to move fast, I wish that was our only problem, but it's not. Peak oil and natural gas are going to bring more hardships and strife than anthing else we've ever faced...and it's going to happen very soon.

staff04 7 years, 9 months ago

Ferd-

Per yesterday's comment:

I wasn't quoting anyone, genius.

Others sufficiently defended me in my absence, so no need to repeat.

staff04 7 years, 9 months ago

Did you see any quotes? Didn't think so. Like I said, others defended the statement. I don't have to spell anything out for you, Kevin. We've been through it before.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.