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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Fuel Standards

U.S. Proposes New Fuel Standards for SUVs:
The Bush administration has announced new fuel economy standards for minivans, light trucks and small sport utility vehicles. The new rules would require automakers to increase mileage per gallon for those vehicles by about 8 percent starting in 2008, with full compliance by 2011.
Under the proposal, current rules governing light trucks would be displaced by six separate categories for the vehicles, based on size. Each category would have its own fuel economy standards. The smallest vehicles would be required to get better gas mileage than larger trucks.
Light trucks -- including minivans, SUVs and pickups -- accounted for nearly 60 percent of all new vehicles purchased in the United States in 2004.

Critics say the plan doesn't go far enough. David Freedman, research director for the clean vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says that, according to information released so far, the proposal would increase fuel economy by less than .5 mpg a year through 2011.

What over all good would come from only increasing the fuel economy by less than .5mpg a year? If we weren't efficient enough to change it now, why stop there? Why not promote different cars that don't run off gas? Why not fund them better? Why not raise the fuel economy standard higher still, to push those companies that have alternative fueled cars to promote more? Wouldn't it be more efficient?

Do you think fuel economy standards promote efficiency in the first place? If so, how? If not, why?
I believe that if we can find a better way to cut back on cost of producing cars, air pollution, and gas prices, then yes I believe fuel standards are good. I don't know if they will promote efficiency though.
When I thought about it at first I believed it could. If they could have changed it to be higher and "better" than it wasn't effienct to begin with.
Now I don't know if it will truely make a difference.
Why do you think cutting back on the costs of automobile production would be good? Does cutting those costs somehow translate into less pollution emmitted?

Similarly, why do you think cutting gas prices would help to reduce pollution. I think lower gas prices would in fact contribute to more pollution.

I understand how reducing air pollution would help with air quality, but how does that arise from CAFE standards?
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