Last August, with much fanfare, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation decided it would be a swell idea to give all new vehicles a letter grade. We explained the concept here.
Just to refresh your memory, as the EPA seems to propose new rules almost on an hourly basis,
The new sticker … would display figures reflecting how many gallons the car uses per 100 miles of driving; its city and highway mpg ratings; how much carbon dioxide it emits; and the annual fuel cost. And it would give the range of fuel economy for all vehicles in the same class. [emphasis supplied]
The grades would run from A+ to D, and the only vehicles even eligible for an A or an A+ would be electric cars, or plug-in hybrids. All cars would have needed these new stickers beginning with the 2012 model year.
Thursday the EPA and the DOT decided to scrap that idea. In a curious turn of events, neither the EPA nor the DOT would comment on the reversal. However,
[a] person familiar with the administration’s internal deliberations on the new labels said the agencies struggled with how to account for the upstream emissions of electric vehicles in states that rely heavily on coal fired electricity. If the government were to give such vehicles A’s, said the person, ‘is everyone going to go out and buy electric vehicles that actually pollute the environment?’ [emphasis supplied]
Gee, electric vehicles actually pollute the environment. Who would have thought.
It should come as no surprise that the decision was not roundly embraced.
Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign announced,
‘[i]t is_deeply disappointing that the Obama Administration abandoned’ the idea of assigning letter grades…'[i]t’s appalling that the car makers, some of whom we bailed out, bludgeoned the administration into submission.’
Rather than stop at “deep disappointment”, perhaps Mr. Becker could move on and explain how to calculate the “pollution” caused by electric vehicles each time one is plugged into an outlet. That would be far more productive.