More labels, this time thanks to the EPA and DOT

Not to be outdone by the FDA’s new labeling regulations for calorie information on vending machines, airplane menus, convenience stores, theaters, trains, grocery store food courts (including bakeries, salad bars, pizza bars, and delis), the EPA and the Department of Transportation have now jumped into the labeling business.

Right now, all new cars sold in this country must have a label disclosing the mpg for both city and highway driving, as well as an estimated annual cost of fuel. But, this administration doesn’t believe that is good enough. Under new regulations, all new cars sold beginning with the 2012 model year would have a new label.

The new sticker would be closer to an advertisement, with a letter grade atop a phrase such as “Saves $1,900” that reflects how much less the car would use in gas than the average car in its class.

The new sticker also 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]

A label with a letter grade, you ask? Yes, grades from A to D, presumably bestowed by the government on cars that the government likes (the “A’s”), and those it doesn’t like (the “D’s”).

Under the system, the only cars that would receive an A-plus, A or A-minus would be electrics and plug-in hybrids, the government said.

Sadly, though, the new rules will not force the labels,

to contain more information on the environmental impact of the electricity used to charge the electric cars. [emphasis supplied]

In commenting upon this, Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s assistant administrator of the office of air and radiation said,

We think a new label is absolutely needed to help consumers make the right decision for their wallets and the environment. [emphasis supplied]

On second thought, perhaps Ms. McCarthy is correct. I’m convinced that thousands of consumers who want to purchase an SUV (probably a definite “D”) will gladly switch to a small battery powered, or hybrid vehicle once they see it has a letter grade of “A”.

As Jim would say, you can’t make this stuff up.

P.S. I did indeed check and Ms. McCarthy is the Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation. Perhaps she should stick to the radiation part.

6 replies
  1. TomL
    TomL says:

    I'm guess I'm going to need to be reeducated on what type of vehicle to buy. Just like vending machines you won't be able to look thru the glass to see whats inside.

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    These types of labels will not influence US drivers to choose a "car". When the price of gas reaches $4plus, they will choose w/ their wallet.

  3. Gerry-M
    Gerry-M says:

    I guess consumers are just stupid, mindless zombies that are not smart enough to figure anything out by themselves. We NEED OUR GOVERNMENT to tell us what car to buy. Maybe they will test drive the car for us too. Then they will say that the  C and D rated cars will have an extra pollution tax, again not counting the pollution caused by the extra electricity that has to be generated at the coal fired power plant. Yes the coal fired plants will be required because the of the extra large demand for electricity to charge the electric cars. Oh and how about a new power grid to carry all that electricity. And to think, Ms. McCarthy was Connecticut's gift to Washington as she was our own CT DEP Commissioner. No wonder my head hurts……. Help me Jim.

  4. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    The http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/index.htm shows the labels and there are places to comment on them. I've suggested "Avg. Greenhouse gases for electrical generation for plug in rechargeables" (not just tailpipe) and for the batteries life span , replacement and cost for proper disposal for the all electric/hybrid vehicles.

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