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.