It’s a sexy story. “The EPA in a backdoor move by the Obama administration is forcing the last lead smelting plant in the United States to close… resulting in what’s certain to be a reduction of supply of ammo, and increased costs.” But it’s simply not true.
Fortunately, thanks to several speeches given by the President this week, we now know that Benghazi, the Department of Justice’s targeting of journalists, the IRS’s targeting of certain groups seeking tax exempt status, and NSA’s interception (and storage) of certain information about our daily communications, are all phony scandals. Read more
We did a post 18 months ago about the EPA’s requirement that refiners blend a specific amount of celluosic ethanol into gasoline. If they didn’t blend the required amount, the refiners could obtain a “waiver” by paying the federal government $1.13 for every gallon of celluosic ethanol they didn’t consume. Read more
While the President was bashing Bain Capital earlier this year as an “evil rich” private equity venture capital firm that destroyed businesses causing people to lose their jobs, and perhaps their lives, the White House was in secret negotiations with Carlyle Group, an “evil rich” private equity venture capital firm. Read more
We have told you about cellulosic ethanol before. Basically, it is any ethanol not made from corn, and, pursuant to a 2007 law, a certain amount of this stuff must be blended into our gasoline. The problem is that no one knows how to make it in any commercially viable operation, even though the federal government is heavily subsidizing its “production”. Read more
It is now official. Per our friends at the EPA, by the 2025 model year, a car manufacturer’s fleet (i.e., cars and light trucks) must average 54.5 miles per gallon. This is known as the CAFE standard…Corporate Average Fuel Economy. We’ll ignore for the moment that this standard is double our current standard, and focus on the facts.
Traditionally, the CAFE standard has been set by Congress. But, for President Obama’s EPA, this is not good enough. Because cars emit the dreaded carbon dioxide, which all plants need to live, the EPA has seized control. You may have heard that all manufacturers agreed to this 54.5 mpg standard earlier this year, but understand, they had little choice. States, particularly California, were set to impose their own rules, and rules from state to state would cripple the industry. So, when the feds said, agree to 54.5 and we’ll hold the states at bay, well, that was an offer they couldn’t refuse.
I’m going to use today’s numbers because, unlike the EPA, I cannot predict the future, nor, can I force the future to be what I demand. And, to simplify “the math”, I will assume that GM only makes the Chevy Volt and the Chevy Tahoe. The Chevy Volt is rated at 93 mpg which includes the first 35 or so miles that it runs on pure electricity. The Chevy Tahoe is rated at 17 mpg. If all Chevy did was manufacture 2 vehicles, one Volt and one Tahoe, they would be good to go as this results in a “fleet” average of 55 mpg.
But, what if 2 purchasers are “soccer Moms” and a Volt doesn’t get the job done? Simple…GM manufactures another Volt. Now, GM has 2 Volts that no one wants, but has sold 2 Tahoes. Of course, GM doesn’t manufacture cars that way. To meet the CAFE standard, GM needs to decide first, how many Volts it will manufacture, and how many Tahoes it will manufacture. But, that decision is no no longer based upon what consumers want, it’s based upon what the EPA dictates.
The only way Detroit can hit these averages will be by turning at least 25% of its fleet into hybrids. But hybrid sales peaked in the U.S. two years ago at 3% of the market and are declining. The EPA’s $157 billion price tag includes only the estimate of what manufacturers will have to invest in new technology, not the billions more that will hemorrhage when nobody buys their EPA-approved products.
Do I see another GM “bailout” in our future?
If you are the government, you have the power to either cover them up, or ignore them. Twice this week articles have been written demonstrating this “troubling” practice. Read more
In late July, with much fanfare, the administration, through the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced new standards for motor vehicle “fuel efficiency”. Currently, a manufacturer’s vehicle fleet must average 27.5 miles per gallon, and this has been the standard since 1990. However, by 2025, the fleet average must be 54.5 miles per gallon. Read more