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Obama Finalizes Unrealistic Fuel Economy Mandate

On Tuesday, President Obama unveiled absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic automobile gas mileage standards for manufacturers to comply with, or face a government fine.  These are known as CAFE standards - Corporate Average Fuel Economy - and they stifle innovation and make vehicles less safe, as many companies can only meet the mileage requirements by reducing weight, making vehicles lighter and more dangerous.  The new 2025 standard is 54.5 miles per gallon, bringing attention to his incompetence: you can't dictate innovation.

The radical Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Transportation Department announced automobile mileage and carbon emissions rules for 2017 to 2025, forcing an average of 54.5 miles per gallon on automakers.  The claim is that this mandate will reduce oil consumption and save consumers $1.7 trillion in fuel costs.  While that sounds notable, it's complete fiction.  

Dictating innovation is what happened in the Soviet Union, and they produced some of the shittiest cars in automobile history (watch the video below).  Automakers are now forced to invest billions of dollars in research and development, when the technology to achieve this standard doesn't even exist.  There are the fledgling Chevy Volts of the world, which gets great gas mileage, but at a price that a business cannot produce the vehicle without losing money or getting a government handout.  

With hybrids, it's all about the electric car boondoggle.  Hybrids get better gas mileage than traditional engines, but, again, at a cost.  And that cost comes in the form of the batteries, where the nickel is mined in Canada, shipped to China for assembly into a battery, then to Japan for vehicle assembly, finally then to the owner in the US or Europe.  And the shipping doesn't happen on a sailboat.  Therefore, hybrids are a temporary band-aid.

What a gas mileage mandate does is increase the cost of the vehicle and maintenance to the consumer.  Between 1983 and 2009, there were $800 million in CAFE fines.  Mandates promote inefficiencies and hurt consumer choice.

But there is one victor here: the radical enviro-Nazi base of the Democratic Party, whose sole purpose is to eliminate the automobile and have humans live in the woods off of tree bark.

It doesn't matter that this mandate is currently impossible, as long it expands the government's involvement in industry.  Consumers can kiss goodbye V8 engines, unless they're purchasing a $70,000+ vehicle, which most Americans can't afford.  In addition, consumers can expect more dangerous vehicles, as vehicle weight loss will play the major role in meeting the new 54.5 miles per gallon EPA mandate.

It's amazing what morons can do to a society when given power.

Chuck Justice is the editor-in-chief for Habledash.

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