American Elephants


Could We Please Let this Crisis Go To Waste, Mr. President? by The Elephant's Child

President Barack Obama, on Friday, directed the government to set the first-ever mileage and pollution limits for big trucks and buses, and to tighten the rules for future cars and SUVs. He wants vehicles that run on half the fuel they use now, and give of half the “pollution.”

The nation that leads in the clean energy economy will lead the global economy, And I want America to be that nation.” Obama said.

Well, of course, this is the presidency that operates on the theme of “never letting a crisis go to waste.”  The Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico makes everyone look at all oil askance — time to jump on some more regulation of little use.

Elsewhere, headlines in the Spanish newspaper La Gaceta:

Spain admits that the green economy sold to Obama is a ruin.

There is no “clean energy economy.”  No one, apparently except Obama, has any illusions that any regulation of CO2 emissions will do anything to lower global temperatures.  The economic case for the embrace of renewable energy has collapsed. It’s over.

President Obama has cited Spain as an exemplar of an “ecologically sound energy economy” no fewer than eight times.  Spanish economist Gabriel Calzada — has clearly established that for every green job created by the Spanish nation’s massive investment in wind and solar, that transfer of wealth to uneconomic activities has cost the economy 2.2 jobs in opportunity cost, as well as direct job losses due to the increased cost of power. The President of Spain’s National Commission of Energy, socialist Maite Costa has called Spain’s energy policies unsustainable.

Obama’s  Presidential Memorandum Regarding Fuel Efficiency Standards.  From the photo-op, Obama said:

We know that out dependence on foreign oil endangers our security and our economy.  We know that climate change poses a threat to our way of life — in fact we’re already seeing some of the  profound and costly impacts.  And the disaster in the Gulf only underscores that even as we pursue domestic production to reduce our reliance on imported oil, our long-term security depends on the development of alternative sources of fuel and new transportation technologies.

Can we do away with some of the nonsense?  We are not “addicted” to oil.  Our economy runs on oil. Wind, solar and nuclear energy produce electric power, which, at present, does not power our cars and trucks, nor will it into the foreseeable future, despite Obama’s enthusiasm for electric cars.

You will note just how the disaster in the Gulf has been turned around to somehow be a contribution to global warming, which Obama called  “a threat to our way of life.”  Sorry, the global warming scare is over — yesterday’s scam.

In spite of all the talk, there is no expansion of nuclear power.  Should a new plant be given approval at the federal level, environmentalist delaying tactics and lawsuits would take years.  Wind and solar produce energy only sporadically and must have 24/7 backup from regular gas or coal-fired plants.

For example, the Washington DC-based U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is readying a proposal to place much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge off-limits, allowing no economic development of any kind, even on Native-owned lands, which would hamstring native survival. The FWS proposal to place the nearly 1.5 million acres of ANWR’s coastal plain off-limits — could even be permanent.

Here’s another one.  The Iraqi government needed to quickly bring its oilfields online.  They desperately needed the revenues.  They selected the best in the business — Exxon-Mobil.  Three senators, John Kerry (D-Ma), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), wrote a public letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, imploring her to derail the Iraqi deal.  The Senators claimed “It is our fear that this action by the Iraqi government could further deepen political tensions in Iraq and put our service members in even great danger.”  They wanted Iraq to have no revenue until they had passed an oil revenue-sharing plan that the Senators liked.

That spooked the Iraqis. Washington politics  intruded into the political arguments in Iraq — Iraq just needed a willing partner, without the meddling of American politicians.  So they signed up with the state-owned — China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC),  which is now set for the next 20 years in Iraq.  China is busily buying up oil all over the world.

What is the President’s real aim?  Ending our reliance on oil?  Shutting down our economy?  Forcing people into public transportation? Or is it just another power grab?

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6 Comments so far
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I was hoping you would stick to your opening topic — the tougher fuel-economy standards — but instead you throw them in with a rant against other misdirected policies, as if they are all an equivalence.

What is frustrating in this debate about fuel-economy and pollution limits is that the Detroit automakers know perfectly well how to manufacture safe, much more fuel-efficient vehicles. Their subsidiaries in Europe are already doing that. But, of course, if they admitted that they could, there would be no cause to ask for government handouts for R&D and retooling.

Please don’t lump in the debate over improving fuel-economy (which automatically reduces pollution — no quotes around that word, please) with those over, for example, whether the United States can repeat the Spanish experience, which is about a very different set of policies.

Comment by Subsidy Eye

Carbon dioxide, which is what everyone seems to worry about, is not pollution. It is CO2 that is supposed to be the cause of global warming, which is absolutely false.

Ordinary people, and certainly trucking companies would particularly like to buy cars and trucks that get better mileage. Since the companies who build cars and trucks make money by pleasing customers, it is in their best interest to offer higher mileage vehicles.

Past government efforts to demand higher mpg by specified dates, have left companies with little choice but to make their vehicles lighter. This has resulted in significantly higher highway death tolls, according to highway safety statistics. The federal government does not need to stick its nose into private business. Ordering specific mpg by such and such a date is a misguided policy.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

There are plenty of pollutants that come out of tailpipes; I am not just talking about CO2.

I agree that, in an ideal world, the market would provide fuel-efficient vehicles. But it has been f**ked up by previous policies that (through laxer safety and other regulations) favored sales of heavy SUVs and pick-up trucks. (See Keith Bradsher’s book “High and Mighty”.) Once enough of those were on the road, everybody felt they needed to own SUVs or pick-up trucks. Parallels with arms races come to mind.

Vehicles are being built in Europe, some by Big-3 subsidiaries, that are both safe and get much better fuel economy. But Detroit doesn’t want them in the States because it has built its business model on “build ‘em big and clunky”.

Comment by Subsidy Eye

Oh I agree that regulation has messed up the market, as has all kinds of government interference. And Detroit stuck with the big and cushy model far too long, until they began to get real competition from Japanese and German cars. I don’t pretend to be particularly knowledgeable about the car industry. Between over-regulation and over unionization, they have made a thorough mess of their business.

Most guys I know have always coveted a pick-up truck. People want SUVs for a combination of safety, winter driving and kid-hauling. I am unconvinced about lax safety. Don’t they allow diesel cars in Europe and not here? I was under the impression that laws in Europe were far freer than here. What about little Fiat’s? And the bizarre little 3 wheelers? I do not want Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi designing our cars.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

I should add that my concern is the pursuit of the false alarmism about “global warming.” We are spending billions in the name of climate change as a pure power grab by the Obama government.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

It’s forcing us into public transportation
A giant power grab AND destroying America.!

Comment by Ron spins




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