Scrapping the Auto Industry

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Long-term growth in auto sales is largely determined by increase in people’s incomes and growth in the adult population. The market for car sales has been “saturated since the early 1970s. The U.S. driving age population reached 240 million in 2009,” the center said. Since the late ‘70s, the average household has two cars. By 2025, the Center estimates the vehicles “should level out at 2.07 vehicles per household.

So, are electric cars our automotive future? People who race out to buy an electric car, such as the heavily federally subsidized Chevy Volt, thinking it’s the “green” thing to do, are deluded into believing it helps the environment. Wrong.

That new Volt typically is recharged by electricity from a coal-burning power plant. And because the Environmental Protection Agency has convinced naive Americans that carbon dioxide (CO2) is “destroying the planet,” EPA is threatening to close many of their coal-fired plants, driving up the price of electricity.

A new British study, reported June 10 by Back to Basics, says electric cars could give off as high emissions over their lifetimes as gasoline-fueled cars because of the energy consumed in making their batteries. Indeed, old chap, you’d have to drive 129,000 kilometers before any savings in CO2, a Brit might tell you. Plug-ins, it seems, leave their own “carbon footprint.”

One of many facts Obama apparently doesn’t know about the shaky outlook for electric cars is that half of the households of people who own cars have no garage. Not many folks would want to plug a car all night into their living room socket.

Stricter standards push auto makers to build smaller, lighter cars. Recently the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its study of vehicle death rates. Big, heavy cars are safer, with a death rate less than a third that off small cars.

So paying thousands more for an electric car — even with government subsidy — could make minimal positive impact on the environment, while added more woe to our jobless economy. Yet another not-so-wise move is being promoted by the White House.

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  • Alex Kovnat

    I don't begrudge those who have expressed concern over the safety of small cars. But another possibility is this: If government insists on more and more and ever more of both fuel economy AND safety, we will end up having to settle for cars that can attain speeds of no more than 40 miles per hour. Our way of life as we now know it, will be over. Even without demands for ever more crash protection, I don't see how we can have 60 miles per gallon without dramatically reducing the performance we are accustomed to.

    I'd like to make an important point about a group calling itself Consumer Federation of America, which argues for 60 miles per gallon CAFE on the basis of a poll it conducted which shows Americans support such legislation. It is ironic that the consumer movement was founded in the first place to oppose fraudulent advertising claims. Yet the so-named "Consumer Federation of America, in making the case for 60 MPG CAFE, is practicing deceit and fraud. I see no excuse for lying to, or withholding information from, or otherwise deceiving the public as to the price we will have to pay for ever more government demands on the automobile.

    • Paul Scott

      Alex, I drive a Nissan Leaf, and this is no 40 mph weenie car. It out accelerates most of the cars on the road, and has a top speed of over 90 mph. I generate all my electricity for the car, and my house, from the sunlight falling on my roof. I give no money to the oil companies, nor by extension, the Saudis. I don't pollute anyone's air, nor do I use a declining energy source over which we are fighting wars.

      • mlcblog

        Wow! how are you doing that? impressive.

      • voted against carter

        AHAAHahahahahhahhahaha
        YOU are SOOOOOO full of CRAP it is NOT funny.
        paul,..

        Your Lie that you generate "all" your electricity through solar power is hilarious.

        The fact that you think no one would call you on it is telling.

        Were do you "store" your electricity?

        Do you have some magical giant Eveready battery?

        Sanctimonious libratard.

    • http://lifeloom.com Rosalie Stafford

      hey, the good thing about going 40 mph — tops — in one of those aluminum-can cars is that when you get into an accident, you'll only break half your bones … not all of them (if you're lucky).

  • temarch

    These people act like there is an infinite amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline. After you peak on efficiency, the next move has to be to reduce the weight of the vehicle. How much mileage does a go-cart get? They are a bunch of academics making decisions in fields in which they have no expertise based on nothing more than dreams of utopia. If we don't rise up and make a lot of noise to help stifle a lot of this, it will be harder to undo come 2012.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    It’s social engineering of the worst kind, and the social engineers are so myopic, narrow-minded, and incompetent that they never realized the laws of unintended consequences they set forth would be far worse than not doing anything.

    The solution is not to mandate a lowering of living standards, but instead to drill baby drill, to also develop alternative fuels, not made from corn, but from coal as we have plenty enough coal to power America for centuries, and to create millions of energy sector jobs at the same time

    As for as global warming goes, it was a leftwing plot used to scare the world into creating a one-world government without borders. Can anyone imagine living in a one-world government without borders with the Islamic world’s mandate to subsume the entire world into Islamic totalitarianism? It would be a sort of Islamic empire also without borders! George Soros and his stupid useful idiot cronies are utterly unhinged.

    • Paul Scott

      Your solution to "drill baby drill" is never going to work. We use 25% of the world's oil but we only have about 3% of the reserves. Anyone who knows anything about simple math can understand why "drill baby drill" will not solve our problem. Using renewable energy from sunlight, wind and geothermal can completely eliminate the need for foreign oil in our transportation fleet. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen if we eliminate the massive subsidies for oil so that EVs can compete on a level playing field.

      • JohnInMA

        You repeat some nice talking points, but I wonder if you put any real thought into your comments. While there is merit to the idea that we cannot become self sufficient in oil production, NOT drilling accomplishes what exactly? Because we cannot fully alter or control the market we should not even produce as much as we can and employ as many as we can? Not very sound logic.

        As well, have you even considered what the COST would be should we move to generating our electricity 100% from the renewable sources you listed? Ignore the cost to use it (price). Ignore the addition of electric vehicles to the grid. What would the cost be for a simple transition to 100% renewables WITH the same reliability? The answer is on the order of tens of trillions of dollars. I suppose you believe we can just tax the rich and make that happen, too………….Oh, and how much land would be required to enact such a renewable energy plan? You can simplify the answer by using multiples of the state of RI….. 7? 10?

        I contribute to the renewable energy field. And I get irritated that so many ideologues do more harm than good and prevent real progress from being made because it turns into a partisan political issue and not one based in reality. I suggest you spend less time on "green" blogs and do a little research yourself.

      • mlcblog

        I think we have more oil than that.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Your solution to "drill baby drill" is never going to work. We use 25% of the world's oil but we only have about 3% of the reserves. Anyone who knows anything about simple math can understand why "drill baby drill" will not solve our problem. Using renewable energy from sunlight, wind and geothermal can completely eliminate the need for foreign oil in our transportation fleet. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen if we eliminate the massive subsidies for oil so that EVs can compete on a level playing field.

        Four things: I’m not a guilt filled self-hating loon, so I could care less about what percentage of the world’s oil we use. Hence, while that dumb ass propaganda has a very profound impact on delusional leftists like you because you obviously believe in social justice and have also been inculcated to hate the rich and profits, forgive me if I don’t really care.

        Second, I hate to rain on your guilt filled self-hating delusional and ill-informed parade but the USA is the most energy rich country in the world.

        The third thing is I’m not nearly mentally handicapped enough to be duped by the global warming scam that was used to try to scare the world into forming a one world Socialist utopian government without borders, which would inevitably end up being an Islamic utopian totalitarian paradise from hell and a new dark ages in any event.

        Lastly, there is no way that solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal energy coupled with new ludicrous CAFÉ standards can possibly even come close to making up the difference, and nevertheless the USA has plenty enough fossil fuel that we could easily access to not only dramatically lower our energy cost right now and make us less dependent on foreign energy, but also very significantly boost our economy at the same time. As higher energy prices act as a drag on our economy exactly like higher taxes and also exploiting our very abundant fossil fuel resources will also create millions of new high-paying energy sector jobs at the same time.

        Now compare and contrast that direction, which is the same direction that the Republicans are proposing to take the country, with Obama and the Dhimmicrat’s extremely insane and inane social engineering energy policies, which would ludicrously and permanently inevitably cripple our economy and country forever. Of course, it would also inevitably force millions of US citizens on the government’s dole permanently, which is exactly what Obama and the Dhimmicrats are really trying to accomplish to increase their voter base in the first place.

        Now I don’t know about you, as you obviously believe in an all powerful nanny state, but I’d rather have a high-paying job working in the private sector being self-sufficient and enjoying living in dignity than I would being dependent on welfare benefits, food stamps, and Medicaid like you delusional leftists obviously prefer. For some reason, I would just prefer that kind of very dignified lifestyle and have the government out of my face as much as possible, but hey that’s me and luckily I’m not you.

      • voted against carter

        Hey silly libratard,..

        Does your asshat hurt much when you have it pulled down over your head so tight?

        Spouting libratard fantasies is NOT really a good way to change anyones mind.

        Nor does making stuff up.

        Just say'n.

      • Jim_C

        You're right that "drill baby drill" is not going to solve/improve anything. But I have no idea how sunlight, wind and geothermal can "eliminate the need for foreign oil in our transportation fleet." Wind is pretty much a boondoggle. Geothermal is a very promising avenue as far as alternative energy but the technology is years away. I do think homes and other construction should have some sort of solar component when applicable, but there has to be a market force behind that.

  • Raymond in DC

    As it happens, gasoline consumption in the US has barely budged over the last 10 years, so the carbon output from that sector has already stabilized. As for the consumers, they've already spoken about the kind of cars they want.

    My first car, a 1972 Audi 100, got 30 mpg on the highway. So did my 1980 Buick Skylark. So does my 1989 Honda Prelude. And were I to buy today's Accord, I'd get the same. Why no advance? Because today's cars, with larger engines, more features and comfort, and more performance, are also heavier and have consumed all the efficiencies. To increase mileage would mean giving up much of what we've come to expect.

    The closest near-term solution is clean-diesel, and few manufacturers outside Germany have much experience with them. And it's not the preferred solution of the "elites" – and we know what happens when they, and not the market, choose the "best" solution. Natural gas is another option, but that one uses "evil" hydrocarbon too. They want us moving to electrics and "toy cars" like the Fiat.

    What this latest push may do is encourage people to buy today's cars and stash them away for use after they've been mandated out of existence.

  • Sound&Fury

    Reminds me of the Obama administration in its infinite wisdom appointing Steven Rattner "car czar" with no automotive experience to head up GM's recovery efforts. To add insult to injury, they doubled down on this way of thinking when Dan Askerson was named CEO last year. Once again, GM is in the hands of someone with no heavy mfg or automotive experience. Absolutely clueless.

    • JohnInMA

      But GM is behind this most recent strategy! They are reliable advocates now.

  • Stephen_Brady

    My wife and I were having some coffee in a local coffeeshop, the other day. Out front, someone drove into the lot with a brand-new electric car. I looked at my wife and said, "Would you want to be in that thing when it gets hit by a Hummer?"

    Of course, I know what the Obama Administration would do about this crisis. They would elminate the Hummer.

    Also, electric cars make possible something that the Left has dreamed of, forever. They restrict the movement of the American people, and they do it without checkpoints.

    Of course, when the fuel economy is 62 mpg, there will be another crisis, restricting everyone to a gallon or two of gas per week (per month?). Freedom is at stake, and make no mistake about it.

  • John, grandfather

    I bought a hybrid camray 2 years ago. It gets 40mpg with ALL the bells and whistles. Ford Fusion hybrid gets even better mileage. Put America first. Stop sending all our national wealth to hostile foriegn governments. I'd rather my money went to pay a car company to build a better mousetrap. Stop whining and smell the coffee. Let's leave something to our kids and grandchildres.

    • JohnInMA

      Is your point that the government MUST set all the targets and objectives related to fuel consumption? It's not clear what you are countering, if anything. Many might go along with improved fuel consumption as long as it is at a "natural" and non-forced pace. Mandated mileage is a loosing proposition unless you don't care about 1) diversity and choice, 2) cost, 3) a thriving automotive industry, among other things.

    • voted against carter

      Johny,..

      The electricity that runs your car is GENERATED by a COAL fired OR nuclear power plant.

      Electricity does NOT magically come from your wall socket.

      Seems you have a comprehension problem.

  • Tim in Illinois

    The days of cheap oil are over. It's time we have an energy policy on how to conserve, instead of spending billions of dollars on a war machine to defend overseas oil interests. Let's invest that money on our auto industry to continue to produce more efficient cars. If we don't, other car companies will sell their effecient home market cars here that are available today. We need to change the American mindset that we need to own a car that can drive anywhere, seat 8, tow a trailer, and have 400 hp, and must weigh 6,000 lbs so we can crush the car in an accident. The CAFE standards can be achieved for for most car classes now. They need a diet of features and weight.

    • JohnInMA

      Using regulation to change behavior has worked so well in the past, has it? The fastest way to see a revolving door in Washington is to take more and more choices away from consumers. Of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing in the overall scheme, perhaps. Those who want to be frugal should have and do have plenty of automotive choices. Those who want to tow a boat should also have plenty of choices. Just because you want mileage over other choices, such as comfort or safety, is not a reason to force it on your neighbor. People WILL buy more efficient cars. You need only look at the average fuel mileage ratings of cars SOLD in the U.S. over the last 10 years. It's when you mandate and take choice away that you end up defeating your purpose.

    • voted against carter

      Timmy,..

      DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!
      the BIG LIE.
      by Steve McCann (Full article at americanthinker dot com)

      Yet the United States is sitting on the world's largest untapped oil reserve.  A natural resource that would not only mitigate the over $400 Billion sent overseas to other countries but could create untold millions of jobs and put the country on a sound financial footing.

      The untapped reserves are estimated up to 2.3 Trillion barrels, nearly three times the reserves held by the OPEC countries and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand, at today's levels — for auto, truck, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil. 

      The US could become the single largest exporter of oil and oil related products in the world, thus potentially eliminating its trade deficit, and increasing the national standard of living as well as making a massive dent in the national debt.  

      See below for the rest of this artical

  • ger reader

    US cars are not as bad as the russian cars (dangerous), but who really wants to drive them if you can have a japs or ger one? call me a german a**hole, but the customers know what to buy.

  • Supercharged

    "Alex, I drive a Nissan Leaf, and this is no 40 mph weenie car. It out accelerates most of the cars on the road, and has a top speed of over 90 mph."

    WHAT? The Leaf has a zero to 60 time of about 10 seconds, much slower than your average family car. And if you cruise at 90 your range would be so dramatically reduced that the car would be unusable. An honest man never lies, a pragmatic man never lies about something that is easily verified. If you want to test your claim and are in the DC area, look for the red Lotus or yellow Ferrari 355 and well run for pink slips. I got a flashlight around here that needs new batteries.

  • SueDinNY

    Obama's plans are going to make living in the USA from now on extremely difficult. EPA regs on coal fired plants will make the cost of electricity double or triple. Obamacare will force companies to abandon offering healthcare and put the burden on us instead. Now cars will cost an additional $10,000. This is the guy who touts himself as the Robin Hood of the poor and middle class. What a bunch of BS.

  • Asher

    I hope you Lefties love Obama soooo much that you are willing to sacrifice your prosperity, and your children's futures to keep him!

  • WLAS

    Can someone please reintroduce the Geo Metro XFI.

    It seems to be the same size as the Mini Cooper but it got 60 mpg and was the least expensive car at that time on the market.

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