Saturday, December 1, 2007

CAFE Standards And Other Assorted Energy Stuff



An agreement among Congressional Democrats has paved the way for an increase in the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) Standards of 40 percent to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. As a person working in the auto industry, I have always been a firm believer in letting the market dictate what kind of vehicles the consumer buys. But I am going to shock everyone by actually supporting this increase. Here are my reasons why:

  1. The United States needs to decrease its' dependence on foreign oil, and this will save over a million barrels a day.
  2. A million barrels a day at $96 a barrel equals $3.5 billion a year of our cash that we don't put into the pockets of Hugo Chavez, Armagedonijihad et al.
  3. There is enough time for our auto companies to work out the technology to accomplish this feat. In fact, with the fuel cell and advanced dual-mode hybrid technologies that General Motors is already putting into production, 40 miles per gallon is not too far away.

My problem is in a couple of other parts of this energy bill.

This bill mandates a seven-fold increase in the production of ethanol for use as a motor fuel. Are they nuts? We currently subsidize ethanol to the tune of $1.45 per gallon. With the new requirement to produce 36 billion gallons of ethanol a year by 2022, subsidies would amount to almost $54 billion of our tax dollars. We are already seeing an increase in the price of corn and meat (corn is a staple in most animal feed). With the increased farm land that would have to be dedicated to corn production, we will also see an increase in just about every farm product.

Another part of this legislation that sticks in my craw is the requirement for non-public electric utilities to produce at least 15 percent of their power from renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. I can understand the desire to slow down our use of coal. Even if you don't believe in global warming, spewing all that crap into the air just can't be good. But unless they consider the atom a renewable energy source, they aren't attempting to use the cleanest energy available.

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11 comments:

cfs said...

I like the cafe

Well, let me be the first one to say this, I like the cafe, and I like it with milk and no sugar, and it must be hot for me to drink it. Have a productive Texas week, with or without cafe!

cfs

WomanHonorThyself said...

ah coffeeeeeeee...mm..heh..anything not to depend on A-rab oil!

Tapline said...

I'm with you....always a catch with the DEmos.......gutta watchem....stay well.....

The Irritable Elephant said...

Paul,

Thanks for the comment. Gave you a shout-out this morning and expanded on your thinking a bit.

Have a look.

Mark

http://irritableelephant.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/how-hugo-chavez-and-bin-laden-can-be-a-fly-on-an-elephants-rear-end/

buffalodickdy said...

I was 1yr out of college when the first oil crisis hit. The project where I worked was designing and building a roof-top air conditioner for RVs. Winnebagos stopped selling (7 mpg) and didn't need our product! I was out of a job the week I got married. There was alot of talk about improved mass transit, electric cars, and smaller cars using less gas. This was 35 years ago. Mileage is better, wind towers are being built, solar powered equipment is much more prevalent- in short, alot of improvements have been made. Real, focused progress will not accelerate unless people are compelled to do it, or there is a buck to be made...

Keshi said...

I cant live w.o. coffee.

Keshi.

Superstar said...

You lost me at coffee...*yawn*
I need a good cup of joe please!

*yawn*

What was the question again!??!?!

kever said...

I've also done some work with the auto industry (AAM to be exact) and I think that this is also a good move. The auto manufacturers were actually behind this too if you can believe that - they just wanted to make sure that the separation between cars and trucks was in the compromise, which it was. Overall this is good for all sides I think.

Terry said...

I heard Glen Beck make a suggestion that seems reasonable.

America needs to begin the process of drilling our own oil. We don't even have to use it now. If we just look like we don't need the Middle East and their high priced oil anymore, they will lower their prices.

Paul Champagne said...

cfs ... I like mine with plenty of milk and sugar.

angel ... maybe not quite "anything"

tapline ... they have an agenda, just like the Republicans ... I say we have to watch them both.

elephant ... thanks for the shout-out.

buffalo ... actually mileage is worse today than it was 15 years ago. Cars are heavier and equipped with extra safety devices. This is a good thing, but now we need to combine them.

keshi ... sure you could, but life wouldn't be as enjoyable.

bambi ... what question?

kever ... I have nothing against the fuel mileage standards ... it's the rest of the crap in the bill that pisses me off.

terry ... I have long been a supporter of building roads in Anbar (Alaska), setting up drills and just waiting for the rest of the world to run out of oil. Then we would be the only ones with it and could charge the Arabs $100,000 a barrel.

kever said...

haha - I hear you. Also, I think you meant ANWR Alaska, not Anbar (ANWR stands for the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge where they want to drill for oil). But anyway I also liked your emphasis on the need to focus on new technologies too. While the CAFE compromise was a great step in the right direction on the road of Congress and the auto industry working together - there are a lot of other areas where work needs to be done.