silly stuff on car regs from the LA Times
From the editorialists of the L.A. Times (hat tip: C-J)...
To listen to the global-warming deniers, the Obama administration's announcement last week that it plans to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles will hurt the economy, force consumers to buy cars they don't want and endanger the lives of motorists. The opposite is closer to the truth.
By definition, it hurts the economy;
unless one assume consumers are morons (or assuming the market is monopolistic-- and thus, you're a moron), then you're forcing them to buy something they don't want;
and the subsequently smaller cars will be more dangerous.
Until the banking crisis overtook the issue, the nation's top economic concern was high gasoline prices. The financial meltdown caused oil prices to plummet, but that will change when the economy recovers.
From what follows, I'm guessing that they're thinking about the increase in demand for petroleum products, but one must also consider the dollar which probably continue to weaken.
Improving fuel efficiency will dramatically reduce U.S. demand, which accounts for one-quarter of the world's oil demand. That will put far more downward pressure on prices, and do it more quickly, than opening more domestic land to drilling possibly could.
Assuming that bankrupt car companies can survive while making increasingly inefficient cars, this would decrease U.S. demand and put moderate pressure on prices. (OPEC would respond by cutting supply, so this mitigates whatever gains we might see.)
The safety argument is based on studies that have shown past regulation of fuel efficiency increased the number of deaths in auto accidents by encouraging smaller and lighter vehicles. That's mainly because people in lighter cars are in greater danger when they're in accidents involving heavier ones; if everybody drove smaller cars, we'd all be safer....
Unless that's part of the regulation-- then more of us, but not all of us, will be driving smaller cars. (And then there are the trucks...will those be as small as the new Obama-biles?)
These elements will add to a new car's cost — about $1,300 more per vehicle by 2016, according to the Obama administration...
Key term: "according to the Obama administration"— vs. reality.