Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Every now and again, I read something in the news that just makes me laugh, and today I found a doozy.

First a little background.

There exist laws that govern the overall fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in the US. Every manufacturer is required to have a given percentage of their production meet a certain minimum fuel efficiency standard. The law contained a few provisions which allowed the automobile manufacturers to continue to make trucks, as it is unreasonable to expect that a vehicle designed to haul heavy loads to get 50MPG.

In the last couple of years, these laws were updated by the Bush administration. On the surface the changes would seem like they were for the better, as they increased the minimum fuel efficiency for fleet sales. However, the updates to the law also discreetly modified the language that defined a truck, thus allowing more vehicles to qualify for fuel-emission exemptions, giving automobile makers a way to weasel out of making fuel-efficient SUVs by making them bigger and heavier. Their well-spent lobbying dollars having achieved the desired result, the automotive industry started cranking out ever larger and more inefficient monstrosities.

Until now.

Nine states have sued the administration of President George W. Bush for lenient automotive fuel economy standards that they say worsen an energy crunch and contribute to air pollution and climate change.


But the lawsuit, joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, says the move included language that could "create incentives to build larger, less fuel-efficient models" and attempts to pre-empt a California law requiring a reduction of greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions.

The attorney general of the District of Columbia and the corporate counsel for New York City have also joined.

Shadenfreude, I enjoy it so.



Post a Comment

<< Home