The Excess of Evil Strikes Again!

Fri, 2007-12-21 13:31Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

The Excess of Evil Strikes Again!

The Bush administration's decision to deny California permission to regulate and reduce global warming emissions from cars and trucks is an indefensible act of executive arrogance that can only be explained as the product of ideological blindness and as a political payoff to the automobile industry.

Previous Comments

At what point does the Bush administration become legally liable for their actions? Seems to me that with Iraq, Guantanamo, trying to scuttle Bali and then going against the EPA’s own legal counsel in this latest announcement, they’re getting pretty close to someone having a go at them.

Unless governments are no longer accountable to those who elected them to lead…

governments/monarchs being subject to the laws of the land, it’s interesting that a record price was just paid at auction by a private buyer to keep Ross Perot’s copy of the Magna Carta in the United States (displayed in the Library of Congress). Maybe the Bush administration should take a field trip down the Mall for a refresher on the basics.

The Bush Administration already is accountable, Toby.

The proposed changes could add up to $6,000 to the cost of a new vehicle. Demand is already down, the automakers are bleeding profusely, and the insightful and wise California legislature decides to set artificially high standards to push manufacturing costs and prices up. Any consideration of the lead time it takes for manufacturers to make changes to their product line is dismissed with the simplistic, “They already have the technology.” Wow. A magic switch to improve fuel economy 22% fleet wide in 4 years. That’s awesome.

‘Greenhouse’ ruling: An exhaustive look
http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/571167.html

While Ross may claim the only explanation is “ideological blindness and as a political payoff to the automobile industry,” that sounds a whole lot like Leftist Environmental Extremism to me. Maybe I missed it, Ross. Did you purposefully construct this strawman just so someone like me could waltz in and blow it down?

According to the Sacramento Bee, “Many states, particularly in the populous Northeast, typically have followed California’s lead. The ripple effect leaves automakers with no economical choice but to build cars for the whole nation that meet the stricter – and often costlier – California rules.” Some might say that Bush is doing exactly what he was elected to do. Since the Federal government is required by law to pursue policies to maintain Full Employment, Bush is actually following a responsible course to prevent widespread layoffs.

Further, there’s that nagging little issue of who, exactly, has the authority to set fuel economy standards, but that’s a lot of boring legal stuff that probably wouldn’t interest you.

The federal Clean Air Act and How to Regulate National Industries
http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/dorf/20071217.html

This little skirmish between Arnie and the EPA has been going on for almost a year, at least. In November the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger filed a separate lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the agency to grant a federal waiver for California that would require automakers to revamp their product lineup with more fuel-efficient cars and trucks starting next year.”

Ninth Circuit Court Orders EPA to Rewrite Fuel Economy Standards
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/16/MNHMTD7IA.DTL

Instead of knee-jerk boo hooing, Global Warming proponents should be happy. Rather than hold up California’s waiver with extended hearings and other foot-dragging, Johnson denied it outright. If the EPA loses, and they will, the matter will be decided by the impartial and apolitical appellate courts. This should put the matter to rest once and for all.

For Global Warming activists, the next two years could turn out to be even promising than 2007.

Global Warming Science Advances in 2007; Political Leaders Up The Ante http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/09/nbook109.xml

The Telegraph? John, your taste in sources is very bad. Try the Guardian:

Coal-fired power stations, airport expansions and new road schemes could all be put on hold following a decision by Gordon Brown that ministers must in future take account of the true economic cost of climate change damage…

Now that’s how intelligent economists need to act. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/dec/22/climatechange.carbonemissions

Great catch, VJ. I really liked this line:

“The social carbon price is likely to affect the role of regulators and make them more willing to back nuclear as opposed to other more carbon emitting energy technologies.”

If the choice is between CO2 and radioactive waste, I’m sure everyone will agree that carbon dioxide presents a considerably higher risk to the Earth.

Since nuclear is a carbon emitting technology, the ones that emit less carbon and no nuclear wastes are preferable.

JohnH, these comments of yours are typical of those who choose to obfusate, delay, and externalize costs in order to make short term profits.

For example: The proposed changes could add up to $6,000 to the cost of a new vehicle.
This assumes that all changes should be recorded as new “costs.” In reality, these costs already exist. However, currently the costs are subsidized by the general taxpaying public. If you support free markets, then you should support that the true costs of a product should be reflected in the costs. [On the other side of the ledger, Walmart has recognized that it could save $52 million per year on transportation costs with just an increase of 1mpg! Is this also a “cost?”]

Or, you also claimed: Demand is already down, the automakers are bleeding profusely …. Of course, demand is down for gas hogs and US automakers are bleeding because because Detroit has refused to look forward. Compare to the demand for foreign produced and foreign designed hybrids.

And you suggested that the California legislature decide[d] to set artificially high standards. In reality, these “artificially high” standards have already been achieved by some (foreign) manufacturers. You seem to be claiming that the US is incapable of the same sort of innovation as the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc. I am confident that US scientists and engineers can do better.

There are many more tired, misused and flat wrong “arguments” in your post, but my reply is already too long for a Christmas day post! But really, instead of knee-jerk whining, don’t you think US auto manufacturers ought to get busy building something that people want to buy and that doesn’t demand that the non-gas hog buyers among us continue to subsidize their extravagant lifestyles?

Ross, I fail to see any political payoff for the automobile industry, at least the domestic auto industry.

Bush’s signing the CAFE increases into law will hurt the domestic auto industry the most.

One can agree or disagree with Bush’s decision, but raising CAFE will reduce C02 tailpipe emissions which is what California was after.

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