Recently I watched on MSNBC’s climate show, a complete distortion of reality. The segment was concerning the CAFE standards and the Trump Administration’s decision to not go forward with the Obama increase in those standards. Here’s the clip from All In.
And another one.
first of all the decision to not go forward with the standards is the Trump Administration’s prerogative. The previous administration does not have a veto on the executive orders of succeeding administrations. That is not how the system works. The Adminstration of “Hope and Change certainly did not hesitate to rewrite the rule from the Bush Administration. So if the Trump Administration wants to maintain the current CAFE standard of 37 miles per gallon it is free to do so. That does not mean that the auto companies cannot make cars to the new standard, but it does mean that the marketplace, and not government fiat will determine whether those are the cars that the automakers will be able to sell. If people want a simple 20 mpg car that is roomy and can do everything that they want, they should be able to buy that and pay for the gas. That is their decision. Of course the Environmental acvitists want something different. So, apparently do the automakers. This piece from Yale has the narrative as seen on MSNBC.
“The auto companies are in a difficult position because globally, they are being pushed to compete for a market that is increasingly demanding advanced technology vehicles,” Nichols said. “They can’t be operating with confusion over what the standards are going to be for their base product, the core of their business, which is still the internal combustion engine.”
Yale Environment 360: The Trump administration has called the emissions rules, which require automakers to improve average gas mileage for passenger vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, unrealistic and too costly and has spent years working to roll them back. Why is this significant?
Mary Nichols: The Trump administration’s attempt to roll back the emissions standards and fuel economy standards, which were negotiated between the federal government, California, and the auto industry going back to 2012, is a major blow to the United States’ progress on meeting the [climate] agreements that were made in Paris. Even if the government has withdrawn from the agreement, we were still continuing to uphold our commitment in terms of addressing the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, because of those standards. So the effect of the rollback is enormous, and for the local level here in California, it also represents the most serious assault in generations on California’s ability to make progress on our own air quality problems.
e360: How big of an impact do greenhouse gas emissions from transportation play in California and the country’s overall greenhouse gas footprint?
Nichols: Within California, if you add in passenger cars and heavy duty vehicles, transportation is about 50 percent of the total of greenhouse gas contribution. Globally, it’s getting close to that number as well. As other areas get cleaner, mainly through phasing out of coal in many parts of the world, including around the United States, transportation emerges as our single biggest problem.
“People familiar with this area of the law are just shaking their heads and saying, ‘What could they [the Trump administration] be thinking?’”
e360: So there’s really no way to hit the targets nationally, or in California, without tougher emissions rules?
Nichols: Absolutely. In California, the emissions rules are recognized as a fundamental piece of our approach to meeting the state’s own mandated target of reducing emissions.
e360: Critics say that tougher rules will mean the end of SUVs and other cars that motorists like.
Nichols: Well, first of all, we dealt with this issue back in 2012, when we were first working out the national program. It’s actually written into the law that you can’t ban any category of vehicle, but the way the standards are constructed, they take into account the size and weight of the vehicles. So we’ve actually been criticized by some for not having explicitly done more to try to disincentivize the largest, heaviest vehicles. But that was the political decision, that if we were going to set standards that would be sustainable and acceptable politically around the country, you could not make it too hard for people to get the kind of big, heavy vehicles that they want.
e360: Four automakers agreed to do a voluntary deal with California in July to largely maintain the [Obama-era] standards. Why do you think they did that?
Nichols: The auto companies are in a difficult position because globally, they are being pushed to compete for a market that is increasingly demanding advanced technology vehicles. China is mandating that all vehicles sold be zero-emission, either battery or fuel cell vehicles, within a very short period of time. And so they need to be focusing their efforts, their engineering efforts and their internal planning efforts, on becoming competitive in that market. They can’t be operating with confusion over what the standards are going to be for their base product, the core of their business, which is still the internal combustion engine.
So the great advantage of the Obama standards was that it set a path for a decade of peace and stability and planning, and everybody knew what the rules were going to be. By throwing a monkey wrench into this approach, what the Trump administration did is create confusion and anxiety. The companies that approached us were looking for a way to create a zone of peace by agreeing on a set of standards voluntarily… that included consideration of improvements they would be making in the cars they sell throughout the country, and avoid aggressive enforcement actions or other collateral damage while California and the federal government try to resolve our differences about how to move forward.
The key to the argument by the automakers is that they can write an agreement with California to mandate the Obama CAFE standards. The Trump Adminstration file an antitrust suit against them. This was the correct action.
Now the Sherman antitrust law was arguably a mistake. The target was the trunk line rate pools of the nineteenth century and it is amazing to see the automakers make the same arugments that the railroads did for stability and the like. It also interesting for the press to call this an attack. would they say the same thing about Obama and the oil companies. The fact is that the sort of thing the automakers are doing is exactly what the Sherman antitrust law is designed to prevent.
This action to self impose California standards on the rest of the country is in clear violation of the Sherman Antitrust act against collusion and the commerce clause in the Constitution. Claifornia can mandate any air standards it wants. It can set standards for cars made in California. What it cannot do is reach to Tennessee and mandate standards for Tennesee. Nor is it an independent country. It does NOT have the right, unlike the claims made in all the pieces to dictate to the rest of us what we should be driving.
As far as the greenhouse and electric cars being greener, they are not. What they do is shift the environmental costs to somebody else. That clean Tesla means polluted lithium mines Congo Cobalt and polluted Chinese rare earth mines. It also means a higher burden on the electric grid and in the end, higher prices for consumers and making cars harder to purchase for lower middle class people.
The narrative spun by the media is a massive distortion. The reality is that the automakers and the greens benefit and the consumer loses. What happened to the Democrats who came up with this?
No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to downsize.