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Think Progress breaks the news that the Senate has passed the first significant increase in fuel efficiency standards in nearly 20 years--to 35 miles per gallon for cars and SUVs.

Feinstein has released a statement on the vote: "The compromise legislation raises the fleetwide average fuel economy standards for all cars, trucks and SUVs by 10 miles per gallon over 10 years — or from 25 to 35 miles per gallon by Model Year 2020." By 2025, the fuel economy increases for cars and light-duty trucks would:

— Save between 2.0 and 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, nearly the amount of oil imported today from the Persian Gulf.
— Achieve up to 18 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from anticipated levels, or the equivalent of taking 60 million cars off the road in one year.
— Save consumers $79-98 billion at the pump, based on a $3.00 gas price.

This is tremendous progress on the part of the Senate, and they are to be commended. So pats on the back all around on the Senate side. However, the battle is far from over as there may or may not be an deal in the House between and Pelosi and Dingell to put off the CAFE standards. It's unclear right now whether those reports are true, but it most certainly can't hurt to pressure House Dems to follow the Senate's suit, and adopt these standards. Start dialing!

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 10:49 PM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  its a start (9+ / 0-)

    hopefully electrics  will make this a moot point.
    go solar or go home!!

    May there be peace on earth and may it begin with me

    by lazbumm on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 10:50:48 PM PDT

    •  "Its a start" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, TPaine, Rex Manning

      I think you sold out to BP.  

      "We will get fooled again" Me

      by givemhellHarryR on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:27:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  35 mpg in 2020? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, Rex Manning

        Great if one owns property in the Rockies one hopes to have become beachfront property someday. Not so great for the rest of us.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:06:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I am confused

          "We will get fooled again" Me

          by givemhellHarryR on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:16:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there was a bit of snark in that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, x

            Nobody really expects to see more than coastal regions quite a few miles inland flooded out.

            My point is that as a global warming solution, 35 mpg barely qualifies as symbolic.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:32:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It would take the average car (3+ / 0-)

              up to what I currently am driving - Saturn 4-cylinder, 33-40 mpg.  It wouldn't make cars any more expensive - in fact it would make them CHEAPER!

              Why cheaper?  Have you ever seen any car that gets over 30 mpg loaded to the gills?  Do you think they could power an oversized automotive behemoth on a 4 banger?  A six banger hybrid?  No way, Jose.  The only sure route to higher mpg is smaller engines, smaller vehicles.

              Now let's see the domestic auto industry get with the program already!

              •  First they came for our guns and now our pickups (0+ / 0-)

                The only sure route to higher mpg is smaller engines, smaller vehicles.

                The Republicans are already mounting a campaign about how the guvmint is going to take away our pickup trucks and make us all ride around in dinky little Euro-cars that give us no protection in a crash.


                •  New industry! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You know how they can't sell "full auto" firearms, but sell after market adaptor kits instead?  The new industry will be a coalition of junkyards and auto shops that will upgrade your wimpy underpowered vehicle with new/used high powered engine!  If you do that, you may want to swap out your teeny little 12 gallon gas tank too.  Once you go from 35 mpg to 16 mpg, a tank won't take you very far.

                •  Republicans: fountains of credibility (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fabian, dotcommodity

                  Especially on this issue.  Not!

                  Conservatives: Law-and-order, as long as they make the law and someone else takes the orders.

                  by slippytoad on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 05:14:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Reality Check (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    This was a 'compromise' bill. This is what didn't make it in thanks to the Repubs:

                    Earlier in the day Reid could not hide his displeasure as Republicans blocked one of the Democrats' top priorities, a $32 billion tax package aimed at boosting renewable fuels, energy efficiency and clean energy programs. The Republicans didn't like the $29 billion in additional taxes on oil companies that the plan required to pay for the new alternative energy subsidies.
                    Democrats also failed to get a provision that would have required electric utilities to produce at least 15 percent of their electricity from wind, biomass or other renewables after Republicans refused to allow the measure to come up for a vote.

                    The Repubs block a lot of things that, er, supporters here don't acknowledge when blaming the congresses ratings entirely on the Dems.

                    As I see from some of the comments nothing is ever enough.

                    What is also in the bill:

                    The legislation also calls for:

                    _Price gouging provisions that make it unlawful to charge an "unconscionably excessive" price for oil products, including gasoline. It also gives the federal government new authority to investigate oil industry market manipulation.

                    _New appliance and lighting efficiency standards and a requirement that the federal government accelerate use of more efficient lighting in public buildings.

                    _Grants, loan guarantees and other assistance to promote research into fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrids, advanced diesel and battery technologies.


                    "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                    by talex on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:34:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Your Saturn was made possible by CAFE (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                berith, Fabian

                How do you get more performance out of smaller engines burning less fuel?  TECHNOLOGY and AUTOMATION, that's how.  16-valve overhead cam engines with computerized fuel injection systems and variable valve timing that were designed from the inside out with computers and built by robots with extreme precision to save gas and last longer than those designed with stubby pencils and slide rules built by some guy with a Monday morning hangover.

                Of course, all this requires that car companies maintain an R&D department to do more than dream up new and more outlandish styling for the same old thing.

              •  This won't elimnate SUVs & trucks (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ...because there is still demand for them. What it will do is force innovation, like hybrid SUVs with smaller engines and lightweight composite bodies, or plug-in hybrids with Lithium ion batteries.

                "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

                by berith on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 06:43:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Happening even now. (0+ / 0-)

                  The SUVs of choice now aren't the behemoth Ford Expeditions, but the smaller, lighter SUVs.  Saturn makes a hybrid VUE which is a midsize SUV.  I'm not sure what a 'midsize' SUV is actually.  Compared to a H3 or Expedition, a VUE might be considered a 'small' SUV.

            •  but it is a 40% improvement over current (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              standards which have not been challenged since the 70's so it is an actual and historic improvement.
              There's plenty of other energy legislation in the works to keep the pressure up, so lets not help the RW put us Democrats down, at least here at dailykos.

              •  the purpose of this bill as far as I discern (0+ / 0-)

                is to put Democrats in a position to say that "we fought the good fight".

                We need legislation that has some chance of solving the real problems. Politics will always be with us.

                Nature has a lot less patience.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 03:02:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well have you called your rep + Senator? (0+ / 0-)

                  We have to ask to get the RPS and the rest:
                  This bill is the start. Now we need more.
                  As I said in my diary here, this is only one of 5 bills, the feeblest, now we must move on to demand the next.

                  See how the Bingaman bill takes us half way. We have to pass the Boxer S309/Waxman HR1590 next.
                  If we demand it we can get them to include the narrow misses from this bill in the global warming bill.
                  Don't assume (don't let!) them get off with just one energy bill like the doNothings did.

                  (202) 224 3121 every day.

    •  Sound of one hand clapping ... (15+ / 0-)

      A "start" is a stronger positive word than what I would use.

      The 35 mpg is such a half-measure and, I fear, dangerous.  

      People will point to things like this and say, congratulatory, 'see, we've done X, Y, Z, leave us alone on energy/environmental issues so we can do other things ...'

      Richardson's call for 50 mpg is a 'start'.

      From the perspective of someone heavily invested in efforts to Energize America, I strongly disagree with McJoan ... this is not

      tremendous progress on the part of the Senate, and they are to be commended. So pats on the back all around on the Senate side

      I'm sorry. No pats on the back from me.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:31:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  think of the Senate as a wayward child... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Danny Boy, cotterperson, x, Fabian, ReEnergizer

        When they accomplish something even half-right, they should be praised and their behavior should be rewarded and reinforced.

        If this bill gets thru the House at 35 MPG, that will be progress indeed, considering that the House is making noise about lowering the standard even below 35 MPG.

        Of course, 35 MPG is pathetic.

      •  It's yesterday's solution to today's problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lazbumm, A Siegel

        Sometimes I just don't get this debate.  At the core of any CAFE argument--whatever the standards turn out to be--is the following: petroleum-based vehicles are part of the American way of life.

        Instead of mandating improvements to current (and old) technologies, we should be accelerating migration to new ones.  Prime example: plug-in hybrids.  Even an SUV or pickup-sized vehicle can drive 1 mile on 0.5 kilowatt-hours of generated electricity.  At a 35 mpg "mandate," that same vehicle would require 17.5 kWh to travel the same distance as a gallon of gas.

        Now, if you can purchase electricity to fuel the vehicle at off-peak rates--say 4 cents per kWh--then your equivalent cost per gallon is 70 cents.  How will this compare with gas prices in 2020?  One-fifth?  One-eighth?  Of course, if you have installed renewable energy sources (solar, wind) at the refueling site, your cost for fuel is zero if the capital cost of the renewables has already been applied to creating combined heating and power and fully amortized.

        The "performance" issue is BS, too.  Electric motors provide linear torque that is superior to ICEs--that is why diesel locomotives have run that way for decades.  Sometimes I think it's not acceleration and top speed that's really important to "performance junkies"--it's the noise the vehicles make.  (Vehicles running from electricity are virtually silent.)

        DOE claims that we can fuel 78 percent of the entire fleet from existing excess capacity in the grid. Link.  Although this analysis is flawed--it is based on 24/7 operation of all but peaker plants (which would double national natural gas consumption) instead of 9 p.m - 6 a.m. use of baseload--it is absolutely true that existing excess capacity can fuel 20-25 percent of all vehicles right now.

        Where is the vision?

    •  Yawn!!! Bet the Chinese beat that by (4+ / 0-)
      1.  Flood the market, and GM will still wonder why they lose share, all the while complaining that profits are down (Exec salary/bonus up) because of the damn union workers who refuse to build a profitable car.
      •  try again (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Try brain-dead C-level people.

        Unless the Big Three use this as an excuse to offshore domestic auto production, just what difference does it make to an auto worker whether he attaches a door on an assembly line to a Hummer, a Volt, or a biodiesel vehicle?

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:08:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  damn union workers? damn union workers! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, Bob Friend

        How about the damn American public that gobbles up oversized, overpowered SUVs?

        They built those vehicles because of the high profit margins, not because the "damn union workers" refused to build tidy, fuel efficient sedans.  

        •  Congress has spent years catering to the SUVs (3+ / 0-)

          First off, by classifying them as trucks instead of cars, they were not subject to quotas imposed over the years on foreign imports. Now with the limitations on deductions of business uses of cars, SUVs are classified as trucks so they can be expensed off.
          The last time I ran the numbers, for an executive to drive a car means that only the first $17,000 or so is depreciable or deductible. However, if he loads up with an SUV, the whole cost is able to be written off.  For that reason, we watched business leaders swap their Lincolns and Mercedes for godawful huge 4 wheel drive SUVs to get the full benefit.
          This morning, I watched a neighbor head out in his 9 passenger, 4 wheel drive (never been off the pavement) SUV with him and his cell phone as the only passengers.
          Maybe Congress will smarten up on this dodge.  

        •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Those "damn union workers" build what the boss tells them to build.  Does anyone think they actually make executive decisions?  Get real.  If I had TU status, I'd troll-rate remarks like that.  It just pisses me off when people blame the UAW for dumbshit the suits do in their ivory towers.

    •  It's an end, it's a surrender (4+ / 0-)
      What, in 13 years we'll have caught up to just behind where Europe is today?

      I'm working in England right now, and the majority of new cars sold here now are low pressure turbodiesels pushing 42mpg (US).  Oh, and they can run on biodiesel.  There's still a market for gasoline, but at the low end, for small engined compacts and sub-compacts returning >35mpg (US).  Even top end luxury car makers are selling more turbodiesels than gasoline cars.

      I'm currently running a "supermini" (sub compact) turbodiesel that's easily returning 55mpg (US) on a suburban cycle, and that's only average for its class.  My wife drives an older 1.6 liter gasoline MPV for ferrying the kids around, and even that (using 10 year old engine technology) returns 33mpg (US), which is pretty close to the bottom of the economy scale over here.

      So, whoop-de-doop, Senate; you've set yourselves mid term standards that don't even match what Europe has already exceeded voluntarily.  Excuse me if I don't fall over myself to catch a flight home any time soon.


      The President is not my master. He is Chief among my servants.

      by DemCurious on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 05:55:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Love Your Sig (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As the Romans would say 'First Among Equals' among your servants.

        Are US citizens in the 'Land of the Free' allowed to import said European vehicles?

        If you can check on this I would appreciate it. They say that Prius cars in Europe have an electric only button for driving around in metro center areas... truth?


        •  Not the diesels (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Are US citizens in the 'Land of the Free' allowed to import said European vehicles?

          Vehicles privately imported must pass certain emissions standards.  Since the diesel emissions standards have been pushed to extreme levels,  most diesels won't pass.  Doesn't matter that, with superior mileage, they put less CO2 into the air per mile.

          You'll probably just have to wait until VW brings back their diesels.  Either that,  or wait for Audi or BMW.  Of course, you can buy a Mercedes right now;  26/35 for $52,000.  Or a VW Toareg land-yacht for $68,000.  But a small diesel car?  Nope.

      •  Yes, but the Euro's had to be charged to do this (0+ / 0-)

        You wouldn't think that the prevalence of those fuel efficient cars has anything to do with the cost of fuel in those countries? That most of the cost of the fuel is made up in taxes? Nah.

        The Euro's have been doing it smart. Show the drivers the "true" cost of driving their car everytime they fill up at the pump. If US drivers were shown the true costs by adding the total cost of road maintenance onto the price of their fuel they would be able to make wiser market based decisions.

    •  the electric subsidy was killed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but this part stayed so it is not dead. Just first you have to rub their noses in how much sense it makes: 1 step at a time. We'll get there.


      The Secretary shall conduct a study on
      the feasibility of issuing credits to electric vehicles powered by
      electricity produced from renewable energy sources.

      REPORT.—Not later than 18 months after the
      date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit
      to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of
      the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce
      of the House of Representatives a report that describes...

      make him sweat!

      ...the results of the study, including a description of
      existing programs and studies
      on the use of
      renewable electricity as a means of powering electric
      ; and alternatives for designing a pilot program
      to determine the feasibility of using renewable electricity to
      power electric vehicles as an adjunct to a renewable fuels mandate

  •  good start, but there really needs to be a (14+ / 0-)

    total shock to the system to make more change than this.

    More incentives are needed for mass transit, for example and there should be some plans to lessen urban congestion where such a huge portion of wasted fuel is burned idling in traffic.

    Better than nothing, if they can even get that through.

    •  ok can we power it with this (7+ / 0-)

      1500 times the power!!

      May there be peace on earth and may it begin with me

      by lazbumm on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:10:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow! ... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pb, cotterperson, kovie, Rex Manning, Indy1776

        ...this is very encouraging (from your link):

        Large Scale Solar Power Plant Specifications
        Project: Large scale solar concentrator power plant
        Project timeframe: Full commissioning expected 2013, first stage complete in 2010
        Capacity: 154MW
        Generation: 270,000 MWh per annum (equivalent to the annual electricity needs of 45,000 homes)
        Technology: Heliostat Concentrator Photovoltaic (HCPV)
        Plant components:
        Heliostats – 19,250
        Receivers – 246
        PV Modules – 62,976
        Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions: 396,000 tonnes per annum

        Now if we can just keep Bush from starting WWIII and bombing Iran. Just think of all the peaceful, productive things man can make when he's not busy killing himself!

        "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:26:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But can it barbeque? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          x, Fabian

          In a snarkimental mood tonight... ;-)

        •  Did you see ENERGY COOL on CSP (4+ / 0-)

          this might be of interest ...

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:34:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, x, A Siegel

            A Siegel. That was a great read! I wonder. Why haven't we tapped the power of the sun? I heard it's only got a few million years worth of energy left to go before super nova, though. Dang it! (But I just love the price).

            "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:45:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  yes (0+ / 0-)

            I got the link from assiegels excellent diary and maybe this one too!! Maybe?

            New product to be released for residential use 2008

            May there be peace on earth and may it begin with me

            by lazbumm on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:13:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That was from the earlier diary ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lazbumm, cotterperson

              on rooftop concentrating solar power.  This (link above) is about large-scale (utility size) concentrating solar power developments.

              Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

              by A Siegel on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:20:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ok please explain to a layperson (0+ / 0-)

                how many of those heliuostubes do I need to run my house? (1500 kwh per month in the south texas heat)

                May there be peace on earth and may it begin with me

                by lazbumm on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:27:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Couple things .. (7+ / 0-)
                  1.  At this time, it is generally FAR CHEAPER to invest in energy efficiency than new power generation (especially solar). Even though it is South Texas heat, 1500 kwh / month suggests that you have major energy efficiency investment options. (Geothermal heating/cooling?  Radiant barrier in roof? Insulation? Radiant barrier/shades for windows? New appliances? Etc ...)
                  1.  Not an expert on these. Believe that they are 165 watts each ... Assuming 1500 kwh remains constant, you are about 5-6 hours/day (I believe) of solar, on average. Your 1500 kwh translates to 50 kwh/day. Thus, you would need roughly 10 kilowatt system to meet the 1500 kwh/month or just short of 60 of these panels. (There are lots of programs out there for calculating this ...)  Off the top of my head calculation.

                  Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

                  by A Siegel on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:42:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  thanx (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    A Siegel

                    close enough for government work(haha)
                    If products are this good now in three to five years prices will fall and output will improve.

                    If we could get the government to declare WARonTHE SUN and do as good as  they have onthe WAR on SOME DRUGS then they could do it in half the time

                    May there be peace on earth and may it begin with me

                    by lazbumm on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:58:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  1500 kwh - holy shoot! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cotterperson, Indy1776

                  That's double my power bill although we do have gas dryer and hot water.

                  Ouch.  Why isn't everyone in TX on solar?

                  •  I don't mean to but in... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lazbumm, cotterperson

                    The reason everyone in Texas isn't on Solar is because of the cost of a solar panel system.  I was actually online yesterday looking up solar panel systems and the cost of a system for even a 700 kw system is in the $15,000 plus range.

                    Since our corporate controlled federal government won't do much to help increase alternative energy it is up to individual States.  California has led the way in solar and other alternative energy tax subsidies that make them "more" affordable to an upper middle class market.  
                    I believe Arizona and New Jersey also have decent solar rebate type programs.  

                    Alternative Energy/Solar is just another example of how this administration refuses to open up a new market and wait until the big oil/gas companies add solar to their  arsenal to unleash to the market.  

                    It's the same rationale as MPG/Cafe standards...our auto industry refused to adjust to making/selling higher mpg/hybrid cars and have has their asses kicked.  Bush refuses to update any standards so Big auto can play catch-up.

                    Notice how if/when you research alternative energy you will see that it is every other country that is leading in the technology and use.  Germany is a huge manufacturer and user of solar technology...I think Italy is a large user/supplier of wind turbines and the list goes on and on.

                    We are falling behind because we need to protect BIG Corporations from their non-market reactions to protect current profits!

                    •  Ohio has a rebate program too. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cotterperson, nightsweat

                      And we aren't even a solar optimal state like the desert southwest!  Yeah, solar is expensive but that's because our current POV is that electricity is something that is generated far away and delivered to us.  Like Katrina, the Great Eastern Blackout was a wakeup call that we can't always count on reliable power.  

                      •  We need another of those (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I mean, we don't, because it was miserable, but maybe another one would wake people up.

                        The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

                        by nightsweat on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:14:42 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It was frikkin' dangerous! (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Hospitals running on generator power, no water pressure to run fire hydrants, no communications capacity.....

                          I had family up there and nothing happened outside of wasting all their perishable food, but could you imagine that happening in Houston in midsummer?  Buffalo in midwinter?  

                          •  Texas is on its own grid separate from the rest (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Which is interesting in its own right.

                            It's much less likely to happen in the winter since our heat is a mix of energy sources, while our cooling is almost entirely electrical.

                            The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

                            by nightsweat on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 10:35:32 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Florida is almost exclusively electric in places. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm so used to having at least one gas appliance, that relying entirely on the grid for everything is an interesting and scary concept.  I'd probably have a propane grill just to have some kind of back up.

    •  Actually ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jxg, cotterperson, alizard, Rex Manning

      Is this "better than nothing" ... this lulls people into thinking that things are being achieved and could inhibit future, real action, as 'marginal' votes will fall away since 'we've already taken action'.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:32:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a step (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Superribbie, bree, dotcommodity

        The bill still has to make it past Dingell and Bush, and it is a small measure.  Small measures do count;  from there we can go for greater measures.  I'd rather be working from 35 mpg in 2017 than 25 mpg.


        Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

        by Yamaneko2 on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 01:35:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pelosi should take Dingell off Energy & Commerce (0+ / 0-)

          if he tries to block this. There's no excuse for letting him obstruct the legislative agenda of the Democratic caucus. Pelosi needs to demonstrate that this Congress can accomplish something, and if some off-the-reservation committee chairs want to whine about seniority privilege that's too damned bad.

          "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

          by berith on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 06:49:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

          I think sometimes people expect this Congress to solve all the country's problems in a week.  Come on, the Dems couldn't even get $30 million in tax hikes on oil companies for renewable research because the Reps blocked it.  Do you really think they (the Reps and Mich. senators) would allow legislation requiring cars to have 50 mpg?  There's not a chance.  So instead of having deadlock and getting nothing done, they compromised and got 35 mpg in the bill.  This is what you have to do when you barely have a majority in the senate and Bush has the veto pen.  

          I congratulate the Dems in Congress for getting a solid energy bill through the Senate.  And with a 65-27 vote, meaning a veto could be overcome (Boxer and Johnson add up to 67).  Today, I give my approval to Harry Reid and the Dems.

          "The only thing I would trust Dick Cheney on is if I had a dead hooker in my hotel room." --Jon Stewart

          by DemBrock on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:12:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  me too. (0+ / 0-)

            and we will keep adding more. the big problem is the stupid media calls this THE energy bill, like theres not 50 others being passed, and then every kossack here who only reads talkingpointsmemo or some impeachment blog gets the idea that our Dems have failed. NOT. WE are getting it done. With a thousand little bites. I am getting angry enough at kossacks putting down our congress that I am ready to diary all we HAVE achieved.

    •  Yup (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lazbumm, alizard, Fabian

      Car-free zones, higher parking meter fees and lot taxes during business hours, higher gas taxes (with rebates for low-income people), higher auto taxes for gas guzzlers, more bike paths, trails and public lockers, more commuter and intercity rail, incentives for electic and hybrid cars, etc. This can all be done if the political will is there. And it has to be done.

    •  the best way to prevent cars from idling (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in rush-hour traffic is for the drivers to telecommute.

      How can the government encourage employers to let their people telecommute without these telecommuting employees coming from India?

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:36:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  fewer vehicles, less congestion (0+ / 0-)

      MyPetWingnut's latest blog entry is a NIMBY/not-gonna,can't-make-me diatribe about a proposed bridge that would dump traffic into her neighborhood.  An alternate bridge was proposed that would have been pedestrian/bicycle only.  She scoffed at the idea of that encouraging non vehicular traffic had any benefit, yet she both complained about congestion and rejected a solution that would have adversely impacted her, even if she received a benefit from it.  

      The only way to reduce congestion is fewer vehicles or more roads.  The ironic thing about building more roads is that it actually encourages more vehicular traffic.  Of course if we build more bike lanes to encourage more cycling traffic and so on and so forth.

    •  theres more shocks we can make happen (0+ / 0-)

      but this is a start. Republican resistance can be sideswiped.

  •  I'm awaiting for the complaints to begin. (5+ / 0-)
    •  well, since you asked (0+ / 0-)

      If you take global warming seriously, why do you support one of the Senate's top advocates of coal-to-liquid technology?

      Synfuel made this way will cause just as much global warming when burned in automobiles as Bin Laden's Best fossil fuel from Saudi Arabia, making the unrealistic assumption that the conversion can be made without releasing any greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:39:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Every DEM voted against coal to liquid (0+ / 0-)

        Nay is no to coal to liquids.

        Alphabetical by Senator Name
        Akaka (D-HI), Nay
        Alexander (R-TN), Yea
        Allard (R-CO), Yea
        Baucus (D-MT), Nay
        Bayh (D-IN), Nay
        Bennett (R-UT), Yea
        Biden (D-DE), Nay
        Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
        Bond (R-MO), Yea
        Boxer (D-CA), Nay
        Brown (D-OH), Nay
        Brownback (R-KS), Yea
        Bunning (R-KY), Yea
        Burr (R-NC), Yea
        Byrd (D-WV), Nay
        Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
        Cardin (D-MD), Nay
        Carper (D-DE), Nay
        Casey (D-PA), Nay
        Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
        Clinton (D-NY), Nay
        Coburn (R-OK), Not Voting
        Cochran (R-MS), Yea
        Coleman (R-MN), Yea
        Collins (R-ME), Nay
        Conrad (D-ND), Nay
        Corker (R-TN), Yea
        Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
        Craig (R-ID), Yea
        Crapo (R-ID), Yea
        DeMint (R-SC), Yea
        Dodd (D-CT), Nay
        Dole (R-NC), Yea
        Domenici (R-NM), Yea
        Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
        Durbin (D-IL), Nay
        Ensign (R-NV), Yea
        Enzi (R-WY), Yea
        Feingold (D-WI), Nay
        Feinstein (D-CA), Nay
        Graham (R-SC), Yea
        Grassley (R-IA), Yea
        Gregg (R-NH), Yea
        Hagel (R-NE), Not Voting
        Harkin (D-IA), Nay
        Hatch (R-UT), Yea
        Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
        Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
        Inouye (D-HI), Nay
        Isakson (R-GA), Yea
        Johnson (D-SD), Not Voting
        Kennedy (D-MA), Nay
        Kerry (D-MA), Nay
        Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
        Kohl (D-WI), Nay
        Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
        Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
        Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay
        Leahy (D-VT), Nay
        Levin (D-MI), Nay
        Lieberman (ID-CT), Nay
        Lincoln (D-AR), Nay
        Lott (R-MS), Yea
        Lugar (R-IN), Yea
        Martinez (R-FL), Yea
        McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
        McCaskill (D-MO), Nay
        McConnell (R-KY), Yea
        Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
        Mikulski (D-MD), Nay
        Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
        Murray (D-WA), Nay
        Nelson (D-FL), Nay
        Nelson (D-NE), Nay
        Obama (D-IL), Nay
        Pryor (D-AR), Nay
        Reed (D-RI), Nay
        Reid (D-NV), Nay
        Roberts (R-KS), Yea
        Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay
        Salazar (D-CO), Nay
        Sanders (I-VT), Nay
        Schumer (D-NY), Nay
        Sessions (R-AL), Yea
        Shelby (R-AL), Yea
        Smith (R-OR), Yea
        Snowe (R-ME), Nay
        Specter (R-PA), Yea
        Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
        Stevens (R-AK), Yea
        Sununu (R-NH), Yea
        Tester (D-MT), Nay
        Thune (R-SD), Yea
        Vitter (R-LA), Yea
        Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
        Warner (R-VA), Yea
        Webb (D-VA), Nay
        Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
        Wyden (D-OR), Nay

    •  It's predictable (0+ / 0-)

      I imagine that if Bush and Cheney were actually impeached and thrown out, a third of the comments would be "they lack the spine to criminally prosecute them", a second third would be "they should have done this years ago", and the rest would be "sheesh--we had to rely on Republican votes to get this done; Dems are wankers".

      Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire -8.25, -6.51

      by Superribbie on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:56:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  3/4 of an mpg for 13 years? Progress? Whatever. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, Kelly A H, quotemstr, Indy1776
    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The current fuel standard is about 27 MPG.  It raises it to 35 MPG.  Where are you getting the 3/4ths?

      "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

      by deaniac83 on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  2020 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It raises the standard by 8 MPG by the year 2020. Thirteen years from now.

        8 divided by 13 is 0.61, so it's a 6/10ths of a mile per gallon increase per year. Actually a bit less than the "3/4 of an mpg for 13 years".

        Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

        by darrelplant on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:54:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, but that wasn't clear (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If you had said 3/4 of an mpg PER YEAR for 13 years, that would have made sense.  Other wise it sounds like it raises it 3/4 mpg over 13 years.

          But actually, raising it 3/4 mpg a year is not that bad.  Given there has been no action over the last 20 years, if you raised the CAFE standards 3/4 mpg per year for those 20 years, we would be at a standard of 15 mpgs higher then the current 27, or 43 mpg.  3/4 mpgs a year doesn't look so bad now, does it?

          "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

          by deaniac83 on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:15:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  3/4 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, Indy1776

            I didn't make the original comment, but I understood the point.

            And actually, 35MPG by 2020 does sound kind of pathetic to me. My 10-year-old 1998 Escort station wagon gets 30MPG. There are plenty of cars available in Europe and Asia that have much better fuel economy than the standard American vehicle.

            As my comment pointed out, the actual improvement in consumption is a saving of only 0.6mpg/year, not 0.75 (3/4). "Given that there has been no action over the last 20 years", if you raise standards 0.6mpg per year for the next 13 years, the actual amount standards will have been raised over the entire 33 year period will be less than a quarter of a gallon per year.

            With your formulation, it sort of sounds worse.

            Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

            by darrelplant on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 02:06:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but how many SUVs and trucks... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              with V6 engines get 35 mpg?  Not many.  I drive a Dodge Caravan w/a V6, and I only get a little over 20 mpg.  I would be ecstatic if the van got 35 mpg.  

              You have to remember that there is no way the Dems get 40-50 mpg through the Senate with their slim majority.  The Michigan senators and republicans balked at 35.    

              "The only thing I would trust Dick Cheney on is if I had a dead hooker in my hotel room." --Jon Stewart

              by DemBrock on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:19:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Voodoo (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You're never going to get V6 engines and SUVs that get 35mpg. The reason Detroit has fought fuel economy regulation is because they wanted to make the big money on large, expensive vehicles. Meanwhile, they're getting their asses handed to them by foreign auto manufacturers who are providing cars that get decent gas mileage because they make the same kinds of cars for markets where the price is already higher than what we pay in the US now.

                I grew up in a union family, I've always bought American-made cars. But no amount of technical voodoo is going to make a herd of F150s or Suburbans get anything approaching 35mpg. The only way to bring the average of the fleet up to that point is to make smaller, lighter cars. The American manufacturers could have been working to compete on that market the past couple of decades. but they just didn't want to.

                By 2020, if gas is up to something like $8/gal., and foreign automakers are bringing in cars that average 50mpg, people are going to be choking on 35.

                Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

                by darrelplant on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:46:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually if the SUV is a hybrid, you can. (0+ / 0-)

                  This year several suv's came out that are hybrids, all of which have fuel economies around 30.  Five of these are compared on this website:

                  In 13 years, you have to expect that technology will allow suv's hybrids will get up to 35 mpg.  

                  "The only thing I would trust Dick Cheney on is if I had a dead hooker in my hotel room." --Jon Stewart

                  by DemBrock on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 05:04:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  SUVs (0+ / 0-)

                    Those are all small and medium-sized SUVs, not stuff the size of a Chevy Suburban or a Ford Explorer or a Cadillac Escalade.

                    If you look at the hybrid trucks from your same chart, they're getting just under 20mpg, and their weight is more equivalent. A Ford Escape is 1,400 lbs. An Explorer is 2,000lbs. An F150 is 2,150lbs.

                    A Ford Taurus actually weighs more than a hybrid Escape.

                    I don't doubt that battery technology will get better, but the most efficient and simplest method for decreasing fuel consumption is smaller, lighter cars.

                    Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

                    by darrelplant on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 01:13:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent news!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rimjob, Superribbie, kml

    Now I hope we can get ahead on this in the House!

    Let's all get to work calling our Representatives please... Look up their numbers here! (although in this day and age...I'm wondering why y'all don't have them programmed into your cell phones!)

    We can surely convince them to do the same in the House!! Come on! Let's do this!

  •  Alternative energy defeated (13+ / 0-)

    To bad they couldn't get the oil tax to subsidize alternative energy, though. They came 3 votes short on lifting the filibuster. Guess it shows why the next elections are important, though.

  •  Yayyy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Krush, Rex Manning

    good news for a change, even if it's only partial.

    1-800-962-3524-toll free number for those who don't have it on their speed dial. ;)

  •  One issue that Pelosi has to run over Dingell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, berith

    I think she understands the importance of US raising the mpg/CAFE standard and cutting US oil usage...Iraq, terrorism, global warming, trade deficit...all are rooted in US oil usage.

    Making Dingell the most dangerous man in America right now.

    House rules are better suited for Speaker to win out, even over powerful chairmen like Dingell.

    If Democrats can pull the energy bill with the 35 mpg/CAFE standard, it would be the singlest best thing they will do until 2009.

  •  My car wasn't the reason they raised it... (7+ / 0-)

    ...2005 Chevy Cavalier, 2.2L 4 cyl., 4-door sedan. Consistently gets 38 mpg hwy/30 mpg city. When we first bought used at 19,000+ miles in 2005, the first thing I did was toss the factory tires and buy "70,000 mile" Good Year's. Exchanged the factory plugs with "Bosch Platinum Fours". Changed all the filters (air and oil) religiously every 2000 miles when I change the oil. As a teenager, I was taught by the oldsters in my day, Keep a good plug in there boy, and never let your oil get dirty. You'll never have an engine-related failure". This Cavalier (so far, knock on wood), runs as smooth as a sewing machine and gets "better than advertised" gas mileage. We paid $8,000 for it and it is now valued in Kelly's Blue Book at $10,000. The first car I ever owned that's ever appreciated (gone up in value)! I feel pretty dagone lucky.

    "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:15:55 PM PDT

    •  I hear you I was taught the same (4+ / 0-)

      My father always taught me to do maintenance that includes everything listed in the maintenance manual.  I bought the car brand new and so far no problems.  I almost have a 100,000 miles on the odometer.  Cars will last forever if you take care of them.

      "We will get fooled again" Me

      by givemhellHarryR on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:25:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but... (0+ / 0-)

        ...eventually, you run into the law of diminishing returns.  An alternator here, a ring job there, a main seal next month, and sooner or later you're wondering when it will end, and whether it's really worth sinking yet another $500 into your rattling rust bucket of a car.

        Now, if you're one of those extremely fortunate people who live in the Sun Belt, and don't have to drive in snow, road salt, and below-zero temperatures, you probably know someone who drives a 1965 Pontiac with perfect upholstery, a tight engine that doesn't burn a drop of oil, and the original factory paint job, but you'd be the exception.  The only way to make a car last "forever" is never to drive it.

        •  Yep, I drive a 96 dodge caravan.. (0+ / 0-)

          and its age is starting to show.  In the past two months, I've had to replace the fuel pump, a coil pack, and the ignition switch.  I'm starting to look for a newer vechile before something major happens, like the transmission.  

          "The only thing I would trust Dick Cheney on is if I had a dead hooker in my hotel room." --Jon Stewart

          by DemBrock on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:24:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oil is wasted by changing it so often (0+ / 0-)

      The oil is not really dirty in the newer cars until 5,000 miles or more. So using 2&1/2 times the oil for your car is hardly what I'd recommend for all of America's drivers.

      I want to hear somebody asking them why They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are But theyre never the ones to fight or to die - J. Brown

      by OHdog on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 05:03:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the amount of oil used in an oil change is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        negligible in the scheme of things and changing oil frequently means not only do you remove the dirt and gunk that your motor has in it but you are also removing metal filings and other foreign materials that exacerbate engine wear.
        I have not done a cost/benefit ratio, but changing oil more frequently than recommended would seem to be cheaper in the long run and more environmentally friendly than having to buy a new car more often.
        Cars manufactured today, with proper maintenance, should last for 300K miles as a minimum.

  •  It isn't nearly enough (5+ / 0-)

    And it will do absolutely nothing to solve the environmental crisis headed our way. Yes, it's good and they did something positive but the truth is it isn't enough.

    And you know the Auto industry will scream bloody murder over this.

    "Freedom of speech isn't something somebody else gives you. That's something you give to yourself." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    by brenda on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:22:07 PM PDT

    •  Nothing they can do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      republicans are idiots

      until they have more progressives in office, bigger majorities, and a progressive Dem president. I.e. nothing big's going to happen until '09. The 110th will be about passing small-bore bills, blocking yet more terrible bills and appointments, and, maybe, just maybe, ending the occupation--and hopefully the administration that started it, too.

    •  Why don't we celebrate this? (4+ / 0-)

      For crying out loud.  Little steps.  Do not be like the

      "We will get fooled again" Me

      by givemhellHarryR on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:28:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because ... (5+ / 0-)

        there are other measures that could be taken that would have greater impact.

        Let us say that we have a Democratic President and a slightly stronger Democratic majority in 2009, do we think that this inadequate measure will be revisited?  I tend to think that this will not be top of the totem pole for action/revisiting.

        There are concrete steps that could be taken to help drive change that don't undermine action for two/three years from now.

        Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

        by A Siegel on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:38:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it will be revisted. (0+ / 0-)

          Bush would veto any drastic overhall all at once.  Celebrate this victory.  

          "We will get fooled again" Me

          by givemhellHarryR on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:14:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A critical element of (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, alizard, dotcommodity

            efficient and effective change is some degree of stability to enable planning.  Put in 35 mpg now and hear the screams three years from now when there is an effort to accelerate "but our investments ... our planning ..."  And, to a certain extent, that could be legitimate.

            But, perhaps, we can move away from CAFE to a FeeBate, as per Energize America's first Act.

            Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:39:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  unfortunately, the howls would indeed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              be mostly legit.

              How would you like to be part of a design team given a 35 mpg target and told halfway through that the new spec is 50 mpg? That means large chunks of work that's already been done and signed off will have to be redone.

              Worse, imagine having large chunks of tooling and custom-order machinery and parts orders in the pipeline and finding out that large chunks of that are going to have to be scrapped and nobody knows what they're going to have to be replaced with.

              Like to have to explain to auto dealers that their 2012 models are going to be 6 months late because the politicians screwed the pooch?:

              It would be easier to design for 50 or perhaps even 70 mpg to begin with.

              I'm using a simplified radical single model year change for the sake of discussion. What would actually be going on would be altering years worth of designs and advanced orders. That would be just plain ugly.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 01:02:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The American auto industy (5+ / 0-)

                is already behind the curve and losing out to companies like Honda/Toyota who are producing 40mpg hybrids.  So you think they "large chunks of work will have to be redone"?  Are you talking about the mass marketing commercials for trucks and SUV's that they continually shove down our throats?  

                Like they don't have the technology!  They have it, know it, and buy-up any technology that will cut the current profits of it's gas guzzling machines.  The American public has been duped by marketing of perceived needs:

                I need a Cadillac Escalade for the safety

                I need a Cadillac Escalade for the tax break

                I need a Cadillac Escalade because my neighbor has one

                I need a Cadillac Escalade for the image

                Sooner than later Big American auto will catch up and start marketing 40 mpg vehicles.  In the meantime they are scambling and this administration is buying them time and profit!

                •  bad habits (0+ / 0-)

                  Due to different vehicle safety and other standards for the US market, they do different designs from scratch here.

                  Though I suspect that they could probably move their world car designs to this market with design mods.

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 02:40:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  It's not either/or, it's all of the above. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          We need to take a lot of measure to actually cut greenhouse gases sufficiently; there isn't one magic bullet. That was Al Gore's point in An Inconvenient Truth. This is only one step, but it's a step we need to take.

          "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

          by berith on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 06:55:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Excuse me ... (0+ / 0-)

            in no way do I think that even a magical reform of the US / global auto industry to magically reach 80 mpg (for example) somehow "solves" the situation.  

            Take a look at Energize America or any sampling of my diaries/discussions ... holistic.

            I simply believe that 35 mpg by 2020 is a near meaningless, half-hearted measure that will undermine future efforts to have more serious action re a move to a sustainable energy situation.

            Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 06:59:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well you just completely missed my point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I never said that CAFE standards alone would the solution. My point was just the opposite. We also need home efficiency retrofits, lighting and appliance efficiency standards, biofuels that aren't made from food crops, mass transit subsidies, utility renewable portfolio standards, plug-in hybrids, utility and industry carbon sequestration,  and most importantly an international climate change treaty in which developed nations subsidize renwable and efficiency in developing nations to get them off the cheap-and-dirty devleopment path.

              And I strongly disagree with your premise that doing something is an obstacle to further progress. The biggest obstacle to overcome in this country is the lie that nothing needs to be done because there is no climate change problem. Once the dinosaurs have conceded that point, it makes further progress easier.

              "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

              by berith on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:21:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually ... (0+ / 0-)

                I fully understood your point and fully agree that we need to be addressing energy issues in a holistic manner(see, also, Energize America: Core Principles -- those two suffice for referencing).

                What I took out of your comment was that you were suggesting that I sought a Silver Bullet, when I argue we should be searching / developing / pursuing / executing a myriad of Golden BBs and Silver Buckshot options: renewable power, energy efficiency, changed usage patterns, some nuclear power (to get coal offline ASAP), etc ...

                In terms of overall, believe that we heavily overlap.

                Where we disagree is the utility / value of this step.  As above, I greet this with one hand clapping, very little enthusiasm and fear its implications for a range of reasons.  And, in part, I would like to see restrained 'celebration' because we should not have people thinking that this is some great achievement that will somehow radically change the situation moving forward.

                Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

                by A Siegel on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:22:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  of course Adam! do not be like the Naderites here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          This is what our Dems can do with no Senate majority. Its damn good considering that! Lest keep going!

      •  because (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, bree, MarketTrustee

        we've got a decade to bring our CO2 production down to reasonable levels if we don't want our coastlines flooded, and that's the timeframe of that "little step". We're very close to the tipping point and if we don't do everything our technology allows to get our CO2 emissions down, the human population on this planet is going to be screwed for generations to come.

        In the case of the GOP, since either the "problems" or the "solutions" they "deals with" are generally imaginary, they can afford little steps over a decade or a generation.

        We can't.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:48:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jxg, bree, quotemstr

      8mpg over 13 yrs is a joke.

      And the American auto industry is going to kick and scream it's way out of existence. Heck, the "Big 3" probably won't be around anymore by 2020. Chrysler is already on the brink of extinction as we speak, and the rest have seen their sales plummet. And why? Because as always, the morons in Detroit can't wrap their tiny little oil company kickback addicted brains around the idea that innovation and technological improvements sell cars in a $3+ per gallon world. The Japanese and Koreans get this, which is why they are taking the lead in hybrid technology. And they will end up leaving Detroit in their dust. You won't believe some of the vehicles they are  developing right now, while this country fiddles. What this country really needs is new innovative companies to replace the old dinosaurs in Detroit completely.

      As an aside, I highly recommend the documentary "Who Killed The Electric Car" to anyone who has a chance to see it. It's brilliant. My next car will be a salvage body converted to full plug-in electric. It's cheap and easy to do.

      "Don't Piss Down My Back And Tell Me It's Raining"

      by Helzapoppin on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 06:47:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So much for the "Do Nothing" congress (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, ganner918, Indy1776

    Yes, they totally suck on Iraq, so don't throw that back to me. And ethics reform was half-assed. And oversight needs to ramp up. And so on. But clearly, they're not "doing nothing". E.g. this bill, stem cell research, minimum wage, S.214, oversight hearings, subpoenas, etc.

    Good for them. Of course, Bush will veto it--I think he's already said so. But that will surprise no one. No one realistically expected much good legislation to emerge from the 110th seeing as who's still president. Speaking of which, I still wouldn't rule out their doing something about that, even though it's still officially "off the table". Just a hunch.

  •  Ted Stevens supports this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, MarketTrustee

    There has to be a catch. Anyone know what it is? (Aside from all the optional parts, and the fact that the governing agency can cancel the goals if there's some vaguely defined "national interest" involved.)

    •  Maybe he cut a deal to avoid investigation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and possibly worse? Or maybe he tripped over some "tubes" and hit his head. ;-)

    •  Sure he does. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jxg, MarketTrustee

      This bill is a joke. They're going to take 13 years to get back to where we were 15 years ago?? My '92 Ford Taurus gets 35 mpg, as does my '93 Subaru Justy. My '88 Justy gets 45. It's a boon to the oil companies and carmakers who insist on selling us more than we need. They're bleeding us dry at the same time they're fouling our planet.

      My next car will be electric, even if I have to drive to Los Angeles to get it converted. The electricity will be from solar.

      Sorry. I don't see this as "tremendous progress."

      "This chamber reeks of blood." -- Sen George McGovern, 1970

      by cotterperson on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 04:49:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A great step forward! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    However, maybe I have become a bit bitter, or maybe it is the end of a long hard day, but what good will it do, if Bush, who definatly has a conflict of interest in this, gets out his veto pen again?

    There are a ton of Republican oil cronies that won't want this one to become law, and with Bush, money will talk, especially with the Republican party so short of funds this year.

    BTW,thank you mcjoan for doing such a great job here on DailyKos. I look forward to your diaries and trust you to always do a fantastic job...:)

    ...strength is not without humility. It's weakness and untreatable disease, and war is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. Bono

    by Peperpatch on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:29:36 PM PDT

    •  She's not always just fantastic... (0+ / 0-)

      ...sometimes she's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! :-)

      "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:37:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The vote was 65-27... (0+ / 0-)

      so that is two votes away from veto-proof, and there are 2 certain votes (Boxer and Johnson) and a possible third vote (McCain) that did not vote.  So we will see how it turns out.

      "The only thing I would trust Dick Cheney on is if I had a dead hooker in my hotel room." --Jon Stewart

      by DemBrock on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:28:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So what? (6+ / 0-)

    I have a fourteen year old car that gets 33 mpg combined. In Europe, there are over 100 models to choose from that get 40 mpg or better. Here there are only two. The CAFE standards are sub-standard.

    "Tout le monde wang chung ce soir"

    by mrgrandefromage on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:29:52 PM PDT

    •  Nissan Sentra got 40mpg (5+ / 0-)

      In the 80s, I had a Nissan Sentra that easily got over 40mpg. Sure it was a compact car and didn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but the only cars you can buy today that get 40mpg+ are freaking hybrids.

      And we're supposed to be happy about this? What we need is to weed out Big Oil and look at why we don't have viable electric cars.

      If there were a single EV that I could buy, I'd get it. I have 190,000 miles on my Camry and I'd prefer to replace it with an EV than a hybrid. Unfortunately for me and the environment, I might not have a choice.

    •  Same here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, mrgrandefromage

      My old 1993 Ford station wagon, big enough to carry 8-foot lumber inside and strong enough to pull a trailer, gets 28 to 29 mpg now.

      This 35 mpg goal seems ridiculously low.

      "It is time, brothers and sisters, for America to be patriotic about something other than war." John Edwards, 1/14/07.

      by sillia on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 04:35:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do I Smell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrgrandefromage, Rex Manning

    Veto IV

    "What's in the name of lord [governor], that I should fear; To bring my grievance to the public ear?" - The Crisis, January 13, 1777

    by TPaine on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:30:32 PM PDT

  •  Carmakers HAVE the fucking technology (7+ / 0-)

    They've had it for 10 years. When Gore was VP, one of his pet projects was to shovel loads of corporate welfare to the big 3 automakers to work on fuel efficiency. They even involved the PhDs that specialized in nuclear weapons technology (the Russians were out of business). They worked on it. They have the technology. They don't use it because gas has always been so cheap. Well, now it ain't. When gas approaches $4 a gallon, buyers don't care about towing capacity and horsepower. They just want to get to work for less than $50 a week.

    Losing in Iraq is not an option, it is a result.

    by bobinson on Thu Jun 21, 2007 at 11:34:31 PM PDT

  •  The Japanese are quietly raising the standards on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rex Manning, Indy1776

    Their own

    They will hit 40MPG soon while Detroit groans and whines

    •  Huh? Toyota and Honda fleet MPG is less (0+ / 0-)

      than it was 20 years ago? In fact, Toyota will see the most drop in MPG after 2008 when the new Highlander gets bigger, the Prius loses nearly 30% MPG with the new EPA tests. The Japanese must be smarter than I give them credit for, they brainwashed a lot of people in the public.

      •  Brainwashed? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, bree, Paver, wuod kwatch

        All but 1 of the ten top mpg cars in the U.S. is Japanese.  The other? A Volkswagen Diesel.

        The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

        by nightsweat on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:23:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  unionboy is in a state of denial (0+ / 0-)

          like chimpy

          Why not take the lead? Why cant detroit lead?

          I am glad my Camry AND Sienna Van are giving me a superb ride. I only wish both were made by union members.

          My night mare with the artful dodgers (the Caravans) are over.

          Thank you Jesus!

      •  Words like stupid are used to describe detroit (0+ / 0-)

        To put this modest increase into perspective, automakers have already managed to comply with much tougher mileage standards all over the world, including 46 mpg in Japan and 44 mpg in Europe. And that is what they are doing today, not 13 years from now.

        The thing that amazes me is that the traditional american automakers are bleeding market share like crazy to Toyota and others with practical higher mileage vehicle. To any observer with a brain they are facing nothing less than a survival imperative to compete with more efficient vehicles.

        It is stunning how stupid the auto industry strategy has been over the past thirty years

  •  BFD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If all of us are driving gas cars in 2020, I'll be really surprised.

    We've hit peak oil. Come on. When will people wake up and realize we need an electric car NOW. Or at least a hydrogen car? Something other than fossil fuels.

    The Norwegians have a hydrogen highway. If we don't start taxing gas and subsidizing alternatives, I think the US will be a third-rate (or even third-world) country in my life time.

    •  Norway has lots and lots of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      cheap clean hydro and geothermal. We have coal. A good solution for Norway and Finland isn't a good solution for the USA. Or for Brazil, which is a great place to grow sugar cane for ethanol.

      Transportation energy solutions are region-specific.

      We need biofuel that's certified carbon-neutral as a condition for qualifying as tax subsidies as a transition technology, because we can expect to be running internal combustion at least for freight transportation for the next generation unless we're very lucky.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:29:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't JUST have coal in the lower 48 (0+ / 0-)

        We have huge areas of windy plains, bright sunny deserts, one or two rivers of note, and three long tidal coastlines.

        There's plenty of clean energy available to us if we decide we want it badly enough.

        The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

        by nightsweat on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:28:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you aren't going to see (0+ / 0-)

          a solar-powered 18 wheeler or locomotive any time in the foreseeable future. You will never see hydrogen infrastructure in the USA.

          I support clean energy, but only things which are likely to work in the USA given conditions that are known to exist here.

          Biofuel as transitional, in the long run, solar energy driving vehicles with the kind of energy storage that's in the lab today and direct rail electrification.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 02:59:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you have plug-in hybrids (0+ / 0-)

            You have solar, wind, and hydro powered cars or you could have.  The electrical source comes from mass production at that point for most of the daily trips people take.

            You can buy conversions for your Prius to PHEV now, and for the Escape hybrid shortly.  Combine that with incentives and subsidies for clean energy plants and we'll see a clean energy revolution in this country in a very short timeframe.

            The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

            by nightsweat on Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 03:17:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  there's a minor difference between (0+ / 0-)

              a Prius and Escape and an 18-wheeler and a diesel locomotive.

              Hydrogen is simply a storage medium for energy and not all that great a storage medium at that.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Sun Jun 24, 2007 at 02:30:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  WHo the hell is saying anything about hydrogen? (0+ / 0-)

                I'm talking batteries, electricity, and massive conservation with their use.

                You generate the electricity, you store it, you use it until you need to kick the gas engine in.  An ordinary family could probably get 200 mpg with such a vehicle.

                And hybrid technology, by the way, originated in diesel locomotives to capture the immense amount of energy used in braking.  It's been proven there. No reason it can't be transferred to 18-wheelers.

                The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

                by nightsweat on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 06:13:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I think their hearts are in the ... (8+ / 0-)

    ...right place. Indeed, I am sure of it. But this proposal, the Passenger Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Act, part of the Kossack-developed Energize America plan, is sooooooooooooooo much better:

    Passenger vehicles account for over 40 percent of all U.S. oil consumption; therefore, increasing fuel efficiency is the quickest way to reduce our foreign oil dependence. Passenger vehicles also contribute about 20 percent of all U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions, so increasing fuel efficiency will also reduce significantly greenhouse gas emissions.

       The Passenger Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Act will provide financial incentives to individuals who purchase increasingly fuel efficient cars – but does not mandate higher Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency, or CAFÉ, standards. Instead, Energize America calls for fuel efficiency measurement standards to be defined simply and applied consistently across the industry, with rapid increases in average fuel efficiency coming from market incentives and not from federal mandates. These market incentives are referred to as ‘feebates’, in that rebates are offered for higher performing vehicles while fees are assessed on lower performing vehicles within a given class.

       The Passenger Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Act will provide Americans who buy a new car, SUV or light truck with a $200 rebate for every ‘mpg equivalent’ the vehicle comes in above the average for new cars, adjusted annually. The ‘MPG equivalent’ for each vehicle will be calculated annually using a single, consistent approach that takes into account petroleum replacement by electricity, hydrogen or other fuel technology.

    For example, a 2006 Ford Escape hybrid, which has a 33mpg rating, would qualify for a rebate of $2,200 ($200 x 11mpg, based on the current 22mpg average for light vehicles in America). At the same time, a fee of $150 per mile per gallon equivalent would be applied against vehicles falling below the fleet average.

    Thus, the Hummer H2 – with a reported 9 mpg – would have a $1,950 fee added to its price in 2006. This feebate program will be capped at a maximum of $6,000 per vehicle and will apply to all vehicles and all fuel technologies. The Passenger Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Act will also establish a structured low interest loan program to foster fuel efficient car ownership among Americans earning less than the median income as determined by Congressional District.

    •  Only things ... (4+ / 0-)
      1.  We were not aggressive enough in our numbers. PHEVs & other technology ... believe that we could push for faster and more extensive improvements.
      1.  Really, we should modify this to gpm rather than mpg.  Gallons per mile ends up dealing with the issue that moving from 45 to 46 mpg has less meaning than moving from 20 to 21 (okay, let us make this more palatable, moving from 80 to 81 mpg has less meaning than moving from 40 to 41 mpg). Calculating by Gallons Per Mile (gpm) moves away from that. The 80-81 example would, instead, be a move from 0.0125 gpm to 0.01235 gpm; the 40-51 would be move from 0.025 gpm to 0.0244.  Note, the first would reduce gpm by .00015 gpm and the second by .0006 gpm, or roughly four times the impact in gpm terms.  But, the complexity of gpm ...

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:10:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  gpm is much better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        Because the gpm numbers are so small, they are hard to understand.  That's why I would go for gallons per average year -- with year defined as 12,000 miles (or maybe 15,000?).  

        That way we'd all see that going from 15 mpg to 20 mpg is going from 800 gallons/yr to 600 gallons/yr.  

        It would also show all of us PHEV fans, that going from  a 46 mpg Prius to a 100 mpg PHEV is really a change from 260 gallons/yr to 120 gallons/yr.  

        So the savings from the 15 mpg -> 20 mpg switch are actually much larger than the 46 mpg -> 100 mpg switch.

        Then you could make the feebate type program based on an estimate of annual gas usage rather than it's reciprocal.

        I do wonder whether the feebate approach would lead to a 35 mpg average by 2020.  It's not obvious to me that it really would.  

        Also, I think the major positive of this CAFE update is the inclusion of SUVs in the fleet.  That also makes the 35 mpg more palatable.

        •  Bit with feebate ... (0+ / 0-)

          is you target the "fee" and the "rebate" each year at a higher level, with a set 'base' but then moving it upwards more aggressively as technology emerges.  And, well, the rebates would help drive the averages upwards, faster (imho).

          Appreciate the discussion / thoughts.

          Like your ideas about how to describe in annual rather than specific terms. The average works well with energy star appliances -- why not on cars?

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 12:19:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Spare Me (5+ / 0-)

    the self-congratulatory, see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil pablum.  I'm not a complete idiot.  I know how both the auto and oil companies collude to block any meaningful progress in this area.  I know how the government says "how high" when it's led through whatever hoops seem to be expedient to these corporations.  

    The Japanese will continue to lead the way and US companies will continue to suffer from this focus on short-term gains because ... the American public is growing tired of this crap.  It doesn't like the price of gas.  It doesn't like what it costs to run these cars.  There's even recent history which shows what American consumers do when faced with gas prices they believe to be too high.  

    Of course, congress is almost two full decades behind in all of this.  It rolled over when the electric car was killed.  It sat up and begged when the dumbed-down, bastardized 40 mpg hybrids were announced.  It moved to squelch progress, production and distribution in improved fuel cell technology.  It's promoting this asinine, we don't have the technology, but we surely love the grants and centralized control of fuel cell development.  

    Of course PHEV's are the way to go.  Of course congress will not provide the necessary infrastructure or the kind of tax breaks it so lavishly and slavishly bestowed upon makers and buyers of bloated SUV's-the operative word being "slavishly."  

    Why is it so difficult to tell the simple truth?  Available technology is being suppressed, being put on the back burner, marginalized, ridiculed, sabotaged and passed off as unrealistic by corporations which rake in short term profits by engaging in all these behaviors.  

    •  Yea, (0+ / 0-)

      What crescentdave and meteor blades said!

      What ineptness we have in government.  They are really their to protect big business and provide tax shelters/subsidies and the like.  

      I agree with those that indicate we need a Dem majority in the the House.  But the way these Dems just roll over is alarming.  If they can't even get rid of Mr. Roboto Alberto what are they there for?  A lot of good ideas and nothing implemented?  A lot of investigations and no one convicted...(Scooter will be pardoned)...what are they doing...grandstanding?

    •  During the first oil embargo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we all knew it was coming, we all ignored what the consequences would be and the car makers kept churning out gas guzzlers and the dealers kept loading up their lots with them.
      When the bubble burst, I remember dealers offering to throw in a Cadillac if someone bought a Rabbit.

    •  What you said (0+ / 0-)

      I spoke at Green Drinks, an evironmental networking group in Chicago Wednesday night and made many of the same points you just did.  I reminded the audience of about 100 (itself a very good sign) that we've had two major "energy bills" passed in the last 20 years--the Energy Policy Act of 1990 and the Energy Act of 2005.  Are we any better off because of them?

      My take was that these "comprehensive" energy bills always wind up being the same thing: a little something for everyone--the coal lobby, corn lobby, oil lobby, utility lobby, car lobby and even the environmentalists--where any meaningful change is always blocked or watered down.  Exhibit A: CAFE standards.  And, to keep people happy, they always provide funds for earmarked research for technologies like fuel cells rather than doing what is necessary to make commercialization happen.

      Thes Green Drinks attendees no doubt think I'm a prophet today, given that a) the renewables amendment was blocked, and b) the CAFE standards passed was so meager.  But is wasnt' prophetic. It's just the way politics works--always reactive, never in the lead.

      So I told them--it's not up to Washington.  It's up to YOU.  We need only one thing from D.C., and it's simple--100 percent first-year tax expensing of renewable technology with a storage componenet (hydrogen or batteries) for ALL taxpayers, up to $100K.  THAT will accelerate personal and community investment in solar and wind.  THAT will bring investment dollars to the sector.  THAT will begin to build an energy grassroots--or "enroots"--infrastructure for PHEVs and fuel cell/PHFC vehicles.

      It's been proven time and again that the government will never solve our energy problems.  We became an oil importer in the 1960s and the situation has grown worse every year.  Innovation will NEVER come from politicians--it has to come from us.  

      •  have to disagree (0+ / 0-)

        First year expensing of renewable systems with storage may turn out to be a boondoggle.  

        1. Energy efficiency is much much more cost-effective and a much larger resource that works right now -- it's silly to use PV panels to power incandescent bulbs and cable boxes that draw 50 watts 24x7
        1. Really large subsidies will draw every aluminum siding salesman into the solar business :)
        1. Many people can't use a tax deduction that large on their income taxes -- their payroll taxes are larger
        1.  Government absolutely must play a major role in solving our energy problems -- when you say gov't can't help us, you seem to be following the right wing talking points.  Government efficiency standards for refrigerators, furnaces, and air conditioners (to name a few) have led to tremendous energy savings for those end uses.  Government  research paid for the development of CFL bulbs.  We need good and comprehensive government energy policies, not just tax breaks for wind and solar.
  •  I'm only in my early 30's and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a kiddo, I remember many econ cars boasting upwards of 65 miles to the gallon! What a fucking sham our senate's and congress has allowed the corperations to de-evolve this tech and our dependence.
    I recently read about an electric sports car coming out this month but it like starts at 80,000 dollars.

    "I don't wanna listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore!" -Howard Dean

    by astronautagogo on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 01:22:57 AM PDT

    •  It is NOT a sham. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The last time we had a change was 1980.  That was 25 mph.  In 2002, a Kerry/McCain CAFE bill came out to raise it to 35 mph, and it was KILLED.  That was the old McCain, of course, but such a powerhouse duo getting their bill killed gives you an idea of how tough it has been going.

      This is progress, and the KEY provision is that it INCLUDES SUVs.  If they improve SUVs to 35 mph, then the passenger cars will go MUCH HIGHER.

  •  Is it really significant ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... or is the bill chocked full of loopholes? or

  •  It's a start (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm glad they got SUVs & light trucks in there.  

    You would think the Repbublic Party is working for the Japanese Gov't & car industry, the way they carry on about leaving the USA in the dust on fuel efficiency.

    It's like the Republic Party is standing on a melting ice floe, clawing at the tundra for a last sip of oil;  grasping at Lawrence of Arabia movies, sucking on sand for a last chance at conquering the oil lakes... fading like the 20th century,  getting smaller as the rest of the world, (except China), rides into the 21st century.  

    While the Republic Party has been obstructing progress & planting American flags in the technology of the past,  the Japanese have been busy scooping up markets of the future.

    Repubs are just plain stupid greedy.  If they were smart & greedy, Prius wouldn't be dominating the freeways & the WH would be solar since the Carter Admin in the 70's.  But noooo.

    The Republic Party is a gang of dumbasses whose vision is from the bowels of backwardness.  

    Thank Gawd for Dems.  They ain't perfect, but you can count on them to go from stationary to forward.

    War is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 02:57:02 AM PDT

  •  this is pathetic (4+ / 0-)

    My 1981 Eagle Summit still gets 39 mpg & they are going to pass a law to make legislate 35 mpg by 2020? So by 2020, we'll have caught up with where China is now?? WTF!

    They are going to get as much grief with 35 as they would with 100. Make it 100 mpg by 2020 & then we'd have something to celebrate. The big 3 are going to bitch & moan no matter what amount is passed - at least make it worthwhile. Start at 100mpg & negotiate down. Sheesh, negotiate down to 50 - that would truly be giving up a lot & it would still be better than 35.

    35 is just ridiculous. I am i dispair for my country.

  •  I'm happy that this passed... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, berith

    but, this is a long, long way from where we need to be. Calling it a half-measure would be an understatement. It is a start, though.

    I have to believe if Dingell won't play ball on this we should be looking for a new Chairperson of the Energy and Commerce Committee for the 111th Congress. We can't have our own side killing good bills in committee. We need a Chairperson who understands how real the threats of global warming and peak oil are.

    Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat. -Harry Emerson Fosdick

    by Jawis on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 03:30:05 AM PDT

  •   please don't repeat failures of the past... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    dingell needs to wake up to the fact that the auto industry in america is on its knees because of its leaderships failure to build the kind of cars americans wanted over the past three decades ( low maintence costs ). now many of americans want fuel economy and to stave off efforts to stimulate creativity and innovation by killing new CAFE standards ( which in my view are pretty modest given the scope of global warming ) is to ensure the demise of the rest of the american auto manufacturing sector.

  •  Pesky memory hole (0+ / 0-)

    The big three will just add something to tilt the "average". Anyone old enough to remember the 1981 model cars the big three used to meet the first CAFE standards? Safety was compromised and the life of the vehicle was cut to just barely exceeding the warranty by replacing metal parts with plastic.

    Example of the level of contempt from the designers and engineers: The clutch cable firewall plate was replaced with plastic which allowed the clutch cable to saw through the plate and fail. This saved less than a gram of weight and meant that after "x" number of clutch pedal depressions the clutch failed or in some models started sawing it's way through the brake lines.

    fleetwide average

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 04:18:32 AM PDT

    •  I don't think they did this to meet CAFE. (0+ / 0-)

      They did it to same money, pure and simple.  It's the same reason I had to take my son's Ford Focus, the car my wife and I bought him as a graduation present (I've got my new sign around here somewhere), to the shop to have the ignition lock cylinder replaced.  They constructed these from the cheapest pot metal, which meant they wore out and seized up in just a few years, requiring a tow and an expensive repair job to replace a $10 part with a $15 part that was finally made after five years of customer complaints.

      The Big Three were notorious for cutting all kinds of corners in the 1980s, and very little of it had anything to do with meeting CAFE.

  •  WOW.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, bree, MarketTrustee

    It is becoming clear to me that our representatives our out of touch with reality. Why? This legislation is meaningless because 35 mpg in 10 years is a drop in the bucket.

    Since 1992 I have driven a Honda Civic that got 45 mpg. I currently drive a Golf that gets 50 mpg on bio-diesel. I am also looking at the new Toyota Prius proto-type that gets over 100 mpg.

    Two concepts emerge. First, this legislation demonstrates just how backward the US is in terms of developing new technologies. Second, we don't need the government to set standards that are lower than action we can take as individuals.

    If Roosevelt forced the US auto industry to completely convert from civilian production to military production in under 18 months, why can't we demand all vehicles get 50 mpg in 2 years?

    Our leaders are lost in corruption and insignificance.

    "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

    by american pastoral on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 04:31:27 AM PDT

  •  I'm underwhelmed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, davidkc

    10 mpg in 10 years. Pathetic!!!!!!
    Technology Review had an article about 5 years ago making the point that 40+ mpg was reasonable in SUVs with current technology. 40 mpg in light trucks and 60 in passenger cars is a reasonable goal in 10 years. Also, I thought that the current CAFE was 27.5 mpg. So our 10 plus MPG isn't even 10. Are we serious about sustainability, or are we going to let special interests dictate our goals? Where's the friggin leadership? Oh, I know, collecting campaign contributions from GM.

    •  I'm Underwhelmed (reply) (0+ / 0-)

      It's like a wedge, you carefully seat it, and then you drive it home. the so called thin edge of the wedge!


    •  two averages in play (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The passenger CAFE is at 27.5mpg while the pickup/SUV/minivan CAFE is at 21.  So what's the actual average given the mix between those two?  A little over 24mpg.

      As pointed out above, those averages haven't moved for 25 years!  Ridiculous. In Europe there are nearly 100 models of cars that get over 40mpg.  Smaller, 4 cylinder (or diesel), heck even Mercedes has a 36mpg diesel (BlueTec). I think Americans won't change unless its painful - say $5/gallon gas in a few years. Once again, Detroit will play catchup - importing/licensing the technology from Japan/China/Korea and losing American jobs.

    •  And how will you defy the laws of physics (0+ / 0-)

      to make your pipedream of 40/60 MPG come true when there is only 2 cars on the road today in America that gets more than 50MPG?

      •  Um. That's the market, not physics. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, bree

        We already have off the shelf technology to reduce engine sizes,reduce vehicle weights through smaller vehicles and lighter materials, and hybrids that prioritize gas mileage over acceleration. The only obstacle lies in Detroit marketing (and the drivers who buy into it) that Americans "need" to drive a 3 ton vehicle that goes 0 to 60 in 5 seconds.

        "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

        by berith on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:07:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Plug-in hybrid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Makes the effective MPG in the 100's for the ordinary commuter.

        The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

        by nightsweat on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:25:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what a dumb law (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This CAFE standard is a joke.
      Who makes laws that legislate behavior in over 10 years? Ridiculous!
      Finally the law has a provisioin that allows the Transportation Dept to cancel the new standard, if it proves economically adverse to auto manufacturers.

      Let's make a law to reduce Global Warming with target date 2050, and to have World Peace by 2100.

  •  a bandaid on a gaping wound (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This measure is hardly a blip in what this country needs to do to conserve energy and combat global warming.  Yes, I guess it's a start, but a very, very small start.  We've moved our foot one step off the starting line, but that's about it.  

    This vote does show the vital importance of electing more Dems to Congress who understand the scope of the environmental crisis we face.  The Senate fell just 3 votes short to stop a filibuster of the measure to raise taxes on oil companies to use for tax breaks for renewable fuels.  And the vote for fuel mileage requirements fell just 2 votes short of a veto-proof majority.

  •  with our without Levin's amendment (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody know?

  •  CAFE is putting the cart before the horse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If we place heavy taxes on all energy sources, the market would dictate more effecient vehicles, smaller and more efficient homes, and it would encourage urban renewal and the use of mass transit.  Why punish only the auto manufacturers because Americans make poor choices?

    "Love your country always, love your government when it deserves it" -Samuel Clemens

    by GoodJuan on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 05:10:09 AM PDT

  •  What is wrong with Republicans? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Republicans complained that the energy bill is tilted too much toward renewables and fuel efficiency and does nothing to boost domestic oil or natural gas production."


  •  It's nice to see that politicians feel safe (0+ / 0-)

    in raising CAFE standards, but I believe the rest of America is way ahead of them.  I already drive cars that get an average of 30 MPG.  I am going to hold out for, and spend extra money, to make sure my next car purchase is more in the 50 MPG range.  Since that's a couple of years off, demand (especially in the light of $3 a gallon gas) will probably furnish the market with 100 MPG cars before too long.

    Conservatives: Law-and-order, as long as they make the law and someone else takes the orders.

    by slippytoad on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 05:13:44 AM PDT

  •  I'm surprised (0+ / 0-)

    The Democrat House didn't negotiate that CAFE standards be lowered by 3/4 mpg each year by 2020.  

    This will mean we will need to invade Iran....just another reason...Oh and they don't like Israel.

    Yes, I work for the American Enterprise Institute!

  •  Another note (0+ / 0-)

    While car standards are going up 10 mpg, the standard for trucks and SUVs is going up about 15 mpg.

  •  Pelosi pulling the Plug (0+ / 0-)

    If Nancy Pelosi pulls the plug on this legislation one has to wonder about that entire grandchild surrounding the speaker in the heady days just after the election. Does Nancy really care if her grandchildren have to wear oxygen packs on their backs as they walk to their pressurized schools?

    Lary Waldman

  •  Stop givng Detroit money (0+ / 0-)

    One can already buy foreign with higher gas mileage.  So by-pass Detroit and give the tax incentive to the auto buyer.  Offer $ 5K for every 5 mpg increment over 30 mpg.

    As a side note, I used to drive a British sports coup, a '64 Triumph TR4 that got 33 mpg.  It had plenty of speed and was fun with dual carbs on a four cylinder tractor engine.

  •  35 MPG isn't that great (0+ / 0-)

    After driving a Prius for about a year, I can't stand driving anything else. It easily gets 50 or more MPG in normal driving conditions.

    -- Mike Cohen -

    by mike3k on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 06:22:08 AM PDT

  •  For Gods Sake grow up and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Call your congresscritter.Its not good enough but its an improvement over what we have now.Its something to build on.
  •  My automatic honda (non-hybrid) already gets this (0+ / 0-)

    2020 is way too little too late.

  •  So this will make...4 vetos? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." George W. Bush 12/7/06

    by kitebro on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:07:05 AM PDT

  •  ok this is going to sound really crass (0+ / 0-)

    Just tell Dingle that he will probably have left this world by the time the fuel standards have to go into effect - so no political fall out in Michigan for him.  Just do the right thing!

    Unleash the potential to make a difference

    by totallynext on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 07:32:28 AM PDT

  •  Not Enough, Not Soon Enough (0+ / 0-)

    But realistically, probably the best that can be done right now.

    Maybe it's time to forget about cars and concentrate on motorcycles. My new DR-Z400SM gets 60mpg, has off-road capable suspension, and is tons more fun than any car. My '95 Civic gets 40mpg, and that's pretty darn good these days, but 40 ain't 60.

    Hatred is murder (1 John 3:15)
    You can take a break from politics, but life just keeps a-comin’.

    by dirtroad on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 08:08:41 AM PDT

  •  I'm underwhelmed (0+ / 0-)

    Deckchairs. Titanic.

    Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

    by Batfish on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 09:00:55 AM PDT

  •  Overwhelming majority. (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting 'cause 65 yotes for + 2 Dem noshows (Boxer and Johnson) = 67, enough to override Bush's veto.

    "Whether the British ruling class are wicked or merely stupid is one of the most difficult questions of our time." - George Orwell on the Spanish Civil War

    by Ramo on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 09:18:43 AM PDT

  •  If the House passes this and Bush vetoes it (0+ / 0-)

    do we get to slam the Dems here for not accomplishing anything?

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Fri Jun 22, 2007 at 10:38:58 AM PDT

  •  Richardson - Energy Bill Doesn't Go Far Enough (0+ / 0-)

    From a prior Secretary of Energy

    The Senate's energy bill makes progress, but not nearly enough. I especially congratulate Senator Feinstein and conservationists who finally got SUV's included in the fuel economy standard. But overall it's another band-aid approach, not the comprehensive medical treatment our nation's energy policy needs.

    The fuel economy standards will not spur serious technological innovation and change. They are still far below those of Japan, China, and Europe. To be world leaders, the United States has to be serious about fuel economy.

    The Senate's failure to adopt even a 15% renewable electricity requirement is another failure. The future lies in sustainable, renewable energy and both the Congress and the President are failing to prepare for the future.

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