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The government now calculates auto makers' performance by averaging their entire fleets' gas mileage. A complex rewriting of the rules, expected for release by Labor Day, seems likely to change that.
Under the proposed new regime, light trucks -- a category that includes pickups, SUVs and minivans -- would be judged against other trucks of similar size, though not by weight, according to auto industry and environmental lobbyists. Smaller vehicles would be required to meet higher mileage targets than larger ones. This shift would help domestic auto makers, while causing problems for Toyota, which has had an easier time meeting the current standards.
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This is complex and camoflaged by the WSJ, but given it's Bush and it's the WSJ, here is my interpretation:
They are gonna stop making the US carmakers achieve an overall MPG for all trucks sold. Right now, US truckmakers have to underpower their small trucks to get better mileage, to make up for the crappy mileage of their humongo big pickups, that America loves so much. Problem: Underpowered small trucks don't sell very well. So they have to price them cheap. So they don't make any money.
So, now, Bush is gonna sever the connection between big trucks and small trucks. They are just gonna make a standard for the small trucks. So an American small pickup can have as much power as a Toyota small pickup. That is what they emphasize. Nowhere in the article that I could see do they tell the truth that this is gonna increase pollution and carbon dioxide. There is some bs about maybe they will raise the MPG requirement for big trucks, but that is clearly BS (at least to me.):
Important aspects of the overhaul aren't clear and could be changed. The administration could set a relatively high mileage standard for the biggest gas guzzlers, which would thrill environmentalists but hurt U.S. auto makers.
This just fuckin pure Bush. Sellout the environment for the big corporations. Never mind about oil, security, polution, global warming....I find it hard to believe they would ever get this one through Congress. But, from the language in the WSJ, I don't think it will require legislation... just some sort of bureaucratic change.
It is interesting to note the EPA's latest report:
Since 1997 the EPA says fuel economy has been relatively constant, ranging from 20.6 to 21.0 miles per gallon (mpg). Model year 2005 vehicles are estimated to average 21.0 mpg. This is 0.2 mpg higher than 2004, but five percent below the fleet-average fuel economy peak value of 22.1 mpg achieved in 1987.
This increase is due in large part to the increase in fuel economy standards for light trucks and SUVs implemented in 2005, offset in part by the increasing popularity of less fuel-efficient light trucks, particularly SUVs. This year, cars and light trucks are each projected to account for 50 percent of vehicle sales.
In other words, ever since we have known about global warming, US vehicles have not improved their mpg.
Three more years of this shit.