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Obama's energy plan: shut down the economy?

Perhaps annoyed, but undeterred by the constant snickering over his naivety on foreign policy, Senator Barack Obama hastened to add energy policy to the list of subject areas on which he comes off as a sputtering buffoon, as Steve Holland reports for Reuters:


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday blamed America's energy problems on timid Washington politicians and said if elected he would pursue bold proposals to fight global warming.

Obama, in excerpts from a speech he was to deliver in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, later in the day, said he would lead an effort to impose Kyoto-style caps on carbon emissions and prompt U.S. automakers to build cars that use less oil if elected in November 2008.


Read the whole story at the link above. Now, Obama doesn't specify what magic wand he will use to "prompt" more fuel-efficient vehicles, but he gives a clue by criticizing those who "did not lead when they 'had the chance to stand up and require automakers to raise their fuel standards' . . . " It's a good thing he did well in Law School, because he'd flunk math and economics.

If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite.

What of "Kyoto-style caps," then? How could they be achieved, and at what effect on the economy? David Freddoso ran the numbers last year for AFF's Brainwash:


What exactly would it mean to meet the Kyoto targets? Let's look at the numbers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States generated 5,802 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 in 2003. Naturally, this number has grown over the years as our economy has expanded. In 1990 we emitted just 4,969 MMT of carbon dioxide. If we had ratified the Kyoto treaty, we would have committed to cut emissions to levels 7% below that 1990 level -- or to about 4,620 MMT.

Can we cut emissions by that much? Sure we can. I'm looking at the Energy Information Administration's table of all 50 states' levels of carbon dioxide emissions. If we shut down all industry and electric generation in the 14 "Blue" States (the ones that went for John Kerry in 2004) east of the Mississippi River, then seize all automobiles, airplanes, and private land there, we would slightly overshoot the Kyoto goals.


Read the rest at the link above. Freddoso also notes that if we outlawed the use of ALL gasoline immediately, we would still fall 40 tons short of our Kyoto goal. Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, noted yesterday in the Washington Post:


We have to rediscover the middle ground, where we can have a sensible conversation. We shouldn't ignore climate change or the policies that could attack it. But we should be honest about the shortcomings and costs of those policies, as well as the benefits.

Environmental groups say that the only way to deal with the effects of global warming is to make drastic cuts in carbon emissions -- a project that will cost the world trillions (the Kyoto Protocol alone would cost $180 billion annually). The research I've done over the last decade, beginning with my first book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," has convinced me that this approach is unsound; it means spending an awful lot to achieve very little. Instead, we should be thinking creatively and pragmatically about how we could combat the much larger challenges facing our planet.


The rest is at the preceding link. Naturally, the Kyoto-style approach has become like a religion to the environmental activists, so you won't hear any Democrats daring to stray far from that line. Interesting that Obama's "audacity of hope" and "bold" plans amount to nothing more than a refit of every socialist nostrum proposed by liberal Democrats and their interest groups over the last several decades.

Same old, same old.


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Comments (69)

If you increase fuel eff... (Below threshold)
mantis:

If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite.

So you're saying that if autos were miraculously twice as fuel efficient tomorrow, we would more than double our consumption? Doing what, driving in circles?

"If you increase fuel effic... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite."

jim, that is not correct according to the department of transportation.

Here are the averages (per passenger vehicle) for miles traveled, miles per gallon and annual gallons of gas per car per year for 1970, 1980 and 2000.

MIles Trav. 10,300, 9,100 & 12,000
Mile/gallon 13.5, 15.9 & 22
Gallons consumed 760, 576 & 556

The cut in consumption is greater than the increase in total miles driven per year.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004727.html

If you increase fu... (Below threshold)
marc:
If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite.
History teaches that's a very likely result.

In addition, can anyone name an "SUV" that was on the market prior to the first CAFE standards going into effect?

Lotsa luck trying, they were designed and marketed as a direct result of avoiding the CAFE law. If anyone thinks the automakers and most importantly the American consumer won't follow that example your nuts.

Poor Obama, he just doesn't... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Poor Obama, he just doesn't have a clue.

You certainly don't need to... (Below threshold)

You certainly don't need to shut down the economy in order to improve the planet. The largest solar energy company is a German firm and is planning on building it's first U.S. factory in Oregon.

Americans still want to hang on to driving big SUVs and cars while in much of Europe and Asia 1/8 or more of the vehicles are high mpg motor scooters.

I can drive the 16mpg Oldsmobile on a rainy day. But for most days the 94mpg motor scooter is just more fun to drive and easier to find parking for. And I can carry back two large bags of groceries between the two locking trunks and a field pack. My last Oldsmobile fillup, $20. My last scooter fillup, $2.75.

When I switched from regular oil to AMSOIL Synthetic 4 Stroke Motor Scooter Oil my mpg increased from 83mpg to 94mpg. How many persons waste gas by using fuel wasting normal oil when high quality synthetic oil will more than double the service life of a motor as well as save fuel. Fred Meyer Bakery in Portland, Oregon cut their electricity costs by $80,000 a year by using AMSOIL synthetic gear oil in their bakery machinery.

Government could ease licensing of motor scooters if they wanted to cut fuel use in the U.S. or encourage more use of energy saving synthetic oil.

BTW Baghdad barney, your st... (Below threshold)
marc:

BTW Baghdad barney, your stats are crap.

At the bottom of the table is this caveat - "1. Includes personal passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks."

Guess what, their addition renders the data as inapplicable to this discussion.

hooson:You cer... (Below threshold)
marc:

hooson:

You certainly don't need to shut down the economy in order to improve the planet. The largest solar energy company is a German firm and is planning on building it's first U.S. factory in Oregon.

And before the first spade of dirt is turned over the NIMBY's and enviro-whackos will stop it in it's tracks.

When I switched from regular oil to AMSOIL Synthetic 4 Stroke Motor Scooter Oil

Did you have to add the brands name? Oh wait... you probably sell it along with all the other non-union (built in highly polluting coal-fired plants) chinese crap you sell.

Government could ease licensing of motor scooters if they wanted to cut fuel use in the U.S. or encourage more use of energy saving synthetic oil.

Yeap... and an entire new industry begins. Building 4 passenger scooters that also double as grocery getters for "soccer Mom."

(Not to mention all the billions spent, read highly paid construction crews, to add "scooter only" lanes to the billions of miles within the interstate highway system.)

When do we start?

"BTW Baghdad barney, your s... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"BTW Baghdad barney, your stats are crap.

At the bottom of the table is this caveat - "1. Includes personal passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks."

Guess what, their addition renders the data as inapplicable to this discussion." by marc

Look again marc, the stats I used were for personal cars only. I guess you have a comprehension problem.

And BTW... not that I think... (Below threshold)
marc:

And BTW... not that I think saving fuel is a bad thing. But due to the influence of lunatic politicians like those in the corn belt who are pushing our FOOD SOURCES (like corn) as the way to go when they are pointing towards the wrong road.

I suspect the real "road" to taken is the Norwegian Hydrogen Highway.

Come on... be honest now. How many of you have read of this project?

And more importantly, how many politicians can you name that knows of it?

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

Look again marc, the stats I used were for personal cars only. I guess you have a comprehension problem.

And for once, (out of how many hundreds of times?) your right.

BTW, when was the last time you admitting to being wrong?

Marc, I have no connection ... (Below threshold)

Marc, I have no connection whatsoever to AMSOIL, but in my experience no other motor oil even comes close in quality, even Royal Purple and MOBIL 1 came up far short in my use in cars I've owned compared to AMSOIL.

If you know of any oil that even comes close to AMSOIL in engine service life, mpg and horsepower increase, I'd sure like to hear about it. The worst I've ever used was SLICK 50 which robs both power and mpg and was the subject of some legal problems over their claims of improved mileage as well.

Motor scooters aren't slow moving vehicles like bicycles or require special car lanes like bicycles. Some have a top speed of 90mph. My smaller engine model can go about 45, but a 68mph version is also available as well. Because of the favorable hp to weight ratio in motor scooters, most can dust an automobile off the line in any 0-40mph matchup as well. It takes too much hp to get 3,000 lbs. of metal up to speed compared to the lighter motor scooters with a far better power to weight ratio in many normal cars. Even many little Vespas can go 70mph, and are real quick off the line as well if they have a CVT type transmission.

Hooson:If you ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Hooson:

If you know of any oil that even comes close to AMSOIL

Yadda... yadda... yadda...

Motor scooters aren't slow moving vehicles like bicycles or require special car lanes like bicycles.

You miss the point (how [not ]SHOCKING), SUVs and vehicles carrying more than one don't need them either but billions have been spent for "lane only" accommodations for them and in many cases they go empty even during rush hour.

If you want to ply the highways in your cheap assed scooter in the midst of 2 ton passenger cars and 20 ton trucks be my guest. But if you think they are anythng close to a solution your living in LaLa Land.

mantis ~ I didn't say usage... (Below threshold)

mantis ~ I didn't say usage would necessarily increase by the exact proportion of increased efficiency, or by the same users, but it would increase. It's simple economics: when you reduce the cost of something, demand increases for it.

Barney ~ Are you saying we use LESS gasoline in automobiles now than we did then? If our goal is use LESS oil, lowering the cost does not help.

This is not to say there are NO benefits to increased efficiency - of course there are. But we can NOT cut consumption by cutting the price.

In addition, can a... (Below threshold)
In addition, can anyone name an "SUV" that was on the market prior to the first CAFE standards going into effect?

marc, the Chevrolet Suburban was introduced in 1933. Jeep Wagoneer, 1963. The Ford Bronco, 1966. Chevrolet Blazer, 1969. Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Ramcharger, 1974. CAFE introduced in 1975.

Sorry, chum...

J.

Barack needs to read the WS... (Below threshold)

Barack needs to read the WSJ article this past weekend that explained Dingell's approach to cram down CAFE standards. And he only understands it because of his constituency.

Barack is a complete moron (the natural result of a weak first termer that won against a scandalized opponent... Ryan: grrrr!) on the Kyoto benchmark. Why not just shutter entire sectors of our economy and hand out massive tax credits (the result of signing Kyoto) or allow corporations to transition by outsourcing capacity. No...that makes too much sense. Instead, he wants to cripple corporate America....all in the name of attaining more power. Liberals have no soul.

Jim, the implication was th... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Jim, the implication was that it would not be worth it to increase fuel standards because consumption would increase in kind (otherwise why would you point it out?). I'm wondering if you actually think consumption would increase at a rate which would make higher standards not worth it, or if you live in a fantasy land where there is no cap on demand, as long as prices go down. If consumption doesn't match the increase in efficiency, then you have a net decrease in consumption, right?

In any case you were constructing a strawman to begin with. The quote is this:

prompt U.S. automakers to build cars that use less oil

Cars that use less oil, as in use less oil to go the same distance, right? You don't need an economics degree to know that that makes sense for a large percentage of auto drivers. Increased efficiency isn't going to make my commute any longer.

Paul H.Please provid... (Below threshold)

Paul H.
Please provide some verifiable economic metrics that demonstrate that solar power can push the required MgW through the grid.

Marc, I wouldn't personally... (Below threshold)

Marc, I wouldn't personally recommend motor scooters on the nation's highways even though many can go 70-90mph except for the biggest models. Many motor scooters are far safer for use in the city. Even going 40mph in them is pretty thrilling, with no seat belt, open body and small size. Certainly you feel like a gnat next to a truck or big SUV on the street.

But here in Portland, Oregon there are many bicycles here. And motor scooters offer me something far faster than a bicycle that can travel anywhere in the city easily compared to many bicycles. Motor scooters offer advantages in parking, low fuel consumption and high mpg that even the best hybrid automobiles cannot match so far.

I always felt that Obama wa... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I always felt that Obama was the second coming of Jimmy Carter. It feels more that way everyday.

Obama loves to come up with... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

Obama loves to come up with "ideas" that makes him and his loony left buddies feel good, but Jim is right that he'd devastate the economy. The Kyoto treaty was negotiated in 1997. As I recall, Bill Clinton was president then. Hmm. . . one has to wonder why the U.S. wasn't a party to the treaty back then in the "good old days".

And on autos, let me ask the question. What car gets better passenger fuel efficiency -- a fuel efficient car that gets 40 MPG with one person in it or a big SUV that gets 15 MPG and that has 5 people in it? If you want to reduced fuel consumption and reduce emissions, you have to change people's driving habits. Kind of hard to do unless you live in a big city (i.e., a blue area) and have mass transit.

I wonder how long Obama thinks it's going to take to replace the U.S. auto fleet. It probably takes 20+ years to start seeing the impacts. Habits. . . you have to change habits and do it without crushing the economy.

HughS, I'm simply not an ex... (Below threshold)

HughS, I'm simply not an expert on solar power, someone here that knows more about it can better answer your question.

I spent over 20 years of my life as TV-Electronics repairman, and I find solar power fascinating. I've been thinking about building a solar powered motor scooter, but again complex state licensing laws make alternative vehicles difficult to register here in Oregon. It took me about two months just to register my imported Chinese gas motor scooter I built myself from a shipping pallet from Taizhou, China.

Government unfortunately discourages high mileage alternative transportation vehicles through very restrictive licensing requirements that exceed any normal concerns for the safety of the vehicles. It's far easier to register some heavy dirty 9mpg truck than a 90mpg motor scooter for example. One motor scooter model now claims as high as 142 miles per gallon, but that doesn't make registration any easier.

mantis ~ Nice preempt, accu... (Below threshold)

mantis ~ Nice preempt, accusing me of constructing a "straw man" as you do that very thing!

What you INFER is not necessarily what I IMPLY, and in fact my statement was quite clear. Either you are being intentionally obstinate, or you are dumb as a rock.

For those who may be confused by this diversion (which was likely mantis' intent), consider the example of beef chuck roast. If the price falls, more will be sold. That doesn't mean every single family will buy precisely as much more beef proportionate to the amount of the price cut, of course. But more beef WILL be sold, in total.

Of course, if one understood basic economics, one wouldn't be a leftist stooge . . .

Notice how the entire emphasis of the left is on the relatively minor point of fuel efficiency, and they completely ignore the economic disaster following the Kyoto protocol would be?

"BTW, when was the last tim... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"BTW, when was the last time you admitting to being wrong?" marc

The last time I was wrong.

"But we can NOT cut consump... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"But we can NOT cut consumption by cutting the price." jim

But, that is not what you wrote: "If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite."

See "fuel efficiency" was your point and not cheap oil. Republicans are pushing the "cheap oil" meme by advocating more drilling.

I think you got your facts wrong and you should admit it.

Karl Marx (no relation to G... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:

Karl Marx (no relation to Groucho Marx for those in Rio Linda) and Valimar Lenin would be real proud of Obama right now. That speech is right from the Communist Manifesto that was written by Karl Marx in the 1850s and carried out by Lenin and his right hand man, Josef Stalin, in the early part of the 20th Century against the Russian People. They too advocated for the confiscation of private property and nationalizing the heavy industry. Look at what a mess that turned out to be.

Why is it that the Dims want to be a part of the Kyoto protocols when their hero in chief would not even sign his name to it? Even the Senate rejected this piece of shit 99-0 when it was submitted to them for ratification. The only ones that want this are the eco-terrorists and their butt buddies like Obama and algore.

algore wants this treaty so he can claim that he did something in his less than colorful life. I guess that he was tired of Tipper being in the news all of the time being a hypocrite about dirty song lyrics and nudity in the movies.

I always felt that Ob... (Below threshold)

I always felt that Obama was the second coming of Jimmy Carter. It feels more that way everyday.

jpm

I've been searching for that comparison...couldn't quite put it to words though. How true it is. Emmett Tyrell calls him the littlest ex president. Maybe we should call Barack the littlest wannabe president. Oh, wait, Edwards got that one.

But back back to the Jimmy Earl comparison: Guess that means disco is on the way back too? That's cool...now where is that ABBA vinyl I put away just yesterday?

What you INFER is not ne... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What you INFER is not necessarily what I IMPLY, and in fact my statement was quite clear.

Oh, I see, you didn't mean to imply that increased demand would offset efficiency making higher CAFE standards ineffective. You just wanted to show us how smart you are for understand basic economics, and how stupid you are for assuming others don't. Hope you get your junior debate society pin soon.

I'll put it simply then: if you don't think that increased consumption as a result of increased efficiency will match or outweigh that efficiency, what was your point?

Notice how the entire emphasis of the left is on the relatively minor point of fuel efficiency, and they completely ignore the economic disaster following the Kyoto protocol would be?

Who is "the left" in this scenario? I for one don't argue for Kyoto, it's flawed and should be amended in a couple of major ways. And who has called for signing the Kyoto protocol? In any case, sorry for responding to one thing you wrote when I was supposed to ignore it and respond to the other thing you wrote. Didn't mean to provide the diversion of commenting on what you wrote.

No, Barney, you've been rep... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

No, Barney, you've been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and your reaction is to ignore it.

Paul H., solar power? My god it takes an extraordinary amount of ignorance to cite solar power as a significant way to reduce greenhouse gas production. Given the efficiency of solar cells, one would have to cover half the size of the average home lot to supply the electric power used by the same home.

The only way to achieve the kinds of reductions that Obama is talking about is either a collapse in the population of the United States of the order of magnitude of a nuclear war or a massive building program of nuclear power plants that would make the Manhattan Project look like a junior high science diorama.

Kyoto was never about cutti... (Below threshold)

Kyoto was never about cutting clean air because it excempted India and China who are the world's worst polluters. It was about establishing a legal mechanism for 3rd world tyrants to bill the USA for the pollution they would have produced if their economies weren't 3rd world sh*t-holes condemned to poverty by their tyrants.

Just ask Kyoto's author:

"What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? The group's conclusion is "no." The rich countries won't do it. They won't change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about? This group of world leaders form a secret society to bring about an economic collapse." -- Maurice Strong, secretary general, 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development

Given his close ties to China, it doesn't really sound like Maurice Strong was trying to clean up the environment.

Compare a car from 1980 to ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Compare a car from 1980 to a car from 2007 and you'll see a heck of a lot missing.

No CD player, no 6-12 cup holders, no home entertainment system, no 4 or more cigarette lighter sockets, no CD player, no traction control, no ABS, no air bags, no heated seats, no GPS, no surround sound, etc...

Nevermind the extra weight for Safety & Emission Requirements.

The Automakers have been making strides in fuel economy. They customer & government have just layered on the expectations that it has negated improvements. The technologies to gain more are getting very complex and expensive. Even so, you can only get so much blood from a stone.

To get the fuel economy Environmentalists want, we have to strip all those above features out and/or drive sub-sub-compacts.

Enjoy driving with you knees up around your face.

If you increase fuel eff... (Below threshold)
Brian:

If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite.

What about increased drilling, as Republicans advocate? How does that encourage less oil usage?

But we can NOT cut consumption by cutting the price.

Oh, so we cut consumption by more drilling?

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

The last time I was wrong.

I'm sorry, I musta missing that occurrence. Can you point me in the proper direction via a link?

JT:marc, the C... (Below threshold)
marc:

JT:

marc, the Chevrolet Suburban was introduced in 1933. Jeep Wagoneer, 1963. The Ford Bronco, 1966. Chevrolet Blazer, 1969. Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Ramcharger, 1974. CAFE introduced in 1975.

Semantics guy.

As a marketing ploy the term SUV didn't exist until after CAFE standards were introduced. Once they were the Big Three went into full on marketing of larger "family vehicles" because that didn't fall under CAFE restrictions.

As a follow on to the prece... (Below threshold)
marc:

As a follow on to the preceding comment:

CAFE Standards Led to Gas Guzzling SUV's

Oh, so we cut consump... (Below threshold)

Oh, so we cut consumption by more drilling?

As the Scarecrow said.." If I only had a brain.."

Thankfully, Hayek, Mises and Friedman did have brains...and influence...but they could not penetrate the skulls of the mind numbed left.

JPM100 -"The Au... (Below threshold)

JPM100 -

"The Automakers have been making strides in fuel economy. They customer & government have just layered on the expectations that it has negated improvements. The technologies to gain more are getting very complex and expensive. Even so, you can only get so much blood from a stone.

Sounds like Windows Vista. The hardware we've got NOW is screaming fast compared to what was available even as little as 5 years ago, but we've got so much crap layered into the OS that is 'essential' that they're responding about as fast as a 386-40 running Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.1.

The engineers barely manage to keep up with the expectations of the software designers.

And Obama's got a plan to fix that. Shut down power plants to save on carbon. No electricity, no computers! Elegant and simple, isn't it?

Lomborg had it right. We have to rediscover the middle ground, where we can have a sensible conversation. We shouldn't ignore climate change or the policies that could attack it. But we should be honest about the shortcomings and costs of those policies, as well as the benefits.

Demonizing anyone who dares disagree doesn't do much to advance discourse.

Ridicule, however, is perfe... (Below threshold)

Ridicule, however, is perfectly acceptable. Obama as the second coming of Jimmy Carter? Well, we made it through the original, and the repercussions of Ol' Jimmah's foriegn mess-ups still reverberate. He was the man who was afraid to make a decision, preferring inaction to possibly making a mistake.

And I believe he was directly responsible for Disco. For which I may never forgive him.

We don't need another of his caliber and decisiveness in the Oval Office. One was enough, thank you kindly. Disco is dead. Let it stay that way.

strung has a long collectio... (Below threshold)
reg dunlop:

strung has a long collection of major fuckups in his homeland, Canada. One Moe classic was in creating the worlds largest debt for a single utility co.,OntHydro. Being implicated in the oil for food swindle was par for poor mo. We're all so proud up here.

The democrat politicians do... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The democrat politicians don't want to do any of this 'save fuel' stuff. They just want to snow job the mentally retarded section of the democrat party so they will run around mouthing the BS and vote the 'D'. If they wanted to help the U.S. they would be first in line to shoot the enviro whacko's who block everything that could or would help the average American.

Scrapiron -Let's s... (Below threshold)

Scrapiron -

Let's see. We need more oil... so we can't drill off the Florida or California coasts. We can't drill in ANWR. New refineries are strictly verboten. Where the heck is the oil supposed to come from?

We need more electricity - yet there's folks lined up to protest wind farms and nuclear plants. Where are we supposed to get it - from Polywell reactors? How about solar power satellites, which were nixed in the early '80s? It'd need a hell of an infrastructure build-up, but the private space companies coming along would be glad of the work. Oh, wait. That'd be PRIVATE - no way! If it ain't a government thing, it'll get eaten alive by the NIMBY crowd because it isn't safe, and if it IS government, it'll cost triple the amount and take six times as long...

The status quo will do - and they'll be bitching bitterly about how BAD that is, while fighting any attempt to do better!

Frankly, after looking at Democrats for the last 20-30 years, they're GREAT at promising something - anything - to get elected, and abysmally inept at actually delivering it.

What about the various eco-... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

What about the various eco-wacko groups or the liberal politicians in both parties blocking drilling in the ANWR so they wont offend the eco-wackos and still sucking up to OPEC OBAMA is liberal demacratic scoundrel

mantis and Barney ~ No, my ... (Below threshold)

mantis and Barney ~ No, my language is quite clear, and the facts presented were correct. If you gentlemen cannot understand plain English and simple economics, it's not my job to educate you.

If you merely see your task to try and distort words - which everyone remains free to read for themselves, and make up their own minds on whether they are clear and what they mean - to disrupt the thread, or seek some imagined "gotcha," if this is the best you can do at it, you're lame.

Brian ~ It is Obama, not me, who insists we must cut consumption and proposes something that will actually increase consumption.

HughS--you shouldn't admit ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

HughS--you shouldn't admit to owning an ABBA record. Even ABBA mp3s need to be hidden in secret hard drive partitions. When ABBA comes on in a bar, if you can't keep your feet from moving, you must leave. These are the rules. :)

jpm100, you'd make a swell engineer! You imply that improvements in fuel efficiency have been offset by the following:

... CD player, ... 6-12 cup holders, ... home entertainment system, ... 4 or more cigarette lighter sockets, ... CD player, ... traction control, ... ABS, ... air bags, ... heated seats, ... GPS, ... surround sound, etc...

Yeah, that's why Rainer Wolfcastle's Hummer gets 1mpg hwy/0 city, right? Too many horsepower-sucking cup holders. Them fancy-pants CD players sure are a lot heavier than tape decks, too! And the safety features! Shit, I ripped all mine out a long time ago. The extra 1/4 lb. those airbags put on my axles would have cost me thirty eight cents in gas over the duration of my lease. Almost enough to make a grown man ride a subway. (Almost, I said--I'm not gay! I still drive to the 7/11 for porn and Cheetos and bumper stickers that indicate my distaste for gun control.)

We need to be clear about this: if we don't subject to ridicule every single Democrat politician who so much as mentions some initiative that could even be loosely construed as conservationist, the scientists will have won. The Good Lord knows we hate us them gad-dang scientists, don't we?

Wait, Jim--mantis was clear... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Wait, Jim--mantis was clear in his criticism of what you implied; namely, that a reduction in cost of operating a vehicle would be offset by how much more this vehicle would be used as a result of the reduced per-mile cost of doing so. As he said, whether it costs $X, or 1/2$X, his commute is still the same distance. Everybody gets the basic economic point that lower prices drive demand, but you are intentionally ignoring mantis' point about an increase in fuel efficiency not necessarily leading to an increase in driving. Granted, people might be more likely to drive to their holiday destination, but over the course of a year, a steep increase in fuel economy will without a doubt reduce the amount of fuel consumed in passenger vehicles.

Oh, and Paul's right: scooters are awesome. People who like to drive (and park) big expensive vehicles in urban environments might have big families, but it's more likely they're compensating for some personal deficiency...

hyperbolist ~ I "implied" n... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist ~ I "implied" no such thing. For the last time, I invite readers to read the quote and make up their own minds if it is clear or not.

If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite.
Whatever it encourages</... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Whatever it encourages (driving to work and back twice a day instead of once, or perhaps signing the kids up for an extra banjo lesson?), the actual effect will be a reduction in fuel consumption. Right, Jim? Nobody disagreed with your economics; we just weren't clear what a dumbed-down principle from Econ 101 was doing in a discussion about actual fuel consumption. After all, Obama seems to be talking about reducing fossil fuel dependency in real life, not on a chalkboard. Trying to relate the bit about price and demand to the overall issue of actual fuel consumption makes it difficult not to assume you were implying the crazy bit of reasoning that we took issue with; but if that's not the case, and 1) you agree that an increase in MPG of passenger vehicles will reduce fuel consumption; and 2) you were just idly tossing in a non sequitur that has no bearing on what Obama proposes, then we're on the same page.

hyperbolist:Ye... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyperbolist:

Yeah, that's why Rainer Wolfcastle's Hummer gets 1mpg hwy/0 city, right?

Correct, because it wasn't designed to be fuel efficient and it weights as much as an elephant. Or more.

And guess what all this crapola:

... CD player, ... 6-12 cup holders, ... home entertainment system, ... 4 or more cigarette lighter sockets, ... CD player, ... traction control, ... ABS, ... air bags, ... heated seats, ... GPS, ... surround sound, etc...
starts any vehicle on a path to be less fuel efficient because of the additional weight.

Simple mat6h for simple minds. Guess you failed that test.

hyperbolist mentions 'real ... (Below threshold)
kim:

hyperbolist mentions 'real life' and Obama in the same sentence. Is his real name 'ironist'?
=====================================

If you increase fu... (Below threshold)
If you increase fuel efficiency in autos, you CUT the fuel cost of driving each mile. That doesn't encourage LESS oil usage, it does quite the opposite.

Well, you certainly get the FizPop stupid logic award. Demonstrate if you would that there is any pent up demand in America to drive more under any circumstances. There is no statistical evidence people are driving any less because of high oil prices than they have in the past nor are the national hours behind the wheel down at all, for instance. www.doe.gov, www.dot.gov, www.eia.doe.gov

Where, exactly, is this pent up demand to drive more?

You offer no evidence that people who now take mass transit would drive to NYC or DC or SF just because it's cheaper to drive, after all they'd still have to find a place to park.

If cars got better mileage, we'd use less gasoline. The math supports that. The math does not support the fact that people would dive more.

Doesn't anybody actually check the stupid blather of the commentators on this site?

The extra 1/4 lb. ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
The extra 1/4 lb. those airbags put on my axles would have cost me thirty eight cents in gas over the duration of my lease. Almost enough to make a grown man ride a subway.
If you think adding an airbag adds only 1/4 to the weight of a vehicle you are completely clueless.

And accommodating an airbag sets off a chain reaction.

Have you ever compared the size of a steering column of a vehicle with an airbag to ones before they became a feature? They're almost twice the diameter. Considering they are largely metal and heavy plastic, do you think that fatter column is only a 1/4 lbs heavier?

Do you think that the column doesn't have to a change to accommodate the fact it now holds a device that explodes?

Do you think you can use the same mounting structure to support that fatter steering column? The mounting structure has to become beefier as does the part of the body that supports that structure.

Do you think you can make a change to a larger steering column and add the additional support and not impact crash worthiness? There's additional structure for that.

And do Airbags deploy themselves? No, they require sensors and control modules as well as a bigger CPU and then the wires to connect them all. Then the structure to support their weight.

And the funny thing is that when you add structure to support the weight of an object, you add additional weight from the structure itself which requires more structure.

So 1 lbs of a goodie can set off a chain reaction of up to 10 lbs of weight to make it work, support it structurally, and meet safety.

But hey, keep thinking the weight of an airbag is just the weight of the bag itself and somehow it just magically inflates and magically knows when.

Pitiful arguments. Static ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Pitiful arguments. Static logic for dynamic systems.

It makes me laugh most of the time when people talk about Laffer like curves. I'm reminded of the blind men examining different parts of the elephant.

Hyperbolist isn't serious, but mantis claims to be.
=================

Obama's making a decree tha... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Obama's making a decree that US automakers will make a car that gets X miles per gallon, isn't going to make it so. Obama could be President and decree that cows must give only soy milk, but unless there is a means of making that happen, he's going to have to make due with what's coming out of old Bessie.

Same old, same old... (Below threshold)
Same old, same old.

Amazing how conservative thought never relates to actually conserving anything--except, of course, conserving profits and pork barrel welfare for corporations.

Kennerly:If ca... (Below threshold)
marc:

Kennerly:

If cars got better mileage, we'd use less gasoline. The math supports that. The math does not support the fact that people would dive more.

And kennerly ends his treatise with this:

Doesn't anybody actually check the stupid blather of the commentators on this site?

Of course we do, that's why it's so easy when useful tools such as yourself happen to drop by.

The "math" supports highway passenger vehicle miles traveled have steadily increased since 1970 despite the lunacy of CAFE standards and the ever rising cost of gas.

Are you as unserious, rick,... (Below threshold)
kim:

Are you as unserious, rick, as hyperbolist, or merely as hyperbolic?
===========

Gas is cheaper now than eve... (Below threshold)
kim:

Gas is cheaper now than ever. That statement is too broad to be precisely true, but is not far wrong.
========================

To own and operate a scoote... (Below threshold)
LJD:

To own and operate a scooter- one must live in an urban environment- one that, with its street lights, neon signs and other energy and resource robbing conveniences, use significantly more power than an area where one might use a jeep or SUV. SO, where does that power come from? Overwhelmingly the burning of fossil fuels. You scooter drivers are responsible for degrading the environment. Thanks a lot.

Not to mention degrading th... (Below threshold)
kim:

Not to mention degrading the pavement when they crash. Oops, sorry Paul. Karma comes around the curve, kim.
====================================

I mean really, they oughta ... (Below threshold)
kim:

I mean really, they oughta have sense enough to wear extracranial armor and animal or artificial skin like sensible bikers, or the ones who want to remain so, do. Instead, they waft around like they're on a merry-go-round. A positive hazard, I say. Bicyclists are much more alert.
======

The "math" support... (Below threshold)
The "math" supports highway passenger vehicle miles traveled have steadily increased since 1970 despite the lunacy of CAFE standards and the ever rising cost of gas.

And your point? Cafe standards never had anything to do with how much we drive, only do so more efficiently.

We're a driving culture, we've designed most of our transportation system and most of our cities around driving. We're not going to change that much.

CAFE standards, however, are about efficiency not how much we drive. While total road miles have gone up, that's in step to population growth. 12,000 per year is about the average driving mileage in the US and has been for a good while.

That's why I say, show me the pent up demand better fuel efficiency will bring more miles driven.

Don't waste your time, Rick... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Don't waste your time, Rick. It's obvious that increasing fuel efficiency in passenger vehicles will reduce overall fuel consumption across the nation. While a 50% improvement (to use a random number) in MPG might not save 50% across the board (maybe more people will drive the kids to Florida or wherever), it will be a good thing.

Jim knows that; kim knows that; marc knows that. They're just antagonistic and don't want to seem as though they even tacitly acknowledge the common sense of this conservationist conjecture of Obama's.

lunacy of CAFE sta... (Below threshold)
lunacy of CAFE standards

I actually support doing away with CAFE standards, as long as the government also stops distorting the oil market with unneeded subsidies and giveaways to the oil and gas industry and let the market determine the price (probably between 5 & 7 dollars per gallon).

I think everyone should drive whatever they want and can afford. OTOH, I do resent driving a Prius (53.4 MPG on the last fill-up, btw) to conserve a resource and then subsidizing some else's poor SUV mileage as they waste it.

Drivers--citizens--will react rationally when the market floats free, making CAFE standards unnecessary.

Isn't it time we put the conserve back into conservative?

Don't waste your t... (Below threshold)
Don't waste your time, Rick.

Well, it's not a waste of time: You're here ;->

Although I can't quite make kim out, he's kind of a turd in a punchbowl whenever he posts. I've pretty much shrouded him as background noise since he's posts are seldom germane to the discussion at hand.

I strongly believe that Energy Independence IS Homeland Security, which is why I drive a Prius and telecommute from home. It's the patriotic thing to do.

One only has to look at the trends to see cheap energy is coming to an end. The world uses 300 billion barrels of oil per year. The world's been on a slight decline in pumping oil for several years, now. Major new finds are unlikely.

If, however, China's economic growth (8 %/year)and western tastes remain steady by the year 2075 China will have a demand of 300 billion barrels a year, the total world oil supply. Not to mention India and the West, in the US gasoline consumption has gone up 15% per year for a decade.

We can either fight endless wars over a non-renewable, finite stock or we can change our ways and our economy.

We've already let Quadafi pay a fine for murdering a plane load of people so we can get his oil again. We let the Burmese government run over democracy but don't stop Chevron from pumping oil because we need it. And we're already fighting one war for access to Iraq's oil. There a better way. And it is a conservative way.

Maybe conservatives will re... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Maybe conservatives will retake the Republican Party! Ron Paul '08! You holding your breath?

Kim, bicyclists are not the... (Below threshold)

Kim, bicyclists are not the more "professional" drivers that you may think. Accident research from the National Traffic Safety Council finds that 67% of the 500,000 average adult bicycle accidents each year involve single vehicle accidents such as losing control or bumping into things and falling. Only about 33% of bicycle accident involve a collision with a motor vehicle. Also over 90% of bicyclists disobey basic traffic safety signs such as red lights or stop signs. And I've had bicycles stupidly and dangerously attempt to crowd in on a corner when I'm in the process of the dangerous leaning through a corner with my motor scooter when going around a corner, which really makes me mad because it endangers my life. Any motorcycle doesn't need a bicyclist deliberately endangering their life when turning a corner. This is simply criminal aggressive driving in my view and the police should impound the bicycle of any jerk that does this deadly aggressive practice instead of sharing the road like decent citizens of the road do.

I've logged in about 1 miilion driving miles in my life. And whether in a car or a motor scooter, I'm fully licensed and insured and safely share the road, compared to the daily antics of many bicyclists I witness who are a far greater danger to themselves than they realize with their very poor driving habits.

Hooson:I've lo... (Below threshold)
marc:

Hooson:

I've logged in about 1 miilion driving miles in my life. And whether in a car or a motor scooter, I'm fully licensed and insured and safely share the road, compared to the daily antics of many bicyclists I witness

And the daily antic of motorscooterists who aren't observant enough, ram potholes and go ass over tea kettle because their cheap-assed scooter is cheap-assed and non-union.

Nice to see a right-winger ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Nice to see a right-winger come out swinging for the unions, marc. You don't have to be such a dick, though, especially since Paul's being a model of civility here.

hyperbolist<br... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist

It's obvious that increasing fuel efficiency in passenger vehicles will reduce overall fuel consumption across the nation. While a 50% improvement (to use a random number) in MPG might not save 50% across the board (maybe more people will drive the kids to Florida or wherever), it will be a good thing.


You really need to read the WSJ Dingell article on cram down CAFE. You can legislate this stuff, but you can't simultaneously engineer and sell it to consumers.

To borrow some horse racing vernacular, when a liberal like Dingell is spitting the bit on your argument it's time to slow down and
listen.

hyperbolist:Ni... (Below threshold)
marc:

hyperbolist:

Nice to see a right-winger come out swinging for the unions, marc. You don't have to be such a dick, though, especially since Paul's being a model of civility here.

Sorry to disappoint, I'm far, FAR from a supporter of any union. My point was the five dems are stupid beyond compare to be tossing MI under the bus. especially Obama who needs all the help he can get. And then some.

I spent 10 years in the UAW, enough time to know besides politicians they are the most dishonest, corrupt, lying bastards in the U.S.

A dick to Hooson? Please, the pompous ass deserves far more than someone being a dick.




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