New law: 35 mpg by 2020 and more

Discussion in 'Environment' started by BaronVonBigmeat, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22313314/

    A few random thoughts:

    * For the umpteenth time, Bush is a complete socialist

    * The original CAFE laws in the 70's saddled us with shitty, underpowered cars for the next couple of decades.

    * Despite CAFE, we are more reliant on imported oil than ever before. The problem is the rebound effect. Give me a 35 mpg car, and I will drive more, and live further away from work. Give me a superinsulated house, and I will turn up the thermostat. Or even if americans don't, the 1.3 billion increasingly prosperous chinese will.

    * Ethanol sucks. There is only so much power ("solar flux", as engineers say) in a given square meter of sunshine. Now take the fact that plants are terribly inefficient at converting that energy to stored energy (sugars), and subtract the energy required to harvest, ferment, and distill the alcohol, and some experts question whether there's any net energy gain at all.

    Ethanol is a big fat subsidy to Archer Daniels-Midland, nothing more. And it will continue to raise food prices, as if the falling dollar needed any help with that. (Unless there is some gigantic breakthrough in distilling efficiency, and they can figure out how to grow switchgrass on land where corn isn't growing now). Plus it uses huge amounts of water. And instead of having fuel costs influenced by arabs, they would be influenced by droughts, insects, and other causes of crop failures. Also, ethanol has significantly less energy per gallon; I hope they are not expecting 35 mpg from a fuel that is 50% ethanol or something.

    * Also, incandescent light bulbs will be gone soon. Yes, they produce 90% heat. For starters, that's not a problem in winter, so you can't really count it as waste. Second, fluorescents never last as long as advertised. When you factor in the real lifetime, and the amount of energy/resources which go into the manufacturing process, they aren't as attractive. Plus their light is irritating to lots of people, because of the spectrum and the frequency of the flicker. Hopefully LED's will continue falling in price and make this a moot point.
     
  2. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Hydrogen may be an answer. I posted a link a while back to a claim by some people that they had perfected on a small scale the ability to produce hydrogen at a minor cost, I believe the return on hydrogen to energy used was around 250 percent.

    Ethanol is a waste it is a dead end. It doesn't even work well mixed with gas if I am not mistaken.

    However I have no problem with 35 mpg requirement. There have been rumors the oil companies bought up designs that are even more efficient then that over the last decades.

    Not sure if the requirement applies to trucks and SUV's though. Though they have SUV's now with 20 plus MPG.
     
  3. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Baron, that made me laugh, Bush is a 'socialist,' I doubt many would agree with you. But damn I miss my old 55 Chevy, V8, 4 barrel, three on the floor. Raced the heck outta that car. Now have a supercharged Buick and Turbo Saturn. Bad liberal I guess. But I commute by bike or public transportation so my conscience is clear. lol

    It will be interesting to see how this goes, while i don't buy foreign, Honda and Toyota seem to be doing some good stuff with fuel efficiency. But the world we have created through the interstate system has created sprawl that is hard to conquer. PS blew an engine in the 55 when they started to build 95 and you could race it at over 100 in the early pieces. :lol:
     
  4. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    Heh, I used to have a '57 chevy pickup...camaro front clip, 383 stroker, bright red, flowmasters that would set off car alarms.

    That's another thing that bugs me, if you have a gas guzzler but don't drive it much, or live close to work, you're not polluting much. Honestly if they wanted to reduce pollution the best way to do it is with a gas tax, then offset it with payroll tax cuts since it's a regressive tax. Using CAFE standards does nothing to stop the real problem, which is suburban sprawl.

    It's a bit nutty that we're mandating Buck Rogers cars, when most places it's illegal to build lofts or office space on top of retail. Get rid of that, get rid of the tax breaks for cheap 1-story construction, and base property taxes on square footage rather than value, and we wouldn't be having this problem. People in apartments could just walk downstairs to work and shopping. Cars would be an option for many, instead of mandatory. This would be especially helpful for the poor too.
     
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  5. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    My first car was an ancient Camaro... but had a 4 barrel carborator and could still rock. Darn thing only got 10 miles to the gallon, though. ;(

    But man, it was fun to drive.
     
  6. razorskater135
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    razorskater135 Rookie

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    I think its good news considering that will be the minimum.
     
  7. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    Unless I read it wrong, 35 will be the average. If that were the minimum...yikes.

    Also I know that GM has been pushing flex-fuel cars because the government counts them as being like, 50% higher than they actually are, which boosts CAFE averages and lets them build more gas guzzlers. I wonder if the 35 mpg will be statistically achieved in the same manner, since ethanol is being pushed harder.
     

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