Patterico's Pontifications

5/19/2009

Obama raising car prices and killing people is just for starters

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:59 am

[Posted by Karl]

Michelle Malkin correctly notes that Pres. Obama’s planned standards for tailpipe emissions from new automobiles will raise the cost of a new car by $600 to $1,300 and continue a regulatory regime that kills motorists. That is more than can be said for the Associated Press, which is trying to bury the increased upfront cost down the memory hole.

As for the increased motorist deaths, which the National Academy of Sciences once estimated at 1,300 to 2,600 in 1993 alone, even a less lethal estimate of 800 excess deaths annually is roughly the number of US troops killed annually during the peak years of the Iraq war. Indeed, the estimated cumulative death toll of 46,000 in 2001 suggests that CAFE standards inflict casualties on the magnitude of Vietnam. The lapdog media, however, does not devote time to reporting the grim milestones when people die in fuel-efficient cars.

The supposed benefits of this regulation are explained by the Washington Post:

The measures are significant steps forward for the administration’s energy agenda by cutting greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change and by easing U.S. dependence on oil, most of which is imported.

However, increasing fuel-efficiency reduces the per-mile cost of operating vehicles, which increases the number of miles driven, thus reducing or eliminating any CAFE benefit. Between 1970-2001, the US made cars almost 50% more efficient, but the average number of miles a person drives doubled.

Environmentalists claim the new standards should cut carbon dioxide from tailpipes by 30 percent by 2016. Though that is unlikely, for the reason just stated, the fact remains that cars and light trucks subject to fuel economy standards make up only 1.5 percent of all global man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, Americans will be paying more for cars and continuing to die in ever-greater numbers on the road, all for less than one-half of one percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. It is almost as though hardcore greens want to save the planet by killing people, but are only accomplishing the killing part.

Finally, one of the entirely predictable “unintended consequences” of raising the price of new cars will be to keep poorer people driving their old, greenhouse gas-spewing cars. Thus, it should surprise no one that Congress is already considering a “cash for clunkers” program designed to encourage trade-ins. This proposal is a twofer: not only does it attempt to patch a glaring flaw in today’s plan, but it would help save the jobs of all those UAW workers Obama and the Democrats rely upon every other November. Pushing the poor into these new Obamamobiles will also kill more people at the margins, but dead people tend to vote Democratic, so there is no net loss for the Democrats.

–Karl

60 Responses to “Obama raising car prices and killing people is just for starters”

  1. I already have two business plans to take advantage of these idiotic moves.

    It might suck but I plan on making honest money from it.

    HeavenSent (637168)

  2. i need to find a 1975 Chevy pick up truck…..

    %-)

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  3. At what point can one begin to question their motives without being a racist?

    JD (928a1b)

  4. how to say this. i live in the uk and there exist here, fuel efficient cars which use clean diesel. the ford focus for sale here gets a combined 65 mpg running on diesel and an automatic transmission. the ford focus for sale in the states using regular petroleum gets 25 in the city and 34 on the highway. the difference, clean diesel.

    when will congress get its head out of their a$$e$ and do something worthwhile? environmentalists and congress would rather while away doing nothing, they sicken me.

    you do know there has been a revolt of sorts here in that elected officials who haven’t been good stewards of taxpayer’s money are being forced to resign or step down for the next election. oh for that to happen back home. one can only dream… sign

    ktr (6367d7)

  5. Diesel cars were banned here because they emit particulate matter, also called “smoke.” What is interesting is that one wild-eyed theory of how to stop global warming (assuming you want to stop it-I don’t care) was to fill the atmosphere with particulate matter, sort of like the emissions from diesels that were banned. Those particles would block sunlight and reduce warming.

    I think we should prosecute the people who banned diesel cars for contributing to global warming.

    Or something.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  6. Hmmm … I haven’t driven more due to gas price drops. Probably because my driving depends on many factors, such as distance to work.

    I’m not alone.

    While miles driven per person went up by 130% during 1970-2001, they also went up during any given timeframe. For example, during 1970-1985, during which gas prices were rapidly increasing miles/person went up 50%. So, miles driven is not really a function of gas prices, but a multitude of factors.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  7. Kevin, that link appears to be just miles, not miles/person.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  8. Ooops!

    I accidentally inserted a link that proved soot made global warming worse. Here is one that shows it will reduce global warming. Just imitate a volcano erupting.

    See how easy that is ? You can find an argument on global warming to support any argument with five minutes of looking.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  9. I don’t know about miles/person but I think this link shows miles-consumption-etc./vehicle.

    DRJ (f55947)

  10. The “particulate matter” is BAD because it MAY cause cancer.
    It is not smoke, but a fine ash from the diesel combustion process.
    More finely refined diesel (clean diesel) reduces the amount of ash,
    but presents other problems for older diesel powerplants that were not designed for it,
    just as “low-sulfur” diesel does also.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  11. Mike K – That sort of unintentional comedy is pure gold. Thank you.

    DRJ – Given the likelihood of increased injuries and fatalities, this should have a rather profound effect on insurance rates as well, no?

    JD (928a1b)

  12. My mistake. Had the wrong link in the buffer.

    Passenger-miles link. While not strictly miles/person, it’s close.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  13. And there is nothing coming from the GOP side in Congress criticizing Obama for jacking up car prices, putting more people at risk in crashes (which will answer result in higher insurance premiums for everyone) and all in pursuit of unsubstantiated claims that reducing CO2 will cool the planet.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  14. “…there is nothing coming from the GOP side in Congress criticizing Obama…”
    well, nothing that is being reported on by the DNC-Public Affairs Office media.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  15. I meant to say ‘next to nothing’.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  16. Shorter Karl:

    everybody should drive a tank and everything would be perfect.

    Does Karl have an investment portfolio rich in Saudi money?

    Oh, and on a substantive note, as Nate Silver recently noted, the average miles driven by Americans has begun to decrease. So, better CAFE standards will help. Oh, well, it’s off to your Exxon shareholders meeting, Karl

    timb (a83d56)

  17. […] additional consequences from the future “Obamamobiles” that I had not thought of. From Patterico: Finally, one of the entirely predictable “unintended consequences” of raising the price of new […]

    Consequences of the Obamamobiles « Gunservatively! (2b7e85)

  18. timb, the increased risk of lighter cars is well documented by the NHTSA. Your ridicule of Karl’s point only rebounds upon your own, already low, credibility.

    SPQR (72771e)

  19. Bringing up the fact that the new standards will cause more deaths is a no win argument. Nobody got behind the wheel today thinking they were going to die, but die some did. But it is human nature to say it happens only to the other guy. The money, however, affects us all, emphasize the added costs will add to the upfront $1300 for each of us. Whoever mentioned insurance rates has the right idea. I only wish we would be more concerned by the idea of death, injury, and pain.

    Jim (4f4bdc)

  20. Hmm, will the “moderate” GOP’ers admit now, that the Dear Leader, Chairman MaO-bama is a socialist.

    Not even yet?

    BarackChavez (f6cafd)

  21. If increasing fuel efficiency causes people to drive more (and therefore die in greater numbers), then the answer clearly is to require auto makers to decrease fuel efficiency, causing people to drive less (and therefore lowering the death toll).

    That’s a great idea you’ve got there, Karl. Maybe we can impose a maximum of 0.25 mpg on all new cars. I mean, if it costs $10 per mile people will stop driving so much, right? Think of all the lives we’ll save.

    Scott (5f7dc7)

  22. Diesels are great in Europe but they aren’t popular here because of prior experience with diesels (American-made car diesels have a lousy reputation) and in part because the particulate restrictions in California and states that adopt CARB emissions standards make it difficult to sell those cars with those engines. Car companies aren’t jazzed about making a car that can only be sold in 40-odd of the 50 states, and excluding CA, NY and other large-population states.

    There are a few passenger diesels that make the grade, for a few years the only one was M-B’s Bluetec in its $45,000+ E320. Volkswagen is finally coming out with a diesel Jetta that is legal in all 50 states and Honda and GM say they’re close.

    The fact that Europeans drive diesels that are more efficient than our cars is less a feather in their cap than it is a criticism of regulations here. Maybe Obama seconding auto emissions control to CARB like he did today (functionally) will at least give European auto manufacturers a non-moving target.

    Darren (65a75c)

  23. Except, it is the CARB regulations that have, in the past, frightened off the manufacturers – particularly the longevity requirements that diesel drivetrains must meet.
    It is one thing to meet stringent requirements in a $50K vehicle, and quite another to do the same in a $20K one – particularly without any assurance that you will sell a markedly greater volumn at the lower price.
    One way would be to require government fleets to be either very-low emiting diesel (with a max list price to keep the ‘crats from buying a fleet of high-end M-B’s) or near-zero emitting electrics and/or hybrids. This would give the manufacturers a relatively stable market to produce for, and would provide a diverse test-fleet to prove the concepts. Plus, to have clean-diesel, you have a huge infrastructure investment required since you can’t allow any cross-contamination of fueling equipment. No oil company is going to undertake that investment without knowing they have a large fleet of vehicles to service (just how many Hydrogen fueling stations have been built?).

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  24. I’m listening now to the hearing on the cash for clunkers program, looks interesting. Oh, they are voting on the amendment now. likely to pass.

    G (58c282)

  25. timmah and scott are just mailing it in today. Those were not even half-hearted efforts.

    JD (557367)

  26. Does the debate over diesel fuel vehicles really matter anymore fellas?

    Isn’t the bigger issue the fact that Barry is seizing private property, that is firms, directing firms, twisting arms in order to “socialize” the risks and pay off his favored constituencies?

    Barry is an academic who never has had a real job in his life. He is a socialist-utopian, nothing more.

    The US and European nations have been different for different reasons – we are one, large nation; they were (if not anymore thanks to the dreaded EU), many different nations with differing cultures, needs and desires. But thanks to endless chain immigration, bi-lingualism (Si!) and liberalism in the broad sense, the US is undergoing a “Balkinization” into several small ethno-cultures and thus becoming a weak, pacified, feminized nation, with a metro-sexual “former” moooslim in the White House.

    BETWyan (f6cafd)

  27. The real question is, will Mr. Pelosi try to trade in Nancy under the “Cash for Clunkers” pogrom program?

    Tony (dc5299)

  28. I am no Drudge fan, but he has a link to a Reuters article that makes the claim that GM will be bought by a government company out of bankruptcy. Brilliant idea. What could go wrong?

    JD (557367)

  29. I have tried to follow timb’s logic, and can’t get it. Other than the silly tank comment, that is.

    Does Karl have an investment portfolio rich in Saudi money?

    Is Karl supposed to be the investor? Does he deposit money in the Saudi investment bank? What kind of return would that earn? Is it sharia compliant? Or are the Saudis the investors, and Karl is supposed to be an investment banker who specializes in investment for Saudis? He sure seems to have a lot of writing time, for an investment banker. The ones I know have lunch at their desks. Really, I can’t believe I spent a minute thinking about this.

    I had a big honkin’ BMW 530d station wagon when I lived in the UK. It got better mileage by far than its US equivalent. Which was handy as gas was north of $7.00 per gallon there at the time. It also had a lot more torque than the old US diesels had, and didn’t take forever to warm up.

    carlitos (2703cf)

  30. Sign me up for the 35 mpg version of the FBI / SS black SUV, please; I’m going to claim that it’s medically required because of my sitting height.

    htom (412a17)

  31. Trying to reason with timb is akin to attempting to communicate with a Howler Monkey – but without the mirth involved.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  32. Thus, it should surprise no one that Congress is already considering a “cash for clunkers” program designed to encourage trade-ins.

    Yeah, sort of like when the Nazis lured starving Jews out of the ghettos and onto the trains by offering them bread and jam as an “incentive.”

    Sickening.

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  33. Okay, let me understand.

    Obama is increasing the CAFE standards to reduce CO2 emissions which everyone agrees doesn’t pollute the atmosphere or cause climate change, but on top of his Cap & Trade costs ($1,400 to $3,100 per household per year) he wants to increase the cost of cars by $7,000 making us less competitive, increasing the number of highway deaths and prolonging the recession. Makes perfect sense to me!

    I’m just glad he isn’t raising taxes.

    NOT!

    arch (1f4da5)

  34. Prior to Oct ’08 there were about 1 million new car sales per month in the U.S. Cars getting 35+ mpg have been available for, what, 20 years? Longer?

    So it isn’t that high mileage cars aren’t available. Or that automobile turnover rates are so low that new models are rarely seen on the road.

    Maybe I’m just a simpleton…but I figure that if people actually wanted high mileage cars the CAFE standards would be a moot point. I bet if anytime in the last 20 years the average green had decided, en mass, to not buy a car unless it got 35+mpg…car manufacturers would have noticed. Probably within weeks. Eh, easier to blame Bush and Exxon.

    BTW, around here we laugh that the Subaru is the poor liberal’s Volvo. Have you seen the mpg of the average Subaru? It’s horrible.

    KB (c67320)

  35. Why did they stop at 35.5 mpg?

    Think of all the Gaia-saving they could do with 40, no wait, 50 mpg! Engineering be damned!

    Techie (9c008e)

  36. Posting over at the New Majority is teaching me to appreciate our trolls more. If you think they are bat shit stupid, try TNM. There was a post today about the fact that Conrad Black has, against all odds, gotten the Supreme Court to hear his case. I think he is a conservative thinker with interesting things to say about Roosevelt and Nixon in his two superb books. One of the commenters at TNM demanded to know if Black was funding the site, else why would they post anything about that CRIMINAL ! Then she said she was a conservative.

    Tim, you may be a little goofy but you’re OK in my book.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  37. Why don’t they just ban the use of the personal automobile and force everyone onto public transportation:
    Busses and Light Rail for local transport;
    Heavy rail for medium distance inter-city;
    Air for longer distances (short range air is very wasteful of fuel – too much time on the ground, plus, as soon as you get to altitude, you start descending).
    This whole personal transportation thing is just antithetical to the top-down command economy that statists such as Duh-1 worship.
    We need to get back to the 19th-Century, when the average person never moved more that 25 miles from the place of his birth.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  38. Just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me whence Obama derives the authority to tell the proletariat how many mpgs their earth-destroyer-mobiles must get?

    Diffus (89c494)

  39. Congress’ intrusion into this area was to set a National Standard (The Clean Air Act, The Safe Car Act) to pre-empt the States from promulgating 50 different standards under the Interstate Commerce Clause.
    But, that was under a SCOTUS that allowed a very expansive view of Congress’ authority under ICC.
    It might be an interesting excercise to see where the Court actually stands today, particularly after Prince, though their interpretation of the relationship of pot growing to interstate commerce is not heartening.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  40. Just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me whence Obama derives the authority to tell the proletariat how many mpgs their earth-destroyer-mobiles must get?

    Diffus- that’s what I’m trying to figure out. Where does Obama get the authority to pass this…what is it? A rule? It isn’t a law.
    And how he can guarantee some state won’t just up the requirements again.

    MayBee (c50b9d)

  41. “Just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me whence Obama derives the authority to tell the proletariat how many mpgs their earth-destroyer-mobiles must get?”

    Diffus – It’s in his personal copy of The Living Constitution, 2009 Edition.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  42. “And how he can guarantee some state won’t just up the requirements again?”

    That is a very good concern, and almost a certainty, unless the Congress, in passing this proposal, also strips out CA’s exemption from the original Clean Air Act allowing it to impose requirements more stringent than Federal requirements. If Congress doesn’t do this, they will just be launching us on a new road of ratcheting-up restrictions as CA imposes tighter and tighter requirements, and many other states keep piggy-backing on the CARB rules as they have done since the renewal of the Clean Air Act under Bush-41.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  43. Obama is a complete fuck up. I just thought I’d add that.

    libocrat (b1a191)

  44. It’s in his personal copy of The Living Constitution, 2009 Edition.

    The cool thing about it too is that it’s always in a state of flux and is pliable, malleable, and easily adapts in every way to fit in the back pocket of the POTUS. Most conveniently, it has only one editor.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  45. This perplexes me. Up until this past year, the big eared dimwit half-muslim drove a Chrysler 300.
    15 City 22 Hwy.
    http://www.brianmicklethwait.com/images/uploads/Chrysler300cClose2.jpg
    If he likes these mileage standards, why wasn’t he living up to them in his personal choices.

    He’s a disgrace.

    gus (b1a191)

  46. MayBee: I haven’t looked into it, but I suspect the theory goes like this:

    (1) Congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce. Under Wickard v Filburn this includes purely intrastate commerce, but we don’t need to go that far; the likelihood is small that there is any significant number of cars which are produced entirely within one state.

    (2) Since Congress can regulate interstate commerce, even so far as to completely prohibit commerce in a given good (see Raich v Ashcroft, reaffirming that Congress may prohibit commerce in marijuana), it can also attach regulations regarding those goods which include the power to set CAFE standards.

    (3) Congress has delegated exercise of that power to administrative bodies. It’s been delegating such powers to administrative bodies since at least 1913, when it delegated away much of its power to regulate the currency, and such delegations have generally (but not always) been held to be constitutional.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  47. aphrael- thanks.
    But Congress did pass a law in 2007 which increased CAFE standards to 35 by 2020, among other things (such as requiring certain % of ethanol use and certain types of lightbulbs be used). So Congress has not delegated away this particular authority.

    MayBee (c50b9d)

  48. MayBee: I am totally unfamiliar with the state of legislation on the subject, so I am not able to comment. I think it’s possible they’ve delegated it; doing so would only require an ‘at least’ clause.

    Certainly the other part of the proposal – the EPA regulation of carbon emissions – was delegated; the Supreme Court has interpreted the Clean Air Act as doing so.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  49. aphrael- It’s an 820-page bill, so I haven’t read through it. None of the reporting I’ve seen says “at least”. You are correct, that would make some difference.

    MayBee (c50b9d)

  50. aphrael- It’s an 820-page bill, so I haven’t read through it. None of the reporting I’ve seen says “at least”. You are correct, that would make some difference.

    Even if that is the case, why would auto manufacturers be applauding this move (as they supposedly are)? It moves their deadline up. And I don’t see how “certainty” is the answer- if there was already a deadline of 2020 AND the President can’t keep the states from trying to raise standards as they did before.

    MayBee (c50b9d)

  51. Quite simply, MayBee, there is nothing, but nothing, that is not under the direct control of the dirty little Euro-socialist wannabe.

    JD (b7daf6)

  52. MayBee: why the automakers are applauding the move is easier to explain.

    California passed a law regulating the emissions of vehicles sold in California. In order for that law to take effect, it has to get a waiver from the EPA, which the EPA is likely to provide. (The EPA denied the waiver request a year or two ago, but California has asked them to reconsider, as has the Obama administration).

    The problem is that the car companies are afraid that this will set off an avalanche of different state standards. It’s bad enough if a bunch of people follow California’s standards, but if there are multiple standards? So they want a national standard instead, and that’s what they are cheering … because as much as they might dislike this particular standard, it’s (a) better for them than California’s, and (b) far better than multiple competing state standards.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  53. […] cars that, while perhaps better on gas, are proven by the National Academy of Sciences to be less safe on the roads. Together with Obama car czar Steven Rattner halving the advertising budget for Chrysler, I have to […]

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  54. […] cars that, while perhaps better on gas, are proven by the National Academy of Sciences to be less safe on the roads. Together with Obama car czar Steven Rattner halving the advertising budget for Chrysler, I have to […]

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  55. […] cars that, while perhaps better on gas, are proven by the National Academy of Sciences to be less safe on the roads. Together with Obama car czar Steven Rattner halving the advertising budget for Chrysler, I have to […]

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  56. aphrael- as long as Obama chose the highest standard- California’s- it doesn’t matter. That’s what they would have manufactured their cars to.
    However, as I said, there is nothing to stop another state from doing the same thing California was trying to do. Is it so impossible to imagine California under Governor Gavin Newsome increasing standards again?

    So the auto manufacturers are told to manufacture to what California was suing for, and they must meet the standards 4 years earlier. And that brings them all in for a photo-op with the guy whose imposing this?

    I can see disgruntled acceptance, but applause?

    MayBee (c50b9d)

  57. I’ll accept the idea of upping MPG on automobiles to lower America’s dependence on foreign sources of fuel. But when it comes to the idea of forcing the public to pay more for cars all because it will satisfy some people’s neurotic fears of global warming, that’s a bunch of BS.

    I notice most proponents of, and articles dealing with Obama’s policies on the auto industry (certainly if they’ve been written by typical environment-is-my-religion reporters) often mention “greenhouse gases,” or the need to reduce our so-called carbon footprint, before they mention the value of the US reaching a point where we can give the middle-finger salute to the Middle East and its vast oil fields.

    But that’s hardly surprising since many of those on the left cheering for the idea that carbon dioxide is a threat (a THREAT!!!, a THREAT, I say!!!) to mankind tend to be the same ones whose feelings for non-Western, Third-World societies (eg, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela) are warmer and softer than they are for greedy, capitalistic, imperialistic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic America (and Western civilization in general).

    Mark (411533)

  58. They were all applaudingly the fact that the dirty little Euro-socialist did not take over all of their companies, yet.

    And Allah help you all if Newsom becomes Governor.

    JD (b7daf6)

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