Eric Peters: Apocalypse avoided?

By Eric Peters

If this one thing happens, electing Trump will have been worth the bother.

It’s actually two things.

Trump’s EPA will be “revisiting” the Obama EPA’s last-minute fuel efficiency and emissions fatwas, hurriedly ululated just two weeks before the end of the Obama EPA.

It might just prevent a catastrophe worse than the implosion of 2008 – when two out of three of the Big Three went bankrupt. This time, the industry could go bankrupt.

The first fatwa would require every car company to build cars that average 54.5 MPG by model year 2025 – irrespective of such banal things as what this will cost the people who have to pay for it all.

The Obama EPA’s imbecile reasoning – if taken at face value – is that the government decreeing cars must average 54.5 MPG will reduce fueling costs. People will save money on gas.

 

Certainly.

But the cars will cost a lot more. And not just that.

Executives from almost every major car company recently paid a visit to Trump’s new EPA chief, Scott Priutt, explaining to him that not a single car any of them make averages 54.5 MPG and to get there would involve literally throwing away two-thirds of the models currently available for sale and re-engineering the rest at huge cost.

All to salve the mania of EPA ayatollahs, who are convinced it’s their business to force the public into “efficient” cars – no matter how much it costs the public.

The second fatwa, though, is potentially much worse. It decrees – for the first time in the history of federal fatwa’ing – that the inert, plants-breath-it gas, carbon dioxide, be classified an “exhaust emission” and regulated as if it constituted a danger to air quality and public health.

It does neither thing, of course.

Some assert it “plays a role” in “climate change.” Maybe. Maybe not. It’s conjecture – and probably setting policy that will have enormous economic effects based on political “science” isn’t so savvy. But, regardless, it’s a fact that carbon dioxide “emissions” do not cause smog or acid rain or respiratory problems.

Not even a little bit.

In other words, there is no known/demonstrable harm caused by a motor vehicle “emitting” carbon dioxide. Which – along with water vapor – now constitutes the bulk of new car exhaust “emissions.” (If you want to get scientific about it, why isn’t the EPA sweating water vapor? It is a “greenhouse gas,” too.)

The scary part is that carbon dioxide (and water vapor) “emissions” can’t be chemically scrubbed into some other thing or rendered less by fine-tuning an engine. The only way known to lower the volume of C02 produced by an internal combustion engine is to reduce the amount of fuel used.

Bingo!

The objective of the Obama fatwas is not to save us money or protect people’s health. It is to make building cars more expensive and buying them more onerous. In order to “nudge” (this is their term; Google a guy named Cass Sunstein) people out of cars – and into something else.

The “nudge” given electric cars – heavy subsidies, mandatory production quotas – is of a piece.

These, likewise, are defined by their cost. Almost no one can afford them. Therefore, almost no one will drive them.

Bingo, again.

The only alternative explanation is that they – these regulatory ayatollahs – really are that stupid. That ignorant of mundane things like the cost of stuff affecting whether people can afford to buy the stuff. Which could be – given the endlessly succulent teat of taxpayer dollars they have access to.

How much do you suppose a mid-level EPA ayatollah takes home each year? It is probably enough to afford a $60,000 electric car.

Can’t everyone afford a $60,000 electric car?

That could well be their thinking.

Or, they are simply turning the screws on purpose. There is plenty of hard evidence that points in that direction, too. For example, Agenda 21 conclaves, well-attended by EPA ayatollahs and other such.

Either way, it’s us who are being screwed.

But, maybe not.

The word is that Pruitt is going to rescind the Obama EPA’s fatwa. If he does so, it will be Guy Fawkes Day for real; there will be squeals of outrage from the Fake News Media, outfits such as the Union of Concerned Scientists (those not in the “union” apparently being unconcerned),the leftie-Luddite Natural Resources Defense Council and – of course – the Sierra Club.

Good. It tells us – the rank and file powerless – where to aim our fire.

Italicized for a reason.

Express your support for Priutt – and for reasonableness in regulation. That future emissions regulations be based on provable benefits against known, also-proved harms.

Not conjecture, not political science.

Insist on it. 

And demand that EPA get out of the business of dictating how much gas a car uses. That is something the market can do better and which people have the right to decide for themselves. It’s no more the business of the government’s how many miles-per-gallon your car gets than it is how many times each week you eat your veggies.

The government isn’t paying to gas up your car. You are.

It is therefore entirely your business.

This needs needs to be conveyed to the arrogant ayatollahs. And not just the ones within the EPA mosque. The bureaucratic Mecca itself must be put on notice, told that we’ve at long last had enough.

No one thought Trump was going to be president.

He is.

No one thinks the EPA’s fatwas can be rolled back.

They can be.

 

 

Eric Peters is the automotive columnist for the Southern Arizona News-Examiner. Visit his website at ericpetersautos.com.

 

 

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