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EPA Delays Report On Fuel Efficiency During Energy Bill Debate - NYT

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:07 AM
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EPA Delays Report On Fuel Efficiency During Energy Bill Debate - NYT
DETROIT, July 27 - With Congress poised for a final vote on the energy bill, the Environmental Protection Agency made an 11th-hour decision Tuesday to delay the planned release of an annual report on fuel economy. But a copy of the report, embargoed for publication Wednesday, was sent to The New York Times by a member of the E.P.A. communications staff just minutes before the decision was made to delay it until next week. The contents of the report show that loopholes in American fuel economy regulations have allowed automakers to produce cars and trucks that are significantly less fuel-efficient, on average, than they were in the late 1980's.

Releasing the report this week would have been inopportune for the Bush administration, its critics said, because it would have come on the eve of a final vote in Congress on energy legislation six years in the making. The bill, as it stands, largely ignores auto mileage regulations. The executive summary of the copy of the report obtained by The Times acknowledges that "fuel economy is directly related to energy security," because consumer cars and trucks account for about 40 percent of the nation's oil consumption. But trends highlighted in the report show that carmakers are not making progress in improving fuel economy, and environmentalists say the energy bill will do little to prod them.

"Something's fishy when the Bush administration delays a report showing no improvement in fuel economy until after passage of their energy bill, which fails to improve fuel economy," said Daniel Becker, the Sierra Club's top global warming strategist. "It's disturbing that despite high gas prices, an oil war and growing concern about global warming pollution, most automakers are failing to improve fuel economy."

Eryn Witcher, a spokeswoman for the E.P.A., said the timing of the release of the report had nothing to do with the energy bill deliberations.

EDIT

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/28/business/28fuel.html?...
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:14 AM
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1. nice catch but sad :-(
:-(

Wonder if our media cares?
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dcfirefighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:40 AM
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2. Higher fuel efficiency standards
mean that those who can afford a new car will wind up driving an efficient one, while those who can't, or feel like they should get the full life cycle value of the one they have, won't.

Furthermore, even with a new fuel efficient car, it is possible to waste fuel by having a long commute, taking many single person trips, and other wasteful car habits.

To truly reduce oil consumption, the cost of oil consumption should be readily apparent to the consumer - through higher prices at the pump. This is the only fair way to reduce oil use.

If I have a V8 Muscle Car that gets 15 MPG, but only drive it 8,000 miles a year, and only with my girlfriend, I'm getting better oil use than someone with a 60 mpg hybrid who drives 16,001 miles alone each year.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. It isn't all about fairness
We badly need more fuel efficient technology. It's very sad that we didn't raise CAFE standards 20 years ago, since if we had, most people would now own a more fuel efficient car.

But we've got to start now, even if it's late. The sooner we start making more efficient cars, the sooner people will get them, even if many people won't get them for another 10 years, since they already own a car.
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:57 PM
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4. Ton miles per gallon figures
Very slightly upward trend for this measure.

The implication is that if vehicle weight distribution had stayed constant at 1980 levels, but all of the 1980-2004 engine and transmission improvements had been in that lighter fleet (1980 weight) - mileage would have improved by well over 30%.

Which is exactly what Honda has done in their "concept cars."
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