• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • More Regulations, More Renewables, More Economic Pain

    Fresh off receiving taxpayer money to stay afloat for a few more months and to submit a new business plan for economic sustainability, automakers now face a steeper hill to climb. President Obama has

    directed federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict limits on greenhouse gases from cars and trucks. He also ordered the Transportation Department to begin drawing up rules imposing higher fuel-economy standards on cars and light trucks.

    The president also directed the Transportation Department to draw up rules to implement a 2007 law requiring a 40 percent improvement in gas mileage for autos and light trucks by 2020. The Bush administration failed to write any regulations to enforce the new law.

    Once the agencies act, automobile manufacturers will quickly have to retool to begin producing and selling cars and trucks that are cleaner and get better gas mileage on an accelerated schedule. The auto companies have lobbied hard against the regulations and have challenged them in court.”

    Additionally, Obama is pressing to double America’s renewable energy production in three years and has wholly supported the green sections of the $825 billion stimulus package.

    Increasing fuel efficiency standards for a struggling auto industry puts the cart before the horse and artificially restricts the market. In reality, fuel efficiency standards have very little environmental impact, and the standards raise the price of the vehicle while making cars and trucks lighter, and ultimately, less safe. Heritage senior policy analyst Ben Lieberman writes,

    In theory, consumers can save at the pump by being made to switch to more efficient vehicles, and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil imports. But doing so will raise sticker prices, and the costs could more than negate the energy savings.

    Beyond costs, in order to meet the tough new CAFE standard, cars and trucks will need to be lighter, which makes them less safe in collisions. A National Academy of Sciences study concluded that vehicle downsizing costs 1,300 to 2,600 lives per year.”

    Secondly, investing in renewable energy will not stimulate the economy; in fact, it could exacerbate the economic troubles we’re encountering. A recent report by the Institute for Energy Research found that the increased cost of renewable energy will ultimately slow GDP and could result in jobs lost. Lieberman goes on to write,

    Subsidies for wind and solar energy would, at least from the narrow perspective of the wind and solar industries, create new jobs as more of these systems are manufactured and installed. But the tax dollars needed to help pay for them cost jobs elsewhere, as would the pricey electricity they produce.”

    Creating jobs and shifting jobs are two completely different things, as is creating wealth and transferring it. By borrowing money or taxing future generations, the government can only do the latter in both scenarios. The only other thing the government is doing by investing money in renewables is picking winners and losers among energy sources. Even after decades of special tax breaks, alternative energy still provides only a small fraction of America’s energy needs. Continuing down this path will only result in more government control and more economic pain for American consumers – all for negligible environmental benefits.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to More Regulations, More Renewables, More Economic Pain

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      The alternate energy is a scam just like the man-made global warming is.

      Wind and solar can not be alternate energy sources. We have to have enormous electrical energy storage devices and they are not in the horizon yet. Wind and solar are intermittent and are not controllable. The energy is available in a distributed form and will take vast areas to collect. They will never get off the ground. Look at Europe that took that path. Italy and Germany are now calling for installing a large number of coal fired power plants to avoid power shortages.

      The US manufacturers should simply close the doors in the US and become an incorporated company out of Caribbean. Their overseas operations are profitable. Let Obama and Pelosi build cars.

    2. Ozzy6900, CT (The Bl says:

      I used to be an auto mechanic in the late 1960's. I saw what the EPA regulations of the early 1970's did to the auto industry. They were forced to turn out junk just to be able to sell automobiles that passed regulations. In order to meet the regulations, they injected air into the exhaust. It did nothing to help the emissions, it just allowed the final readings to be what the Government wanted. Of course, no one from the Government had any technical knowledge of what was going on but the numbers were good and that is all that mattered.

      The same will happen with these new regulations. As the article stated, vehicles will be lighter and more dangerous. The the Government will come up with regulations to make the vehicles safer which will cut mileage and force the Government to re-regulate the regulations in order to regulate the manufacturing of the regulated vehicles that are unregulated by Government regulations, re-regulated mileage regulations!

      See how simple it is when you understand how the Government works?

    3. Dennis Social Circle says:

      A package to the auto makers is a done deal, just ask the "unions" that obama is in debt to.

    4. Marshall Hill-Michig says:

      Obama is not a Card Carrying Member of the Keep it

      Simple Club!Just Power and Socialism!!

    5. Thomas Gray South Ca says:

      Perhaps a little to loud but,,,,,DUH UNIONS have also killed the BIG 3 DUH Democrats????? Yes you Morons!!!! which is why they have priced themselves out of the market!

      Gas mileage and emission standards are distracting everybody from the real problem that's coming like the space shuttle when it lands [ no second chance,] declining oil supplies,

      this problem is only a few short years away and you all are wasting money and time on cars and trucks that will soon have no AFFORDABLE FUEL to worry about mileage or pollution.

    6. Thomas Gray South Ca says:

      No plan B ?, here's plan B.

      We are currently producing enough bio fuel to provide fuel for a single cylinder 10 hp or so + low cost battery assist bio diesel ''''' VEHICAL ''''' ,,,,,BEFORE you complain give me your plan B.

      Energy Invested On Energy Returned,,,, means nothing when there is no other answer. ATOM power can refine all we can grow for a pittance,,,,if those people don't come down off the deadly green horse of not using the energy resources we have available we are in big trouble becouse there are time lags to get these things done.

      Plan A will become unaffordable before everybody learns what plan B must be.

      It seems that there is plenty of oil at the moment but the price rise was becouse the world demand became greater than supply this is no longer the case becouse of the economic downturn, the bad news here is as supply continues to decline we will soon be back on the road to unaffordable transportation energy supply.

      NOTHING is getting done on this front while the'''' whoever's'''' are trying to modify/ dismantle our electric power grid that is in NO danger and does not require the attention that our transportation does.

    7. Mike, Hickory, NC says:

      First we learn that the bosses of GM and Chrysler couldn’t drive themselves to DC fast enough with their hands out for “a government (taxpayer funded) bail-out” (even though they, politicians, and those of us who really think, know that government doesn’t give anybody any money without taking control for it, and of course government elitist politicians don’t tend to say “no” when they see what fits their agenda as opportunities to buy votes with our tax money and take control); then the Obama administration tells us that Obama won’t spend funds from the so-called “financial rescue bill”, intended for the so-called “government rescue (government take-over) of the financial industry”, on “the struggling auto makers (GM and Chrysler)” when they had already been “granted a portion of the funds”; then we hear from the Obama administration that “he (Obama) won’t use any funds to require industrial planning”, and then we hear from Obama himself “The auto makers must submit a sustainable production model (industrial planning) with emphasis on fuel economy (and, of course, environmental impact [emissions, etc.]) in order to qualify for any further assistance (read “any more [so-called] bail-out funds”) from my administration”.

      Now in the article above comes further evidence and facts of an Obama-nation of government regulations, meaning government control, of such as both the motor vehicle producers and the energy producers; all of it meaning more bad news for more people and things (especially “the poor”), including more deaths on the roads, higher prices, the end of more businesses and jobs, and thus also more damage to everyone’s economy, and all of it for verifiably practically no, if any, benefit to the environment.

      If people don’t see these examples, both here and in the article above (“More Regulations, More Renewables, More Economic Pain”), are more evidence and proof of how Obama and his gang are so blindly and even murderously dedicated to their Socialist government elitist agenda that they are willing to contradict themselves in order to mislead and even cause more people to be killed in smaller and lighter cars and trucks, then those of us who really and truly see and think are witnessing a case of the blindly and even murderously dedicated to Socialism leading the gullible blind enough to follow them.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.