Apocalypse Avoided?

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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.

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80 COMMENTS

  1. We need large capacity cars just like we need large capacity washers, dryers, etc. Add fuel efficient engines. I am rebuilding my 78 Chevrolet Impala 4 door sedan with 250 ci engine that gets over 20 mph on the highway. Get the picture? A new rearend for good measure.

  2. EPA should have been disbanded at least twenty years ago. It had served its purpose. Unfortunately, the closest thing to eternal life on earth is a US government agency, which exists to merely torment the taxpayers at the taxpayers’ expense, to add insult to injury. For over twenty years cars have actually been net air purifiers, eg, what comes out the tailpipe in any big city is actually cleaner than the air going into the intake valves. To add insult to injury the hordes of faceless bureaucrats now have average levels of remuneration far higher than that of the average American worker. The area inside the DC Beltway for some time has had the highest per-capita income in the nation. This is not only wrong – it’s profoundly immoral.

    • The EPA had a purpose? What was that?

      To my way of thinking, the EPA does not now have a purpose, nor did it ever.

      • Hi Antonio,

        I always remind my “conservative Republican” friends that it was a Republican – Nixon – who offloaded the EPA onto our backs.

        • Nixon gave us so many “great” things – the EPA, wage and price controls, the current fiat monetary system we have. The list could go on.

          The irony is that if we were to concentrate on all of the crap Republican presidents gave us, we wouldn’t have time to care about all of the crap the Democrat presidents gave us. That includes the sainted Ronald Reagan, who had the best heart of any president in my lifetime, but even he got a lot of things wrong.

          • Reagan said wonderful things….and then did the opposite. I was born in ’62. I saw the biggest expansion of government during Reagan’s admin- especially his 2nd term, that I have seen in my lifetime.

            Ironically, the Dumbocrats say some sick things, and then proceed to do some good once in a while- like Sick/Slick Willy cutting welfare. (Hahaha! Gotta love the irony of that!)

      • The EPA’s purpose was to turn the system into one where government could issue grants of pollution for those close to it. This ended the pollute at will system that resulted from the prove harm court decisions decades earlier. Had the EPA not been created there was a considerable risk that the prove harm system would be overturned in favor of a property rights based system. The one the prove harm court decisions had effectively destroyed.

      • The EPA, like all guvmint agencies, has a purpose! Just like Hitler, and Stalin and Mao had a purpose. Of course, the purposes are NEVER good…..or for our actual benefit…..

  3. What Americans have to ask themselves is why do European cars get 60+MPG, and why are these cars not available in the USA? Here is an article of the top fuel efficient cars available in Europe: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/best-cars/62048/most-economical-cars-2017 . Since it is a British magazine the MPG stated are for “Imperial Gallons” which has one more quart than our US gallon. There are calculators online to convert Imperial MPG to US MPG. Granted, some of these cars are tiny, fitted with 1.0 liter engines and are only practical for city driving. But these are not the same as “Smart Car” death traps. They are fully functional cars able to seat 5 people and can attain highway speeds. You probably would not want to take one on a trip across I10 from Florida to California. I recently moved to Europe and bought a used 2012 Dacia Duster with a 1.5 Liter diesel engine . The Duster is about the size of my old Mazda CX-5 that I left behind in the USA. However, the Duster gets me about 50 MPG. So, why are these cars not available in the US? One word: Diesel. Diesel is Verboten in the USA according to the Clover’s that run the EPA. Hopefully Trump issues an executive order ending the EPA. The EPA was brought into existence with an Executive Order from Tricky Dick, and should be able to be abolished by Executive Order……….one can hope.

  4. Let me summarize this in one sentence.

    We humans, so possessed of ingenuity and creativity managed to produce a wonderfully complex machine that takes us long distances, safely and at high speeds, while simultaneously filling the air with plant food, and the “environmental protection agency” wants to stop it.

    Crazy right? When did we lose our minds and start calling plant food (water and carbon dioxide) a danger to the environment? And then call THAT idiotic suggestion “science”? And how unqualified is anyone who makes this claim to work at the Environmental Protection Agency? Time to clean house. Or drain the swamp if you will…

  5. eric, you encourage people to use Google, a few company you don’t like. Saying “search ” is generic. I haven’t used the G word for searches for over a decade.

              • A lot of internal and USB modems are “Winmodems” that are mainly implemented in software. The manufacturers only provide Windows drivers so it can be difficult or impossible to get these working in Linux. A better bet is a real external modem hooked up via RS232 serial port.

                • Hello Jason, 8 and I already knew about the winmodem problem. He was referring to his external modem. He was given an old laptop with extremely little ram capacity even if a second stick was to be installed. I lived in Texas back then in an RV park with good wifi, so I downloaded Lubuntu and turned that laptop into a dual boot machine. I once had a laptop with linux installed, and my external modem had been purchased specifically because it would work with linux, but that was quite a few years ago. I have had linux with wifi every since that time. I was hoping that the linux OS had improved in the modem software department by now that it would work with any external modem. I lacked a phone line in the RV park, so I just downloaded the modem software I could find in the repository for him, along with downloading some web pages about modem set-up for him before I moved to Missouri. If any of you linux guru’s are good at getting external modems to work I am sure that 8 would like to hear from you.

                • He isn’t using regular Ubuntu. He has Lubuntu, which stands for Lightweight Ubuntu, and intended to be used on very low ram computers. He is not even using the Lubuntu partition of that computer due to his not being able to get the modem software to work on his external modem. Are you good at getting external dial-up modems to work using linux software?

  6. It’s all very well for Trump to repeal obnoxious regulations. The real question is: how do you stop the EPA re-introducing these regulations after Trump leaves office?

    • Scary thing too, is that now, essentially our presidents reign as dictators, ruling by executive orders. And since they wield such unconstitutional power now over entire industries, imagine the effect their capricious changes can wreak, economically! A company spends years and hundreds of millions of dollars in retooling and R&D to comply with the latest edicts, and then they are suddenly changed. Then they’re changed back; then to something entirely different a few years later. It’s insanity. Just another reason why empires decline and fall. There’s no fixing a system when it gets to this point.

      Anything short of shutting down the DEC and NHTSA and EPA won’t be enough anyway- and even if it were, 4 years from now the communists will be complaining that lack of tyranny is causing the dickhole mite to go extinct, and hippies, or hipsters, or drug-addicted idiots or whatever the fad will be at the time, will be chaining themselves to phallic monuments to protest as they carry signs which advocate voting for Al Sharpton, because he will kill all the white people who are responsible for “this catastrophe”.

    • The reality is you can’t. At this point if the government intends on doing something, it’s happening hell or high water.

  7. And it will leave more gas for the “peacekeeping” and “democracy spreading” minions of the Pentagram, as well as for Al Gore to fly around in his Gulfstream and lecture us on our wastefulness.

  8. This all applies double to the ayatollahs that have ruined California, i.e. CARB et al. Only there is no way anyone will ever get elected here that has a chance of restoring any of our lost freedoms. Getting ready to move to another state, I just can’t take it anymore here.

    • New Mexico and Wyoming are nice. Not Colorado. Too many Californians in Colorado. Trying to turn it into California II.

      • Eric_G, a good example of Ca. logic. More irony on the way. Wind generation companies have kept records for nearly every place on earth they can do business and while the empirical data suggests Ca. is a bad place for electrical wind generators, it’s also home to some fairly large fields. Guess who foots the bill for that? Look out, Irony Warning for Ca……every day.

      • Hawaii, Big Island. Not perfect (though the weather usually is). Remote, a place that one can be left alone. A place where you can grow or catch much of your food if need be.

        • Hawaii is almost as bad as CA. Another leftist police state, where the environmental Nazis are almost as bad as CA.’s, too. Plus the real Hawaiians don’t like white people. (Considering that so many of them there, are Hilary-loving fools, can you blame them?)

  9. For a while, I looked at the decisions made by those in power, and shook my head in disbelief. I thought that the powers that be were either extremely out of touch with reality, were incompetent, or had dubious intentions. I’m convinced that they are, as you said, Eric, turning the screws on purpose. It feels like we are fighting against a tidal wave of opposition to freedom and our general ability to just live without being hamstrung at every turn. It feels like everything that comes down the pike is meant to dick us over in some way and nudge us toward some unstated and nefarious goal.
    I’m relatively new here (and I’m far from a gearhead or car enthusiast), but I appreciate your take on things, Eric. You’ve helped me to think about things In a way I wouldn’t have before stumbling onto your website. Thanks!

    • So very well said. Kudos.

      I was making this same point earlier today in regards to Trump’s suggestion of loosening FDA regulations on experimental treatments for terminal conditions. The FDA, like the EPA is only about the power and perks that come with being the gatekeeper. Do we even have a generation’s worth of data on the current class of vaccines? Opioids? SSRIs? Breast implants? Statins? No sir. Don’t we take volunteers for new surgical procedures and techniques? Yup. So the verifiable fact is this: For nearly every one of these, WE ARE THE EXPERIMENT. Its an absurd suggestion that the FDA prevents anything from getting into the market that isn’t thoroughly tested and vetted. Its an absurd suggestion that most anything that does get into the market that IS fully tested and vetted. Except, strangely, in the case of experimental drugs that might help the people most desperate to try anything regardless of the risks. Where the worst case is an inevitability. The FDA denies them the personal choice to take a risk that might result in them LIVING a little longer. Even though these are terminal cases and no greater risks exist than do with much of what the FDA approves. Its shameful and I’m not fooled by anyone posturing that this is about safety or looking out for people. Look at any other nanny-state like China, Cuba or North Korea and tell me that human rights and human dignity are the primary MO. Its laughable.

      “Drain the swamp” sounds nice, but all we really need to do is what you’re suggesting. Stop letting people tell us that things are not what they so obviously are. And once we’ve accepted things for what they really are, act accordingly.

  10. I live in hope that Trump will grab Obama by the ankles and beat the fuck out of Al Gore with his dead body. My hopes for the Trump presidency might be unreasonably high, I know.

  11. My guess, the Trump regime will at best push the “pause” button on the EPA along with other agencies.

    Where I hope he can snuff as many federal agencies as he can, I doubt even he can be successful. Too much power has been given over to the unelected bureaucracy to stop them now. At minimum, they will want to protect their high paying jobs. At worst, many actually believe the crap they are doing, and will feel compelled to overrule voters, politicians and the courts.

  12. I was watching a show on Amazon Prime called James May’s Cars of the People and in the third episode of the second season he showcases a hydrogen powered Hyundai. Why on earth, if all this nonsense really is about “Saving the Planet,” wouldn’t Uncle, Big Oil and car companies be flocking to build the infrastructure to support a vehicle that emits only water as an exhaust? The technology is here, it’s proven and a lot more feasible and efficient than electric

      • It won’t, it’s a lot less efficient than batteries. Hydrogen comes from cracking it from natural gas (CH4) or electric hydrolysis of water. The first approach is more efficient, the second one doesn’t have to emit CO2 at all. Once you have this hydrogen, you have to pressurize it to thousands of psi to have any kind of reasonable energy density, and that takes a lot of energy too.

        It’s a lot more efficient just to push the electricity into a battery.

        • I am a certified gas technician and there’s a reason hydrogen is expensive….all the energy it takes to pull it from the atmosphere and all the energy it takes to compress it into a usable space. When you hear those big 480 V 3 phase pumps churning and watch how slowly the pressure builds you sorta get the idea. And that’s just compressing it. The nat gas engines used to extract gases from the atmosphere are huge. Think pistons as big as a human. it’s fairly intimidating to work on engines that compress nat gas when you’re at the bottom and the turbo is 3 stories off the ground. No free rides yet.

      • I would imagine hydrogen airships are still ridiculously cheap. Such ships could also use solar and wind. Land on water and use currents and hydroelectrical.

        We could be living on mountains, oceans, and even in the atmosphere. No roads. No carbon.

        The Hindenburg psyop killed this so effectively.

        Oh the humanity indeed.

        • Well it wasn’t just the Hindenburg, the fact is that airships proved to be pretty hard to handle in bad weather. Lots of them crashed, though none so spectacularly as the Hindenburg. The Army stopped using them before WW2, although the Navy makes limited use of them to this day, if memory serves.

        • Small chemistry oversight there. NOBODY wants to ride in a hydrogen airship. However HELIUM airships are and represent everything you are suggesting (helium is inert, hydrogen is explosive). Sure there are limitations, but also many upsides. And its not an unprecedented idea either. There are many companies in the here and now who see dirigibles as the catch all solution that you do. But they don’t have the money or influence to get through the layers of gatekeepers whose masters are not ours. So, in short, keep dreaming. At least until there are big changes at the alphabet agencies.

  13. Hey Mr. Obama; I’m perfectly happy driving my 10MPG vehicles. Please stick your fartwars up your ass! I would NOT be happy driving a Prius!

    • I wish my old truck got 20 mpg rather than 11, but there’s no way in hell I’m paying $50k for a new half-ton pickup.

  14. The question is, will they tweak the CAFE standards, or eliminate them?

    Anything short of “this is unconstitutional, so we will refuse to enforce them” leaves part of the problem in place, and the potential for the next president elected who is beholden to the watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) to ramp the CAFE standards back up again.

    Sort of like the Selective Service — we don’t have a draft — for now. But we’re one nasty event away from it being dusted off, with all the apparatus in place to quickly reinstate that form of temporary slavery.

    • The constitution has been thrown in the woods decades ago. Whether or not something is “constitutional” is of no concern to the real rulers of the country.

      You want proof? Almost everything the federal government is likely unconstitutional. Sure isn’t stopping them.

      • Absolutely true but I still retain the delusional hope that Mr Trump is the real thing and that we finally have a chance for a restoration of Constitutional government.

        I know all the academic arguments against the constitution. So did the founders- the ultimate check lies in the will of the people to be free. Until enough people have the courage to stand up and say no to illegitimate law, the tyranny will continue.

        When an individual commits even the most heinous of crimes, the damage he does is trivial. When government presumes to be master, to be able to enforce law on anyone who resists, you get Auschwitz or the gulag.

        • I wouldn’t call the Constitution a farce. I feel there were three factions at play: delegates like Jefferson who sincerely believed in the creation of a solid founding document based on liberty, others who saw it as an opportunity to protect their status and advance their agendas, and others who considered it a way to help transform the new nation into a world power. It’s certainly a compromise and a flawed document, and it was unquestionably “sold” to the states as a voluntary compact that they could leave. It’s safe to say that only the most insincere of the founders (e.g., Hamilton, John Marshall) would be happy with the Constitution as it is misused today.

          • Jefferson wasn’t a delegate. And, to be historically precise, the delegates, whatever their motives, went beyond their mandates to craft a completely different document than the one they were sent to revise. They had no authority to do what they did, and each State would have been within their rights to throw out their work, in toto.

            Have you read Spooners’ No Treason essays? If not, they are well worth your time.

            • Antonio: my mistake re Jeff, I added his name at the last minute and should have changed “delegates” to “framers.” We all know he was in France during the convention (exiled intentionally?).

              You’re also correct in that the framers had no authority to replace the Articles.

              I read a little Spooner years ago (can’t recall what) and have listed to lectures about him. “No Treason” is all over the web; I’ll put it on my list.

              Thx.

        • Slow down chief. There are meals at 5 star restaurants that I wouldn’t touch because they have some ingredient that I don’t personally like. But this hardly makes them inedible garbage.
          The same is true of the constitution. Maybe there are a few ingredients that you don’t like, but its still pretty much a 5 star restaurant compared to the government institutions like we see in China, France, Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, India, Somalia, etc, etc, etc, etc, which are Golden Corral buffet food by comparison.
          When all of its blessings are fully restored, then we can all turn our attention to its few shortcomings. But I’ll still take the US constitution over any other system of government ever implemented anywhere in the last few hundred years. Pray tell, what alternative in this world would you choose over it?

          • It’s amazing that the constitution held up as well as it did for over 200 years now. It’s a document which is used as justification for people in government taking certain kinds of actions. Some things are explicitly forbidden, so they’ve held up well for the two centuries, but pretty much all the government over-reach comes from painfully stretched interpretation of a couple of vague areas in the constitution.

            The first is the interstate commerce clause. A couple of supreme court decisions enabled the regulatory state, see for example the case of Wickard v Filburn. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn). Filburn was growing wheat on this farm to feed his animals. At the time, there were government fatwas against growing wheat. He argued that since the wheat stayed on his farm, that the interstate commerce clause didn’t apply. The supreme court found that it did, because by growing his own, he wasn’t buying other people’s wheat. This decision here is what allows the existence of the DEA, EPA, FDA, and all those other bad three letter words.

            The other nasty part of the constitution is the supremacy clause, which forces states to implement federal law. States can nullify, but that’s an expensive, often violent process. It’s better for this clause not to exist.

            If we want to “fix” the constitution, we have to agree to strictly interpret the interstate commerce clause the way it was originally framed – to prevent anti-competitive behavior by states.

          • Why are you only comparing it to the very worst countries? Switzerland, although far from perfect, had a much better constitution than we ended up with, and the founders of this crappy government had to be aware of that fact. Why do you suppose that the constitution was made so toothless and was purposely filled with loopholes? The delegates were highly educated lawyers, judges, politicians, and merchants.

            • Just saying it’s better than most countries Brian. And I think what makes Switzerland a better case is simply devotion to principles. As you point out, every loophole in our Constitution has been exploited by those less devoted to its principles. To the point that by the time Lincoln got a hold of it it was all but neutered. And it’s been a slippery slope from there. But these are people problems, not so much structural flaws in the document itself. A government devoted to its principles as drafted would look much better than ours. But unless you’re also in favor of a nationwide gun ban, you can’t blame inanimate things for human actions. Maybe the document left some doors open for corruption, but that doesn’t absolve those who willfully did the corrupting. You can’t blame a piece of paper for activist judges, wanna-be dictators, or a dumbed down public. Especially when what’s on the paper is solid in its true purpose and intent. Try to rectify yesterday’s Wikileaks on CIA hacking in the context of the Constitution then tell me who owns the blame, the document or corrupt liars and the dupes that they lie to? The Constitution as written would have never got us to this point. People did. If only we were all Swiss…

              • Yeah Dutch, this country was nearly the best in terms of freedom, but that was such a very low bar. It has since then fallen to 10th place on the freedom index. Thanks democrats and republicans!
                The Anti-federalists were Right. The CONstitutional CONvention was a Coup d’etat by the wealthy elitists control freaks salivating over the plunder they would get. Those a-holes did NOT “found this country.” The common people did. All the founders created was a new federal mafia! They certainly do not deserve the worship that they now receive by the masses.

                • So why was interstate commerce mentioned in the document? That has nothing to do with creating a treaty between states unless you want the fed to control the states….and I don’t think that’s what most people wanted. You can hash that sort of thing out state to state.
                  And the document also states specifically what sort of land the fed govt. could use and it’s not thousands or millions of acres all over the continent.

                  • I believe the ‘interstate commerce’ clause was intended to prevent tariffs being levied between the states – sort of a predecessor to the EU in that sense.

        • The only real value of the Constitution was in the Bill Of Rights (the part that is most ignored!), and that was basically just tacked on as an afterthought.

          • “tacked on as an afterthought”
            No, I don’t think so. The Framers, Hamilton, deliberately did not include anything of the sort originally. But many of the states, notably Virginia (thanks P. Henry) refused to ratify until the first 10 Amendments were added.

  15. “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.”
    Exactly – because so few people will be able to afford these cars, fewer and fewer will be buying any gas.
    Take the bus. And if the bus doesn’t go where you want to go, tough. You can’t go there.

    • Until the law of supply and demand kicks in and the reduced demand raises the prices right back to where they were, or higher. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Obama will never be accused of that.

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