Some of you may remember when – as if on cue – the media pirouetted like a Bolshoi ballerina and began talking up Iraq (and Saddam) as the Enemies of Freedom rather than Afghanistan and the Taliban.
At the time, I was an editorial writer at a big city newspaper, so I had what amounted to a front-row seat for the show. It was extremely interesting to me then – and still is, today – how the Party Line just changed, as if an order had been given. And how everyone fell into line – and no one raised a hand to ask why all of a sudden the war drums were being thumped over a country that hadn’t attacked us, wasn’t harboring the characters who supposedly did.
But they had “weapons of mass destruction,” you see. Except of course, they did not.
This preface is revelant in terms of understanding a similar shift that’s happening right now.
President Trump is apparently considering a dialing back of federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations – which I’ve italicized for a reason which will shortly become very clear. These CAFE regs specify that every car company’s entire lineup p of vehicles must collectively average “x” miles-per gallon and if they don’t, fines are imposed. These are passed on to buyers of the not-efficient-enough (for the government) vehicles, with the implicit idea being to make them increasingly unaffordable, so as to discourage people from buying them and thus, the car companies from making them.
During the last few months of the Obama presidency, the CAFE mandatory minimum was almost doubled – by fiat – to 54.5 MPG, effective beginning with the 2025 model year. In between now and then, the standard was proposed to rise to 46.6 MPG by 2021 – which is less than three model years from now.
But here’s where it gets . . . interesting. In the same way that the light switch shift from Afghanistan and the Taliban to Iraq and Saddam was . . . interesting.
CAFE – remember those italics – is about fuel economy. Has been, since these regs were first imposed way back in the bell bottomed ‘70s.
But suddenly – as if an order had been issued – these fuel economy regs are being talked about by almost every media organ as being an assault upon pollution standards. Here is a sample quote:
Trump’s action “… promised to erode the government’s single-largest program to tackle pollution from the top source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.”
It’s as halting as the sudden Saddam talk, 24-7, after 911.
CAFE has nothing to do with “tackling pollution,” in the first place. It was an outgrowth of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, which was written in the wake of the energy crisis (OPEC oil embargoes) which had crippled the country with gas shortages. It had – and has – zip to do with pollution standards, which are the EPA’s fief.
Second, carbon dioxide is – suddenly Susan – a “pollutant”? How?
Yes, of course, carbon dioxide which results from the combustion of gasoline in cars is asserted by the Climate Change Cult to be . . . changing the climate (how it is being changed, exactly – in a way that can be scientifically as opposed to politically quantified is never precisely explained). But the fact remains that carbon dioxide is not considered a pollutant in the legal sense; there are no CO2 tailpipe emissions standards in the United States and CAFE regs say absolutely nothing about C02 or any other exhaust byproduct.
CAFE is strictly about fuel economy, period.
Whether the government has any legitimate business decreeing fuel economy standards is something which can and should be debated. But conflating gas mileage regs with emissions regs – and then creating authority to regulate these “emissions” out of thin air is breathtakingly audacious.
Because it’s spectacularly lawless.
Remember: CAFE is a law about fuel economy. Nothing else. It has not been amended to regulate anything that comes out of the tailpipe. It applies – as a matter of law – only to the rate at which fuel is consumed.
Yet all of sudden – and without any regulatory rule change – the entire media is chorusing about CAFE being about curbing “emissions” and characterizing Trump as a planet rapist for dialing back fuel efficiency regs.
Shouldn’t this at least be put up for debate?
No, of course not.
The same parties which were determined to regime change Iraq found it convenient to throw the switch – and just like that, all the talk was about “Saddam” and his confected Weapons of Mass Destruction – have now decided among themselves that the best way to get what they want as regards fuel economy standards is to characterize them as emissions standards.
This sells better than bullying people for buying an SUV, pick-up truck or large sedan or minivan because government bureaucrats believe these vehicles use “too much” gas – even though you’re paying for every drop that goes in the tank, plus the vehicle itself.
But just as Saddam didn’t have anything to do with 911 – and had no Weapons of Mass Destruction – so also this business about carbon dioxide as pollution is politically contrived bunk, calculated to scare people in order to ramrod an agenda down their throats.
Will it work this time around? Again?
PT Barnum should have worked for CNN.
. . .
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