The Shot Heard ‘Round the World?

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Is it bravery – at last – or desperation?

Both sometimes conspire to the same effect, the instinct to survive being overpowering.

GM, FiatChrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru and Hyundai/Kia apparently want to survive. They have just announced they are opposed to what is doggedly and dishonestly portrayed as “clean” vehicles by the Fake News media.

They might as well have done a blackface skit – as far as the predictable eruption of feigned outrage in the usual quarters. Typical was this effusion from Senator Tom Carper of Delaware:

“Instead of choosing the responsible path forged by four automakers (he means Ford, Honda, VW and BMW) and the state of California, one that will move us (he means force us) toward the cleaner (a lie; bear with) alternative fuel vehicles of the future (oy vey) these companies have chosen to head down a dead-end road.”

But what is actually at issue is the open road – and whether it is to be closed, via onerous fuel efficiency mandatory minimums despicably conflated in recent years by Carper, et al, with emissions regulations – to guilt-trip acceptance of their legitimacy and suborn acceptance of the state of California’s attempt to impose a near-doubling of these mandatory minimums on the entire nation.

Which, if it comes to pass, will make cars unaffordable for most people.

Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regs currently require that new cars average about 36 miles-per-gallon; those that don’t cost you more to buy – via “gas guzzler” taxes applied to their manufacturers, who naturally pass those taxes along to the buyer.

CAFE regs date back to the ’70s, when it was thought the world was close to running out of oil (or so we were told) and “steps” had to be taken to conserve what was left. But the regs are as outdated as bell bottom cords given the facts about how much oil there actually is – and right here in the U.S.

We are literally swimming in it.

But the regs – premised on a scarcity that doesn’t exist – persist and expand, forcing people to pay more for “efficient” cars than it would have cost them to buy less “efficient” but far less expensive cars which didn’t have to have cost-padding technologies such as Automated Stop/Start (aka, ASS) and direct-injection (which carbon fouls engines) and transmissions with nine or even ten speeds rather than five or six to eke out fractional MPG gains.

California is insisting on much more than fractional gains. It is demanding the MPG/”clean” regs be raised to almost 50 miles-per-gallon – and by 2025.

This almost-doubling had been decreed at the federal level, Midnight Judge-style, by the Obama regulatory apparat. But when the Orange Man unexpectedly ascended to the throne in 2016, he decreed otherwise. The federal fuel-efficiency fatwa would remain at about 36 MPG. Which can be complied with – just barely – without forcing people into compact-sized hybrids and high-priced electric cars.

Which are the only vehicles that can comply with a 50-MPG fatwa – something the Fake News media never explains to people, probably because it would arouse objections in most people.

The Orange Man’s “reversal” (it was actually a holding-steady) of the federal/Obama fatwa has been portrayed as the equivalent of pouring used motor oil down storm sewers; the skies will darken, children face asphyxiated by toxic clouds.

See Carper’s comments.

The problem with that scenario – for those interested in facts – is that whether a new car averages 36 MPG or 56 MPG almost nothing comes out of the tailpipe except water vapor and carbon dioxide. And while C02 is a “greenhouse” gas, that has nothing at all to do with air quality.

Hence the despicable dishonesty in characterizing this as being about “clean” cars.

All new cars are very “clean.”  

But not “clean” enough for California, which wants to force everyone – not just the people of California – into a hybrid or electric car via the fatwa’ing the 50 MPG mandate for all cars sold in the state of California.

Which would not only force the car companies to build “California compliant” cars – hybrids and electric cars –  it would effectively force them to build only “California complaint” cars. Because it would be too expensive to build one line of hybrid/electric cars just for California and then another line of cars for the rest of the country.

The car industry could, of course, just stop selling cars in California, period – but that would amount to giving up a huge market and not just California’s. Several other states – including Carper’s state –  have endorsed California’s standards, so if the fatwa holds it will mean California rules – literally – for all of us.

The matter is now being hashed out in the courts, which will decide whether California’s  autocrats can set policy for the rest of the country.

It is good news that a majority of the car industry is lining up with the Orange Man because it indicates sanity – unlike Elvis – hasn’t yet left the building.

The debate isn’t really about “clean” cars.

It is about whether we are to have cars at all.

A 50 MPG/ “zero emissions” car is no good to anyone if they can’t afford to buy the thing – and no one seems to want to talk about what it would cost to make cars that average 50 MPG and produce “zero emissions”  . . .  at the tailpipe.

That’s another thing we aren’t supposed to talk about – the elsewhere emissions from “zero emissions” electric vehicles; i.e., the carbon dioxide generated by the coal/oil/natural gas-burning utilities that produce two-thirds of the country’s electricity.

Regardless, it’s expensive to be “clean” – as California styles it – and people’s ability to pay isn’t infinite. Millionaire California autocrat-oligarchs like Governor Gavin Newsome (and taxpayer-financed autocrats like Carper) can comfortably afford to spend $40,000-plus on a “clean” electric car.

But most of us mopes can’t. Even if it made sense – which of course, it doesn’t – the whole thing is as economically impossible as it is functionally absurd, all of it premised on a manufactured crisis that is being used to terrorize the population into acquiescence.

The autocrats must know this. They understand what these fatwas mean and intend for them to accomplish – which isn’t to stave off “climate change.”

GM, Toyota, FiatChrysler, Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, Mazda and Subaru also seem to finally understand. They know what it will mean for their business if they are forced to sell cars most of their customers can’t afford –  or simply don’t want.

Having your back to the wall isn’t a pleasant thing – but it can be the saving thing.

. . .

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  1. The link in this paragraph isn’t working. Like to read the announcement:
    “GM, FiatChrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru and Hyundai/Kia apparently want to survive. They have just –> announced <– they are opposed to what is doggedly and dishonestly portrayed as “clean” vehicles by the Fake News media."

  2. What is more unclean than the burning of green wood? Which state is burning the most green wood right now, as a result of its greenies refusing to let PG&E clear cut paths for their high tension transmission lines and keep them clear of dead, dry “fuel” for the fires that they could cause? Aside from the fact that there is a growing pile of evidence that many of the fires were set by arsonists, in the absence of a sudden outbreak of common sense in the Golden State, the best plan for the future is for those with common sense to flee the state and leave it to those who remain to deal with the mess they are accepting of.
    I will be happy to see the completion of the burning of California because I won’t have to smell the smoke in western Arizona.

    • Vonu, I saw that pile of evidence the day it happened in a video of where 7 fires not close to one another just sprang up. I saw it as PG&E hired arsonists. The Board of Directors had just released the millions each one had received for their “bonus”.

      • That does not explain how the houses that burned to the ground in Paradise were frequently next to trees that showed no signs of scorching.

  3. As you so well point out Eric, CAFE began as an energy security measure and is now being sold as a pollution remedy. Whichever lie fits the daily propaganda is the lie we are fed. As Americans I think we should demand that we are burdened and shackled by no more environmental regulation until China, India and the rest of the world catch up to our level of emissions. What’s the point of a handful of ultra clean nations when the vast majority of the rest of the planet is spewing colossal amounts of filth into the environment? I know the point is enslavement of the last population that stands in the way of globalism and complete tyranny. The fact that China and India get a pass, while the onus of environmentalism is like a millstone hung around our necks, exposes the lie that this crap is about the environment.

  4. What do you think would happen if every single auto manufacturer told CA that they were no longer going to sell cars in that state? I really don’t think that the auto manufacturers would lose out. The leaders in CA would repent of their foolishness rather than be voted out of office at the very next election.

  5. It is not too late to let Kalifornia secede. Then their political BS only harms Kalifornians. Between ethanol mandates, DEF in diesel and saaafety mandates who can afford a vehicle?

    Common sense says regular, less expensive, higher mph gas beats ethanol but the sanction tax on it as well as the subsidy to corn farmers wins in DC. Diesels, small diesels should be common here as they are world wide, cleaner, less flammable, longer lasting again DC and Kalifornia stand in the way of common Sense.

    • VW had little choice but to rig its diesel vehicles to pass the emissions tests. Those tests are themselves rigged to the point that virtually every diesel would fail. The reason: to force diesels off the roads.

      The only reason ethanol fouls our fuel is that IA kicks off the presidential primary/caucus season, so all candidates must kowtow to the corn farmers. Well, I recently read that hemp is becoming a major cash crop in IA. So perhaps the corn farmers will switch. Besides, crop rotation is good for the soil.

      Even though I’m not on Twitter, I still like to invent hashtags. Here’s mine for “Calexit” (anyone on Twitter is welcome to use it): #GoodRiddanceCA

  6. So far our virtue signallers have contented themselves with their gefalschtic BLM signs on their lily white lawns but now they’ve got the chance to kill two elephants in one living room. What’s the best solution for Metro traffic congestion? Get a lot of vehicles off the road. Whose vehicles? Der Verking Class whose ten year old cars and trucks burn gas in their tanks. Mandate them to the auto graveyards. Ah, where’s my scrap metal detector…?

  7. The key word that you used, Eric, is “FORCE”…i.e. use of “Gubmint” mandates, or “fatwas”, as you term them, as to the vehicle buyers’ CHOICE. Simply put, when the Government gets involved, there is no “choice”, and certainly no “Free”(dom) market, only that which is decreed and/or ALLOWED.

    The trouble with automotive technology is that in terms of costs and overall environmental impact, there is no “free lunch”. The same hucksters that sell votes on the basis of STEALING monies from other to give to their constituency also peddle the ridiculous notion that if you don’t SEE the emissions coming out of the tailpipe b/c no combustion is being used, then the “problem” (and not admitted there ever WAS one) is “SOLVED”, right? Obviously, for an EV, the electricity had to be generated SOMEWHERE, SOMEHOW, often with some form of combustion of fossil fuels, like coal as by far for mass power production is cheaper, or, (gasp!), NUCLEAR energy (still the cleanest and safest of all power production methods). The same twits also get their panties in a wad over Hydro (don’t damn the ‘damn’ wild river, or save the fuckin’ spotted owl..) or Wind (kills the little migratory birdies), or solar (those panels are so damned UGLY).

    If a “pure” EV were cost-competitive with the traditional automobile with an IC engine, they would have endured. Hell, the electric back before Henry Ford blew every other approach away with the Model T had about a 20% market share. They were the favorite of rich, little old ladies, because they were SIMPLE to operate, and most folks never traveled more than a few miles from home, nor went more than 25 mph, in which case the electric car was adequate. But automobiles, until the Model T took off, were very much a “rich man’s” toy, especially when you could get a good horse for $50 and a wagon for about $100, and the upkeep of both were time-honored and easy (not much tech instructions needed to shovel shit). If a restored Model T weren’t so valuable, it’d even make a practical “beater” even TODAY. Certainly the VW Beetle, developed only some 30 years later, and closer in sophistication to the “Flivver” than cars of today, is still a workable proposition as a daily driver, let alone a homage to the simple elegance of practicality prized in yesteryear.

  8. No way should one state or even a handful of states dictate to the entire country. And especially since the entire premise is flying under the false flag of global warming. It’s barely November and already some 3,500 new cold record lows have been established in the lower 48 over the last 2 months. Glad to see someone fighting back against Cally fascism. CO2 is not the enemy…it is the extreme left hell bent on being complete control freaks and destroying America.

  9. Automobiles now have High reliability and longevity. At least foreign models do.
    Once we start down this path of electric automobiles, High reliability with Less longevity occurs. As battery life is incrementally improved, well…there’s your new car sales, as far as the eye can see.
    Thus, the push to force Americans to go into debt/slavery to buy buy buy a new car. G.D.P.

    • right now German cars BMW Mercedes last 5-6 years until their stupid computers melt down and total the car. those great cars are now like new washing machines and refrigerators

  10. We already have vehicles that meet the California mandates, they are called golf carts. Increase the supply of carts for California and simialr corrupt States, keeping the bs away from everyone else.

  11. I do not buy the crap that they it’s too expensive so they have to make them all like California cars.
    There are plenty of bullshit assumptions that go into that.

    The car companies have multiple lines of cars right now, don’t they?

    Just make one line of cars that is a greenie pos and sell it in ca. If ca morons want to buy a car in ca, then that’s what they can buy.

    The only reason the car companies won’t do that is blah, blah, blah, bullshit.

    • Hi Mike,

      The problem is it’s not just California. At least half a dozen other states either have adopted or intend to pursue standards – mandates – in line with CA standards. So while you’re right that the car companies could restrict what they sell in one state and focus their efforts on the rest of the country, they can’t build cars for two-thirds or half the country and the another set for the other third or half the country. Well, they could – but they wouldn’t stay in business very long because of the cost involved.

      All of these standards – mandates – are illegitimate, constitutionally as well as morally. The government (state and federal) has no rightful power to decree how many MPGs a car must deliver and the business about C02 “emissions” is an assertion based on questionable data. My stand on this matter is that before harms may legitimately be imposed by the government – i.e., mandates and restrictions and fines – the government must demonstrate that an actual harm has been caused to actual people.

      This idea that C02 coming from motor vehicles is harming people is risible. It’s even more so than the assertions made about VW’s TDI diesels, which were never proved to have harmed a single actual human being.

      • When post-purchase emissions regulations (such as the idiotic specter of the catalytic converter felony) came to be, that was an important milestone along the road to slavery. That was where “we” decided* that it was acceptable to hold individuals personally responsible for arbitrary, unquantifiable contributions to collective problems such as air quality – and, since the catalyst felony is a federal regulation, to hold people responsible even if they’re in a place which has never had and will never have the problem in question.

        (*Before my time, but I’ve been told that WE didn’t decide any such thing; at the beginning everyone was mad enough to chew nails about that and the seat belt laws too, but the Machine just sort of never backed off. Eventually everyone just sort of accepted it as normal and started ritualistically bashing those who wouldn’t.)

      • Used to be that a Ford Powerstroke diesel would run 400,000+ trouble free miles before anything major would need to be addressed. Since 2007 and the advent of pollution controls and DEF you’re lucky to get 150,000 before they expire and need to be rebuilt.

        Thanks EPA.

        • Hi Guererro,

          Yup in re diesels – and, I think, deliberately. Diesels are just too good – too economical, too durable – for people to freely give up in favor of . . . electric cars. So make diesels not-so-economical and much less durable. The idea being a meeting-in-the-middle. To bring up the cost (and hassle) of owning a diesel (and other IC-powered car or truck) to the level of EV equivalence. Then the EV will not seem especially “expensive” – and people will gradually forget how long cars (and trucks) used to last and how quickly they could get back on the road again, too.

          Wake me in 20 years?

          • eric, in west Texas starting a fire is really easy anywhere you are off the road. The first thing people did was to take the cataclysmic refarter off. I’ve seen cars burn to the ground sitting on bare ground idling with the a/c on in the heat.

            One I saw had six guys trying to get some relief from heat sitting in a new Bonneville(the big ones of the 70’s) pile out as the floor caught on fire. Turning it off wasn’t any help and a fire extinguisher did nearly nothing.

            Pickups were quickly relieved of their factory fire starter. It was like that forever and my cousin with a shop made a lot of money removing them. The problem being he did state inspections. One day the DPS inspection inspector(sic)dropped in and noticed a mountain of refarters by the shop. He was threatened so he quit removing them. No, he wasn’t like that at all. He quit keeping them. He just sent them back with the person who owned the vehicle.

            The utility companies removed the refarters immediately since it’s costly to burn down houses, barns, fences, etc. It’s still that way since we have no inspection for them. We’ll keep doing that till they demand us to stop and then we’ll probably just remove the inside crap like I do and it looks “stock”. I know, we’re running on borrowed time most likely, but it’s crazy to have something with a firestarter on it in the pasture.

    • Okay, if it’s just “bullshit assumptions,” as you state so eloquently in your version Jeffersonian speak, then step forward with your business analysis of the auto industry and the ramrodding of ever-higher MPG mandates on said industry. Tells us with numbers — profits, losses, market size, input costs, business outlook, margin impacts. Or is “blah, blah, blah” the extent of your analysis? Yeah, I thought so.

      • Joe, respectfully your assertion is BS … it’s NOT up to us to prove they are wrong, it’s up to them to prove they have dominion over us in this domain… the proof is all up to those who assert such rubbish … until then they (and you) can go pound sand …

        • What assertion? I’m asking a question. I’m asking him to prove his point, Einstein. With all due disrespect, mind your own business or improve your reading comprehension skills

  12. So produce a 3 cyl engine for use in California. Run the production line 2 days a week and ship ’em out. 0-60 in 25 seconds shouldn’t be a big deal for the constant traffic jam that makes up California freeways.

    • In the 1970s there were CA-spec cars and 49-state cars. At the time it was normal for California cars to have less power and more restrictive drivetrain choices than 49-state cars.

      • The very reason my cousin flew from Ca., bought a new RX7($6700) and drove it back to Ca. and had it for 6 years and sold it for $6700. Then he bought a car he always wished he hadn’t, one of those little two seat Honda sports cars, forget the name now…2000? It was junky as hell, especially being a Ca. car.

        • S2000. Those are well-regarded in the driving community, thought the first version with the 2.0L, 9000RPM engine (model is designated AP1) are known for being a little bit nervous and tricky to handle – the later AP2 version fixed this but also included a 2.2L engine with a lower redline.

  13. I have mixed emotions on this one. I strongly endorse every state’s prerogative to make their own laws, free of federal dictates, as long as their laws do not suppress our US Constitutional Rights. So, although I despise Kali’s corrupt agenda, I think they should be allowed to push their clean car standards to ludicrous, economically self destructive lengths.

    Let Kali spit on the rational rules of the free market as much as they wish. Other states do not need (and should not be forced) to follow them off the economic cliff, in lemming-like fashion. Instead of the federal “justice” system, let MR MARKET put Kali back in it’s place…with a vengeance! That will be a joy to watch.

    • Hi Mike,

      Here’s the problem, as I see it. California is not opposed to unconstitutional Federal agencies. If they were arguing that the Federal fatwas don’t apply to them, or any other State, because the existence of the agency is nowhere authorized by the Constitution, then I’d be cheering them on. But they’re not, they want all the onerous fatwas from every unconstitutional agency to apply everywhere. Their beef is not one of State sovereignty, but of losing the special privilege of exerting undue influence on Federal regulations.

      Their agenda is profoundly anti freedom and directed toward centralization, not toward decentralization and local autonomy.


      • Tough one. All for state’s rights, but then this state decides to dictate what people can’t buy.
        So, I’m with Trump & the ‘good’ car companies.
        And I’m in England.

      • True that there’s no hope of abolishing CAFE in this whole business so there are no benefits in terms of effectively enhancing freedom, but it is, in a way, an issue of the ability of states to do their own thing (even if it’s stupider than the federal thing) and could, probably would, be used as precedent. Not that there’s a whole lot of states’ rights left to save, but still.

        I think the most optimistic way of seeing this would be, “federal regs provide a ceiling for state regs”. But it’s hardly likely that it will be framed like this by anyone “respectable”…

        • Hi Lane,

          I’m in favor of dual sovereignty and State’s rights and I suppose there is some libertarian case to be happy about it. Maybe it will force the tenth back onto the Nazgul’s docket. But, that has it’s risks, given the general contempt for the tenth and Constitutional limits on Fed power (shared by all the Justices, they just quibble over where that power should be applied), they may decide to formally neuter the tenth.

          Anyway, it’s pretty weird to invoke the tenth in a case where the underlying statute itself violates the tenth. One thing is certain, if Texas and other states joined together and asserted that they were going to create their own standards that were lower than the Federal standards, Kali pols would blow a gasket. Of course, that hoped for (by me anyway) proposal is defensible on tenth amendment grounds and should, were the court not made up of life long government lawyers dedicated to legitimizing political authority, prevail.


          • Jeremy, a couple things regarding this. One, ERCOT protects Texans from sharing energy and we have a surplus.

            Two, one in seven pickups sold are in Texas. Instead of a bunch of cars at one house, we see a bunch of pickups at one house.

            Three, Texas could easily lure every carmaker that sells cars with cheap taxes.

            • Besides, with so many homeless and unemployed, Ca. could revive the rickshaw. A rickshaw there could be fast although not necessarily safe. Just hang a fake vial of crack out in front of the power source like the proverbial carrot on a stick in front of a horse. Naturally, you’d want them on a bit to slow them down when necessary.

    • MikePizzo, here is the flaw in your reasoning: State sovereignty is great, as long as it has no effect on other states. For example, I grew up in TX when it had several ridiculous laws (no liquor by the drink, no branch banking, Sunday blue law). But all of those laws STOPPED AT THE STATE LINE. They had no impact elsewhere, including OK, LA, AR & NM.

      By contrast, CA is attempting to leverage its market share to foist its ridiculous laws & regulations on the rest of the country. That cannot be allowed. Let CA revert to horses & buggies if it chooses.

  14. I found an article yesterday with a woman interviewer and a woman who understands EV’s and the electrical grid along with exhaust emissions and such.

    I was surprised, but in a good way, the knowledgeable person was a woman. The final gist of her take was we were at least 10-12 years away, best case scenario, of having a viable EV market. I’m beginning to hear a bit more banter on the subject that is based in “fact” and not “feelings”.

  15. California is burning due to their moronic belief that Man should not interfere with nature. So they refuse to do forest maintenance which would cost far,,, far less than the cost of fighting these fires. Controlled burns go a long way in preventing natures uncontrolled burns. And consider how much CO2 is being generated by these uncontrolled fires, by the fire itself PLUS all the equipment being used to fight them. Then consider the money being spent. Orange Man just gave them millions of printed up fiat to fight these fires that were caused by their own stupid arrogance without demanding they do common sense forest maintenance.

    All gasses are “Greenhouse gases”, just a matter of degree. Water vapor has the greatest ability to hold in reflected heat. CO2 which comprises .04 percent of the atmosphere is the result of the cyclical warming which creates more vegetation and lags but the GW scammers alter their charts to show otherwise. No I am not a scientist but I don’t need to be a scientist to know water is wet and the Sun provides me with life giving heat.

    Adding insult is the power companies shutting off power to millions,,, all because dimwit politicians in a state loaded with dimwit liberals that refuse to do forest maintenance,,, but listen to them howl like banshees when they have no power for their carbon free cars!

    The outright stupidity of all this is mind boggling to the few that still have cognitive abilities. Americans have allowed “authorities” to dictate their lives and how they’ll live them. Indoctrination in Corpgov schools and media have prevented any intelligent discussion and thus ignorance and ignoramuses reign. The Earth is once again flat and the center of the universe.

    • It would be amusing if someone calculated the amount of CO2 emitted by California’s forest fires and compared it against their total transportation CO2 output.
      It might wake up a few liberals to their nonsenses…
      Or maybe not

      • Fires? “Though California has successfully cut carbon pollution, meeting its 2020 target four years early, “these achievements were eclipsed several times over by the 2018 wildfires, which produced more than nine times more emissions than were reduced in 2017,” according to the report”.

        OCT. 8, 2019

    • The west had a very wet 2018-19 winter. This caused everything to grow again. Then when the dry summer and fall winds started it all died back and dried out (as it does every year). PG&E (and everyone else) got used to drought conditions and cheaped out on cleaning out the underbrush.

      Ain’t nothing new here. Anyone who’s watched this stuff for more than a week knows the cycle.ño–Southern_Oscillation

      • ACTUALLY, the blame points squarely at Sacramento for these problems and NOT PG&E or SoCal Edison … Sacramento mandated NO brush removal since enviro groups said there were unknown species living in this brush …

        The only choice the utility companies had was to simply cut power to avoid more fire lawsuits …

    • It’s not just about (mis)management of California’s forest. The powers that be in the once “Golden” State want to drive out the remainder of White, Christian heterosexual folks that mainly live in the outlying foothill and mountain regions, especially in Northern California above Sacramento. Be assured that this crap was PLANNED in advance, regardless of the weather and forage conditions.

      Hence why there’s a separatist movement, which joins with the disaffection Southern Oregon counties likewise shat upon by “Portlandia” and Salem. And it’s ALREADY gotten “attention”…according to that arbiter of what’s “hate”, the SPLC, the “State of Jefferson” movement is “racist”, since it’s the part of Cali(porn)ia that’s still predominantly white not wanting to remain with the largely non-white majority.


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