Old 23rd August 2005, 23:34   #1
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New standards announced for fuel efficency.

First thing the government has done in a long time that impresses me. Well, almost. Seems they still don't consider behemoth gas guzzlers like the Hummer a problem. And in all honesty does anyone think going from 21 to 23 mpg will make any difference.

The U.S. administration proposed new fuel economy standards for pickup trucks, minivans and some sport utility vehicles on Tuesday, calling upon automakers to make modest improvements to gas mileage amid rising prices at the pump.

The plan, announced by the Department of Transportation in Atlanta, would require the auto industry to raise standards for most vehicles other than cars beginning in 2008. All automakers would have to comply fully by 2011.

"This is a plan that will save gas and result in less pain at the pump for motorists without sacrificing safety," said Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.

Mineta said the program is expected to save about 10 billion gallons of gasoline.

But the plan does not apply to cars and the largest SUVs, such as the Hummer H2.

It was immediately criticized by environmentalists, who said the proposal would fail to reduce the nation's dependence on imported oil and create new loopholes that would weaken fuel economy requirements. Passenger cars and light trucks, a vehicle category that includes pickups, minivans and SUVs, account for about 40 percent of the U.S. oil use.

"At a time when Americans are paying record prices for gas, the Bush administration has sided with its cronies in the auto industry and rejected real solutions," said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's global warming program.

Automakers are currently required to maintain an average of 27.5 miles per gallon for passenger cars and 21 mpg for light trucks. Light trucks are required to meet 22.2 mpg for the 2007 model year.

The proposal would divided light trucks into 6 categories based on size, with the smallest vehicles being required to get better gas mileage than larger trucks.

At a news conference, Mineta did not unveil complete details of the plan. But he cited one example: minivans currently required to average 21 mpg would be required to get 23.3 mpg by 2011.

Mineta said the plan represents the first significant change to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, known in the industry as CAFE, in three decades.

With gas prices soaring this summer to an average of $2.55 a gallon nationally, the new requirements also expect to generate a debate on the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Damn, the government failed again.

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Old 24th August 2005, 00:01   #2
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If the US gov want people to stop using so much fuel, then the government should set prices similar to what every other country pays for fuel.

USD$2.55 is laughable

122c/L here for Unleaded 91 (including GST)

122*4.5 = AUD$5.49 per gallon

= USD$4.15 per gallon

in the UK its about 90p per litre for unleaded 95(better quality than in australia) (not sure about VAT)

90p * 4.5 = 4.05L per gallon

= USD$7.29 per gallon.

This is why overly huge SUV's can be driven in the US and not anywhere else in the world.

Bush's war has given you nothing but cheap gas prices.
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Old 24th August 2005, 00:58   #3
Spazz333
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Bush's war has given you nothing but cheap gas prices.
Yup, cheap gas prices that are more expensive than before the war.

I'm not saying they are expensive compared to the rest of the world though.

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Old 24th August 2005, 01:11   #4
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I believe we took sadam out of power to secure oil for our allies in the middle east+elsewhere (not us) but i can be corrected if i am wrong.
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Old 24th August 2005, 02:35   #5
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You can't compare gas prices in Europe to the US. Most of that has been taxes. The Europeans have used the money to create far better road maintenance, rail and mass transit projects. Because of the size of the US, this might not be as practical here.

Europeans have a lot more options to not drive than we do.
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Old 24th August 2005, 22:18   #6
ertmann|CPH
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we do drive alot more fuel efficient cars because of the high gas prices though. you'd have to look very hard to find anything over a 2.2 liter engine over here.
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Old 24th August 2005, 22:35   #7
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This is probably true. I'm just starting to hear the people who bought the big SUV's and pickup trucks with the big hemi motors in them crying about how expensive it is to fill their tank.

Well, needless to say that's what you get. Gas prices rose in unison with record SUV and truck sales.

Doesn't bother me much since unlike those who need sport utility vehicles (but don't use them for sport utilities but everyday driving while using their cell phones) I still own a fuel efficent car that only goes up or down a buck or two each fillup. Everytime I hear someone driving an SUV complain that it costs them over a hundred dollars a fillup I just laugh at and say "Then sell your gas guzzling vehicle and buy one of these" and drive off laughing.

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Old 24th August 2005, 23:16   #8
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Originally posted by MegaRock
"Then sell your gas guzzling vehicle and buy one of these" and drive off laughing.
That's the most sensible thing i've heard all day
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Old 25th August 2005, 20:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rocker
If the US gov want people to stop using so much fuel, then the government should set prices similar to what every other country pays for fuel.

USD$2.55 is laughable

122c/L here for Unleaded 91 (including GST)

122*4.5 = AUD$5.49 per gallon

= USD$4.15 per gallon

in the UK its about 90p per litre for unleaded 95(better quality than in australia) (not sure about VAT)

90p * 4.5 = 4.05L per gallon

= USD$7.29 per gallon.

This is why overly huge SUV's can be driven in the US and not anywhere else in the world.

Bush's war has given you nothing but cheap gas prices.
IF that was to happen, the economy would TUMBLE because NO ONE WOULD DRIVE! Europe has pretty good a transportation system. I have NO idea about Australia.

The ONLY THING Bush did was delay the inevitable. We cannot depend on oil anymore. Alternatives should be enforced now or we will most definitely pay later.

Also IF OTHER COUNTRIES are hurting so much, why in the HELL are they still using gasoline?!

Oh wait!

The UK has plenty of Diesel fueled cars and that can come from a lot of places OTHER than petrol. Do Australians have Diesel? Would it be the right time to switch?

Some states here are REQUIRING that ethanol be included at pumps now. Is that where we are going? Not unless The Oil Industry has anything to say about it. Bush is one of those who support oil. Cheney is the PRESIDENT of Haliburton, a petrol company.

What we need is to sever the Oil umbilical cord from the Auto industry and have them do something that will benefit everyone and not just come up with temporary fixes.

You make some interesting points but what you are proposing Will NEVER HAPPEN as long as the people here still have some clout left.
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Old 25th August 2005, 21:24   #10
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*yawn* getting melodramatic about fuel prices again? Come on, prices rise you will pay more because you are dependent. I think it would be a wonderful thing to see prices at $6 a gallon. Then perhaps we would stop wasting our time on band-aiding the problem.
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Old 25th August 2005, 22:18   #11
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and imagine if the kids were forced to bike the 10 km to school everyday, like many of us do around here, it would solve the obecity epidemic aswell...
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Old 26th August 2005, 00:25   #12
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I dont know why people are so scared of cycling a small distance. Its great.
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Old 26th August 2005, 18:31   #13
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Theres no doubt the higher prices are changing things - some of which may in the end be for the better.

Here in St. Louis over the past 20 years things have gone the way of what most call urban sprawl. It used to be there was a decent small store at almost every other streetcorner (bars too but that's a different post). In short you could easily walk less than ten blocks from your house and get practially anything you would need to live. Schools were called neighborhood schools because they were (duh) in your neighborhood. All the good jobs were centrally located around the core of the metro area and everyone could easily get there by walking, use of a bike or public transportation.

Twenty years later you'd be hard pressed to find any small stores anywhere in the entire city. You pretty much have to drive to get even the most basic necessities to live on because the only place to shop are the few big megastores like Wal Mart that put everyone else out of business (and now have prices as high as what the small stores used to charge). Schools in the city bus around 75% of the students out of their own neighborhoods to the other side of the city and not for any logical reason. There are even very few corner bars left anymore since the big corporate chains put them under too. For most people they have to take 20 + mile drives (in each direction) every day just to get to their jobs since they all spread out to the other side of the 'burbs.

As gas prices go up maybe it will give people enough reason to want things the way they were. When you could walk to school, walk to the corner store and walk to the bar all without the need for the car things were much easier. When your job was within five or ten miles it was a cinch to get back and forth to work.

The only other thing many must think about is this - at a time when fuel prices are going up, up and up so are the profits of the oil corporations. The major oil companies in America alone have recorded profits that have doubled in each of the past three years - ironically at the same time fuel prices rise. When they are putting billions and billions of profits into their pockets while the rest suffer something's terribly wrong in the way our government allows them to operate. The government also taxes the shit out of us on fuel prices as well. If the government stopped using it to fund their pork barrel projects and they capped the profit levels of the oil companies like they do some public utilities the prices would drop - dramatically.

Something like that isn't a permanent fix but it would allow some time to get the alternative sources in production and then offer tax breaks and incentives to get people to move to vehicles capable of using these new sources of fuel. And if it can buy us even a little reprieve while this happens I'm all for it.

Until these things happen you'll continue to see news like this:

The 2007 XK will have a driver-shiftable 6-speed automatic transmission and a 300-horsepower 4.2-liter V8 engine. That is slightly more power than the current standard XK engine ... a luxury sedan costing over $100,000

It shows that so long as you can afford 100,000 car why should you want anything less than a powerful gas guzzling v8 motor. If you can afford a car with a motor like this you should be able to afford an extra tax to help fund research on new fuel sources. If you have 100,000 to blow on a car then you have an extra 1,000 to blow on making sure there is fuel around to run it.

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Old 26th August 2005, 22:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by KXRM
*yawn* getting melodramatic about fuel prices again? Come on, prices rise you will pay more because you are dependent. I think it would be a wonderful thing to see prices at $6 a gallon. Then perhaps we would stop wasting our time on band-aiding the problem.
Well, it won't take that much. Only about a $1.60 more on the national average will make them look harder than now. Add one more dollar on top of that and riots will start quietly until an alternative is found.
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Old 26th August 2005, 22:34   #15
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i like when people use scary terms to describe change.
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Old 30th August 2005, 00:52   #16
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Oh shit, not again. I remember this in the 70's. You could only buy gas on the even or odd day depending on your license plate. If you left your rig any place, it'd get siphoned.

Lines a block long to get gas......

Please, not again.
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