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Home News-Telegram News Editorials GOING GREEN: Is it working?

GOING GREEN: Is it working?

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How effective is this "go green" mantra that America now finds itself living under. Are we making a difference? Will we make a difference in the future? At this point, it is hard to tell. We are not sure tomorrow will be any clearer, either.

But that doesn't stop the green activists from pushing onward.

One of the latest environmental pushes, however, seems a bit over-done.

Activists and some in Congress are pushing for new rules on the auto industry that would require an average of 60 miles per gallon for an automaker's fleet by 2025. Why 60? Why not 100 mpg or 300 mpg? What is the reasoning? So far, we haven't found any. From most reports, it seems as if 60 mpg is just an arbitrary number being proposed by activists.

More troublesome than arbitrary numbers is the fact that American automakers haven't even met the previous fuel efficiency rules put into place by Congress just last April - rules that call for automaker fleets to average 34.1 mpg on  cars and trucks by 2016.

Shouldn't we see the impact of that mandate before we go pushing new rules for 15 years down the line?

So far, consumers haven't reacted positively to the higher fuel-standard propaganda. According to the Detroit News, light trucks, which includes crossovers, SUVs, minivans and pickups, accounted  for more than 50 percent of all vehicles sold in September. Hybrid sales, by contrast, fell again last month and now account for only 2.3 percent of the market - despite a huge growth in models available over the last three years. Clearly consumers are not as enamored with the higher fuel efficiency standards as our friends in Congress.

We also must be mindful of the cost factor. New vehicles are becoming more and more expensive and adding new fuel standards won't help at all. The Obama administration says the new fuel efficiency rule put in place in April will cost automakers $51.5 billion. Guess who will pay for those costs?

Protecting our environment is a noble cause and one we should all embrace. But shouldn't we be able to measure successes before we start new agendas?




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