by Heather Taylor-Miesle NRDC Action Fund, Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:34:24 PM EST
Another day, another flip flop. At Sunday’s Mike Huckabee-hosted presidential forum, Republican candidate Mitt Romney offered up yet another flip flop, this time on reducing global warming pollution from cars and trucks. He said that he would “get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks.”
Back in 2004, then Governor Romney signed Massachusetts up to copy California in implementing carbon emissions standards for light duty vehicles. The car companies pretty much hated that because it created a dreaded “patchwork,” in which the standard would apply in about half of the states but not in the rest.
Luckily, the Obama administration stepped in. The President brokered a deal to come up with a single national standard to reduce carbon pollution, which the car companies, the states, unions, EPA, and environmental groups like NRDC could all agree on. He made it happen primarily through a rule issued by EPA, which reduces pollution, saves consumers money, and reduces confusion for industry. That program was so successful that last month, EPA proposed to extend and strengthen the program through 2025.
Back to Romney. Of course, no one likes a flip-flopper. But the truth is, sometimes it makes sense to change your mind. You get new information, like former climate-skeptic Richard Muller who came to his senses and realized the globe really is warming up. That’s what makes Romney’s latest flip flop so infuriating. Almost every bit of new information we have shows that the need to reduce global warming pollution is greater than ever and the dangers are worse than we previously thought.
And the rules that Romney once supported, but now decries, provide tremendous benefits. The new set of rules would save over 4 billion barrels of oil. Owners of new efficient vehicles would save up to $4,400 over the life of the vehicle. Since he doesn’t seem to have any problem with changing his positions, can we humbly suggest that the Governor just go ahead and switch back to the position that is good for industry, good for consumers and good for the planet?
by architek, Wed May 21, 2008 at 05:23:18 AM EDT
Arjun Murti, who is an analyst at Goldman-Sachs who has predicted the last few spikes in oil accurately, predicts a "super spike" soon before or after the election that will drive oil prices above $200/barrel and prices at the pump to over $6-7/gallon. The New York Times has an article about his prediction today.
An Oracle of Oil Predicts $200-a-Barrel Crude
Some analysts also disagree:
"But many analysts are no longer so sure where oil is going, at least in the short term. Some say prices will fall as low as $70 a barrel by year-end, according to Thomson Financial."
"Other experts disagree over the supply of oil, the demand for it and whether recent speculation in the commodities markets has artificially raised prices."
But, even though prices have been high for a while, consumption in the US has only just started to fall. And global consumption now is so high that the US consumer's decisions, no longer effect oil prices as they used to. So changes, legislation, etc. enacted here with the aim of lowering prices at the pump may have only limited effect on the price of gas, which is driven by supply AND demand - global demand.
"The U.S. gasoline consumer is no longer driving world oil prices- this is a monumental event,"
High prices, he says, "send a message to consumers that you should try your best to buy fuel-efficient cars or otherwise conserve on energy."
I can't help but wonder what will happen in areas where the cost of driving is inherently very high, such as in the far West. Will people carpool to get to jobs, or will they simply have to move when they can no longer afford travel? These are questions we need to be asking ourselves.
Because oil prices may never go down.
by Democratic Courage, Tue May 08, 2007 at 01:59:21 PM EDT
Cross-posted at Democratic Courage blog.
Barack Obama got huge coverageyesterday for "standing up" to the auto industry by calling on them to accept tighter fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks - and doing it in their own backyard in Detroit. Although it's encouraging anytime a candidate calls for increasing fuel economy, we have to ask: is Obama's proposal really anything to coo about?
The core of Obama's plan is raising fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2022 - and paying off American auto companies for doing this by funneling $3 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the big auto companies in exchange, primarily to alleviate their high health care costs.
Two problems: first, Obama's plan doesn't move anywhere near fast enough to address the twin challenges of global climate deterioration and reliance on oil. His plan is about the same as that proposed by the Bush administration (although the administration's plan includes huge loopholes that Obama's doesn't). The 2022 deadline is at least ten years behind what is technically feasible and at least that many years behind what is climatologically essential. The latest international climate report concludes that urgent action is needed to avoid mass extinction, melting ice caps, famine and disease. "We don't have the luxury of time," said Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What's more, research by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that currently available technology could raise fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2012, while still producing net savings for consumers.