Thursday, July 05, 2007

Recommended Reading: Cars

Here's two recent pieces from Car & Driver that I thought were pretty compelling.

Top 10 Reasons Why the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Law is D-U-M-B.

Now that gasoline prices are rising again and Al Gore has proven the existence of man-made global warming by winning an Academy Award for his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and even George Bush is talking about reducing energy usage, there’s much talk in the halls of Congress about tightening up the CAFE law.

Most of you know CAFE stands for “corporate average fuel economy,” a law setting minimum average fuel-consumption levels for cars and trucks sold in America. The law has been in effect since 1975, two years after the first U.S. fuel crisis. Since 1985, the law has required that an automaker’s line of cars average 27.5 mpg. The current truck standard of 22.2 mpg was raised 1.5 mpg over the past three years.

Now Congress wants fuel-economy averages raised much higher. A group of senators led by California’s Dianne Feinstein wants to bump both the car and truck standards to 35 mpg by 2019. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois went even farther, proposing last year to raise CAFE for all vehicles to 40 mpg by 2016.

But there’s a problem. CAFE has always been a dumb law that’s not only wrong-headed but also doomed to fail. Here are my top 10 reasons why CAFE standards make no sense:

Continue reading at CARandDRIVER.com

Take the car or hop a choo-choo?

For a quarter of what we spend at the Home Depot each year, we could end congestion.

How’s this for a dire prediction? The arterial sclerosis blocking circulation on our roadways is spreading fast, and in just 23 years (let me do the math—that’ll be 2030), nearly a dozen U.S. cities will have the sort of infarction-producing bottlenecks we associate now with Los Angeles. Clogged at least as badly as L.A. is today will be Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland, San Francisco–Oakland, Seattle-Tacoma, and Washington, D.C. This according to a new study by the Reason Foundation. And, no surprise, Los Angeles will be far worse.

Continue reading at CARandDRIVER.com
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