Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Apocalypse Avoided? - By Eric Peters

If this one thing happens, electing Trump will have been worth the bother.
It’s actually two things.
Trump’s EPA will be “revisiting” the Obama EPA’s last-minute fuel efficiency and emissions fatwas, hurriedly ululated just two weeks before the end of the Obama EPA.
It might just prevent a catastrophe worse than the implosion of 2008 – when two out of three of the Big Three went bankrupt. This time, the industry could go bankrupt.
The first fatwa would require every car company to build cars that average 54.5 MPG by the model year 2025 – irrespective of such banal things as what this will cost the people who have to pay for it all.
The Obama EPA’s imbecile reasoning – if taken at face value – is that the government decreeing cars must average 54.5 MPG will reduce fueling costs. People will save money on gas.
But the cars will cost a lot more. And not just that.
Executives from almost every major car company recently paid a visit to Trump’s new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, explaining to him that not a single car any of them make averages 54.5 MPG and to get there would involve literally throwing away two-thirds of the models currently available for sale and re-engineering the rest at huge cost.
All to salve the mania of EPA ayatollahs, who are convinced it’s their business to force the public into “efficient” cars – no matter how much it costs the public.
The second fatwa, though, is potentially much worse. It decrees – for the first time in the history of federal fatwa’ing – that the inert, plants-breath-it gas, carbon dioxide, be classified an “exhaust emission” and regulated as if it constituted a danger to air quality and public health.
It does neither thing, of course.
Some assert it “plays a role” in “climate change.” Maybe. Maybe not. It’s conjecture – and probably setting policy that will have enormous economic effects based on political “science” isn’t so savvy. But, regardless, it’s a fact that carbon dioxide “emissions” do not cause smog or acid rain or respiratory problems.
Not even a little bit.
In other words, there is no known/demonstrable harm caused by a motor vehicle “emitting” carbon dioxide. Which – along with water vapor – now constitutes the bulk of new car exhaust “emissions.” (If you want to get scientific about it, why isn’t the EPA sweating water vapor? It is a “greenhouse gas,” too.)
The scary part is that carbon dioxide (and water vapor) “emissions” can’t be chemically scrubbed into some other thing or rendered less by fine-tuning an engine. The only way known to lower the volume of C02 produced by an internal combustion engine is to reduce the amount of fuel used.
Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website