President Obama has ordered the EPA to allow states set their own fuel-efficiency standards (fourteen states had begun the process when President Bush put a stop to it a couple of years ago.) He’s also asked the DOT to “develop higher fuel-efficiency standards automakers would have to follow.” [USA Today]
Bob Lutz, GM’s vice president and product chief, told reporters this week that new federal guidelines that require 35mpg fuel efficiency by 2020 (yes, more than a decade from now) are so stringent that it will end up costing an average of $6,000 more per vehicle. “That cost will have to be passed on to consumers,” he then threatened. We can’t help but feel sorry for GM. After all, this whole “better fuel efficiency” topic was only brought up, what, like two or three months ago? And GM only has twelve years to find cost-effective (we’d say “innovative” but don’t want to put too much pressure on such a backwards, fearful company) ways to lighten cars and improve engines.
Today California sued the EPA over its refusal to let states enact their own greenhouse-gas laws. “Fifteen states plan to intervene on California’s behalf, including 13 of those that have either adopted or are in the process of adopting the rules. Delaware and Illinois, which have not passed the standards, also are part of the lawsuit.” [New York Times]
Today the EPA announced that California and 16 other states will not be allowed to make their own laws governing greenhouse gas emissions, because “The Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution, not a confusing patchwork of state rules.” California’s robot leader of the future and erstwhile killing machine promptly announced that California will be suing the federal government, and in a press conference today said that “It’s another example of the administration’s failure to treat global warming with the seriousness that it actually demands.”
If you bought a Toyota Prius and have been trying to pass an emissions test in Georgia, you’re probably pretty stressed out right about now.
If you purchased a Honda between 1995 and 1997, you may be eligible for a free repair and tune up. Way back, during the age of Clinton, the EPA sued Honda for disabling part of the emission control system, which could lead several vehicle models to emit pollutants without issuing an engine warning to the driver. The EPA spanked Honda with a $12.6 million penalty, and the automaker agreed to spend at least $250 million repairing the defective systems. Here is where you come in.