Insanity of higher CAFE standards

Here we are again, faced with another cramdown policy by the misguided but ever hard-charging President Obama . This time it’s raising fuel-economy standards. Instead of waiting until 2020 to increase the standards, now the President is saying 2016. I think he really wants all the car companies to go out of business. Now before you criticize me by saying I’m not a friend of the environment, let me say that I am a conservationist but at the same time I’m not in the business of making decisions rooted in untruth. Let’s take a look at what previous fuel standards have accomplished. Since 1975 we have had fuel efficiency standards, but they have done little to help reduce carbon emissions. In his book Spin Free Economics, Narmin Behravesh demonstrates the inefficiency of these standards. Here is an excerpt from his book:

    “To begin with, they (fuel efficiency standards) don’t necessarily reduce total fuel consumption. In fact, more fuel efficient cars can, perversely, encourage more driving. Similarly, while the mpg per ton of cars has improved about 20 percent in the United States in the last two decades, average car weight has risen ( heavier vans and SUBs now account for half of all light-vehicle sales, compared with 20 percent in the 1980’s), so the mpg per vehicle has actually fallen about 10 percent.”

Wait a minute here; is Behravesh saying that fuel efficiency has decreased? That is exactly what he is saying. Is not the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? So if the goal is to decrease carbon emissions would it not make sense to do something different instead of the same thing over and over?

I’m not writing to propose an alternative to the fuel standards, but to show the ineptness of the government’s policy. But perhaps a solution to not only this problem but many others would be that of a consumption tax. Talk about fairness, this eliminates the IRS and you only pay for what you use. But I digress. The point is, insanity is not good policy.