Does Clinton’s Claim of Halving Fuel Costs Hold Water?
In a keynote speech, the former president says Obama’s fuel-economy policies would cut consumer’s gas cost in half.
Part of the Democratic Party’s push to re-elect President Barack Obama is to point to how he helped saved the auto industry -- while his Republican opponent Mitt Romney advised that the government not intervene and "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." In his party-rallying speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton highlighted Obama's effort to rescue General Motors and Chrysler from insolvency.
The auto bailout may play well with the national electorate, particularly in key battleground states in the Midwest that rely heavily on the auto industry for jobs. But Clinton went on to elaborate on how policies that Obama is putting in place could also help all motoring voters down the road when it comes to fuel economy and how much they pay at the pump.
Last week, the administration announced new fuel-economy standards that all new-car fleets will have to meet by 2025: an average of 54.5 mpg. This more than doubles the current average mpg for all new cars, which is 25 for 2012 models. Clinton said this will also, in effect, cut consumers’ gas bills in half.
Since everyone knows you can’t believe everything a politician says, especially during an election year, we thought we’d find out if Clinton’s claim holds water. We asked John Voelcker, editor of GreenCarReports.com for his expert take. “Well, if you double fuel economy, you use half as much fuel,” was his short, sarcastic answer. But, of course, it’s more complicated than that.
The dollar-and-cents downside, Voelcker added, is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the cost of a 2025 vehicle will rise almost $3,000 in real dollars in order to meet the new standards.
“That's more than offset by the lifetime fuel cost savings,” he said. “But retail car buyers are far more sensitive to upfront cost -- purchase price and particularly monthly payments -- than they are to the total cost of ownership such as fuel, maintenance and repairs over the car's lifetime. Retail buyers notoriously overweight purchase price and underweight total cost of ownership when making their purchase decisions.” Even so, car buyers have been flocking to fuel-efficient and smaller cars with the latest gas-price spikes.
The bottom line is, yes, doubling fuel economy could very well cut the amount consumers pay at the pump in half. All things being equal, Clinton’s claim holds water. But, of course, as Voelcker points out, things are never that easy -- and neither is the alternative, particularly for politicians.
“Many economists, analysts and industry executives feel that a predictable, annual rise in the gasoline tax would be a fairer way to let the market sort out what kind of cars it wants,” Voelcker said. “But proposing higher taxes is roughly equivalent to suggesting government-sponsored matricide in today's poisonous electoral climate, so that's a nonstarter.”
GM should have sank into the ground, what Obama did wasn't capitalism, it was socialism. Why would the American people want to save a company and keep failed CEO's at their jobs? Why would they want to pay for some so called "elite" to keep their job, keep their money, keep their fancy home?" So it would save a few jobs? What was the bigger pitcher? It wasn't just GM that got bailed out was it. This happed to several companies and homes for people. Which by the way the homes that were saved were homes with a 4k monthly payment to them. Does that sound like the home owner you want to bail out? Someone with a better house then yours, as they smile knowing you bought their house for them while you live in poverty?
What about GM's dream car the Volt? When looking at MT's average fuel rating, you will find that it slightly gets better then my 98 Civic. That has fail all over it. It also contributes more to pollution in the states that burn coal for power then what the emissions of a normal gas car gives off. Ever wonder why you don't see them all over the road, because its fail!
What did the democrats do for us? Fail. What about healthcare and how wonderful that bill was? It raised my insurance with the company we have been with for over 10 years by $460.00 a month. That is on top of the tax increase to pay for those that are looking for a government handout. How is it wonderful? It still leaves millions of American's uncovered and doesn't even solve the problem. Also if you haven't found out already, that cost for healthcare will be more then American can afford to pay. It's already killing on us. If it was so great of a plan, why did so many "elites" get to opt out? Why isn't the President and the congress on the plan? Why did the bill have to be signed on a weekend and behind closed doors with the threat from the president to get it done?
They feel like we should reelect Obama? What has he done other then spend our money? Why does a president that knows that our country is failing out on expensive trips, or having lavish meals? This isn't the era of spending like no tomorrow, it's today that we need to deal with the problem. The American people should throw you that chose to abuse us out of this country and send you to Iraq to serve the country in the burning sands. Put you on the front lines and let the terrorist have you like the criminals you are.
Ty, but you don't get my vote.
What is really sad is that apparently about half of Americans want to keep this guy in office for four more miserable years. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Mitt is certainly the answer but it would be hard for him to do less than Obama did. At least Mitt has some business sense instead of Obama's nonsense. There is a darn good reason that soooo many Democrats are now opposing Obama, you supporters of his need to wake up and smell the coffee.
Obama has plenty of business sense. Just ask the rich exec's at that failed green company Solara (sp?). 1/2 billion $$ thrown at them as though it was so much feed to chickens. At least a chicken would have maybe given an egg or two.
As for cars getting better mileage, big oil will squash this intiative like a bug before the next president (whoever that may be) has his hand on the bible next January.
First mistake was in asking John Voelcker, editor of GreenCarReports.
Any chance of getting a bias accounting there. OH NO - - - - - NOT MUCH.
Why do all of use have to suffer the added coast of production just to CALIFORNIA standard can be met. How about letting California pay for what California wants.
Yes, there are many ways to reduce the price we are presently paying and CAFE standards is not one of them.
That's the same crap they told up about using corn and fuel, and look what has happened to food prices........all over, not to mention skyrocketing fuel prices..........We are..IDIOTS
Government tampering is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenager,
The Democrats are reaching for anything to make Obama look good. In four years Obamas two big claims is saving GM and killing Osama, that's it. Job reports shows in August unemployment is way up again!!!
A vote for Obama is a vote to keep the US weak.
Im not a fan of Romney but at this point I would vote for Jimmy Carter instead of Obama.
Obama has done nothing but hurt the US, overall, he is Americas biggest threat.
Make me president, and I'll demand that car companies average 1000 mpg...
I'll demand that the climate not change.
I'll demand that tiny cushions be placed on the end of all cactus needles so no one gets poked.
Politicians are all useless lying jerks. They all leave the world a worse place. Can I just vote "none of the above", and leave the office vacant for the next 4 years? I'm fairly confident that we'd be better off in 2016 without either Obama or Romney.
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