Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Hail Obama’s Requiring More Costly Low-Emission Autos; Others Concerned Cars Designed to “Burn Through So Much Money” May Increase Global Warming

President Obama announced his support yesterday for new auto design rules that would impose stricter emission standards on cars and trucks. The new rules are expected to increase costs to consumers by at least an extra $1,300 per vehicle while providing no net benefits.

Preliminary designs of new vehicles that would meet the new specifications include multiple ignitable exhaust pipes made of tightly rolled hundred dollar bills that would burn through consumers’ cash.

Auto engineers said they had to add the extra money pipes because more expensive cars mean fewer cars are sold, which means more auto workers are laid off and more income lost.

Environmental groups initially praised the new rules, but later expressed concern they would "burn through vast amounts of money" and spread plumes of polluting particulates that could increase global warming. "We're talking waste in the form of forest fire-sized cash infernos here," said one Sierra Club official.

Some environmental activists were disappointed that increasing fuel-efficiency is expected to reduce the per-mile cost of operating vehicles, which will increase the number of miles driven, and thus reduce or eliminate any expected emission reductions, which under even best-case scenarios would reduce the global temperature by only seven thousandths of a degree Celsius by the end of this century.

But other environmental groups saw a silver lining in the announcement. The new fuel-efficiency rules will also require smaller, lighter, and consequently less safe cars that will lead to higher traffic fatalities. While some environmental advocates suggested those risks could be reduced by filling air bags with yet more shredded cash, they added that any increased mortality "will help reduce our collective carbon footprint in the long run."

Associated articles:;;;