Driving the Day: Pres. Obama to Unveil More Costly Fuel Efficiency Standards

UPDATE (8:42 AM) – White House announces it has cancelled the event today.  It will be replaced with a private meeting on fuel efficiency.

Today, President Obama will hop down to Springfield, Virginia to unveil the first ever fuel efficiency standards for medium-  and heavy-duty trucks.  According to National Journal, “representatives from eight truck companies, Cummins, Navistar, Daimler, Eaton, Volvo/Mack, Chrysler, GM, and Conway, will attend Tuesday’s announcement.”  It sounds like a kumbaya moment – big business and big government coming together.  But will it really help our economy and American consumers?  No.

As Heritage Action’s CEO Michael A. Needham points out, “President Obama’s mantra is Washington is here to help. All too often (always?), his solutions favor government intervention over economic competition.”  He goes on to say:

At almost every turn, the Obama administration has made job creation, economic growth and domestic energy production more difficult.

Instead of rhetorical, focus group-tested pivots, the President would be wise to pivot toward increasing American energy production, which would create jobs and help offset the rise in gas prices.

Of course, these new rules will do nothing of the sort.  From The Hill, we get the details of the proposed rules, which administration officials acknowledge could raise the cost of some trucks by as much as $2,200:

The rules impose different standards on three categories of vehicles, according to the senior administration official. 

Big rigs and semi-trucks must achieve a 23 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018. 

Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans must achieve a 10 to 15 percent reduction in fuel economy and a 12 to 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018, depending on whether they run on gasoline or diesel fuel. 

Delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks must reduce their fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent by model year 2018.

If this is part of the President’s pivot to jobs (a claim being echoed by environmental groups), America is in serious trouble.  Regulations crafted by big government and big business hamper economic growth and stifle innovation.  If the Washington Establishment is serious about saving the American dream for our children and grandchildren, they need to expand domestic energy production and roll back costly, job-destroying regulations.  Unfortunately, this administration is moving in the exact opposite direction.

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