Honestly, I appreciate what Obama is trying to do. I mean, who can argue with better gas mileage ["How Obama Is Revamping America's Cars," usnews.com]? But all Americans should view this maneuver as an insult in the very least and an infringement of their freedom of choice at the most. Sure, pickups and SUVs will still be around, but they will be effectively neutered. And it's not just pickups and SUVs that will be affected. Forget about working your way to the top to buy that nice sports sedan you've always wanted. The BMW 7 series as we know it will be a thing of the past. Let the market dictate the type of cars we purchase. When gas prices were up to 4 bucks and beyond, people were trying to dump their Hummers and Navigators like crazy while hybrid sales were through the roof. No legislation needed. In fact, without this legislation gas mileage on newer models will improve because that is what people want! I'm all for better mileage, but I am much more for freedom of choice....and my sporty supped up gas guzzling BMW 7 series.
Comment by Mark of CA
I'm surprised that the estimated additional costs for the fuel economy upgrades are only $1,300 per car. If that were true, the payout for the gain would be about three years at $ 2.50 per gallon of gasoline and the automakers would be doing this on their own. Currently the actual purchase price (not list price) of a Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, or Honda Civic hybrid is three or four thousand dollars more than the non-hybrid version of the same car. So either the estimates assume costs will go down as volume goes up or they are way too low. Cars will get smaller and more expensive. The real question is will the consumers want to buy them? I think that depends on gasoline prices. High prices will drive sales; low prices may lead to another bailout of the auto companies. In order to make this work, look for the government to drive prices higher. I already have trouble finding a car that can fit my 6' 5" frame. I fear that there may be nothing available in 2016 that can fit me and other adults. Looks like I will be keeping my current car for a very, very long time.
Comment by Bob of TX
Clearly, letting the market determine our status on some issues does not work, which is the main flaw in conservative and libertarian thought. Our current financial crisis is because we removed government regulations on the financial industry that were put there after the Great Depression to prevent this very situation. Without government mandated protections of the environment would any industry be able to remain in business if it installed such measures on their own and their competitors did not? You may say that Americans do not want anti-pollution devices in factories or on cars, but will they then meet with bliss the continuing degradation of the environment and the increasing ailments of their children and children's children? There are some things that the consumer should dictate through the purchasing power of the dollar, but others, like clean water coming out of our taps or a safe food supply that government must mandate. Air pollution is one of those issues as well.
Comment by Joan Dalton of WI
What is not mentioned in this article is that gasoline taxes will have to be increased as miles per gallon efficiency increases. You only have to examine how some states already want to base gas taxes on the number of miles driven and not on the number of gallons of gas purchased. So, as we strive to save money on high mpg cars, we will end up paying additional taxes.
Comment by George Pehlvanian of CA
These changes should have been enforced years ago, but the government kept caving in to U.S. automakers to keep delaying increased fuel efficiency and decreased emissions even as foreign automakers did. They were able to do what Obama is asking of U.S. automakers and still make cars that were fun to drive and good looking! Without these changes how is the U.S. auto industry going to regain any of their market share? Fiat isn't the only one becoming a major player in a short time. Watch out for the Chinese who are quietly trying to buy up other available parts of the U.S. auto industry, and thereby making themselves an even bigger player on the world stage than Fiat! Does anyone really think they are going to sit still over the next few years and watch us make these changes or will they continue to improve on an already superior product and gain even more market share?
Comment by Curtis Gwin Jr of WA