SEARCH BLOG: ENERGY
Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, is seeking a "market driven" alternative to higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy [CAFE] standards. Consequently, he wants to explore the idea of changing the market.
Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally called the federal government's mandatory fuel economy requirements a failed program and suggested a tax on gasoline might do more to achieve energy independence and help the environment.What he is really saying is that since the real marketplace doesn't support proposed CAFE standards, the only way to get customers to "demand" tiny, alternative fuel vehicles is to change the market environment... create additional costs to consumers.
What he is not saying is that the costs will be two-fold: the direct increase in operating costs from those taxes and the cost of new technology to achieve the higher fuel efficiencies. CAFE standards put the onus on manufacturers to build fuel efficient vehicles that people actually want without the additional tax burden on the consumer.The reality is that the state and federal governments will be forced to raise fuel taxes to make up for lost revenues when the manufacturers are successful in producing fleets that average 32-35 mpg.
Mullaly rightly wants the consumers to know that it is the government, not the manufacturers, that is forcing them to purchase vehicles that are smaller and less safe than they might want.All right, if that is the way it must be, then I propose that all revenues from the additional taxes be used to offset the development of new technologies and infrastructure [such as battery recycling or new power plants or hydrogen fueling stations] rather than going into a general fund where it is used for congressmen's pork projects.
For example, all of those nickel-based batteries cause enormous environmental damage. So expansion of nickel mining needs to be supported by expensive environmental safeguards. Or a whole new technology needs to be developed for hybrid vehicles that doesn't use nickel-based batteries [lithium ion?]. Oh, wait. There is only one nickel mine in the U.S. Most of the stuff is imported from Canada, so I guess we'll make it their problem. That makes it okay.Screwing up the marketplace may be a "solution," but the solution may be a greater problem than the problem.
We all know how ethanol is screwing up the corn/food markets with no real benefit in energy savings... just good for political PR.