SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS
Our local Congressman, Gary Peters, used teleconferencing technology to hold a "Town Hall" meeting with his constituents. It was reasonably effective and informative including an opportunity to ask Rep. Peters questions. Unfortunately, the queue for asking questions was longer than time permitted, so I have sent him the question I would have asked:
I enjoyed your telephone town hall meeting last night, but was unable to ask a question that is relevant to the well-being of Michigan and the automotive industry.
I'm sure you are aware of the new truck CAFE standards for trucks for 2016. These standards were set using the regulatory authority of the EPA without Congressional debate or input from the automotive industry. The 30 mpg average fleet standard for light trucks poses an interesting dilemma for our manufacturers that sell preponderantly full-sized pickups and vans. While some smaller vehicles have been classified as light trucks, they do not have the utility and capability of the full-sized vehicles, especially for commercial customers.I have my own suspicions about what the nature of the reply will be, but it seems only fair for Rep. Peters to have the opportunity to address the question. I'm only hoping that it won't revolve around some pablum about CO2 and saving the planet.
The current standard for light truck mpg efficiency is the 2010 GMC Sierra hybrid that is rated at 21 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. Ford may soon have an "eco-boost" 6-cylinder version of the full-size pickup, but that will still not nearly average 30 mpg.
Customers would have to demand a significantly different mix of "light trucks" and most of those would have to be hybrids such as the Ford Escape [perhaps classified as a light truck, but certainly not in the minds of most buyers].
Given the arbitrary, regulatory approach for the mileage mandate with little regard for the available technology... the automotive manufacturers could never approach the 100% hybrid volume that must be the basis of the EPA's mandate assumption... and the fact that it will suppress profits from an already weakened industry that will, in turn, further weaken Michigan, what is Congress doing to provide regulatory relief for our manufacturers? More specifically, what are you, Sen. Levin and Sen. Stabenow doing to protect the future of our automotive industry and bring economic health and stability back to southeastern Michigan?