The New York Times Buys Into CAFE 54.5 Obfuscation
By Bob Gordon, Co-publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL
One of the cornerstone's of growing up in New York in the 1950's meant having an unbending belief in the truthfulness, honesty, invincibility and incontrovertible exactness of The New York Times and every article and news story printed within.
I, along with virtually every kid on the streets of Brooklyn and other boroughs (ok, except maybe not the Bronx), never argued about or questioned any of the news that the Times saw fit to print...in fact we read it in school class every day in order to know what was happening in our post WWII lives. Well baby that's now water under the bridge for lots of reasons, but the nail in my NYT coffin is a story in Friday's Business Section, authored by Neal E. Boudette...that we believe contains a gigantic WTF mistake.
The article in question is titled Innovations, But Not a Lot Of Progress On Fuel Goals. The story focuses on some of the efforts that auto manufacturers are taking to meet the EPA's gasoline favoring fleet-wide CAFE, an average of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
CAFE 54.5 was made law by Big Oil's bought and paid for politicians and well meaning bureaucrats in order to force a reduction of America's dependence on OPEC oil and improve our environment. However that's not what is really happening. CAFE can't work, but it has become one of our government's most important gifts to BIG OIL since prohibition killed alcohol as the fuel of choice, which helped establish the oil industry gasoline monopoly. And today all of the blah-blah about CAFE (including the NYT story) is keeping America's eye off of a real solution to our oil problem.
The gift of prohibition enabled GM, DuPont And Standard Oil (the owners of the leaded gas Ethyl patents) to patent, make, distribute and sell "gasoline" with a lead additive that could prevent engine knock on higher compression engines just as patent free ubiquitous ethanol based mobility fuel did, but with one disastrous difference, the lead in engine exhausts would go on to kill tens of thousands and dumb down American kids forever.
If CAFE 54.5 mandated that auto makers must meet 54.5 MPG of GASOLINE by 2015 we all wouldn't have a problem with it. For an example, if cars could run on urine who would really care about MPG, but the propagandizing assumption is that the EPA means MPG of gasoline, so it matters. We here at The Auto Channel have said that MPG should once again be just a driver's economic decision, not a life or death national policy.
The NYT article noted that in order to try to meet CAFE requirements car makers are planning on utilizing "New" technologies, like glue instead of rivets, which car makers told Neal would allow them to use lighter steel and save weight resulting in better MPG. The article also spotlights a move by some manufacturer's of gas-electric hybrids to use 48 volt batteries which they claim will result in a 15% improvement in MPG (and reduction in gasoline use) a big whoopee as we used to say.
The article went on to claim the "main" problem in reaching the EPA's CAFE goal is the “absence of HIGH FUEL TAXES, which are common in other countries” and are enticing American drivers away from buying small higher MPG (impractical and more dangerous cars) and buy big-ass low MPG vehicles like SUV's and Pickups, (which we opine are sized for many Americans needs and wants, a stellar example of the free market at work).
Mr. Boudette goes on to list “a new wave of innovation that the car companies are looking toward to help secure the CAFE 54.5 goal; these include higher efficiency Turbo-charged 4 cylinder engines that will use less gasoline yet deliver the performance of a V6; Stop/Start technology; Freewheeling (like your dad did with his old Pontiac, coasting when coming down from “the mountains”; New Materials to make the vehicle lighter; and Cylinder Deactivation...are you kidding me Neal, you bought the Big Oil consortium bull hook, line and sinker without nary a whimper or but...
Hey Neal, nowhere in your “in-depth up to NY Times standards” story did you even ask about why all of this investment and wringing of the hands to improve MPG without even a mention of the only timely, meaningful and realistic solution to replace gasoline with a renewable domestic liquid fuel that will work in virtual every one of the 300 million cars spewing poison into the air today; a simple solution to a problem that keeps inventing expensive and impossible solutions to avoid supporting the real solution...replacing E10 Regular with High Test E85 and it can be accomplished beginning tomorrow...
Hey Neal, here are some numbers crunched by a Brooklyn high school graduate...
24 MPG of the Gasoline Component
If an SUV that is rated for a combined 20 MPG that uses E10 Regular, is driven by its soccer mom owner 20,000 miles per year, it will consume 1000 gallons of E10 (90% petroleum based fuel) or 900 gallons of Big Oils finest, along with 100 gallons of US home brew, made from plant extract, which has been added by the gasoline maker instead of LEAD or other carcinogenic additive to reduce knock and allow for a higher compression engine, resulting in a 24 MPG of the gasoline component
133 MPG of the Gasoline Component If that same SUV with the same Mom and the same 20,000 miles used E85 High Test instead, she will have used 150 gallons of gasoline and 850 gallons of Renewable, Green, Cheap. Safe, American made plant juice fuel, resulting in a 133 MPG of the gasoline component, plus she will have gotten better performance because the octane that Flex-fuel provides is over 100 and emissions are safer for little Judy and Johnny. Oh, and Mom would save money on each gallon purchased.
So there you go Neal, 133 MPG Vs.24 MPG, as we here at The Auto Channel have said for over 15 years that MPG propaganda only benefits Big Oil, and as any street kid from New York City (including the Bronx) knows, Oil Guys and their Middle Eastern partners ain't such nice people.
So Neal next time you are asked to write an MPG story, for the sake of those who still believe in the NYT, dig deeper and ask intelligent questions so your article may be fit to print. In all fairness maybe you just didn't know the true facts and benefits of Ethanol so here is a list of articles that can educate you.
I can't wait for your next CAFE article, maybe then you will have the knowledge to cut through the Big Oil and Car Maker propaganda and find some real News That's Fit To Print.