by Steve Milloy, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow and Junkscience.com Founder
As appearing in the Washington Times
The original rationale for fuel efficiency standards, originally triggered by the 1970s energy crisis and fears of “peak oil,” was put to rest about 10 years ago by the advent of fracking. Neither shortages nor dependence on foreign oil is really a consideration any longer.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court intervened on this issue in 2007, before the reality of fracking could catch up with the standards and their supporting bureaucracies. Massachusetts v. EPApaved the way for blue states and their environmental activist allies to hijack the fuel economy standard-setting process based on carbon dioxide emissions instead.
Exploiting that ruling and the 2009 government bailout of the car industry, the Obama administration cowed automakers in 2012 into swallowing a fuel efficiency schedule that would roughly double fuel economy by 2025.
This ambitious goal was a fantasy. Technology is not dinner — it can’t just be ordered. Fuel efficiency has improved by almost one-third since 2012, but it is nowhere near the Obama administration’s edict and has no chance of getting there.