Topics on the Environment
The article “Debate Percolates over CAFÉ Standards” addresses the issues of fuel economy savings, consumers and government regulation. The main discussion is about the cars and light trucks that can meet the CAFÉ Standards and the economic benefit over the lifetime of the vehicle. Two different organizations with differing views are quoted in the article. One is called the Coalition for Vehicle Choice (CVC) which is backed by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The other is an environmental group in Washington, D.C. the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
The CAFÉ standards were established by Congress in 1975. CAFÉ stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy program. In 1943 there was an Arab fuel embargo so that is why the Congress agreed to set the standards. Gasoline prices were getting high.
The Department of Transportation oversees the CAFÉ Standards.
A report on the “effectiveness and impact of CAFÉ Standards” released in 2002 by the National Research Council (NRC) reported that after nine years fuel economy in the USA had increased by 62% “without any loss of performance.” They then predicted a net savings of about 2.8 million barrels a day by 2000. Another perk was the reduction in greenhouse gasses. So the fuel economy improved and the economic savings was good in terms of not having to purchase so much oil.
I’m not sure what the author, Charles W. Schultz, thinks about the situation. The article was in the Environmental Health Perspectives. He quotes people from a lot of different sources and they are people with different views. It’s a very balanced article.
I think that we need to have more busses and trains so that people who can’t drive or don’t have money for a car will still be able to travel. The goal of more fuel efficiency is very good because the amount of CO2 in the air will not rise so quickly. I don’t understand why everyone, including the car industry, doesn’t want to do what is best for us and for our planet.
Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., Brizze, & Keck, R. Reference List: Articles in Periodicals. Purdue Online Writing Lab.13 July 2011. Web. 28 Sept. 2011.
Holzman, C. (2005) .Driving Up the Cost of Clean Air. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113(4). 246-49.
Ludwiszewski, R.B. & Haake, C.H. (2008) Cars, Carbon and Climate Change. Northwestern University Law Review. 102(2). 665-77.
Schmidt, C.W. (2002). Debate Percolates over CAFÉ Standards. Environmental Health Perspectives. 110(8). 466-69.