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Gas Mileage and Future New Car Prices

My best friend, Richard Anderson, is a heating and air-conditioning contractor. As happens with many as they get older, he's got a touch of cynicism. I can clearly remember conversations with him that centered around Freon.

You see, newer government regulations passed around 2003 called for phasing out Freon-22. This was all part of the Montreal Protocol. Richard contends that this was a money grab.

Why? Because every HVAC contractor had to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on new equipment, gauges, etc. to deal with the replacement Freon. Richard felt that the politicians set themselves up long in advance to be in position to pull some of the billions of dollars off this conveyor belt.

Is the same thing happening with global warming, oops, I mean climate change? I'd say yes, as we just have to peel back all the layers of who's really selling the carbon credits.

What about the new aggressive mileage requirements for new cars? Read this story in USA Today about new car gas mileage requirements and it should make you quiver.

Maybe it's time to get into the used auto parts business. As we get closer to these new requirements, many will buy cars that don't meet the newer mileage requirements and keep them for a very long time. Those cars will need parts.

While on the subject of conspiracies, what about JFK? Don't you think there was a second gunman?


Our government, and all the greedy companies involved in the "rip-off" of the American public concerning the ability to "drive" really pisses me off. If our government really wanted to make anything easier, They would have a gas that would not emit bad exhaust in the first place. Our government needs to get on the gas companies backs about giving us a cleaner burning fuel. So far, Hydrogen appears to be the better answer.

David Burbank on December 7, 2010 8:56 PM

Hmm. Yep, upgrading anything costs money, I suppose it makes a difference whether you are ordered to do it (by someone else's ulterior motives) or you decide to do it yourself because you see a clear benefit to your life or business.

Far as cars go, the auto companies run a predatory racket if you ask me. They think guaranteeing a car for 100,000 miles is something to be proud of! Boy have we been "marketed." The average semi going down the road has a minimum 300,000 mile warranty, and 25 yrs ago some companies offerred 1 million mile warranties. Over Labor Day this year I met a trucker marooned in a motel because a cam had broken in his truck's engine --- after 1.4 million miles! What do the truck makers know that the auto dudes refuse to apply or sell us? Automatic transmissions have been manufactured for 60 years, and still the automakers can't seem to build one that will reliably run a few hundred thousand miles without trouble. Are they stupid, or just venal? Now the auto companies (& badgering greenies) want us to buy all this newfangled "technology" while they rip off our wallets on more poorly designed crap that has ridiculously little longevity. The public set themselves up for this thinking they "have" to have a "new" car to impress themselves or their neighbors or "help the planet." It's cheaper to take your friends to a good dinner.

The hydrogen fad for fueling cars is a joke. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. Generating hydrogen from water by dissociation consumes huge amounts of electricity. What generates that? If it is done by combusting something (coal, oil, trash) you spill carbon dioxide into the air, even if your "electric" car has no emissions. (I don't know as I trust "carbon sequestration" technologies -- reminds me of sweeping dirt under a rug!) To avoid any form of combustion drives you to either wind/solar sources for energy(at mercy of weather)or nuclear non-greenhouse-gas electrical generation.

Richard on December 8, 2010 12:42 AM

Dear Richard,

I agree with you 100%! Liked your last paragraph, especially. I have been telling folks for a long time it takes more energy to use hydrogen fuel than we can imagine! That's why it hasn't come to fruition. People should be better informed and educated on energy consumption. Unfortunately what most folks know has been spun by the media, and certain celebreties, and there's not much truth in that.

Connie M. on December 8, 2010 11:19 AM

To Richard, (anc Connie), you are correct about hydrogen. It is impractical at the moment and probably a long way off from becoming practical.

But we still have the problem of shrinking oil supplies. It's becoming very expensive to reach and extract new oil reserves. The current batch of large reserves have been in production for a long time and they won't last forever. Most of the known large reserves are located in unfriendly territory. And, as the rest of the world becomes more developed, the demand for oil will continue to rise substantially.

Energy sources will be one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest issue, as we move forward. So, we have to figure out something. Do you agree with that premise?

I think it's fairly obvious that it's going to take a combination of things to deal with this issue. As the price of oil increases, alternative energy sources become become more viable.

But if we don't plan this out, and instead leave it totaly to market forces, what will likely happen is, the price of oil will skyrocket and we will be left unprepared. So that's why we need a concerted effort that will include government sponsorship; a combination of private and public initiatives. Neither on their own will be as effective.

For example, nuclear energy has to be part of the mix. I don't see how it's possible to build nuclear power without government partnership.

In terms of government mandated mileage requirements, well, I have mixed feelings about that; but my question to you is, if there is no requirement, then do you think car companies will do? They will meet customer demand, which means building cars at lower prices that won't have get higher mileage. Sounds good, right? It is good to some degree, but the problem is, it will keep us vulnerable to skyrocketing oil prices and oil shortages - which are bound to come, let alone the polution issues.

So, do we prepare now and plan ahead - which to me includes building cars that are more fuel efficient? Or face the possibility of getting clobbered over the head with a major energy problem?

Lou on December 9, 2010 2:40 PM

At the end of your column Tim you asked about a 2nd gunman. Welllll... not long ago I was doing a search on netflix for a show I'd noticed prior to then titled "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and one of the options netflix gave (before i had the full title typed in) was "The Men Who Killed Kennedy". The Kennedy film is a 6 part series altho netflix only offers the first 4 parts. Can find the missing parts.. actually all of the series.. on youtube. The description on youtube & netflix I'll let speak for itself other than a quick short summary. The series offers up 4 diff conspiracy options.. none of which has Oswald being the sole shooter. The claim is made of Oswald being a setup Patsy. I'd be interested in hearing anyone else's thoughts on the film... or any other info on this subject. I noticed no one has touched that ? so far in response here. Took me a few days of pondering before posting this myself.

My interest is as a American citizen wondering about this and other possible? conspiracy's that have been mentioned elsewhere going back a century or more. "To know history is to not repeat it..."

Be well everyone!

Kim on December 10, 2010 1:50 PM
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