Sunday, August 14, 2011

Obama Administration Introduces New Fuel Standards That Will Make Everything You Buy More Expensive

For the first time in history the Obama administration will be introducing CAFE standards for heavy trucks. Why will this make everything more expensive? Because just about everything you buy on a daily basis reached the point of sale on a truck.

These standards will raise the price of trucking and, in turn, raise the price of delivering your goods. A cost that will be reflected in rising prices.

The regulations call for reductions on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2018 of 9 to 23 percent, depending on the type of vehicle. Trucks and other heavy vehicles make up only 4 percent of the domestic vehicle fleet, but given the distance they travel, the time they spend idling and their low fuel efficiency, they end up consuming about 20% of all vehicle fuel, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Experts say that a 20 percent reduction in heavy vehicle emissions would boost fuel efficiency to an average of 8 miles per gallon from 6 miles now.

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider how many miles these trucks travel it adds up.

My question is, why does the federal government feel it needs to apply fuel efficiency standards to the trucking industry? Are they under the impression that professional truckers aren’t already being as efficient as is practical? Truckers don’t enjoy using extra fuel. Fuel costs are a big part of their overhead, and any way they can cut down that overhead means they make more money.

So what does the government think it will achieve through mandate that the truckers themselves, who stand to gain the most from greater efficiency, haven’t already done?