The Feds are in Town Today, for the Big 54.5 MPG Fuel Standard Meeting Up in Fishermans Wharf – Plus, Point Counterpoint

Get all the deets about the Feds’ big meeting after the jump.

Now, here it is, “Support 54.5 mpg auto fuel standard”

Fresh from the latest Washington debate on giving middle-class families a much-needed tax cut, here’s one burden off your future paychecks that you can count on – a $4,400 savings on gasoline.

Uh no, Gentle Reader. Don’t “count on” that.

Just weeks ago, President Obama proposed strengthening fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for passenger cars and light trucks to require that they get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. That means the average California family buying a car in 2025 will save up to $4,400 on gas over the car’s lifetime, even after paying for fuel-saving technology.

Well, gee, won’t “the average California family buying a car in 2025″ be able to get a car that gets 54.5 mpg anyway? I think so. Actually, I know so. And gee, isn’t the average California family buying a car in 2012 able to get a ride that gets 54.5 mpg right now? I think so. Actually, I know so.

Additionally, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. These standards will reduce our oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day, the same amount we imported from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined last year. That’s a big deal.

Uh let’s see here, the lion’s share of oil that America uses comes from just three countries – can we list them now? I’ll give a hint, they’re all in North America. They are America, Canada, and Mexico. How much do we import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq? Not a whole bunch. It’s not a big deal.

Instead of draining our economy by sending nearly $1 billion a day overseas for oil, we can use the savings from new clean car rules to invest in businesses in California that will drive American innovation and industry. Indeed, California is a recognized leader in the United States in innovation and investment in energy-efficient cars.

People can buy more fuel-efficient cars right now, can’t they?

These standards enjoy the support of three-quarters of all Americans and 13 major auto manufacturers, including Detroit’s “Big Three,” which have signed letters of commitment supporting strong standards. It’s not hard to see why fuel-efficient cars are so popular. These proposed policies will drive demand for fuel-saving technology and put money back in Americans’ pockets, which will create 484,000 jobs economy-wide by 2030, including 43,000 in the auto industry.

Three-quarters of all Americans don’t support this standard. Not really. Detroit’s “Big Three” doesn’t support this standard. Not really. Fuel-efficient cars aren’t “so popular in America.” Not really. This standard won’t create half a million jobs. Not really.

We need to recognize that these standards are not partisan or controversial. Saving the average American family thousands of dollars on gas, cutting pollution, decreasing the costly negative health impacts from this pollution, combatting climate disruption, creating jobs and revitalizing the American auto industry as an engine of economic growth are benefits we can all get behind. Equally important, we would be cutting carbon pollution in 2030 by an amount equal to shutting down 72 coal-fired power plants for a year.

This standard is partisan and controversial. Oh, hey, why don’t we just tax the hell out of gasoline? I’d support that. And it would accomplish all your goals, right?

This is the biggest single step that a U.S. president has taken to break America’s addiction to oil. President Obama should keep doing the right thing and finalize these strong standards this summer so that American families get a “tax cut” on gas for decades at the same time we decrease our reliance on foreign oil. It’s critical to stand up to the current efforts trying to oppose or weaken these standards.

Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.” Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.” Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.”

Join the Sierra Club and hundreds of other at a public hearing Jan. 24 in San Francisco, one of the three cities in the United States where hearings are being held, and the only one on the West Coast. Urge Obama administration officials to keep these proposed standards strong so that we don’t need to fight future wars to secure oil supplies. Help American move beyond oil.

Of course, “Help American move beyond oil.”

Linda Weiner is a member of the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Group. For hearing details, go to http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/

Thanks, Linda. You know, you’re not supposed to just make up stuff when you argue.

Even when you know you’re correct.

You understand that, right, Linda?

I mean, are there any consequences to your proposed course?

Yes there are.

But you don’t want to talk about that, do you?

OK fine.


Labor, Environmental, and Business Leaders: Cleaner Cars Create Good Jobs and Reduce Pollution - Local and National Labor, Environmental and Business Leaders to Hold Media Availability During Hearing on Proposed 54.5-MPG Fuel Economy Standards

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Labor, environmental and business leaders will hold a media availability on Tuesday, January 24 at noon during the joint Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) public hearing on proposed new standards on fuel economy and emissions. The availability will be held at the parking lot of the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union, Local 10, 400 North Point, San Francisco, one block east of the hearing site.

The San Francisco hearing is the last of three public hearings — the previous two held in Detroit and Philadelphia — on the proposed 54.5 miles-per-gallon (mpg) fuel economy standard. The joint hearing will take place on January 24 at the Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

WHAT: National and local labor, environmental and business leaders to hold press availability at U.S. EPA/NHTSA public hearing.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 24 at 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Parking lot of the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union Local 10, 400 North Point St., San Francisco (one block East from the hearing venue at the Hyatt Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf) See map.

WHO:

Michael Brune, National Executive Director, Sierra Club

Melanie Nutter, Director of the Department of the Environment, City of San Francisco

Melina Hrisgova, Boardwalk Auto Center (a clean car auto dealership)

Bonnie Holmes-Gen, CA Lung Association

Tim Pauslon, San Francisco Labor Council

Lisa Hoyos, BlueGreen Alliance

VISUALS: Electric vehicles from Boardwalk Auto Center; San Francisco clean car cabs

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.

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