Even before Obama announced he was going to raise the fleet-wide average for passenger car mileage to a brutal 39 miles per gallon, in just seven years, The Sierra Club/Earth First Publication known as The New York Times thought it was a fabulous idea.
In an editorial in today’s paper, The Times was positively orgasmic over Obama’s latest adventure in statism, announced yesterday. It will be great for drivers, automakers and the environment, The Times trilled. And (drum roll) it will help to limit our dependence on foreign oil.
Just a few flaws in what passes for thinking at The New York Times:
1. We could limit our dependence on foreign oil by more domestic exploration and production, and building nuclear power plants again — all of which The Times opposes.
2. Achieving the new fuel standards will considerably add to the cost of production. Will consumers be willing to foot the bill, or will it send U.S. automakers (that Obama just bailed out) even deeper in the red?
3. Studies show that as long as the price of gas is below $2.50 a gallon, buyers prefer larger cars (including mini-vans) and trucks. What’s Detroit going to do with all of the cars Washington forces it to make that it can’t sell?
4. The statist solution here, as a commentary in today’s Wall Street Journal notes, is for Obama and the Democratic Congress to raise the gas tax as much as it has to, to keep prices at the pump above $2.50.
5. But the gas tax falls particularly hard on the middle class and working poor. In last year’s campaign, didn’t President Empathy promise he’d only raise taxes on the rich?
In the next to last paragraph of its editorial, The Times gives away the game. “But the biggest winner could be the atmosphere. Vehicles account for more than one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in this country.”
There it is. The New York Times wants to drive Detroit over a cliff (by forcing it to build cars Americans don’t want) and drive up the price of gas, for an increasingly discredited theory—man-made global warming. Al Gore on drugs couldn’t have come up with anything goofier.