Obama: Fuel-efficient cars an answer to gas prices - page 2

by Jolie 832 Views | 19 Comments

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says higher auto mileage standards set under his administration and better cars built by a resurgent U.S. auto industry will save money at the gas pump over the long term, a counterpoint to... Read More


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    President Obama didnít say fuel efficient cars are the only answer to high gas prices; he said that itís part of an all-of-the-above approach to addressing our nationís energy challenges. He discussed energy in his last two weekly addresses - videos below:


    March 03, 2012 (Transcript) - President Obama talks about how the American auto industry is back and creating cars that are better than ever -- and says we need to fight for a clean energy future that is within our reach.


    February 25, 2012 (Transcript) - President Obama talks about how important it is to embrace an all-of-the-above approach to addressing our nationís energy challenges.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    Quote from Jolie
    Tweety, it was my understanding that Pres. Obama suggested his old standby of properly inflating tires, tuning up one's car and looking to the future of high mileage vehicles as an answer to soaring gas prices that are hurting families' purchasing power.

    His suggestions smack of someone out of touch with reality. I don't know if you remember Bush 41's televised trip to a grocery store during a family vacation in Maine. He questioned the check-out clerk about the "new" technology of scanning items for price. It was hardly new at the time and the press jumped all over him as an elitist who knew nothing of the everyday life of the average American.

    This suggestion seems to fit that category. Obama says we can save $8K "over time." Based on my calculations of our fuel use, that "time" would be almost 5 years, and $8K won't go very far towards the purchase of one of those vehicles.

    These gas prices scare the heck out of me. When gas hit $3.50/gal here last spring, we saw a huge drop in our business. It took months for us to recover. Prices are now about $3.70/gal. We're going to take a big hit if things don't change soon, and I see no reason to think a change for the better is coming.

    Fair enough I suppose. Presidents and politicians do tend to be out of tough with mainstream society.

    I'm still not understanding that saving $8,000 over time isn't a good idea....especially if you don't buy a more expensive vehicle...when you need one.

    I do understand that cars not using gas right now are out of reach to the mainstream, myself included, but am hopeful that there's enough of a demand that eventually technology improves and prices come down like has happened with other technological advances. In the mean time getting gas efficient cars when possible is the way to go. But is only part of the equation of lessening our addiction to oil and high prices.

    I'm very concerned about gas prices as well. I have a picture of some friends in 2009 and in the background is a gas station with prices of $4.29 a gallon. The thought of gas getting that high and higher again isn't a pretty thought. The timing couldn't be worse, just when the economy is showing signs of improving. I understand that yours and many businesses will be affected. I've already had to adjust my discretionary spending due to high prices. My income hasn't risen in years and won't this year either.
    BCgradnurse and herring_RN like this.
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    Quote from tntrn
    I hope you can afford one when you need to buy one. The Volt is $41,000 and that is really more than most of us could afford to buy, especially new. We just bought our sixth Subaru at 27k or so. Really, we couldnt afford more than that. For our kind of driving and where we live the volt would be silly.Today we drove through some really beautiful and barely populated country...the Painted Desert of northern Arizona and into southern Utah. I will bet we didn't see 100 other vehicles in 300 miles. Electric cars with short ranges would be stupid, and makes me wonder if those who swear they are the next big thing have actually seen these parts of our wonderful country.
    Electric cars aren't currently practical for everyone, but that's not a good reason to abandon the technology.

    Touche though about the price. I can't afford an electric car. I can't afford solar panels. I can't afford organic food. I can't afford a green efficient air conditioner. Heck I can't even afford a rain water collection system and pump.

    I am the middle class.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 4, '12
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    Quote from Tweety
    Electric cars aren't currently practical for everyone, but that's not a good reason to abandon the technology.Touche though about the price. I can't afford an electric car. I can't afford solar panels. I can't afford organic food. I can't afford a green efficient air condition. Heck I can't even afford a rain water collection system and pump.I am the middle class.
    And you have lots of company. The prez is talking saving the average family this money or that money, but the truth is that none of us have the money to spend on the technology in the first place.
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    Quote from tntrn
    And you have lots of company. The prez is talking saving the average family this money or that money, but the truth is that none of us have the money to spend on the technology in the first place.
    True. Like was said above, he is out of touch....maybe by 2025? LOL
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    American car makers have been able to make cars that get 25-25 miles per gallon since the eighties ... remember the OPEC oil embargo?

    I won't burden you with my upside-down theology, but I did find this interesting little blurb from the Pew Foundation. It's a short bullet point history of the history of fuel economy standards since the seventies. There's a great graph that shows the flattening of fuel economy since the 80's.

    http://www.pewenvironment.org/uploadedFiles/PEG/Publications/Fact_Sheet/History of Fuel Economy.pdf

    And, as an editorial comment, I found this on a law firm site:http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/vehicle-gas-mileage-comparison-from-1982-to-2005.html

    Engine technology has improved dramatically, but it apparently had no effect on MPG. The reason? Some say it's the increased weight of motor vehicles. After all, when MPG was going up between 1975 and 1980, average vehicle weight was going down. Others say the engine advances were aimed at juicing up speed so that the "0 to 60" acceleration time would dramatically drop (which it has).

    Okay, so the thrill of that big engine roar is directly related to lousy gas mileage. Shock, shock. The simple fact is that if you want better gas mileage, the first step is don't buy a big vehicle with a huge engine. We buy cars that give poor mpg because that's what Detroit (and the imports) build and sell us. If they built a good looking car that got good looking mileage numbers, most people would probably buy it.

    Still you have to wonder if there isn't some correlation between the CAFE mileage standards mandated by Congress and the oil companies political donations (nearly half a billion dollars in 6 years, with 73% going to Republican coffers while nearly 900 US fuel subsidiaries are located in foreign-based tax havens with Congress' blessings).
    So ... fuel-efficient vehicles are too expensive. Alternative technology is too expensive and too young. A double bind, for sure and we certainly will disagree about how both of those circumstances came about. As I see it, there's a lotta chickens coming home to roost.

    Instead of complaining that Obama's out of touch for articulating one of two really bad choices, it might do us more good to try to figure out why we, as a society, ignored the problem for thirty years.

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    My brother bought a Chevy Luv pickup around 1975. It got better than 40mpg on the highway and was pretty fun to drive. The tradeoff has always been between acceleration and efficiency. There are cars on the road today that get a little bit of both. I get 27mpg in the city with my 2002 Accord. When my wife drives it she gets good acceleration but only 20mpg.

    Americans have voted with their right foot for decades on the type of vehicles they want. If we want fuel efficiency we'll have to lighten up with our right foots and use our pocketbooks to vote for efficient vehicles.
    BCgradnurse and herring_RN like this.
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    Quote from herring_RN
    "Assuming the average consumer drives 12,000 miles per year in a vehicle that gets 20 mpg, an increase of $1 per gallon, from $3.60 to $4.60 per gallon as an example, would only result in an approximate increase of $11.50 per week in fuel expenses," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book.

    That's a big assumption - we put approximately 40,000 per year on just my Kia.

    Quote from Jolie
    T
    These gas prices scare the heck out of me. When gas hit $3.50/gal here last spring, we saw a huge drop in our business. It took months for us to recover. Prices are now about $3.70/gal. We're going to take a big hit if things don't change soon, and I see no reason to think a change for the better is coming.

    I paid $4.30 a gallon yesterday and that wasn't up here in the mountains.

    I'm 54 years old . . . .I've heard the fuel efficiency mantra since, as azhiker mentioned, the 1970's.

    We need more than little box-like Volts - we need 4 wheel drives and we need a big pickup bed to haul firewood and garbage.

    Most little fuel efficient cars are unsafe in a crash.

    And yes, I heard on the news that production on the Volt is suspended for at least a month and workers are laid off in order to give car dealers time to sell the ones on the lot.

    They just aren't selling. This isn't the only answer and it isn't even the best answer.
    VivaLasViejas and tntrn like this.
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    Quote from Spidey's mom
    This isn't the only answer and it isn't even the best answer.
    Touche!

    The answer isn't just fuel efficient cars, or "drill baby drill", or solar panels, or electric cars. Each is a part of the answer and solution. Glad you agree with Mr. Obama on this one.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/sec...gy#energy-menu


    “Republicans are ready to continue moving forward with an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan,” said Hastings, stealing an Obama phrase, “and we hope the President will live up to his rhetoric.”
    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...#ixzz1oBZSjiHX
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 4, '12
    azhiker96 likes this.
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    With demand for fuel growing around the world, I don't see any significant reduction in the price of gasoline no matter what we do. As US demand for gasoline has dropped, refineries are selling their excess refined products to other countries rather than allow a glut of supply to reduce the prices in the US. Although we are a net importer of crude oil the US is a net exporter of fuel. US sees lower 2011 oil use, becomes net exporter | Hydrocarbon Processing | March 2012

    Granted, there is no technology ready for prime time to replace the gasoline internal combustion engine. However, at one time in our history the same could be said for the horse. We need to continue development of renewable sources of energy because eventually we will run out of crude oil. Plus, if we can make alternatives that are cheaper to run then we'll benefit.
    Tweety, BCgradnurse, and herring_RN like this.


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