I am not entirely on board with this idea, even after reading this paragraph. The author discusses many of the same concerns I have.
“What the administration’s spin-doctors did not mention, needless to say, is the cost in terms of our ancient liberties. Mandatory energy-efficiency standards are a bit of a conundrum for a liberal outfit like The Economist. On the one hand, they clearly are an intrusion into the workings of the free market. On the other, they work. No one beyond the libertarian fringe seems to mind very much, they save us money that we would otherwise be too lazy or short-sighted to save for ourselves, and they’re normally designed in such a way that manufacturers manage to meet them without too much grief. Indeed, you can make the case that the failure to tighten fuel-economy standards during the 1990s and 2000s contributed to the collapse of the American car industry. A more visible hand was needed, it seems, and the European and Japanese carmakers labouring under one coped better than the likes of GM and Chrysler.”
Primarily though, I’m not interested in being forced to pay $XX,XXX for a car that meets the new MPG standards. This is not going to be cheap to manufacture or cheap to purchase. It may be cheap to own, but that’s assuming fuel-efficent parts are not more expensive to manufacture or install, which, judging from the precedents of hybrids, they won’t be. That’s not really a benefit you can sell upfront, or at all, to certain people.
This is still an infringement of our rights, regardless of how good it is for the ‘environment’. I’m not that excited.