Friday, July 20, 2007

Baby you can Drive My Car...But not very far

When I was a kid (some say I still am) I always heard that good old American know how...Knew how. Or could figure it out, given the least little bit of time and resources. So why did I have to look at foreign made cars to find one with the combination of amenities that I deserve in my old age, and gas mileage that planet Earth deserves or actually "has to have" real soon in order to survive?

Well the reason is that the unholy alliance of Big Oil and The Big Three wants it that way.

I understand why Big Oil wants to fight anything that might conceivably lessen the obscene profits the oil giants are wallowing in today. Exxon Mobil is now the 500 pound gorilla loose on the streets of the world...Or rather it is the first 500 Billion Dollar corporation, now the largest on this planet. That is a Half a Trillion Bucks of capitalization, folks. In my book, that's real money. The oil companies are in our pockets and will do what they can to stay there...Until we run out of oil, anyway.

The Big Three is another question all together. Why do General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler want us to allow them to keep building gas guzzlers? I don't get it. Thirty years ago, they railed against raising the CAFE standards for mileage because they said it would be "unfair" and hurt workers because the foreign car manufacturers had an unfair advantage in mileage.

Glad to see General Motors looking out and caring so much for the workers, aren't you? (Pensions? What pensions?)

Anyway, a lot of folks in America have finally come around to doing something about CAFE mileage standards by raising them up little by little to 35 mpg by the year 2020. The model of car I drive will have to get one more mile per gallon to comply. So will the wife's new car, which is far more luxurious than mine, but that's one lousy MPG sometime in the next twelve years.

It ain't magic...It's engineering and America should have the best on the planet, but GM and Ford, and whoever owns Chrysler right now, are trying to tell us, "America can't get the job done."

I don't believe it.

Republicans and Democrats jointly passed a reasonable CAFE bill in the Senate and a bipartisan bill called Markey-Platts is in the House ready to go, but the forces of Moving America Backward have two other bills that mess all this up, with industry loopholes, attacks on states' rights to set pollution standards, and, most disgusting of all, making it against the law to set higher mileage standards.

Why should it be against the law to set high gas mileage standards, I ask you? it's time for us to get involved.

Urge your House member to support the Markey-Platts bill and to oppose any legislation, such as a current proposal by Representatives Baron Hill (D-IN) and Lee Terry (R-NE)
Maybe GM can't get the job done...But America can!
Peace,

Steve

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