# GM going green

1. Nov 29, 2006

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061129/UPDATE/611290443

2. Nov 29, 2006

### Skyhunter

You realize of course that this means when the Democrats pass higher CAFE standards that the auto industry will not object. Not going to look good for the Republicans.

To some extent this is GM finally interpreting the handwriting written on the wall. With Toyata kicking their butt they had to respond. The irony is that had they stood behind and marketed the EV1, instead of pushing the Hummer they would be pwning the industry right now. A good example of short sightedness leading to dead ends.

I wonder where GM plans to build these cars?

It would sure be nice to see GM employ more Americans.

3. Nov 30, 2006

### turbo

It might not matter if the government keeps letting the auto industry cheat. Look at the PT Cruiser. It's a little wagon built on a Neon chassis. Somehow, Dodge/Chrysler was allowed to call it a truck, and average its fuel economy in with the Ram truck series to avoid having to produce more fuel-efficient trucks. It's one thing to pass regulations, and another entirely to make them difficult to circumvent.

4. Nov 30, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Since GM's future economic viability is very much in doubt, "nice" cannot be a consideration.

5. Nov 30, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Heh, I didn't know that (though it doesn't surprise me). As with gun regulations (what is an "assault weapon"?), it is often easy to circumvent regulations. Keeping them in line requires vigilance, which requires a willingness to act, which is something beaurocratic governments do not posess.

Perhaps the answer would have to be some sort of inspector general in charge of making such determinations (similar to the way building permits are issued). Such a person is empowered to make judgement calls to make the reality of a design fit with the intent of a law. There are obvious downsides to that, though.

6. Nov 30, 2006

### edward

Somehow they convinced the government that the PT Cruiser was a crossover vehicle and for some mysterious reason that made it a truck.

Ford did the same thing with the Freestar.

7. Nov 30, 2006

### Futobingoro

How does that follow? If competition is already forcing GM into the production of fuel-efficient cars, why are higher CAFE standards even necessary?

Environmental and economic concerns can align. And when an industry shifts to a strategy more favorable to the environment, it is not necessarily a concession by capitalists and Republicans.

With the auto industry's hybrid/electric cars and Boeing's new 787, the top priority was the almighty dollar, make no mistake. But by improving fuel efficiency to produce the most marketable products, these corporations also decreased the impact on the environment. Yes, these corporations might not object to tougher fuel regulations, as the market is already regulating them, but this isn't a setback for Republicans.

For instance: most shipping companies have drastically cut paper consumption by switching to electronic tracking. So this somehow means that if there were a movement in Congress to pass stricter regulations governing the consumption of paper products, the shipping industry would not object; and it would not look good for Republicans?!

There have been extreme cases of nitpicking over current events of late. When there is even the slightest indicator of a failure of the Republican party, it is sure to show up here.

What's the scoop on the economic sanctions placed on North Korea? What does Trent Lott's ascendancy to minority whip mean? There are more, but I think you get the point.

It is interesting to note that there has been no mention of Murtha's flop in his run for House majority leader or Alcee Hasting's failed bid for chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The search terms for Murtha and Hastings are telling. The cynic in me wanted to start a thread speculating that these events showed a lethal divide in the Democratic majority, but I decided against it.

8. Nov 30, 2006

### Skyhunter

That is a good point.

With Barbara Boxer as Environmental & Public Works Committee Chair, I think that regulations will be somewhat more robust than in the past. She tried and failed to add a simple provision to exclude luxury SUV's from the small business tax credit. (Remember the $2000 hybrid tax incentive -vs- the$100,000 Hummer incentive.) Now with the Republicans in the minority, and the neo-nuts in the extreme minority, we just might be able to get good CAFE legislation passed.

The major source, over half, of the pollution in the Bay Area is caused by automobiles. One of the side benefits of fuel economy is that when a vehicle burns less fuel, it generates less pollution.