What policy would you like to see happen?
A. No standards. My truck is good enough right now. New emissions equipment and regulations has ruined my once perfectly fine truck. I don't think air pollution is a problem. We have more than enough fossil fuel energy.
B. Some standards. The Obama Administration's plan is perfect.
C. Harder standards. The technology is ready are we?
Here is Michael Ballard's policy that he wrote while serving the U.S. military in Afghanistan:
Buji Bast Pass (Gund), Afghanistan
Twentynine Palms MCAGCC, CA, USA
Outline of Proposal for cessation of production of new automobiles in the United States
Several things are known:
1) That the United States mobilized its industrial sector entirely during WWII, especially the automobile industry, to produce machines necessitated by the War effort and
2) That the United States currently lags behind other countries in terms of automotive efficiency, and if we are to slow Global Warming and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, alternative means of propulsion and/or more efficient versions of current propulsion (internal engine) must be developed and
3) That in 1961 President John F. Kennedy declared a goal that by the end of the 1960's a man would walk on the moon and return safely to Earth, and a national effort made this seemingly impossible task successful.
Many private enterprises aim to accomplish more efficient internal and external combustion engines, and industries are rising for new technologies for automotive power as well (fuel cells, for instance). The American public is vitally aware of the need to create cleaner engines that are as inexpensive as engines made in the past. The aim for cleaner engines has been off due to poor understanding on the part of the policymakers (reference “Emissions vs. Economy” article]. To effectively move automobile manufacturers to produce cleaner burning engines requires one simple policy, with an outcome that is much more visible today than a man walking on the moon was in the 1960's.
New passenger cars will achieve 80 miles per gallon average city/highway with petroleum-based fuels (conventional gasoline, Diesel fuel, etc.). New passenger trucks rated at 1 ton payload and below will achieve 30. New freight trucks will achieve an average of 10. All without significantly decreasing power currently enjoyed by drivers and/or
All vehicles will run entirely off renewable fuels or produce zero harmful emissions.
No new vehicles are to be produced in this country until the above can be met.
With the higher mileage, emissions will take care of themselves.
There will be differing categories, of course. Sports cars, for those who desire them, will be allowed to achieve less mileage than 80, but will be much more heavily taxed upon purchase. The same principle will apply in all categories; for any kind of higher performance which negates mileage, a federal tax of $100 per mile per gallon below requirement will be imposed.
This tax, even little as it may be, will be set aside to further research into totally clean (zero harmful emissions emitted) means of propulsion and possibly to grant scholarships to promising students in the various automotive engineering fields.
The above method of stopping the manufacture of new automobiles worked for WWII mobilization, and allowed America to quickly give her enemies a force to fear. It can work again to put us back on top as far as automobiles go.
With higher-mileage vehicles, fuel tax may become inadequate to cover road maintenance costs. This is a current issue in its infancy, and some suggestions have been put forth in how to deal with it. Such is not the scope of this document, but will be examined at a later date.
During the time when no cars are to be built, the automotive manufacturing industry will be without profits, so it is in their best interest to meet the requirements quickly; also it is in the federal government's best interest to not subsidize them while they conduct their R&D during such period, as then they would have lesser motivation to succeed where it is necessary. Economic forces will mandate that the vehicles will remain price competitive with the rest of the market, as well as reliable.
It is the author's own experience and observation that many beneficial and feasible technologies come about but are not known about or are known but ignored by those in control and so do not become mainstream. Various technologies and start up companies exist that desire to produce vehicles, many of which have prototypes of cars that very much exceed the above stated 80mpg. Some are examined briefly below to give an idea as to the feasibility of the entire proposal.
[Lightning Hybrids, 100mpg with a Diesel/hydraulic hybrid]
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Diesel, and making it an electric hybrid, it gets 48 now, hybridized it would be amazing]
[That 67% thermal efficient engine Jason Thompson pointed me to]
[Fuel cells, zero emissions]
[Water/methanol injection in Diesel engines]
[Progressive challenge (challenging builders to create 100mpg car and establish business plan to produce 10,000 units per year. $5million prize]
[Can I effectively validate my own hydrogen booster, where I achieved 50mpg with my buddy's Kia Sentra (up from 26mpg with $80)?]
This act would put America at a loss for several years, as the only new cars would be foreign (which could be heavily regulated by imposing stiff import taxes during the transition period, or just let it be and allow the public to buy foreign, which would further push domestic manufacturers), and our entire automotive industry would not generate a profit from home (all of the Big Three own companies abroad, so they wouldn't be at a total loss, besides, old stock from previous years can still be sold of, just not built).
Afterwards, however, as stated above, we would be at a significant advantage when it came down to fuel efficiency (and emissions) worldwide. This would likely boost our automotive economy to new heights, while pushing foreign manufacturers to catch up and meet or beat America's new vehicles. Due simply to economics, America's lead in higher-efficiency vehicles will inherently propagate the need for the rest of the automotive manufacturers to catch up. As our own Big Three own not insignificant foreign manufacturers, they could trade the new developments to themselves, furthering their own interests while again forcing the other manufacturers to compete.
The duration of such an act should not take any more than 3 to 7 years, but a time limit must not be stated, implied, or secretly established; it will be strongly encouraged and somewhat forced by the market for this transition to be as short as possible. If there is a time limit, manufacturers will be less inclined to meet the requirements; and even if it is kept secret, it is still likely to leak out. It would be desirable to give the auto manufacturers a warning of 1 to 1.5 years before such a restriction takes place so they have time to work out the financial burdens (limit or cease advertising, lay off production workers (an unfortunate side effect), etc.) fairly.
The laying off of thousands of production workers can be mitigated by allowing them to build basic chassis, body panels, interior accessories, etc. in advance or assisting to retrofit factories with newer equipment. Unfortunately, this cannot be mitigated entirely, and some will necessarily be laid off, ideally with a promise to get their job back when the new requirements are met if the individual so desires. The federal government can grant income to those unlucky who are laid off so that they may get by during the transition (this is not welfare; the money will stop as soon as manufacturing picks back up, and to be eligible to receive this stipend the individual must have an agreement to return to work with the manufacturer as soon as is requested).
The new refinements in propulsion will be required by the market to utilize existing fueling infrastructure, so no major changes will have to come about. Gradual region-by-region adaption to new fuel infrastructures could continue as it does currently, but at perhaps a higher rate due to increased supply of associated vehicles. Gasoline would ideally be replaced totally with the more efficient Diesel fuel, while high mileage and proper emissions equipment will minimize particulate matter in the exhaust (soot that lends the “dirty fuel” image to Diesels today).
A plan such as is outlined here may be seen as having a touch of socialism in it, and it comes very close. So a distinction must be made clear. In a socialist system, the government would be controlling the manufacturers directly; in this proposal, assistance is being asked of the government to convince the auto manufacturers that they need to change their practices. This is simply an extension of capitalism. Since it is the government's job to serve the people, and the government is the largest purchaser of new vehicles, it is simply acting as an enforcing agent to the people's wills, and as a customer itself, and ensuring that what is desired by the people is being provided by the manufacturers.
This is essentially a nationwide boycott. An issue such as this should be voted on state by state to ensure maximum democracy and capitalism, while keeping away from as many aspects of socialism as possible and avoiding any suspicion of socialist agendas.