Gonna Kick Tomorrow

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The EPA has released its annual report on vehicle fuel efficiency.

The Environmental Protection Agency said in its annual findings that the estimated average fuel economy for 2005 model year vehicles was 21 miles per gallon, a fleet-wide average that increased 0.2 mpg from the previous year.

It was 5 percent below the peak of 22.1 mpg in 1987, the EPA said. Since 1997, the fleet-wide average for U.S. automakers’ light-duty vehicles has remained fairly consistent, ranging between 20.6 mpg and 21 mpg.

Honda led the automakers with a fleet average of 25.1 mpg, followed by Toyota Motor Corp. with 23.5 mpg. Ford Motor Co. posted the lowest average at 19.5 mpg, but that represented an increase of 0.4 mpg over the previous model year.

Questions have been raised about the timing of the reports release.

Environmentalists pointed out that the report’s delay coincided with Congress’ final work on an energy bill that does little to boost fuel economy. Becker said it “would be hard to imagine” that the bill did not play a role in the delay.

EPA spokeswoman Eryn Witcher said the report was held “so that we could ensure that the public received the most comprehensive and understandable summary of information possible on fuel economy.”

Associated Press: Agency: Honda Posts Highest Fuel Economy

We are addicted to oil. We need to kick the habit. Most everyone agrees that ‘we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.’ Wouldn’t it make sense to actually do something about it? Why would the energy bill not require better automobile fuel efficiency? It just doesn’t make any sense, (does it?)

Meanwhile, in other news: Back-to-back refinery fires in the United States send crude prices above $60
and: Exxon Mobil 2Q Profit Up on Oil Prices
or: Oil giants show hefty earnings

  • Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord

    The energy bill doesn’t need to require better efficiency… the people of this country need to demand alternatives from the market. Capitalism requires, not only a free market for the seller, but also the balance and feedback of the buyer. We seem to have forgotten this and instead of a capitalistic society, we appear to quickly be degenerating into a consumerist society (we don’t make demands of the market, the market makes demands of us).

  • J. Thomas Duffy


    Just old enough to have sat in the Odd/Even gas lines of the mid 70’s, it makes me wonder where we would be if the various Presidents and Congresses absolutely prioritized the development of alternate energies, to get us away from our dependences on oil (and corrupt foreign regimes) … And I mean a real WPA/Space Program committment, reigning in all the best minds in the country, getting the committment from industries … A National Mandate …

    Maybe, our grandchildren or great grandchildren will see that effort


  • goy

    I couldn’t agree more, Rat’. I think we’re seeing similar problems in health care – the normal economic forces have been confounded by the manner in which legislation has removed consumer pressure for lower prices from the equation.

    The oil issue is a bit different. People will pay the price as long as they can afford to do so. Innovation, not legislation, I think.

    For instance:

    Anyone know if this is bogus? If not, it looks awfully interesting.

  • Engineer-Poet

    Interestingly enough, this is the subject which occupies much of my blog…

    The energy bill got some sanity at the last minute:  some minor preferences for plug-in hybrids, or GO-HEV’s (gas-optional hybrids).  Those are going to be worth more than all the money spent on ethanol, hydrogen or oil drilling because they create real alternatives; it’s one thing to be able to put ethanol or biodiesel in your tank, but a very different thing to be able to make your own “motor fuel” with a solar panel or cogenerating furnace.

    The GO-HEV should have been jump-started by the CARB ZEV program in 1990, but it’s better late than never.  Once it starts taking hold we will see petroleum independence realized.

  • Engineer-Poet

    goy:  No details at all on the “science” page.  Stay far, far away.