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Fast Trains and Slow, Puny, Expensive Cars

1:31 PM, Nov 28, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes, “Here’s one good way to consider the vote in 2012: It’s about whether to re-elect President Lisa Jackson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which these days runs most the U.S. economy.”  The Journal observes that the Obama EPA has now decreed that “America’s fleet of passenger cars and light trucks will have to meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a doubling of today’s average of about 27 mpg.” 

Obama Volt

The Journal adds:

“The fuel-economy rule is classic Obama EPA. Until this Administration, fuel standards were the remit of Congress, via its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. In 2007, the legislative branch raised those standards with a bill requiring the U.S. fleet to hit 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40% increase. The industry is struggling to keep pace with those steep requirements….

“President Jackson is now casting aside 35 years of Congressional prerogative. Because the Obama EPA has declared carbon dioxide a ‘pollutant,’ and because cars emit CO2, Ms. Jackson is citing the Clean Air Act in her bid to commandeer Detroit.”

The Journal reports that even the EPA’s own (no doubt low-ball) estimates show that the rule will cost $157 billion and raise the price of cars by $3,100 per vehicle. 

This represents nearly everything that’s bad about the Obama administration:  a disdain for the normal legislative process and the rule of law; a disregard for consumer choice; a commitment to intrusive government regulations that sap Americans’ liberty and empty their wallets; and a general arrogance that this administration, not the American people, knows best. House Republicans would do well to respond to this with high-profile legislation to restore the rule of law and a sense of sanity.  

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