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Subaru's Comments on NHTSA's proposed 2011-15 CAFE Rules

Jon in CT

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So because of my curiosity, how do you propose we move away from our finite gasoline dependence? I'll be the first to say that I know what to do with my money better then the government does, but how else do we move the general public away from our wasteful thinking?


People can develop alternatives. If it is technologically, scientifically, and economically sound, then those people will probably be very wealthy in very short order. But that doesn't require government.


The second part of your statement is a fallacy that is so common that it is almost universal. That thinking should be regulated, to the goal of perfecting it to someone else's thoughts.


You are good, you know what to do with your money, but the nebulous "they" are wasteful (most people also include 'stupid'). And then the follow-up is how does someone else save them from their stupidity/wastefulness.


How about this premise... You are not that much different than everyone else. You know what is best for you, other people know what is best for them. People make mistakes, people make less than fully-baked choices. They are free to do so.


Thought police about "wastefullness" is tyranny.


If you, or someone else want to "cure" that, then share your knowledge. Impart it to others. If you are in a position of wealth, sponsor education, or promotion, in the private market. AGAIN, that doesn't require government. IF there is a cause for *general public stupidity*, it is the failure of government socialized schooling not teaching people the economics that I am discussing here. This is Econ 101, or even more basic. These sort of things are what people should be learning in high school in business and consumer studies. There is more to running a household than shuffling credit cards and trying to balance a checkbook. It is a matter of personal responsibility, not a matter of government control.



And i don't mean just with energy, but with food prices, raw material prices, etc. The alternative is that sooner then we would like to think, these things will become more and more scarce - especially with other countries developing like China. As our dependence grows larger and as other countries dependence increases, the supply decreases, and eventually there will be a crisis to which no one is prepared. Not only are we addicted to non-clean energies like oil, but we're addicted to FOREIGN sources for these commodities.


We aren't "addicted" to anything. The market sets foreign commodities prices just as it sets ours. Labor costs and other things set prices.


Our government does far more to imbalance international trade than they do to balance it. High regulations mean high costs. High taxes mean high costs. High labor costs, or even higher union labor costs are all expensed. They all go into the price of everything from harvested/mined/drilled natural resources like oil, to raw materials like steel, to finished goods and services like groceries.


ALL of those costs are built in. If China can do it cheaper, while paying a pittance to wage-slave labor, ignoring the environment, and being under the watchful eye of the communist government, then their price is going to be lower. Competitive forces favor lower prices.


It is a matter of conscience whether to pay those prices, or higher, more honest prices, just as it is with not buying stolen black market goods.


International trade laws ARE a legitimate oversight of the government, but they do that wrong, too. There is no disincentive to patronizing foreign industries, and there is no incentive to counter the high costs and complexities of doing business in the US, other than the fact that the US market is the biggest market by FAR, in the world, and goods and services have to be sold to SOMEONE with at least a little cash.


You say that the force of law only takes choice away - I very much disagree; to an extent. Without the force of law, we experience what is called anarchy.


I did not call for lawlessness. Law enforcement is very valid when fighting crime. It is NOT valid to be enforcing social policies levied as taxes, and punishing those who don't/can't pay those high taxes.


I called for relief from regulatory and tax burdens. I did not call for the repeal of criminal laws. De-regulation and tax cuts DO NOT produce anarchy, they incentivize legitimate economic behavior, and dis-incentivize criminality, like black markets.


We would also experience brutal unregulated capitalism - you think the downfall of Enron, or the takeover of freddie and fannie are bad, what if there were no GAAP to which these industries have to be monitored? Regulation, like all things, is necessary IN MODERATION. The same is going to hold true when it comes down to SHARING the resources that we have on this earth.


That again, is not deregulation, or tax cuts. That is prosecution of FRAUD. The Department of Justice prosecutes that, not the Internal Revenue Service, or OSHA, EPA, NHTSA, or a hundred other regulatory agencies.


Enron was FRAUD. Fannie and Freddie have been mis-managed to almost the same extent, and now it is going to cost YOU AND ME to bail out all those bad loans (the good ones are getting sold off to reputable banks, only the BAD ones are going to the Government), instead of letting that economic punishment play itself out.


That isn't "brutal", that is honest, and real. If people lend to unreliable debtors, they stand to lose money. IF people borrow without the ability to repay, they can count on foreclosure. They FAIL, and they learn, and ideally, do better the next time. If you don't pay your TAXES, you go to JAIL, that is different than a bad credit rating.


If the government did nothing, and 50 years down the road there is so much demand for oil, but so little left, we're stuck in a world that is unprepared for such. A little preparation now, will go a long way to removing our foreign oil dependence, and whether we like it or not, the world's governments play a key role in making this change.


If people who know about oil, know it is going to expire, they know they are going to have to diversify their business, so that they can remain secure, and not just twiddle their own thumbs in bankruptcy. Energy dealers WANT energy to deal. Energy consumers NEED energy to heat, cool, cook, and drive. IF it can be forecast that the energy supply is in jeopardy (which is a debateable premise)


...then entrepreneurs, and capitalists will be the ones bringing alternatives to market, not the government. The government can't even get out of it's own way.


Personally, by listening to the news, there are new oil reserves, tar sands, coal-to-oil, and sub-arctic reserves, new reserves in the gulf of mexico, and all sorts of other sources, I doubt the supply is in that much jeopardy. But let the capitalists bring alternatives. NO ONE ELSE CAN!!

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Porsche may add four-cylinder engines to 911



For better or worse, the governmental and social concern with fuel efficiency is a real and serious consideration for the world’s major carmakers. Porsche being increasingly numbered among them with is full line of vehicles and strong sales, it is beginning to consider how it might make concessions to improve emissions without gutting the performance of its vehicles. One idea near the top of the list is the inclusion of four-cylinder engines in its lineup.


A Porsche engineer has stated at an Australian press conference that Porsche is not averse to using four-cylinder engines, should the need arise. Thomas Krickelberg, Porsche’s head of powertrain development, revealed that the six-cylinder engines found in the 911 had been designed so that they could have the number of their cylinders reduced if there was a “strong need to do it”.


Addressing motoring press attending an Australian launch of the Porsche 911, Krickelberg cited “global warming and the need to reduce fuel consumption” as being the most likely motivating factors in any decision to reduce the number of cylinders in the famous Porsche flat-six.


Krickelberg noted that reducing the number of cylinders would be relatively easy, as the engine was designed to be versatile. He also commented on the necessity to produce socially responsible cars, as well as impending CO2-limiting legislation that could force Porsche to drastically change their current approach to engine technology. Already the German manufacturer is developing a hybrid Porsche Cayenne to placate customers who want to be seen as more socially responsible.


Porsche’s legendary flat-six has provided the powerplant for several generations of the 911, but even Porsche may be forced to abandon its trademark engine in response to global events. A flat-four or four-cylinder boxer engine has been used successfully by Subaru in its Impreza and WRX among other vehicles. The WRX also uses a turbocharger to boost power. Presumably, Porsche could also follow this route, if the need arose, to reduce the number of cylinders in its cars but maintain similar power levels.

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Would that not make it a 912?


Somehow I doubt Porsches are ruining the planet. This egotistical self-aggrandizing insanity has long since run amok. Human activities associated with even a slight bit of wealth being guilt-tripped politically, by invoking un-provable, highly suspect theoretical environmental effects.


And when nothing happens, and the planet goes on as it has for EONS and EONS... the people who mucked around with things will just say... "oh, well." and be off onto the next political power-grab tactic.


If there were demand for a Porsche 911 with more fuel efficiency (and necessarily less performance), then Porsche would still be building the 912, and the Boxster/Cayman would have flat 4s as well.


Porsche sporting cars are performance vehicles, not economy cars. Buy a damn Prius if you want a prius, or insight, or Volt, or a 4-cylinder car otherwise.


Porsche does not need to be everything to everyone. Porsche needs to be Porsche, to a certain extent, like it or lump it.

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If there is demand, I have no problem with a 912. I don't know how they would pitch it as a performance car, or in the presence of the Boxster/Cayman, though.


I just think it is unfortunate for political correctness to be shaping products, rather than customer demand, and core competencies.

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