Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fuel Economy Follow-Up: Ah, Journamalism! (Never Trust Gregg Easterbrook Edition)

by Tom Bozzo

Kevin Drum reads Gregg Easterbrook ("Give Bush credit for his energy proposal") so that I almost don't have to:
Does 4 percent improvement per year sound too modest? According to the EPA, average actual fuel consumption of new vehicles sold in the United States is 21 miles per gallon. (The figure on the sticker in the showroom is often higher, but it is calculated under unrealistic conditions—no passengers or cargo in the car, air conditioner off, gentle acceleration, and no exceeding the speed limit.) Improve on 21 mpg by 4 percent annually for 10 years, and the number rises to 31 mpg. If the actual fuel economy of new vehicles were 31 mpg, oil-consumption trends would reverse—from more oil use to less. (Link omitted.)
Were Easterbrook a journalist, he would have reported:
(For regulation junkies, the 371-page discussion of the final truck fuel economy rule is here.)

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