Green Group Confuses Government Fiat with Consumer Demand

by William Yeatman on August 2, 2011

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Last week, President Barack Obama announced that his administration would again increase fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks. According to one knowledgeable source, these auto regulations are pie-in-the-sky. Nonetheless, environmentalists are dissatisfied.

Usually, when environmentalists oppose environmental policy, it’s because the measure in question isn’t green enough. In California, for example, environmentalists oppose to solar power in the Mojave Desert, based on the fact that the installation of solar panels might hurt a tortoise. However, in the case of the President’s new fuel efficiency standards, environmentalists oppose the policy because it isn’t free-market enough. Seriously. Consider this amazing excerpt, from the Associated Press’s weekend write up of the new fuel efficiency regulations,

Some environmentalists lauded the agreement Friday but said that manufacturers owed taxpayers a bigger deal after bailing them out.

“An auto industry that owes its survival to taxpayer bailouts ungratefully flouted the public’s demand for fuel efficiency and less pollution, fighting for loopholes until the bitter end,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign.

Why would any business “flout” consumer demand? That’s a money losing strategy, right? What sort of company willfully loses money? Mr. Becker is saying that auto manufacturers are so opposed to fuel efficiency that they would rather lose money than manufacture fuel efficient cars. This is absurd.

The Random House Dictionary defines “to flout” to mean “to treat with disdain.” What is more disdainful of the “public’s demand” than a regulation that forces people to buy smaller, more dangerous cars?

Mafalda Hooten September 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

Not just the internet…I heard he also invented the abacus, the wheel, and chewing gum. Is this true?. . I think he’s too busy making money off this thing to want to fix it.

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