Sunday, May 23, 2010

Truck Mileage Standards

The president issued a memo of instruction on Friday and called for doubling the mileage of trucks in ten years. First, I must comment on the misdirection in the press releases. The comment was directed at the fact that big rigs use 'much more' than their share of gasoline, compared to cars. While the figures are true, they are very misleading. The 15 minute hop to and from work is different than a trucker who is hauling produce from Florida to Ohio, and the trucker does it every day. Now onto the heart of the matter.

This seems to be a case of wishful thinking. The wish is, if I just order these manufacturers to be inventive, they can solve it. If any inventor now knew how to double gas mileage and keep current performance standards, the manufacturers would be lined up at his door. There is a way to do it, but it invokes the law of unintended consequences. The regulations won't include the part about current performance standards. so one way to meet the standards is with smaller and slower trucks. This can only work with more trucks and slower delivery. So the cost to society is raised for lots of items. Can't we ever get the politicians and regulators to think of the overall impact of their decisions?

No comments:

Post a Comment