Obama fuel standards so bad even Axios thinks they should be dumped

President Obama was always big on forcing bad things down the throat of the American voter and consumer.

"Time to eat your peas!" he told Congress in 2011, foisting a massive hike in government spending on a Republican Congress in 2011.  Obama was "the good parent" (to all us unruly, uppity young 'uns in the lowly electorate), and President Trump is all about eating candy, as Michelle Obama put it this year, in another example.  And of course, there was Obamacare.

One of the worst things Obama tried to foist on us was in his executive orders to raise fuel standards on automakers in the name of going green, as if such technology could be commanded into existence, and more importantly, as if consumers would be happy buying ugly, European-style blatt-blatt cars they didn't like.  Even Axios, a left-leaning news site, finds that one a no-go, arguing that such standards should be at least reformed, even as the rest of us think they should be scrapped.

An Axios columnist, Any Harder, writes:

Of all the environmental regulations President Trump is rolling back, the one that makes the most sense to rewrite – but not repeal – are the fuel-efficiency standards former President Obama issued in 2012.

The bottom line: That's the conclusion of independent experts, and it's driven by two significant changes we've seen since 2012: lower gasoline prices and the politics of a rushed Obama administration regulatory review.

Gasoline prices have dropped and revived Americans' longstanding preference for pickup trucks and SUVs over smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.  The Obama administration also cut short a technical review of the standard in November 2016 after Trump's surprise election victory.

"If we force manufacturers to develop vehicles that consumers don't want to buy, they may end up keeping their existing cars longer and delay the greening of the fleet."

 –  Rebecca Lindland, analyst with Kelley Blue Book, an automotive research company

OK, she makes excuses for Obama, as if he were the kind of guy who actually wanted to do good, and hastens to say vaguely that the Environmental Protection Agency should only "rewrite" rather than dump the whole setup, but still.

It goes to show that the problem with central planning is that consumers change their behavior in response to fiats from above.  Obama always believed that economies as well as technologies could be commanded, and consumers would just take it, particularly if government could take away all their other choices.  It's a typical Democrat attitude – remember how Bernie Sanders, during his days of praising Chavista Venezuela, objected to Americans having too many choices of deodorant on store shelves?  Obama is not at all different, and in his rulemaking, he never understood that command decisions from central planners would always lead to changes in...consumer behavior, unintended consequences.  In this case, if Obama commanded that only repellent cars be allowed on the market in the name of going green, consumers didn't just take it – they responded by delaying their purchases of new cars so they could keep the cars they liked longer.  Nobody could make them buy a car they didn't like.

Markets run on willing buyers and willing sellers, not just sellers following the Obama green fantasy.  Obamatons never calculated that one happening.  So Obama never got the brave new world of green he had always dreamed of by taking away consumer choices.

The only thing that can be added about this is that if Axios thinks it's bad, it must be really bad.  One more reason to scrap the thing entirely and let the markets decide just how green America wants to be.

Graphic by James AdcockWikimedia.

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