Why MPG Goals Are Flawed

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 200
The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2.1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)


Photo credit: Danny Clinch

With U.S. setting higher mileage goals for all cars over the coming years, we are attempting to lower our carbon output and enhance national security. The problem with this approach is that it does not address the main issue. For survival of the planet and our way of life as human beings, we need to drastically reduce our carbon output. The approach being taken does not do that.

A direct approach, which calls for lower carbon emissions over time, regardless of fuel, will have a better effect by encouraging the development of domestic bio fuels blended with or eliminating fossil fuels, as well as development of cleaner running engines to use those fuels.

The real goal is clean cars with energy independence. Electric cars with low carbon emitting generators and sufficient electric only ranges for commuting are an inevitable part of the future for the planet earth. The latest regulations and standards being floated will not attain the goal of slowing and stopping global warming. We must move away from high carbon fossil fuels now and we need laws that encourage and reward American ingenuity to do that.

The government must step away from the cozy relationships with oil producing companies and start to see the future of America is low carbon fuels and machines to use them. Our government is not addressing the needs of our planet by simply mandating that we use less gasoline.

It is clear that we are not going to be able to survive a constant barrage of "Sandy"-like global warming super storms. By the time we finish rebuilding from one there will be another and another. We need to address the cause with reasonable laws that encourage change and responsibility.

In the world at large, we must begin to trade down with high carbon producing countries like China and India and move manufacturing back to America. We need to tie trade to carbon. Now we are just supporting carbon growth elsewhere while we enact insufficient laws to stop it here in the U.S.

It's time to get real on carbon.