Should Cars Be More Efficient

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Should Cars Be More Efficient

Should Cars Be More Efficient


Ever since the revolution of the industry, the people are moving ahead faster due to the due to the fossil fuel. Societies have upgraded themselves from using carriages and horses to automobiles. For a while, the benefits abounded and the downsides were nowhere to be found. This was not because the technology did not have any adverse affects, but because its affects were not noticeable within the scope of just a few years. It took a while, but eventually those “hidden” effects came and slapped us in the face.

There are two main problems in the United States today, resulting from our vast consumption of fossil fuels. One, United States is heavily dependent on foreign oil. This finally became understood as a legitimate problem in 1973 when the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to cut oil supplies and raise prices. Two, scientific research has convinced the vast majority of the U.S. that the burning of fossil fuels contributes heavily to global warming. A few solutions have been proposed and some attempted to help mitigate the effects of these problems. One particularly controversial solution is to raise the efficiency of the cars. This idea was first employed after the previously mentioned actions of OPEC, which has been dubbed the Oil Crisis of 1973. At this time, the more efficient foreign cars sold better than those that US own. The result of these happenings was the energy policy and conservation act of 1975.

A key component of this act was the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. The purpose of this was to increase our average fuel efficiency. (It was initially proposed to double it by 1985). Keep in mind that the key motivator here was the desire to be energy independent. The second motivator came later in the early 1990's, when the world made its first real acknowledgement of global warming. The desire to reduce Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions bolstered the argument of making our cars more efficient. Heavy debate has arisen over this topic. Although those against it do not support foreign oil dependence or damage to the environment, they claim that the CAFE standards do not help to solve these problems and, in fact, cause problems of their own. The major stakeholders in the ring are the auto industry, American oil consumers, environmentalists, and as always in America the U.S government. The auto industry is motivated by profit like any other business. Making cars more efficient means either making them smaller and lighter or spending money on new technology. The industry's initial reaction to the CAFE standards was making smaller, lighter cars, which opponents of car efficiency argue causes vehicles to be more dangerous. Smaller cars also could mean less variety for the consumers, which may hurt sales.


Current Issues

The new technology, automakers spending more money mean car dealers charging more money. This could cause fewer consumers to buy, especially if gas prices are lowered. This would cause the auto industry ...
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