High Standards

What to say, beyond the obvious, about the administration's decision to raise fuel economy standards?

  • It will raise the prices of cars, and make them less safe
  • It will reduce our carbon emissions, but not by as much as advertised, because more fuel efficient cars make driving cheaper, so people will do more of it.  This "rebound" effect robs about 25% of gains, and also means more congestion, and more wear-and-tear on roads
  • This will either help the Big Three compete, or seal their doom as the Japanese manufacturers continue to eat into their market share.  If I had to bet, I'd wager this means big ongoing subsidies for our favorite three public charities.
  • If you want to cut down on the pollution from driving, this is about the worst possible way to do it.  On the other hand, it may be the only politically feasible way to do it.  If you take global warming seriously, as I do, it may be the best of a bad set of policy choices.
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Business

Just In