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Washington can't mandate cold fusion or a cure for the common cold, and it can't do it with 37 mpg either.

Washington can mandate high mileage, just like they mandate seat belts and catalytic converters.

Nobody knows how to mandate high fuel mileage and retain the current vehicle mix.

The current vehicle mix would change.

the electric car is a hopeless chimera until somebody invents a light, quickly rechargeable, non-toxic, super-power storage battery.
It's called the NiMH battery.

The isolation and distribution of hydrogen (Hindenburg redux), plus bulk and cost, are overwhelming problems for the fuel-cell that may take decades to solve, if ever.

Hindenburg? Puhleeaase! He is letting his ignorance show. Unlease we coat our cars in explosive aluminum dope we will not face 'Hindenburg redux'. Isolation is no problem: reformation from natural gas or electrolysis from water are easy. Cost, bulk, distribution are clearly problems, but he exaggerates.

And lest we forget, at the end of both the electric car and the fuel cell chain is a power plant pumping out humungous wads of volts and amperes.

Not necessarily. It is entirely feasible for homeowners to generate their own juice with renewables now to charge their electric. The most effective source of hydrogen now is reformation of natural gas, not electrolysis using grid energy.

A 50% boost, or thereabouts, in CAFE will validate the Law Of Unintended Consequences. The National Academy of Sciences estimates the lighter, flimsier vehicles required by current CAFE regulations kill between 1,300 and 2,600 motorists annually.

I think the board did an effective job of debunking this argument last time it came up. A well designed small car like the Honda Civic has a lower than average fatality rate. We also have to consider the Unintended Consequences of leaving the status quo. Deaths and sickness from air pollution. Reliance on hostile states for a critical commodity.

While no one can argue with utopian visions of clean air and energy independence, government mandated car mileage borders on the idiotic.
Name calling, there is an effective arguement

A free market will determine who drives what kind of vehicle and for what purposes.

Not if the market is not free. A free market is not always the best answer as illuminated by the recent discussions about commons. There are external costs to the US population driving around gas guzzlers. CAFE requirements are one way to address those costs. I don't think it is the best way, but it is an option.

The intrinsic power of this nation lies in its unfettered mobility, both social and economic. The heart and soul of this mobility is the private motor vehicle.

Unsubstantiated assertion.

in the real world the car and the light truck are the life blood of a nation perpetually on the move.

Whether or not cars are our 'life blood', CAFE increases would not eliminate cars and light trucks. It would make them smaller, lighter, and more fuel efficient.

Like it or not, the petroleum trade, OPEC and all, seems to work.

Works to enrich our enemies and sicken ourselves with air pollution.

An argument advanced on this board in the past is: CAFE -> increased mileage -> increased driving -> same amount of gas consumed. I submit that this is not a linear relationship. If gas were free we would not spend all of our time driving.

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