Tue 21 Jan, 2003 12:33 pm
"Four months past the deadline and the EPA has yet to release their annual fuel-efficiency report. One source says the White House has held up the release. " ~ From Here and Now, WBUR, Boston
Why do you suppose that is?
Those interviewed indicated that american cars are on average getting LESS fuel efficient.
Did you know that there are massive tax breaks for people who have purchased such expensive gas guzzlers like over-sized SUVs, pickup trucks and HumVs. SUVs are the auto manufacturers best pay-off vehicles - their profit margin is BIG.
Did you also know that if you buy a very fuel efficient honda civic you'll get NO tax break?
What kind of message is this? Where will it lead us? What happens when the price of fuel sky-rockets again?
The message is that the Administration could care less about fuel efficiency. We'll get no help from that quarter, but there are hopeful signs. If enough people buy hybrid cars, you can bet Detroit will take notice. As usual, the US car industry is being taken by surprise by those clever Japanese manufacturers. It happened before, and we can only hope it'll happen again.
There are tax breaks for buying hybrid, but those cars are so expensive. The industry that makes them prolly aren't turning the kind of profits that the SUV makers are. You get more of a break on an SUV (like twice the rate) than on a hybrid.
The tax break on SUVs isn't available to everyone. It was put in place to allow farmers and small businesses to get a break on buying trucks for their businesses and once the tax accountants figured that out they convinced lots of other people to "incorporate themselves" and buy SUVs to make use of the tax breaks. That specific loophole in the law should be closed up to still allow the farmers/small biz owners to use it but to exclude everyone else. For one thing, typical SUVs should be exclueded from the list of vehicles that qualify. "Luxury SUVs" certianly should be removed. Ya don't see many farmers driving BMW SUVs around out in the fields...
The tax credit on the Hybrids that IS available to you and me is just enough to make the initial cost of the hybrid comparable to a conventionally powered vehicle.