One State Should Not Dictate Nationwide Fuel Economy Standards

A few weeks ago, the Administration announced its intention to revoke a waiver that allows California to set its own fuel economy standards for motor vehicles. This action is the final step needed to correct a series of decisions made in the Bush and Obama administrations that would have put undue burdens on auto manufacturers and drastically increased costs and limited choices for motorists. About one year ago, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced revised fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks to be applied in model years 2021 – 2026. The revised standards would replace standards set by the same two agencies in 2012, well before the revolution in oil drilling technology that moved the U.S. to the top of the list of oil producing countries and caused gasoline prices to fall dramatically. I wrote about these standards in the Talbot Spy at the time, and summarize those opinions here. ... Read More

Thinking About Things: Money, Demographics, and Politics

This is my inaugural column for The Chesapeake Observer. My topic will always be “Thinking About Things”. I do not know what I will be thinking about any given day, week, or month. In general these days I intend think about the ongoing breakdown and accelerating dysfunction of our political parties and, more broadly, our entire political system. I intend to think and write about these things (among others) in small bites, and in a reasonably orderly way. I expect to stay grounded in facts to support views. --Money: Where It Goes-- The expenditures of our country are hiding in plain sight in this mesmerizing website. The captivating first page will tell you at a glance that federal spending is approximately $4.5 trillion; federal tax revenues are approximately $3.5 trillion; the US national debt is more than $22.5 trillion; the ratio of federal debt to GDP has increased from 34.7% in 1980 to 105.6% today; and much more. And you can see that total student loan debt is more than $1.6 trillion while total credit card debt is just a smidgen over one trillion dollars. Such numbers are at the center of most policy issues. ... Read More