CB’s Green Report: Stop Crying Detroit & Build Greener Cars

gmc_yukon_denalifront_left_view2007 Toyota Prius Touring Edition

GMC Yukon Denali vs. Toyota Prius Hybrid

Waaah Waaah Waaah Detroit
. Automobile makers are crying the blues at President Obama’s interest in imposing stricter emission standards on their vehicles. The president recently “ordered the government to reconsider whether California and other states could regulate vehicle emissions to help control greenhouse gas emissions, a reversal of a position taken by the Bush administration.” (At the moment, automakers say only the Toyota Prius hybrid and similar vehicles would meet those standards.)

In true Obama form, he emphasized his willingness to work with the carmakers to meet his administration’s goals: energy independence and stopping global warming.

“Let me be clear: Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry,” Obama said at the White House according to MSNBC. “It is to help America’s automakers prepare for the future.”

American automakers claim the emission modifications could potentially put them out of business because they would have to stop producing the larger, gas-guzzlers (read: more profitable vehicles). Although GM and Chrysler just borrowed billions of dollars from the federal government, it appears they were counting on the fat price tags of their less fuel-efficient and not low greenhouse gas emission vehicles like Cadillac Escalade (MSRP mid $60,000′s), Hummer truck (MSRP $60,000-70,000′s), and even the Saab 9-5 (MSRP $40,000′s).

“I think this is the pathway to their survival,” David Doniger of the National Resources Defense Council said to the New York Times. “If carmakers are going to survive in a world of volatile oil prices and global warming, they have to be making more efficient vehicles. When the economy comes back and people start buying cars again, they’re going to expect that gas prices are going to go up, and they’re not going to want the gas hogs that they used to want. Consumers’ tastes have changed in terms of what’s cool.”

Hey Detroit, you proved that you could make a hybrid Escalade. Surely, you can get to work on updating the technology for the rest of the cars, which gives options for larger families and is better for the environment. After all, Americans are paying for it – to the tune of $17.4 billion.

In other news…


Former Vice President Al Gore is urging Congress to support legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions. In his recent testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gore warned the government to not get so blindsided by the economic crisis that they forget to work on international global warming initiatives. In fact, he reminds them that “the economy, terrorism and the Iraq and Afghan wars are linked by a common thread – our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels.” In addition to the greenhouse gas emissions cap, there is another solution that both Obama and Gore agree on: the President’s economic stimulus plan. Obama’s proposal includes investments in clean energy and green jobs that Gore and others think will help the U.S. economy. Green thinking could add up to more green..dollars that is.

Check out Gore’s recent testimony before Congress on greenhouse gases.




Caramel Bella’s Green Report: The Post Election Report

Now that Obama has been elected president, environmentalists worldwide are wondering if the planet will benefit. Andrew Revkin of the New York Times’ Dot Earth blog is concerned about the world’s population growth and resources. He has requested proposals from the public on how Obama can help the planet on a limited budget.

While others are wondering if Obama’s plan to help the Big 3 Detroit automakers invest in fuel-efficiency research and develop a new generation of clean cars. His idea would cost $3 billion dollars over 10 years. Obama is also calling on more plug-in hybrids. Can Detroit automakers meet the challenge?

Green Congress? Most environmentalists seem to think the world will get a bit greener with Barack Obama. But how green is the newly elected Congress? After all, the prez has to get his bills through both the Senate and the House. Some key Senate additions for green initiatives are Tom Udall of New Mexico, Mark Udall of Colorado, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who took seats from Republicans who opposed environmental measures. There were several House upsets (like Betsy Markey of Colorado) that may also help to change the balance of green power in Congress.

No green light for two California green propositions. Both Prop 7 and Prop 10 didn’t pass on Nov. 4 by 60% or more. Proposition 7 would have required California electric utilities to get half of their power from renewable sources by 2025. And Proposition 10 would have given rebate incentives to Californians who purchased natural gas or alternative fuel vehicles. Experts say many state residents found the initiatives ill conceived or too expensive.

And in other environmental news…

Fuel from fungus? Yes! According to a Montana State University researcher, a microorganism found in a South American plant contains a fungus with an essence of diesel. And this “myco-diesel” could power a whole bus without processing it all.

Thinking about buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle? Check out The Daily Green’s list of the most fuel-efficient cars and SUVs. It’s no surprise that the Toyota Prius came in first with 48 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway. But check out the rest of the list.

Also posted on Pop + Politics




Glimmer of hope for the car greenies

Well, there is a glimmer hope for all of us newbie-greenies that want to buy a Prius. Toyota announced today that beginning in 2010 (yes, I know that is a long way off), they will begin manufacturing the hybrid in Blue Springs, Mississippi to help meet the demand. Folks have their names on waiting lists at dealerships.

I don’t know about you bellas but I’m not sure I can wait until 2010 to buy a Prius. I’m now considering other fuel efficient cars. My absolute favorites are: Lexus RXh (hybrid) and the Mini-Cooper S. Although the cooper isn’t a hybrid, its stylish and gets good gas mileage.

According to Lexus.com, the RXh FWD (front wheel drive) gets 27 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway and 24 mpg in the city is pretty good. However, the price tag starts at $41,500.

My other fav, the Mini Cooper S, gets 34 miles per gallon on the highway and 26 mpg in the city. And this cutie starts at $21,200.

How many of you are making car swaps to lower your fuel costs and carbon imprint? Check out the poll.

Smooches,

CB




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My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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