One would think that keeping that old car running would qualify very well for "sustainability" tax credits or some stars from the "Reuse, Recycle" crowd, wouldn't you? After all, keeping that old car means not ditching more metal into the junk yard where old cars go to die. I'm not wasting money on trading cars every two or three years for the sake of fashion or new fangled gadgets. I'm using what I already own, sort of like Warren Buffet.
My car is 19 years old and only has 93,000 miles on it, leather seats, great visibility, cruise control, and somewhat decent mileage. It runs great. Looks good. I didn't bite on that Cash for Clunkers nonsense. Even so, every now and then I think maybe, just maybe, it's time to dive back into the car market and find something newer. Should I buy an SUV? A wagon? A Prius? A Volvo? An Infinity? A Beamer? I'm picky. I admit it. Would be nice to have higher gas mileage I guess, but would I save enough money on gas to buy a $35,000 new vehicle? How many miles would I have to drive to save $35,000?
And then I read the news on Cafe Standards imposed by the EPA and I ask myself, "Why would I want to get rid of a perfectly good car just to buy a more expensive, more unsafe car? The point of the EPA is perfectly clear. They are pricing normal Americans out of the car market and forcing them into mass transit as fast as they can. It's so obvious even a cave-man could figure it out. The Cafe Standards they impose require lighter weight vehicles that aren't as strong as the average tin can your grocery tuna is packaged. Of course you can opt for all the GPS gadgets you want, but the car itself is more plastic than steel.
EPA's new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards mean lighter weight, more expensive cars that will increase deaths and severe injuries in crashes and price nearly 7 million Americans out of the new car market.
"As they have for 37 years, car companies will follow these new rules by making cars thinner and lighter, and made more from plastic and aluminum than from crash-resistant steel. Smaller, slighter vehicles get better mileage. But that hardly matters when a car smacks into a sycamore or cement wall, tumbles down a slope, or slams head-on into another vehicle."
"According to the Brookings Institution, a 500-lb weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 and 19,500 per year. USA Today found that 7,700 deaths occurred for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards. Smaller cars accounted for up to 12,144 deaths in 1997, 37% of all vehicle fatalities for that year."
"How many deaths have resulted? Depending on which study you choose, the total ranges from 41,600 to 124,800. To that figure we can add between 352,000 and 624,000 people suffering serious injuries, including being crippled for life. In the past thirty years, fuel standards have become one of the major causes of death and misery in the United States — and one almost completely attributable to human stupidity and shortsightedness."
Foolishly I ask myself how long our government will continue to be held hostage by idiots and false prophets of do-good-ism. (I know that isn't a word, but if they can abominate words...why can't I?)
I'm going to think of my car as a classic, growing in value as it ages with grace. I may look the fool on the road as I grow old along with my car, but maybe I'll come out ahead in the car follies game. I'm going to think of it as revenge against the EPA. At some point I wonder if the EPA will regulate my car off the road. I hope to heaven not. A new car is nice, if you can afford something in the upper price range that somehow offers more than the tuna can variety. But until the sweepstakes calls me the winner, I think I'll just keep my car for now.