Well said! I like how Jim concluded. "The structure of CAFE standards needs to be rethought. CAFE standards should address separately the two energy policy goals that they were designed to achieve: energy efficiency and energy diversity. One goal should not be a trade-off for the other. As CAFE standards and other mandates become increasingly important policy tools in a budget-constrained environment, energy security and electrification supporters must be careful that their interests are not subordinated and forgotten in the battle against greenhouse gas emissions."
I shared the same thoughts when I commented on Goeff's post, "The Next Big CAFE Loophole", but from a different angle/approach, which is not from an engineer's perspective, but from a strategic perspective. Ed Reid commented that we need numbers as goal/plan. But that is after we have established a strategy to approach the issue. When your strategy is wrong, no amount of numbers can help us. Here are my comments:
"We should try to separate oil dependence and emission as separate issues, just like vehicles and power plants are separate entities. Each requires tremendous amount of investments. By taking them on at the same time, we are taking on two monsters as one. What is possible for one is not possible for the other because they are two almost entirely different monsters. One is driven by regulation and the other by market forces. One is portable and the other is not, and so on. Therefore we need to take on them separately, and we need to use a military strategy of "divide and rule".
In divide and rule, the strategy that works for one must not obstruct or interfere with that that works for the other. In combination, these two combined strategies is the long term strategy that we should go with. Otherwise, as it is, everything seems to go all over the place, and we are making very very slow headway in resolving the oil dependence, energy crisis, and global warming. I just hope we can make it at this slow pace before it is too late. We are dealing with two major world issues! We need a strategy to tackle how we should move forward, before we can deal with the monsters themselves. "
We cannot rely on gov't Agencies to lead us out of this. Using CAFE is a matter of convenience and funding, because their motivation is driven by politicians, who may have political agenda that may be at odds with the energy experts. Just look at the recent "debt" debate, that comes to a compromise, and now credit downgrade. The people who can get us out of this is someone from the energy community. Jim is leading the way now. So far, knowingly or unknowingly, the energy industry is trying to look for a perfect solution that "kills two birds with one stone". That is ideal. In this case, the issue is too big for us to chew. We need to reduce the size. Let's look at it this way, when the car is right, the energy is not and vice versa.
By treating both issues as one together, we let global warming issue put a drag on the oil crisis or energy crisis issue. Oil crisis is a very much smaller as well as much more manageable and also much more imminent than global warming. BEFORE global warming hit us, we may be already drained by the oil crisis and its consequences, like world conflicts, which we could have resolve but did not. By separating them, both will become smaller for us to chew.
Thank you Jim. Sure hope something comes out of your post on the CAFE.