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Earth’s Carbon Footprint And Cafe Essay

1654 words - 7 pages

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth century our carbon footprint has only grown. What have we done in the past century to change the harm we to our planet? The truth is, we had not even thought about the effects cars, planes, buildings, factories have had on our planet. In 1975 when the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) was first established as a response to the OPEC Oil embargo which reduced United States dependence on Foreign Oil. Our planet is very fragile, just look at our ozone layer and how it has depleted four to five percent per decade since the “ozone hole” was discovered in 1985. The chlorine atoms in the chloroflurocarbon’s (CFC’s) act as a catalyst, breaking down tens of thousands of ozone molecules before they are removed from the Stratosphere. Future generation will have to deal with this daunting task. This is why it is pivotal we need to change and further expand the policies of CAFE, and add a Carbon Tax on every gallon of gas in the United States. Although trying to increase CAFE is good for our planet it is not the only solution. It only effects the automobile-companies, and our dependence on crude oil. There is a direct correlation between CAFE and a Carbon Tax. Cars emit pounds of CO2 for every gallon of gasoline we use they are directly correlated, so we lower costs while raising efficiency. This what England is doing currently, and why they have implemented a carbon tax on gas prices per gallon which why the prices are so high.
CAFE is “the sales weighted average fuel economy, expressed in miles per gallon (mpg), of a manufacturer’s fleet of passenger cars or light trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds or less, manufactured for sale in the United States, for any given model year.” This federally and state mandated policy now has two main provisions the first being cars must preform to average 27.5 mpg, while light trucks must preform an average of 20.7 mpg. The key here is the fleet average: if an auto company doesn’t sell many small trucks or sports utility vehicles (SUV) then your fleet will have a better fuel economy. The positives CAFE include: 1) conserving a depleted and irreplaceable natural resource, 2) reducing the U.S. trade deficit, 3) protecting the U.S. economy from national security threat posed by reliance on foreign oil supplies, 4) reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 5) Limiting vehicle performance and acceleration, 6) making highways safer, saving the average American fuel, 7) stimulating technological innovation and more frequent product updates, 8) creating lower subsidized prices for poorer. The negatives however include: 1) more breakthroughs in fuel efficiency will come from development of advance technologies– on which the auto industry spends nearly $18 billion each year, 2) increasing deficit if people buy more foreign cars, 3) smaller lighter vehicles are not as safe as larger heavier vehicles, and 4) CAFÉ increase would...

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