Monday, June 27, 2011

Obama, Hands Off My Minivan!

As if the coming ban of the sale of normal inexpensive light bulbs wasn't enough, Obama is intent of furthering the impact of the environmental fascists on our lives.  According to the Wall Street Journal, he is looking to increase CAFE standards to 56.2 miles per gallon for all new cars and light trucks sold in 2025.  CAFE standards for 2010 were just 27.5 mpg.  So unless we have vast improvement in fuel cell technology, which is possible though definitely not guaranteed, vehicles like my Honda Odyssey may no longer be sold by 2025.  It's no secret that the bigger the car is, generally the lower the mpg rating for the car will be.  And while it may be easy to make a car the size of a prius "environmentally sound", making an SUV or a minivan have an mpg rating above 30 is incredibly challenging.  Often, with hybrid SUV's, you are often paying thousands of dollars more for the car for less than a 5 mpg benefit.  And current electric car technology is pretty much impractical for those of us living outside of cities. The compact Chevy Volt only has an electric range of 35 miles, even less in the winter time.  If you put that sort of engine in a minivan, the range would probably be 20 miles or less.  Other than maybe going to the grocery store or dropping the kids off at school, there is not much you can do with that.

Now I used to not like minivans, they are probably the unsexiest class of cars in existence.  However, when you have kids you realize how incredibly practical and helpful they are for your life.  Say you have two small children, both of whom need strollers, if you are lucky enough to fit them (the strollers, not the kids) in the trunk of your sedan, you will have no room for ANYTHING else.  With a minivan, they each have lots of space in their own captain's chairs and you not only have lots of room for the strollers, but you can even load up at Costco without ever having to wonder, "now where am I going to put that?"  The benefits with even more children is even greater.  If you have 3 kids, all in boosters or child safety seats in a normal sedan, the middle one is essentially trapped there until other kids are released, also it's an incredibly tight squeeze and the kids are liable to start hitting each other.   With a minivan, you have that third row so everyone continues to be happy and you can still find room for anything you need to buy or even for any of your kids' schoolfriends you might be driving around.  Minivans are also incredibly helpful when going to the airport as you can fit everyone and their luggage in one vehicle.  Without minivans you'd pretty much need one car for the passengers and another for the luggage.

If these new CAFE standards are enacted, my guess is I, and people like me, will be forced to drive smaller vehicles, spend more money on them and also be incredibly inconvenienced.  And for what?  If Obama was serious about cutting our addiction to foreign oil, wouldn't he be letting us drill across the United States?  He is only doing this to appease those whacko environmentalists who have very little regard for people.

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