The government proposes and you pay. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
A court just ordered that you will pay more to use less gas.
The court did not put it quite that way, of course – courts specializing in not putting things directly, much less honestly.
Like the government – which the courts serve.
The issue at hand was whether car companies should be triple fined by the government for not “complying” with regulatory decrees pertaining to how many miles the cars they make can travel on a gallon of gas. And how much higher those minimums are to be – as well as how soon.
The mandatory minimum number of miles new cars must travel per gallon – or else – has been increasing each decade since the ’70s, when the government first got into the business of telling car companies how far their cars must go – and how much you’ll pay to get there.
These MPG mandates – and attendant fines for not meeting them – cost you in other ways, too. They killed off large family sedans and station wagons, which were replaced by large SUVs and pick-ups which cost much more than the extincted-by-the-regs large family sedans and wagons. For a time, trucks and SUVs were subject to lower mandatory MPG minimums by an accident of regulatory categorization – they were “light trucks” rather than “passenger cars” – and so the car industry built more of the former to satisfy the market demand for the latter, thwarted by the regs.
But the government caught up – and that’s why trucks and SUVs got so expensive. They are going to become largely unaffordable – and so, very scarce.