Letters to the Editor
Vail CO, Colorado
Editorial took the wrong position
I was stunned at your editorial view that you do not support Ken Salazar’s endorsement of CAFE, the initiative that would raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 35 mpg.
With all the current info reaching the headlines of the effects of carbon emissions on global warming, how could anyone not support this plan?
You suggest this is not the place of government and that the free market will take care of itself. “When people want fuel-efficient cars, they’ll buy them.”
You present the classic case of “The Tragedy Of The Commons,” a famous discussion (book) that considers the role of government in the regulation of resources that are owned and used by everyone.
When a community or a country has a resource, like forests or oil shale or air, should one corporation be allowed to exploit and reap profit from that free resource at the expense of future generations who are left with the cleanup or the depleted resource?
I am a dedicated capitalist, and believe in the free-market system, but I also believe that we form our governments to protect a majority of people from over-exploitation by the few. It is necessary to set some standards to the economic game to more fairly distribute resources to all so they do not become coveted by the wealthy few.
Without some democratic, government regulation you end up with a totalitarian government like so many African nations.
In this nation, we like our government to create a more level playing field for healthy capitalism to prosper, and not at the expense of future generations.
To suggest that CAFE standards will cost American automakers a heavy burden of $114 million is really trivial when you consider just one auto company, GM, has annual sales of $4.2 billion.
Our generation needs to start holding corporations accountable for poisoning our lands, water and air. These costs come at a higher consumer price, but good government sets the standards, a level playing field, and the free market can operate just fine within those standards.
The future generations will be grateful for a sustainable society.
A fuel economy standard of 35 mpg is a rather small step toward curbing carbon emissions, and reducing our oil dependence, but one that we can all easily swallow.
And it sends a strong message throughout the world economy about our direction as a nation.
I am just disappointed that our government has been so slow to respond to this acknowledged crisis.
I have already traded in my SUV for a more fuel-efficient minivan, and very soon, I will make the trade to hybrid.
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