the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

All Cost, for No Benefit

Posted by Jeff Id on October 28, 2010

As we head into elections, liberals are going ahead with ever more government and ever more regulation as though there is no bottom to the cash they can print.  To solve global warming, they are now proposing regulations on semi trucks to limit fuel usage.  Semi’s already limit fuel usage in an extreme of course as it is one of the primary costs in their business, but nope more government can always help in some peoples minds.

All for a rarified gas which can be measured in parts per million, which nobody knows how much warming it will cause, nobody knows if the warming will cause any problems at all, and the people who make the rules don’t understand one thing about the engineering, science or business.  Of course the voters don’t either.  We are a brilliant bunch of monkeys us.


By Oliver B. Patton, Washington Editor

Two federal agencies have proposed first-ever national standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for medium and heavy trucks. The complementary proposals, announced Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, will establish a new way to measure truck fuel efficiency and emissions.

Instead of miles per gallon, trucks will be measured in terms of gallons per ton-mile. And emissions will be measured in terms of grams of carbon dioxide per ton-mile. The agencies adopted this approach in order to account for the work the truck is doing, rather than just the fuel efficiency of the engine.

19 Responses to “All Cost, for No Benefit”

  1. Gary said

    Jeff, the monkeys can’t help it ( 😉

  2. MikeH said

    Infuriating just how disconnected from laws of physics and economics the western world has become!

  3. Retired Engineer said

    Perhaps they should repeal the Law of Gravity, so all our goods could just float to us. (supposedly one government eco-guru suggested repealing the Laws of Physics when an auto engineer said the proposed rules would violate them.)

    “Nothing is impossible for those who don’t have to do it themselves.”

  4. Peter said

    Grams of CO2 per ton mile? It would be far more useful to regulate useless idiots per 100 hundred bureaucrats, and start with a target of 50, down from the current 95.

  5. GregO said


    This has got to be one of the most unnecessary regulation schemes in the history of the unnecessary regulation schemes.

    We make and ship machinery at my company. It is simply amazing how efficient and relatively inexpensive trucking is in America. I can have a fragile machine shipped anywhere in the US, crated, set up and all done in a couple of days for less money than many people will spend on Fed Ex this year for Christmas gifts. Our American trucking industry is very lean, very efficient. I cannot fathom how an emissions standard will do anything but drive shipping costs up – I mean those semi-trucks don’t just cruise around for no reason.

    This is rent-seeking by the governing class pure and simple.

  6. j ferguson said

    Retired Engineer noted:

    “Nothing is impossible for those who don’t have to do it themselves.”

    This retired architect thinks that

    The number of those who don’t have to do it themselves may now exceed the number of those who do.

    H.G. Wells’ Eloi exceeding number of Morelocks. “Time Machine”

  7. TGSG said

    yup, rent seeking pure and simple. A bureaucrat HAS TO make more regs or his job is useless.See the continual upgrades for the building industry. If they have no regulating to do they are jobless.

  8. Richard Sexton said

    Oy! I’m a liberay, as in bleeding heart screaming left wing liberal and I think we’ve been lied to about global warming.

    This isn’t a “liberal issue” or a “republican issue” any more than it is a “christian issue” or an “atheist issue” – you’ll note all these nasty laws in DC are done by Christians… hmmm…

    The Freemasons have a good policy: you can’t discuss religion or politics in their clubhouse.

    This might be a good idea here. In any attempt to derermine scientific truth, politics and religion simply obfuscate critical arguments and make it, for better or worse, easy to write off by some segment of the population.

    Fox news could announce a real cure for cancer and only a small fraction would actually believe it, and rightly so.

    So can we keep the politics (and religion) out of what I thought was a scientific enquiry?

  9. stan said


    “Fox news could announce a real cure for cancer and only a small fraction would actually believe it, and rightly so.”

    Ummmm. Have you looked at the ratings? Fox beats CNN, MSNBC, and HLN combined.

    Have you looked at the academic studies of bias in the news? Fox is closer to the center than any other news network.

  10. timetochooseagain said

    3- You might like this (and remember this is jocular):

    “I have asked my staff to draft a measure I call the Obesity Reduction and Health Promotion Act. Since Congress will apparently not be restrained by the laws and principles which naturally exist, I propose that the force of gravity, by the force of Congress, be reduced by 10 percent. Mr. Speaker, that will result in immediate weight weight loss for every American. It will immediately help reduce obesity problems in America.” -Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho)

  11. Brian H said

    Regs are needed to keep all them semis from burnin’ rubber doing drag races away from stoplights. It’s a crisis!

    And what about all the CO2 from that bus Obama keeps throwing people under! Driving over all those speed bumps has got to be inefficient.

  12. Brian H said

    The Regular Law: regulators need regulations.

  13. JPA Knowles said

    Trucking costs would rise under this proposal and almost all goods would therefore cost more. Sounds to me like just another ploy to squeeze people and reduce their independence. Is the average American really stupid enought to believe this garbage?

  14. chris y said

    Speaking of carbon-emission reducing alternative fuels, the US Navy has just released the costs associated with making algae-based fuel suitable for mixing with diesel.

    Jeff, I know you looked at this a while ago, but finally some production costs have slipped out, err, been announced.

    “The current cost of a gallon of algae-diesel mix is $424 a gallon.”

    “The early versions of algae-based fuels had a short shelf life, with the fuel separating in the tank, sprouting, or even corroding engines. “They had some not very good characteristics at the end of the day,” he admitted.”

    “But the navy appears committed. Last month it placed an order for 150,000 gallons of algae-based fuel from a San Francisco firm.”

    Lets see, that’s a 50% mix at $424/gallon, or $848 (approx) for 1 gallon of 200-proof algae-fuel. The contract is for $127.2 Million?


  15. kim said

    Heh, they say Murdoch found a niche market for Fox: Half of America.

  16. chris y said

    By the way, that puts algae biofuel at only 48 dB more expensive than conventional diesel. That’s not soooo bad….

  17. Richard Sexton said

    “Fossil fuels are also horrendously expensive. By the time it reaches a war zone, the true cost of a gallon of petrol is well over $400.” Given the economy of scale of petrochemicals the current cost of algae biofuels which are in their infancy is more than promising. $34 more? Pfft.

    As for Fox being “centrist”. You’re kidding me right? Centrist between Genghis Khan and Hitler maybe.

    As for “fox beats msnbc” – trends matter more than numbers: fox is down 21-26% while msnbc gains.

    If all the “facts” tossed around on this site are so shoddy as these you may be handing your opponent a star spangled win on a platter.

    If this this site is anything more than a bunch of disgruntled republicans playing fast and loose with facts you need to convince me. Frankly at this point it smells like it’s an Exxon funded smokescreen.

    Convince me otherwise.

  18. boballab said

    If this this site is anything more than a bunch of disgruntled republicans playing fast and loose with facts you need to convince me. Frankly at this point it smells like it’s an Exxon funded smokescreen.

    Hey Jeff since when did you become a member of Stanford University:

    The world’s largest oil companies are showing surprising interest in financing alternative energy research at U.S. universities. Over the past decade, five of the world’s top 10 oil companies—ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell Group, and ConocoPhillips Co.—and other large traditional energy companies with a direct commercial stake in future energy markets have forged dozens of multi-year, multi-million-dollar alliances with top U.S. universities and scientists to carry out energy-related research. Much of this funding by “Big Oil” is being used for research into new sources of alternative energy and renewable energy, mostly biofuels.

    Consider Stanford University’s Global Climate and Energy Project, which is funded by Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Toyota and Schlumberger.

    Or maybe you are now part of the CRU now since Big Oil founded and funds them:

    The CRU was founded in 1971 as part of the university’s School of Environmental Sciences. The establishment of the Unit owed much to the support of Sir Graham Sutton, a former Director-General of the Meteorological Office, Lord Solly Zuckerman, an adviser to the University, and Professors Keith Clayton and Brian Funnel, Deans of the School of Environmental Sciences in 1971 and 1972.[5][6] Initial sponsors included British Petroleum, the Nuffield Foundation and Royal Dutch Shell.[6] The Rockefeller Foundation was another early benefactor, and the Wolfson Foundation gave the Unit its current building in 1986.[5]

    I wonder where the Rockefeller Foundation gets it’s money from:

    Stock in the family’s oil companies is a major part of the foundation’s assets, beginning with Standard Oil and now with its corporate descendants, including Exxon Mobil.[20]

    Richard Sexton are you a Big Oil funded AGW Alarmist Shill?

  19. Brian H said

    Hey, Ricky, chew this (From the SciAm article condescendingly dissing Judith Curry):

    14. Iconoclast 05:06 PM 10/23/10

    The proposition that the average temperature of the earth’s surface is warming because of increased emissions of human-produced greenhouse gases cannot be tested by any known scientific procedure

    It is impossible to position temperature sensors randomly over the earth’s surface (including the 71% of ocean, and all the deserts, forests, and icecaps) and maintain it in constant condition long enough to tell if any average is increasing. Even if this were done the difference between the temperature during day and night is so great that no rational aveage can be derived.

    Measurements at weather stations are quite unsuitable since they are not positioned representatively and they only measure maximum and minimum once a day, from which no average can be derived. They also constantly change in number, location and surroundings. Recent studies show that most of the current stations are unable to measure temperature to better than a degree or two

    The assumptions of climate models are absurd. They assume the earth is flat, that the sun shines with equal intensity day and night, and the earth is in equilibrium, with the energy received equal to that emitted.

    Half of the time there is no sun, where the temperature regime is quite different from the day.

    No part of the earth ever is in energy equilibrium, neither is there any evidence of an overall “balance”.

    It is unsurprising that such models are incapable of predicting sny future climate behsviour, even if this could be measured satisfactorily.

    There are no representative measurements of the concentration of atmospheric csrbon dioxide over any land surface, where “greenhouse warming” is supposed to happen.

    After twenty years of study, and as expert reviewer to the IPCC from the very beginning , I can only conclude that the whole affair is a gigantic fraud

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