Katie Kieffer

Remember the $80 billion auto bailout? The New York Times explains, “the industry’s meek acceptance of what are considered extremely challenging fuel-economy goals is a marked retreat from years past, when the (auto) companies argued that consumers would not be willing to pay for the technology needed to meet higher mileage requirements. …In the end, though, Detroit was faced with an undeniable political reality: there was no graceful way to say no to an administration that just two years ago came to its aid financially.”

Capitalism can develop alternative energy in a safe and timely manner. The President’s proposals do not rely on natural, free market competition. His plans merely pressure private enterprise to evolve ahead of its time.

Technology requires time to develop and become affordable. Could anyone afford the iPhone 9 if it came out in 2012? For the few who could, would they be buying a quality product? How could Apple possibly infuse five years worth of development and consumer feedback into the iPhone in just one year?

Toyota began developing hybrid technology in 1965 and did not introduce the first Prius in Japan until 1997, 32 years later. The Obama administration’s rules ignore the fact that technology simply does not develop overnight.

Plus, without government subsidies, fuel-efficient cars will likely be significantly more expensive than ordinary cars. If consumers pay substantially more for fuel-efficient cars upfront, are they saving money or breaking-even? The new fuel-efficiency rules essentially require Americans to buy brand new cars and become guinea pigs for technology that will not have sufficient time to develop.

The latest AAA survey shows 54 percent of American drivers “…don't want the financial burden of a new car, so they're keeping their older ones running,” reports USA Today. Americans are struggling. This is not the time to muscle them into buying new cars.

Meanwhile, the President still refuses to allow companies to drill for oil at a normal pace. Over a year since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, he’s still stalling American drilling.

Shell has spent five years and almost $4 billion perfecting drill methods for four exploratory wells off Alaska’s North Slope. Yet the President has only granted Shell conditional approval and cautioned that Shell must still “…win a number of secondary permits…” before drilling, reports the New York Times.

How much risk, money and time must companies expend before the President will approve American oil production that could slash oil prices? If he would increase production, we wouldn’t need to worry about driving around cars that could resemble expensive deathtraps.


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is a columnist and political commentator. She runs KatieKieffer.com. Kieffer is the author of the forthcoming book "LET ME BE CLEAR."