“Government policy such as fuel standards and greenhouse gas emission regulations, as well as support for the development of advanced technologies, plays a key role in supporting our product and technology pathway for a more fuel-efficient future.” –Sue Cischke, group vice president, sustainability, environment and safety engineering at Ford Motor Co.
Sue Cischke at Ford Motor Co., gave an interesting speech the other day – talking about how not just how government energy policy is going to affect vehicle development choices by automakers, but how energy pricing decisions need to be made to guide those choices as well.
“There’s a critical link between energy prices and purchase decisions as a driving force in the need to implement a comprehensive national energy policy,” Cischke said. “It is imperative that government also address the need for lower carbon fuels, consumer incentives and price signals to adopt the technologies that will deliver a more fuel-efficient, greener future. Price signals matter.”
In short you can mandate lower emissions and fuel efficiency improvements all you want, but without pricing incentives – and especially disincentives, such as increasing the cost of fuel – those policy goals will be almost impossible to achieve.
Now, it isn’t easy – and Cischke stressed that very point, especially when it came to reducing emissions.
“That is why we support a comprehensive, economy-wide, upstream national carbon cap and trade program that can slow, stop and reverse the growth of U.S. emissions while expanding the U.S. economy,” she said in her speech. “Ford recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change concerns. While cap and trade for carbon emissions remains a complex challenge, we still need to employ an integrated approach that would include contributions from all of the key stakeholders.”
Yet one more viewpoint to chew on as the U.S. tries to figure out how to reduce emissions and energy use while keeping our economic might in top fighting trim.