Published August 24, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.
A week after a U.S. Department of Transportation official was quoted as saying delayed final CAFE mandates would be released “soon,” word has it – again – that they'll be “soon.”
Actually the same news source repeated the same DOT source quote in a new story yesterday giving details it first reported over a week ago regarding timing for a final Corporate Average Fuel Economy ruling intended to nearly double current standards.
"The rule is still undergoing interagency review and we expect that process to be completed soon," department spokeswoman Lynda Tran was quoted in an Aug. 15 story and again by the same source Aug. 23. To the average reader, it might have been a bit confusing at first realizing it was recycled news, as the second story merely said the statement was made on a “Wednesday” – which could have been last Wednesday, or the Wednesday before that (as was the unstated case).
Do you think someone wants to make a point? Do you think some journalists are immune to political considerations – or at the very least want to milk stories with murky details and insinuations about a very controversial subject?
Since we’re equal opportunity offenders giving a platform for all sides, we’ll note it’s true CAFE’s delay is newsworthy still, but no new news was actually reported other than to give more virtual ink to a Republican-led urge to reconsider CAFE led by House Oversight Committee Chairman, Darrell Issa.
The Republican-led opposition letter, which we reported about last week, was addressed to the head of the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Boris Bershteyn. It alleged improprieties in the Obama-administration-led process of getting CAFE through, including lack of transparency.
In fact, the actual reason for the present CAFE ruling delay could well be the Republican effort to stop rules as written, and as implied by a certain source. But the Obama administration was not reported as specifically stating this was the reason, that was just hinted at.
So really, we know nothing more than we did a week ago, except a repeat for your consideration that Republicans have cried foul, and the Democratic administration disputed alleged improprieties saying a final CAFE ruling is coming “soon.”