As a rabbi and community leader I feel it is my moral and ethical duty to respond to the proposed changes to Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (NHTSA-2005-22223).
I grew up in Detroit. I understand the auto industry and the pressures not to grow up. But boosting auto fuel economy is clearly an economic, environmental, and national security mitzvah, i.e. commandment.
You know we can pretend not to be responsible for our actions, but that is why God tells us very clearly that we are put in the world to protect and defend creation.
In is a sin that large gas-guzzlers such as the Hummer are not more regulated. The exemption of these vehicles from fuel economy standards is a free pollution pass to automakers, and is inexcusable. Now that I live in California, I see just how bad things can get vis a via air pollution.
Its not kosher to use loopholes, but that is what most US automakers do. Lets close current automaker loopholes now. Cost-efficient technologies already exist to bring midsize SUVs to achieve similar fuel economy as cars without sacrificing safety or performance.
Lets separate the kosher from the treif. In other words, lets ensure new size classes won’t open new loopholes. Basing fuel economy on vehicle size gives automakers the opportunity to “upsize” their vehicles and downsize their commitment to fuel efficiency.
Please consider my situation and recommendations when making your final proposal.
Rabbi Yonah Bookstien