Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Vocab

arlen v. To make blustery declarations of good intent, followed by "compromises" or "revisions" more damaging than no action at all.

For example: William Clay Ford claims to be an environmentalist, but he has arlened on his promise to make more hybrid cars.

[T]he Ford Motor Company confirmed that it would not meet its widely publicized goal of selling 250,000 hybrid vehicles a year by 2010, a goal set last fall when energy prices spiked after Hurricane Katrina.

Instead, Ford plans to focus its attention on flexible-fuel vehicles, which can run on gasoline and another type of fuel such as ethanol, William Clay Ford Jr., its chief executive, told employees in a memo distributed Wednesday.

To understand why this is a classic example of arlening, let's turn to Tom Friedman of all people (Times Select BS, so the link is to an excerpt, and he's quoting a third party).

As the Des Moines Register explained in an article on May 26: "The loophole works this way: A dual-fuel vehicle that can run on either gasoline or 85 percent ethanol, or E85, is credited with a much higher mileage rating than it really gets. That keeps the overall mileage of the cars and trucks that a company like Ford or General Motors makes in any given year within the government's mileage limits."

By agreeing to build flex-fuel vehicles credited with phony mileage, Detroit gets to make many more bigger, heavier gas guzzlers, the paper explained, "without having to pay fines for exceeding the federal mileage standards." For instance, the 2006 G.M.C. two-wheel-drive Yukon 1500 actually gets 15 m.p.g. city and 20 m.p.g. highway. But under this loophole it is rated as getting 33 miles per gallon for purposes of meeting the government's fleet fuel economy standards. "The Union of Concerned Scientists calculates that the loophole increased U.S. oil consumption by 80,000 barrels per day in 2005 alone," the paper said.

Incidentally, in that article the Times still refers to William Clay Ford as "known for his lifelong interest in environmental causes".


  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    If you were wondering where I've been, the answer is: Nevada and Portland.


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