Information is a great thing. It empowers the consumer and allows better decisions.
We all want safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Heck, who wouldn't?
But when Washington wants to tell us what's an "A" and what's a "D" based on emissions and fuel economy, they must think consumers are so dumb, they can't figure out the difference between a Chevrolet Cruze and a Ford F-150.
Under the EPA and Department of Transportation proposal to grade vehicles based on fuel economy and emissions -- by some strange reasoning -- the only "A+" vehicles will be zero-emission electrics. They haven't said whether a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid would get an "A" label -- but certainly the gasoline-powered Chevy Cruze wouldn't.
Once the federal government decides what's good for an A, B, C or D, it won't be long before government decides that certain vehicles deserve an "F."
These letters remind us of grading in school and are the closest thing to an endorsement of what government wants us to drive. This could be the first step toward government endorsing cars and trucks.
I am not sure why these folks in Washington don't ask someone for advice when they come up with some harebrained scheme. If they had called up any number of folks around the country, they would have realized that this scheme doesn't make any sense.
There is nothing wrong with giving fuel economy numbers to consumers, or crash ratings -- but then step back and let the consumers make their own judgments.
I wonder whether this means that we can start grading bureaucrats and politicians -- although I would be very tempted to use "F," too.
There seems to be plenty of work for the EPA and Department of Transportation these days. So I can't understand why they set themselves up for criticism during these very turbulent times.
There is nothing wrong with telling people about calories on the side of a food product. And potential customers have access to the miles-per-gallon ratings on new-vehicle stickers.
But please don't get into the marketing business and tell me how you, the government, would like to rate automobiles. It's just plain wrong.