Click and Clack Say Technology is Poised to Meet 35 MPG Fuel Standards, Urge Congress Not to Heed Auto Industry’s “Fuel-Mongering Bull-Feathers”

Boston doesn’t have an auto technology cluster, but it’s big on cleantech—and it also has Tom and Ray Magliozzi, better known as Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers. And who should know how cleantech and cars come together better than the proprietors of Cambridge’s Good News Garage and hosts of NPR’s Car Talk show? Not Congress, they figure. Yesterday, the folks in Congressman Edward Markey’s office announced that Tom and Ray have sent a letter to Congress arguing that the U.S. can meet 35 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standards in five years—almost a decade sooner than the watered-down compromise language currently under consideration.

“As any listener knows, Tom and Ray are where common sense begins when it comes to cars, and when they say reaching 35 miles per gallon is feasible and the smart play for the American auto industry, people should listen,” said Markey in a statement. The Massachusetts Democrat chairs Congress’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, to which the brothers Tappet addressed their letter of October 25.

“There are technologies aplenty that already exist that could be used to meet much higher CAFE standards,” Tom and Ray wrote. They then tick off 15 examples, from hybrid-electric diesels to higher-voltage electrical systems and common rail fuel injection, which is already used in diesel cars.

Tom and Ray note that the auto industry has traditionally resisted government regulations, claiming they would impose various hardships. Yet, the brothers write, “Every single time they’ve resisted safety, environmental, or fuel economy regulations, auto industry predictions have turned out, in retrospect, to be fear-mongering bull-feathers.

“Isn’t it time we (you?) stop falling for this 50 year-long line of baloney?”

You can read the letter here.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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