New EPA Ad Mocks Car Energy Efficiency

Automobile fuel efficiency is for losers! This message brought to you by, believe it or not, the U.S. EPA. A new series of public service announcements from the agency feature a woman, Suzanne, praising the benefits of energy-efficient home furnishings and appliances. So far, so good. However, the woman then makes rueful reference to her husband, a schlumpy fellow named Mark, who is shown making absurd attempts to make his car more efficient: attaching a sail, strapping on a massive helium tank, etc. Suzanne says, “The EPA says the energy we use in our home can cause twice the greenhouse gases of a car.” Omitted are some relevant facts: that most families in the U.S. have two or more cars (and only one house); that drivers can cut fuel use in half immediately by buying a hybrid; that fuel efficiency in the American vehicle fleet has steadily fallen since the 1980s; that the Bush administration has steadfastly resisted calls to raise said fuel efficiency.