July 02, 2006

Gas Hags

Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Olympia Snowe have a column in this morning's Washington Times in which they talk about their bold plan to help Americans suffering from high gas prices... sometime in the next couple of decades.

The technology to increase fuel economy already exists. We just need the political will.

That's why we've joined with a bipartisan Senate coalition to call for increasing average fuel economy standards by 10 miles in 10 years.

Specifically, we're calling for raising the average fuel economy of all cars and SUVs to 35 miles per gallon by model year 2017.

This would save 2.5 million barrels of oil per day by 2025. That's the same amount of oil we currently import from the Persian Gulf on a daily basis.

Such vision. Such complex paragraph structure.

Of course, we could have been pumping 1.4 million barrels per day already. That would have cut down on Persian Gulf oil dependence too and a lot sooner, but whatever. We won't notice the difference until things come to a head with Iran over its nuclear program and suddenly tankers are getting sunk in the gulf.

So, not only is this proposal good for consumers and our national security interests, but raising CAFE standards is also good for the environment.

It is estimated that a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels by the middle of the 21st century is required to stabilize the Earth's climate. In order to do so, we need to take strong steps toward reducing the amount of emissions from our cars, trucks and SUVs.

Raising fuel economy standards to 35 mpg by 2025 would eliminate 420 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions -- the equivalent of taking 90 million cars (or 75 million cars and light trucks) off the road in one year.

This would be a good first step to protecting our environment.

I just wonder why this pair even mentions national security when it seems like they're more spooked by "An Inconvenient Truth" than by anything that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been saying.

Posted by JakeM at July 2, 2006 06:32 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I'll assume you're sane and are ridiculing them for not wanting to move fast enough -- rather than because you scoff at drastically increasing CAFE standards.

Because I'm certain you know that 89% of Americans want 40 MPG. And that 2/3 of NASCAR fans believe it's patriotic to buy a fuel efficient car to both help the environment and wean us off of Middle Eastern oil. And that 77% of people want more controls on pollution emissions. And that 75% -- including the majority of conservatives -- want mandatory controls on greenhouse gases. And on...and on...and on.

The real problem is the ridiculous pace of action on fuel standards, and the spinelessness of BOTH Democrats and Republicans. They continue to waste valuable tax dollars on -- and be completely beholden to -- an American auto industry that is so painfully inept, they couldn't catch on to the obvious demand for fuel efficiency on their own -- a demand now being filled by foreign companies.

So maybe they could use a kick in the ass for business/profit reasons as WELL as environmental and national security reasons.

Posted by: dan at July 2, 2006 11:47 AM

I just wonder why this pair even mentions national security when it seems like they're more spooked by "An Inconvenient Truth" than by anything that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been saying.

Yeah. Because obviously the anti-semitic words (ah... surprise! haven't heard that from these folks for the last 60 years!) of a douchebag who we could wipe off the map is far more worrisome than the future of the planet.

Thanks for giving this Jewish boy a good Sunday morning chuckle! ;)

Posted by: dan at July 2, 2006 11:55 AM

"89% of Americans want 40 MPG."

and no law prevents them from buying a car that gets 40+mpg. They are on the showroom floor today.

So if the people really want more fuel efficient cars, we don't need a law to force them to buy more fuel efficient cars.

Posted by: steamboat willy at July 2, 2006 12:42 PM

I meant 89 percent want government action to increase fuel standards.

That's fine if you're in the other 11%. We simply disagree.

Posted by: dan at July 2, 2006 12:54 PM

Too bad the gas companies and auto industry conspired to ruin the electric car. We could be rockin' in a near-emission free nation in a couple years had that not happened.

Posted by: Mike M. at July 2, 2006 01:47 PM

Well, I feel better knowing that 89% won't do what they want others to do, and are willing to force the other 11% to go along.

Posted by: The Unabrewer at July 3, 2006 12:58 AM

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