Thursday, December 6, 2007
High gas prices compelling Democrats to act.
Democratic leaders were optimistic they could get a bill to provide for a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency for new cars and light trucks by 2020 for a fleet-wide average of 35 miles per gallon. Sounds good and great right? But what will our cars look like in 2020? Under a 1975 law passed after the Arab oil embargo, each auto maker's fleet of cars must average 27.5 miles per gallon and light trucks and minivans 22.2 miles per gallon. In 1975 cars were large and made of steel. In 2007 cars are smaller and make of plastic and steel. In 2020 cars will even be smaller and made of mostly plastic. In 1975 most cars were 8 cylinders, muscle cars. In 2007 most cars are 6 or 4 cylinders. In 2020 most cars will be 2 or 3 cylinders, a go cart. Don't laugh I have seen a 3 cylinder car already and it did look like a go cart. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, once fully implemented, will save about 1.1 million barrels of oil per day in 2020. The United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil a day. That is only 5% savings! At $3 a gallon and fill your tank at $40 you save $2. At a tank a week in one year you'll save $100 and you will be driving a go cart. Drive 5% extra that year and your back at 2007 but driving an unsafe car. Your seat belt will hold you in while the 18 wheeler kills you. Even at $3 a gallon people are driving more today than at $1.50 per gallon. In 2020 there will be more people in go carts driving more and burning more gas. Are we going to trade the safety of people to save 5% oil consumption? PLEASE just leave our cars alone.