John on March 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm
We’ve heard this argument from the President over and over. He keeps saying that there’s nothing he can do right now that will drive down prices. Even if we start today, he and his surrogate say, it will take a decade to get to the point where that new source of oil is available. And so, borrowing a line from Jimmy Carter, the solution isn’t time consuming drilling, it’s conservation especially with regard to our cars and trucks. Here he is saying exactly this today:
Obama: We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks…in our buildings, in our factories. That’s the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less that lowers the demand, prices come down.
So here’s my question for the President. If the delay is an argument against drilling, why isn’t it an argument against improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles? Consider that Obama can’t improve the efficiency of our automobiles overnight any more than oil companies can bring oil to market overnight. In fact, there’s a very specific government plan for doing what the President described. These new CAFE standards require a 65% improvement in efficiency by 2025, i.e. 13 years from now.
Thirteen freaking years!
And of course, no one on earth thinks cars will get 65% more efficient in 13 years. Not even close. What the administration is really doing is mandating (they like mandating things) that you buy and drive a smaller car. Ironic then that Obama says this while standing in front of a massive truck. He should be speaking in front of a pair of Fiat 500′s. That would at least be more honest.
The truth is, even if manufacturers move to smaller cars, more electric/hybrid cars and more diesel cars, it’s not clear that they can reach 55mpg fleet average by 2025. Again, that’s more efficient than any gas powered car you can buy today. It’s more efficient than a Prius which only gets about 50mpg. Got that? In 2025 Obama’s CAFE regs say the Prius is a gas guzzler. About the only car that can meet that standard today is the Chevy Volt. You know, the car which just shut down production because of lack of demand, despite a $7,500 government discount for buying one.
But back to my main point. If the time to market argument against drilling for oil is worth repeating (and Democrats clearly think it is) then the same argument can be applied to Obama’s green-eyed conservation plan for America’s automobiles. And guess what, he still loses.
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