Human Events Blog

Obama: Relief from high gas prices is just 13 short years away

 

The Associated Press listened to President Obama’s weekly radio address, so you didn’t have to.  Here’s the latest brilliant extrusion of his “all of the above” energy plans:

President Barack Obama says higher auto mileage standards set under his administration and better cars built by a resurgent U.S. auto industry will save money at the gas pump over the long term, a counterpoint to Republican criticism of his energy policy.

In his weekly radio and online address Saturday, Obama said Detroit automakers are on track to build cars that average nearly 55 miles per gallon by 2025, doubling current mileage standards.

“That means folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time,’’ he said. “That’s a big deal, especially as families are yet again feeling the pinch from rising gas prices.’’

Isn’t this the same President who was recently flogging the slogan “We Can’t Wait” to explain why he was doing end-runs around Congress?  Now he’s telling you to wait 13 years for relief at the pump, when you’ll be able to save “$8,000 at the pump over time,” thanks to increased fuel efficiency standards that will cost you an extra $5000 per vehicle, leaving millions of Americans unable to afford a car at all. 

Incidentally, Obama’s numbers for those projected fuel savings are as chimerical as the ever-changing number of “uninsured Americans” he trotted out during the ObamaCare debate.  Last year, the Administration claimed that its new fuel standards would save somewhere between $5,200 and $6600 on gas during the vehicle’s lifetime.  Suddenly it’s $8,000.  Maybe he’s factoring in the huge gasoline savings that will be enjoyed by people who can no longer afford cars at all.

Are we allowed to ask about the safety of our new fuel-efficient wonder cars?  Higher fuel-efficiency standards are one of the most reliably lethal government policies, as a 2010 article from J.R. Dunn at the American Thinker explained:

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the fatal results of mileage regulations, starting in 1989 with the Brookings Institution (in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health), followed by USA Today in 1999, the National Academy of Sciences in 2001, and at last the federal government’s own National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration in 2003. This formidable lineup of organizations all came to the same conclusion: Fuel standards kill.

According to the Brookings Institution, a 500-lb weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 and 19,500 per year. USA Today found that 7,700 deaths occurred for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards. Smaller cars accounted for up to 12,144 deaths in 1997, 37% of all vehicle fatalities for that year. The National Academy of Sciences found that smaller, lighter vehicles “probably resulted in an additional 1,300 to 2,600 traffic fatalities in 1993.” The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration study demonstrated that reducing a vehicle’s weight by only one hundred pounds increased the fatality rate by as much as 5.63% for light cars, 4.70% for heavier cars, and 3.06% for light trucks. These rates translated into additional traffic fatalities of 13,608 for light cars, 10,884 for heavier cars, and 14,705 for light trucks between 1996 and 1999.

How many deaths have resulted? Depending on which study you choose, the total ranges from 41,600 to 124,800. To that figure we can add between 352,000 and 624,000 people suffering serious injuries, including being crippled for life. In the past thirty years, fuel standards have become one of the major causes of death and misery in the United States — and one almost completely attributable to human stupidity and shortsightedness.

(Emphases mine.)  How much lighter are the 55 MPG cars of our “sustainable” future going to be?  Multiply that by 5.63 percent per hundred pounds, and that’s how many people have to die so we can save a few bucks at the pump, instead of doing the sensible thing and bringing the price of fuel down with increased domestic supply. 

And if you don’t think increasing supply would bring down the price of gas, you’re at odds with prominent Democrat Charles Schumer of New York, who recently urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to beg the Saudis to increase oil production, in order to lower gas prices.  Schumer’s office claimed “nothing being proposed by the Republicans would bring relief to consumers at the pump as quickly as the Saudis stepping up exports to offset the effect created by Iran.”

And yet, another prominent member of Schumer’s party says the best way to obtain relief at the pump is to wait until 2025 for more fuel-efficient cars!  Before that, he said we should wait even longer, until his brilliant technocratic government finds a way to extract fuel from algae.  And all Democrats cry in unison that developing America’s vast energy resources wouldn’t make any difference at all.  Every five years, they tell us there’s no point in discussing domestic oil production, because it would take five years to make a difference at the pump.  But waiting 13 years for more expensive, dangerous, fuel-efficient cars is brilliant! 

Obama’s high gas prices are currently costing the average American household over a thousand dollars per year, and it’s getting worse as prices rise.  That doesn’t include the higher inflationary cost of food and other goods, driven by rising fuel expenses.  We will therefore spend over $13,000 extra on gas – and probably a lot more than that, if Obama gets another term – while we wait for the opportunity to spend another $5,000 up front for cars that will save us $8,000 over their lifetime, which is about ten years.  It’s no wonder our economy has flourished under such wise stewardship.

 

Sign Up