Back to 55 m.p.h.

So, what do you think about the proposals to to lower the national speed limit to 55 m.p.h. as a way to save gasoline and thus lower prices?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    That’s fine by me. Maybe it will help with all the speed related crashes, too. #1 cause of accidents is excessive speed.

    Now, do you think anyone will actually drive the speed limit?

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    That’s fine by me. Maybe it will help with all the speed related crashes, too. #1 cause of accidents is excessive speed.

    Now, do you think anyone will actually drive the speed limit?

  • http://www.simdan.com SimDan

    Considering that prices have been falling around here not much.

    Also, the mantra that “speed kills” is a straw-man that detracts from the real problem: bad drivers. Take the German autobahn: it has a better safety record than similar roads that have speed limits.

    On the other hand, with the time and money it takes in Germany to get a driver’s license, or to get it back after an offense, you tend to get better drivers. If it is going to cost you several months and thousands of dollars after a ticket or crash, you tend to not take risky maneuvers even when there is no speed limit.

  • http://www.simdan.com SimDan

    Considering that prices have been falling around here not much.

    Also, the mantra that “speed kills” is a straw-man that detracts from the real problem: bad drivers. Take the German autobahn: it has a better safety record than similar roads that have speed limits.

    On the other hand, with the time and money it takes in Germany to get a driver’s license, or to get it back after an offense, you tend to get better drivers. If it is going to cost you several months and thousands of dollars after a ticket or crash, you tend to not take risky maneuvers even when there is no speed limit.

  • Larry

    In the west it would just be ignored, the way it was last time around. You *cannot* drive 55 across Nevada or down I5 in the central valley of California or through eastern Montana. I’ve driven all of those and without cruise control it’s actually *impossible* to go that slow on those open roads. :-)

  • Larry

    In the west it would just be ignored, the way it was last time around. You *cannot* drive 55 across Nevada or down I5 in the central valley of California or through eastern Montana. I’ve driven all of those and without cruise control it’s actually *impossible* to go that slow on those open roads. :-)

  • eric

    There is no need for a national limit. Transportation companies are already limiting themselves without legislative intervention. Amatuer drivers will reduce their speed too, if the price becomes to painfull.

  • eric

    There is no need for a national limit. Transportation companies are already limiting themselves without legislative intervention. Amatuer drivers will reduce their speed too, if the price becomes to painfull.

  • Kyralessa

    My psyche is scarred with the memories of family trips that took *forever* at 55 mph. And we didn’t have these newfangled cars with personal video screens. No, we had to play stupid “Find the next letter of the alphabet in various road signs” games. I had a harsh childhood.

    What I *would* favor is raising the gasoline taxes, but instead of using it for road construction, using it for alternative transportation methods. That could be anything from better tax credits for hybrid and electric vehicles to investment in high-speed rail and other mass transit.

    My impression is that the $4/gallon price point is finally getting people to take alternative energy seriously. Though we can’t all wait for the government to change its mind about mass transit, more people are buying hybrid vehicles and scooters to save gas money.

    Personally, I bought one of these the other day:

    http://www.egovehicles.com

    I can’t ride it every day, due to rain. But already this week I’ve taken it to work instead of my car and saved $56 (based on the IRS vehicle compensation rates, currently at 58.5c/mile). I figure it’ll pay for itself in a year or two at most.

  • Kyralessa

    My psyche is scarred with the memories of family trips that took *forever* at 55 mph. And we didn’t have these newfangled cars with personal video screens. No, we had to play stupid “Find the next letter of the alphabet in various road signs” games. I had a harsh childhood.

    What I *would* favor is raising the gasoline taxes, but instead of using it for road construction, using it for alternative transportation methods. That could be anything from better tax credits for hybrid and electric vehicles to investment in high-speed rail and other mass transit.

    My impression is that the $4/gallon price point is finally getting people to take alternative energy seriously. Though we can’t all wait for the government to change its mind about mass transit, more people are buying hybrid vehicles and scooters to save gas money.

    Personally, I bought one of these the other day:

    http://www.egovehicles.com

    I can’t ride it every day, due to rain. But already this week I’ve taken it to work instead of my car and saved $56 (based on the IRS vehicle compensation rates, currently at 58.5c/mile). I figure it’ll pay for itself in a year or two at most.

  • WebMonk

    Slowing the top speed limit won’t save gas anyway, or at least not much. Depending on your car, your best MPG may come at 65 MPH. That used to just be true of high-end sports cars, but it has been trickling down to other cars too.

    Some cars would be forced into better mileage (if they obeyed those speed limits) but other cars would be getting lower mileage. Maybe back in 1984 cars were drastically more efficient at 55 than at 65, but that’s certainly not the case any more.

    Stupidity abounds.

  • WebMonk

    Slowing the top speed limit won’t save gas anyway, or at least not much. Depending on your car, your best MPG may come at 65 MPH. That used to just be true of high-end sports cars, but it has been trickling down to other cars too.

    Some cars would be forced into better mileage (if they obeyed those speed limits) but other cars would be getting lower mileage. Maybe back in 1984 cars were drastically more efficient at 55 than at 65, but that’s certainly not the case any more.

    Stupidity abounds.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    My take is that those who advocate a 55mph speed limit have never taken a long road trip out west. Personally, I notice that my vehicles lose a lot of mileage after 65mph, but not after 55.

    Also, it’s worth noting that when Reagan repealed the “double nickel”, there was no surge of fatalities. It simply became legal to drive the speeds we were all driving to begin with.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    My take is that those who advocate a 55mph speed limit have never taken a long road trip out west. Personally, I notice that my vehicles lose a lot of mileage after 65mph, but not after 55.

    Also, it’s worth noting that when Reagan repealed the “double nickel”, there was no surge of fatalities. It simply became legal to drive the speeds we were all driving to begin with.

  • Sam

    Sorry to burst your bubba, bubble.
    I support the 55 limit, and I’ve lived “out west” in Southern Arizona most of my half century of life. I commute on a two-lane interstate with a current limit of 75 mph; nonetheless, in the right “slow” lane, people drive between 60-70; in the left “fast” lane, people drive up to 85-90. With a 20- to 30-mile differential between lanes, accidents are not uncommon. 55 mph doesn’t just conserve gas, it slows us down to reasonable speeds. (On this freeway, however, I’d be happy if the limit was reduced to 65.)

  • Sam

    Sorry to burst your bubba, bubble.
    I support the 55 limit, and I’ve lived “out west” in Southern Arizona most of my half century of life. I commute on a two-lane interstate with a current limit of 75 mph; nonetheless, in the right “slow” lane, people drive between 60-70; in the left “fast” lane, people drive up to 85-90. With a 20- to 30-mile differential between lanes, accidents are not uncommon. 55 mph doesn’t just conserve gas, it slows us down to reasonable speeds. (On this freeway, however, I’d be happy if the limit was reduced to 65.)

  • Don S

    If you reduce the maximum speed limit 15% (from 65 MPH to 55 MPH, on average), you are going to increase traffic about that same 15%, it seems to me. Exactly where are we going to put those extra cars, since no one seems to build new freeways or lanes anymore? Won’t the increased traffic waste more fuel and cause more environmental damage than the 65 MPH speed limit? I will support a national 55 MPH speed limit if it is conditioned on 1) prohibiting private jet travel by so-called “green” celebrities and any legislator voting for a national speed limit; and 2) prohibiting Al Gore from using electricity in amounts greater than the national average for single family homes.

  • Don S

    If you reduce the maximum speed limit 15% (from 65 MPH to 55 MPH, on average), you are going to increase traffic about that same 15%, it seems to me. Exactly where are we going to put those extra cars, since no one seems to build new freeways or lanes anymore? Won’t the increased traffic waste more fuel and cause more environmental damage than the 65 MPH speed limit? I will support a national 55 MPH speed limit if it is conditioned on 1) prohibiting private jet travel by so-called “green” celebrities and any legislator voting for a national speed limit; and 2) prohibiting Al Gore from using electricity in amounts greater than the national average for single family homes.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I really think that speed limits need to be done away with altogether, at least on the freeways.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I really think that speed limits need to be done away with altogether, at least on the freeways.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m just glad that Al Gore finally made it into this conversation. It really was staying on topic too much.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m just glad that Al Gore finally made it into this conversation. It really was staying on topic too much.

  • Billye

    I have noticed people to be slowing down without a mandatory speed limit change. I have slowed my driving down and find the trip to be pleasurable. A mandatory 55 mph limit is unreasonable. People can figure it out for themselves.

  • Billye

    I have noticed people to be slowing down without a mandatory speed limit change. I have slowed my driving down and find the trip to be pleasurable. A mandatory 55 mph limit is unreasonable. People can figure it out for themselves.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Sam, the trick is that you’d have exactly the same thing going on with a 55mph speed limit, or without a speed limit at all. You see exactly the same thing on any major freeway into Detroit or Chicago, and yes, you see accidents. Speed limits there: 55 or 60mph.

    Burst my bubble? Nope. The data simply do not establish that lower speed limits save lives on the interstate.

    BTW, you can lay off the personal attacks, K?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Sam, the trick is that you’d have exactly the same thing going on with a 55mph speed limit, or without a speed limit at all. You see exactly the same thing on any major freeway into Detroit or Chicago, and yes, you see accidents. Speed limits there: 55 or 60mph.

    Burst my bubble? Nope. The data simply do not establish that lower speed limits save lives on the interstate.

    BTW, you can lay off the personal attacks, K?

  • Sam

    Bike or Mr. Bubba, no offense intended. But if merely disagreeing with you constitutes a personal attack, I can’t promise to lay off. I addressed you by name only because you said your take was that no one advocating 55 mph ever takes a long road trip out west. All I said was that I advocate the lower limit and have taken many hundreds of such trips.
    As for Billye, your observation actually supports lowering the limit. It’s because people are slowing down to conserve gas that makes driving on a 65- or 75-mph freeway less safe. I advocate lowering the limit simply to reflect the slower speeds people are already driving. But reasonable folk can differ on this topic.
    With no one in mind, I’m mildly surprised that no one yet has, per the tattoo discussion, found a way to nail others here as sinners under the Levitical law for liking a particular speed limit. (I enjoy tODD’s wit.)

  • Sam

    Bike or Mr. Bubba, no offense intended. But if merely disagreeing with you constitutes a personal attack, I can’t promise to lay off. I addressed you by name only because you said your take was that no one advocating 55 mph ever takes a long road trip out west. All I said was that I advocate the lower limit and have taken many hundreds of such trips.
    As for Billye, your observation actually supports lowering the limit. It’s because people are slowing down to conserve gas that makes driving on a 65- or 75-mph freeway less safe. I advocate lowering the limit simply to reflect the slower speeds people are already driving. But reasonable folk can differ on this topic.
    With no one in mind, I’m mildly surprised that no one yet has, per the tattoo discussion, found a way to nail others here as sinners under the Levitical law for liking a particular speed limit. (I enjoy tODD’s wit.)

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Sammy Hagar looks to make another comeback.

    I can’t drive 55.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Sammy Hagar looks to make another comeback.

    I can’t drive 55.

  • Anon

    The higher speed limits save lives on rural interstates and freeways. Boredom is a major killer on those roads – white line fever, the hypnotic state you can slip into.

    55 is stupid. But Statist, and Americans seem to be seeking a political redeemer just like the Germans are.

    We need to drill and refine. We have more than enough known reserves for the next century and longer. During which time we must build enough reactors to replace polluting sources of energy, then we -could- have a ‘hydrogen economy’ but the energy to store as hydrogen has to come from somewhere.

  • Anon

    The higher speed limits save lives on rural interstates and freeways. Boredom is a major killer on those roads – white line fever, the hypnotic state you can slip into.

    55 is stupid. But Statist, and Americans seem to be seeking a political redeemer just like the Germans are.

    We need to drill and refine. We have more than enough known reserves for the next century and longer. During which time we must build enough reactors to replace polluting sources of energy, then we -could- have a ‘hydrogen economy’ but the energy to store as hydrogen has to come from somewhere.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Sam, you are in a very distinct minority in advocating a lower speed limit on rural freeways.

    And your claim? It only works if speed limits do, and in my 20 odd years of driving, they don’t. I-80 has always been 70-80mph all the way from Chicago to San Francisco, whether the speed limits posted are 45, 55, 65, or 75mph.

    Again, those who endorse a 55mph speed limit should be required to go from Chicago to Denver at that speed–and be reminded that they just spent an extra 5 hours doing so because of it, but saved only about five gallons of gas.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Sam, you are in a very distinct minority in advocating a lower speed limit on rural freeways.

    And your claim? It only works if speed limits do, and in my 20 odd years of driving, they don’t. I-80 has always been 70-80mph all the way from Chicago to San Francisco, whether the speed limits posted are 45, 55, 65, or 75mph.

    Again, those who endorse a 55mph speed limit should be required to go from Chicago to Denver at that speed–and be reminded that they just spent an extra 5 hours doing so because of it, but saved only about five gallons of gas.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I heartily agree Bike Bubba. What sort of moron wants to hand this back again to the Federal Gov’t. Leave freeway speed limits up to the States please. And we should be able to do away with them altogether if that’s what we want. That’s what I want. Perhaps speed “suggestions” (especially out here in the expanses of the west) would keep us all a lot more honest.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I heartily agree Bike Bubba. What sort of moron wants to hand this back again to the Federal Gov’t. Leave freeway speed limits up to the States please. And we should be able to do away with them altogether if that’s what we want. That’s what I want. Perhaps speed “suggestions” (especially out here in the expanses of the west) would keep us all a lot more honest.

  • Reg Schofield

    What is this thirst for speed and getting to somewhere faster. We are a spoiled continent , who get upset at setting an extra minute if work is happening on the highway. I think if a road is twinned and in essence elements head on head collisions a healthy 65 is fine but when you are dealing with 2 lanes that go face to face , 55 is fine. I have talked to enough police officers who have told me that speed kills just as many as alcohol. Speeding increases the chance of driver error and reduces the chances of correcting your error. Plus you know if you need to get to a certain place at a certain time , leave earlier it won’t kill ya but excessive speed just might!

  • Reg Schofield

    What is this thirst for speed and getting to somewhere faster. We are a spoiled continent , who get upset at setting an extra minute if work is happening on the highway. I think if a road is twinned and in essence elements head on head collisions a healthy 65 is fine but when you are dealing with 2 lanes that go face to face , 55 is fine. I have talked to enough police officers who have told me that speed kills just as many as alcohol. Speeding increases the chance of driver error and reduces the chances of correcting your error. Plus you know if you need to get to a certain place at a certain time , leave earlier it won’t kill ya but excessive speed just might!

  • http://wayofthemasterradio.com TV

    Why not, oh I don’t know, leave the speed limits alone and if someone wants to drive slower the can do that. Even with a 70mph speed limit, you’re still legal at 40mph aren’t you???
    As Fleetwood Mac said, “you can go your own way”

  • http://wayofthemasterradio.com TV

    Why not, oh I don’t know, leave the speed limits alone and if someone wants to drive slower the can do that. Even with a 70mph speed limit, you’re still legal at 40mph aren’t you???
    As Fleetwood Mac said, “you can go your own way”

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr Luther from Lutherama

    The people who propose this have obviously never tried to get anywhere in Texas. The higher speed limits have cut about an 1 1/2 hrs off our drive from Houston to Abilene. Besides you try to do 55 in Houston and the cops will run you over.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr Luther from Lutherama

    The people who propose this have obviously never tried to get anywhere in Texas. The higher speed limits have cut about an 1 1/2 hrs off our drive from Houston to Abilene. Besides you try to do 55 in Houston and the cops will run you over.

  • Anon

    Five hours is not one minute.

    White line fever is no myth and no joke. It takes lives, those of truckers, and those of the families they kill when they slam into them.

    The amount of gas saved is minuscule.

    If urban areas want to have lower limits, they may enact them. But how does the federal government have the right to enact speed limits upon State and county roads? The Constitution delegates no such powers to the federal government.

    We need to drill, refine and at the same time pursue alternate sources of energy, such as from breeder reactors, boron-hydrogen fusion reactors (invented by P. T. Farnsworth who invented the television tube, and which the recently-deceased Dr. Bussard brought to break-even), as well as wind farms where appropriate to provide relief in peak power situations, ethanol and biodiesel, and in time, a hydrogen economy, when we have enough reactors to provide enough electricity to charge the vehicles. We presently have no such capacity.

    We need to ‘fire’ the politicians who forbid drilling, refining, and fission and fusion power plants. They are the ones who pretend to care for the poor, and who are driving them into destitution in their efforts at social engineering.

  • Anon

    Five hours is not one minute.

    White line fever is no myth and no joke. It takes lives, those of truckers, and those of the families they kill when they slam into them.

    The amount of gas saved is minuscule.

    If urban areas want to have lower limits, they may enact them. But how does the federal government have the right to enact speed limits upon State and county roads? The Constitution delegates no such powers to the federal government.

    We need to drill, refine and at the same time pursue alternate sources of energy, such as from breeder reactors, boron-hydrogen fusion reactors (invented by P. T. Farnsworth who invented the television tube, and which the recently-deceased Dr. Bussard brought to break-even), as well as wind farms where appropriate to provide relief in peak power situations, ethanol and biodiesel, and in time, a hydrogen economy, when we have enough reactors to provide enough electricity to charge the vehicles. We presently have no such capacity.

    We need to ‘fire’ the politicians who forbid drilling, refining, and fission and fusion power plants. They are the ones who pretend to care for the poor, and who are driving them into destitution in their efforts at social engineering.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert

    My reaction? A guffaw of skepticism. People around here can’t even obey the speed limit if it’s 70 mph on the interstate. Do the feds honestly think that they can enforce a 55 mph speed limit with any kind of consistency? This idea is just a typically statist response to the problem — that is, when we see a problem, we regulate it, or more accurately we pass a law to fix it. Is this really the best way to conserve gasoline and, more importantly, move towards getting the US not so dependent on oil in the first place?

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert

    My reaction? A guffaw of skepticism. People around here can’t even obey the speed limit if it’s 70 mph on the interstate. Do the feds honestly think that they can enforce a 55 mph speed limit with any kind of consistency? This idea is just a typically statist response to the problem — that is, when we see a problem, we regulate it, or more accurately we pass a law to fix it. Is this really the best way to conserve gasoline and, more importantly, move towards getting the US not so dependent on oil in the first place?

  • Jenn W

    Did it work the first time? I see it as fed government trying to tell us how to live again. Kind of like Pres Clinton telling us that he’d keep the surplus b/c he as the pres better knew how to spend our money than we the poor dumb taxpayers. YIKES!

    The better way to conserve gas money is to stay home and play with your family!

  • Jenn W

    Did it work the first time? I see it as fed government trying to tell us how to live again. Kind of like Pres Clinton telling us that he’d keep the surplus b/c he as the pres better knew how to spend our money than we the poor dumb taxpayers. YIKES!

    The better way to conserve gas money is to stay home and play with your family!

  • FWw

    It´s a distraction.

    Speed limits should be eliminated probably on some wide-open freeways out west.

    It´s a distraction from what is really causing the increase in fuel prices.

    more drilling won´t help (per boone pickens, and he should know…) another demogogic effort at distraction.

    More countries are demanding more carbon based fuels and production of those fuels is relatively flat. This will not change for a long long time. Deal with it.

    We americans are used to having more control over what happens to us economically. This is changing fast. Wait till our loans to china to finance iraq come home to roost. In the last 8 years, we have squandered alot of our countries accumulated financial power and wealth.

    There is the idea here that the government needs to DO something. surprising to hear that from “conservatives.”

    with rising energy prices, americans, ever adaptable, will do the sensible thing and start buying cars that make sense. Market driven. they will insulate. they will buy more efficient appliances. money will be invested in public mass transit. this will all create jobs and make the usa more efficient. Lifestyles will improve probably (more relaxing to take a bus or subway than drive in rushhour traffic I think… so nice to read a book or surf the internet). Environmental concerns will automatically be served by all of this….becoming more energy independent will serve us strategically both militarily and politically in the world.

    I am not really seeing a long term downside. I DO feel for the farmers who drive great distances in the west and upper midwest and have a need for large vehicles, and so are really going to suffer. farms will close. probably was always inevitable in the long run. Ditto for suburbs. In most of the world it is the poor who live far from the urban center. Eisenhower created a deviation from the world norm with creation of the freeways.

    So it seems that public policy of the 50´s is coming back now to bite us in the a**.

    interesting how things all work out.

    I used to live in Los Angeles. I will be fascinated to see how that “city”-consisting-of-suburbs-linked-by-freeways” will adapt and survive.

  • FWw

    It´s a distraction.

    Speed limits should be eliminated probably on some wide-open freeways out west.

    It´s a distraction from what is really causing the increase in fuel prices.

    more drilling won´t help (per boone pickens, and he should know…) another demogogic effort at distraction.

    More countries are demanding more carbon based fuels and production of those fuels is relatively flat. This will not change for a long long time. Deal with it.

    We americans are used to having more control over what happens to us economically. This is changing fast. Wait till our loans to china to finance iraq come home to roost. In the last 8 years, we have squandered alot of our countries accumulated financial power and wealth.

    There is the idea here that the government needs to DO something. surprising to hear that from “conservatives.”

    with rising energy prices, americans, ever adaptable, will do the sensible thing and start buying cars that make sense. Market driven. they will insulate. they will buy more efficient appliances. money will be invested in public mass transit. this will all create jobs and make the usa more efficient. Lifestyles will improve probably (more relaxing to take a bus or subway than drive in rushhour traffic I think… so nice to read a book or surf the internet). Environmental concerns will automatically be served by all of this….becoming more energy independent will serve us strategically both militarily and politically in the world.

    I am not really seeing a long term downside. I DO feel for the farmers who drive great distances in the west and upper midwest and have a need for large vehicles, and so are really going to suffer. farms will close. probably was always inevitable in the long run. Ditto for suburbs. In most of the world it is the poor who live far from the urban center. Eisenhower created a deviation from the world norm with creation of the freeways.

    So it seems that public policy of the 50´s is coming back now to bite us in the a**.

    interesting how things all work out.

    I used to live in Los Angeles. I will be fascinated to see how that “city”-consisting-of-suburbs-linked-by-freeways” will adapt and survive.

  • Bruce

    Something that isn’t being pointed out is the need for relatively the same speed on highways. It is dangerous for cars going 85 and cars going 50 to be on the same highway, whether two or four lane. There should at the very least be some guidelines. While I tend to favor higher speed limits as commenters here have mentioned, it is unnerving to have someone whip past you at 20 mphs more than you are travelling. Around here, they all have Illinois license plates. There is a thrill of pleasure to see our state’s finest pull one of the brethren to the south over. Heheheh.

  • Bruce

    Something that isn’t being pointed out is the need for relatively the same speed on highways. It is dangerous for cars going 85 and cars going 50 to be on the same highway, whether two or four lane. There should at the very least be some guidelines. While I tend to favor higher speed limits as commenters here have mentioned, it is unnerving to have someone whip past you at 20 mphs more than you are travelling. Around here, they all have Illinois license plates. There is a thrill of pleasure to see our state’s finest pull one of the brethren to the south over. Heheheh.

  • Don S

    Frank (FWw) @25 — People aren’t saying government should “do something”. People are saying government should get out of the way and let the people do something! Excessive regulation is stifling production of crude oil, natural gas, and refined fuel. Reasonable de-regulation will permit the market to increase supply and ease the pressure on prices.

    Boone Pickens does NOT say more drilling won’t help. What he says is more drilling will not solve the problem long term. But there’s no question it will help in the short and intermediate term. We are going to be a fossil fuel economy for decades yet, and are certainly going to need more supply or face a very bleak period of shortage which is going to decimate the middle class and poor. This is common sense that democrats in Congress are ignoring (and, in fact, suppressing by refusing to permit votes or floor discussion on these issues) because of their abject fear of the environmental lobby.

    How will things work out? Here’s my prediction — we will drill for and produce more fossil fuel, including oil, natural gas, clean coal, as well as increase nuclear power implementation, because our population needs energy and is going to wake up and punish any politicians that obstruct these common sense measures. In the meantime, there will be a renewed market emphasis on developing alternative fuels because energy pricing will remain relatively high and there will be economic incentives to do so.

  • Don S

    Frank (FWw) @25 — People aren’t saying government should “do something”. People are saying government should get out of the way and let the people do something! Excessive regulation is stifling production of crude oil, natural gas, and refined fuel. Reasonable de-regulation will permit the market to increase supply and ease the pressure on prices.

    Boone Pickens does NOT say more drilling won’t help. What he says is more drilling will not solve the problem long term. But there’s no question it will help in the short and intermediate term. We are going to be a fossil fuel economy for decades yet, and are certainly going to need more supply or face a very bleak period of shortage which is going to decimate the middle class and poor. This is common sense that democrats in Congress are ignoring (and, in fact, suppressing by refusing to permit votes or floor discussion on these issues) because of their abject fear of the environmental lobby.

    How will things work out? Here’s my prediction — we will drill for and produce more fossil fuel, including oil, natural gas, clean coal, as well as increase nuclear power implementation, because our population needs energy and is going to wake up and punish any politicians that obstruct these common sense measures. In the meantime, there will be a renewed market emphasis on developing alternative fuels because energy pricing will remain relatively high and there will be economic incentives to do so.

  • Matt L

    Maybe this is my libertarian bent coming through, but isn’t that a clear violation of the 10th Amendment… oh that’s right… since the 1860s we can use interstate commerce to usurp states rights.

  • Matt L

    Maybe this is my libertarian bent coming through, but isn’t that a clear violation of the 10th Amendment… oh that’s right… since the 1860s we can use interstate commerce to usurp states rights.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt (@28), is it really a “usurp[ing]” of state’s rights, or is it that the states willingly give up their rights because they want federal highway dollars? My understanding is that states could ignore federal rules in this regard, but none of them choose to do so. Hard to argue for state’s rights when the states themselves don’t seem to be fighting for them that much.

    Don (@27), you seem to be arguing that drilling will both decrease gas prices and, somehow, not decrease them, since you claim high gas prices will encourage the development of alternative fuels. Why not just focus directly on alternative fuels, rather than go through some convoluted path to indirectly encourage them?

    We truly are addicted to oil, though, and you can see it with the “just one more hit” mentality here. Junkie’s going down, but he doesn’t care.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt (@28), is it really a “usurp[ing]” of state’s rights, or is it that the states willingly give up their rights because they want federal highway dollars? My understanding is that states could ignore federal rules in this regard, but none of them choose to do so. Hard to argue for state’s rights when the states themselves don’t seem to be fighting for them that much.

    Don (@27), you seem to be arguing that drilling will both decrease gas prices and, somehow, not decrease them, since you claim high gas prices will encourage the development of alternative fuels. Why not just focus directly on alternative fuels, rather than go through some convoluted path to indirectly encourage them?

    We truly are addicted to oil, though, and you can see it with the “just one more hit” mentality here. Junkie’s going down, but he doesn’t care.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD
  • Don S

    tODD @ 29:

    No, my argument is not inconsistent at all. We need more supply to moderate future oil price increases, and perhaps permit some price reduction in the immediate future. However, we will not see a reduction to levels of a few years ago, and the current pricing is plenty high enough to stimulate alternative energy development.

    We can’t go straight to alternative fuels, and you know it. Our infrastructure is built for fossil fuels. It takes about 20 years to turn over our vehicle fleet, and we are not yet producing alternative fuel vehicles at production rates. It takes 4-7 years to build a new power plant (15-20 for nuclear), so we are looking at 20-30 years, at least, to put in place new electric generation facilities on a mass scale. We have no infrastructure to reliably fuel alternative fuel vehicles in mass quantities. This is all going to take a lot of time, partially because we don’t want to destroy the poor and middle class in the process.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 29:

    No, my argument is not inconsistent at all. We need more supply to moderate future oil price increases, and perhaps permit some price reduction in the immediate future. However, we will not see a reduction to levels of a few years ago, and the current pricing is plenty high enough to stimulate alternative energy development.

    We can’t go straight to alternative fuels, and you know it. Our infrastructure is built for fossil fuels. It takes about 20 years to turn over our vehicle fleet, and we are not yet producing alternative fuel vehicles at production rates. It takes 4-7 years to build a new power plant (15-20 for nuclear), so we are looking at 20-30 years, at least, to put in place new electric generation facilities on a mass scale. We have no infrastructure to reliably fuel alternative fuel vehicles in mass quantities. This is all going to take a lot of time, partially because we don’t want to destroy the poor and middle class in the process.

  • Anon

    The problem with federal highway dollars is that those are taxpayer dollars in the first place, and those taxpayers are citizens of the several States. See the 10th Amendment and what Oklahoma is trying to do.

  • Anon

    The problem with federal highway dollars is that those are taxpayer dollars in the first place, and those taxpayers are citizens of the several States. See the 10th Amendment and what Oklahoma is trying to do.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@32), is there a guarantee anywhere that a state will get back from the federal government the taxes paid for by its citizens? Clearly not, as many states’ citizens now pay more in federal taxes than the the states receive in federal dollars.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@32), is there a guarantee anywhere that a state will get back from the federal government the taxes paid for by its citizens? Clearly not, as many states’ citizens now pay more in federal taxes than the the states receive in federal dollars.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Those who claim that speed kills as many as alcohol really need to pony up and get some research done. There is none that backs up that claim. Reality is that one of the reasons speed limits are instituted is to provide adequate time for drivers to respond to hazards on the road, most of them moving 10mph or less. If you can’t handle someone going 20mph slower or faster than yourself, it’s probably time to hand in your drivers’ license.

    (and again, just because some clown decides to ride his 1979 Schwinn to work–that would be me if you’re in SW TC area–doesn’t mean the rest of you are required to go the 15-25mph he can pedal)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Those who claim that speed kills as many as alcohol really need to pony up and get some research done. There is none that backs up that claim. Reality is that one of the reasons speed limits are instituted is to provide adequate time for drivers to respond to hazards on the road, most of them moving 10mph or less. If you can’t handle someone going 20mph slower or faster than yourself, it’s probably time to hand in your drivers’ license.

    (and again, just because some clown decides to ride his 1979 Schwinn to work–that would be me if you’re in SW TC area–doesn’t mean the rest of you are required to go the 15-25mph he can pedal)

  • Don S

    tODD @ 33 — no, there is no such guarantee. However, there was originally a guarantee that the federal government was limited to powers expressly authorized in the Constitution, with all remaining power reserved to the states. Too bad that one didn’t stick, or we wouldn’t have to worry about the feds extorting the states to fall into line on all these nanny government edicts by threatening to withhold federal funds they shouldn’t have in the first place.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 33 — no, there is no such guarantee. However, there was originally a guarantee that the federal government was limited to powers expressly authorized in the Constitution, with all remaining power reserved to the states. Too bad that one didn’t stick, or we wouldn’t have to worry about the feds extorting the states to fall into line on all these nanny government edicts by threatening to withhold federal funds they shouldn’t have in the first place.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don S (@35), your argument only makes sense pre-16th-Amendment. But in the past 100 years, things would have been the same, regardless.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don S (@35), your argument only makes sense pre-16th-Amendment. But in the past 100 years, things would have been the same, regardless.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 36 — no, that’s not correct. The 16th Amendment authorized the income tax. It’s not the taxing power that is at issue, it is the enumerated powers of Congress set forth in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 36 — no, that’s not correct. The 16th Amendment authorized the income tax. It’s not the taxing power that is at issue, it is the enumerated powers of Congress set forth in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

  • wfseube

    Well, if the objective is to maximize gas mileage, yes, it should go back to 55. Despite the unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, most cars get better mileage somewhere between 45-60 MPH. A simple web search reveals numerous documents that discuss optimal speeds for mileage. It depends upon the engine displacement, aerodynamics, road conditions, etc…. but the curve falls somewhere around (surprise!) 55 (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml).

    My Prius shows a pronounced drop in MPG once I top around 60 MPH. I have three other vehicles (2000, 2002, 2007), and they also show a dropoff in mileage around that point.

    But I don’t think the debate is limited to gas mileage efficiency, making the other points above just as relevant.

  • wfseube

    Well, if the objective is to maximize gas mileage, yes, it should go back to 55. Despite the unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, most cars get better mileage somewhere between 45-60 MPH. A simple web search reveals numerous documents that discuss optimal speeds for mileage. It depends upon the engine displacement, aerodynamics, road conditions, etc…. but the curve falls somewhere around (surprise!) 55 (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml).

    My Prius shows a pronounced drop in MPG once I top around 60 MPH. I have three other vehicles (2000, 2002, 2007), and they also show a dropoff in mileage around that point.

    But I don’t think the debate is limited to gas mileage efficiency, making the other points above just as relevant.

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