That was the message written recently by Warren Brown of the Washington Post and that “two part equation” as he puts it is exactly what most of Congress is attempting to ignore. Such language relates greatly to an articlewritten here last week, that America’s consumption of energy and in this case foreign oil must be addressed along side the automobile industries new fuel efficiency standards. Addressing one without the other is the equivalent of changing all your light bulbs to high efficiency incandescent bulbs but leaving more lights on All the time. Sure each bulb uses less electricity to operate but by tripling the number of lights running you are negating the savings. And that is exactly what Mr. Brown is reporting has happened since the first CAFE bill passed in 1975.
By producing more fuel efficient cars that coincided with the lowest fuel costs of any industrialized nation the American motorist has been able to drive further and further each year. Our cars burn less per mile than ever before but our driving habits have out-run the savings that efficiency has earned us. Until Congress and the American People do something to curb our thirst for fuel and not just make it so same amount of fuel takes us a bit further we are going to continue to run into the same dilemma year after year. (And after just driving an estimated 1200 miles round trip from South Carolina to West Virginia and back for the 4th time in 4 months, reducing my fuel consumption is at the top of my list.)