Republican has good idea

Sen. John Warner (R-VA)John Warner (R-VA) has proposed a national speed limit of 65. If Americans really love their country, they’ll embrace this idea. I’m guessing they will not. It would be a case of government telling them what to do, depriving them of the freedom to be wasteful. To me, going 75 MPH is akin to dumping your trash out the car window. But I’ve never owned a car with greater than a four-cylinder engine, so what do I know. Barack Obama has turned into a middle-of-the-road wuss (sticking loopholes in his Iraq timetables, proposing more government money for faith-based programs) since he clinched the nomination, and he can regenerate some backbone by signing on to this idea from the venerable retiring senior senator from Virginia.

Energy Department spokeswoman Angela Hill said the department will review Warner’s letter but added, “If Congress is serious about addressing gasoline prices, they must take action on expanding domestic oil and natural gas production”.

In other words, DOE will be installing toilet paper printed with Senator Warner’s letter in its lavatories.

7 thoughts on “Republican has good idea

  1. It is not a bad idea to try to get people to drive a little slower, but is this the way to do it? Maybe have cops start enforcing the laws already on the books would be fine. I drive ten miles over the speed limit all the time because if I drove any slower, I’d get run over. More laws is not always the answer, they should enforce ones on the books first.

  2. Super, you have a good point. There aren’t that many stretches of highway with speed limits higher than 65, so the same aim as reinstating a national speed limit would be obtained by having existing limits enforced. Unfortunately, that’s probably not realistic, since it would require, I imagine, a significant resource reallocation to catching speeders.

    I think the main problem is that people ins position of leadership have to start convincing constituents that changing behavior is worth doing. Or the government needs a good PR campaign.

    Maybe those road signs on I-40 that show Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts could occasional state the going rate of a gallon of gas and a reminder to slow down. A few people might think, “Hmmm…I could try that” and then a few other people might not feel compelled to go so fast, and then, all of a sudden, we’d all be going 65 or under.

    Or install some high-tech cameras to catch every speeder and fine everyone.

  3. Here we go again…. No, this is not a good idea. We’ve tried this before. Sure, slowing down burns less gas, but not enough to justify the inconvenience of it requiring several more hours to make a trip. My six-cyl Honda Accord gets 28 mpg at 70 mph; it gets 29 mpg at 55 mph, so slowing down 15 mph saves 4% on gas, but cost 25% in extra time.

    The better idea is to ban SUVs, large pick-up trucks (except for commercial use) and automobiles with wheel bases greater than 115 inches.

    We do not have a fuel shortage. We have oil companies manipulating the market in order to make huge profits. And has anyone ever stopped to think that China would not need as much oil, if most of the products consumed in the U.S. weren’t manufactured there? U.S. Dollars are transforming China into an American-style consumerist economy. We’re transferring our nation’s wealth to them in exchange for cheap goods. The problem is that the planet cannot sustain another billion consumers.

  4. The real fuel waster is traffic jams. Cars get 0 MPG while idling, and load the air with pollution.

    Cheap, quick solution: Properly synch traffic lights. It’s maddening to have to stop right after you are ok to go, and the more un-synched lights, the worse the backup.

    Set a national standard and make the award of highway funds depend on meeting it. Time and gas will be saved, at very little cost, with happier drivers as a result.

  5. @Reality – Not everyone drives V-6 Honda Accords. The science does not agree with your individual anecdotal evidence. Even the US DOE argues that gas mileage can go down 33 percent by going too fast. As for slowing down costing extra time, why not speed up to save time? Why not go 100 MPH?

    Banning SUVs and buying less stuff from China would help, too, but even more unrealistic.

    @Jay – Yeah, out-of-sync traffic lights are a problem, indeed (although not on the interstates).

    @Cheryl – If Warner proposed 55 MPH, he’s overreached a bit.

  6. I hope he proposed 55 if his goal is energy savings, because that is the speed at which fuel economy starts to drop. It is also the gateway at which speed becomes very dangerous.

    I used to live in Anchorage, and there was a public service campaign that still rings in my ears… picture puppets singing Staying Alive Going 55! once per commercial break. (Why isn’t any of the good stuff on utoob?)

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