With the increasing prices of sweet light crude oil forcing petrol prices to increase, there’s talk on The Hill about how to “fix” the problem. After all, the United States is built around the automobile – one of the most misguided evolutions in the history of nation building, but I digress.
Personally, I believe that his gas prices are here to say – and I’m all for that. The amount of subsidies in place to keep petrol prices low is incredible. Without any of these subsidies (which prop up the “Big Three” Detroit automakers and helped drive the suburban sprawl that’s evident in and around most major U.S. cities), drivers would pay close to $15 per gallon. While that price would be excessive, $3 a gallon is still ridiculously cheap on the world scale.
The one thing that no politician will touch is the fact that behavioral change is needed in the U.S. We need to get over the post-war dream of “a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage,” because it’s not a sustainable model if oil starts to decline in quantity – something it’s already doing as of this year.
But I’d like to focus on one aspect of adapting to this reality that the government is unwilling to really touch: CAFE standards.