Did Joe Wilson do a brave and smart thing? Critic says he did

A Democrat who wants to oppose U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson in the fall put out this release yesterday:

Beaufort, SC – Today, Democratic Congressional Candidate Rob Miller released the following statement concerning incumbent Joe Wilson’s vote yesterday against legislation that could lower gas prices as much as 24 cents a gallon. Wilson was one of only 25 members of Congress to vote against H.R. 6022, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Fill Suspension and Consumer Protection Act. Majorities in both parties voted in favor of this legislation to provide Americans some quick relief from record high gas prices.

     "Joe Wilson owes people back home an explanation on why he sided with big oil and voted against providing families much needed relief at the gas pump. People are struggling simply to pay for the gas that gets them to and from work these days. Joe Wilson seems to be too busy cozying up to oil executives to even notice," Miller said. 
     "This is just another reason I’m running for Congress to bring change to Washington and give the voters of the Second District the representation they deserve."


I have yet to see a statement from Joe himself on the subject, but Rob Miller is a recent captain in the United States Marine Corps, and they’re not trained to lie, so I’m going to take him at his word on this.

Now if Joe were running on the Grownup Party (a.k.a. UnParty, a.k.a. Energy Party) ticket, he’d be bragging about doing this. But since he’s a mere Republican, he’s not boasting.

But from this account, it sure sounds like he did the right thing.

48 thoughts on “Did Joe Wilson do a brave and smart thing? Critic says he did

  1. Florida Evans

    Joe Wilson has always been a complete sellout. This vote is no surprise. Like all of the Bush Republicans, Wilson loves the Billion dollar Big Oil profits.
    Wilson also has openly praised spending a $TRILLION$ in waging the Bush/Cheney war in Iraq.
    Yet, good old Joe Wilson denounces, as “pork,” money spent on Americans in America.
    Wilson needs to move to Fallujah since he seems to think that everything is so great in Iraq.

  2. Mike Cakora

    Even though I am not and will never be a member of the Grownup Party / UnParty / Energy Party, I too applaud Rep. Wilson for his principled stand and refusal to pander in this instance.
    It’s called the Strategic Petroleum Reserve because it’s a strategic petroleum reserve designed to mitigate future temporary supply disruptions. It’s a national security resource with critical economic, energy, and psychological foundations.
    Today’s oil futures market is characterized by uncertainty. Should the fears plaguing the market gradually abate, prices will drift down a bit. OPEC is not entirely pleased with prices at today’s levels because they make recovery worthwhile from oil fields previously abandoned for economic reasons and spur development of deposits where the $40 – $65 per barrel cost had previously deterred exploitation. OPEC is creating future competition.
    Tapping the reserve sends the message that we’re willing and able to manipulate the world price. The only problem with that is that we can’t and it’s too durned easy to call our bluff. There’s not enough oil there to have much of an impact over even the middle term. As for short term impact, any and all OPEC producers can and likely will reduce their output based on the amount we draw down.
    Okay, not everybody studies economics, but don’t any of you play poker?

  3. Bob

    As usual,critics of Joe Wilson are in with the quick fix and the gimme crowd. They want instant feel-good solutions to problems that have taken decades to create. I do not use the word “create” lightly because our politicians in BOTH parties have created this enery fiasco by listening to a bunch of hysterical greenies that are ALWAYS claiming that the sky is falling.
    What needs to be done is to build more fuel efficient cars and trucks as well as more refineries, more nuclear power plants,drill more oil wells and also build more coal fired and hydro-electric power plants.
    I for one DO NOT buy into this “interdependency”BS!!! That is nothing but code used by our “allies” for “let’s screw the American taxpaying public.”

  4. Randy E

    Someone get Mr. Miller a calculator.
    Here’s the savings he proposes: A person drives 20 miles a day, every day for a month – 600 miles. He gets 20 mpg – 30 gallons. At 24 cents per gallon, that’s $7 for the month.
    Mr. Miller, there’s a reason Mayor Bloomberg, who knows a little more about economics than you, called it “one of the dumbest ideas he ever heard.”

  5. Richard in Irmo

    If Rob Miller really believes diverting 70,000 barrels of oil from the SOR will lower gas prices by 24 cents a gallon, then this alone should disqualify him from public office. Do those that support this measure, like Rob Miller, realize that the U.S. uses 20.6 MILLION barrels of oil a day? Do you really think 70,000 barrels will make even a 2 cent difference in the price of gas? This is a .003384% increase in supply. If you actually believe this increase would lower gas prices then OK, let’s assume a .003384% increase in oil supply equates to a .003384% reduction in gas prices. Great Rob Miller-you just saved us hard working Americans a whopping 1.1844 cents per gallon. Damn, I can’t wait to buy me a steak dinner with those savings!
    Most economic and security experts state we should DOUBLE our Strategic Oil Reserves not do stupid election year stunts like this.

  6. bud

    Nobody is asking the right question, so I’ll ask it.
    CAN the Saudis ramp up production in order to manipulate the market? Many oil experts are suggesting that the Saudis really don’t have excess capacity at all and that they are running all-out now. If that’s true the entire debate is put into a completely different perspective. The Saudis may just be maintaining the allusion that they have excess capacity.
    That leads to the next question. If the Saudis are at peak production now, how long can they sustain it? And how fast will they fall from the peak? 2%/year, 5%. Just take a look at Mexico for some scary comparisons. Mexican oil production is dropping fast, perhaps as much as 5%/year. Given their increased use of oil they will almost certainly be a net oil importer in less than 10 years. If the Saudis can’t ramp up production the gig is up. No amount of posturing about the ANWR, the strategic reserve or anything else will matter. We will be using far less than 20 million barrels of oil per day very quickly. It’s just a matter of how we’ll get there.

  7. Bill C.

    How many of you people actually believe that a 24 cent a gallon tax decrease is actually going to help? Are you really that hard up for a $4-$6 decrease everytime you fill your tank? How long before that 24 cents is replaced by gas companies increasing their price because they know we’ll pay it? Decrease the gas tax by 24 cents and all that will happen is people will drive less because the roads will be in such poor shape you won’t be able to drive on them.

  8. Richard L. Wolfe

    The common sense solution ( not that common sense is a viable argument in modern politics ) to our energy problems would be to do it all. Conserve, drill, alternative sources, mass transit, coal, etc. I am surprised that some politician hasn’t declared a war on energy dependency. They have declared a war on everything else. To solve this problem we need major surgery not just nip and tuck solutions.

  9. Charlotte W.

    Marines may not be trained to lie but shame on Mr. Miller for a CLEARLY one sided statement. This is exactly the type of person we don’t need in DC! Any politician promising he can lower gas prices is an out and out liar. Politicians don’t control gas prices, oil traders do. The falling value of the dollar is one reason for the increase in gas prices, that is not Rep. Wilson’s doing. If Mr. Miller is sincerely interested in helping the constituents he should go back to school and get his PhD in economics.

  10. Lee Muller

    The U.S. can’t have any impact on it supply of petroleum products until it increases refining capacity.
    Refineries are running at 98% capacity.
    We cannot import any more oil. OPEC would be dumb to produce more oil into a world that is at its refining capacity, because that surplus will only lower the price of crude.
    We have to build new refineries at the same time we are drilling in ANWR and off our coasts.
    The US never should have allowed uncontrolled immigration to increase out population from 170,000,000 to 300,000,000, which increased our oil consumption by so much that we had to import oil.

  11. bud

    Since Brad likes to talk about partisan politics this seems like a good issue to discuss it. Both parties are irresponsible in this energy calamity that is unfolding. The price of diesel fuel is signaling a genuine shortage of that important commodity. This could unfold as a true economic catastrophe if we don’t act. Here is what I would say to members of both parties.
    To the Democrats and liberals. This is not a conspiracy by the oil companies to make huge profits. They are simply the beneficiaries of a geological situation that is unfolding before our very eyes. The quantity of oil that can be pumped out of the ground is peaking. The oil companies did not create this situation. Also, conservation alone will not solve this problem. We need to look at the ANWR, Nuclear and even coal. Sadly we could face an economic collaspe of a profound nature if we don’t look at the domestic supply side of energy.
    To Republicans and conservatives. Drilling in the ANWR absolutely, positively with 100% certainty will not make a major contribution to solving this problem. I believe we should drill there provided we do so responsibly. But it really won’t help much. It is just too little to make up for losses elsewhere in the world. And for all you SUV owners out there understand this. You WILL be paying more gasoline and diesel fuel. That is a given. Whining about environmental wackos will not bring about cheaper fuel. You may as well consider downsizing whatever it is you’re driving and stop all this pie in the sky dreaming of a return to the days of cheap gasoline. This situaion is only going to get worse and you can help by cutting back, way back on what and how you drive.
    A bipartisan approach is the only way to go. As Richard Wolfe points out everything must be on the table. And we need to act NOW!

  12. Lee Muller

    According to the EIA synopsis.
    the % utilization of operable capacity has been around 98.1%.
    When you add in the idle capacity (which may not be available due to repairs), the percentage drops to 96.33%.
    EIA gets their data from a monthly report mailed in from each of the refineries.
    If you look at the API reports, capacity utililization is running 98%.
    Although over 170 refineries have been shut down, remodeling of the better facilities has added processing capacity of 150,000 to 300,000 barrels a day for the last 15 years.
    It is still not enough.
    Domestic refineries can process about 17.5 million barrels of crude oil each day, much of which is imported. But with consumption near 21 million barrels a day, more imports of refined products are also needed.

  13. bud

    Here’s a direct quote from the 2004 EIA report that Lee keeps referencing:
    In the AEO2004 reference case, total U.S. crude oil production is projected to grow from 5.8 million barrels per day in 2002 to 6.1 million barrels per day in 2008. After 2008, domestic oil production is projected to decline during the remainder of the forecast period, reaching 4.6 million barrels per day in 2025.
    In the reference case, Alaska oil production is projected to continue at about 0.9 million barrels per day through 2016, with a projected drop in North Slope oil production offset by new oil production from the NPRA. After 2016, total Alaska oil production is projected to decline to 0.5 million barrels per day in 2025. The decline in Alaska oil production is expected to occur in all regions, including the State lands on the North Slope, the NPRA, and the southern Alaska oil fields of Cook Inlet.
    In all three resource cases, ANWR coastal plain oil production begins in 2013 and grows during most of the forecast, In the mean oil resource case, ANWR oil production peaks at 876,000 barrels per day in 2024. The low resource case production peaks at 639,000 barrels per day in 2024, while the high resource case production peaks at 1,595,000 barrels per day in 2023.
    What this report is saying is that if we bring all potential oil resources on-line (not just ANWR but others as well) we could be pumping about 6.5 million barrels of oil domestically by 2025 after which production will decline. That optimistic appraisal assumes new oil to augment the 4.6 million base oil from existing sources.
    I find this report extraordinarily optimistic. Even so, at 6.5 million barrels per day, about 1 million of which comes from the ANWR, we would STILL need to import 14.5 million barrels per day just to maintain current consumption levels. With Mexico in decline and Russia likely to follow soon where is this going to come from? OPEC of course. So how does drilling in the ANWR help us break our dependence on OPEC oil?

  14. bud

    Lee, your data is old. Here’s some current information from a recent article in the NY Times:
    In response to falling gasoline demand and rising costs, refiners have cut their production rates. Refining utilization rates, for example, slumped to a low of 81.4 percent in the second week of April, compared with 90.4 percent at the same time last year. Earlier this month, refineries were running at 85 percent of their capacity.
    – NY Times

  15. Brad Warthen

    bud! Richard! Looks like we’ve got an Energy Party consensus developing here. As bud says, the answer is to do it all: raise CAFE standards, drill in the ANWR and off our coast, raise taxes on gasoline to suppress demand and fund research, fill up the strategic reserve, support and expand mass transit, explore alternative fuels for the short (methanol, wind, solar, whatever we can engineer to work) and long (hydrogen) terms, build nuclear plants, tax Hummers, use flourescent bulbs.

    In other words doing anything that will reduce dependency on some of the world’s worst regimes for our energy. If we don’t do BOTH — conserve and produce — we don’t even begin to make the situation better.

    And we’re never going to get this solution from either the Democratic or the Republican parties. This is what I keep saying, over and over, and it’s why I started saying "Energy Party" to begin with.

  16. Paul

    Wilson, and Clyburn have both missed the mark on energy. SC has the inside position on Nuclear power. Yet, we do nothing to take advantage of it. GE in Greenville makes Nuclear Generators & Power Plants (when asked), Westinghouse in Columbia makes Nuclear fuel, Barnwell can handle Nuke waste & recycling, and Charleston can ship world wide. Why havn’t these two elected officials done anything to put SC into the Nuke business. Politics, Politics, we sit on the sidelines while China, and Russia build Nuclear & Hydro Power plants on our doorstep in Central & South America. They vote against bringing in Brazil’s Sugar Cane Ethanol. Both are so disappointing as SC representatives. But, both are great politicians. Everybody just keeps drinking the Cool aid!

  17. Lee Muller

    bud, my data is from February 2008, the latest from EIA. Anyone can click on the link
    and see that the US had a capacity of 17,916,000 barrels and ran 17,219, for 96.33% capacity utilization.
    If you remove the 328 idle, utilization calculates to 98.1%.
    I am tired of your dishonest prevarications, which is so common among Democrats.

  18. Lee Muller

    You are not qualified to declare the EIA estimates for ANWR to be “optimistic”.
    In fact, the EIA already used a factor of .45 on the geologists’ estimates, in order to make their projections conservative.
    The DOE, by the way, grossly underestimated the production from Alaska’s North Slope, and revised it up every year. That’s why they work as bureaucrats, instead of for oil companies.

  19. just saying

    So, Lee — from your web-page, the numbers are: Gross input = 14,950, operable capacity = 17,588, operating = 17,259, idle=328, operable utilization rate=85%.
    Why is operating/(operating+idle) better than gross/(operating+idle) for the percentage that is being reported? (e.g. Why does the DOE use the latter, while you use the former? Is it that some of those operating at the beginning of the period don’t run full out for the whole time?)

  20. bud

    You are not qualified to declare the EIA estimates for ANWR to be “optimistic”.
    Fair enough. Actually I was suggesting total U.S. production estimates to 2025 are optimistic. So let’s look at actual data. In the 2004 EIA report you cited the EIA predicted U.S. production of 6.1 million barrels of oil per day in 2008, up from 5.8 million in 2002. Actual daily production in the latest month for available data, February, 2008 – 5.1 million barrels. And guess who the source is for that figure. You got it big guy, THE EIA.
    So there own estimate for oil production in the U.S. is off by a whopping 12%. That’s in spite of the fact that North Slope oil is still flowing. In spite of $120+ prices. In spite of extrodinary measures to recover oil from older wells newly profitable because of the high prices.
    Face it Lee, you are just plain wrong on this issue. We cannot drill our way out of this mess. Your own data sources support that conclusion. The price of oil supports that claim and common sense indicates we’re in trouble. By continuing on this ridiculous campaign to blame environmentalists for this problem is a fools game.
    And by the way, the environmentalists have been completely right in their concern for environmental damage from this messy oil business. Millions of gallons of oil have spoiled the pristine environment of Alaska. The area damaged by the Exxon Valdez mess has never fully recovered. All so a bunch of red neck fools can run around in big pickups and pretend to be men. It’s really a disgusting spectacle.

  21. Lee Muller

    Until the 1970s, refinery utilization ran about the same as our other factories, about 70%.
    No one has said, “We can drill our way out of”.. high fuel prices, or shortages. That is a straw man repeated by those who don’t want to produce more energy, for whatever reasons:
    * hatred of oil companies
    * want to downsize everything
    * think mandatory conservation is the only solution
    * worship some technology promise
    * want to punish America.
    But part of the increased production of crude oil and gas, along with increased refinery capacity in order to not have to import 30% of our refined products.
    ANWR’s project output is close to what we import from Saudi Arabia. That is significant, both in supply and as a bargaining tool.
    The simplistic ignorance of “liberals” on energy matches their unrealism of negotiating a peace in Iraq and the Mideast without a military presence as a bargaining tool. It’s delusion arrogance.

  22. Mike Cakora

    Lee / bud – you forgot about the shale!
    Ooops! Never mind.

    The Senate Appropriations Committee today [5/15/2008] narrowly defeated Sen. Wayne Allard’s attempt to end a moratorium related to oil shale development in Colorado

    The moratorium prevents the Department of Interior from issuing regulations so that oil companies can move forward on oil-shale projects in Colorado and Utah. Allard said the moratorium has left uncertainties at a time when companies need to move forward and in the long term make the United States more energy independent.
    “If we are really serious about reducing pain at the pump, this is a vote that would make a difference in people’s lives,” Allard argued.
    But in a 14-15 vote, the committee spilt strictly on party lines and rejected the amendment.

    Are these guys on the Saudi payroll, or what? (h/t Glenn

  23. Lee Muller

    The US and Canada have a huge amount of shale oil. Canada is proceeding with extraction. These high prices make it quite feasible.

  24. Mike Cakora

    Lee –
    You and I and maybe ever Brad understand that. But per the article above, Senate Democrats have put Colorado’s oil shale off limits. It appears that that other Democrats may have put Canada’s oil sands off limits too.

    A little-noticed provision in the big energy bill that President Bush signed last month [December 2007] bars the government from buying fuels made from nontraditional petroleum sources that generate more global warming pollution than conventional oil-based products.
    But the reach of the procurement language — much less how it will be implemented — is unclear. And it has quickly raised questions about whether the government must steer clear of fuels made from oil exported from Canada’s booming oil sands sector.
    The potential implications of the provision for the oil sands are under review, an Energy Department official said.
    The provision says government contracts to buy alternative or synthetic fuels — including those from “nonconventional” petroleum sources — must specify that “lifecycle” emissions must be less than or equal to emissions from conventional sources. It does not apply to fuel purchased for research or testing.

    I don’t really think that the Dems work for the Saudis. Given their ban on the Columbia trade agreement, I’m starting to believe that they either work for Venezuela’s Chavez or can’t help a regression to their Marxist nature, despite the fact that they’ve gotten every stinking thing that they’ve asked for.

  25. Randy E

    Cak and Lee, what a great idea. To break our addition to oil, let’s drill every where to get more oil to maintain our current usage.
    We’ll all lose weight as well by replacing our Big Mac combos with Whopper combos. While we’re at it, we’ll save alcoholics by getting them addicted to crack instead of alcohol.
    Once Big Oil cranks up production in Alaska they will plan on staying for a long time. We’ll let my toddler and Brad’s grandkids worry about breaking the addiction to oil. One additional benefit is that according to Lee, we’re entering a deep freeze so the extra pollution might help insulate us.

  26. Mike Cakora

    Randy –
    So you too are a prohibitionist who welcomes high oil prices as a means of stifling demand?
    The sudden price increase is real, but is in part caused by expectations that demand will remain higher that supply can accommodate. When our Congress prevents by all means necessary any sort of domestic exploration and extraction, it clearly sends the message that we in the US will pay whatever price the market demands.
    In so doing, we are burning food needlessly, given that producing alternatives for transportation is a zero-sum game: it take about a gallon of petroleum to produce the equivalent in ethanol. The only good news is that we are making farmers wealthy in the process. Fortunately, the only bad news is that we are killing poor folks around the world.
    This is truly bizarre. Killing the poor to power our vehicles is poor policy to my way of thinking.

  27. Silence Dogood

    Just becuase Joe Wilson did the wrong thing AND was in the minority in doing so doesn’t mean he was politically brave for doing so (or correct).
    Richard in Irmo re-do the caculator it is .338% you were thinking of not .0038% you forgot to take off two decimals placing when converting to a percentage.
    The national oil reserve is at 97% capacity. We are not taking oil out, we would just no longer be adding the 70,000 barrels a day. Also doesn’t this mean the U.S. is not currently buying that oil at over $120 a barrel each day to boot? (8-9 million dollars a day).
    Also, while oil company profits are not the real issue – and Hillary Clinton’s idea to “take those profits” is obscene – and just as counterproductive as windfall profit taxes (maybe more so) the reall obscene part was the TAX INCENTIVES we gave to the oil companies just a few short years ago becuase individuals were having trouble keeping up with rising costs. It would akin to giving huge tax cuts and incentives to health insurances companies because people are having trouble affording health care insurance.
    This tax incentive was actually the exclamation point in the government backing and siding with “big oil,” It was the a foolish move that was just a huge government give away for no reason except for a large amount of lard that ended up in the pockets of a lot of congress persons – I see from this vote that Joe Wilson was probably one of them.

  28. bud

    It’s time to just accept that fact that oil and gasoline prices are going to be high, very high and rising. The Colorado oil shale is perhaps the biggest illusion of them all. This stuff will require extrodinary amount of energy and water to extract. At best we could perhaps add a tiny net amount of new oil to the equation in about 30 years. The envirnomental cost and lost crop production would be enormous. And isn’t the problem with ethanol that it reduces the amount of food available to the world?
    As for the Canadian tar sands oil, that is being extracted and added to the world’s oil supply. Congress can’t control the sources of oil. The Canadians simply sell the tar sand oil on the world market and ship regular crude to the U.S. The net effect is the same. But the Canadian tar oil is not coming on line very quickly. Why? It takes water and energy (from natural gas) to extract. The Canadian tar oil is child’s play compared to the shale oil. Yet it is making at best a tiny contribution to the overall energy picture, far smaller than say wind or solar.
    Oil prices are rising because there is not a viable alternative. The ethanol boondoogle should have confirmed that. Shale oil is unlikely to make a significant contribution any time soon. The ANWR likewise is just a small drop in a very large bucket. At best we can get a bit of oil out in 5-10 years that will not even offset the decline in existing domestic production. Oil prices will continue to rise and rise quickly. It is critical, and I do mean critical to develop alternative ways to get around. Blaming a group of people (Democrats, environmentalists) who have no real power in a government controlled by oil men is simply ludicrous. Sadly, many American buy into this nonsense. The oil era is over. Period.

  29. Lee Muller

    You don’t know a thing about oil. You just regurgitate strings of slogans fed to you by socialism propaganda machines.
    Congress has no business telling those who do understand oil that they cannot extract shale oil or any other oil from the ground or ocean floor.

  30. bud

    Typical conservative response. When losing an argument just change the subject, call the other person a socialist and move on. That line of reasoning solves all problems in the sad, small mind of the conservative.
    In the meantime I’m going car shopping. With gasoline at $3.60/gallon and rising that new Prius looks better all the time.

  31. Mike Cakora

    bud – The Prius is a neat vehicle, but make sure that your driving style takes advantage of the technology. If most of your driving is on the highway, hybrids won’t save you much money; they are best for folks who spend most of their miles in local, lower-speed driving. If most of your driving is on the highway, a conventional fuel-efficient car might actually use less fuel.
    Road & Track did the best evaluation I’ve seen to date by testing a pair of cars — one hybrid, one conventional — from three different manufacturers: Ford (Escape), Toyota (Camry), and Honda (Civic). Their conclusion was that it takes about 80,000 to 100,000 miles for a hybrid’s fuel economy savings to offset its higher price, all things being equal. At the time of the article, the longevity of the batteries past 100K miles was questionable. It now looks like the batteries are good for many more miles, but your experience may vary.
    Despite their higher costs, the low-end hybrids are a great deal in that they’re being sold at a loss, so you’re getting a lot of technology for your money, courtesy of the shareholders.
    Make sure you read the tester’s opinions on pages 5 and 6 to get their general impressions of hybrids.
    I also recommend this article from November 2006 on fueling mobility. It’s a survey of possibilities for vehicle fuels and the trade-offs.

  32. bud

    Mike, thanks for the info. Frankly I like the Prius for the way it looks as much as for it’s fuel efficiency. And 90+% of my driving is in stop-and-go situations so this is the ideal car for me.

  33. Lee Muller

    Can you name a socialist program you don’t like?
    * Socialist medical care?
    * Government schools?
    * Social Security?
    * Medicare and Medicaid?
    * Subsidies for ethanol and hybrid cars?

  34. Lee Muller

    As usual, bud is unable to answer the question.
    The Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Shield is a military program, which fits any political structure. There is nothing “socialist” or “capitalist” about it – simply military.
    It is also one of the functions authorized by our US Constitution.
    The socialist welfare programs I named are not authorized by the US Constitution, and are illegal.

  35. Lee Muller

    The Prius has a 75-HP engine with 13:1 compression, while the Matrix has a 158-HP engine with low compression.
    Prius trades off acceleration for mileage.
    It’s 13:1 compression engine also requires more expensive high octane gasoline for proper operation, which reduces its cost per mile closer to that of the Matrix.
    You could put in an even weaker engine in the Prius and get better mileage, but slower acceleration.
    You can also choose to accelerate a Matrix very slowly to running speed, and get 34 MPG out of it.
    I just drove a Buick Lucerne gently for 1,700 miles and got 27.7 MPG overal, with 31 on the highway.
    The decision to buy a Prius, Matrix, Buick or Corvette is one of personal tastes. It is no one else’s business, and the mileage they get on a test track is not the business of legislators or bureaucrats.

  36. bud

    Motor Trend test data shows a typical Toyota Prius gets around 42 actual combined MPG with 0-60 in 9.8 seconds. This compares to the standard 130 hp Matrix with automatic getting 26.6 MPG and a tad better 0-60 of 9.5 seconds. And a Prius runs just fine on regular gas. No way you’ll ever get 34 combined in a Matrix. Maybe on the highway only, but not combined, ain’t gonna happen.

  37. Lee Muller

    No way will any vehicle with 13:1 compression run well on low-octane regular gasoline, because the fuel will pre-detonate. That is why they have higher octane fuels.
    As the study above notes, the Prius over- all cost is higher, it has higher maintenance costs, battery replacements, etc. A smart buyer would take all that into calculations of the total cost per mile. An emotional buyer will buy it to feel good about themselves, act cool, and to win the jealousy and admiration of other status-seekers like themselves.
    Corporate welfare in the form of tax credits doesn’t bother them, either.
    You could put any small conventional engine in the Prius body and get similar performance, but it wouldn’t have all these GeeWhiz ego factors.
    In 1986, I helped a friend built a commuter car from a Triumph TR3 coupe and a Kuboto diesel tractor engine. It cost $2,000 to build, and got 68 mpg.
    My 1967 Mercedes 200D got 36 MPG combined, in a much safer car than most big sedans, much less a Prius.

  38. Lee Muller

    Hybrids Don’t Live Up to the Hype
    Honda’s Civic Hybrid is rated by the EPA to get 47 miles per gallon in the city, and 48 mpg on the highway. Actual driving of the Civic Hybrid yields about 31 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway with just the driver.
    The Toyota Prius is rated at 45 MPG for city and 60 MPG on the highway.
    Actual driving of the Toyota Prius yielded about 31 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway with just the driver.
    As the vehicle is loaded with passengers, its fuel MPG falls noticeably, because each passenger is such a high percentage of the empty vehicle weight.
    John DiPietro, road-test editor of automotive website Edmunds.com, says most drivers will get between 75 to 87 percent of the rated mileage, with individual variations based on driving habits and traffic route.

  39. bud

    A bit of homework would have saved Lee a great deal of embarassment (if he is capable of being embarassed). Let’s start with the easiest claim to refute, the EPA mileage estimates. The latest EPA estimates for the 2008 Toyota Prius (which can easily be verified from a number of sources such as:
    is 45 Highway/48 City and 46 Combined.
    That’s no misprint the Prius does get better mileage in the City. The website lists 64 testimonials from Prius owners who claim combined mileage figures ranging from 36 to 56. This rather broad range can be explained by a number of factors but the most important is the age of the vehicle. Priuses tend to get fairly mediocre mileage when brand new but this improves over time. Still, with 36 mpg at the low end and many, many car enthusiast publications testing out at well over 40 mpg Lee’s claim for the Prius are completely bogus.

  40. Lee Muller

    I posted the REAL WORLD mileage for the hybrids, bud. They aren’t my claims, bud. They came from an article about a survey of owners of the Civic and Prius hybrids.
    You can drive your imaginary hybrid with its imaginary EPA mileage.
    Your biggest problem, bud, is how gullible you are for everything the government tells you.

  41. bud

    Your biggest problem, bud, is how gullible you are for everything the government tells you.
    Lee, your biggest problem is you’re an idiot. You brought up the EPA figures and I demonstrated that you were wrong. Then you try and suggest that because the EPA is a government agency their figures are imaginary.
    Here’s a third source: greenhybrid.com that has collected data from thousands of hybrid owners. Their database shows a real-world average of 47.5 mpg from all it’s members for the Prius. This is not a government outfit but rather a group of car owners sharing information with each other and the public.

  42. Lee Muller

    Use whatever government mythical MPG figures you want – they are all bogus.
    They don’t come close to the reality of 31 city and 34 highway for the Civic and Prius Hybrids.

  43. Lee Muller

    Greenhybrid.com is a cheerleading site for hybrid cars, run by a 20-something with no knowledge of the technology or how to do real surveys.
    I have been archiving these surveys of owners for several years. Many of the hybrid models were dropped in 2007 for lack of sales. The Prius gets good mileage with just a small driver on flat roads, but load it up and the mileage falls close to 30 MPG. The worst mileage for it comes in hills, where its weak engine forces the transmission to run in low gear, yielding 18 to 19 mpg city.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *