How much 55 mph could save us

Ran into Samuel this morning and he gave me a break — he didn’t ask me if I had read the book yet. But he did, of course, get onto 55 mph, and he started throwing a bunch of numbers at me, and I meant to ask him to e-mail his numbers to me, but forgot, but that’s OK because when I got to the office I found that he had already sent me the numbers, over the weekend. To wit:

If we had a 55mph which Chevron says we save 22 Billion Gallons of Gas which is 524 million barrels of oil on an annual basis, here is what you get  a drop in the price of oil of at least $ 15 to $20 dollars a barrel, the dollar’s value improves and the price fall further and then the speculators see that this is not there ballgame anymore  and it falls further and so the thugocracies start seeing their boondoggles shrink and Putin , Ahmadinajad and others find out they are no longer awash in petrodollars and remember Europe is facing a slow down now and even in China  it is slowing down so now we need to go for efficiency and energy security so we can make the jump to other fuels for transportation. Now the other big factor here is inflation and if we did this we would hit it with a big bat  and slow it down significantly which then brings all  things down. Now we  cannot let out domestic retail price slip below $ 2.50 a gallon so we  need to set a floor that if the prices dips , it is taxed to fund alternative fuels , low-carbon , non-carbon, wind , solar. There are answers , but not from Washington. Are you the one ? Will you lead ? Are you related to Thomas Paine ,Thomas Jefferson, & Abigal Adams It is time for the ONES to emerge. We need new Founding Leadership.This country needs action ! Are you the ONE ?????????

As Samuel said to me this morning, "That’s the word, ‘Thugocracy.’" And he’s right. Why does Putin think he can get away with this stuff in Georgia? Because he can. And why can he? Because of the oil and gas.

Anyway, before he got away, I got Samuel to agree with me that we should do 55 AND drill, thereby reasserting the essential Energy Party organizing principle: Do Everything. Only then can we make the thugs feel it.

Note that at the end of his missive Samuel was expressing his frustration at the lack of leadership. Amen to that. He says he’s about had it with all of ’em — Democrats as well as Republicans. Of course, I’ve been there for some time.

22 thoughts on “How much 55 mph could save us

  1. Doug Ross

    > He says he’s about had it with all of ’em
    >– Democrats as well as Republicans. Of
    >course, I’ve been there for some time.
    Except when it comes to endorsing them. Then you ALWAYS pick one or the other.

  2. Herb Brasher

    There must be something wrong with our Windstar, then. Can someone tell me how come we get the same mileage at 62 mph that we do at 75 mph?
    I’m all for trucks doing 55 mph; I’d be for the rest of us, too, if someone can prove that we actually do use that much less at 55. I can’t tell it, but with two older Fords, I may be testing the wrong vehicles.

  3. Brad Warthen

    That’s right, Doug, because one or the other WILL be elected, and to refuse to state a preference (so that we could what — have bragging rights to ALWAYS be able to say, “Well, I didn’t endorse ’em!?”) is to cop out. We have to act more responsibly than that.
    Almost always, one is a better (or less bad) choice than the other, and it is my duty as a professional expounder of opinion to say honestly which I think is which.
    When both choices are bad, we tell you that straight up — and then tell you which is the least bad. We at the very least owe that much to our readers.
    I also feel that I owe it to readers to tell them that they would have much better choices if we did away with all this party crapola. Which I do, often.
    Both arise from the same sense of duty to tell readers the way I see it.

  4. Herb Brasher

    Huh? Don’t know what that had to do with a Windstar? Unless you meant Doug instead of Dale?
    Actually, our Windstar has done well, but then I stick to maintenance times like a good German, including transmission flush every 30,000. So far, no problems. Over 100,000 and nothing unusual.

  5. Herb Brashjer

    Oh shucks, I did it again. You did write Doug. Gotta stop speed reading. At least this time I had an excuse–my grandson in my lap, and he likes to “type,” so I was trying to write inbetween.

  6. Mike Cakora

    Samuel’s got a nice little rant there, but my eyes kinda crossed with his bit near the end: “There are answers, but not from Washington.” Huh? His solution depends on Washington, no? How else does one mandate a national speed limit, set a price floor for gasoline at $2.50 per gallon, and divert gas taxes to funding alternative fuels?
    It’s true that all things being equal, most vehicles get more miles per gallon at a steady 55 mph than they do at 40 mph or 70 mph because of gearing, aerodynamic drag, and other factors. The long story is here. The shorter story with a simple, easy-to-understand graph is here. So why not bump the speed limit in school zones and roads around town for even greater efficiency?
    Only kidding, of course.
    Sadly Washington has its fingerprints all over the energy issue and so far has managed to limit exploration and extraction while starving poor folks by encouraging the burning of food for fuel. Meanwhile the folks really behind the whole mess, the enviro-whackos, are making clear that their agenda is not clean energy, but no energy; they are implacable foes of modernity and technology who will be truly happy only when humanity’s survivors return to caves.

  7. Mike Cakora

    Herb – We got rid of our 1996 Windstar in November 2006 after 130K miles. It served us well over the ten plus years that we owned it, but the last year brought so many niggling issues and the dual HVAC system and the cooling system had more leaks than the CIA. The 3.8 V-6 and tranny were solid — it had scoot — but one of the head gaskets was going too. With the kids grown, it was time to downsize.

  8. Herb Brasher

    Well Mike, according to your graph, 60 mph is as good as 55 on fuel economy. That’s a little better. At least, when I get really frustrated, I still have the option of going back here in order to vent. The stretch between Herrenberg and Singen/Konstanz (A81) is still pretty free.

  9. Herb Brasher

    P.S. For all others, that was a joke of course, I’m not a biker, and I don’t advocate illegal driving like that. The fast I’ve ever ridden was 130 mph, and that was with somebody else in a Volvo Turbodiesel.

  10. Mike Cakora

    I lived in Germany for a total of eight years (met the frau there, a Columbia native, and why I ended up here) and enjoyed driving with skilled folks who have a constitutional right to drive as fast as their cars will go. The exceptions were few but notable. Drivers on the A8 between Augsburg and Munich were always on the lookout for Fürstenfeldbruck farmers unaccustomed to the speeds and etiquette of the autobahns; the license plates starting with “FFB,” they would say, means “Fahrer fährt blind.”
    So you were with the guy holding up traffic in the Volvo…

  11. Lee Muller

    There are a lot of behaviors we could mandate, which might be good overall for most people, but would be terrible for a lot of people.
    That’s why in America, individuals are supposed to decide what speed to drive within the minimum and what the road and vehicle were designed to do, like between 45 and 70 on the interstates.
    The fascist mentality of mandating one size fits somebody, is just wrong-headed and un-American. That people still come up with these notions is indicative of the failure of our public schools to produce good citizens.

  12. Herb Brasher

    And coming from Friedrichshafen there was no Autobahn to Munich, so I had to drive through Fürstenfeldbruck, and that was before the days of the by-pass. Took forever, but it was a pretty drive, of course, especially when you got behind a real honey wagon (not a Bayerischer Mist Wagen).

  13. Lee Muller

    My driving is my business, not Herb Brasher’s or Brad Warthen’s.
    Likewise, if I want to smoke a cigarette (I don’t) or drive an SUV (I do), or own an AK-47, that is my business, and my right, too, and none of your business.
    This is America, and we Americans are tired of the wuzzy socialism foisted on us by deadbeats and whiners.

  14. bud

    if I want to smoke a cigarette (I don’t) or drive an SUV (I do), or own an AK-47, that is my business, and my right, too, and none of your business.
    Lee, your point is a good one but how about some leftist freedoms too. I’ll add smoking pot, visiting a brothel, playing video poker or dying when I choose.

  15. Lee Muller

    The state should not sanction nor profit from moral depravity, known as “liberal freedoms”.
    I’m fine with your smoking pot or getting drunk on alchohol, but not driving intoxicated, or asking me to pay your medical bills.
    You can kill yourself anytime. If someone else kills you, that’s homocide. If they kill you without your permission, that’s murder, especially when socialized medicine does it to same themselves money.
    If you want to abuse women who are adults and want to be used for money, that’s sad but should be legal. If the prostitutes are girls kidnapped in Mexico, you should go to jail.
    If you are dumb enough to play video poker, fine, as long as the state doesn’t sanction or profit from gambling.

  16. Herb Brasher

    I was having a bit of banter with Mike Cakora on driving in Germany, and get told to mind my own business. What has that got to do with anything?
    Who is the “whiner” around here?
    You in a bad mood today, Lee, or what?

  17. Lee Muller

    If you support a federal speed limit of 55, it is minding other people’s business.
    If you want government to pay for your medical care, you are an irresponsible whiner. If you want to pay your own way, you are a decent American.

  18. bud

    Lee, to carry your point to it’s logical conclusion you would be ok with requiring the oil companies to pay their fair share. After all they are the beneficiaries of the largest government subsidies in the history of the world. Our military largely exists to keep the oil flowing. And who benefits? Big Oil, that’s who. Why should Exxon/Mobile be a freeloader.

  19. Lee Muller

    Who are you to decide the “fair share” of anyone else, especially a huge business you don’t understand?
    For every dollar the oil companies make, the pay 3 dollars in taxes, according to the annual report of Shell.
    Their profit margin with these constantly rising prices is only 8%.


Leave a Reply

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