Drive an Economy Car, Save Gas, Lower Gas Prices

Martin Schwoerer
by Martin Schwoerer
drive an economy car save gas lower gas prices

Everything has unintended consequences, but sometimes they are positive. A new study commissioned by T&E, the European Federation for Transport and Environment, says there is an overlooked element in the public discussion about corporate fuel economy. Lower overall fuel consumption as caused by more economical cars, T&E says, would lead to lower fuel prices. “Economic benefits of energy conservation policies in Europe are consistently underestimated. But until now very few have made the point that a policy-induced decline of demand for oil could also result in lower oil prices, and hence greater economic benefits.” They’re not talking about the flawed US CAFE system, however.

Energy consultancy Enerdata which wrote the study focused on the European fuel efficiency standards which come into effect in 2012, which call for a fleet average of 130 g/CO2. Enerdata says that for every 1% reduction in global fuel consumption, fuel prices drop by two percent. So, funny enough, the US might benefit from EU regulation. The irony of this is not lost on us: do-gooder Europeans causing gas to become cheaper for American SUV owners? But wouldn’t people just drive more if gas was cheaper?

This is where T&E gets all Euro-lefty, and says that the “obvious” solution is increased fuel taxes. Which of course is a toxic argument, even though it’s right.

Meanwhile, in other Gallic-related news, a spokesman for French oil giant Total told Der Spiegel that high taxes on oil are necessary “as an incentive to economize, as well as to develop alternatives,” and that the lack of taxes on aviation fuel is unreasonable.

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  • Reclusive_in_nature Reclusive_in_nature on Apr 18, 2009

    If taxes were raised for production of more oil (such as drilling or octane producing algae) and ANY research into actually removing polutants\carbon from the air, then I'd actually be for it. Unfortunately this makes too much sense. I guess it's easier to just social engineer our rights away for 'the common good' than than exert some effort into a have your cake and eat it too strategy. I don't need my son less to keep his dirty diaper count low. I'd rather feed him all he wants and just wear gloves change to his diapers. A little innovation can make everyone happy.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Apr 18, 2009
    ihatetrees : ex-dtw: “You’re choice of a Prius makes my Hummer possible.” Even the pro-global warming demographic responds to incentives - a friend swaps between Exploder and Corolla depending on gas price. I'd leave the Exploder as far away from home as possible. Although he’s tempted after long trips to ditch the Corolla’s driver seat for a Recaro. Can't blame the guy for that! System Note: The comments are buggy. That's due to a regression. Another regression and they'd be hoarse and buggy.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 19, 2009

    Many oil companies are now supporting fuel prices and carbon taxes paid AT THE PUMP, in order to avoid hidden taxes such as the so called cap and trade proposal from the Obama administration.

  • Dolorean23 Dolorean23 on Apr 20, 2009
    I don’t need my son less to keep his dirty diaper count low. I’d rather feed him all he wants and just wear gloves change to his diapers. A little innovation can make everyone happy. So you're advocating that we just deal with the mess and wear protective clothing instead of dealing with the issue responsibly? Your son eating and thereby filling his diapers is not a choice you made; i.e., you didn't shop around to pick out a baby like you would a car. For myself, I traded in my F250 not because I felt any burning desire to met anyone's social agenda, but more to the fact I hated putting 30 gallons of fuel in it to tool around to work and back. It wasn't worth the waste so I traded it in for an Astra, which is more than enough to motivate my fat ass around and still capable enough for trips to Lowes.