Smart Growth Hopes Your Car Gets Crappy Mileage
One of the odd traits of self-described “progressives” is how they root for things to get worse as a “wake up call” for the masses to accept their vision. The price of gas is one of those things. They like it when gas prices rise because it punishes Americans for their “dependence” on automobiles. They hope it will lead to a mass movement toward mass transit.
Improved fuel efficiency will mean motorists can get farther on a gallon of gas, which lessens the impact of higher prices. For normal people, this is a good thing. Technology is the driving force, but government has always played a role in setting standards. The Washington Post reports that new federal rules will require the U.S. auto fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. For the most part this is overkill that might result in car makers making vehicles lighter and, thus, less safe. It’s also driven by the radical environmentalist’s alarm about greenhouse gas emissions, which have already dramatically declined due more to market forces than to governmental intrusion.
The irony is that the more progressives push artificial boosts to fuel efficiency, the more they undermine the Smart Growth planning doctrine preferred by said progressives. Better fuel efficiency standards also weaken the case for transit. I’ve previously showed how transit is dependent on automobiles for transfer payments from the gas tax. Wendell Cox shows that – for those who are sincere about the threat of global warming – a higher fuel efficiency average for automobiles will make them less CO2 intensive than buses and light rail.
So as technology allows Americans to expand their mobility while improving the environment and lessening their costs … Smart Growthers and other progressives fume.