Senator John Warner (R-VA) recently proposed to Congress that they should consider implementing a national speed limit in order to curb gasoline consumption and lower gas prices. Senator Warner points to studies that show that a national 55 mph speed limit saved not only 167,000 barrels of oil a day, but avoided 4,000 traffic deaths a year. This study was based on data in 1974 when the Arab oil-embargo caused energy shortages and Congress imposed a national speed limit.
Since vehicle usage has increased since 1974, one must wonder whether or not the amount of fuel conserved under a national speed limit would also increase. That’s exactly the kind of rationale Senator Warner is arriving at. He is now asking the Department of Transportation“at what speeds vehicles would be most fuel-efficient, how much fuel savings would be achieved, and whether it would be reasonable to assume there would be a reduction in prices at the pump if the speed limit were lowered.”
Personally, I believe that instead of imposing a national speed limit, we need to look into an alternate for gas. By freeing ourselves of the oil dependency, our economy will be freed from control by such nations that are in OPEC and we can once again stand atop the global market as the undisputed best. In the meantime, we should do whatever it takes to curb gasoline consumption and lower gas prices. It will not only save lives, but limit our pollution as well. I’m counting down the days til’ gas prices will be .99¢ again.