Today President Obama announced plans to increase auto fuel efficiency to an average of over 35 miles per gallon, an improvement of approximately 30% over today’s level.
The Obama administration announced Tuesday what amounts to a sweeping revision to auto-emission and fuel-economy standards, putting them in the same package for the first time.
The plan would require cars and trucks to average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, President Obama said at a ceremony with legislators, regulators, executives of 10 car companies and the United Auto Workers union. The plan would increase the standard and accelerate the requirement from 35 mpg in 2020 set by the 2007 Energy Act.
The president hailed the plan’s potential for cutting our dependence on foreign oil and for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, cutting both by about 30% once all vehicles on the road have been replaced by these more efficient models.
Thirty percent less oil consumption. Thirty percent lower CO2 emissions. Sounds great, doesn’t it? There’s just one problem. It’s not true. Because the government also plans to rapidly grow the U.S. population, through ever-higher rates of immigration and through high birth rates, by 2035 we will be consuming as much oil to fuel our vehicles and we will be emitting as much CO2 as we do today. After that, further population growth will actually drive oil consumption and CO2 emissions even higher than today’s level! Don’t believe me? Check out the government’s own population projections at http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/summarytables.html.
It’s not as though the government has no control over this. They have total control of immigration and use tax policy to encourage a high birth rate. Why? Because they can’t envision a healthy economy that doesn’t rely on population growth as the major source of “economic” growth.
I applaud the president for taking this action, but to sell this as a plan for cutting oil consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is just a bit disingenuous when they also quietly plan to explode the population, more than offsetting any gains from this program. If the president wants to get serious about cutting oil consumption and CO2 emissions, then we not only need a plan to cut the per capita consumption of oil but a plan to simultaneously stabilize and even reduce our population, the number of “capita,” to a sustainable level.