As you can see in the chart above, gas prices during this Memorial Day weekend are the highest they've been in over ten years. You'll notice that the group responsible for the chart isn't a proponent of expanding offshore drilling or stripping the E.P.A. or Interior Departments of regulatory authority over oil lease permits. Rather, they're a group that is advocating for higher fuel efficiency standards.
Why? Because anyone who understands anything about energy, knows that we simply cannot drill our way to lower gas prices. As I've written time and time again, the United States lays claim to barely 2 percent of the world's oil reserves, but consumes over 25 percent of the global oil produced. We could open up every oil well on- and offshore, and global oil prices (and domestic gas prices) would barely budge. Don't believe me? Look north, where Canada produces far more oil than it consumes, and has gas prices that track ours precisely.
The coalition behind Go60mpg.org understand that the best possible way to save Americans money at the pump is to put Americans behind the wheel of more fuel efficient vehicles. We'll cut our monstrous demand, and that actually will affect global crude prices. And we'll get a heck of a lot further on every tank of gas. Honestly, who is opposed to fuel efficiency? Go60mpg.org released a pretty clever campaign this week, with print ads that harken back to the 1950s glory days of American car culture.
Their site also allows you to calculate just how much you'd save every year if your car got 60 miles per gallon.
This isn't just a random number, but a legitimate proposal being debated in D.C. that would increase fuel efficiency by 6 percent per year from 2017 to 2025, resulting in a fleet-wide standard of 60 miles per gallon or higher.
In the meantime, if you are driving somewhere this weekend, check out this piece from our Energy Issue that shows some ways you can cut some carbon emissions and save some cash. Or, if you're really daring (and don't mind occasionally breaking the law), check out our hypermiling tips.