White House Energy Policy Running On Empty

Getting from here to there is getting harder and harder to afford these days; the price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. has gone up twenty cents in just the past three weeks. President Bush readily admits the giant energy bill he signed last week would do nothing to impact skyrocketing gas prices. Is the White House doing anything to ease America’s sticker shock at the pump? You be the judge:

In a White House press briefing yesterday, a reporter asked:

Is there nothing that the federal government can do to help Americans who are feeling it at the pump?

The White House answer? Er”¬¶we made a web site:

The Department of Energy and EPA have a joint web site called, Fueleconomy.gov. This is a place where people can learn about gas mileage tips.

The Fueleconomy.gov site provides ground-breaking fuel economy tips: drivers should obey the speed limit, use cruise control and put items in their trunks instead of on the overhead rack to reduce aerodynamic drag. What it doesn’t explain, however, is why the Bush administration this week killed a proposal which would have actually done something to conserve gas.

It’s true. The New York Times yesterday announced the White House was abandoning its 2003 proposal to extend fuel economy regulations to include Hummers and other huge SUVs, some of which get as little as 8 miles per gallon. When fuel efficiency standards for American cars were first crafted in the 1970s, you see, big, heavy vehicles for personal use – like SUVs and Hummers — didn’t exist. Today, that class of vehicles remains outside current fuel efficiency laws and Big Business automakers, who love the big profit margin, want to keep it that way.