Gas Prices And The SUV Nation

Higher gas prices may be the only way to force concern about fuel efficiency.
June 3, 2004, 1pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"After America's annual Memorial Day drive-a-thon, the idea of [reducin the nation's dependence on energy from the volatile Middle East] may sound quaint. Millions of Americans hit the road this weekend in their cars, trucks and SUVs -- many of them doubtless grumbling about the 2004 "oil crisis" that has pushed gas prices well over $2.

It would be nice if politicians would tell these road-happy Americans the truth, which is that the energy situation will only get worse over the long run. And it would be nicer still if politicians proposed policies that would improve the energy efficiency of SUV Nation...The reason the oil squeeze will only get worse can be stated in two words: China and India. As those countries become more prosperous, their consumption of energy will inevitably rise -- putting further pressure on the market...

The European market illustrates how higher taxes push greater efficiency. Last week, premium gas prices in Europe were averaging more than double the U.S. level...European consumers inevitably have demanded more efficient cars. According to Hakim, overall oil consumption has fallen in Germany and Britain since the 1970s."

Thanks to Richard Layman

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, June 1, 2004 in The Washington Post
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