Move over, windfall profits tax, said Stephen Moore in The Wall Street Journal. There is now a “sillier” idea out there for fighting soaring gas prices—reviving the "despised and universally disobeyed" 55-mile-per-hour national speed limit enacted in 1974 after the OPEC oil embargo.
Motorists do love to drive fast, said John Dillin in The Christian Science Monitor via New Jersey’s The Record, but lowering the speed limit and getting all Americans to drive less “could have greater impact than oil from the Arctic.”
That’s why it’s so “curious” that more politicians haven’t jumped on this bandwagon, said the SavingAdvice personal finance blog. “Slower speeds do make a difference." During the two decades when our top speed was 55 mph the U.S. saved 167,000 barrels of oil a day, "which was about 2 percent of the country’s fuel consumption."
It's still unlikely Congress would pass something as unpopular as the 55-mph limit, said the Winston-Salem, N.C., Journal in an editorial. “But that does not mean traffic can't slow down and that vehicles can't operate more efficiently.” All we have to do is enforce the speed limits we already have.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The safest seats are at the back of the plane — and 5 other surprising facts about airline crashes
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week