I like big trucks and I cannot lie

By Katie Kieffer

Truck zooming down highway

Image credit: “Truck Crossing Bridge – Stuart, Florida” by Kim Seng on Flickr via Creative Commons.

So, fellas! So, ladies! Do you want cheap gas and big, safe rides? Then, drill. Drill. Drill a healthy life.

No, I’m not Sir Mix-A-Lot. I simply think we should responsibly utilize our natural resources to improve the security and prosperity of all Americans.

Think about the last time you moved, went camping or took your boat to the lake. Did you wish you drove a Smart car? Or, did you wish your ride were bigger?

When it comes to cars, big is better. Bigger cars are safer. They haul more people and things. They typically ride higher—providing the driver with a better view. And, they are more comfortable (tall people can drive them without needing a chiropractor’s alignment.)

On the flip side, bigger vehicles use more gas and allegedly hurt the environment. So, let’s solve these two challenges.

Gas prices will go down when oil is plentiful and there is certainty in the marketplace. So, we should promptly drill for oil.

“Not so fast!” environmentalists will object. “We can’t drill for oil if we care about reducing climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Well, environmentalists are behind the times. Liberal politicians and the Obama administration admit climate change is a flawed theory by failing to offer realistic “alternative” energy plans and by avoiding climate change as a selling point for new energy policies.

In May, T. Boone Pickens, an oil tycoon and supporter of alternative energy told a Pennsylvania town hall meeting that the President “…has never told us how we’re going to get off the Mideast oil, and no one’s ever asked him.”

The Obama administration has eschewed defending his historically-high fuel-efficiency standards on the basis of environmental concerns.  Environmental considerations are “…barely mentioned as (administration) officials negotiate with automakers, environmentalists and others, particularly about the contentious car and light truck rule…” the Washington Post reports. Instead, the President stresses how stricter rules will save consumers money on gas.

On July 29, the Obama administration pressured the auto industry into accepting new mileage rules requiring cars and light trucks to achieve 54.5 miles per gallon on average by 2025 (the existing average is 27 miles per gallon).

Remember the $80 billion auto bailout? The New York Times explains, “the industry’s meek acceptance of what are considered extremely challenging fuel-economy goals is a marked retreat from years past, when the (auto) companies argued that consumers would not be willing to pay for the technology needed to meet higher mileage requirements. …In the end, though, Detroit was faced with an undeniable political reality: there was no graceful way to say no to an administration that just two years ago came to its aid financially.”

Capitalism can develop alternative energy in a safe and timely manner. The President’s proposals do not rely on natural, free market competition. His plans merely pressure private enterprise to evolve ahead of its time.

Technology requires time to develop and become affordable. Could anyone afford the iPhone 9 if it came out in 2012? For the few who could, would they be buying a quality product? How could Apple possibly infuse five years worth of development and consumer feedback into the iPhone in just one year?

Toyota began developing hybrid technology in 1965 and did not introduce the first Prius in Japan until 1997, 32 years later. The Obama administration’s rules ignore the fact that technology simply does not develop overnight.

Plus, without government subsidies, fuel-efficient cars will likely be significantly more expensive than ordinary cars. If consumers pay substantially more for fuel-efficient cars upfront, are they saving money or breaking-even? The new fuel-efficiency rules essentially require Americans to buy brand new cars and become guinea pigs for technology that will not have sufficient time to develop.

The latest AAA survey shows 54 percent of American drivers “…don’t want the financial burden of a new car, so they’re keeping their older ones running,” reports USA Today. Americans are struggling. This is not the time to muscle them into buying new cars.

Meanwhile, the President still refuses to allow companies to drill for oil at a normal pace. Over a year since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, he’s still stalling American drilling.

Shell has spent five years and almost $4 billion perfecting drill methods for four exploratory wells off Alaska’s North Slope. Yet the President has only granted Shell conditional approval and cautioned that Shell must still “…win a number of secondary permits…” before drilling, reports the New York Times.

How much risk, money and time must companies expend before the President will approve American oil production that could slash oil prices? If he would increase production, we wouldn’t need to worry about driving around cars that could resemble expensive deathtraps.

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  1. Username says:

    Ms. Kieffer,

    Something to think about: I find it very interesting that big oil companies and others are currently investing very heavily in natural gas drilling in the US. Currently, and over the past several years, gas prices have remained very stable at approximately $4. Production costs are only slightly less than $4 and real profits are unrealistic in the current market. Additional production will only work to suppress prices. However, very sophisticated companies continue to secure these resources. Do they know something that hasn’t been reported? Is the free market economy planning for the long term transition to a gas based economy in the US? I have many friends, clients and business associates in the energy industry. None has been able to give me an answer to date. I’m hopeful that the free market already knows the future, is planning for it & intends to capitalize on it. We will all be better served.

  2. jahra says:

    I wish i had more time to respond, this article is is low brow

  3. woodworker says:

    Hi Katie. Your commentary is spot on. Obama needs to lighten up and quit issuing these total nonsense mandates and regulations. All they do is cost the taxpayer more money.

    Can you imagine what a young family with two or three small children would do if they were forced to by one of the small “hybrid” electric cars? They would not have room for all the stuff they have to take with them.

    And I don’t care what people say, I cannot think that these little “smart car” types are safer that an SUV, pickup or larger van.

    Obama claims that he wants to take us off of oil by 2015 and have a million electric cars on the road by then…

    Anyway, as usual, your commentary is based upon common sense, and not wishful thinking.

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