May 8, 2006


Miles Per Cob (TOM DASCHLE and VINOD KHOSLA, 5/08/06, NY Times)

Our national leadership must promote a market-based shift away from petroleum-based fuels toward renewable fuels produced in America with American technology.

The CAFE standard does nothing to encourage that change. It requires American automakers to build cars and trucks that meet a minimum standard of average mileage traveled per gallon of gasoline. But the current standard for minimum mileage traveled per gallon of gas consumed is both too low and focused on the wrong challenge.

We need to upgrade to a new CAFE: Carbon Alternative Fuel Equivalent. This new CAFE will measure "petroleum mileage" and give automakers incentives and credits for increasing ethanol consumption as a percentage of fuel use of their vehicles, not least by promoting flex-fuel vehicles, which can run on either gasoline or E85 fuel, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. This approach promises several significant benefits.

Accompany it with an end to farm cash subsidies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 8, 2006 8:47 AM

And when there's a drought?

We're supposedly in drought conditions like during the Depression.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 8, 2006 10:38 AM

No doubt it will end up a boondoggle, but a well-structured boondoggle is preferable to the dead head of central planning that is today's CAFE.

Posted by: Mike Earl at May 8, 2006 11:23 AM

More regulation and tax code tinkering. Yeah, that's the ticket! No more drilling!!!

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct at May 8, 2006 11:44 AM

We want less oil, not more.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2006 11:57 AM


Market forces, if allowed to function, will do a better job at clearing the supply/demand imbalances than Tom Daschle and his tinkering.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct at May 8, 2006 12:06 PM

There is no supply problem--that's the point.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2006 12:10 PM


Why's it so expensive? Why do we import so much? Why haven;t alternative sources taken a bigger share? It's a matter of stupid policy. What's your problem with 'oil'?

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct at May 8, 2006 12:37 PM

It isn't expensive. We import it because it's cheaper than the alternatives. We need to make it more expensive so that the alternatives are preferable.

Oil warps the politics of the Third World nations where we discover it and makes them tyrannical and corrupt.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2006 12:41 PM

Last night on 60 minutes...wait don't was implied that by 2012 they could manufacture enough ethanol to replace 5% of our gas consumption using current figures. By then our gas consumption will have likely increased by more than 5%. It doesn't seem like a likely solution to the problem.

Posted by: Patrick H at May 8, 2006 12:41 PM

Which is why you have to change the figures.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2006 12:46 PM

If Tom Daschle is pushing corn-to-energy, it must be a scam.

Posted by: erp at May 9, 2006 8:10 AM