35 mpg by 2020 - but what else looms on the horizon?

This past week, as we all know, the US Senate passed an Energy Bill that finally raises CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) to 35 miles per gallon from the current 25 mpg where it has been for more than 20 years. Many environmental organizations are hailing this as a "major victory" but I am still worried. 2020 is still 13 years away. Thirteen years is enough time to
  1. Witness peak oil production and the struggle for the remaining oil in the world
  2. Fight three World War IIs
  3. Go through 13 hurricane seasons along the Gulf Coast
  4. It is also enough time to redesign every automobile in the world at least once, probably twice.
  5. As today we have some 13-year-old cars on the road (that would be model year 1994 vehicles); there will still be some 2007 vehicles buying fuel to operate in 2020.
It is true that this is enough time for the oil companies to use their new horizontal drilling techniques to locate, obtain, and extract those formerly unreachable pockets of oil in old oil fields. But if we burn that new oil, won't that increase global warming that much faster?

I expect world events will take precedence over this new Energy Bill. Auto designers and engineers are going to have a wonderful time meeting and exceeding the goals of this energy law. And most of us are going to be there to see how things turn out.

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