When the original national speed limit came into effect in 1974 after the first Arab oil embargo, it was designed to cut back on gasoline usage. Even though the national limit was repealed in 1995, the old double nickel is a perennial topic and it reared its head again after the EPA announced yesterday that greenhouse gases are hurting us.
In 1995, highway speed limits increased from a nation-wide 55 mph to 65, 70 or 75 mph, depending on the state, and most Americans were thrilled. The obvious benefit of the change was people could legally get to where they wanted to go, but according to a new study, the downside has been an alarming increase in accidents and deaths.
Spain's Minister of Industry and Energy, Miguel Sebastián, has introduced a set of measures to save energy, most of which affect cars and the way they're driven. These are expected to save 43 to 47 million barrels from being imported into Spain by 2011, not only for economic reasons but also because the country is becoming one of Europe's most polluting. Regarding transport, the measures are as follows:
With fuel prices now hitting $4.50/gallon in California and even topping $5 in Hawaii, it may be time to ask the question, Can you drive 55? The original national speed limit came about in 1974 following the first Arab oil embargo and stayed in force for 19 years before it was finally repealed. While the premise of the 55mph speed limit was a perfectly valid one, the effectiveness of the rule was debatable. There is certainly no doubt that driving at a lower speed would consume less energy. The
Spurred by high fuel prices, New Jersey governor Jon Corzine has introduced a plan to decrease fuel prices that would bring back the 55 MPH speed limit. OK, so it's only a proposal, and it's only one state, but pundits suggest that something like this could spread like wildfire in today's current tinder-like political climate. (As evidence of how weird everything tends to get when prices at the pump jump up, note that Republicans are suggesting oil companies pay a windfall tax to