Facts about Fuel Efficiency

OK, friends, here we go again. Barack Obama is saying that we need to “end our dependence on foreign oil” and is urging the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles including the electric car.

First here are a few facts to think about:

*American energy consumption for transportation is only 28% of all US energy consumption. So this effort to produce more efficient cars is not the energy panacea that the enviros are claiming. It would seem to be only 28% of the problem.

But actually it is much less. Because:

*We already have cars that are very fuel efficient and tens of millions of people already drive them. Even bigger cars like the Toyota Camry are very efficient. The internal combustion engine has been highly refined and produces little pollution.

*Lightweight cars like the Honda Civic get even better mileage and millions drive them. But they carry few passengers and little load so many people won’t drive them. Those people need a bigger car for their family, or they want a more comfortable and safer car. Or a guy needs a pickup truck for his job.

*If cars are made lighter to become even more efficient, they become more dangerous in a crash. You would never want to be involved in a crash in one of those gasoline-sipping micro-cars.

*Our economy is naturally energy efficient without any government or enviro mandates. The American economy now produces twice as much wealth per unit of energy input as it did in the 1950s. This is because free-market capitalism naturally seeks efficient ways to manufacture and distribute products and services in order to remain economically viable.

*Much of the energy for non-automobile transportation already is being used as efficiently as possible. For instance, American freight railroads consume 4 billion gallons a year of diesel fuel and are far and away the most efficient movers of freight, three times as efficient as trucks.

*Trucks today are as fuel-efficient as they can possibly be. This is absolutely essential for truckers to even remain in business.

*Intercity buses (Greyhound, Trailways etc.) are very fuel efficient. Operating without government subsidy, they are thriving and growing in popularity, particularly a new breed of low-cost ‘curbside’ operators like Bolt Bus that don’t even have terminals. Buses move many more people than Amtrak at much lower cost than Amtrak.

*Airlines move passengers quickly and efficiently with no government subsidy. The jet engine is an extremely efficient type of engine. The airlines sell 760 million tickets a year. That is 27 tickets for every one ticket sold by government-subsidized Amtrak (28 million tickets a year).

*Meanwhile liberals endlessly embrace Amtrak as a great energy saver when it is in fact the least efficient and most wasteful component of US transportation. Many Amtrak trains routinely run below the passenger percentage load required to be energy efficient, i.e, they waste their fuel in comparison with moving the same number of people on buses or even in cars or on planes. Amtrak as a whole is statistically much less fuel-efficient and more polluting than intercity buses. Amtrak also wastes tens of millions of gallons of fuel on long cross-country runs that serve few passengers. If we really wanted to save energy, Amtrak should be shut down.

*Liberals embrace public transit systems all over America, from urban to suburban to rural areas, which often waste huge amounts of fuel in relation to the small number of passengers served.

*America can easily become energy independent within 10 years. Because America has a 500-year supply of coal. And that coal can be converted to heating oil, gasoline and other petroleum products in a process developed in the 1940s and 1950s.

*And finally here is The Big Truth that enviros never want you to know about: Increases in automotive fuel efficiency do not cut energy use; they statistically INCREASE overall fuel consumption.

Huh?!

Think about it in terms of another technology – air conditioning. If air conditioning had not been made efficient and cheap to use, tens of millions of Americans would not have moved to hot Southern or desert climates and become dependent on air conditioning.  So the increase in AC efficiency actually has dramatically increased the overall energy consumption for air conditioning.

And when most people buy a more fuel-efficient car, they simply drive it more miles. It is a statistical fact. They might, for instance, accept a job farther from home or take that extra-long drive on a weekend because their car gets good gas mileage. Thus in most cases overall energy consumption for cars actually rises.

Now look at Obama’s latest call for a more fuel efficient car. This is just another photo op and a government/enviro scam. Here is an Associated Press article with a Nikitas3.com comment after each.

Associated Press reported: LEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Envisioning cars that can go "coast to coast without using a drop of oil," President Barack Obama on Friday urged Congress to authorize spending $2 billion over the next decade to expand research into electric cars and biofuels to wean automobiles off gasoline. Comment: Notice that he does not say “without using a drop of energy”. Because no matter which energy source you use, you still are going to use energy. Because it takes a certain amount of energy to move a certain amount of weight at a given minimum highway speed. And the internal combustion engine has done that job more efficiently than any other source for more than a century. And of course that $2 billion is more taxpayer money on top of all of the other tens of billions that the government wastes on ‘green’ energy and energy efficiency. The Department of Energy is a $25 billion annual bureaucracy. It should be shut down.

Associated Press reported: Obama… said the United States must shift its cars and trucks entirely off oil to avoid perpetual fluctuations in gas prices. Comment: We have seen the biggest fluctuation in fuel prices – going straight up – since Obama became president. This is because of Obama’s ‘green’ policies.

Associated Press reported: Obama spoke from inside Argonne's Advanced Photon Source, a ring-shaped facility a mile and a half around. The facility acts as a giant extra-bright X-ray that allows scientists to look inside objects at the atomic level. Comment: We don’t need a super particle neutron decelerator. We need common sense, like nuclear reactors to generate our electricity, a proven technology that has been around since the 1940s. And by the way, not a single American has ever died from nuclear power. All the hysteria about radiation is a complete fraud.

Associated Press reported: The initiative, proposing to spend $200 million a year on research, would be paid for with revenue from federal oil and gas leases on offshore drilling and would not add to the deficit. Comment: OK, there you go. This whole charade is really about one thing – Democrats handing out more government money. This $200 million is just the tip of the iceberg. All of these research grants should be cut off.

Associated Press reported: The money would fund research on "breakthrough" technologies such as batteries for electric cars and biofuels made from switch grass or other materials. Comment: Yeah, sure. This stuff has been around for decades. It does not work. If you want to know about electric cars, just ask someone with electric heat how much it costs to heat their house. The cost is astronomical. Now translate that to their car. And if you want an electric car, don’t plan to drive more than 40 miles.

Associated Press reported: Obama's motorcade passed a couple dozen protesters standing in the rain at the Argonne entrance, protesting against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline… Comment: These are the enviro lunatics who want to put windmills everywhere across America. These windmills are a massive ecological blight.

Associated Press reported: The proposal is modeled after a plan submitted by a group of business executives and former military leaders who are committed to reducing U.S. oil dependence. The group, called Securing America's Future Energy, or SAFE, is headed by FedEx Corp. Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith and retired Marine Corps Gen. P.X. Kelley. Comment: Yes, listen to Smith. He knows how to innovate in the private sector as he did with FedEx. If Smith were smart he would tell Obama to get the government out of this energy debate and let the private sector solve it… and recommend that Obama read some facts and myths about energy efficiency on Nikitas3.com.

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