Is oil a finite resource? If so, should we do something to manage our consumption of it? These are the two questions Jack Kelly does not ask in his column "Fuel Policy Is Foolish" (May 24).
He does say that higher CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards will mean Americans will have less desirable choices for vehicles, although he never says pickup or SUV. This plays into the myth that Americans like things bigger and more excessive, that we are all cowboys who race huge SUVs over untouched wildernesses. In reality the big SUV is only used to haul the playpen, toys and other accessories of spoiled 3-year-olds.
Mr. Kelly further suggests that California fuel standards are somehow related to that state's deficit and to "periodic" brownouts. I challenge Mr. Kelly to say when the last communitywide brownout has occurred in California.
But just like the backlash against Jimmy Carter's cardigan and his solar panels, Mr. Kelly leads the charge of the heads in the sand, that we have all the oil we need for the next 20 years if we just drill. The question is, what happens after 20 years? What will happen to our (grand)children when gas reaches (in 2009 dollars) $20 or $50 a gallon in 20 years?
If we take steps now, our (grand)children will be able to have the same lifestyle the Europeans have now. Which is to say lots of public transportation, single-payer health care, bikes and walking, and houses/apartment buildings clustered around train/tram stops.