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Friday, April 15, 2005

Higher mpg would snuff out ANWR oil -- twice

Mike at Green Car Congress has a worthy post from yesterday comparing ANWR oil reserves with savings that could be achieved by increasing Corporate Averge Fuel Economy Standards. (Remember that on Wednesday, House committees approved ANWR drilling and also rejected an increase in the CAFE standard).

The short version is that ANWR might produce about 860,000 barrels of oil by 2024. Raising fuel economy standards by 36 percent, on the other hand, would save twice that much oil while also reducing air pollution.

The higher CAFE standard is estimated to increase the price of a car by $1,200. But I suspect most people would be willing to pay that to reduce their "pain at the pump" and also our dependence on imported oil. And maybe even to preserve ANWR as well.

The other thing to consider is that the mpg savings are a relatively permanent change, whereas ANWR oil will eventually run out.

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