This morning I heard on the news that Americans are buying significantly more cars than trucks or SUVs now that gas prices have passed $4.00 a gallon. According to this article in the LA Times,
"For nearly a decade, Americans bought more light trucks -- a segment that includes pickups, SUVs and minivans -- than cars. But starting in March, cars edged ahead. The gap widened in April, and in May, 193,559 more cars than light trucks were sold."
It is about time. For too long our government has had policies that actually encouraged the purchase and manufacture of trucks and SUVs.
Finally the gas prices have managed to do what all of the environmentalists' scoldings were unable to accomplish - make people realize they were using too much gas and switch to smaller, more efficient vehicles.
Back in the 1960's America had lots of really big cars with really big engines that used a lot of gas. Gas was cheap and seemingly limitless so no one cared. But then came the energy crisis of the 70's and suddenly big cars were out, little fuel-efficient cars were in, and even diesel became popular for awhile.
But once the lines at the gas stations decreased and gas became plentiful again, everyone forgot about the lessons they learned and went back to buying big vehicles with big engines, and the American car companies kept churning them out instead of looking into alternative fuel sources and ways to make engines more efficient and burn less gas.
Now that people finally realize gas prices just aren't going to get cheap again, the U.S. car companies are in deep trouble as they were overly dependent on SUVs and trucks.
"General Motors posted a sales drop of about 27% from a year earlier and said it would close four truck plants, prepare its Hummer brand for a possible sale and focus on making smaller cars. Chrysler's 25.4% sales decline put it behind Honda in monthly sales for the first time.
And, after 17 years, Ford's F-Series trucks were dethroned from the top sales position, falling to No. 5 behind the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord."
So, in the midst of this mess, what does our esteemed president have to say as he's about to go off to Europe?
"...the United States has an opportunity to help increase the supply of oil on the market, therefore, taking pressure off gasoline for hardworking Americans, and that I've proposed to the Congress that they open up ANWR, open up the Continental Shelf, and give this country a chance to help us through this difficult period by finding more supplies of crude oil, which will take the pressure off the price of gasoline."
This is the "vision" of our "leader." He's still focused on his obsession with drilling in ANWR. He still thinks this is the solution to the CURRENT gas prices. Analysis shows that even if Congress had allowed drilling in ANWR back in 2002, there would still be no oil available for another 3 years! And that comes directly from the Energy Information Administration, an arm of our own Energy Department.
"The Energy Information Administration, which is the Energy Department's independent analytical arm, estimated that if Congress had cleared Bush's ANWR drilling plan the oil would have been available to refiners in 2011, but only at a small volume of 40,000 barrels a day -- a drop in the bucket compared with the 20.6 million barrels the U.S. consumes daily."
Anything approved now would have absolutely no effect on our current situation and would not have an effect for years to come. Even if ANWR reached its peak production (which would not happen until approximately 2020 according to this article), it would only change our consumption of foreign oil by a measly 2%. Yes, 2%.
"With ANWR crude, imports would have met 60 percent of U.S. oil demand in 2020, down from 62 percent without the refuge's supplies."
So for a 2% difference in our dependence on foreign oil, Bush and his cronies would be willing to sacrifice the pristine environment in the Alaskan wilderness.
While Bush always pays lip service to developing alternate energy sources, his continual focus on drilling in environmentally sensitive places as a solution to the problems we face is just an excuse to blame the situation on someone else. (It was all Congress' fault that gas prices went up, for not letting him drill in ANWR).
It continues to amaze me that this ignorant man is our president. He must think the American public is stupid. I wonder, do even those who supported him believe anything he says anymore?