Friday, June 04, 2004

Sacrificing the environment to save the environment?
Kevin Drum has an interesting proposal at the end of his post detailing the oil crunch and its possibly impending explosion. The bad news goes like this:
"As demand has increased, OPEC's spare capacity has gone down from 15 million barrels/day to 5 million barrels/day to today's 2 million barrels/day. This means that even if there aren't any special problems, demand will start to exceed production capacity within a couple of years. And when that happens, prices will go up and stay up. What's more, with virtually no spare capacity around, every little blip in the oil supply will have potentially huge consequences. Stability of supply will become ever more important and American military policy in the Middle East will start to get really nasty.
The proposal is this:
"How about a deal that trades ANWR drilling for higher CAFE standards, for example? Sounds horrible, doesn't it? But it might be a politically feasible trade, and in the end the benefit from higher mileage cars probably vastly outweighs the negatives of another pipeline in Alaska. Consider it food for thought."
Would anyone actually go for this? Does everybody win or does everybody lose? How much higher do the CAFE standards get to be? That's the question that would inform my vote if I had one.

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