Sunday, April 30, 2006

Gas Price Relief...Now

Watching DNC spokesweasel Dick "Turban" Durbin demagogue on Meet the Press this morning was unpleasant, but brought to mind an immediate action that President Bush could take to ease the pain at the pumps. Of course Durbin can't see any alternatives other than adding corn ethanol to our gasoline, and certainly it has nothing to do with his large number of many corn-growing constituents. Dickie is just opposed on priniciple to nuclear power, or increasing the supply of crude oil by drilling in ANWAR, in the Atlantic, or off the California coast, heavens no, we can't have that.

But there is a way available via Executive Order to immediately effect a significant reduction in the amount of money Americans spend on gasoline, and it was used after Hurricane Katrina put our refinery production in disarray. Stop the nonsense of 48 different designer gasoline blends.

For a variety of reasons, all supposedly tied to environmental concerns, the states individually mandate separate recipes of additives for gasoline sold within their borders. Mandating a national standard would immediately cut the cost of refining fuel, as it did after Katrina, but that's only part of the benefit.

During the period when the Katrina emergency put a temporary halt to designer gasoline, my highway fuel mileage per gallon soared from 27 to 38 - about a hundred extra miles per tankful. I drive a GM car with a 3.1 liter V-6 - a very common engine, and obviously mileage would vary, but that dramatic an increase in mileage was, for me, equal to reducing the price per gallon by nearly 25%.

And, of course, that much extra mileage without the "special blend" brings into question just how much any of the designer gasolines actually benefit the environment.