A point of clarification about CAFE standards, apropos of Dave's post below. According to this report (careful, it's a pdf) from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, increasing CAFE standards would, in fact, save fuel (contrary to the claims of this this moronic article). The problem is that more fuel-efficient cars are also cheaper to drive. And that would mean that CAFE standards, even as they save fuel, would also slightly increase the number of miles people drive. Now, driving obviously has all sorts of "externalities" -- costs that are borne by someone other than the driver. Some of the externalities …
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Clark Williams-Derry is research director for the Seattle-based Sightline Institute, a nonprofit sustainability think tank working to promote smart solutions for the Pacific Northwest. He was formerly the webmaster for Grist.