President Barack Obama says that by 2025, cars averaging 55 miles per gallon of gasoline will be available in U.S. showrooms. He credits his administration's higher standards for fuel efficiency.
"That means folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time. That's a big deal," the president said in one of his weekly radio addresses.
But $4-a-gallon gasoline is a big deal right now. Obama, through actions such as blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in new areas of the United States, may force gasoline prices even higher during the next few years. Never mind about 2025.
It also seems to have escaped the president's notice that ultra-high mileage cars such as the Chevrolet Volt are too expensive for most American families. People can't afford to save money on fuel, in effect.
A variety of actions, ranging from more domestic drilling to encouraging coal liquefaction, could help ease fuel prices sooner than 2025. Granting permission for the full Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast also would help. A Calgary company, TransCanada, wants to build the line to pipe Canadian oil to U.S. refineries.
We support the pursuit of alternative fuel sources. For example, a new partnership between Chesapeake Energy and General Electric to provide compressed natural gas stations appears to be a step in the right direction. We also support efforts to make a better electric car.
Obama, however, should embrace measures he can take to help lower the cost of gas today.