Bush Backs Higher Gas Prices

That won’t be the headline, but it should be.  President Bush’s proposal for a “mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017,” and call for far gerater usage of various biofuels will, in all likelihood, dramatically increase fuel prices for consumers.  Increasing automotive fuel economy standards will do little to offset these additional costs, and will also restrict consumer vehicle choices.  While these proposals may be popular with some energy companies — and many farm state constituencies — they are hardly something worth applauding. I also question the environmental wisdom of artifically increasing the demand for biofuels, which will mean thousands of acres will remain (or be converted to) crop production that would otherwise revert to (or remain in) wildlife habitat.  

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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