Texas sucks… more of our nation’s fuel supply.

Posted by admin
May 28 2006

Ever wonder why one of the simplest ways to reduce gas consumption isn’t considered by our states’ legislatures or by Congress? Why haven’t they brought up the idea of lowering the speed limit on many highways from those gas-guzzling speeds of 70 or 75 miles per hour to something around 55 to 65 mph, which is the easiest, quickest way to conserve our nation’s fuel supply? I sure have and I think I have found the answer: There’s a counter-intuitive vortex stuck above the state of Texas (and the White House, also, but we already knew of that one) that must be sapping the intelligence and wisdom of state representatives.

Feeling the Need for Speed, Texas Raises Its Limit to 80 (Los Angeles Times):

This week, if all goes according to plan, the posted speed limit on more than 500 miles of West Texas interstates will rise to 80 miles per hour. That will make Texas home to the highest posted limit anywhere in the United States and one that will rival the recommended maximums on Germany’s famous autobahns.

The Texas Legislature fast-tracked the increased speed limit last year and unanimously recommended it; then the Texas Department of Transportation followed suit with feasibility studies that gave the green light. The Texas Transportation Commission gave its approval Thursday.

The first new speed limit signs went up along two flat, rural stretches of Interstates 10 and 20 just in time for Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer driving season.

Texans brush aside such concerns as fuel efficiency or the cost of gasoline.

Engineers calculate that drivers burn 7% more gas per mile for every 5-mph increase in speed above 60 mph. Texans calculate that their Hummers need bigger gas tanks.

“Our mission is to go and seek out whether we can fulfill the requests of the driving public,” said Mark Cross, spokesman for the state transportation department. “And the request from the public is they want to go faster.”

Texas and 11 other states permit drivers on some highways to travel up to 75 mph, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But Texas transportation engineers determined that 85% of drivers on the two segments of I-10 and I-20 were averaging 80 mph, 5 mph above the current 75-mph speed limit, so officials reasoned that raising the limit would simply be a bow to reality.

“We feel it’s always safer to have motorists traveling at a more uniform speed,” Cross said.

Adding insult to injury, here, is the crazy notion that speeders get to determine speed limits on highways. This strongly suggests that energy conservation policy initiatives are sorely lacking in Texas’ legislature. When gas hits $4.00 per gallon nationwide, I guess we can thank Texas for doing their part in driving up the price.

By the way, does anyone know if Bush has violated 85% of the Constitution?

Trackback URL for this entry