Imposing 70s-era restrictions to cut oil use
The rising price of gas and diesel, coupled with supply shocks owing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has bureaucrats scrambling to find ways to ease the pain.
Not to be left out the International Energy Agency has issued a 10-point plan it says can help reduce fuel consumption.
It’s a plan straight out of the 1970s, and includes reducing speed limits, riding a bike to work and a doozy, restricting when people can drive at all:
Restricting private cars’ use of roads in large cities to those with even number-plates some weekdays and to those with odd-numbered plates on other weekdays is a measure with a long track record of successful implementation. During the first oil shock, the Italian government substituted car-free Sundays with an odd/even number plate policy. Since the 1980s, such schemes have been deployed in many cities to tackle congestion and air pollution peaks, including Athens, Madrid, Paris, Milan and Mexico City.
That’s…not going to go over well in the U.S. – nevermind mandating it in an election year.
But don’t be surprised if the list grows to include turning up, or off, the air conditioning this summer, or, putting on a cardigan and turning down the heat in winter. Who knows? It may even lead to Joe Biden reading an updated version of Jimmy Carter’s “crisis of confidence speech,” which included such lines as:
I ask Congress to give me authority for mandatory conservation and for standby gasoline rationing. To further conserve energy, I’m proposing tonight an extra ten billion dollars over the next decade to strengthen our public transportation systems. And I’m asking you for your good and for your nation’s security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel. Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense, I tell you it is an act of patriotism.
Fun fact: In that speech, Carter also called for more domestic use of coal, building more refineries, and pipelines. How times have changed.