It was Republican Senator John Warmer who was asking the question of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.
It is a proven fact that when we drive slower we save gas. According to fueleconomy.gov, lowering your driving speed, "can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town."
The site states that most cars reach their "optimal fuel economy" at about 60 mph, therefore for each 5mph you go over 60, you are probably paying an additional $0.30 per gallon of gas.
I think we all understand that. And, a particular individual chooses to want to drive at a slower speed that should be his own decision to make. And, by far, the government should definitely educate people how to save money on gas.
That said, I think this nation has come so far since 1995 when the national 55 mph speed limit that was imposed in 1974 was lifted, allowing each state to set their own limits. It took many years for most areas to set optimal speed limits on expressways.
Ideally, I think the perfect speed limit is 75mph for the expressway. That's not too fast to be scary, and not to slow either. Most speed limits, at least when I drive from Michigan to Florida each winter, are set at 65 to 70 mph.
Most people, I think, set the cruise control at about 5 mph over the speed limit as we are all rushed for time. And, as we all know, most people in the bigger cities seem to drive 80 mph, regardless of the speed limit. It's easier to go with the flow than to slow down.
True, I have preached on this blog that all options for lowering the price of energy should be placed on the table. Thus, I think this is a noble idea. But one that I personally think, hope and pray will be scrapped for a better alternative.
Certainly this isn't going to be popular with the voters, so I don't expect any of the candidates up for re-election to be providing much support for this. However, one never knows.
Still, considering this is probably going to be discussed in the years to come, it's another reason to take care and pride in who one votes for.
Therefore, I think it would be foolish for the U.S. government to set a national speed limit again of 55 mph, or anything for that matter. I think it should leave this matter to the states and to the people to decide.
I'm not going to cancel my annual trip to Florida for anything, but I certainly don't want to drive 55 mph all the way there. I'd rather pay the extra price for gas.