An old reprobate friend of mine asked me how Government regulation could affect the Energy supply and Fuel prices, as I implied yesterday. I thought I should provide an answer. Regulation could cut Oil consumption by prohibition of certain practices which are fuel-use excessive. Here I will give some Regulation proposals, and suggest their likely consequences (remember Murphy's law, and the fact the unintended often holds more reality than anything else).
1) Shutdown of all heavy freight on Highways and Interstate between Noon and 3 p.m. during the Summer, and between Midnight and 6 a.m. in the Winter. Both Periods require the greatest fuel consumption for heavy vehicles. Local loads with local licenses would be exempted from the prohibition (Manifest destinations less than 100 miles). This Prohibition cuts Coolings Costs in Summer with faster flow of traffic, and cuts Heating Costs during the Winter. Drivers would plan their Trips with their mandatory layovers durings these periods, along with their loading and unloading schedules. Fines would be sufficiently high with obvious ease of Ticketing.
2) Doubling by Federal law all Toll Road fees during the Periods of 6-9 a.m and 4-6p.m. This would impel Car-pooling, increase the flow of existent traffic, and reduce Traffic jams and slowdowns. A coincident act to serve the same purpose would close Interstate access routes during these periods to halve the number of access routes to any Interstate system confronted with traffic congestion during Rush hours.
3) Charge a Dollar Federal Tax per fillup at Service Stations during established Rush hours periods. This would help Drivers to understand the cost of individual driving to Work.
4) Closure of Downtown areas to individual traffic, forcing movement by Bus and Cab. This tells Consumers they will be forced to utilize Public transportation anyway, so they might as well adopt the cheapest forms of Transportation.
5) Charge a Federal Tax of $2 per access to Public Garage Parking for all Vehicles parked during the period of 6-9a.m. This increases the Cost of personal vehicle use to go to work.
These measures are all designed to reduce the excessive use of Energy by Individuals. Access and Cost are emphasized. Other measures can be enacted to foster fuel economy, say a Federal tax of $10 per mile of rating on any vehicle rated below 24mpg City, 27mgp Highway. The SUV craze might be curtailed; this Federal tax to be assessed every time the Vehicle is serviced. Lack of Servicing of vehicles will quickly reduce the value of Resale and longevity of the vehicle life. This is outright Government pressure to get such vehicles off the Road.
Regulations can be designed ad infinitum. Government regulation can sculpt Consumer desires without outright denial in most instances. This Curtailment, though, must be based upon sound Business practice, and rigidly enforced; the first sign of leniency destroyed not only the Intent of the regulation, but also capability of enforcement. lgl