98. MATT SIMMONS ON CAFE STANDARDS
Matt Simmons is all mixed up. As we saw in #97, just a couple of days ago he was claiming we could lose 75-90% of world oil production by 2030. What's his solution? Drill ANWR -- which might (if the drillers luck out) produce 500,000 barrels a day for 10 years.
How in the world is that going to help? If we're going to lose 75-90% of world oil production by 2030, car culture is dead. The dealer is going to run out of dope. So what good is one last "hit" going to do? Wouldn't it be more proactive to begin the quitting process by implementing demand side measures like carpooling, speed restrictions, telecommuting, land use planning, driving bans etc. -- as described in the IEA Report Saving Oil in a Hurry: Measures for Rapid Demand Restraint in Transport(pdf)? (For an extensive list of demand side measures from the IEA report, see #35.)
According to Matt himself, there's a very real possibility that NOBODY will be driving a private auto in 2030, so why not get our feet wet?
The IEA Report (P. xii) states that the U.S. could reduce its fuel consumption by about 10% simply by enforcing car pooling and speed restrictions. That's about 1 million barrels a day -- or twice what ANWR is going to produce even in the best case scenario. Furthermore, those savings aren't going to deplete like ANWR. They also won't contribute to global warming, so you might save a few bucks on Gulf Coast city reconstruction, if you catch my drift.
One of the funnier parts of the transcript cited below is where Simmons says: "We can also never wean the country [i.e. the U.S.] from imported oil..."
Matt, with all due respect, if world oil production is going to be down 75-90% in 2030, the U.S. is going to get weaned hard. Like so hard their eyeballs are going to pop out and rot. Your little trickle from ANWR is going to be like a band-aid for President Kennedy's head wound.
Transcript of Matthew R. Simmons, testifying on the topic of CAFE standards before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, April 3, 2001
Mr. Simmons. Let me give just two examples to illustrate this point. If we suddenly had a fleet of one million 80-mile-per-gallon vehicles on our roads taking the place of one million average automobiles, this would only save 50 thousand barrels of oil use each day. Ten wells or less in the deep water Gulf of Mexico produces an equivalent energy amount. Refrigerator----
The Chairman. Could you repeat that?
Mr. Simmons. If we created a fleet of one million 80-mile-per-gallon cars and they replaced one million conventional cars, that would save 50 thousand barrels a day. Not much.
The Chairman. I am sorry. Mr. Simmons, you were pretty much highlighting CAFE, too.
Mr. Simmons. The 80-miles-per-gallon car.
The Chairman. Go ahead.
Mr. Simmons. You know, first of all I did that analysis myself, so I know the number is right. It is actually 49,600 barrels per day.
The Chairman. Just give us--slow us down again so we pick it up.
Mr. Simmons. You take an 80-mile-per-gallon car----
The Chairman. An 80-mile-per-gallon car. Do we have any of those now?
Mr. Simmons. No, we have a prototype that will be out in 2004. It is an imaginary----
The Chairman. We have got a 56-mile-per-gallon car if you want to buy one. Toyota makes one, Nissan makes one.
Mr. Simmons. And what we do is we replace that car with a car that gets an average of 17 miles a gallon, because if you take the vehicle fleet, that is our average today, and the delta is the savings. So a million 80-mile-per-gallon cars is a phenomenal concept, but it does not make a dent, a single dent.
The Chairman. A million 80-gallon cars would save us how much oil?
Mr. Simmons. 50 thousand barrels a day.
The Chairman. 50 thousand barrels a day, and we consume 19----
Mr. Simmons. Well, we are getting up a little over 20 million during the seasonal peaks, so it has absolutely no relevance. It is a great concept.
The Chairman. Okay, well--50 thousand barrels a day is what you would save if you had one million cars that go to 80. And how many cars do we have in this country? Somebody figured it out.
Mr. Simmons. 220 million vehicles.
The Chairman. 220 million. Well, I do not know if you could stretch the car buyers to that point.Source