I flashed back to the 1980s when I read this over the weekend:

“One of the Senate’s senior members – Republican John Warner of Virginia – says it’s time to start the conversation about an energy-saving national speed limit to help spare Americans from usurious fuel costs.”

The article correctly notes that the old 55-mph speed limit only reduced American gasoline consumption by about 2 percent – barely a drop in the gas tank. Any price savings from a lower speed limit would be more than offset by the 50-150 percent increases that would result from passage of the America’s Climate Security Act…which Warner has co-authored.

If Warner is really concerned about taking a strong stand for American consumers in his final days in office, he should pull down his economy suffocating cap-and-trade legislation and instead help President Bush repeal the ban on off-shore drilling.

And regarding his concerns about public safety, I’ve calculated that a 55-mph speed limit would add about 2-1/2 hours each way when I drive up to see my parents in Kansas. Anyone who thinks that additional time fighting IH-35 traffic – or even driving the vast expanses of straight, flat, empty roads in West Texas – won’t translate into a higher incidence of road rage has never driven IH-35.

Oh. And the flashback? Can’t talk about speed limits without this.(Warning: one word “not safe for work.”)

– David Guenthner