Fuel-Efficient Cars May Be Good, But They'll Kill the American Car Culture

Like the demise of newspapers, this is going to be painful to watch.


By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I know I should be happy that President Obama and the U.S. car industry have joined with environmentalists to raise mileage standards to almost 40 miles per gallon.

On an intellectual level, I know that the billions of newly affluent Chinese and Indians buying cars in the coming decades will place a stunning demand on the world's supply of oil, and that polar bears are threatened by global warming.

I am glad that we are on a path toward freeing ourselves from our dependency on petro-dictators.

And I am hoping—really hoping—that there are brilliant engineers somewhere who will continue to design cars that growl, with names like Corvette, Porsche and Mustang, that will meet the new mileage requirements.

But I figure those growlers are going to be pretty pricy, and that more and more Americans will be looking at sensible hybrids and electric cars, to drive on ever-more crowded highways.

The death of the American car culture—like the demise of newspapers—is going to be a painful thing to watch.

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