Libertarian law professor Richard Epstein has a new column up at the Hoover Institution Web site about the Obama administration's mandate "to require each automaker to produce a fleet that will average 54.5 miles per gallon." Writes Professor Epstein:
Let us take at face value the over-confident claim that in 15 years, we will increase the cost of automobiles by only $2,000, but reduce the cost of fuel consumption by three times that amount. If those facts were actually true, there would be no need for this regulation at all. Consumers are not so short-sighted that they cannot factor in the cost of fuel when they compute the cost of transportation. And for those consumers who, at the time of purchase, are a bit slow on the uptake, it is not beyond the power of fuel-efficient vehicle manufacturers to hammer home the good news about their cars and light trucks.