I have to side with Loco on this one.
The study is flawed and so is its premise.
"Cars of yore" were HEAVY steel things with big engines and lower gearing. They were also CARBURATED, a very inefficient means to deliver fuel to the engine. A 55 MPH speed limit made sense because of the technology constraints.
Today, that is not the case. Modern fuel injection meters the fuel with unfailing accuracy (mechanical or electrical failures aside). Furthermore, emission standards are much more stringent and require that vehicles burn cleaner and that translates into efficiency. This is true at 55MPH or at 75MPH. The difference is the level and rate of consumption.
By reinstating the 55MPH speed limit, what is really being attempted is a cultural change. The original 55MPH speed limit was not about fuel economy, but SAFETY. One of the counter arguments to the national speed limit was called "Principle 42 (or something like that)".
Principle 42 basically said that no person is going to drive any faster or slower than their comfort level. For some, that speed is 40MPH and others 80 MPH. What the study found was that for people with higher thresholds, lower speeds caused their minds to wander. For those with lower thresholds, they became hyper aware at higher speeds, but were more prone to panic. So, to arbitrarily pick a number, i.e. 55MPH, had no basis.
So, back to my original point, the premise is flawed and it really is a cultural issue.
Americans view driving as a right, not a privledge. In Europe, speed limits are considerably higher, but so are the fuel costs and the penalties associated with breaking traffic laws. Combine this with a very robust public transportation infrastructure and people view driving as a something less than a necessity.
Not so here.
So, I do not fault the OPEC nations. They are greedy
, but that's capitalism.
We have no one to blame but ourselves...