Last week when campaigning in Michigan Republican Presidential hopeful Governor Mitt Romney (R. MA) railed against the recently raised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. (see link )
"The first CAFE program was a huge burden on the domestic manufacturing of automobiles. The next CAFE program promises to do the same thing, and what help has been associated with it? It's almost like an unfunded mandate."
These standards mandate that in the future american cars would have to get 35 miles per gallon of gas or better.
This statement makes perfect sense when looked at in the context of Michigan, though it was pure pandering, and short sighted.
My problem comes from his statement after he won the Nevada primary that America must become energy independent. In fact on his campaign website he clearly states, "We must become independent from foreign sources of oil." (http://www.mittromney.com/Issue-Watch/Energy)
How is America supposed to import less foreign oil when he is against raising fuel efficiency standards? Oil makes up 96% of our personal transportation fuel, an excellent way to use less would be to make cars more efficient. Instead Romney suggests drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to increase domestic production. Though this is not a bad suggestion it is short term thinking.
Though this is less serious than John Kerry's (in)famous flip-flop on the Iraq War, it shows poor judgement at best and an unsettling moral flexibility on a key issue for our future at worst.