rnch saidLOL @ "energy conservation"...how many HUGE, new or nearly new, gas guzzling vehicles are on the streets of southern florida?
American citizens pay lip service to conservation; but their buying habits say otherwise.
You are comparing 2 different things: consumer choice in a free market, versus a regulated energy industry. And those SUVs went unsold when gas prices spiked, helping to bankrupt 2 US car companies, proving that Americans will indeed practice conservation, when the conservation is the money in their own pocketbooks.
And because of the national interest in lowering oil consumption, to prevent the early depletion of reserves, reduce US dependence on foreign oil, and to lessen the chance of shortages at the pump, the government continues to impose increasingly tough vehicle mileage standards, as it has since the 1970s. SUVs will have to attain good gas mileage, or else go the way of the dinosaurs, making the point about buying habits irrelevant.