Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I’m going to ask you a question. I was thinking about this driving in today. I keep hearing about this 55-mile-an-hour speed limit. In fact, I gotta take a break. John Warner, Republicans pushing this, a lot of people, ’cause we’re hearing about how many hundreds of thousands of barrels a day of oil that we can save by cutting the speed limit back to 55. And, of course, this is bogus. I have a question about that when we come back. Don’t go away.


RUSH: The 55-mile-an-hour speed limit, let me get to this here. What is the 55-mile-an-hour speed limit based on? I think it is actually an attempt to control and punish, but the theory is that it will somehow save gasoline and oil by whatever, hundreds of thousands of barrels, gallons a day, I can’t remember the calculation that I read. Now, that was done way back when because there was a shortage, or a supposed shortage. I mean the shortage was real, it was contrived, but we had an access problem because OPEC was playing games. There is no shortage now. There’s not a shortage, period. In fact, with the airlines cutting back and people driving less, there’s probably incrementally a bigger supply, with India and China not subsidizing their populations’ purchase of gasoline to the tune they used to. The supply creeping up is one of the reasons that the speculation price is falling. So I got to thinking. Okay, 55 miles per gallon in your car is going to save X. Why don’t they tell the airlines to throttle back to 300 miles an hour? You want to talk about this guy on the phone a minute ago talking about he wants a G5 and wants the oil money to pay his Social Security. I don’t know how often people think about this, but you start talking about even Obama’s dinky little MD-80, you start talking about airliners, they measure fuel in those things by pounds because they have to calculate the weight.

Now, jet fuel, depending on where you get it these days, I’ve seen it as high as over eight dollars at FBOs in New York, and I think it’s still averaging around five and a half or just under five right now. But think of how much of that could be saved if they told airlines they have to throttle back. But they never do that, do they? And you know how many airline flights and jets are in the air every day? Why don’t they tell them to throttle back? If they throttle back, most of these planes will cruise just an average of 500 miles an hour, it varies. You throttle back to three, you totally backlog. I mean you clog the air traffic control system, unless you modify schedules. You expand and lengthen the passengers’ travel times from destination to destination, and you might burn less fuel, but you’re putting more hours on the engines, which leads to more expensive maintenance. (interruption) Yeah, the hybrid plane. Here I am trying to be serious, the staff can’t even —


RUSH: Robert in Cincinnati, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, how you doing, Rush?

RUSH: Just fine, sir, thank you.

CALLER: Yeah, I was calling about the proposal for the 55-mile-an-hour speed limit.

RUSH: Yeah, one of my favorite topics.

CALLER: Well, I just think that I never heard that slowing down and taking longer is beneficial to anybody. I don’t know where that would help. I’ve never heard that, on any job I’ve ever had to slow down and take longer doing something. The only time I’ve ever heard that, Rush, is from my wife.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah, I was going to ask you, I was going to suggest here that you’ve had to have heard it at some point early in the marriage.

CALLER: That’s what I’m saying, exactly. (laughing) Slow down and take longer, yes.

RUSH: That’s true, but you have to calculate the value of time lost. You know, people aren’t just out joyriding around. They’re going places because they have to get someplace.

CALLER: Exactly, telling the truck take longer to get his produce to the market is not a wise thing.

RUSH: But there’s one other thought about this. This whole business of driving 55 to save mileage and save gasoline and all that, I’ll bet your car is probably a little bit more efficient at 65 or 70 than it is at 55, but beyond that, it’s not going to save a significant amount because it doesn’t need to be saved.

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