March 9, 2009 10:45AM

Obama Administration Agrees with Cato on Auto Fuel Efficiency

Well, sort of. The Obama administration signaled last week their belief that it would be better to have one national fuel efficiency standard than a multiplicity of different state fuel efficiency standards. Now, we have long maintained that fuel efficiency standards — federal or state — are a bad idea. Consumers should be free to buy whatever sort of car they want without government economic coercion. But if we must do violence to consumer sovereignty, better to do so via one national standard rather than via a hodge‐​podge of differing state standards.

This is the very argument I made late in January over at The New York Times when asked about California’s petition to establish its own fuel efficiency standard as a means of addressing greenhouse gas emissions. Alas, I was pilloried on the NYT comments board at that time for all sorts of sins against man and nature. Now it appears that President Obama has come over to the dark side. Welcome to my world, Mr. President.