I write a lot of technology columns, and that means I spend time talking to automakers about fuel efficiency. They dedicate a lot of money to this. I've been to R&D labs where people spend all their time working to shave half a kilogram off car parts to improve fuel mileage. I've talked to engineers who are up to their armpits in engines every day, figuring out how to coax a little more energy efficiency from them. Even companies that make tires and oil are working on their products so they'll help contribute to the improvement.
Why they bother I don't know, because Stephen Harper is taking care of the problem.
Now, if you read the fine print, what the government has actually done is proposed stricter regulations for fuel efficiency. By 2025, we're told, new cars will consume 50 per cent less fuel. It's all on the automakers, of course, because the government wouldn't dare suggest that consumers change their driving habits - which in many cases could pretty much achieve the same goal tomorrow, on the cars we're driving today.
Still, it's good to know that, judging by the headline, our men and women in Ottawa are making such a substantial improvement to our vehicles. And they didn't even have to put on a lab coat. Amazing!