One way to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil is to change anachronistic behavioral patterns that no longer make sense in today’s dynamic world.
Many on the left advocate reducing personal energy consumption as one way to achieve this goal. In other words, we can help break our oil addiction by lowering our standard of living.
Well, there is one way to reduce our fuel consumption by improving our standard of living.
I call it the Telecommuters Energy Security Limitation Act (TESLA).
This piece of legislation would require knowledge workers to telecommute 2 days a week. By leveraging a series of innovations that include cloud computing, faster processing speeds, and ever-increasing storage capacity, Americans can spend fewer mind-numbing hours on the road, save over 320 million barrels of oil a year, and use those additional hours for increased productivity.
The end result would be happy workers, more productive employees, and lower oil consumption.
Here is how it would work. The approximately 40 million workers that Richard Florida classifies as the “creative class” would be required by law to telecommute two days a week. According to the Census Bureau about 76% of workers drive alone to work each day. Assuming this number is similar for the creative class, a little over 30 million Americans would be eligible for this program.
Assuming that their daily commute accounts for 80% of the miles U.S. knowledge workers travel each year, and that they will now telecommute 2 days a week, the program could save each of them 4,800 miles per year. At an average fuel efficiency of 22.6 miles per gallon, this translates into an annual savings of 6.5 billion gallons of gasoline in aggregate each year.
The program would save about 880k barrels of oil per day, or over 16% of 2012 U.S. forecasted crude oil production.
It seems like a great idea to me.
U.S. Knowledge Workers: Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class
Percentage of U.S. Workers That Drive to Work: U.S. Census Bureau
Average Annual Mileage: U.S. Federal Highway Administration
Average Mileage for U.S. Passenger Vehicles: U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics
U.S. Annual Gasoline Consumption: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Barrels of Oil per Gallon of Gasoline: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Forecasted 2012 U.S. Crude Oil Production: U.S. Energy Information Administration