Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards were devised back in 1975, amid anxiety over the OPEC oil embargo and supposedly imminent depletion of the world’s oil supplies. 

But recall, barely 15 years after Edwin Drake drilled the first successful oil well in 1859, a Pennsylvania geologist was saying the United States would run out of oil by 1878. In 1908, the US Geological Survey said we’d exhaust our domestic oil reserves by 1927; in 1939, it moved petroleum doomsday to 1952.

Somehow, steadily improving technology and geological acumen kept finding more oil. Then the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) revolution postponed the demise of oil and natural gas production for at least another century. The fuels that brought wealth, health, longevity, and mode