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In a move reminiscent of the OPEC crisis in 1974 in the U.S., Spain is lowering its national speed limits as a result of the ongoing crisis in Libya, as fears over that country’s oil supplies continue to rise, pushing prices upward.
According to the BBC, Spain is particularly vulnerable, not only because it imports much of the oil it uses, but also because around 13 percent of said black gold actually comes from Libya.
As a result, the country is looking to curb fuel usage and one way the Spanish Government figures it can do that is by lowering the national speed limit from 120 km/h (75 mph), down to 110 km/h (68 mph).
During the night of March 6/7, work crews across the country began placing new ‘lower’ speed limit stickers over existing signs, more than 6000 in total. The government says that the move is temporary and is planned to remain in effect until early June, however, the main opposition party in Spanish politics, the right leaning Partido Popular isn’t happy. It claims the gains in fuel savings will be negligible and accused the government of nannying the population, stating, “what next? Will the government make people go to sleep earlier to reduce their consumption of light?”
Other government moves already in place in an effort to save fuel, include lowering the cost of passenger railroad travel, plus subsidies for low rolling resistance tires and more energy efficient lightbulbs.