I google to check. It is closer to true than I thought, or true if by significantly you mean not "economically significantly" but "we can be sure of the sign of the difference given the huge point estimate"
I have not seen a quantitative comparison of how much oil CAFE would have saved versus how much (Democrat-and-the-public-blocked) greater drilling would have produced, but I bet the amounts aren't significantly different.
Larry your comparison makes no sense. The reason is that the effect of Cafe would depend on the mileage standard. Requiring the kind of average mileage residents of Europe get would reduce US oil demand by ... I'll google (time now 3:47 pm here)
This is an edf pdf but it says that "moreover a focus on auto efficiency has been effective historically with a net 33 percent reduction in fuel use per mile yielding nearly 3 million barrels per day of oil savings." From context this seems to be US.
1.45 million barrels a day in 2028
The 574 million acres of federal coastal water that are off-limits are believed to hold nearly 18 billion barrels of undiscovered, recoverable oil.
That would be equivalent to 6000 days of fuel efficiency improvement so far spread out over who knows how long. The ANWR number is the peak, not the average over so long as we drive cars.
Now possible future fuel efficiency gains which seem reasonable to me would be to get the US fleet like European cars. That means (see below) doubling economy standards so a gain equal to that so far (1 to 2/3 is like 2/3 to 1/3). However, as population and miles driven increase (miles per capita too I'd bet) the gain from economy grows.
The numbers are roughly similar only if you count peak ANWR production as average ANWR production and equate oil which has not been found or extracted with existing technology.
A fair comparison would be feasible cafe standards vs feasible oil drilling. and 60 miles per gallon are certainly feasible (that's what a Prius gets).
More importantly, if we don't drill in ANWR we will have the oil in ANWR. That is banning drilling now leaves open the optino of drilling later. Burning gas now does not leave the option of unburning it later. Only if you adopt an outlook which is both short term and "what if" are they comparable.
Given choices to date, ANWR and off shore won't help us for decades, then they will help us for decades, then the oil will be gone.
Below some quotes and links on what I think is easily doable by imitating Europe and getting rid of light trucks.
"The average combined MPG for all US cars and light trucks on the road today is 19.8 MPG. (Source: 2005 Highway Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Division)." http://www.google.org/recharge/dashboard/calculator#note1
Some mess with calculations from this
European cars today average around 163 grams per kilometer, and the European Union is already shooting for a target of 130 grams per kilometer across all cars by 2012. In today’s mainstream market, the greenest cars achieve something like 28 kilometers per liter (65 mpg) and 100-120 grams of carbon per kilometer, says Nature.
65 mgp/1.6 > 40 mpg
So going from US mix of cars and light trucks to European cars, which seems feasible to me, would double mileage.
time now 4:13 pm elapsed time (including writing and believe it or not thinking) 26 minutes.
Use the google.