In today's foul political climate, it would take an eleventh-hour cloture motion to pass a nonbinding resolution affirming that water is wet.
So the prospect of reaching a consensus in Washington on setting a new national octane standard for the nation's fuel supply — with benefits for the environment, fuel economy and vehicle performance — is tantalizing indeed. It requires all the stakeholders to give a little to get what they want. But after that, they get what they want! Funny how that works, isn't it?
Such opportunities are rare in a policymaking arena that seems hopelessly paralyzed by zero-sum, ideological arguments and schoolyard political tactics. Auto industry leaders and their counterparts in agriculture, petroleum, retailing, regulatory agencies and environmental groups mustn't let this one slip by.
And if they can make this one work, let's hope it sets a template for more collaborative attempts at progress through policy motivated by good sense and good faith rather than caprice and ideology.