Tuesday, 12 January 2010 17:31

More Fuel Efficient Vehicles Can Help with Rising Fuel Prices

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As many drivers know, the price of gasoline has been steadily rising for some time now. Gas is now up to $2.74, up 1.4 cents from last night and $0.95 cents from this time last year. As gas prices inch closer and closer to $3 in time for the spring travel season (at least that is what some experts are predicting) the dialog over fuel consumption will likely increase. How can we do more with less, and why do we keep on running into these same problems? Energy shocks and oil crises are nothing new and come about cyclically. Gas prices go up and people start to drive less, interest in more efficient vehicles rises, and consumption goes down. This follows basic economic principles of supply and demand, although some have expressed strong concerns about speculation in markets. Nobody should be shocked to see gas prices inching back up. The US consumes nearly 20 million barrels of oil a day - causing us to put massive amounts of pressure on a finite resource. Moreover, even slight changes in supply can have ripple effects that cause prices of oil and gas to fluctuate dramatically. A viable solution is efficiency. It took the US a long time to address fuel efficiency as this chart shows. While Congress has taken action through improving fuel efficiency standards, the vehicles produced presently vary quite a degree in their fuel efficiency. Some vehicles have substantially better fuel efficiency. Technology exists to help, but it takes commitment by auto makers and consumers alike to make fuel efficient vehicles the norm rather than the exception. As gas prices rise this spring and you are paying more at the pump, think about the future and the most sustainable way to curb rising fuel prices. We must demand action from our nation's leaders to continue to improve fuel efficiency standards, while making fuel efficient vehicles- and choosing fuel efficient vehicles.
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