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Send your gas receipts to your Senators
September 15, 2006 9:26 AM   Subscribe

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have launched an interesting campaign to bring more fuel efficient vehicles to our streets.
posted by toddst (18 comments total)

 
I'm all for more fuel efficient vehicles but don't see the tangible benefit of this campaign.

If I pay $50 for a tank of gas, it could be in a Prius or a Bentlley. And whether I fill up once a week or once a month is also more important. It is a person's own fault they are driving a car with shitty mileage.

I could see sending a congressperson a gas receipt as a way to complain about the high price of gasoline. The novelty -- a congressional aide that wonders why several constituants are sending in gas receipts -- could get attention that would fade quickly and may never get in front of the representative.
posted by birdherder at 10:00 AM on September 15, 2006


This hinges entirely on the initiative of the American Public (Americanus lax), widely regarded as the laziest, most self-centered beast known to science.

I offer a

.

for this well-intentioned campaign.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 10:03 AM on September 15, 2006


birdherder: I see your point, but I was thinking about the fact that I drive a pick-up, and I chose the most fuel efficient one on the market at that time, and I still find myself at the pump way more than I should if there were other options...Therefore, I will be sending in a few receipts which says more than just the current price of gas.
posted by toddst at 10:29 AM on September 15, 2006


A better campaign would be for everybody to buy one of the high mileage cars available today. According to this article, sales are down on the most popular hybrid. Toyota has sold 298,199 of the ugly buggers since they came on the market, so there should be room for a few more sales.

Look on the fuel economy list and you'll see lots traditional, internal combustion cars available for sale in the US that get between 35 and 40 mpg. Dealers have plenty of them on their lots. Buy one of these cars and you'll be sending a message to the automakers that you want high gas mileage vehicles. Better yet, move closer to your job so you can walk, bike or support public transport. And while you're at it, convince all of your family and friends to do the same.

Legislation isn't the answer because like it or not, free markets rule.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:37 AM on September 15, 2006


Thanks toddst. That makes sense as part your situation. A start would be holding trucks to the same fuel efficiency, polution and safety standards as autos. Considering the only profitable part of the big three automaker's portfolios are trucks, I doubt their lobbyist in DC will back any legislation to do so. I'm not optimistic the current legislature will do anything though.

Probably Toyota and Honda will lead the way for trucks as they did with hybrid cars.
posted by birdherder at 10:44 AM on September 15, 2006


The Union of Unconcerned Scientists had no comment.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:42 AM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's about time. Steve, not everyone has the luxury of moving "close to their job". If I lived close to my job, I would barely be able to sustain my family - the cost of living in the area is so high.
posted by citizenkane at 11:48 AM on September 15, 2006



posted by Smedleyman at 12:27 PM on September 15, 2006


I've been in the market for a new car for the last few months and I was very disappointed that the "best" mpg I could get in most small cars that weren't hybrids was 33-35. I had an '87 Jetta that got 32 mpg and it had 300k miles on it. So I just don't understand why they insist on trying to convince me that 27 mpg is good.

I ended up getting a Yaris from Toyota, because it got 40 mpg and came in a manual transmission. Plus it was actually in my price range, which the hybrids aren't.

There's really no reason that all new cars can't get over 30.
posted by teleri025 at 12:46 PM on September 15, 2006


Toyota has sold 298,199 of the ugly buggers

VS the eye pleasing H2?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:19 PM on September 15, 2006


Nice ride Smedleyman. Be careful, someone will surely accuse you of compensating for something with that big black phallic fun-mobile. That's all car conversations seem to boil down to here on mefi.
posted by peeedro at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2006


Thanks, peeedro. But I don't think anyone here would accuse me of that. Sure, sometimes we all go off half-cocked and everyone has pulled some boners, I don't care what your name is. It could be Dick or Jim Browski or Johnson or John Thomas, we're all in that club. And I'm no stiff. I don't have any beef withanyone. We could even go golfing together some time and work on our putts. I know a great kielbasa place. Or we can go camping and pitch a tent, whatever.
BTW - I posted something earlier eslewhere on the 1934 Dymaxion (pictured above) here. It got 30 mpg. Did I mention 1934?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:47 PM on September 15, 2006


I've been in the market for a new car for the last few months and I was very disappointed that the "best" mpg I could get in most small cars that weren't hybrids was 33-35. I had an '87 Jetta that got 32 mpg and it had 300k miles on it. So I just don't understand why they insist on trying to convince me that 27 mpg is good.

I ended up getting a Yaris from Toyota, because it got 40 mpg and came in a manual transmission. Plus it was actually in my price range, which the hybrids aren't.

There's really no reason that all new cars can't get over 30.


In the current issue of Car and Driver, editor Csaba Csere writes a column on this issue, which I can't find online yet. Why aren't cars sold in America more fuel-efficient than they were 25 years ago? He says,

1) Cars weigh much more than they used to, because of new safety regulations, consumer demand for stiffer, rattle free construction, and increases in creature comforts like navigation screens and the like. All of this stuff is heavy.

2) Cars are much more powerful than they used to be. Powerful engines consume more fuel. Consumers like more power.

In my opinion, there's not much to be done about 1), but plenty to be done about 2). Cars sold in America today are overpowered; buy the least powerful model that you can if you are interested in forcing companies into offering more models with better fuel economy.
posted by Kwine at 4:27 PM on September 15, 2006


Let me second a plug for the Yaris with manual transmission. Great little car and excellent mileage so far.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:47 PM on September 15, 2006


I agree with Kwine. I own a 4 cyl Rav 4, which gets 25 city/30 hwy...it has _plenty_ of power and is the "base" engine model. I can't imagine why anyone would need to upgrade it to the 6 cyl that has ~30 more horsepower (and worse mileage, of course).

Its crazy that people tout hybrids as so fantastic, yet we had cars in the 80s and 90s that could get mileage in the 50s. Just look at cars like the Geo Metro. Of course, they were crappy little cars compared to a Prius, but its not like hybrids have brought us a huge increase in potential mileage over past cars. When we start seeing 100 mpg then its something...

I remember hearing Adam Corrolla on Loveline a long time ago talking about mileage, and he made a good point: just tax each gallon of gas so its at least $8 a gallon. Put the proceeds from the tax into hybrid research and alternative energies. You'd see SUV's and V8 Dodge Rams disappear for everyone but those who actually need them, and people would start making some different choices regarding where they live and how they get around. We can either make the choices voluntarily now, or be forced to in five or ten years.
posted by rsanheim at 7:32 PM on September 15, 2006


I heard on NPR that somebody had produced an ethanol fuel made from corn (that had a little gas in it to keep people from trying to drink it and then sueing the company). A quick boo at these guys makes me think they're the ones behind it.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:46 PM on September 15, 2006


I want what rsanheim's smoking.
posted by intermod at 8:45 PM on September 15, 2006


I'm not as compelled to follow the advice of the Union of Concerned Scientists as I am the Angry mob of Scientists who are Scared Sh!tless. Them I'd listen to.
posted by Davenhill at 12:40 AM on September 16, 2006


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