20 Apr

Gas

I just paid $4.29 a gallon for mid-grade gas. Less than six months ago it cost me about $35 to fill my gas tank. Now it costs $60. Do I want my government to tap into strategic oil reserves so as not to stress my household budget during “these tough economic times?” Absolutely not! I want Americans to realize what the Europeans figured out a long time ago — gas IS expensive and there ARE alternatives to two+ cars per family and lifestyles that revolve around driving. This morning I heard a report about a Danish firm working on creating ethanol out of agricultural by-products. I like the sound of that. I had a plan for the US stimulus money that would train unemployed auto industry workers to convert gas engines to run on biofuel not from newly grown corn, but from french fry an other post-consumer oils. Other stimulus money would go to local businesses to be trained to gather and prepare the post-consumer oils for market — establishing an industry standard. Job creation and renewable energy! I figure we’ve got so much fried food that we should keep all that oil from being dumped into the environment and get a second use out of it to fuel our cars as well as our bodies.

No one asked me for ideas though.

7 thoughts on “Gas

  1. Actually, there is a place near my office that does just that. One of my coworkers fills her diesel VW bug with the recycled oil. Her exhaust smells like french fries.

    I need to commute by bike more often. I’m not price sensitive, though. My commute is short, 3.5 mi, and my car gets 40 MPG in the city. But, if it gets other people out of their cars, it will make my commute–by bike or car–more pleasant.

  2. I just told my hair dresser to get over it. Gas should be expensive. it has cost this country many lives and we have used it like it was water.

  3. I grew up when gas was 25 cents or less/gallon and we drove less than we do today. My parents did weekly shopping on Fridays. It started at 4 pm and we got home about 8. If Mom ran out, she borrowed from neighbors, or had us walk/ride our bikes to the store (1/2mile). We all walked to school and for some it was a mile (we didn’t have to trudge through 10 feet of snow in a blizzard, but we did have Seattle rain). The point is, we are spoiled. Have a synapse, drive and go scratch the itch. My area has a lot of research facilities looking for solutions. We have fields of solar panels, a nuclear reactor, windmills on every ridge, looking at safflower, wine waste for use and manure ponds creating electricity. There are cars running on french fry oil, electricity, and bike paths to where you want to go, yet everyone drives all the time. The biggest change has to happen with ourselves. Do 1 long trip instead of 8 little ones all in one day. Walk, it is good for you. Am I on a soapbox – you bet!!!

  4. You’re right, we need to change habits. My kids walk to school and every after-school activity (if it’s not walking distance, we’re not doing it). I drive to work because it’s 20km and a third of the time public transport would take (I am on a limited “time budget”) and I do one big errand and shopping run a week. I drive somewhere around 13.000 km a year. Being organised saves me time and petrol money. It is feasible. We just need to make an effort!

    And as you point out, the upside of it all is that there are plenty of jobs to be had in this!

  5. I drive less than 2500 miles each year and fuel up every few months. It was important to me to live within walking distance of work and i use public trans for most long-distance trips. It’s too bad that this is a luxury…

  6. Even tho we’re usually among the nation’s lowest in gas prices ($3.59 yesterday), I still use public transportation every day to work. Besides the cost savings in gas, maintenance & insurance, it gives me 40 minutes (20 each way) to have to myself. I’ve stitched, knit, read, played Nintendo, listened uninterrupted to my Ipod…these are my secret luxuries! My work helps with the bus tab, I pay $24/mo for my ride…less than one tank these days!

    Change for most is hard! Just try ONE THING to conserve, you’ll be surprised at the payback. I’m looking all the time to add one more thing to my conservation…we have solar electric, solar water heater, use pub trans and I tote my unused shower water to my plants every darn day, lol.

  7. I couldn’t agree more although I do get weary having these same conversations over and over. My plan has long been to send young people to engineering school instead of the army so they can learn how to design more hybrid and alternative vehicles. Retrofit all the factories.

    However, there is hope for the future. My boy who graduates HS next month wants a new bike for his graduation gift so he can ride more rather than drive. And he can influence his friends, who can influence their friends, and they will change the world . . . .one can hope!

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