Last week, President Bush made some declarations about measures he was taking in regards to gas prices. Then the Congress floated different ideas, and are trying to figure out what to do. In order to save money, some people took advantage of others generosity:
Some California drivers are resorting to desperate measures to beat the surge in gas prices at the pump — deliberately running dry on the state’s freeways
and simply waiting for rescue.
Lujan’s 20 trucks roam the busy freeways of Orange and Los Angeles counties as part of a publicly funded patrol that gives a free gallon of gas to drivers who have run out of fuel. It also offers other basic assistance to drivers whose vehicles have broken down.
“You say to some of them ‘hey, you’ve run out of gas’ and they say ‘yeah, it’s too expensive.’ I think the percentage is going to increase,” Lujan said.
“There was one guy a while back who was stopping every morning and trying to get his one free gallon,” said Dayan. “I think it is going to be more drastic when the price of gas is closer to $4 a gallon.”
Ann Coulter skewers the left’s sudden interest in gas and the price, pointing out that their desire when Clinton was in charge and the Democrats ran things was to make the price of gas more by putting more taxes on it:
I would be more interested in what the Democrats had to say about high gas prices if these were not the same people who refused to let us drill for oil in Alaska, imposed massive restrictions on building new refineries, and who shut down the development of nuclear power in this country decades ago.
But it’s too much having to watch Democrats wail about the awful calamity to poor working families of having to pay high gas prices.
Imposing punitive taxation on gasoline to force people to ride bicycles has been one of the left’s main policy goals for years.
So, are there any good tips to save gas?
You may have heard this: Because of the aerodynamic drag, driving with the windows open burns more gasoline than driving with the air conditioner on. Nice story for folks who need to justify cranking the A.C., but Reed found that whether you had the windows open or the air conditioner on made little difference in fuel consumption.
“Cars are much more aerodynamic than they used to be,” Reed says. “And air conditioners are much more efficient.” Reed did see a noticeable difference in consumption when he drove with all four windows and the sun roof open. And if you drive with the windows open and the air on you might as well be a member of al-Qaeda.
Another long-held driving dictum: It’s better to let your engine idle for a few minutes than it is to turn your car on and off. This is just a straight-up myth. It dates back to the days of the carburetor when people had to step on the gas to get their cars started. Modern fuel injection engines are much more efficient.
Folks who let the engine run while waiting for their kids at school or chatting with friends burn 19% more gas than those who turn the engine off, Reed notes. “It’s why hybrids like the Prius are so efficient,” he says. “They shut the engine off at every light.” So next time you’re waiting in the car, go ahead, roll down the windows, turn the engine off, and give Howard Stern a rest.
Want to really improve your fuel efficiency? The biggest fuel-burning culprit is frequent accelerations and stops. You see everyone doing it, racing to the next stop sign and slamming on the brakes. It may get you to work faster, but what’s the cost? Reed found that people who make quick starts and stops burn up to 37% more fuel than those who coast between lights.
A variation on that strategy involves using your cruise control. People on the highway tend to react too much to what their neighbors are doing, racing ahead to eliminate the gaps between cars and braking when the pack slows down. Better to use the cruise, tapping it up or down whenever you need to adjust your speed. Watch your speed too. It can have a significant effect on fuel consumption. If you drive at 75 mph, instead of 65, you consume about 11% more fuel.