Thursday Open Thread: The "What Have You Done with The Press Release?" Edition

Send (or link to) the press release to your elected representatives, media outlets, put it in the comments at other blogs.  even if someone has done it already, hit it again!  This set of ideas needs to get out.

how to get in touch with your MoC:, (though the suggestion about getting to the staffers in the comments of the prior post is a good one), check out your state House and Senate sites too, send it locally...send it somewhere! Emails, print it out and give it to people, whatever!

don't forget to check out the next post regarding the peak oil and sustainability conference in DC either.

Pushing for the return of the 55 mph speed limit might be a good first goal.  Even if it's only on a state by state basis.

I found this article interesting.  Hybrid owners are allowed to use the HOV lanes - and they are infuriating the other drivers.  Why?  Because they go so slow.  

There's a good reason Prius owners may be tempted to ease off the pedal. They see the impact their speed has on the gas tank. When Jim Feichtl sped along at 75 to 80 m.p.h. in his hybrid, the trip-o-meter on the dash that gauges his gas mileage up to the second told him he was getting between 35 and 39 m.p.g. When he dropped to under 65 m.p.h., he got 46 m.p.g.

When Paul Burnett of Alameda, Calif., went 55 m.p.h. in his Prius on his Interstate 880 commute, he got better than 56 m.p.g..

The proof was right on the dashboard, right in front of their eyes.

Maybe we don't need devices that automatically limit vehicle speed, or platoons of extra cops...

How about one of those instant-read MPG meters in every car?

Stimulus-response, stimulus-response...

Seriously, one of the clever parts of the hybrid system is what I like to call the "social engineering" aspect-- prominently placing instant and intermediate-term mileage guages on the dashbord makes the driver constantly aware of the mileage he/she's getting.  Driving my Civic Hybrid is like driving a video game, and I'm always doing what I can to increase my mileage at any given time.

If you want to get better gas mileage, follow a hybrid driver.

Some in a prior post suggested putting in a vacuum guage, which would do something similar.  

This is a really great idea!  We could even have an idiot light version.  A "Poor Fuel Economy" light that goes on during situations where you are getting worse mpg than normal, for whatever reason.  Maybe this could be a three LED "MPG" light, with red for poor, yellow for normal, green for good.

This is the sort of thing a behavioral economist would come up with.  With just a tiny bit more information, we can tell the motorist when they are wasting money.  Since people hate to waste money, they would have a strong incentive to keep the yellow or green light on.

I have a bike computer that performes twelve different functions and cost all of $10.  

Seriously, this kind of feedback can't be expensive, why aren't more automakers including it?  (I say 'more' because from googling around I see that a) it isn't a new idea at all and b) some non-hybrid cars already include it, I know my friends BMW does and it's six years old)

I wanna buy one for my civic, if I find an aftermarket source of any kind I'll let y'all know.

BTW, my bike computer says I get "excellent mileage" (say that with a Rain Man voice)

See ScanGauge (seems to be sold out now but coming in May). used to sell these for $129 or so.
awesome, thanks!
I once had a 1993 Lincoln that had both current MPG and cumulative MPG. It was a real eye-opener on bad driving habits. By using the current guage, I was able to get my cumulative mileage up to 22 MPG on the beast.
My trip computer cumulative MPG on the Passat has often read over 48 MPG, and sometimes over 50 MPG.  The gauge reads a bit higher than the real economy, but it's still amazing to see such numbers from a 5-passenger car.

Haha - years ago I was riding in a friend's Lincoln Continential (one of the largest cars around before the SUV craze), and it had such a thing.  We were driving back from something one night, and he looks down and says "Look - we are getting 39 mpg".  Of course we were going downhill at the time....
Or this one for $ 27.99. -1/p-2008961/Ntx-mode+matchallpartial/N-10101/tf-Browse/s-10101/Ntk-AllTextSearchGroup?Ntt=miles

For all cars, trucks, vans and RVs
Miles-per-gallon scale shows actual gas mileage as you drive
Easy to install on or under dash
Slash your fuel costs with this easy-to-read illuminated fuel economy-performance gauge. Color-coded zones tell you when your engine is producing the most power for the least gas. Approx. 3-1/2" diam. face. With mounting housing. Complete with Operating/Installation Manual.

This would be require only a simple change in manufacturing regulations, could be implemented quickly, and would help reduce the consumption across the spectrum of vehicle types.  My experience of driving cars fitted with these devices is that is difficult to ignore them, it is very human to try to improve your score.  Without really being aware of it, you learn a driving style which maximizes consumption.  I find myself using exactly the techniques I learnt even though I now drive a car without a meter.
Another "pain free" change could be that manufacturers are required to published detailed consumption graphs - ie consumption in various gears / speeds.  Many people are not aware of the massive increase in fuel use which occurs between 50 and 75.
This may be academic - once consumers begin to feel real pain they may demand these improvements.
My experience of driving cars fitted with these devices is that is difficult to ignore them, it is very human to try to improve your score.

Very true.  I've even seen Prius drivers comparing scores at red lights.

As long as you're at it, standard cruise control (with requirements for accuracy) would save a lot of fuel too.  And if someone could come up with an inexpensive way of making an adaptive cruise control which would let cars cruise in "trains" perhaps ten feet apart, the cut in fuel consumption from the reduced drag would help even more.
Actually, while I like a cruise control that holds a very constant speed, I believe it is more economical to let it droop on the uphill and speed up downhill.
Perhaps (for gas cars), but if it's going to be usable in traffic then you have the difficulty of specifying a speed vs. grade curve as part of the standard (so that vehicles can remain in cruise going up and down hills).  Much easier just to peg a speed and hold it.

I get much better economy in the diesel when I hold constant speed up hills, accelerate over the crest and then drop to neutral to coast down.  It would be even more different in a hybrid.  Any specification should probably be written with hybrids or EV's in mind, as everything else is going to be obsolete in a decade or so but we'll be stuck with the legacy standard.

The standard-equipment cruise control is an excellent idea.  Cruise control makes it a lot easier for an inveterate lead-foot such as myself to maintain the speed limit.  

(And like I said on another thread, here's an endorsement for the 55 mph speed limit from someone who by nature much prefers the speedlimitless conditions of the German Autobahn.  Chafing as I always have under speed limits, I really never thought that day would come!)

Apologies to Ben, who said something very similar a few posts down and a half-hour earlier.
I have a 2005 volvo suv guzzler (purchased before I learned about PO) that allows me to toggle between ave mpg, instantaneous mgp, and miles left in the tank.  I spend so much time trying to maximize my instantaneous mpg that I've probably become a driving hazard.  It has, however,  taught me to use my lead foot sparingly.
I installed a ScanGauge in my VW TDI diesel Jetta.  It plugs into the OBDII connector and shows, among many other things, instantaneous MPG and current trip MPG.  I discovered that putting the transmission in neutral when coasting down hills makes almost 5 mpg difference overall!  I am compulsive now about getting the best mileage I can because it's possible to see it in real time.  The current trip display is best for me.

The ScanGauge works on any gas or diesel OBDII compliant vehicle.  This means any car sold in the US after 1996 should work fine.  Installation is a snap - just plug it into the diagnostic socket and take a few minutes to set it up.

Check out for more information.  I notice they are sold out right now.  I paid $129 for mine and it's saved me a bundle.  I was heading up the grapevine toward LA outside of Bakersfield when I lost most of my power.  By checking the ScanGauge I saw that my MAP (Manifold Air Pressure) reading was low.  Turns out the mechanism that changes the pitch of my turbo vanes had gotten stuck.  I reached in and released it.  There's no other way I could have made that diagnosis without having Vag-Com software, a reader interface, and a laptop computer.

I also got an indication of trouble on my dashboard display that indicated the glowplugs were malfunctioning.  The ScanGauge reported an error code that turned out to be related to a malfunction in the injection pump.  Having that read out at the VW dealer would have cost $80.  Then they would have gotten me for $1800 for a rebuilt injection pump!  As it was I bought an injection pump on eBay for $377 and installed it myself.

The ScanGauge isn't without its flaws but overall I consider it a good value.

I don't imagine most people would use it to the extent that I have, but I think it's worth it just for the MPG display.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have no financial interest in ScanGauge.

It sounds neat, but it won't work with my Civic, unless it has a proper port, and it was built in 1990 so I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks for all the info!

I had a 1990 Honda Civic hatchback.  I loved that car.  Easy to work on, great mileage and it handled pretty well.  But you're right about ScanGauge not working with it.  Too bad.
I've suggested that too - it's hard to resist trying for high score!
I've got the stickers, and I use old time good driving rules.  I stick to the right lanes unless I'm passing.  When there is a crunch in traffic I can get out in the carpool lane and pass without slowing people down.

I normally drive 65 in one of the right lanes and get 50+ mpg.  When I get in the carpool lane I might go 65-75, depending on whether anyone is catching me.

I don't think having a hybrid is an excuse for bad, impolite, driving.

There are a lot of drivers who don't care.  You could have it display the mileage in 6 inch numbers, and it wouldn't matter at all.
That's right - and it's okay.  It's not a failure just because some people continue to speed.  

Besides, I think with more awareness, there will be a tipping point of sorts, where the fast suddenly isn't cool any more.

Years ago, we owned a Jeep that averaged eight MPG.  I think it would have been nice to have instant feedback so we could try and improve.  Of course, gas was only a buck back then.  

Even an idiot light - green, yellow, red - indicating if you were sucking lots of gas would be useful feedback.  Sure, some would ignore it (the folks that aren't exactly pinching pennies to begin with, for starters) and some cars would never get a meter (like the 76 pontiac I was stuck behind yesterday) but it could still be a very useful tool and can't cost much.  Who knows, we just might learn somethin'

My Saab has this (a '93.. so did the '87... so do the new ones). Both an instantaneous bar graph and a cumulative average. It also has a green economy zone painted on the tachometer and a bright orange "Shift Up" light that comes on when RPMs increase.

I do occasionally see how well I can do, but I can't say I pay attention to it most of the time.

OK then, when you gas up, the pump will transmit the gas price you paid to the engine computer, and then it can display in $ per mile!  If anything will get attention, that will!
In Ontario, Hydro One did a study to see if power displays showing 'live' energy usage would affect consumption rates. They found an average 10% decline in the electricity used over a year study.  We just need to make electricty consumption into a game of lowest score wins.

FWIW, I've sent the entire release to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R, Texas) and requested a response.

I'm not holding my breath.

Cape Wind update

Kennedy continues to be an embarrassment, but as the article implies, hopefully all the attention energy issues have been getting recently will force the politicians to give the project a green light.


I am appalled that Ted Kennedy is opposed to the wind farm.  I'm also dismayed at Gov. Mitt Romney's opposition. Another article in yesterday's Boston Globe also caught my eye: New England at greater risk of power woes than rest of Northeast.

BOSTON --New England's failure to build new electricity generating plants will put the region at a higher-than-usual risk of resorting to precautions this summer to keep its power grid from overloading, an organization that oversees the grid said Wednesday.
Likewise. We have the technology, we have the location, we have the money, we have the oil-power to set it up, we have the citizens of this country on board for alternative energy... yet a politician's ocean-front view might be slightly disrupted so he wants to kill the whole thing??

Sorry if I sound cynical, but if these are the kind of "leaders" we have during Peak Oil, then we as a nation are done for. He's well-informed of Peak Oil and knows the consequences yet chooses otherwise based on his own selfishness. And, in the event of a terrorist attack, he and other politicians already have places in government bunkers where they can hide. So if that ever happens, they are the ones to re-populate the world.
The utility should target the rolling
blackouts to the towns these characters
live in .. First town to suffer the
brown out should by Hyannis .. Even if
the good Senator has a backup power supply,
he'll hear all about it from the neighbors ..

Triff ..

Hello MillMan,

If New England leaders could fully and carefully explain Peakoil to their constituents and institute a Powerdown program: the 'failure' to build new detritus-powered electrogen-plants would instead be seen as a huge 'success'.  The sooner people accept the idea that infinite detritus growth is impossible-- the better off they will be.  Biosolar windmills are the better alternative to try and hold off the imposition of Duncan's Olduvai Gorge Theory.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

From Tuesday's Kuwait Times: Kuwait MPs call for cap on oil production

Five lawmakers yesterday filed a draft law calling on the government to limit oil production in line with actual proven reserves, which have been claimed to be lower than the officially stated figure of 100 billion barrels. The four-article bill stipulates that the new production figure should not exceed the percentage of actual output in the past two fiscal years divided by proven reserves. The bill was signed by MPs Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Mussallam Al-Barrak, Mohammad Al-Khalifa, Hassan Jowhar and Waleed Al-Jari, all members of the Popular Action Bloc.

The draft law was filed in light of the controversy raised recently on the actual size of proven Kuwaiti oil reserves after the Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) reported in January that Kuwaiti reserves were only half of the announced figure of 100 billion barrels. PIW also claimed that proven reserves amounted only to 24.2 billion barrels, citing internal Kuwaiti records it claimed it had seen. Kuwaiti oil authorities have denied the report, with Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al-Sabah saying that the report spoke only about 31 reservoirs which were being used by Kuwait while ignoring 74 other untapped reservoirs. MP Saadoun had sent a lengthy question to Sheikh Ahmad inquiring about the report but the question has not yet been answered.

Explaining the bill, the MPs said that Kuwait produced slightly below one billion barrels of crude oil in each of the past two fiscal years. Based on official figures on reserves of 100 billion barrels, the actual production each year amounted to just one per cent of the reserves. It added that actual production in the coming years must not exceed one percentage point of proven reserves based on authenticated official figures which must be supplied by the energy ministry to the National Assembly.

It further clarified that if Kuwaiti reserves were more than 100 billion barrels, the production ceiling will increase and similarly if proven reserves were less, the production ceiling must be reduced accordingly. But it left the door open to change the percentage in accordance with Kuwaiti economic interests. To become effective, the bill must be approved by the Assembly and endorsed by HH the Amir.

Dunno if it has a chance of passing or what...

This sounds very much like Colin Campbell's Depletion Protocol (previously Rimini or Uppsala Protocol)

A search of Google News on "The Oil Drum" only yields links for this story at Alternet and The Energy Bulletin.

Despite the truth and quality of this editorial, we can't seem to crack the MSM. Is our traffic up?

[Repeated from end of editorial thread]

Google news search on the discourse must change

Perhaps "the oil drum" is too common a phrase and Google filters it out of the search results?  I dunno how google works, but choose other keywords and see what you find.

hit the technorati/google tags at the bottom of the post...that's the trackback mechanism.
I'll put my response here too.

Not much of a bump over the normal 10k/day pace of late.  I'm willing to hear some more ideas on how to spread this around.  We've emailed it to everyone we know, hit the top 100 blogs, etc.

I think it's going to have to be a groundswell of our readers hitting comment boxes on other bigger blogs, emailing it to elected officials, etc.  

There's a few others than what you have mentioned that have picked it up, hit the trackback (t-rati,google) below the post.

any ideas?

Those trackback searches are looking for the url (at least on my browser) and naturally this gets no results.

Put the press release out over the wires.

I second that idea. I haven't had occasion to use the service myself, but I just heard the founder speak at a webmaster conference, along with many site owners who had received a lot of traffic from posting there.
What were you expecting?  We aren't the mainstream media. We can't expect to just post a press release and have journalists beating paths to our door.

I we have any PR or advertising members here, who might be able to donate their expertise?  Someone asked for a one-page version, and I suspect they are right.  Three pages is too long.  All the press releases I've seen have been one page or shorter, with contact info where you can get more info if you need it.  

And we probably have to think outside the box.  Everyone and their uncle is weighing in on the gas price issue; why should anyone listen to us, and not all the other groups clamoring for attention?

They might be able to offer some advice at dKos (haven't had a chance to check Jerome's diary yet).  There are people there who know how to get ink for their causes.  Perhaps local would be better than national.  A lot of local papers/news stations are eager for ready-made content.

If we want to have Internet impact, we need something catchier than a press release.  Something like one of those JibJab mini-films.  Or a brief but captivating response to those "boycott Exxon" chain mails.

Whoa! Leanan.

I was hopeful we might get a few MSM hits.

Re: "And we probably have to think outside the box..."

That's the Problem. We are thinking outside the box....

Well, we might get some MSM hits yet.  It's early.

But I wouldn't count on it.  There are too many other groups, many of them with professional PR firms, also clamoring for attention.  CNN had a brief overview this morning, in a segment called, "Who's to blame for high gas prices," and I suspect they barely scratched the surface.  Democrats, Republicans, the American Petroleum Institute, the AAA, the Brookings Institute, the Natural Resources Defense Council, ExxonMobil, etc. All vying for camera time.

Also, remember that just because the MSM doesn't publish the article doesn't mean they haven't read it and won't take pieces of it to work up their own angle on it.  If so, they will probably change it enough as to not be outright plagiarism.  This would be a major disservice to the original authors, but would not surprise me.
I don't think partisan Democrats are on our side here.  They'd rather take advantage of the opportunity to score political points by blaming the Republicans and oil companies.
I share your skepticism about the Democratic party establishment. It's pretty foolish, however, to win office by promising a plan that (they know) won't contribute to solving the problem, and will make the middle and long term situations worse.

One of Jared Diamond's five factors for Collapse is the quality of the society's response to problems. Feudal Japan, threatened by deforestation, took steps to halt and reverse it. Norse Greenland, which did collapse, clung non-negotiably to a life-style that climate change had made no longer viable.

I agree.  But not everyone at dKos is a partisan Democrat.  

And being liberal types, they often help even people they disagree with.

(This comment is meant constructively but is satirical.)

For Immediate Release:


Oil Drum Editors release Op-Ed as Press Release, express disappointment at uptake.

Yesterday, April 26th, on the Internet, the editors of the Oil Drum put out a three page press release on the energy policy entitled, "THE POLITICS OF OIL: THE DISCOURSE MUST CHANGE."  

Comments by users and editors on  The Oil Drum, an energy "blog" providing some of the most technical discussions of energy depletion on the web,  later revealed  disappointment uptake in the media has been lower than expected.  

At least one member, APF, thinks uptake is low because their press release is really an op ed.  "I watched it unfold yesterday and thought, maybe I should write something.  Then, uhh, I did.  I hope they get this is meant constructively.  News rooms won't see it as a press release."

Experts agree, press releases give the who, what, when, where, and why.  Well, press releases that get used, that is.   News outlets are looking for news which conforms to these criteria to either embellish or make the focus of or (not infrequently) borrow wholesale for a story.  

Structurally, press releases need to be short (one page usually), have all the news summarized pithily in the first paragraph, elaborate in easily digestible language that single piece of news, and explain who is sending out the PR, says a high-placed government official who wishes to remain anonymous.

According to another official of a Western government, press releases should be structured around a news item unique to the Oil Drum -- a report authored by TOD, a book launch, a sit in -- or a unique PR stunt --e.g. the crushing of a paper-mache SUV by a Prius on Penn Ave outside the capital.  Or maybe a press release from the Oil Drum announcing a new "Ten Stupidest Proposals to Reduce High Gas Prices" list.

"That's not to say this sort of Op Ed -- it's really more of a backgrounder -- isn't useful.  Sent to the right places, it can establish TOD editors as a qualified resource for quotes for future stories,"  said Filo Farnsworth, inventor and noted PR guru.

About the poster:
APF and his partner both spent the first decade of their professional lives working at issue oriented non-profits that struggled to get media attention in the public relations-driven world of Washington news coverage.  APF then spent several years working at two tech start-ups that were successful, in part, because of constant press interest.  


For more information:
Here's a good site for future reference for anyone who wants to do their own press releases.

Here's an example of a tip they give:

Bad Press Release Lead
Recently on, an online store dedicated to selling the best herbal products, teenagers had the chance to say what they thought about weight loss and whether a society that pressures young people to be thin is a good thing or a bad thing.

Good Press Release Lead
America's teenagers are angry at Hollywood for glamorizing ultra-thin bodies, and many girls say they feel too self-conscious about their bodies as a result of watching TV, movies and music videos. The findings are gleaned from more than six months of ongoing discussion and debate at the website According to President John Smith, anger and resentment toward the Hollywood ultra-thin runs deep, particularly among teenage girls.
The Rest of the Press Release

I put a link from my blog, and I still plan on writing letters.  I think my theme to those letters will be about which concrete, short-term, steps I support.

To be honest, I think we are actually making good progress.  The "we are to blame" or "consumption is the problem" memes are spreading.

Anybody who has a blog should link to the "politics of oil" post, boosting its page rank.  I can claim "first link" but there are only currently six of us.

Anybody who hits this link should increment the search count for "the discourse must change"

... but anyway, I think the glass is half-full.  Keep up the good work.

I put a blog post up (but technorati usually doesn't index my blog, dunno about that) and wrote to my senators and house rep (Chet Edwards, a lonely democrat here in Texas whom I've written to several times in the past)

Funny thing, at Edward's website, there is a poll for folks to say what they think the most important issue is.  Six months ago I wrote him a teasing letter saying that he wasn't paying enough attention to education in his polls and newsletters, now it's there and has 14% of the response.  This time, "energy" is nowhere to be found.  You'd think with all the outcry about gas prices he might be soliciting feedback about it.  I included the oversite in my letter, noting that he does list "transportation" but saying that is a separate issue from energy.  

Couple of articles about electricity....

How about a TiVo for electricity?

In an age of flextime, when workers increasingly commute outside peak traffic flows, the delivery of electricity seems a bit, well, static. When you need it most, so does everyone else, imposing big costs and occasional brownouts on utilities and their customers. But a Washington, D.C., startup called GridPoint has a better idea. Starting this spring, GridPoint is selling a "smart box," priced from $15,000 to $20,000, that will allow business owners to manage their electricity more intelligently - and cut down on power bills.

The system works thanks to "dynamic pricing" - a payment arrangement in which utilities charge customers more during periods of peak usage, such as dinnertime, and less when demand is low - say, 3 A.M. Though this option has been around for decades in some areas, it's still available to only about 10% of U.S. customers - but that's about to change. An energy law enacted last year requires that all utilities offer customers some form of dynamic pricing by February 2007.

And what's this?  North Carolina is considering a radical idea for dealing with its energy shortfalls.  Conservation.

Old-fashioned conservation has been revived as an argument against the six nuclear reactors and three coal-fired units Carolinas utilities may build. Customers typically pay for the expensive plants through higher rates.

What will they think of next...

I drove through SC on Sat. on I-26 and noticed the 70 MPH signs on the ground and 65 on the posts. It's a start.
Wow, that's interesting.  In a red state, no less.
It got lost with all of the other excitement around here, but the latest report on gasoline stocks came out:

Well, we are now below average.  

Geko45 at noted that gasoline use is still growing, but distillate use is not.   Suggesting that individuals are not cutting back yet, but commercial users are.

Exxon's output up 5% for first quarter.
"In the first quarter of 2006, the results of our continuing long-term investment program contributed to a 5 percent increase in production," Exxon chief executive said in a prepared statement."
Any idea how they raised production?  And is it oil or natural gas or what?
ConocoPhilips reported today as well.  They are down 5% from last year.
Scientific American posted an article called An Overdose of Pessimism to its blog Monday.  It mentions our favorite Alpha Male Prophet of Doom:

...A host of doomsayers--from James Kunstler in his "The Long Emergency" to Matt Savinar on his blog "Life After the Oil Crash"--predict the end of civilization as we know it with the end of our culture's life blood: oil. Not unlike Thomas Malthus predicting mass starvation based on an imbalance between population and food production in the 19th century, they believe that humanity cannot surmount its present addiction to oil.

Despite the title of the piece, it does take peak oil seriously:

They may be right. Just because humanity invented its way out of a food crisis to prove Malthus wrong is no reason to think that we can do it again when so much of our lives--the fuel to run our transportation, the electricity to power the computers that dominate our lives (and on which I am writing and posting this screed), and yes, our food production--rely on ever-diminishing and ever-polluting fossil fuel resources, primarily oil.

In essence, humanity is in a race against time. We need new, cleaner energies to power our modern lives. We will either solve the problem or, as Lovelock points out, the problem will solve us. As others like the Apollo Alliance have pointed out, it will take the financial commitment and persistence of the U.S. Apollo Project to reach the moon--and more. Thus far, that commitment seems to be lacking from the U.S. government.

Though they do seem to think some kind of new technology will save us; their main worry seems to be that we won't get working on it until it's too late.

Thus far, that commitment seems to be lacking from the U.S. government...

Seems to be lacking? How timid can you get? What are they, too worried that there might possibly be some Apollo-size program in the works behind closed doors to write "is nowhere to be found"? Sheesh.

After recently reading William Catton's Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, I've decided that Kunstler and Savinar are optimists.
Hmmm.  That sounds like a good definition:

DefCon 0: "Savinar is an optimist."

BTW, in my browser at least, the link in your post needs to be

Without the "www" I just wind up with an "illegal URL" error.  May be just my browser.

Long-time reader, first time poster....etc.

I am intrigued by the conversation in this thread that discusses MPG and its relation to the speed limit.  I feel that, given the mindset of the vast majority of the country (continued large volume of sales for SUVs and other high-volume engined, heavy curb weight vehicles), trying to reduce the speed limit, in the name of efficiency, would only invite hostility to that cause.  And hard-line, idealistic calls for the end of(or ingringement upon)the american car culture are well-intended, but would only serve to alienate us from the general public and are unlikely to have any real effect (until it is too late!).
It is my understanding, that MPG is related to RPM.  The vast majority of passenger vehicles today have 4-speed automatic transmissions, which are hugely inefficient in relation to CVT/Automatics or 6 and even 5 speed manual gearboxes. One simple way to increase fuel efficiency with CURRENT, ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE engine technology would be to create government incentives and/or consumer demand for these transmission options.  People would maintain their high speed-limits, and would not be aware of any difference except in improved performance and efficiency.  By introducing a more efficient gear ratio or an extra gear, we would have the best of both worlds, and the concept is both relatively cheap to manufacture, and extremely accessible IN THE SHORT TERM.
of course, this unfortunately does little to increase the efficiency of commercial trucking, in contrast to the reduction of the speed limit.
any thoughts?  does this seem like a more palatable alternative to the reduction of the speed limit?

Interesting thought.  Our minivan has a 6 speed transmission, which truly helps on the highway, except that it drops to a lower gear when using the cruise control anytime we hit even a small hill, which undoubtedly affects fuel efficiency.

The five speed transmission on our previous Honda van was okay except that it self destructed not once but twice.  So perhaps the whole "add a gear" thing still needs some work.

But how many cars exist right this minute, and how many will get a six-speed automatic gear box by next week?  Dropping the speed limit is extremely fast acting in terms of saving fuel.

So yeah, your average driver will vote for phasing in transmissions over the next ten years :)  

It is my understanding, that MPG is related to RPM.  

Resistance.   The more resistance you have the lower your milage.

As your speed increases, wind resistance increases.   Goes up like a cube or a log function.

Want to experience road and speed resistance personally?

Get on some bikes and compare.

wide knobby tires VS nice thin slicks

Upright VS recumbant

Upright in some form of wind-shield/shell VS recumbant in same kind of wind shield/shell.

There ARE "sweet spots" for any otto cycle engine.   But your biggest killer is the air resistance at high speed.   55 was picked after years of study of wind resistance VS extra time in travel.

Press releases are nice, but are generally ignored.  What you need is a press conference held by one (at most a few) person(s) with some media credibility in a dramatic setting with a provcative (and short) message to get press and broadcast attention.  You can then deliver the lengthier release as background information.
Swift Boat Veterans for Oil!
I work in media relations for a number of groups, and it is a fact that the MSM is biased, but this bias generally has little to do with ideology and more to do with the tremendous pressure to rapidly get stories out.  Understand the bias and you can use it to your advantage.  Ignore those biases, and your message generally gets ignored as well.
does any one here remember a few years back when those jokers put out a fake news release/ press confrence. can't remember. pretending to be dow chemical and saying they were now going to pay the fines for the bhopal incident? now I'm not suggesting any one here try this. but must ask would such a stunt help or hurt the cause?
hey I found the link. maybe get these guys to do it
I wrote a letter to my senators, governor and representative.  I linked to TOD, and sent the press release separately:

Hi Senator,

I'm one of your constituents concerned about gas prices and our
dependence on oil.  Unfortunately I'm not a citizen yet, only a
permanent resident, but I'm working on getting the right to vote.

I'm very unhappy at the way the recent gas prices have been "framed"
with the blame being put upon Iran, Venezuela, Oil companies and

The reason for our rising gas prices is simply that demand for oil is
vastly outstripping supply.  Whether or not we are at or beyond the
peak of oil production is a moot point.  This is because India, China
and many other rapidly developing nations are demanding the easy power
that oil gives.

We should not be focusing on giving a tax break to folks as $100 is
just a week or two's gas usage for most working families.  Putting a
windfall tax on oil companies is also wrong as I believe it will
stifle investment in aging oil production facilities.

We need to wean ourselves away from oil, and it needs an effort
equivalent to the US and UK effort in world war 2 to accomplish this

The government needs to completely dedicate itself and the American
people over the next 10 years, starting immediately, to removing our
dependence on oil completely.

# We should put millions of people to work building clean nuclear
power plants, solar panels, wind generators and tidal power
# We should create a government programme to replace all gasoline
consuming cars with electric cars and recycle the old vehicles into
raw materials.  This programme should be as low cost as possible for
all ordinary people.
# We should create a high tax credit incentive for ordinary lower wage
folks to put solar panels and small wind turbines on their homes.
# We need to heavily invest in 2 or more line electric high speed rail
lines to replace our airline-based cross country transportation
# We need to solve the problem caused by our lack of light rail
investment, either by creating and renovating rail links in towns
across the country, or by creating low cost, low emission electric
# We need to stop looking at each problem our country faces in
relation to which industry to subsidise or tax.
# We need to work cross party to stop partisan ideology preventing
action on these issues.
# We need to make hard and unpopular decisions now to keep our country
running in the future.  This includes Defense spending that has so far
been sacred.  We spend hundred of billions on various military
projects that we need to start spending on getting ourselves off oil.
# The alaska drilling and canadian oil sands are temporary and
expensive measures that will not help America in the long run.  These
projects as well as the coal gasification project are environmental
disasters that will lead to more Katrina level disasters across the

I would very much like a response on these points.  I would also like
to draw your attention to - while they are
very much focused on peak oil, this technical and imaginative
community has some very good ideas on how to stop our national
dependence on oil.

Thank you for your time, Anthony Clark.

Couple of stories that are making the rounds as "odd news"....

Drivers run out of gas to save money

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.

"Every time fuel goes up, we start noticing it. But right now we are noticing it a lot more," Andy Lujan, owner of California Coach Towing in Orange County, said Tuesday.

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.

D.C. prayer rally to seek lower gas prices

A U.S. Christian group has grown tired of escalating gasoline prices and is set to stage a national prayer rally to lower the numbers at the pumps.

Various Christian clergy from around the country will convene around a Washington, D.C., gas station Thursday at noon to pray. For those who can't attend, a live Internet site and toll-free prayer line have been established.

In a release, the Pray Live group said many people are "overlooking the power of prayer when it comes to resolving this energy crisis."

OMG (so to speak)... No offense to you hardcore religious types, but that just creeps me out.
That's too funny -- that there are folks that would want to deliberately run out of gas and then sit around at the risk of being high-speed rear-ended until a rescue truck comes -- all to save about $3.00.
Now, there's praying for world peace, there's praying for a seriously ill family member, and there's praying for one's immortal soul - but praying for lower gas prices???  I wonder if He is rolling on the floor laughing.

This is even better than that Janis Joplin song:

"Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

 My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends -

Worked hard all my life, no help from my friends -

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz? ...."

Well, at least you can't say that the Christian Right is ignoring the energy situation.

One wonders how they'll react when the Divine response is GO TO HELL! ;-)
but praying for lower gas prices

Saint Matthew's Curch in Tulsa OK
Page 25 of some of thier paperwork
"God is blessing people with Jobs,Raises in pay, savings accounts, lines of credit, credit cards, more money in their pockets and other benefits as they faithfully sow the seeds of faith."

So there ARE churches preaching such an idea.

I'm sorry, but this just pisses me off.  If that's what their god cares about, why doesn't "he" just pluck them off the face of the U.S. and plop them down on their own damn Carribean island with a big fat pot of gold and all the f*#kng Cadillacs they can drive.  Give'm each a job that pays just slightly more than everybody else so their egos purr, and broadcast the 24 hour "Fox for Special People" channel at them that burns the phrase "you're cool, you're forever young, you're the Chosen Ones" into their subconscious phyches while they're eating Pringles and drinking mind-altering Tab beverages.

Let them pray that the "different ones" never find their island, and that the magical ships with sparkly liquids keep arriving at convenient times so they can continue to drive their Cadillacs around and around the beachy perimeter of their own private island, while ogling the magestic splendor of the mystical greenhouse gas-enhanced sunset.  

Now there's a god.  Good freakin' riddance.  Nothing intelligent about that design.

I am spreading it as best I can, which is very little...

I noticed that Matt Yglesias at Tapped, the blog over at The American Prospect (magazine), has posted on the issue of the Democrats' proposed legislation.  He suggests that, since they're the opposition party right now and in the minority, they're better off persuing strategies that help them attack Republicans so they can eventually be the majority party again, with the idea being that legislation they propose now is not really what they want to happen, but rather geared towards making Republicans look bad.

The idealist in me hates this but what with the rules of the game having been all but obliterated by conservatives over the past few decades I can't help but think this may well be the correct thing for the Democrats to do.

Which is not to say that those of us outside the fray shouldn't keep talking about what should be being done, but that perhaps we should phrase things slightly different to Democrats when we press our case with them, imploring them to address these issues properly when they're back in power...

Or something...

Hmm, Atrios has echoed his sentiments: "The party out of power can't actually do policy, so relax and let them do some politics."  He's got a point.  Hopefully whatever pressure The Oil Drum can put to bear will go on the media and the Republican Party and be a tad kind to the Dems so they have it a tad easier this November, thus making The Oil Drum's job a tad easier after November...
Meanwhile, our friend Daniel Yergin has an op-ed piece in today's WSJ: How Much Oil Is Really Down There? (paid subscription required).

The current system mandated by the SEC for reporting "proved reserves" has become antique, and the information it provides to investors increasingly diverges from the actual resource position of many companies.

The real beneficiaries from reforming the system for disclosing proved reserves will be investors, of course -- and the consumers who are counting on the availability of future supplies.

Basically, the article is a repeat of Yergin's previously stated argument that the SEC 1970s-era "proved reserves" disclosure rules should be updated to account for modern technology, etc.

Well.  Looks like peak oil has arrived, according to the Army.
High prices are really hurting highway departments:

Finances delay roadwork

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State highway commissioners say some roadwork will have to wait if lawmakers don't provide some money for the agency.

"We are in dire straits; there's no question about that," said Commissioner Bob Harrell Sr., chairman of the Transportation Department board's finance and administration committee. "I don't think I've seen it this bad."

The financial crunch is a result of increases in the cost of materials, lack of growth in the agency's primary funding source - gas taxes - and lower-than-anticipated federal highway revenues, said Mo Denny, the agency's chief financial officer.

Some commissioners say it may be time to raise the gas tax, which has been unchanged since 1987. But that is unlikely in an election year.

I don't see any of those factors improving much.  Our roads may die long before the car does.

I've sent the PDF version of the press release to my Congresscritters, and am now considering others.  Like maybe the DOT commissioner?  Lou Dobbs, as someone suggested in another thread?

Maybe we should try a Google bomb, perhaps on the phrase gas prices?

Ack.  We're being attacked by spambot.  Can someone please delete this user and all his posts?

This one, too:

wow.  I guess we can say that we've made it now, eh?  
Re:  Oil Exporters & Dollars? (found this on Urban Survival)

The threat to a fistful of petrodollars
By Liam Halligan (Filed: 23/04/2006)


From Russia, you might say, with love. This weekend, Alexei Kudrin, Russia's finance minister, dropped a bombshell in Washington.

 Attending the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Kudrin caused hisAmerican hosts discomfort by openly questioning the dollar's pre-eminence as the world's "absolute" reserve currency.

 The greenback's recent volatility and the yawning US trade deficit, "are definitely causing concern with regard to its reserve currency status," he said. "The international community can hardly be satisfied with this instability."

For historic reasons, the dollar remains the world's "petrocurrency" - the only currency for the settlement of oil contracts on world markets. That makes the EU and Russia dependent on it. But with central banks switching to euros, the logical next step would be for fuel-exporting countries to start quoting oil prices in euros too.

I saw a similar article earlier this week.  From a Australian paper called The Advertiser.  I don't know how reliable it is, or what political bent it has.

Last week, several countries, including Russia indicated they no longer trusted the dollar and started to switch some of their foreign exchange reserves into other currencies and assets such as gold.

Experts worry that China could provoke a panic by doing the same.

Back to the Titanic analogy again, where the steerage passengers were going in the same direction that the rats were going.  

We may be at the early stages of a dollar meltdown.


Would opening up an Everbank account help?  And if so, what currency?

For a brisk compendium of the US' total failure in this regard, see Paul Craig Roberts piece. Would that the retreat from the dollar occur and take the wind out of the sails of their hell bent for hell posturings re Iran.
On a nostalgic note and forgive me if this has already been linked earlier at TOD, an interesting article on Hubbert.
You are giong to need bigger servers...
Signs of demand destruction in the U.S. of A.?

Fuel Prices Have U.S. Workers Eyeing Telecommuting

With gas prices near all-time highs, telecommuting is becoming a win-win for companies and their staff--leaving workers paying less for gas and offering hidden benefits for employers.

Telecommuting has moved beyond a scheme to ease the struggles of stressed-out workers to a system that saves money for company and employee alike, companies and experts say. Companies can keep workers they might otherwise lose, while workers can count the benefit in terms of cold, hard cash, they say.

Opting to let employees work from home as fuel prices have risen, Florida's Kissimmee Utility Authority managed to retrieve the experience and skills of a veteran employee in the billing department who quit last year.

She now telecommutes from a new home 746 miles away.

High gas prices propel a new 'moped madness'

The moped and its bigger, flashier cousin, the scooter, are swarming out of Jimmy Carter's America and into George W. Bush's republic - a movement propelled by soaring gasoline prices surpassing those of the late 1970s and by legions of Americans who take seriously the call for oil independence. If the serious intent is mixed with a little fun from "moped gangs" who call themselves the Heck's Angels or the Hardly Davidsons, so much the merrier.
I see so many arguments these days about taxing this that or the other thing, whether new cars should be taxed by MPG or weight, and what happens to the used cars, whether economical non-hybrids should get rebates too, etc.  All to avoid the obvious: increase the gas tax!  Among posters from the USA, even the peak-oil aware ones, it seems that the gas tax taboo is pretty strong!   Here in Vermont people on call-in shows blabber on about how a gas tax (an extra 4 cents proposed!) is horrible, but an increase in "fees" (registration, etc) is OK.

It seems to me that a simple tax on fuel is the simplest and fairest.  If you have a large car but drive little then you won't pay much.  If you think that owning a hybrid lets you drive 40,000 miles a year with no guilt, well, perhaps you can avoid the guilt, but not the tax.  Taxing fuel now will impact the behavior of all drivers, while all proposals that relate to the sales of new cars will impact the big picture only slowly and gradually.  Moreover, as the economy goes downhill, I think we're about to see much slower turnover of "the fleet".

Regarding that $100 per person rebate, I actually like it!  It's more progressive than reducing the flat-rate payroll taxes!  Taxing by the gallon and rebating by the person is exactly what we need to do to encourage conservation.  Capitalism (the global pyramid scheme) is the real problem, but  market mechanisms do work in some situations.

I would guess that most of us here at TOD are in favor of an increase in the gas tax.  

But it's just not politically feasible right now.  It's an election year, and people are in an uproar over the high price of gasoline.  Suggesting a gas tax is a no-go, and most of us Americans know it.

No politician will dare push a gas tax.  Remember the 2004 election?  The GOP ran an ad bashing Kerry for supporting a 50 cent a gallon gas tax.  (He never actually did support one, but that doesn't matter.)  An ad like that would be fatal in today's political enviroment.    

While Westexas, the NYT, and others are supporting a gas tax to be rebated via payroll taxes, I fear that's a no-go as well, unless they put something in it for the AARP set (people who are still driving/using transportation, but are no longer working).  Social security is still the 3rd rail, as Bush found out last year.

Wish all our railroads had a third rail...  :-)

But that's exactly my point: why is a gas tax "a no-go" while other taxes (er, fees, (dis)incentives, etc) OK?  It is this cultural phenomenon that puzzles me.  There are taxes galore on our phone service, for example.  And every time a car changes hands the state thinks it deserves a sales tax (er, use tax).  And every year we pay a registration fee again, for what purpose?  What's so sacred about not taxing fuel?

Oh well, I'm the one who's off base, I guess.  I even believe that ISPs should charge by the byte, not by the month.

But that's exactly my point: why is a gas tax "a no-go" while other taxes (er, fees, (dis)incentives, etc) OK?

They aren't.  And I don't think people are seriously suggesting them.  Some people are just brainstorming, I think.  Running ideas up the flagpole and seeing if anyone salutes.  

It's really regressive.  If you actually are serious about a gas tax your natural constituency would be Republicans.
RE: Gas Tax

Here's my idea ..

I believe that there are 6 or so pricing
districts for wholesale gasoline prices
nationwide ..

Fix state and federal taxes as a percentage of the
wholesale price per district at say 15% for the
state and 15% for the Feds ..

Adjust the district price weekly per market forces

Give each licensed driver a national gas card
that must be presented at point of purchase
good for 500 gallons at whatever your district
price is .. Tax additional consumption in
100 gallon increments by $1.00 gallon above
your district base price ..

If base price is $2.00
then with taxes price would be $2.60

So, under my proposal each licensed driver
would pay as follows ..

0-500 gallons @ $2.60/gal ( weekly price adj )
500-600 gallons @ $3.60/gal
600-700 gallons @ $4.60/gal
etc etc  

Gives all drivers access to fuel at market price
Encourages conservation and replacement of
inefficient vehicles .. Taxes excess consumption
and inefficient vehicles .. Places tax burden
on those most able to pay ..

Triff ..

Registering everybody (and fictional people) as drivers and then selling the cards sounds like a great scam.
Yup, with a nice pat on the back from Reid, Wyden's wrapped it up and they're on to other amendments.  But that should get the issue a little time on the news tonight...
Newsweek says:

With the price of oil skyrocketing, Tokyo may have to make friends with some of Washington's enemies.

For most of the past century or so, Japan has enjoyed remarkable popularity within the Muslim world. In stark contrast to European countries or the United States, Japan has no burdensome history of colonial-style intervention in the region's affairs (with the possible exception of Tokyo's brief wartime occupations of Malaysia and Indonesia). And if there was ever a time when Japan needed to maintain that good will, it's now, when spiking oil prices are threatening to undermine its economic recovery.

Japan needs lots of oil--it's the world's second largest importer of petroleum. But much of the increasingly costly commodity--which hit a high of $75 a barrel last week--comes from countries that have poor relations with America, which just happens to be Japan's foreign-policy mentor, protector and chief ally. That's creating problems for Tokyo, which may soon find itself forced to decide which is more important--its energy security or its relationship with the United States. "Until now, Japan's energy diplomacy has never been independent of U.S. policy," says Koichi Iwama, a professor and energy policy expert at Wako University. But it may become so as Japan seeks to adapt to an era of tight energy supplies--especially at a time when archrival China is cutting deals with resource-rich countries around the world, no matter what their political orientation may be.

Let's not forget Iran.

The United States, France and Britain say if Iran does not meet the U.N. Security Council's Friday deadline to stop enriching uranium, they will seek to make the demand compulsory.
I think I posted this as yesterday's open thread was dying down, thought y'all might like to see some more government inaction (emphasis mine):

Bee County urges gas boycott until prices decrease
Elected officials hope the effort starts a trend, but critics say the plan won't work

Associated Press

BEEVILLE - Spurred by rising gas prices, elected officials in Bee County are urging motorists to boycott fuel pumps in hopes of sparking a state trend.

"Hey, the American people are tired," Judge Jimmy Martinez said. "What we did is we simply took action instead of complaining. <u>We're offering our residents a beacon of hope.</u>"

Officials planned to ask other counties to join the boycott set to begin Monday and said they hope it will attract the attention of oil companies.

(more at link)

The politician who would best benefit from broaching "peak oil" to the American electorate is George Bush. It would probably come out as " the end of cheap oil." Unforntunately, his brains, POS Rove, has only short-term instincts.

Of course the Democrats would bray louder, but, with education of the public, would made to look like the fools they are (in general). See Kerry critize Bush for Iraqi after he voted for the adventure. Kerry fooled by Bush? Bob Graham saw the same intelligence and wasn't fooled at all.

Peak oil makes it easier to sell a long-term US commitment to Iraq. I can't believe most Americans care whether Iraq is a democracy or not. Of course the demos would say Iraq was about oil all along. But most believe that already.

jon stewart has an interview with kimberly strassel on his site.
it's a nice juxtaposition as she talks supply demand and he wants some corporate heads
Interesting symbolism, just as the "Energy Atlas" can't carry the world any longer


After years of delays, AYN RAND's famous novel ATLAS SHRUGGED is being made into a feature film starring BRAD PITT and ANGELINA JOLIE, according to media reports in the US. Lionsgate Films has bought the rights to the film version of the 1957 novel, considered in many polls to be one of the most influential books in history. According to Hollywood trade paper Variety, the MR AND MRS SMITH co-stars, who are both fans of the Russian novelist, would play the lead roles of DAGNY TAGGART and JOHN GALT. The story revolves around the economic collapse of the US sometime in the future and espouses Rand's philosophy of objectivism. RAY producers HOWARD and KAREN BALDWIN will adapt the 1,100 page novel into a feature film. CLINT EASTWOOD, ROBERT REDFORD and FAYE DUNAWAY have previously been attached to the project over the years.
27/04/2006 20:53

Atlas Shrugged's John Galt was the inventor of Teslaesque static electricity powered motor. This fantasy device is the source of energy for a Colorado Shangri-La that only the chosen free marketeers are allowed to enter. The book is considered scripture by libertarian extremeists. It is also particularly critical of Christlike sympathy for the poor.
Here is a great article showing what we are up against with politicians on both sides:

Lawmakers talk gas, drive away in SUVs

This gist is that a lot of lawmakers are driving a block in their SUVs to hold press conferences to rail against gas prices. Priceless commentary on why real solutions aren't being offered.


It appears that the general public understands that funding for alternative fuels must be increased, and that carpooling and public transportation is a good idea. However many still focus on reducing taxes on gasoline, as part of the solution to current high prices.


I was watching Scarborough Country, and he had Al Franken on as a guest.  They were talking about gas prices, and Scarborough asked Franken what he thought they should do.

Franken came up with a list of 3 things.  First we need to give up ANWR.  Second we need to dramatically increase CAFE standards up into the 30's or 40's.  And third we need a crash program on alternative fuels.

Scarborough was in complete agreement.

Every so often you hear someone say something that actually makes sense.

A question for Prof. Goose:  Will you be posting a thread again soon with regard to the data collection initiative on the world's largest fields that spontaneously began about a week ago?
Editorial from USA Today:

39 million reasons why $3 gas may change America

Just how big a deal is $3 gasoline? For those with six-figure household incomes it's an annoyance, but little more. Evian spring water goes about $6.80 a gallon when purchased in one-liter bottles.

For those in the tap-water brackets, the situation is a bit different. For many of the 39 million households making less than $30,000 a year, the difference between $2 gas and $3 gas is the difference between spending 10% of income on gas and 15%. In a word: Ouch!

I don't know if they "get" peak oil, but they seem to be sensing something in the offing:

If all the posturing seems inevitable, it is because the truth -- that everyone will need to adjust to a new reality -- is politically unpalatable. But people will learn that truth anyway, and perhaps what follows can give rise to leaders with a longer vision. Or, in a darker view, to a more ominous national division.

In a society with acute differences of wealth, it's not hard to see other economic developments becoming political flashpoints. The surging cost of health care -- and its unavailability to many -- could easily trigger a hostile class fight. In many areas, housing costs are creating a wealth divide between those who own and those who can no longer afford to buy in. And, in the long run, the unsustainable amounts of money the government spends on retirees could trigger more generational resentment than sound policy discussion could.

Demagogic politics go hand-in-hand with class division. And those divisions are bad and getting worse. According to a Federal Reserve study last month, the 56 million households that make up the bottom half of the economic ladder owns just 2.6% of the nation's wealth. That's down from 3.6% a decade ago. The top 10%, meanwhile, accounts for almost 70% of the wealth.

That will likely fuel contentious debates for many years to come. You can hear the shouts beginning when people pay $3 a gallon at the pump.

This is interesting. For this to work, though, it assumes each of these households has two cars and two drivers each driving 15,000 miles per year in vehicles that get 20mpg. There is a lot of room for efficiency gain in that equation.

If one vehicle had 50% better gas mileage(30mpg) and was used to travel 15,000 miles in a year. And the other vehicle remained the same(20mpg) but reduced it's use to 8,000 miles per year. Then the total gasoline bill for the household - even at $3/gallon - would amount to $2700. This is $300 less than the original bill of $3000 at $2/gallon!

The Republicans are proposing a $100 rebate to everybody with an income less that $145,000. What a joke.

I hope the hosts noticed this, and made contact ... some talk of radio shows: