The Monday Rant: A Fool for Fuel
Yes, it's easy to complain about gas prices. So let's.
There's a gas station I pass each night in Takoma Park, Md., that I've been using as my barometer of incredulity. It's $3.33 a gallon on Monday, then $3.45 on Wednesday, and $3.67 on Friday . . . you get the idea. You've seen the same thing in your neighborhood, and you've probably muffled the same curse words (or screamed them out the window) as you drive by.
And then we read that the oil companies are making billions, and that the president wants to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and that airfares are going through the roof because of high fuel costs . . . and watch out, that Hummer nearly cut you off in the next lane. The scary economy doesn't help matters, of course. According to an AOL/Zogby International survey released Friday, "57% of Americans feel they have less money to spend this year on summer vacations than they did in 2007 and are looking at ways to save on their travel costs." It says fuel costs, natch, are a big reason for the concern.
And now this: Airlines have started flying slower to save fuel. According to an Associated Press report, the carriers are saving thousands by just adding a few minutes to flight times. But the savings add up. According to the report, "JetBlue adds an average of just under two minutes to each flight, and saves about $13.6 million a year in jet fuel. Adding just four minutes to its flights to and from Hawaii saves Northwest Airlines $600,000 a year on those flights alone."
Nice. I'm okay with a few more minutes in the air if it's going to save on fuel.
But will I slow down? Am I going to start driving a few mph slower to save fuel? I have to be honest here: I don't think so. I know I should, but if people are zipping by me, I'm always inclined to step on the gas a little harder. I wince when I fill my tank, but I'm still going to travel this summer, by driving to the beach and to the Eastern shore and to the mountains. I'm already spending less in restaurants and haven't been to the movies in a while, but I do plan on hitting the road whenever I can.
So here's the question: What about you? Are you guys doing anything differently now that a gallon of gas is approaching four bucks?
By John Deiner |
May 5, 2008; 6:37 AM ET
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