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For Those Who Missed It- Obama’s Point On “Tire Inflation” And “Tune Ups”

August 8, 2008

As a follow-up to the last thread on Obama’s “tire inflation” and Rush’s ignorance, I thought I’d point something out.

The concerned drivers (which would include myself) over at CleanMPG have recently passed a little milestone.  According to the site’s mileage logs, members have saved over 200,000 gallons of gas:

Andrew McGuckin – CleanMPG – Aug. 6, 2008

Since the website’s beginnings in February 2006, the ever-growing population of hypermilers has saved over 200,000 gallons of gas. At the time of this writing there were 7,550 registered CleanMPG members.

Over 1,800 vehicles have tanks logged on the site’s mileage database. Included are hybrids, diesels, bikes, electric vehicles and conventional gas vehicles. SUV’s, sedans, hatchbacks, wagons, and trucks are all being hypermiled. Cars right off the dealer lots, and cars dating back to 1967. Manual transmissions and automatics. Drivers from all over the world are Hypermiling : Ireland, England, Norway, Spain, Germany, Poland, France, Portugal, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, the United States, and other countries.

Site founder Wayne Gerdes and many others have done countless news segments in print, online and on TV to spread the word. High-profile evening news events, televised gatherings, and informal friendly demonstrations are all helping. Word-of-mouth is a powerful force for change.

In the face of rising gas prices, there IS something that can be done. CleanMPG is showing the way. Congratulations to everyone involved in reaching this milestone.

That’s a lot of gasoline saved for a few people who do little more than check their tire pressure, maintain clean air and fuel filters, shed excess weight, and do crazy things like driving the speed limit and not flooring it onto the highway.

And in case you’re curious as to how one would calculate gas “savings”,  I’ll explain it here.  The “savings” are realized as the difference between the fuel consumption when the vehicle is operating at the EPA’s published ratings and the actual fuel used by the vehicle. 

To provide an example (and to see how much I’ve contributed to the cause) we’ll use my 2000 Cougar

Since I began taking an interest in what is possible with some of these simple techniques and entering my fill up stats into the database back in May, I’ve driven a total of 3,212 miles and pumped 105 gallons of gas.  So 3212/105 = 30.5 MPG. 

Now, according to the EPA, the original window sticker for the Cougar read 20 MPG city, 28 hwy, for an average of 23.  So, just do some simple math.  If I had driven 3212 miles at 23 MPG, I would have pumped about 140 gallons of gas.  140 – 105 = 35 gallons saved. 

Its a small contribution to be sure, but so far this summer I’ve saved myself 2.5 tanks, and around $133 (using a rough average of $3.80/gal).  Not too shabby.

So, Obama’s point should be pretty clear (at least it is to me).  Every vehicle on the road today has some room for improvement.  Certainly, there are plenty of poorly maintained vehicles out there that have a lot of room to improve, and are getting well below the EPA’s ratings.  And there are plenty of drivers with well maintained vehicles who aren’t taking it quite as seriously as I am (like yanking out my passenger seat), but could probably see some improvement by altering their driving habits or simply removing the dusty golf clubs from their trunk.  But the aggregate fuel savings that would be realized if everyone did at least something easy and painless to improve their efficiency would be…mind boggling.  

To put it into some perspective, in 2004, the U.S. consumed about 140 billion gallons of gasoline.   A mere 2% reduction would result in consuming 2.8 billion gallons less (~140 million barrels of oil) per year. 

Can we hit a goal of a 2% reduction?  Is it realistic?  As far as I’m concerned, all we need is someone to spread the word.  If this really is a supply and demand issue, one can join the “drill here, drill now” crowd, and hope that in 5 years that we’ve put enough extra oil on the international market to more than offset the increasing fuel consumption in places like China and India, and actually lower the price…eventually.  Attacking the demand, on the other hand, will not only lower the price in the curve a lot faster, but you’re also buying less of it.  Assuming that most people don’t like to buy gas, why is anyone mocking this idea? 

Is it the messenger?

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17 comments

  1. Its a small contribution to be sure, but so far this summer I’ve saved myself 2.5 tanks, and around $133 (using a rough average of $3.80/gal). Not too shabby.

    Perhaps in some small way, this helps to explain the increasing prevalence of road rage and increasing auto insurance premiums in Minnesota.

    One person saves $133.00 over the summer hypermiling. A car behind him runs off the road trying to pass a two-tone Cougar impeding traffic flow…

    Seems like an even trade.


  2. You’re just jealous, Tex, admit it.


  3. You’re just jealous, Tex, admit it.

    LOL. Well, okay. I admit it.

    And you admit you’re going to miss me when school starts next week. Now don’t lie. You know it’s like a big surprise when you come in and see that Tex “dropped” on the site.


  4. Yea, I’ll miss ya Tex.


  5. This seems like such an obvious issue to me. Conservation is the one place to make a nearly immediate, significant reduction in the amount of energy we need at very little cost and with only modest effort. It’s like finding a big oil field, all drilled and piped up directly to a non-polluting refinery, all staffed and ready to begin shipping 100% clean-burning gasoline (or heating oil, etc.) tomorrow morning if just given the word.
    Engaging it reduces our reliance on the middle east, reduces our energy costs, and reduces our pollution.
    What’s the problem, Sen. McCain?


  6. McCain is surely not handling the issue well but…
    Obama’s comment has now been spun and sterilized when in reality the part everyone should’ve hated was the whole replace the amount of oil available from drilling. That is a lie.
    Conservation is a great idea and some real leadership from the Oval would also be great. The thing is all of Obamas alternatives will take as long as the “10 years for off shore oil” will. It doesn’t keep pace with demand even with conservation in full swing and will just cause other problems that will cost big $$$$$. Who ever gets in will need to drill. Will need to assure more rigs in more places even if it is in just the current leased spots.
    I got to go to work I’ll keep an eye on the thread.


  7. I never thought I would fall in line behind the political strategies for a better America from Paris Hilton!

    Obama is very correct to say people need to keep their tires inflated. Millions of people don’t!

    Proposed drilling may turn out to be just as nifty as actually drilling. We need to at least constantly talk about drilling. Bush did and oil went down a bunch. Proposed drilling slaps back speculators.

    But I wish Chen would talk about Edwards and sex and stuff.


  8. fray-

    Obama’s comment has now been spun and sterilized when in reality the part everyone should’ve hated was the whole replace the amount of oil available from drilling. That is a lie.

    I don’t know if I’d say its a lie; perhaps more of a bold overstatement or exaggeration. You’re dealing with a premise that is hard to prove him right or wrong, since it is just as hard to determine how much extra oil we’d get from whatever drilling might eventually get approved as it is to determine how much we’d save if everyone did something about their vehicle maintenance. But as I’ve attempted demonstrate, we are talking about a significant amount of oil thru those suggestions, and they certainly shouldn’t be mocked (as he has).

    rabbit-

    But I wish Chen would talk about Edwards and sex and stuff.

    The Edwards affair has been brought up by so many both in the Alliance, the blogosphere in general, and CNN and the like, so I feel that any post here would feel redundant on my part. Especially so since I don’t really care about it that much. However, if you follow some of the comments that I’ve been leaving elsewhere, you’d see that I have a problem with the meme that the MSM “dropped the ball” or otherwise ignored the story for too long. I just didn’t picture Christiane Amanpour reporting live outside the Beverly Hilton, waiting for the former Senator to emerge so she could confront him with all kinds of allegations. Nevertheless, so many righty bloggers* have been predisposed to express this sort of faux outrage towards them with the typical “liberal bias” line because they didn’t…I dunno…because they didn’t sit around with their zoom cameras or start digging through garbage cans or something. They asked him about it, and he lied, so its not like they were ignoring it. Anyway, that’s really all I have to say about it.

    *I should say that I did see VJP, a Hillary supporter, express disappointment that the MSM fell asleep at the switch, and I repeated the aforementioned sentiment over there as well.

    BTW- I gotta thank those who made it (Obama’s statement) into such a big deal, like it was some sort of tremendous gaffe. In fact, I’m kinda curious how many of Obamas detractors grabbed their gauges and went into their garages to check their tires…just in case. lol


  9. Chen, you are the only stop I make in the blogo-sphere. I’ve never even heard of the “Alliance”. And while I enjoy the Chamber, I’m just da guy who works on da docks. I don’t have time to follow Chen posts throughout liberal blogdom. I have a fantasy baseball team to manage, you know.


  10. rabbit-

    Chen, you are the only stop I make in the blogo-sphere. I’ve never even heard of the “Alliance”. And while I enjoy the Chamber, I’m just da guy who works on da docks. I don’t have time to follow Chen posts throughout liberal blogdom. I have a fantasy baseball team to manage, you know.

    First off, as I’ve been curious since your first appearance here, how did I get so lucky as to draw you in as one netizen’s “only stop”?

    Second, if you did follow my comments elsewhere (as I transparently reveal with the “track CZ sightings” feed in my sidebar), you’d probably realize that I spend a majority of my time on the conservative web (although certainly not exclusively).

    Finally, the “Alliance” was an idea I had over a year ago, and today represents a collection of political bloggers across the spectrum that use wordpress.com, exploiting the unique and robust interactive and community features that the service provides. So, when I use the abbreviation WPPBA or refer to the Alliance like this, I’m speaking in the context of the dialogue within this community. Again, see my sidebar.


  11. I honestly have no clue how I ended up here and have wondered this myself. And, no, I will not look at or utilize the side bar. My internet use is very ritualistic and structured.


  12. How cryptic!


  13. I ride a dual-sport motorcycle. You know, the kind that go on and off the highway. When I go off road I let air out of my tires to get better traction on the dirt.

    If I let the air out of my tires, will Obama’s tire pressure police arrest me? Will I be breaking the law?


  14. Oh Sage, you know that Obama didn’t suggest that under-inflated tires would be criminalized. He was just pointing out that you might not get 100 MPG out of your hog if you drove around that way.

    How about this: Raise your hand if you like paying for gas.

    crickets

    No? OK then, check your damn tires.

    I don’t understand the snarkiness out there. Honestly.


  15. You better get used to it, Chen. If Obama becomes president, he will be subject to the same snarkiness as every president before him.

    Honestly.


  16. […] A Moonbat True Believer Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Andrea Mitchell Carries Obama’s WaterLiberals and Media Don’t Like the Insight of Hillary on ObamaThe Fox News conspiracy against Barack Obama………what liberal mediaHere We Go Again…Damn Liberal Media […]


  17. ^^^Re: This Ping ^^^

    Sent into convulsions by the growing number of articles and sources backing up my argument, random blogger lashes out and labels me a “moonbat”.

    I’m going to coin a new term.

    “Flat Tirers”



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