Your solutions: Easing pain at the pump
Prices for a gallon of gas top $3 at this Chicago, Illinois, station Friday.
(CNN) -- As gas prices keep soaring, Washington has rolled out a number of proposals to ease the pain at the pump: a $100 rebate check, delaying deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased fuel efficiency, alternative fuel research and more.
CNN asked readers to e-mail their own ideas for addressing the problem. Here is a sampling of those responses, some of which have been edited. (Do you have a suggestion? Send it in.)
As Americans, we waste SO much of our precious fuels on things such as mowing. Look at the amount of fuel it takes our state to mow the miles and miles of road medians and shoulders. We should be researching and using plantings that are low to zero maintenance. As homeowners, we should also look into ways to eliminate the weekly mowing that most of us perform. Instead of large grassy areas, have wildflowers and natural areas to reduce the need for hours of mowing. I realize this is extreme, but it is just one way we can look at conserving and preserving our environment in the long run. And, after all, it is the long run that matters -- short term fixes are not the answer.
Nothing should be done by the oil companies or the government. This is all about supply and demand. As long as people buy these huge 4-wheel-drive SUVs then the price will be high. If the federal government wants to do something, they should add on a prorated system to vehicles that average less than 20 or 25 MPG and subtract that amount from the federal taxes on gasoline. This way the rich people who can afford the bigger vehicles and the costs (gasoline and higher taxes) associated with them will pay more for it and the poorer people who are trying to get by day by day can get a break on gas prices.
Republicans should keep their measly $100 rebate. Use that money to implement alternative fuel sources. Enough research already! We've been talking about it for 30 years! I'll buy an E-85 car if I can fill it up somewhere near to my house!
A rebate sounds like a step in the right direction, but $100 means next to nothing to someone who's making 6 figures, so why not make the rebate amount scaled to your income, so that the people who need it most get more money? Also, don't just give people a check for $100. You know a large number of people will just blow it. Instead make them submit receipts in order to get reimbursed. How about we change the function of the IRS to stop collecting taxes, and use them to process gas receipts for reimbursement?
Ditch cars and go rail. Europeans have been doing it for years. Don't ditch cars entirely -- their only purpose is to get you to the train station. We'd use a lot less oil.
What, really, is the point of making vehicles more fuel efficient? Even if every car on American roads got 30 mpg, OPEC and the other foreign oil that we depend upon would simply raise the price per barrel to compensate. To me, it sounds like a drug addict trying to kick their habit by weaning themselves off of it...it simply won't work. We're going to have to bite the bullet, invest billions and billions of dollars into a hydrogen infrastructure, and shell out obscene amounts of money while we wait for it to come into service. The faster we get it done, the better.
Everyone's looking for a magic bullet, but all it takes are small savings from a variety of things. Carpool once per week and save 20% of your consumption. Take a bus if mass transit is an option. I ride a 200cc motor scooter that gets 50 mpg in downtown Milwaukee traffic, but is still capable of freeway speeds when I need to go longer distances. Then, I get 65 mpg. Walk or bike to the store if you're only picking up a few items. 20% overall savings in these small ways would cause oil prices to drop immediately.
Set a national rationing of gasoline with the use of credit card style cards that are renewed monthly. Each family unit would get 20 gallons per week at $4 per gallon (singles would be considered a unit) with a once a year 50 gallon limit for a vacation. Commercial use vehicles would have no limit. Anyone exceeding the limit would have to pay $20 per gallon for each extra purchased. All profits above the going commercial rate for gas would go into R&D for new fuels and manufacturing and establishing a new infrastructure to meet the need of the new vehicles. Don't ear-mark the money for anything else, i.e. education (as money does not help...parental involvement does that cheaper).
Divert 75% of the NASA budget for the next 10 years to work on developing alternative fuel and transportation solutions. Put all those resources and great minds to something our children will truly benefit from.
The way to break up OPEC and lower gas prices through the floor is to hold an eBay-style auction. Which ever country wins gets a one year exclusivity deal with the U.S. to import their oil, no other foreign nation. Gas price would sink below $20 a barrel. We could also give penalties to countries linked with any international terrorism which would greatly discourage any international terrorism. Europe could follow suit and gas prices would fall and the world would be a safer place.
It is simply too late. Fuel efficiency standards should have been raised a decade ago. The only short term solution now would be to turn all SUVs and Hummers into artificial reefs.
Alternative fuels like Ethanol are cleaner and abundant. I read some of these idiotic suggestions about lowering the speed limit and not making fast cars, who are you to tell me what I can and can't have and didn't we try that speed limit thing in the 70's? Bottom line is alternative fuels like Ethanol from corn and soy make sense and would help our countries farmers a great deal. Forget the proposed $100 rebate, that is a joke.
To save fuel in this country a lot could be done. To start, stop the Saturday mail delivery and plants that work on Saturday, stop the work. Have all department stores closed on the weekends and go back to the blue laws to close everything on Sundays. Put a tax on people that have more than 2 cars and a high tax on SUVs and other autos that only get 15 miles to a gallon of gas. Let's go back to the 55 MPH speed limit.
More solutions: Read responses posted Thursday
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