President Bush says he wants to create an energy policy for America. We support this. Energy to
U.S. citizens is like water to the residents of the southwest. We must pay close attention to our
vital, and scarce, natural resources.
On NBC Dateline (02.25.01), they highlighted the inefficiencies found in many American homes.
Due in part to the rising, and abnormally high, heating oil costs in the northeast, this now
The vehicles above, the Honda Insight (left) and Toyota Prius (right) are examples
how we can dramatically reduce our use of fossile fuel. Both vehicles incorporate revolutionary hybrid
engines that utilize battery power along with traditional gas engines. The battery charges when
the driver steps on the brakes. (see also Cleanest and Meanest Vehicles
In the NBC program on home heating inefficiencies,
Dateline staff turned their spotlight on a "typical" family from the region. The family
will pay an estimated $1,600 in home energy costs this year. The reporters brought in a
team of home-efficiency experts.
The specialists found this home badly in need of improvements.
They demonstrated a number of affordable upgrades that would help the family immediately. The
result was a 48% reduction in monthly costs.
The important aspect of the review is not just that the family would save money, they would also
use about half the heating oil they do at present.
We assume this in not quite a "typical" family. This seemed to be an older home. These results probably
won't happen for all American families -- yet the point is that we could all take some small steps and
become 10, 20 or 30 percent more efficient in our home energy uses.
Other Ways to Conserve
As we all are aware, gasoline prices have climbed significantly over since summer 2000. They are likely
to remain high -- they might climb even higher.
As a nation, we are weakened by our dependence on foreign oil. The major oil producing nations control
us like puppets on a string. As a result, President Bush looks to open major oil fields in Alaska as
well as elsewhere in our country. This may be necessary, but have we done all we can first?
These untapped oil fields remain a valuable national treasure. Why tap these now? Shouldn't we try and
save these for as long as possible. Aren't these natural resources some of our most important matters of
national defense. These help keep America strong -- and free.
Honda introduced a new vehicle in 1999, called the Insight. This car gets an estimated 61 miles per gallon (mpg)
around town and about 70mpg on the highway. Can you believe this? Many of our cars on the road today get
about 10mpg. If half of us bought one of these cars, we wouldn't need more oil -- we wouldn't have to
consider tapping Alaska's oil now. We could avoid the fights with environmentalist -- and most importantly,
we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Some Facts About Insight
The Insight is the first gasoline-electric hybrid car to be sold in the U.S. It does not require an outside source
of electric power -- it never needs to be plugged in. The Insight recharges the batteries by accelerating a flywheel whenever
the driver steps on the brakes (see left image below). It received the
highest mileage ratings ever from the EPA, 61 mpg in the city and 70 mpg highway.
The Insight earned an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) rating from CARB. The vehicle features Honda's Integrated
Motor Assist (IMA) system -- a 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine combined with a lightweight
and compact 144-volt electric motor.
"This is an award for a real car that real people can buy and use,"
said Carl Pope, Sierra Club executive director in making the
presentation. "We want people to know there are environmentally
sound alternatives readily available. In this case, Honda built a
great car and has committed to marketing the Insight in all 50
states" (see right image below).
InfoImagination called local dealers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The vehicle is available.
It runs about $20,000. It is a small car, but large enough for two people. It is great for
students, young married couples or as a family's second car.
Think about it. Isn't it time to do something for our country today?