Sunday, August 21, 2005

Muzzles for the gas guzzlers?

The good news: Alabama's gas prices often lag behind the national average. The bad news: Those prices are still up 75 cents over last year, including a 30-cent increase in the last month.

As the Mobile Register notes today, a recent survey found that soaring prices haven't stemmed Alabamians' demand for sweet, sweet crude. Without much in the way of efficient public transportation, most people in this state have to drive wherever they want to go, so they really don't have much of a choice. But the higher fuel prices have decreased purchases of fuel accoutrements like snacks and soft drinks, the items on which many gas station owners rely to make their profits.

More than four out of five survey respondents said they would consider fuel efficiency as a "major factor" when buying their next automobile, a sign that automakers would be wise to focus on increasing their production of more environmentally friendly models in the near future.

As for lowering the speed limit to promote fuel efficiency, a solid majority of Alabamians said no way, which won't surprise you in the least if you've ever driven in this state.

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