Is $4 per gallon enough?

The Senate voted yesterday to suspend daily deposits of 70,000 barrels of oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.  Reports say this could save motorists between 2 and 5 cents a gallon.

Two of three presidential candidates have talked of suspending the federal gasoline tax for the summer months.  Such a measure would reduce prices an additional 18 cents per gallon.

Therefore, IF oil prices level off, these two measures together would save a maximum of 23 cents a gallon; approximately 5-7 percent of the current price.

While many would benefit marginally from such a cut, I am concerned about the bigger picture as I see it.

The bigger picture is this: it is time to find sources of energy other than petroleum.  If you don’t buy this from the environmental perspective, it seems to me you ought to buy this from the economic and/or national security perspective.

Gas prices have gone up – at least tripled – over the past 4 years.  Periodically during this time, when prices shot up, only to level off, or even back down a little from high points, we hear reports of people taking drastic measures to cut costs – traveling less, trading in for vehicles with better fuel economy, even using public transportation.

Then, as soon as prices plateau, it seems people make the necessary adjustments to go back to life as usual.

It seems as if we will only maintain the needed resolve if gas prices not only stay high, but continue to climb.

Are you ready for $5 a gallon?  How about $6?  What will it take?

The city formerly known as Waco?

Waco, Texas, is going green. Okay, we’re not San Francisco, and it’s still hard to drive a block on Franklin Ave. without dodging SUVs, but we are making progress.  Our city’s new Chamber of Commerce building is green: down to plants on the roof, skylights, and a cistern to catch rain water.

The local paper, the Tribune-Herald, tells us that “Waco could become a mecca for companies wanting to make products that would reduce pollution or save energy.”

I’m all for it.  Let’s go.  I propose we go one step further.  I think this shift is significant enough, we should consider changing the name of our city.

Waco, Texas, once known as “Six-Shooter Junction” should now become… Austin North.

Green Tip

We started several weeks ago using a bucket to catch water from our bathtub as we ran it for the water to get hot.  We get, typically, a gallon or two a day this way.  We have used the water in various ways:

  • watering our vegetable garden and other household plants
  • flushing the toilet – it takes about a half gallon of water (that you have already used once) to flush a toilet -leaving that toilet tank full for the next time.

What are some other ways you are, and we could, cut down on, or at least smarten-up, water usage?

Diet Decision

The jury is still out on how the beef and dairy industries affect the environment, but I’ve heard enough potential negative for me to make this decision:

For the near future, I won’t be buying dairy products or beef, except for grass-fed beef.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Rachel and I painted a room yesterday.  We’ve been painting together since I moved in, and we both find it a great way to spend time together and accomplish something.

As I was washing out the paint roller, I realized how much I hated running the water for so long.  While I still think running water is the best, most efficient way to clean a roller, I have become so aware of my water usage (and waste) that it almost hurt to leave the faucet running so much.

I find I’m having the same problem in other areas.  A couple of weeks ago we did some office-shifting and so my department had to remove all of our stuff from a large office.

Much of the stuff could have been simply thrown away and hauled off.  But I found that I can’t just throw away paper or cardboard anymore.  It is too easy to separate and recycle it for me to just pitch it in the trash.

Friday I played my first round of golf in more than 18 months.  I didn’t do all that well, but, considering, I didn’t do badly, either.  I did notice that each trash bin contained plenty of aluminum and plastic that could easily have been recycled. 

I had brought my water bottle with me to help me avoid paying through-the-nose prices for bottled water, and also to cut down on plastic consumption. My cart mate reminded me repeatedly that he had brought plenty of single-serving bottles of water that I could have some.  Each time we passed a water cooler on the course, I refilled my bottle.  Finally, after one such re-filling, he told me I was welcome to use his water instead of that provided by the golf course.  I thanked him, but said that in addition to wanting to drink plenty of water (and not pay a buck a bottle for it), I was also trying to waste less plastic.  He hadn’t even though of that.

I cannot help but think of such things – wasting running water, throwing away recyclable things, consuming plastic needlessly.  I don’t have to try to think of such things now, they come to me automatically.

So, here’s my question: How does this apply to the Gospel?  If we train ourselves to focus and perceive things in certain ways, we find that over time we no longer have to make concerted efforts – such perceptions come to us automatically, instinctively.

What instincts do you want to breed into your life as a follower of Jesus?

Gas II

Here’s what Wired shares in conjunction with my post about $3 a gallon gas.

It starts: ” At the Geneva Motor Show — Europe’s first show of the season — gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing behemoths are overshadowed by more eco-friendly cars.”

Here are some other spots from Wired.

Gas

Today, for the first time in my life, I paid more than $3 a gallon for gasoline.   I am not upset about it.  I don’t blame OPEC for refusing to increase production.

In fact, I’d happily pay even more per gallon if it meant we (the United States) would finally make some serious commitments to alternative fuel sources.

As it is, I’ll continue to drive less, plan ahead more, and pay more per gallon.

Relatively happily.