December 16, 2002
Look for this political ad in 2004: President Bush and Spot the spaniel cruise the Crawford ranch in a better-mileage sport-utility vehicle, brought to you through the President's determination to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Candidate Bush will brag that he did more than President Clinton ever did by pushing the first "big" increase in light-truck gas mileage requirements since 1987. But the ad isn't likely to mention that the 1.5-mile-per-gallon increase over three model years, proposed last week, would fail to match what automakers already had promised to do. It won't say that the import savings amount to drops in a barrel.
January 11, 2012 |
Kia Sportage SX FWD: Cute with a kick. Price: $30,990 as tested ($25,795 base). Marketers' pitch: "Designed for the next level. " Conventional wisdom: Kia used to be synonymous with "designed for the previous level. " Not anymore, as the Sportage joins the Optima, Sorento, and Soul as Consumer Digest "Best Buys. " Reality: Forget what you knew about Kia, Sportages, and dismal fuel economy in small SUVs in general and Kias in particular.
February 22, 2003
Unfair to LeBron official The responses by the basketball-officials association and the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association regarding official Tony Celantano are complete nonsense. Celentano, who posed for the picture with LeBron James, did absolutely nothing wrong. He could have used better judgment, but what harm was done? The contest was officiated fairly. Paul J. Franco, Wildwood Crest, N.J. Cardinal & school closings Re Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua's retiring to an new home: Why is the leader of Philadelphia's Roman Catholics moving to a new home when he turns 80?
May 22, 2008
Even as gasoline prices continue to climb, some of Pennsylvania's state legislators are driving fuel-guzzling SUVs and leaving it to taxpayers to foot the bill at the pump. Motorists across the country are reeling from sticker shock at soaring gasoline prices, but that has meant nothing to those state House and Senate members shamefully enjoying the perks of the job. At least 73 members in the General Assembly drive state-owned SUVs, ostensibly while on legislative business.
July 24, 2001 |
A great mystery of life is why American automakers go ballistic at any demand for better mileage on their SUVs and other light trucks. One can understand why the oilmen don't like fuel efficiency. The more gasoline pumped into the tank, the more money they make. That makes sense. But what's in it for Detroit? After all, the sort of miles-per-gallon increase likely to become law should not be that onerous. The standards are nearly 20 years old. American manufacturers have since made tremendous strides in fuel efficiency.
August 25, 2005
The Bush administration is accepting public comments through November on its latest fuel-saving proposal for minivans, trucks and sports utility vehicles. Here's one: You've got to be kidding. With gas prices averaging $2.62 a gallon nationally, the best the Department of Transportation could muster Tuesday was a new fuel-economy rule saving less than a month's worth of gas over 15 years. Consumers spending $50 for a fill-up need more help than that. So does the nation, whose economy and national security hinge on the supply and price of oil. A well-crafted fuel-economy rule could have set the United States on a path toward oil conservation.
May 22, 2005
Hummer salesmen often argue that if a consumer can afford the truck, the price of gas doesn't matter. So why does General Motors plan to introduce the H3, a smaller, less expensive version of the original behemoth that will get 15 miles per gallon, instead of a meager 10? Perhaps GM is hedging its bets? The popularity of small trucks, minivans and sports utility vehicles has driven average new vehicle fuel economy to its lowest level in 20 years. Drivers were largely oblivious until the recent gas-price spikes started pinching their pocketbooks.
February 25, 2000 |
"People don't challenge you in something this big," my older daughter told me. She's right. I taught both my daughters how to drive a stick shift when they turned 16, just like I had. So when I purchased my newest toy, a huge 1990 Dodge RAM pickup truck, at an auction of used New Jersey state vehicles, I suggested my oldest daughter drive it home. After all, I suggested, she might have to use it in an emergency. Or perhaps drive it to school some day. "Dad, where will I park it?"
December 3, 2008
WHY DO members of City Council to have vehicles assigned to them? Why not use the city fleet when needed and get rid of the gas-guzzling SUVs? And why SUVs? A small car would do. Better yet, SEPTA passes would serve all their needs. Or the city could give them a small fee for using their own cars, and would require them to get their own insurance and reduce the liability of the city for family or friends along for the ride. And they wouldn't have to get a waiver to have passengers in the vehicle.