April 28, 2005

Bush Addresses Energy: Nuclear, Hybrids

President Bush is advocating for a return to atomic energy and long term incentives to people who purchase vehicles that are less reliant on gasoline. This is all in the interest of economic stability and national security.

As mentioned in our energy independence article, there are only two methods by which this goal can be achieved: increase supply or decrease demand. It is ultimately up to the consumer to decrease demand. Here's some coverage on the President's plan to increase supply and create demand shrinking incentives:

Bush called for building more nuclear power plants and refineries, saying that industry needs to be assured that such facilities can be approved without lengthy permit reviews. And he called for Congress to enact $2.5 billion in tax breaks over 10 years for people who buy gas-electric and clean-diesel automobiles. These cars account for only a small percentage of vehicles in showrooms.

The last application for a new reactor was submitted in 1973. Since then, Bush said, more than 35 nuclear power plants have been stopped "because of bureaucratic obstacles" while France has built 58 reactors and now relies on nuclear power for 78 percent of its electricity.

Nuclear power accounts for about 20 percent of U.S. electricity production.

April 22, 2005

Today Is Earth Day

Check out the official Earth Day site here. Earth Day began in 1970 and falls on April 22nd each year.

Yahoo has a great list of Earth Day ideas on how you can save energy and curb pollution. Of course, they mention, "Hop in a hybrid" and show a picture of the Prius.

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April 21, 2005

More Government Hybrid Fleets

Below are excerpts from a Toyota press release:

The Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) today displayed its solution to high gasoline prices – its new, high-mileage Toyota Prius fleet vehicles.

Four of the gas-electric hybrids were added to the cabinet's fleet this year to help reduce cost and increase efficiency for Kentucky taxpayers. EPPC Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher said that was in keeping with the philosophy of Governor Ernie Fletcher's administration.

"Governor Fletcher and this cabinet are committed to saving tax dollars and protecting the environment by using this fuel-efficient technology," Wilcher said. "Governor Fletcher pledged to make state government more efficient, and the use of hybrid vehicles is just one example of that commitment in action."

City-highway mileage for the cabinet's Prius vehicles has averaged 47.6 mpg, compared with 21.5 mpg that was typical of the larger sedans. "In-town" mileage has been 59 mpg for the Prius, compared with 16 mpg for other sedans. In addition, the federal government includes the Prius among vehicles rated best for reduced "greenhouse gas" emissions.
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April 18, 2005

Pennsylvania Buyers' Incentives: $500

Pennsylvania residents now get extra incentive to purchase a fuel efficient vehicle after a new rebate has been added to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Alternative Fuel Vehicle
Rebate Program.

This is no small incentive. It's $500. Depending on which hybrid model you purchase and how much you drive, that could cover your gasoline costs for an entire year.

The Department of Environmental Protection offers an opportunity to Commonwealth residents to apply for a rebate to assist with the incremental cost for the purchase of a new hybrid, bi-fuel, dual-fuel, or dedicated alternative fuel vehicle.

PA residents: get the rebate here.

April 16, 2005

G7 Discusses High Cost Of Oil

It looks like the spike in oil prices would more adequately be described as a permanent increase. See below from Reuters:

Record oil prices, which have risen about 50 percent over the past 12 months, and China's rigid currency peg to the dollar are frequently cited as two of the biggest risks to world economic stability.

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Friday the G7 was preparing for an era of more costly energy and could handle recent increases that have pushed prices over $58 a barrel.

Another G7 official said: "Concern is growing because it seems the higher prices may not be out of line and are more permanent than was thought."

"We have to prepare the world to live with oil prices at these levels," the official added.

With crude demand from the rapidly industrializing developing world one of the drivers of higher energy costs and oil producing nations already close to full production, the G7 may look at ways of simply mitigating the impact.

The need for better data on crude production and stockpiles is likely to be re-emphasized, officials said, along with an increased focus on conservation, alternative energy sources and improvements in industrial productivity.

Those in the speculate that we'll never see cheap gas prices again.

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April 15, 2005

Lexus RX 400h Hybrid SUV Available

The first luxury hybrid SUV his the dealerships today, April 15th. Lexus was fortunate enough to pre-sell over 9,000 of these to eager buyers. Check out the official website here.

This release comes on the heels of Ford's Hybrid Escape, which was the first hybrid SUV to hit American roads.

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April 14, 2005

Shortage of the Number 2 at Pumps

This is hardly believable. Not only is fuel in short supply, but so is the signage to display the price:

The spike in prices has led to the shortage of No. 2s for signs and pump displays at gas stations nationwide... Both gas station owners and drivers hope there won't soon be a shortage of No. 3s.

That means it's a good time to be in the oil business or the #2 sign printing business.

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April 11, 2005

Prius Scalping

From CNN:

Demand for the gas-electric hybrid Prius is so great that some used Priuses are selling for more than the list price for a new one, according to a published report.

Of course, a new Prius sells for considerably more than the sticker price, too.

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April 10, 2005

Least Efficient Vehicles in 2005

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published their list of the "Meanest for the Environment" vehicles. Here are the quick results:

  1. Dodge Ram SRT10: 9 City / 12 Hwy
  2. Ford Excursion: 13 City / 17 Hwy
  3. Hummer H2 A: 13 City / 17 Hwy
  4. Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG: 12 City / 14 Hwy
  5. Lamborghini Murcielago: 9 City / 13 Hwy
  6. Gmc Yukon Xl K2500 A: 13 City / 17 Hwy
  7. Chevrolet Suburban K2500 A: 14 City / 17 Hwy
  8. Land Rover Range Rover: 12 City / 16 Hwy
  9. Bentley Arnage: 10 City / 14 Hwy
  10. Mercedes-Benz G500: 13 City / 14 Hwy
  11. Lamborghini Gallardo: 9 City / 15 Hwy
  12. Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup: 12 City / 16 Hwy

You can see the full table here and the coverage from MSN here.

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April 05, 2005

More News on Lexus Sedan

Sorry for the bad info on the Lexus Sedan. It is not a split configuration, but in fact a split configuration hybrid, but a rear wheel drive vehicle. That's a hybrid first. Read the official press release here.

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April 03, 2005

57% Considering More Efficient Vehicle

According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans find the current gas prices to be a financial hardship, and as a result are considering more efficient vehicles.

The 58 percent who report that gas prices are causing them financial hardship of any sort was an increase from 49 percent last spring and 39 percent in 2000, the poll reported...and 57 percent said they have considered a more fuel-efficient model the next time they buy an automobile.
The free market takes its toll on the gas guzzlers.

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