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Trading in ANWR for a New SUV

January 17, 2002

Re "Don't Destroy the Wild Places for Oil," Commentary, Jan. 14: I would like to commend Vice Adm. James E. Service for advocating the preservation of our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I completely agree with his advocating a reduction in the consumption of oil. I would like to state that the technology to increase fuel mileage is not only at hand but has been available for years. I make the following technical suggestions.

Reduce the front profile; reduce the weight; reduce the engine size. As a driver of a Ford Escort, I guarantee that major increases in mileage are available now. I get 30 mph in town and 40 mph on the highway.

These fixes would be very difficult to implement as long as we are told to "win the war--spend and consume," as I drive down the freeway at 70 mph and am passed by patriotic SUVs flying American flags, spending and consuming as fast as they can.

M.E. Wheelock

Irvine

Thanks to Service for telling it like it is with regard to the folly of drilling in the ANWR. I recently traded my gas-guzzling SUV for a Toyota Prius hybrid (averaging 47 mpg thus far!) and guess what? I still get to work on time. My groceries still fit in my trunk. I still have a CD player with a good sound system.

And I have the sense of pride and patriotism that comes not from mounting a flag on my SUV but from knowing that I am doing my share to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Let's all do it this way, not by drilling in the ANWR.

Alison M. Grimes

Yorba Linda

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