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Perspective Needed on U.S. Oil and Gas Use

October 07, 2003

"A Porker of an Energy Plan" (editorial, Oct. 2) claimed that "the easiest and quickest way to cut imported oil use" is to improve fuel economy. While I agree with the need for that improvement, the quickest and easiest way to cut imported oil use is for car owners to follow the manufacturers' recommended intervals for oil changes. In most modern cars that is 7,500 miles, or six months in normal driving conditions. Following the profit-driven advice of the oil industry (you know who they are), we change oil and filters at 3,000 miles, thus using more than twice the amount of oil called for by the manufacturers. Manufacturers give long-term warranties for their cars' performances if periodic servicing is maintained, so I believe they know best.

Let's say, on average, we use 20 quarts of oil per year per every car driven in the U.S. Do the math, and then start a national campaign to change our old habits about changing our old oil.

Gary McCarthy

Chino Hills

In "Fat Fuel Prices" (letter, Oct. 2) a letter writer laments the currently high prices for gasoline. I just got back from France, where I noted that the median price for ordinary gas was 1.05 euros per liter. When you convert this into dollars per gallon with last week's quotation of $1.17 per euro, the French gas price computes to a tidy $4.65 per gallon. On the day I returned, my favorite local gas station was charging $1.90 (per gallon, of course). This makes the French price just 2.4 times higher than the one I found in Downey. Anyone here for a nice long European motoring trip, maybe in a gas-guzzlin' SUV?

Gerald Altman

Downey

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