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High gas prices reflect real world

June 09, 2008

Re "New rules of the road," editorial, June 4

It has taken $4-a-gallon gasoline to force drivers to give up their SUVs, not social conscience out of concern for the environment or road safety. How many people actually need two-ton behemoths that are unsafe not only for their occupants but for others with whom they grudgingly share the road? How much conspicuous consumption is enough?

SUV owners having to give up their toys is the moral equivalent of fur wearers being splattered with blood by emotional animal activists. Although I don't approve of destroying others' property, I do agree with the message: Just because you can do something does not mean you should.

Will I shed a tear because SUV owners are getting less for their vehicles at trade-in than is owed on them? Not a one! It's just too bad the rest of us have to share a national economy with these shortsighted, greedy consumers who took so long to read the writing on the wall.

Ellen Brown

San Diego

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Shame on Americans and on the Big Three for being so shortsighted. History is repeating itself with a vengeance in this decidedly permanent oil "shortage," and we are now dumping our homegrown gas guzzlers to buy fuel-efficient replacements from foreign companies.

On the opposite page, the Op-Ed article "Mortgaging America" details how U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is "touring the Middle East ... looking for investors to bail us out."

We've created this financial hangover ourselves. Why not bundle and sell a package of Hummers and other gas-guzzling autos to "flush, oil-slicked Arabic emirates"? The proceeds could go back into producing sensible autos.

Laura Celis

Los Angeles

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I was dismayed by your finger-wagging tone. General Motors has a larger lineup of sedans than Honda or Toyota, many of which are fuel efficient. However, the media and the public seem to think they can only get efficiency from a foreign car. If the public bought American cars, GM would not have to close plants and lay off workers but could instead switch production from SUVs to smaller cars.

I urge readers to go to fueleconomy.gov and compare for themselves. They will see that American companies make sedans that have equal or better fuel economy than imports.

Tom Magdaleno

Camarillo

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