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Tanking the old rules of the road

June 27, 2008

Re "Big Oil isn't the big problem," Opinion, June 24

Jacob Heilbrunn correctly points out that the very simple answer is to become less dependent on oil, period. We had an opportunity in the 1970s but blew it. At that time, we set a national speed limit of 55 miles per hour, an idea about which I have heard nothing this time.

I experimented recently by, whenever possible, maintaining the speed limit in driving my minivan and avoiding fast starts and stops. Lo and behold, I increased my average from 16 to more than 19 mpg, which is significant and translates to substantial savings. Can you imagine the impact nationally if all drivers observed the same rules?

David Coulson

Huntington Beach

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I can appreciate the need to find alternative energy sources, but as a semi-truck owner and operator, cutting down fuel consumption is not an option. Everyone is feeling the effects of the higher gas prices, but no one more than truckers.

Currently, diesel fuel averages as much as $1 more a gallon than regular gasoline in some states. But our freight rates have barely budged from when diesel fuel was below $3 a gallon.

There are some loads paying decently, but those are few and far between unless the travel is less than 1,000 miles. You can't make a living on short hops for very long.

Why doesn't the government subsidize the semi-truck owner/operators to help ease our costs? It does that for farmers; why not us?

Maryanne Chandler

Middleton, Idaho

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