Posted by: Michael D. Austin | August 18, 2016

Smart vs. Stupid Energy and What *You* Can Do

About a week ago, I purchased my third hybrid street car in a row. My goal in doing this is/was to reduce my personal use of dat ol’ debbil petroleum energy, and via my personal actions by leaving as many prehistoric dinosaurs and flora in the ground as possible.

Five and 1/2 years ago I leased my first Prius. In less than three weeks I’ll return my second leased Prius. Even with my foot pressed against the floor, I’d get upwards of 44 MPG with these cars. Nice.

Before I bought my first Prius, I also shopped the Ford Fusion. The Ford dealership with which I talked at the time was especially full of themselves, and they even denigrated the Prius for its “old” hybrid design. Not a big deal for me since the Prius’ mileage would regularly exceed the Ford Fusion hybrid by upwards of 12%. Ford also wanted much more money for their car, so Toyota got my business. The Prius was a good street car for me. Over 5 1/2 years I logged 123,000 miles between the two of them.

But last week I switched my allegiances. I wanted a slightly bigger car than the Prius, and I also found my two to be fugly. I actually like the looks of the Ford Fusion. While I was shopping I discovered that Ford is making screamingly-good deals on their new Fusion Energi, which is a plug-in hybrid. Ford sold me a one for $3,000 less than my most recent Prius.

It gets average mileage which is at least as good as my two Prii, and Ford’s in-car computer has been quoting average mileage north of 47 MPG. This includes its first 19 electric-only miles on each trip. Right now, I’m plugging it into a standard 110-volt AC plug. It takes around 6 1/2 hours and 65 cents to charge its 5.4 Kw usable capacity. On a 220-volt plug Ford quotes 2 1/2 hours’ charge time.

So, if it costs $3 per gallon for unleaded fuel, and you estimate the Fusion Energi would get a minimum of 38 MPG using only dinosaur juice, it would cost $1.50 to power the car its first 19 miles of each road trip. But an electric charge does that for only 65 cents. This is a good thing.

The Ford Fusion Energi

The Ford Fusion Energi

And now, one of the many reasons I point this out – Obama is proving yet again that he’s anything but an environmental president. As 350.org says, he’s up to this destructive task:

“On August 24th, the Obama administration is planning to sell off an area the size of Virginia for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. This fossil fuel auction is set to take place in the New Orleans Superdome, just an hours drive from Louisiana cities and towns that have just been ravaged by unprecedented floods.

Louisiana is in a state of emergency and the Red Cross is calling this the worst disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy.

We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and stop treating the Gulf Coast like a sacrifice zone. In the midst of a climate-fueled disaster, which will most gravely impact those already marginalized in our society, moving forward with this auction is a terrible idea. Selling fossil fuels at the New Orleans Superdome — the site of one of the most visible and tragic instances of climate injustice in recent memory — is nothing short of insulting.

In this moment, we need to stand with Gulf communities who have been resisting the fossil fuel industry for decades.

President Obama can allow the fossil fuel industry to carry on with business as usual, or he can stand with Louisiana residents who are living under a state of climate emergency. He can’t do both.

We are calling on President Obama to cancel the upcoming fossil fuel auction and stop new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico altogether.”

You now have the option to stand with me, with the other supporters of 350.org, to sign their petition to encourage Obama to cancel this idiotic auction.


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