11/17/08 — Conserve ... still: Now is not the time to forget lessons learned

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Conserve ... still: Now is not the time to forget lessons learned

When gas prices go down, it is easy to think everything is OK and it is time to rev up the engines and hit the roads.

And while it is difficult to see the steep drop in gas prices as anything but good news, we need to be careful as we celebrate stops at the pump that do not require a line of credit.

Americans take gas usage for granted and when the prices are reasonable they fill up -- and they do not think about conservation.

When the prices went sky-high, most families did stop to think about whether a trip was necessary or if they could combine excursions.

Now, with gas low again, that hesitancy is not as common and more and more people seem to be back at the pump with abandon.

Americans in both parties talk about preparing this nation for a future without dependence on foreign oil, but there is no real push or behavior change unless there is some strain on their wallets.

So, with prices low again, that makes you wonder if energy conservation will be taken seriously.

We learned a lot over the past few months. Chief among those lessons is that there are ways to conserve energy and to keep costs lower.

And since many of us are now in the habit, perhaps we can continue thinking before we pump our cars full of gas or make that extra, but probably unnecessary, trip.

There is no magic bullet that is going to make the United States less energy dependent. It is going to take making it a priority. Now is the time to start.

Published in Editorials on November 17, 2008 9:55 AM