EarthWindandFire wrote:Buying a used car is smart, and will save more money in the long run. Do the math, whether a car gets 100 miles per gallon, is irrelevent if you paid too much for it. The cost of ownership lies mostly in principal and interest of the purchase price, not the savings from fuel usage.
I do not agree with that at all. I mean I buy used cars, but I buy cars that get longevity with great fuel mileage because I have a long commute: 87 miles one way.
The point I think you are missing is one that I missed for many years, and that is it requires 15 gallons of fuel to get that 1 gallon of gasoline that we burn in our cars. For society as a whole, it makes a major impact on the fuel supply chain. Where I work, a 1-1/2 hour commute is common, and I often see people driving pick ups to work based on their image. If they are getting 17 miles per gallon in their truck, a simple trip in to work WITH the 15:1 ratio added is a whopping 76 gallons. My little commuter car however, that gets 43 miles to the gallon, would be a total of 30 gallons of fuel, with the 15:1 ratio added in. That is a fuel savings of 46 gallons on one trip into work and that is just getting to work.
As a farmer I know there are times when using bigger trucks makes sense, and I know that, but when you work at a plant with 7000 people and most of them drive pick ups to work, the 15:1 ratio just is mind boggling.
Now think about all of us and the effect that 15:1 ratio has on the national fuel chain in regards to using coal to heat our homes. My house would use around 700 gallons in oil if this place was heated by #2 oil. At a 15:1 ratio that is a total consumption of 10,500 gallons. Now it does take fuel to get coal out of the ground and onto rail cars or trucks, but the economy of scale on mining operations is going to make the extraction pretty low on a gallons of fuel used per ton figure, and transportation by rail is extremely cheap. In the worst case scenario, if a truck load of coal was hauled up here from Hazelton it would be about 33 gallons per ton, so if my home could use a total of 167 gallons of fuel to save 10,500 gallons of fuel, which is a huge impact.
Now think of the impact if even more people burned coal for home heating purposes...