Hybrid cars save gas, pollution, rights

Tova Fruchtman: Quay County Sun

As gas prices take an upward swing once again and foreign policy remains dependent on non-friendly oil sources, I stare at my fuel gage happily.
I am happy that instead of purchasing the Toyota 4-Runner I thought I had my heart set on, I got the Toyota Prius.
The Prius is Toyota’s hybrid car that runs on a combination of an electric motor and a gas motor.
So I get an average of 43 miles to the gallon (combining both city and highway driving.)
A few weeks ago, I was listening to talk radio. Rush Limbaugh was talking about hybrid cars.
He said it’s pointless to drive one because the tax money people hoped to save by buying less gas will be taken in another way. He pointed out that some state’s governments have implemented computer systems that track how many miles a person drives on the roads and taxes them based on mileage rather than on gas use.
He implied that hybrid cars don’t work as well as cars that run on gas engines and that the only reason to buy one is to save money on gas.
Boy was I mad.
My car drives just as well as any other vehicle — getting up to speed on the highway, you would never know it wasn’t running on a gasoline engine.
Beyond that, saving money on gas is far from the only reason to buy a hybrid car. (Not to mention that I would pay for roads whether they were managed by the government or a private company.)
Hybrid cars release significantly less emissions into the atmosphere, contributing less to air pollution. In fact, in many states it is legal to drive in the carpool lanes on highways with only one person in the car.
Being less dependent of foreign oil is a major reason to try to use less gas.
As this country fights governments that are oppressive to their citizens, we pour money in to others with similar practices.
Why? Oil.
We need oil.
Finding ways to lower our dependency on these countries’ oil — like driving cars that use less gas — are ways not only to make the U.S. more independent, but to stand up for the human rights of citizens living under oppressive rulers.
Driving my car makes me feel like I’m doing something good for the world, without having to do anything difficult at all.
Rush had stepped out of his area of expertise, to give his opinion on the great unknown. And although hybrid cars probably aren’t the best choice for getting around the ranch, for getting to and from the store or work or taking a day trip, they not only save money on gas but give peace of mind.
I would recommend my car to anyone … or any hybrid car for that matter. (Both Ford and Honda make one as well.)

Tova Fruchtman is managing editor for the Quay County Sun. Contact her at 461-1952 or by e-mail:
tova_fruchtman@link.freedom.com