Governor Otter Joins the EcoDriving Movement
BOISE - Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter today joined the EcoDriving movement-a comprehensive, nationwide effort to save consumers money at the gas pump, reduce fuel use, and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
"It's amazing what we can achieve when we're all headed in the same direction," Governor Otter said. "These are mostly common-sense things that don't require real sacrifice-just time, attention and a willingness to do our part."
The educational program, EcoDrivingUSA, provides consumers with dozens of simple steps to save money and gas, while reducing CO2 emissions. EcoDriving comes from the nation's automakers which announced the program in August. While automakers continue working to bring to the market groundbreaking fuel-saving technology, they also wanted to provide customers with an immediate way to save fuel and help the environment. EcoDriving techniques can start saving motorists money right away.
"Our state's drivers don't have to wait to buy a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle to reduce fuel costs and CO2," Governor Otter said. "They can expect a significant improvement in mileage by following some easy EcoDriving practices for driving and vehicle maintenance."
"We're all in this together - industry, government and consumers," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Working together we can substantially reduce CO2 emissions and fuel use, one EcoDriver at a time."
Today's autos are computers on wheels - with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system. Drivers who know just a little more about how their automobiles work will be rewarded with immediate savings at the pump and the opportunity to help protect the environment.
EcoDriving offers an unmatched reach in addressing energy and climate issues because drivers potentially can apply the program's simple principles to the nation's entire fleet of 245 million automobiles.
If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.
If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2 emissions. That's 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman, and child in the United States each year.
Sample EcoDriving practices include not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, using synchronized traffic lights to a driver's advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, understanding when to use air conditioning and much more.
Sample maintenance practices include knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and much more.
The EcoDriving program complements other initiatives the state already has underway to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. State agencies are taking a number of steps to reduce their own carbon footprints through greenhouse gas reduction plans, telecommuting and alternative work schedules, public transportation incentives, and fuel efficiency standards for state fleets. However, the impacts of the EcoDriving program have the potential to reach far beyond state government and provide Idaho's drivers with valuable information on measures they can take to reduce their own fuel usage and CO2 emissions.
The Alliance's EcoDriving consumer awareness campaign centers on an interactive website, www.EcoDrivingUSA.com, to help drivers learn practical tips to improving their mileage and reducing their carbon footprint. The site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an "EcoCalculator" to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test and a variety of educational tools.
"Automakers continue developing and introducing new technologies, but it takes 15 years or more for these technologies to become widely used. EcoDriving helps consumers reduce carbon dioxide emissions today," said McCurdy.
Source: Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
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