Letters: April 3, 2009

Slow down, save gas, curb global warming
Congratulations to the students at Carlsbad High School and San Marcos High School for getting national coverage in the February issue of New Horizons Magazine, the magazine of the Future Farmers of America, of their efforts to get America to Slow Down and Save Gas. And kudos to The Coast News Group for being the first local newspapers to cover the student movement.
Driving at responsible rates of speed produces more than just a fuel-cost savings. It impacts on our energy independence, global balance of payments, reduces the need to drill in our oceans, and reduces traffic accidents. In the last slow down campaign in the 1970s, the USA cut consumption by 167,000 barrels of petroleum per day. Getting better mileage through lower speeds from today’s gas guzzlers we would save even more.
Politically the effort is enjoying bipartisan support with local officials, from San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond to Carlsbad Councilman Matt Hall, Solana Beach’s Dave Roberts, Encinitas Mayor Maggie Houlihan all having joined in support of the student’s efforts.
Now Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D- San Mateo, Calif., author of HR 6458 the Gasoline Savings and Speed Limit Reduction Act has communicated to the students: “I am impressed and encouraged by the hard work of the San Diego Future Framers of America to encourage their community to slow down and save gas. It wouldn’t surprise me if, someday, one of more of the students was sitting where I am today, in the United States Congress. I only hope that, by then, it is a cleaner, safer and more sustainable country they are leading.”
Everyone should speed up their acceptance of the need to lighten up on the gas pedal. Congratulations to the students for showing us that slowing down is patriotic.

Helen Nielsen-Eckfield
Carlsbad

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