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Cruise Control May Be Nevadans' Best Defense Against Record Gas Prices

March 26, 2008

Las Vegas, NV – Even with record-shattering prices at the gasoline pump, Nevadans can fight back. So says Bob Schildgen, who writes the "Hey, Mr. Green" column for "Sierra Magazine."

With the average price for gas nationwide now at $3.26 a gallon, Schildgen's advice is timely. For Nevadans faced with covering the state's wide open spaces, he prescribes using cruise control as a tactic. If it's set at 60 mph or below, it will save drivers a bundle, he says.

"It knows better than you do how to keep a steady speed. You increase your fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent when driving over 60 mph. That's a lot!"

Schildgen believes there's nothing wrong with being stingy during times like these, because drivers can help both the environment and their pocketbook simply by cutting back on how much they consume.

Gasoline isn't the only fuel that costs more, he points out. Diesel prices are up a quarter per gallon nationwide compared to last spring. But no matter how a vehicle is powered, proper maintenance makes all the difference, he says.

"Nationally we waste about 4 million gallons of fuel every day, just because our tires are under-inflated. You should check that pressure fairly often."

For shorter trips, Schildgen encourages walking or biking instead of driving, especially if the trip is a mile or two to the local gym for exercise.

More information and "green" tips are available online at www.sierraclub.org.

Michael Clifford/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - NV