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Report: Mainers Could Save over $900,000 By Gobbling Less Gas Tomorrow

November 24, 2010

PORTLAND, Maine - Thursday is Thanksgiving, when thousands of Mainers will take to the roads to visit friends and family. If they were driving cars that got at least 60 miles per gallon, they would save more than $900,000 on that day alone, according to a new report.

Environment Maine released the study. Field associate Nathaniel Meyer says it shows that on Thanksgiving, travelers in Maine are expected to spend about $1.6 million for gasoline.

"That's roughly $12 per family, which is enough to bring a few extra pumpkin pies for dinner. People should be focusing on clearing their plates, not clearing out their wallets at the gas pump."

The United States has the technology to produce more fuel-efficient cars right now, he adds, but there is resistance from some in the business and political worlds who cite higher technology and manufacturing costs they say would trickle down to consumers. But Meyer says that's not the whole story.

"According to an Environmental Protection Agency analysis, Mainers who purchase 60-miles-per-gallon cars would recoup the modest additional cost within three to four years through their significant savings at the pump."

The average car in Maine gets about 26.5 miles per gallon, he explains. If cars were more fuel-efficient, Mainers could save more than $425 million dollars on gas over the next 20 years, according to the report.

The Obama administration is currently at work on new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2017 to 2025.

The full report, "Gobbling Less Gas for Thanksgiving: How Clean Cars Can Save Americans Money and Cut Oil Use," is available at www.environmentmaine.org.

Monique Coppola/Sharon Rolenc, Public News Service - ME