Driving our gas-guzzlers on Memorial Day

This post, by Bill Scher, originally appeared on the Campaign for America's Future blog.


It's Memorial Day in America / Everybody's on the road / Let's remember our fallen heroes / Y'all be sure and drive slow

-- James McMurtry, "Memorial Day"

Gas prices are at all-time highs, yet more drivers -- 38 million total -- are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend.

Why? The folks at AAA (the American Automobile Association) say it's "America's love for the motorist and love for the car."

That's spin to make you think there's nothing that can be done to break our dependency on oil.

People still drive with high gas prices because they have no choice! Not out of blind love for a vehicle.

We don't have policies to provide accessible, affordable alternative fuels and mass transit options.

People need to get to work, see their families and friends, and relax on vacations. The only choice we have is to drive with fossil fuels or be hermits.

That's why we're oil dependent, so dependent that it almost doesn't matter how high prices go. People are compensating in other ways, vacationing closer to home and staying in cheaper accommodations.

As I'm driving on Memorial Day, I'll be thinking about the honorable men and women who have given their lives in service to their country, regardless of the quality of their civilian leadership. And I'll be thinking about the fossil fuel that I'm presently powerless to stop burning.

And then I'll think about how those two thoughts might be related.

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