Gov. Timothy M. Kaine participated in discussions on energy and transportation on Sunday in Williamsburg and highlighted the benefits of the EcoDriving program—a comprehensive, nationwide effort to save consumers money at the gas pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon dioxide emissions. The discussions took place during the annual meeting of the Southern Governors’ Association.
“The EcoDriving program presents Virginians with a unique opportunity to make a difference in the environment of the Commonwealth,” Kaine said. “I hope that Virginia drivers will use these simple EcoDriving practices for driving and maintenance to save money, improve mileage, reduce emissions.”
The educational program, EcoDrivingUSA, provides consumers with dozens of simple steps to save money and gas while reducing carbon emissions. The EcoDriving program was developed last year by The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in an effort to provide customers with an immediate way to save fuel and help the environment as fuel-saving technology is being developed. EcoDriving techniques can start saving motorists money right away.
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.
“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. 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.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Virginia drivers consumed nearly 100 million barrels of gasoline in the transportation sector in 2006. At 42 gallons per barrel, this is a rate of just over four billion gallons consumed annually. EcoDriving, which can increase fuel economy by 15 percent, could save Virginians 616 million gallons of fuel a year.
Other ways Virginia drivers can improve their fuel economy 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.
• Knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and much more.
Sunday’s announcement comes as Kaine continues to advance his “Renew Virginia” initiative—an effort to promote renewable energy, create green jobs, and encourage preservation of the environment. During his administration, Kaine has incentivized the production of cleaner energy, surveyed the emissions of facilities previously grandfathered out of the Clean Air act, dedicated over a billion dollars to Chesapeake Bay cleanup, protected nearly 350,000 acres of open space, and led the effort to promote regional cooperation to combat climate change.
For more information on Renew Virginia, visit www.governor.virginia.gov.