The basic premise of a May 11 letter to the editor, "Obama should freeze oil prices, stop speculators" -- that most motorists roar away from stoplights, then slam on the brakes at the next red light and drive over the speed limit on highways, wasting gas -- is correct. This behavior can be observed during rush hour on roadways where the daily drivers know the lights are timed, resulting in increased gas consumption, pollution and wear on the brakes and tires, all costly.
The writer's proposed solution is "Obama should freeze oil prices." Recall, President Carter controlled oil prices that caused shortages and wasted drivers' time waiting in line at gas stations. The last time gas was $4 per gallon, I started anticipating red lights, taking my foot off the accelerator, "coasting" up to the light, coasting down hills and driving a little slower and more relaxed on highways. Mileage on my Sebring went from the 21-22 mpg range to the 27-28 mpg range -- about a 25 percent increase.
On the front page of the May 15 Pantagraph, the headline, "President to speed oil production" grabbed my attention. Third paragraph begins, "There is practically nothing that Washington can do that would materially change the price of fuel ...."
However, we drivers can immediately increase mileage thereby reducing the demand for oil, and OPEC's, big oil's and the market's power over price -- all without bigger government controlling more of our lives. No dinky cars, no less driving -- freedom!
Ron Ulmer, Normal