Northwest NEWS

September 21, 1998

Editorial

Proposed pipeline feeds energy obesity

   Texaco, Arco and GATX are applying for permits to build a 230-mile pipeline right through what the Wilderness Society describes as one of "America's 10 Most Endangered Wild Lands."
  
   Not only would this proposed pipeline disrupt one of our few disappearing wilderness areas, but it would help feed Washington's and America's energy obesity.
  
   The United States consumes nearly 25 times more energy per person than developing nations.
  
   We produce nearly 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gases causing global warming, but we are only 4 percent of the world population. And oil consumption is our major and growing culprit.
  
   Since 1985, the total average miles per gallon or "fuel economy" of new cars and light trucks (minivans, sport utilities, overall fuel economy) is worse. With gas prices at an all time low, we are consuming oil as though we are starving, but by the world's standards we are grossly obese and growing fatter. When is enough enough?
  
   There are answers. Senator Slade Gorton offered America the best solution without raising gas taxes-make Detroit build cars with better fuel economy.
  
   Or join the efforts of the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition to help increase the use of clean alternative fuels. On a personal level, we can drive less or buy a fuel-efficient vehicle instead of a sport utility gas-guzzler. And, of course, we can urge the Governor to reject such unneeded projects as a new Cross Cascade pipeline.
  
   Tightening our belts a little won't hurt us. In fact, with reduced air pollution-a little energy weight loss would be good for our health and for our environment.
   Doug Howell, Transportation Director Environmental and Energy Study Institute