The Chronicle’s View: Kick your $2.30-a-gallon habit

Noticed gas prices lately? Jeez, let’s just hope an arm and a leg fit into the gas cap.

The U is mostly a commuter campus, and that commute costs a pretty penny for many students. For those living paycheck to paycheck, the hike at the pump will probably cut into the food budget. It hurts so badly!

The last couple of weeks should serve as a wake up call to the commuters out there: It’s time for alternatives means to get from A to B (or home to OSH).

Many alternative energy plans look very promising. The U currently purchases wind power, and that’s working nicely. But we’re a research university; let’s see some more research on more alternatives.

Right now, the gas or auto companies conduct most research themselves. What a conflict of interest! Let’s see some more brilliant brains (we’ve got a lot of them here at the U) trying to solve this problem.

Hybrid cars are starting to get noticed on the freeway. They won’t climb the face of Mt. Olympus like that Hummer, but who wants to? That’s illegal anyway. Hybrids are very exciting, and let’s hope they become more affordable in the near future.

President Bush promised funding for hydrogen cars. Great idea, let’s see some results for that. We won’t need to invade any countries or topple regimes to protect our access to hydrogen.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about public transportation. Like it or not, it’s cheaper than $2.30 a gallon.

Or how about a compromise? Car-pooling avoids the inconvenience of riding UTA while gaining all the benefits. Everybody sees his or her neighbors on campus; why not ride up with them a couple days a week?

If you live in Salt Lake City, try riding a bike a few days a week.

The bottom line is responsible transportation is like maintaining good health. If you wait until you’re in a lot of pain to see a doctor, the solution will be huge, uncomfortable and expensive. Maintaining good health, although not always convenient, saves money and energy in the long run.

Likewise, by reducing the amount of fossil fuels used to get to class, U students can avoid the pain caused by future reliance on foreign oil.