Commentary

What politicians drive

Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say “what the drivers of politicians drive”:

“Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled!” charged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), standing at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where regular unleaded hit $3.10. “They are too cozy with the oil industry.” She then hopped in a waiting Chrysler LHS (18 mpg) — even though her Senate office was only a block away. … At about the same time, House Republicans were meeting in the Capitol for their weekly caucus (Topic A: gas). The House driveway was jammed with cars, many idling, including eight Chevrolet Suburbans (14 mpg). … After lunchtime votes, senators emerged from the Capitol for the drive across the street to their offices. Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) hopped in a GMC Yukon (14 mpg). Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) climbed aboard a Nissan Pathfinder (15). Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) stepped into an eight-cylinder Ford Explorer (14). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) disappeared into a Lincoln Town Car (17). Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) met up with an idling Chrysler minivan (18). Next came Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), greeted by a Ford Explorer XLT. On the Senate floor Tuesday, Menendez had complained that Bush “remains opposed to higher fuel-efficiency standards.” Also waiting: three Suburbans, a Nissan Armada V8, two Cadillacs and a Lexus. The greenest senator was Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was picked up by his hybrid Toyota Prius (60 mpg), at quadruple the fuel efficiency of his Indiana counterpart Evan Bayh (D), who was met by a Dodge Durango V8 (14).

More here. Related: Public Officials Tout Transit More than They Use It

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.