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May 29, 2006

Coping with high energy prices

One of the great things about our economy is the ability of consumers and producers to adjust. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden cites several examples of ways that industries are adjusting to high energy prices.

"Let me take a number of examples here:

"Airlines: Airlines of course use a lot of fuel, and that’s a big cost to them. Airlines are reducing their weight on planes. They are adding devices, for example, to wings to reduce wind drag, and they are modifying routes to take advantage of wind currents. All those things are being done to try to save on fuel.

"Truckers –- truckers, again, use a lot of fuel. ... A lot of trucking lines are using fatter tires in order to get better gas mileage.

"Railroads – again, transportation, a lot of fuel used. A lot of railroad companies are shutting engines down if they are idling too long. If they are waiting in the yard, not moving, just shut the engine down to save fuel.

"And here’s a very interesting one: Glacier runoff is being used in some countries as a means of generating hydropower.

"... All these ideas all these methods are very good illustrations of how people do try to cope with something that changes -- in this case higher energy prices," Walden concludes.

Posted by deeshore at May 29, 2006 06:02 PM