For Immediate Release    April 12 2006

Author, Film Maker provides solutions to high gas prices

            With gas prices expected to soar, with no end in sight as dwindling reserves are pumped out while demand skyrockets, Author and Film Maker Chad Kister shows in his new film, Caribou People, how General Motors had a working 80 -mile per gallon 5-seat sedan in 2000, the Precept.

            Kister is working with a colleague on an upcoming book about the Precept, and other fuel efficient vehicles that were developed by automakers with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, but that they did not put into production.

            “General Motors unveiled a sign showing 108 miles per gallon for the second generation Precept car running using a fuel cell,” Kister said.  “This was in 2000, so why are they instead producing Hummers that get 8 miles per gallon?”

            The Precept uses a light design and hybrid electric technology with either nickel metal hydride or lithium batteries.  When one presses down on the brakes, that energy is put back into the battery by using the electric motor as a generator.

            The car was found to be quite safe, comfortable, quiet and roomy.  The big question is why was it not put onto the market?  Give consumers the choice, especially with today’s gas prices and future projections, and they will choose efficiency.

            “In my second book, Arctic Melting I show how we can meet all of our energy needs through efficiency, wind and solar.  We need to make this transition rapidly to solve the climate change crisis,” Kister said.  “The great thing about the solutions to climate change is that they also solve the problem of the high cost of gasoline and natural gas.  As we switch all of our energy production to solar and wind energy, we eliminate the need to use these nonrenewable fossil fuels.”

            “Democrats for the most part have worked for the common people, for safeguarding our environment and for our national security by demanding greater fuel efficiency standards over the last few decades,” Kister said.  “While Global Warming Bush says we are addicted to oil, it is his policies that have made us addicted to oil.  He has vehemently opposed efforts to increase fuel efficiency standards that would have prompted GM to put cars like the Precept into production.”

            In fact, Republican-made legislation gave massive tax breaks over the years for people to buy massive SUVs and Hummers.  Taxpayers for Common Sense teamed up with environmental groups to criticize the insanity of subsidizing massive cars.  It does not make sense unless you understand how politics works.  With oil companies among the greatest contributors to Republicans, and with two oil men in the White House, they have done everything possible to increase consumption.

            As Kister’s book Arctic Melting shows, it is no mistake that we do not have clean electrified rail as a travel option through most of the country.  General Motors conspired to buy up the clean rails throughout smog-free LA in the early 1900s, replacing them with roads and pollution-belching buses.  Then the buses were scrapped, forcing people to buy cars and greatly increasing the pollution.  The same thing happened throughout the United States .

            The ultimate solution to rising gas prices is to switch back to mass transit wherever possible.  It is a much better way to live, to spend ones commute socializing, reading the paper or resting rather than stressful driving. As has been shown by crowded commuter trains around the country, if we put the infrastructure in place, people will use it.

            Because of their exponentially greater efficiency that driving or flying (up to 40 times more efficient per passenger mile), trains could easily be switched to running entirely on solar and wind generated electricity.

            Furthermore, future generations will want the oil that we are just burning away for durable plastics and other more important uses of the dwindling fossil fuel.

            The question is why are the media not reporting on these facts, as to why we are stuck in the insane gas guzzling SUV suburbia nation that we are in now.  We should envision a better world, and work rapidly to achieving that by massively investing in trains and mass transit.  We should replace the massive tens of billions of dollars in annual subsidies given to the filthy rich fossil fuel corporations, as well as some subsidies to airlines and highways with subsidies to mass transit and solar and wind energy.

            Electric cars and scooters are also a viable source of transportation, as is bicycling and increased car pooling.  Increasing bicycle trails and bike lanes in communities can improve our health while using zero gasoline to commute.  Again the media can help by publicizing ride boards and doing coverage of these issues to help Americans in a real way to reduce our consumption while reducing pollution at the same time.

            “Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would have virtually no effect on the price of oil, as I show in my Arctic Quest and Arctic Melting books and my Caribou People Film,” Kister said.  “The oil companies already have 95 percent of the North Slope of Alaska.  They have plenty of oil within that area to keep the Trans Alaskan pipeline pumping for decades, and they can only put so much oil through that pipe”

            “Efforts to drill in the refuge are just a decoy from what would really reduce the price of oil and drastically reduce how much every citizen pays at the pump: increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy,” Kister said.  “The legislation is already there, all we have to do is increase the number.  That will force automakers to put cars like the 80-mile per gallon Precept on the market.”