Lizards Know the Value of Charging Stations

Western Fence Lizard (via Flickr's Alan Vernon)

As anyone who’s seen a lizard sunning itself on a rock can tell you, cold-blooded creatures put a high priority on soaking up renewable energy. Now Washington may be awakening to the idea of convenient recharging.

The Detroit Free Press reports the U.S. Senate is working on a bill that would let electric vehicle charging stations be installed at Congressional sites. It’s a bipartisan concern – Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) drives a Nissan Leaf and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) drives a Chevy Volt. Users would have to pay for the charging stations and the electricity. Sponsors hope to get the measure passed by the end of the year.

Within the article is a great story about how much Sen. Levin (D-MI) loves his Chevy Volt:

The car glided silently into traffic near the U.S. Capitol, and Levin was visibly excited to roam the streets in the electric-gas hybrid.

I love the idea of American industry being in the lead,” Levin said. “When I drive this car, it gives me pride in what we can do.”

As he steered along busy streets, Levin was looking for an opportunity to give it the gas, er, electricity. It happened when the traffic thinned on a wide stretch of Constitution Avenue.

“This has a terrific pickup,” Levin grinned. “Watch this.”

The Volt shot forward, pushing passengers against the seat backs.

“Pretty good, huh?”

But Washington’s real fuel efficiency landmarks will come later this year. The Obama administration is expected to announce first-of-their-kind rules for heavy trucks next month. Then in September, new rules are due for cars and light trucks like pickups & SUVs.

The National Wildlife Federation is pushing for the strong fuel efficiency standards. For example, achieving a national average of 60 miles per gallon would save drivers up to $7,400 at the pump over the life cycle of a vehicle. At the same time, we’d cut America’s global warming pollution by 465 million metric tons per year or nearly 7% of total US global warming pollution from all sources.

That would be great news for America’s wildlife, including lizards – already, lizard populations have disappeared in 15 locations where global warming was thought to be the culprit. And can you imagine how clean the air in America’s cities would be if our cars & trucks were on that kind of an oil diet?

Will the Obama administration deliver? The Detroit News reports officials are talking about strong fuel efficiency standards, but there’s a long way to go between now & September.

Take Action

Please take a moment to ask the Obama administration to support a strong fuel efficiency standard of 60 miles per gallon by 2025.