Clean Air Campaign Targets Drivers

Texas is faced with a clean air deadline and with soaring gas prices. Two different state organizations are teaming up to educate drivers on how to reduce air pollution and save money at the gas pump.

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Houston has an air quality deadline to meet by 2007, a deadline that is approaching quickly in a city that has one of the worst pollution problems in the country. Houston drivers are dealing with the nasty shock of paying more than $2.50 a gallon for gas. Officials at the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality figured now would be a good time to get people's attention on how to increase fuel efficiency and decrease vehicle emissions. Israel Anderson is with the TCEQ.

There are five basic messages from the Drive Clean Across Texas campaign, they are maintain your vehicle, drive less, buy a cleaner vehicle when you're in the market for a new car, drive the speed limit and reduce idling time. Anderson says following those guidelines will make an impact on air quality in Texas and has the added benefit of improving vehicle performance and cutting down on gasoline costs.

Anderson says a poorly tuned engine can waste up to 15 percent more fuel than an engine in good condition. He says it's about changing the way drivers think. For instance, don't go through the drive-through at a fast food restaurant, instead park and walk inside. He says there are more ideas on fuel-efficiency at the website www.drivecleanacrosstexas.com.

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