Elaine Lemieux posted this comment on an older post, but it certainly merits more attention than that:
Almost every day, I walk with my daughter to her elementary school. Personally, I am grateful to take time and walk this short distance with her. Unfortunately on our way to school we see on the streets all kind of cars and trucks idling, for example, vehicles owned by the City of Chicago. By leaving their engines running the city workers pollute the air as well as waste fuel and money.
The following was written by Rebecca D. Stanfield, the Environment Illinois State Director: “There is no question that reducing pollution from cars- now the source of about one-third of our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions- will have to be a large part of the plan to protect the planet and our future from the threat of global warming”. It is clear that this also applies to cars, SUVs, trucks, buses, and other motor vehicles.
After much thought, I decided to do something. I now talk directly to city workers and every person I encounter on the street whose vehicles are idling. One-on-one I ask them to turn off their engines. To be more convincing, I designed the PURE AIR card. Every time I hand out the card and ask them to turn off their engine. I also ask them to spread the word. Overall, the response has been positive.
Recently I wrote a letter to Alderman, Mrs. Margaret Laurino about my concerns. I was very pleased to receive a letter from the Department of Fleet Management of the City of Chicago. The Commissioner, Mr. Howard Henneman informed me that, in 2005, the City of Chicago took a step to implement its Vehicle Idling Management Policy. In addition, the City of Chicago sent me some important information about the effect of idling that I want to transmit: “Unnecessary idling of the City’s fleet wastes approximately 1 gallon of fuel per hour for diesel vehicles and roughly 0.75 gallons of fuel per hour for automobiles or light-duty vehicles. If the City’s fleet of vehicles were to idle for one hour per day, yearly emissions are estimated to approach 87 metric tons of Nitrogen Oxides, 390 metric tons of Carbon Monoxide, and 13,929 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide. From a cost perspective, the same amount of idling would result in approximately $2,861,000 in unnecessary fuel expenditures.
These facts apply only for the City of Chicago Department of Fleet Management. Imagine the numbers for the whole city and beyond. However, many states and cities all around USA adopt new idling reductions laws and regulations for better air quality. Unnecessary idling is a habit that costs us millions of dollars a day in wasted fuel and energy, produces enormous amounts of pollutant, and after all get us nowhere. I really wish that everyone could receive this PURE AIR message so we could all together really make a difference. This country is capable to be one of the leaders in the environment issues.
Thank You, Elaine!