It’s your choice | AspenTimes.com

It’s your choice

Dear Editor:As a somewhat responsible adult, I did some figuring to see how much my commute from Carbondale to Aspen was costing me now and what it might become in the future as gas prices escalate to $4 and possibly $5 a gallon. Here are some figures the SUV downvalley commuters should think about as gas prices keep climbing:A full-time Carbondale resident commuting to Aspen drives approximately 13,000 miles to and from work a year. A Glenwood Springs resident drives approximately 21,000 miles. A Rifle resident drives approximately 36,400 miles.Let’s compare two new vehicles and their costs associated with commuting from three downvalley locations. A 2005 Ford Expedition gets 16 miles per gallon. A 2005 VW Jetta TDI Wagon gets 48 mpg.From Carbondale: At $3.25 per gallon, the Ford (at 16 mpg) equals $2,640 versus the VW (at 48 mpg), which equals $877 annually. At $4 per gallon, the Ford costs $3,250 versus the VW at $1,080. At $5 per gallon, the Ford costs $4,062 versus the VW at $1,350.From Glenwood: At $3.25 per gallon, the Ford equals $4,264 versus the VW at $1,421. At $4 per gallon, the Ford costs $5,248; the VW costs $1,748. At $5 per gallon, the Ford costs $6,560; the VW costs $2,185.From Rifle: at $3.25 per gallon, the Ford costs $7,397; the VW costs $2,463. At $4 per gallon, the Ford costs $9,100; the VW costs $3,032. At $5 per gallon, the Ford costs $11,375; the VW costs $3,790.Hopefully this will help some people realize what a waste of money driving an SUV commuting to Aspen in is. A Jetta TDI wagon has all the room 95 percent of commuters will ever need and it could save commuters from Rifle more than $7,000 a year in commuting costs if $5 per gallon becomes a reality. The savings alone will pay for the car payment and fuel costs. Plus, biodiesel is the future of sensible alternative-fuel technology, which TDIs can run on. It would help eliminate our excessive U.S. need for foreign oil.Catherine Store is already carrying biodiesel, and once the government finally realizes soy-based alternative fuels are needed now, the soybean industry will explode. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that will help the farmers, minimize environment damage and provide income for all the countries of the world.It’s your choice. If you want the throw away thousands of dollars annually to drive your SUV, go ahead. In life, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Make a choice!Matt StarbuckCarbondale