Unless you live under a rock, you are probably aware of the country’s current problems concerning oil and gas prices. If you drive, paying at the pump leaves a big dent in your wallet, making it hard to rationalize even owning a car. In a lot of ways, owning a car is like having another mouth to feed.

Some Relief from Fracking

In a recent Peter Orszag Bloomberg article, he reports the recent fracking boom. Peter Orszag, Citigroup vice chairman of global banking, describes the effect of this increase in fracking and horizontal drilling that has allowed for a rise in domestic oil production.A Peter Orszag bio won’t mention fracking, and if you are the average American, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “What in the world is fracking?” Fracking, more appropriately known as hydraulic fracturing, is a method of releasing various forms of natural gas and other substances for extraction. This is done using highly pressurized liquids injected deep into underground rock formations.

While horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are mainly a means of extracting natural gas, the method has been used to great effect to retrieve oil from shale formations. This allows for a substantial increase in domestic oil production, which should make things a little easier on our bank accounts.

Easy Steps

While the undercurrent of change rumbles in the socioeconomic realm, there are little steps we can take individually to save on the gas.

  • Avoiding Idling: While you’re waiting to pick your friend, turning off your engine will conserve fuel. Your engine requires gas to run, so if you’re stopped somewhere with your engine running, you’re using up gas to go all of zero mph.
  • Lose the Weight: Your car’s mileage depends on the weight it’s carrying. Think about it this way: if you’re carrying around a heavy backpack all day, you’ll probably get tired quicker than if you were without the backpack. The same goes for your car, though there’s a bit more science involved. In the end, check your trunk and under the seats for any excess weight, whether it’s golf clubs or surfboards. Every hundred pounds of junk your car has to carry reduces your mileage by about 1 or 2 percent.
  • Maintain: Make sure your car gets proper maintenance regularly. A tune up can boost gas mileage by 4 percent, but fixing more serious maintenance issues can give a huge boost to your car’s mileage. Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor, for instance, can improve your mileage by about 40 percent.