Well, to be fair, McCain probably hasn’t had to check the air pressure on any of his vehicles’ tires in at least as many years as he’s been married to an heiress and living in 8 homes. But see, even I knew that keeping your automobile’s tires filled to the manufacturer’s specified PSI will improve gas mileage. Now, this might amount to higher math for a guy who doesn’t have a head for numbers, but saying “improves gas mileage” is similar to saying “uses less fuel to go the same distance.” Ergo, saves fuel.
Obama said that if US drivers kept their tires properly inflated, the US would save the same amount of fuel we are likely to get from offshore drilling. I’ve heard the same assertion elsewhere, perhaps in an interview with Chris Mooney. In any case, Obama is right: Popular Mechanics did the math (there’s that scary word again!). And according to that tree-hugging Department of Energy’s own research, “underinflated tires alone cost the country more than 1.25 billion gal. of gasoline annually—roughly 1 percent of the total consumption of 142 billion gal. According to the Annual Energy Outlook 2007, published by the Energy Information Administration, offshore drilling would increase domestic production of crude oil by only about 1 percent.” (Hat tip: Americablog.)