Driving hybrids home in Congress

Fifteen members of Congress drive hybrids. Now how about some legislation on fuel economy?

By Katharine Mieszkowski
Published June 8, 2005 5:30PM (EDT)

With even neocon hawks pushing hybrids, it seems like everyone's a booster for the greener car technology. But how do House and Senate members' own rides stack up?

Eight Democrats, six Republicans and one independent drive hybrid cars, according to U.S. News and World Report. That includes Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts who has a Ford Escape Hybrid on order. Three members of Congress  Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Lincoln Chaffee and Rep. Darrell Issa  each have two Priuses, one in Washington and one back at home in California, Rhode Island and California, respectively. And Detroit take notice: eight of the 15 drive Toyota's Prius hybrid, while seven like the homegrown Ford Hybrid Escape SUV.

Of course, if these fuel-conscious members of Congress really wanted to do something to reduce dependence on foreign oil and fight global warming they could do a lot beyond making smart choices as consumers. For instance, they could pass legislation that would raise fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks around the country. Apparently, it's a lot easier to buy a green car than get legislation through Congress taking on the car industry.

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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