President Obama’s 2009 Earth Day appearance in Newton took a detour back to an issue from the 2008 presidential campaign: tire gauges. Obama diverted a bit from his prepared remarks, right after challenging Americans to do more to conserve energy.
"When gas was real high, I suggested during the campaign the one small step Americans could take would be to keep their tires inflated. Everybody teased me," Obama said. "They said, ‘Oh, look! Look! That’s Obama’s Energy Policy!’ My opponent sent around tire gauges."
According to vehicle manuals and advice on car makers’ websites, vehicles with properly inflated tires use less gas. "If everybody kept their tires inflated…it would produce as much oil savings as we might be pumping in some of these off-shore sites," Obama said.
Obama told the audience in Newton the American people are ready to participate in a "national effort" to transform the way energy is used in this country,
"I think the American people are ready to be part of a mission. I believe that," Obama said. "It’s not just keeping your tires inflated. If each one of us just replaced one ordinary incandescent light bulb with one of those compact fluorescent light bulbs — you know, the squirrelly ones — that could save enough energy to light three million homes."
Obama praised the town of Newton and its two new factories involved in wind turbine production as examples of the kind of progress that can be made to "lessen the grip" of fossil fuels and replace those fuels with clean energy from sources like the wind.
Click on the 34-minute-long MP3 below to listen to Obama’s entire speech.