Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Governor really living the life of Riley, ride-wise

Unlike some governors, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has kept using a large state-provided sports utility vehicle since gas prices rose to the $3 per gallon range. On Tuesday, for an appearance in Birmingham, Riley arrived in a black Chevrolet Tahoe.

In the past, he has also used a black Ford Expedition. The vehicles are equipped with special emergency and communications equipment.

Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, declined to discuss the specific brands the governor uses, citing security reasons, but said the Republican governor traditionally travels in a large SUV.

"The choice of vehicles used by Governor Riley and previous Alabama governors is strictly based on security considerations. However, use of a more fuel efficient vehicle that does not compromise security is something Governor Riley will examine and review," Emerson said.

There are a number of stories out today talking about which Governors have switched to more fuel efficient vehicles. Riley, as you can see, isn't one of them. The fuel prices Alabamians are facing is one of the main reasons I decided to walk across Alabama for my campaign.

As to what I will do about the cost of fuel if elected....I plan to promote bio-diesel and lift restrictions on distilleries so that people who wish to make their own fuel will be able to do so. That is how NASCAR got started and that is a fine Southern tradition and a proud part of our heritage. It's one of the many ways Alabama has sought in the past to be independent and free from federal regulations that choke the life out of free market capitalism.

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