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Conservation vs. drilling
How tire pressure gauges figure in the energy debate

“The latest symbol John McCain is using to needle Barack Obama is a tire pressure gauge,” said Foon Rhee in The Boston Globe’s Political Intelligence blog. Democrat Obama recently encouraged Americans to conserve energy by making sure their tires are properly inflated, and his Republican rival's campaign promptly began passing out tire gauges to donors and journalists to mock Obama’s energy policies.

“Gleeful Republicans” are having a field day, said Michael Grunwald in Time.com, saying Obama is “out of touch” because he’s urging Americans to inflate their tires properly and get regular tune-ups. But expanded offshore drilling would boost oil production—decades from now—by enough to meet just 1 percent of demand, while proper tire pressure can improve gas mileage by 3 percent. “Who’s really out of touch?”

By all means, said Ed Morrissey in a Hot Air blog, “inflate your tires properly and get regular tune-ups." But if you think that will solve the supply crisis, "then you probably won’t get the joke no matter how many times we explain it.” Tapping more offshore oil and our vast deposits of oil shale would yield many times more fuel than we’ll ever get out of our tires.

Welcome to the “electoral silly season,” said Elizabeth Holmes in The Wall Street Journal. “With the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics just days away and hordes of voters on vacation, the American public's attention span for politics is minimal at best.” So watch for the campaigns to unveil more “push-the-envelope tactics” like tire gauges to get people to pay attention.

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