Governors abandon gas-guzzling SUVs as they ask others to use less fuel

As post-hurricane gas prices in the U.S. hover around $3 a gallon, several governors have dumped their state-funded, gas-hogging SUVs for more energy-conscious vehicles. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) will be sidelining his Lincoln Navigator for a Ford Escape hybrid, and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) has been Escape-ing on official business since Katrina hit. Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D) has ditched his Chevy Suburban for unmarked sedans. Midwest Govs. Tim Pawlenty (R) of Minnesota and Tom Vilsack (D) of Iowa are switching to SUVs that burn E85, an ethanol-gas blend. However sincere this new green commitment, state executives realize symbolism matters. “It’s kind of hard to be arguing to conserve gasoline,” says Bush, “when you’re driving around in a Ford Expedition that guzzles it down at a 6- to 8-mile per gallon clip.” Now Jeb, can you talk to your brother about his motorcade?