"Dump The Pump": A Timely Event for Changing Your Commute

Against the backdrop of a terrible environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, everybody's frustrated.

Gulf coast residents are seething at BP. BP shareholders are upset at the prospect of losing billions on their investment. The federal government has lost patience with the progress being made after almost 60 days of dashed hopes (will there be a government takeover of the disaster response when the President speaks tonight at 8:00pm?). And many commuters - including some here in Georgia - are contemplating where they want to fill up their gas tanks, an expression of the public ire directed at (and potential dollars diverted from) British Petroleum.

But something interesting is happening. For some, the anger they feel about the seemingly hopeless situation we're in is starting to morph into something else. Bubbling up from the depths are diverging emotions about the oil spill as it relates to driving:

Some feel guilty about their reliance on cars. From today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reader Sybil Thomas of Whitesburg writes:

"I can bemoan a response that cannot encompass the enormity of the environmwental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But as long as I am still filling up my gas tank with oil-based fuel, I, too, am responsible."

Others feel defensive about their freedom to drive, regardless of the environmental risks. Whichever direction your emotions are channeled, there is a desire for action. And MARTA's annual "Dump the Pump" event is one way to do something with your feelings about the situation. This Thursday, June 17, MARTA is encouraging all Atlantans to take transit to work. Another way to turn your feelings about oil into something actionable is to find a carpool partner and ride to work together once or twice a week. There are resources available from The Clean Air Campaign and RideSmart to make it easy.

Borne out of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is at least one positive circumstance. The oil spill is getting more conversations started about transportation options and about accountability. Where do you stand on these issues?




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