Here’s what it takes to get the President to and from an Earth Day event:
It’s 895 miles from Washington to Des Moines, so a round trip brings the fuel consumption for the fixed-wing portion of the President’s trip to 8,950 gallons.
The trip also put President Obama on Marine One for round-trip flights between the White House and Andrews AFB and between Des Moines International Airport and Newton, Iowa, site of his Earth Day speech. It totaled about an hour of flight time. The VH-3D that serves as Marine One consumes about 1200 pounds of fuel per hour which comes out to about 166 gallons consumed flying the President today.
My needs are a bit simpler. I drive a ’97 Wrangler, which gets a pathetic 17 MPG on average. (You could probably get better, but with its short wheelbase and rear-wheel drive — until you drop the transfer case into 4-wheel — the Wrangler is a kick in the pants, just tossing it around town. And off road it’s even better, and the mileage even worse.) The tank needs a refill every two weeks or so, to the tune of about 15 gallons. At that rate, it would take me more than 12 years to consume as much gas as the President did yesterday. By the time I’ve caught up, my three-year-old will have his learner’s permit.
Oh, and the Wrangler is perfectly happy drinking 85 octane. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume Air Force One and Marine One use a slightly higher grade.