Better Gas Mileage Could Cripple ODOT

At a press conference in Columbus - with a fuel efficient Toyota Prius as a backdrop - Dan Voorhis of the group Environment Ohio said that President Obama's proposed 54-point-5 miles-per-gallon standard is obtainable.

We have the Prius here that gets an average of 45 miles a gallon … the standards are right there and the technology already there.

The group says cutting oil consumption has a host of benefits including the reduction of global warming pollution. But there is a downside at least for the time-being. The financially troubled Ohio Department of Transportation - ODOT - has seen a reduction in revenue as vehicles become more efficient. Gene Krebs is a senior director at the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

Department of Transportation director Jerry Wray gave a sobering assessment of his agency's financial difficulties on Tuesday. Wray had said earlier this year that ODOT faces more than a billion-and-a-half-dollar budget shortfall. Greater Ohio's Gene Krebs says the easy solutions have been implemented … now it's time for tougher measures…

Billions of dollars in construction projects have been delayed or postponed because of ODOT's budget difficulties.

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