US Emissions Policy Examined

Dec. 4, 2006: EV World—Transportation Policy in America

Summary: "The environmental challenges and opportunities
It is becoming clearer that humans are affecting the climate on our planet, specifically with the emission of green house gases (GHG), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced from fossil fuels is coming under particular scrutiny as a potential cause of global warming. The switch to renewable Bio-diesel outlined in this policy paper reduces net CO2 emissions from the transportation sector by some 700 million tons per year over the 13 year implementation period, and puts net CO2 production on a more sustainable trajectory in subsequent years.

The mechanical engineering challenges
Whilst at first blush the CAFÉ requirements seem very aggressive, in fact the systems are already available and being adopted in small measure to achieve the first 6-8 years of incremental improvements required. Increased adoption of hybrid and variable displacement technology has the potential to improve fuel economy in the amounts required, and development of pluggable hybrid technology could potentially meet all of the improvements required over the timeline of the policy."

This proposal is far from modest and bound to be rejected outright by many, especially in the petrochemical and automotive sectors. But if transportation is ever to be truly sustainable, suggestions like these deserve a second look.

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