Schwarzenegger’s “green fleet” initiative pumps out more smog than ever July 10, 2007Posted by daveintexas in Current Events, Politics.
They are E-85 flexible fuel vehicles, desgned to burn standard fuels, but when using E-85 ethanol, they burn much cleaner. So why aren’t they?
Because they can’t find enough E-85*. And as a result they are dumping even more pollutants into the air.
Retailers can’t find enough reasons to make the switch, and face an awful lot of obstacles.
Chief among these are the cost of equipment conversions, the relatively low level of consumer demand, the price relationship to gasoline, and the lack of any dispensers certified to sell the product. Such challenges must be acknowedged by government policy makers before implementing new programs.
So, in layman’s terms, it costs too much to put in E-85 systems, nobody wants to buy it, and it costs more than gasoline.
What could possibly go wrong?
Even under optimum circumstances, shipping the ethanol to California (where the refineries are) blanks the benefits.
Produced largely from corn grown in the Midwest, ethanol is transported to California on tankers or diesel-powered trains. The newspaper write that this process alone nearly cancels the fuel’s clean-air benefits in California.
S. David Freeman, a former energy advisor to President Jimmy Carter, blames the weak willed politicians for not following through. Presumably they should have converted the trains as well.
* There are two types of ethanol blends, E-10 and E-85, the number representing the percentage of ethanol in the blend. E-85 engines are specifically engineered for that blend, E-10 can be used in any vehicle.