At long last we’re seeing a culmination of the Clean Air and Water Act from the mid 1970’s. How is it that it has taken the better part of 40 years to go from the act, and all the court challenges to this?
It does make me very happy though. As I said to a friend, we both grew up during the environmentalism movement in the 1970’s, so too did President Obama. The baby boomers are dying off, and we that straddle the Baby Boom and Gen-X got a full dose of civil rights and environmental protectionism. It makes me incredibly happy to see this happening in my lifetime.
The gases in question are carbon dioxide (Cars emit both CO and CO2) as well as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafloride.
Of course the perfluorocarbons and carbon dioxides (CO and CO2) primarily come from burning petroleum products.
But sulfur hexafloride is interesting. It’s used by the utility industry as a dielectric in high voltage switches, breakers etc. But the arcing in those devices breaks it down into very toxic chemicals. So now the electric industry is moving toward vacuum breakers. This after moving from PCB’s to sulfur hexafluoride.
But back to the carbon products – this is going to mean big changes for the auto industry. It always amazed me that even after the gas crunch of the early 1970’s we slowly broke away from economical vehicles. But now I see it as the true crunch time, we need more hybridized vehicles, start with the big rigs then trickle it down to passenger vehicles.
Move toward purely electric vehicles. Tesla makes electric cars, more to the point very NICE electric cars that can both blow the doors off anything with an internal combustion (IC) engine as well as getting ranges near the 250 mile mark. It’s just that the prices are a bit too high.
So with that in mind, I want to see massive government subsidies for both the big rigs and the passenger vehicles. Make it economically feasible to purchase the first one.
First off you’d reduce oil and gas consumption. That’s a big plus because as part of that you’d also reduce emissions of the pollutants being regulated by the EPA.
Naysayers always like to point out that the electric grid couldn’t handle all electric cars. So to allay those fears, massive investment in green energy is necessary. Just where I am I get plenty of sunshine in the spring/summer, and lots of wind in the fall/winter. Solar panels and turbines would pretty much do it here.
It’ll be interesting to see how hard the entrenched energy and auto industries react to this latest move.