Did The Car Kill Us – Maybe

There was electricity from coal before there was gasoline driven cars. Still they are a big part of the problem. As other people have pointed out we are literally forced to drive. That is not to overlook the damage that big ocean ships and airplanes. I mean, Coal, Oil, Hot Asphalt and kerosene are the Big Four of Death.

Still it is hard to deny the seduction of the gasoline internal combustion engine. I got my first one when i was 14. It was a 90 cc Honda Motorcycle and it meant freedom to me. I could go from small town to small town in central Illinois. Meet new people, make new friends for a Quarter (.25$) per Gallon of gas. In fact I met my first true love who was riding a dirt bike on a back road blacktop, on the Honda.

How was I to know how dangerous they are, and that does not include the ones killed by operating them.

.https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/29/was-the-automotive-era-a-terrible-mistake

Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?

For a century, we’ve loved our cars. They haven’t loved us back.

The summer I was eighteen, I visited a parking lot forty-five minutes north of town and got behind the wheel for what I hoped would be the first real rite of my adulthood. I was tall, gangly, excitable. Less than a week earlier, following a brief stretch of test-taking at the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco, I had received my learner’s permit. Learning in those days seemed easy. Tests were easy. Doing—when the matter arose at all—was hard. Behind the wheel, I made a show of adjusting the mirrors, as if preparing for a ten-mile journey in reverse. I surveyed the blank pavement ahead of me and slowly slid the gear-shift from park into drive.

Cars had been my first passion. As a two-year-old, I’d learned to recognize the make of vehicles by the logo near the fender or perched on the hood. I grew to understand the people in my life according to their cars; I learned what sort of person I was from my parents’ two old Hondas, one of which, a used beige Accord, I had gone with them to buy. My father’s lingering bachelor vehicle, a rotting yellow Civic, needed to be choked awake on dewy mornings, and I’d performed that job with relish, pulling out the knob beside the steering wheel, waiting a long moment, and pushing it back. This was the late eighties. Gas prices had fallen, and the roads were knotty with cars from across the world. I no longer remember what, as a small child, I envisaged for my future, but I know that it involved moving at speed behind the wheel.

Now, all those years later, the parking lot was virtually empty of cars, and I felt a flush of reassurance. I was learning in my parents’ highly defatigable ride, a minivan with an all-plastic interior and the turning radius of a dump truck. My teacher was my father, a flawless but not wholly valiant driver, who habitually refused to drive on certain bridges in certain directions, for fear of being, as he would put it, “hypnotized” by trusses passing alongside the road. For reasons lost to time, my little sister was on board, too, in the back. I eased my foot onto the gas; the engine revved for a moment, and the van lurched.

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Go there and read and read and read, More next week.

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Rolling Back CAFE Standards – This is a real real bad idea

I have said for awhile that the US would survive the Trump Era. Apparently it is going to be expensive for us and the planet. Hopefully this will limit Trump to one term.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2017/03/06/rolling-back-fuel-efficiency-standards-would-cost-americans-800-billion-add-six-billion-tons-co2/#54beb2e33642

Rolling Back Fuel Efficiency Standards Would Cost Americans $800 Billion, Add Six Billion Tons CO2

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to roll back existing federal fuel efficiency targets of 54.5 miles per gallon for model year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, a move endorsed by U.S. auto dealers and auto manufacturers. But going in reverse on fuel efficiency would be a terrible deal for American drivers that would cost the economy approximately $800 billion while adding nearly six billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2050.

Energy Innovation utilized the Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) to analyze the effects of lowering U.S. fuel efficiency standards. The open-source computer model estimates economic and emissions impacts of various energy and environmental policy combinations using non-partisan, published data. It is freely available for public use through a user-friendly web interface or by downloading the full model and input dataset.

Our analysis compared a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario (based on existing policies as of mid-to-late 2016, including the existing fuel efficiency standards) to a scenario that freezes fuel efficiency for new passenger cars at 2017 levels

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Car Helps You Drive – Instead of driving you

I never really thought about cars this way before. It seems the more they HELP you drive the more expensive and complicated they are. If the car drives you, it will have a very complicated electronics system but a pretty simple structure. This would mean a much cheaper car and a radically restructured automobile industry.

http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bosch-active-gas-pedal/

 

Bosch is developing a connected gas pedal with haptic feedback

This pedal promises to use haptic feedback toward helping you save fuel while driving.

Andrew Krok mugshot
Andrew Krok

Would you be okay with your car bossing you around if it saved you fuel, and therefore money? Bosch is hoping that you won’t mind a few extra pointers on the road with its new active gas pedal, which the company believes can decrease fuel consumption by 7 percent.

Of course, creating a smart gas pedal is a complicated endeavor. By connecting to a vehicle’s various electronic systems, it can use haptic feedback (Bosch mentions vibration, knocking and variable pedal resistance) to tell the driver when to shift, when to cut back on wasteful acceleration and even when a hybrid vehicle is about to switch from electric- to gas-based propulsion.

While going green is a big part of this new pedal, there’s also a safety angle to it. Not only can the pedal be linked to active safety systems like forward collision warning or parking sensors, but it could also connect to the navigation system to prevent drivers from taking corners with too much chutzpah. And once vehicle-to-vehicle technology becomes common, the pedal can be used to warn drivers of upcoming hazards like potholes or stopped vehicles.

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Go there and ponder. More next week.

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Most Diesel Engines Will Switch To Natural Gas – It is cheaper and cleaner

This has been so needed for so long. America pivots from gasoline to natural gas. When will we get over that to something that makes sense?

http://www.chron.com/business/article/Natural-gas-wins-place-as-oil-field-fuel-3900742.php

Natural gas wins place as oil field fuel

By Zain Shauk | Thursday, September 27, 2012

The biggest, baddest engines in the world, long chained to diesel fuel, are on the verge of a mass transformation because of cheap natural gas – with oil field equipment holding particular potential, executives said Thursday during a summit of heavy fuel users and producers.

“Here’s the first reason that large engines are going gas,” said JoelFeucht, director of gas engine strategy for Caterpillar’s energy and power systems division. “Large engines burn the most fuel. I could try to make it harder, but that’s pretty straightforward.”

Oil companies alone use nearly 1.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year just for pressure pumping equipment that supports hydraulic fracturing, said David Hill, vice president of natural gas economy operations for Encana Corp. Adding the diesel used to power drilling rigs themselves, the total is more than 2.8 billion gallons annually, said Pierce Dehring, a project engineer for Baker Hughes.

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Electric Refueling In California – New fuels spreading all along the highway

And it is not just Tesla who is getting into the game. Tomorrow I will post about natural gas refueling stations in Northern Florida. This could be the wave of the future. A battle between electricity and natural gas.

http://peakoil.com/consumption/tesla-motors-launches-revolutionary-supercharger-enabling-convenient-long-distance-driving/

Page added on September 25, 2012

Tesla Motors Launches Revolutionary Supercharger Enabling Convenient Long Distance Driving

Tesla Motors( NASDAQ : TSLA ) today unveiled its highly anticipated Supercharger network. Constructed in secret, Tesla revealed the locations of the first six Supercharger stations, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona.

The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost. The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners1 free long distance travel indefinitely.

Each solar power system is designed to generate more energy from the sun over the course of a year than is consumed by Tesla vehicles using the Supercharger. This results in a slight net positive transfer of sunlight generated power back to the electricity grid. In addition to lowering the cost of electricity, this addresses a commonly held misunderstanding that charging an electric car simply pushes carbon emissions to the power plant. The Supercharger system will always generate more power from sunlight than Model S customers use for driving. By adding even a small solar system at their home, electric car owners can extend this same principle to local city driving too.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Mitt Romney’s Energy Policy – I put this off as long as I could

4 years ago at one point there were 17 candidates and I did something insane. I looked at all their energy policies. For over a half month I babbled on about “this, that or the other” white paper. Now as an older blogger, I did not even bother. What would be the difference between Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum’s energy policies. What, Newt wants to find energy on the moon his first year in office. And once it was all over, what is one to say about a guy that says he is for coal. But anyway, here is the Richie Rich’s energy policy proposals.

http://www.mittromney.com/issues/energy

Mitt’s Plan

As president, Mitt Romney will make every effort to safeguard the environment, but he will be mindful at every step of also protecting the jobs of American workers. This will require putting conservative principles into action.

Significant Regulatory Reform

The first step will be a rational and streamlined approach to regulation, which would facilitate rapid progress in the development of our domestic reserves of oil and natural gas and allow for further investment in nuclear power.

  • Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
  • Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
  • Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
  • Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
  • Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
  • Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor designs
  • Streamline NRC processes to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors on or adjacent to approved sites, using approved designs, are complete within two years

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Go there and read…if you can stomach it. More tomorrow.

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The Drought And Ethanol – While the EPA has some control, not as much as some think

The real problems with all the “stop turning corn into liquid fuel” noise in the press is that the EPA only has the authority to wave some of it. The rest of the authority belongs to the Clean Air Act and in this respect ethanol is one of the best oxygenators for the fuel which cuts smog and ozone. Added to that ethanol is a cheaper oxygenator by about a buck a gallon so I doubt seriously if the gasoline refiners will give it up. Bottom line is it is a great way to pander to growers and livestock people who have been abandoned by the House of Representatives who could not get a Farm Bill passed. But is not going to free up a lot of corn and even then it will be expensive.

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Oil/6585987

Texas governor asks US waive ethanol mandate on drought impact

Washington (Platts)–24Aug2012/136 pm EDT/1736 GMT

Texas Governor Rick Perry on Friday asked the US Environmental Protection Agency to waive its ethanol mandate as a severe drought shrivels this fall’s expected corn harvest.

His petition marked the fifth state to formally ask EPA to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard’s requirement for blending corn-based ethanol into gasoline supplies for 2012 and 2013.

It comes four years after EPA rejected a similar request by Perry. He said the ramifications of this year’s drought could be worse than the conditions he cited in the 2008 petition.

“The forecasts are dire, as crop yield and overall productions are projected to be lower than anticipated,” Perry said in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, adding that ethanol production and the corn market have changed considerably since 2008.

“Requirements for ethanol derived from corn starch have increased more than 60%; meanwhile, domestic corn production in 2012 will be less than in 2008, perhaps substantially so,” he added. “In the past two years, more corn has been devoted to ethanol production than used for feed grain.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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When BP Messes Up They Do It Big – But bad gasoline that is crazy

First they destroy the Gulf of Mexico and now they are after your car. When these things happen, they always appear clueless. Really.

I was going to write about the drought today again, but there are some stories that you can not pass up.

http://consumerist.com/2012/08/bps-bad-gas-made-it-into-200-stations-in-chicago-area-affecting-at-least-7000-customers.html

BP’s Bad Gas Made It Into 200 Stations In Chicago Area, Affecting At Least 7,000 Customers

By on August 23, 2012 10:00 AM

Since the news hit this week that tainted gas from a BP fuel storage facility in northwest Indiana could be causing drivers to have problems with their vehicles, it seems BP had to scramble a bit to get a gauge on how bad the situation is. The company has churned out a few press releases in the last few days, and has now alerted customers and the media that about 200 retail gas outlets in Indiana and the Chicago area had a case of bad gas.

In the first few hours after the tale of bad gas spread, customers were having a hard time getting an actual BP representative on the phone, much less someone who would have the skill to address the situation. We must say since that point, the company has been trying to get a better handle on the tainted gas, as well as launching a web site for consumers with issues.

In the latest statement from a company spokesman, BP handed down the numbers of 200 retail outlets that were supplied with off-specification regular-grade gasoline, aka the stuff you’d likely fill up with, as well as 20 sites in the Milwaukee area:

The company continues to go through its shipping records and is contacting retailers who may have loaded tanker trucks with the off-specification fuel and is replacing it with on-specification product.

This fuel, sourced from BP’s Whiting, Indiana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin gasoline storage terminals, contained a higher than normal level of polymeric residue, which can lead to hard starting and other drivability issues.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Refineries Shut Down All Over The Country – Is this a coincidence

Come on. 4 refineries in a 4 state region are effected at the same times by “disasters” that would be easy to contrive. In 2 of the biggest markets in the country, the Great Lakes Region and California. Can that be an accident? Looks highly suspicious to me. One thing is for sure everybody is loving those rising gas prices besides the drivers and President Obama. Maybe that is what they are after, defeating Barack Obama and electing one of their own, Mittens Romney.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/fire-is-latest-pollution-1494592.html

Fire is latest pollution problem at Chevron plant

National / World News 12:06 p.m. Thursday, August 9, 2012

By JASON DEAREN

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A massive Chevron oil refinery fire that sent hundreds of people rushing to hospitals and is pushing West Coast gas prices higher was just the latest pollution incident at the facility that records show has increasingly violated air quality rules over the past five years.

The refinery is one of three such facilities near San Francisco that rank among the state’s top 10 emitters of toxic chemicals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory.

Chevron’s Richmond refinery — the scene of Monday’s fire that shrouded the area in black smoke — has been cited by San Francisco Bay area regulators for violating air regulations 93 times in the past five years.

The number has increased from 15 violations in 2007 to 23 in both 2010 and 2011. The refinery is also the state’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, according to state regulators.

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Go there and read. State Fair starts today so I may be gone  for a couple of days. More tomorrow.

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Cool Green Cars – I haven’t done any car posts this year

I usually do a series of car posts every year, and maybe this is the time to do it. I know starting on a Friday is kind of obtuse but heh it gives me a couple of days to look at cools sites and cars before I do another post. These are hybrids but the real moves have been in all electric.

Five Hybrid Concept Cars We REALLY Want To Drive

Jun 22, 2012

Every now and then, we allow our thoughts to drift here at GreenCarReports.

Naturally, we’re thinking forward rather than back, and often to the cars we might be driving around in five or ten years time.

We’ve compiled a list of five concept cars seen at auto shows over the last year or so. All are hybrids, and all showcase exciting new visions of styling and technology that could well hit the roads in the near future.

Hyundai i-Oniq

Given the meteoric rise of Korean brands Hyundai and Kia over the last few decades, it’s only right that they should play a part in our future too. The i-Oniq concept car, revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show back in March, is a sleek, two-door range-extended hybrid.

Though the styling evokes images of a huge engine under the hood, the concept uses a tiny 1.0-liter 3-cylinder unit, supplying power to a 107-horsepower electric motor when its 75-mile battery range is depleted. We’re pretty confident that 75 miles would cover most of our day-to-day driving, but that little gasoline engine would provide a useful extra 360 miles.

And you know what? It looks pretty good too.

 

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That is one of 5. Go there and read. Pretty pictures too. More next week.

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