Skip to comments.Mercury News editorial: Thank California for new U.S. fuel standards
Posted on 07/31/2011 10:08:00 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
When President Barack Obama announced an agreement to double fuel-economy requirements Friday, standing with him were industry executives and environmental, public health and labor leaders, all of whom, remarkably, had signed off on the deal.
But the real credit for this historic achievement, which is expected to cut oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day and eliminate half of all carbon pollution nationwide, doesn't go to the White House.
Instead, thank California.
For decades the state has set the nation's clean-energy agenda; it's been the tip of the spear in the fight for higher fuel standards. Its huge automobile market is a key reason carmakers -- which prefer one national standard -- finally dropped their opposition to a federal increase last year and agreed to a less ambitious deal than the one announced last week. ..
The suits failed, and Obama's Environmental Protection Agency granted California a waiver to enforce its own standards. That's when the carmakers gave in.
So it was great to see Mary Nichols, the head of the California Air Resources Board, sharing the stage with Obama. Nichols was a key player in talks leading to this new agreement, which requires fleets to average 54.5 mpg by 2025, up from the current 27 mpg.
The taxpayer bailout of Detroit also pushed the industry to come around, but we wouldn't be here without California's leadership -- and not just on fuel economy.
As far back as the 1970s, the state adopted rules for refrigerators that the rest of the nation followed. These appliances now have more features but use one-quarter of the energy they did then. Per-capita energy usage has remained steady in California for three decades while rising 40 percent in the rest of the nation.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
I’m just getting a little tired of the let’s-bash-Californians schtick. (Especially ironic when posted on a site based in California, founded by Californians, and maintained by Californians.)
California’s problems aren’t caused by people who are from here. The imports from other States are the problem. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked into some dweeb in the news who’s bringing more embarrassment to the State and found that they’re just another illegal from Wisconsin or New York or some other place my ancestors left. Before I found that link to Mary Nichols’ bio, I really had no idea where she was from. I just made a guess that she’s another illegal from some other State. And sure enough, I was right; another troublemaker from “Back East” who’s come out here to ruin my State.
yes, but totally no power, couldn’t even make it to 60 mph, and an instrument panel crude almost to an extreme. No thanks.
Have one of those now (53mpg city/65mpg hwy). But I'm riding around in a go-cart-like environment, unwilling to take my hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road, even momentarily, for fear of loss of control due to a wind shadow, a passing truck or a groove in the road surface. Also just lost my HOV privileges because the 12 year old technology doesn't meet ULEV-2. All 3 on-board computers and the IMA system are now out of warranty which will cost me close to $7K, out of pocket, to replace.
” There is simply no reason for CARB to even exist any more. They are a duplication of EPA.”
They’re actually significantly worse than the EPA because they have a state government that’s run by the sierra club, greenpeace and earth first giving CARB ever more power.
“Mercury News editorial: Thank California for new U.S. fuel standards”
“Thank” was not the word I was thinking of.
“soon a really radical design called homogeneous combustion compression-ignition ... 50 mpg”
I looked that up. The HCCI concept achieves its efficiency exactly as the diesel does: by a higher compression ratio.
So why should we use HCCI rather than just use diesels? HCCI engines, like diesels, need to be built stronger and heavier than the spark-ignition engines.
I really think it is time to place a big ol’ tax on newsprint. For the environment of course.
Where have you been?
We have been kowtowing to CARB (California Air Resources Board) Standards since the early 1990’s.
I saw a 1.5L turbo VW get 79mpg..on Top Gear.
Of course it was running about 35 mph on the European expressways.
But I've read a few things on HCCI and one thing they're considering is using aerospace-quality ceramics for the hottest parts of an HCCI engine, namely the piston and piston liner. That way, you don't need an over-heavy engine block.
Anyway, I still remember in the early 1980's when sophisticated engine computers, four-valve per cylinder valvetrains, and port fuel injection were "pie in the sky" ideas that everyone thought were engine improvements with diminishing returns. Today, practically every NEW car has engines sophisticated engine computers, port fuel injection, four-valve per cylinder valvetrains and even variable valve timing (indeed, my 1998 Honda Civic HX coupe has all four of these technologies!). I expect the HCCI--which may cut fuel consumption 20% or more compared to today's engines--to be widely available by 2015-2016 time frame.
By the way, one big advantage of HCCI over a diesel engine is the fact cleaning up the exhaust emissions is much easier, since you don't have to deal with elevated NOx levels and diesel particulates, both of which can be quite expensive to remove in the exhaust stream.
Of course, if you're talking the original BBC Top Gear show, that's just under 66 miles per US gallon.
By the way, one thing I want to see--hello, Car and Driver!--is to take a Ford Fiesta ECOnetic and a Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion super-efficient models sold in Europe and subject it to the EPA 2008 fuel economy test. I'll bet even money that the fuel economy results will be disappointing compared to the European test results, since the EPA 2008 test is much more "real world" than the fuel economy tests done in Europe and Japan.
Thanks, been trying to think of the name of the VW.
From the name I presumed Bluetec technology was involved. Apparently not.
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