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Thursday, July 8, 2010

America’s Highest Pollution Vehicles

America’s Highest Pollution Vehicles

Everyone wants to breathe fresh air and seeks to reduce air pollution.  And, according to government statistics, we have made great progress over the past 50 years in doing so.  The air is cleaner over America’s cities and towns than ever before and the engineers who helped achieve this through the design and construction of automobiles with low pollution exhausts are to be greatly commended.
Automobiles emit NO3 (nitrous trioxide) during acceleration, which is a pollutant.  This happens primarily when inadequate highways cause stop and go traffic.  More and better highways will reduce automobile pollution even further.  Frankly the construction of bigger, better highways that have both limited access and that provide unrestricted use will lower pollution from this source even further.
CO2 (carbon dioxide), also emitted by autos, is not a pollutant.  Although it was designated as such by the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no scientific basis for such a classification.  You and I exhale CO2, as do animals.  Trees and plants depend on CO2 to survive and grow.  It seems apparent that CO2 was classified as a pollutant simply a means to gain more power for the politicians over your life and mine.
As a sidebar, Climategate has exposed the so-called “hocky stick” graph as a fraud.  The graph purported to show an above average increase in planet temperatures coincident with the advent of the industrial age.  We now know that the numbers were fudged to intentionally create this misleading graph.  In fact, there are no objective scientific studies showing any significant increase in planet temperatures with the onset of the industrial age.  Accordingly we can now place belief in “global warming” into the same category as those who believed that the earth was flat.  For more information on this go to, to read a petition signed by more than 30,000 American engineers and scientists.  I’ll take the word of real scientists and engineers over political scientists any day.
Why then, I wonder, are we taking a big step backward in the battle against air pollution?  After the automobile, the largest source of pollution (according to the decidedly left wing Union of Concerned Scientists) is America’s coal fired electric plants.  The UOCS states on their website that coal fired power plants generate 54% of America’s electricity and are our number one polluter.  Setting aside the fact that the UOCS may intentionally overstate numbers due to their political bias, let’s assume for the moment that their numbers are accurate.  If so, it would seem to me that our goal should be to limit the use of electrical power for transportation purposes.  Duh!
So why then do our liberal friends support the use of mass transit and electric cars that derive all their power from electricity?  We already know that 54% of all our electricity comes from coal fire plants, so won’t the use of more electricity to power mass transportation and to power electric automobiles simply increase pollution?
Contrary to the propaganda, electric cars will generate far, far more pollution than any other existing automobile on the road.  It’s a fact.  How can anyone deny it?  The electricity they use will come primarily from coal fired plants.
Similarly, electric motors that drive mass transportation will also put tons of pollutants into the air since they too derive their power primarily from coal fired electric plants. 
While electric cars and mass transportation are hailed as pollution free, it’s simply untrue.  They will, in fact, receive their power from the highest polluting source in the nation, America’s coal fired plants.
Liberals may suggest that getting our electricity from coal fired power plants will soon come to an end by moving to renewable power sources.  But generating all our power from wind, waves, and the sun is, from a realistic engineering perspective, simply pie in the sky.  We can, at most, generate 20% of our electricity from these sources.  And even that will not happen overnight.  Germany has already abandoned its goal of generating 35% of its electrical needs from renewable sources.  It’s a mirage, not a real solution.
While we may achieve a breakthrough in reducing pollution from coal fired electrical generation, we can’t count on it.  But we will continue to depend on it for the near future.  Politicians and political scientists seem to think that they can legislate scientific advances.  They can’t.  When they interfere with the market place they only make matters worse.
Their next gimmick is a carbon tax.  It sounds clever, fair, and even scientific, but it’s a scam.  A carbon tax will dramatically drive up the cost of electricity and gasoline for every American.  So much for the President’s promise not to tax anyone who makes less than $250,000 a year.  A carbon tax will be a crushing blow to every American family and to our economy in general.  It will result in European style gasoline taxes of $7 to $10 per gallon.  It will be an especially devastating tax on anyone who commutes to work and it will be a financial back-breaker for young married couples who are just getting by under an already oppressive tax system.
Just as Obamacare will mean the rationing of health care services for all Americans along with less quality, less innovation, and less freedom, a carbon tax will result in higher taxes, smaller and more dangerous cars, and less freedom.
Electric cars are not a solution, they will only make air pollution worse. 
Neither is mass transportation a solution, it too will exacerbate air pollution.
Gasoline taxes (both state and federal) up until the 1970s were dedicated exclusively to highway repair and construction.  The highway trust funds provided adequate funds to make sure bridges did not collapse, that highways were maintained, and that the necessary funding was available for highway construction.  When politicians’ greed for more tax dollars overcame their common sense, the highway trust funds were busted and now the gasoline taxes you and I pay are used for general funds. 
There are three things we can do to improve transportation and increase individual freedom:
1.  Re-establish the federal and state gasoline trust funds to solve congestion and thus reduce pollution. 
2.  Drill for domestic oil in known oil reserves in Alaska, South Dakota, and numerous other states to create energy independence, reduce the price of gasoline, and thereby benefit hard working American families. 
3.  Construct nuclear power plants to further reduce pollution and make America energy independent. 
Nuclear power would also justify and encourage the building of non-government subsidized electric cars that truly would not be polluters.  And a halt in construction of taxpayer subsidized mass transportation would be a shot in the arm for an economy impaired and inhibited by government intervention.
So the next time someone hails electric cars and mass transportation as pollution free, gently and persuasively tell them the truth.  Point them to real science and to market place solutions that mean more freedom and more prosperity for every American.

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