Overall percentage of alternative fuel vehicles in the United States as a percentage of all vehicles sold nationally.
California Adopts New Regulation Ahead of Summit
Published Monday, April 27th, 2009
Governor Schwarzenegger’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which calls for a 10% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, has been adopted by California’s Air Resources Board. According to the Board, the regulation aims to increase the market for alternative-fuel vehicles and achieve 16 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2020. This is a regulation under California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. The regulation means that fuel providers must prove that their California fuels meet an average declining standard of “Carbon Intensity.” Intensity is a figure related to the sum of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, transportation and consumption of a specific fuel. California’s regulation efforts have come under fire from those who claim the new regulation will indirectly affect land use changes that further inflate grain prices and reduce forests. This move comes ahead of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, to which President Obama has invited the 16 states with the highest emissions of greenhouse gases.
The total summary of on-road alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles has Ethanol (E85) far surpassing all other fuels, which have remained flat (Compressed Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas, and Hydrogen) or have reduced (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). The price of a bushel of wheat, a growing Alternative Fuel ingredient, has skyrocketed from $3.42 in 2005 to $6.65 in 2007. A bushel of corn, the main ingredient in ethanol, has also doubled from $2.00 in 2005 to $4.00 in 2007.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles Main Issue for Detroit
Published Monday, December 1st, 2008
After being turned down last month, today is the day that lawmakers hear the Big 3’s bailout proposal to congress that deals with the many issues confronting Congress and the Nation. Some of those issues are the advancement of alternative fuel for the environment, high mileage vehicles to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and engineering excellence to increase product endurance. These issues are also the focus of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act which gave the Department of Energy the money and mandate to retool and refocus the auto industry to meet new standards such as 35 MPG, which would increase overall fuel efficiency by 40%.
Data regarding U.S. vehicle performance suggest that Americans are driving nearly 2000 miles more and the average consumption of gasoline has remained steady for the last 38 years. This points to the higher Miles Per Gallon ratings for new cars and trucks. yet, the Department of Energy’s data states that the average MPG has not risen as dramatically as we might think. In 38 years, there has been a gradual 6-10 mile per gallon increase in MPG rating for all personnel vehicles, the average today is 26.7mpg. To tackle the issues above, automakers have increased the percentage of alternative and high mileage vehicles made in the US from 2.9% in 1995 to 13.1% in 2006.
Auto Makers Look for Aid Too
Published Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
As reported, with the Federal Bailout of Wall St. came a the passage of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, a program headed by the Department of the Treasury, through the new Office of Financial Stability. There is precedent in calling for these types of bailouts: in 1930’s, the Reconstruction Finance Cooperation bought $1.3 Billion ($200 Billion in current dollars) in the stock of 6,000 banks, recouping only the same as was invested. In 1984, the government bought 80% of Continental Illinois Bank and Trust, now Bank of America; in the end, the government lost $1 Billion.
Now that the banks have their bailout, other industries teetering on collapse are calling for assistance. The Detroit 3, for instance, are nearing critical velocity as their stock plummets from GM’s $80 in 2000 to near $3 presently. Democrats are pushing for an additional bailout for the big 3, but not without strong conditions such as building more efficient cars and equity stakes to recoup the investment. By changing the mandate of Detroit — to more efficient cars such as those of Nissan, Toyota, and Honda who are all faring the economic climate well — they hope to revitalize the industry and keep jobs here in the US. With the industry already losing money, marketshare, and jobs, GM’s next step will take out 30% or 1,900 of the company’s saleried North American workforce. In total, the motor vehicle manufacturing sector has lost nearly 131,500 jobs from October 2007 to present.
U.S. Fuel Economy: Vehicles - http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/current.shtml
Alternative fuels are derived from resources other than petroleum. Some are produced domestically, reducing our dependence on imported oil, and some are derived from renewable sources. Often, they produce less pollution than gasoline or diesel.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy - http://www.eere.energy.gov/
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