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April 03, 2005

Ask your Senators to support Clean Cars for Washington

One of the most important environmental bills in this year's legislature is the Clean Cars Bill (ESHB1397), which will require all new cars sold in Washington after 2008 to emit less toxic air pollution, thus saving money on fuel costs [adds up pretty fast at $2.50 a gallon --Ed.] and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  Not to mention the health benefits of breathing cleaner air.

The bill passed the House on March 17, and is about to go on the Senate floor for a vote.  Now is the time when your Senators need to hear from you -- and the helpful folks at Climate Solutions have made it easy by putting up a quick online contact form that will match you up to your State Senators.  [Don't worry, sometimes I forget who mine are, too! -- Ed.]

http://cleancars.actionstudio.org/?go=1002

Posted by Jon Stahl on April 3, 2005 at 04:39 PM in Policy | Permalink

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I'm sorry to have to inform you of this, John, but you are absolutely incorrect on your point about 'Lower Emissions Meaning Better Gas Mileage'

I don't know how much you may have studied about 'Engine Theory' in regards to the internal combustion piston engine, so let me make it really simple:

A car engine is a big air pump which uses gasoline for ignition so as to pump the air through the engine. The more air you can pump through, the more power you create. It is an inefficient design, but is still the most common of the power plants due to its low cost of manufacture.

Now, when you slap a bunch of add-ons to the air pump so as to control the dirt that comes out of the exhaust, you systematically make it harder for the engine to work, thereby using more gasoline in the process.

Catalytic converters, exhaust recirculation and vacuum systems bog an engine down in its efficiency, making it need more fuel to do the same job. Which is why, in the early 70’s when all the Muscle Cars sales figures started dropping like flies due to their horsepower decreases. Detroit could not make the engine create the power it used to and still meet the emissions standards, so they cut the output to meet the standards or switched to smaller engines (and millions of gearheads voided their warranties in removing all that crap to get their power back).

That was, until the invention of an electronic fuel injection design.

A conventional carburetor pumps in a stream of gasoline from the fuel lines. The fuel then rolls down the intake manifold chambers and gets sucked into the piston chambers via the vacuum power of the piston being pulled down in the cylinder as the intake valve opens. During the rest of the process the gasoline and air mix is ignited and the exhaust is pushed out of the cylinder through the exhaust valve, and the whole process starts over again.

With injector technology, a smaller amount of gasoline in mist form is shot into the cylinder at the appropriate time but makes the same amount of explosive power due to it being nearly a gas instead of a liquid.

This is what gives us the better gas mileage even with all of the added emissions equipment on the engine.

Also, the invention of better fuel refining methods as well as additives to make the fuel cleaner before it enters the gas tank have given us the better mileage and emissions output.

Not the other way around as you stated.

The problem of legislating increased vehicle emissions standards is that there is, so far as is stated in the legislation you are pushing, no actual method or listing of required technology for how the car maker is to get the cars to run at these standards.

The R&D; could take weeks, months or years to develop, test and implement, but the environmentalist lobby doesn’t care, they want it. They also don’t care that it will raise the cost of the vehicle, making a new or newer vehicle harder for those on the lower end of the scale to buy.

It is basically like telling an eight year old to find the square root of 86 in the next 30 minutes or you are going to spank him/her. The knowledge is easy enough to find out if you left the child an internet connection, but he/she will have to find the knowledge, teach it to itself and then give you your answer.

If the environmentalist lobby wants better emission standards, maybe they should get off their asses and do the R&D; themselves before demanding something that doesn’t exist.

And stop being ignorant of the item they are trying to legislate would be nice too. No more of this “We’re going to make cars run cleaner so that our gas mileage will go up” crap like what you posted.

Posted by: AnalogKid | Apr 4, 2005 5:36:27 AM

Whew, I don't know what planet you beamed in from there, bud, but you could start by spelling my name right. It's J-o-n. No "h."

Washington's Clean Car legislation is simply going to adopt the California's practical, best-in-the-nation standards. And one way that manufacturers meet those standards in California is to offer cars that get better gas mileage.

So it's not unreasonable to think that improved emissions standards here in Washington will lead to better gas mileage vehicles in our auto showrooms.

Your (fascintaing) treatise on engine theory notwithstanding.

Posted by: Jon Stahl | Apr 5, 2005 12:25:02 AM

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ask your Senators to support Clean Cars for Washington:

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» My biggest problem with the enviro lobby from Random Nuclear Strikes
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