Diesel engines as well as heavy machinery and equipment are considered to produce high levels of carbon and green house gases. When combustion from these engines is combined with air it produces a heavy particulate that turns into black soot.
Carbon dioxide is a secondary source of pollution generated from the catalytic combustion of gasoline engines. The burning of gasoline is our biggest enemy when it comes to fighting green house gases, and reducing our carbon footprint.
The County of Santa Clara reports, “out of 1,636 vehicles in the County fleet, 188 are alternative fuel vehicles representing eleven percent of the fleet.” The amount of miles used by county employees is an outstanding 2,205,306 miles in 2010 with a increase of 3,255,455 miles already driven by employees in 2011.
The City of San Jose’s Green Fleet Policy 5.2.0 “include both vehicles and heavy equipment, in a manner that minimizes greenhouse gas emissions and considers life-cycle economics.” However the City of San Jose has an outdated fleet vehicles “on average 15 years old, at least 10 years beyond the manufacturer’s warranty period.” Under the new Green Fleet Policy the City has purchased “41% of San José’s public fleet powered with alternative fuels.”
The Republican Party recently introduced new legislation under H.R. 2250; the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011. If the bill would have passed, new regulation would have cost Cities and Waste Energy Companies billions needed to reduce regulatory levels of pollutants. According to the Committee on Energy and Commerce regulating incineration under Clean Air Act Section 129 detailed in a report, “Emissions standards set by the Administrator in the new rules must be achievable in practice.”
Under the CAA77 , enforcement under the act should represent the public interest and not cause a potential conflict with other regulatory agencies. This allows other agencies to assert their own controls over emission levels. The Cal/EPA along with other regulatory agencies help influence the reduction of pollution emitted by commercial fleets as well as private transportation industries.
The US/EPA reports, “fleetwide average in-use fuel economy of 21.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for passenger cars and 17.2 mpg for light trucks” can produce anywhere from 575 pounds of Carbon Monoxide and 11,450 pounds of Carbon Dioxide or (CO²).
The Chevrolet Equinox produces 0.04grams per mile of NOx, and 2.1 gpm of CO, with fuel efficiency levels of more than 20 miles pre gallon using gasoline. The US/EPA has produced a list of vehicles that are the “smart elite” performers using ethanol and gasoline.
Trading in older vehicles for smarter green vehicles means that we can begin to do our part in reducing our own carbon footprint. By renewing city and county fleets with green vehicles, will also help reduce or total carbon footprint due to county and city wide costs associated with the purchase and use of gasoline. We should all do our part to help curb our carbon foot print and end our dependency on foreign oil.