Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Current Cars, New Standards

Winding Road asks a good question: Are we there yet?

Do Any Current Cars Meet the New CAFE Standard?
By Evan McCausland
Yes, we know CAFE standards measure the average fuel economy of all cars sold by a manufacturer in a given year. And yes, we’re also aware that the new magic 35 mpg figure is still two steps and about 12 years away.

Still, we started wondering - are there any cars currently on the market that could actually reach a combined EPA average of 35 mpg today? We hopped onto the EPA’s website to see what we could find.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sex Offender-Free

Interesting. As the article says, no one wants to stand up for sex offenders but I wonder how far the law can go?

Defensive Driving

By Gregory Zeller
Sex offenders need not apply at Lindy’s Transportation.

Through a partnership with Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center – that’s one organization – Islandia-based Lindy’s, one of Suffolk County’s busiest taxi companies, will no longer hire individuals appearing on the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service’s Sex Offender Registry.

In exchange for checking current and potential employees against the registry, and agreeing to perform annual checks of all employees, Lindy’s can place decals on its vehicles declaring the company sex-offender-free. It also earns the gratitude of Megan’s Law advocates, and the ire of civil libertarians.

Somewhere in between are employment lawyers, not eager to champion sex offenders but unable to deny the legal implications of any blanket policy that discriminates against a particular group – whether based on race, gender or even criminal history.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Up North

This sounds a little like pulling into the Huntingon LIRR station and being besieged by the Orange&White taxi drivers.
With one driver for every 62 residents, the Albanian and Korean cabbies drive circles around other towns. Well, it's just one circle: Only 10 miles of road are paved.
By Tomas Alex Tizon
Los Angeles Times
BETHEL, ALASKA -- Atiny, round-faced woman stands in a field of ice, a solitary figure in the tundra, waiting for a ride. From one hand dangles several plastic grocery bags. With her free hand, she flicks a finger as if inscribing a single scratch in the air, an almost imperceptible gesture.

A taxicab appears from a cloud of mist. It is an old, white Chevy, so splattered with mud there is hardly any white to see. On the roof glows a green sign that reads "Kusko."

"Hello, dear," the driver says.

"I'd like to go home," says Lucy Daniel, folding herself in the back seat among her bags.

Daniel, 65, a Yupik Eskimo who grew up riding dog sleds and paddling seal-skin kayaks along the Bering coast, now takes a cab everywhere she goes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Bit of Green in L.A.

L.A. Auto Show Suggests Automakers Finally Going Green
By Chuck Squatriglia

The Los Angeles Auto Show is the first big industry event of the season, and it's offering the strongest evidence yet that automakers are serious about going green. But many critics say it's just good PR.

The overall emphasis of the annual event is squarely on your typical SUVs and sedans, and there's the usual assortment of high-end exotics and luxury cars. But nearly everyone is also showcasing hybrid, electric or fuel-cell vehicles and vowing to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets. Some automakers say they'll have alternative fuel vehicles on the road within months, and one or two say they want to lead the industry beyond oil.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Sense of Suburbia

Hydrogen Is Far Away

It doesn't look as if we're going to be replacing the old gas guzzler with another fuel anytime soon, does it?

Hydrogen: the wave of the future, but how far down the road?
by Jean-Louis Santini
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States hopes to fill American roads with hydrogen-powered cars in two decades, but the clean fuel must be cheap and practical to make before it can replace oil, US experts say.

President George W. Bush unveiled a 1.2-billion-dollar initiative in 2003 to reverse US dependence on foreign oil and make hydrogen, which emits zero pollution, the fuel that drives the US economy.

"That was ambitious," said Timothy Wilkins, an attorney of the firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, based in Texas, who specializes in environmental and energy regulation.

"I think in a century hydrogen could fill a role like that, but not in 20 years," Wilkins told AFP, adding that the Bush administration was no longer as vocal about the plan as it used to be.

"To produce it like the gasoline scale, to get it in the vehicle fleet, fully integrated in the vehicle fleet and the infrastructure the fueling, stations ... it will take one century," he said.

While hydrogen has more energy power than oil, methanol and natural gas, its lightness makes it very difficult to stock and transport.

Universities, oil companies and automakers, as well as the US Energy Department, are investing in research to find better ways to produce hydrogen, most of which today is generated from non-renewable fossil fuels such as natural gas.

Pennsylvania State University researchers recently developed a method of producing hydrogen gas by combining electron-generating bacteria and a small electrical charge in a microbial fuel cell.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fuel Standards

yes, of course, it's all Nancy Pelosi's fault. Morons. H/t TPM

Court’s Fuel-Economy Ruling May Prod Congress to Set Even Higher Requirements

The New York Times
DETROIT, Nov. 16 — A ruling by a federal appeals court this week to throw out proposed fuel-economy standards is likely to accelerate efforts in Congress to set higher requirements for all vehicles, industry analysts said Friday.

Detroit auto companies had been lobbying to soften proposals for higher fuel economy, and the court ruling, which voided the Bush administration’s year-old standard for light trucks because it did not take pollution issues into account, represents an unexpected setback to that effort.