President Bush told a business group last Wednesday (April 27, 2005) that anti-pollution measures for diesel “will remove more than 90 percent of the sulfur in diesel fuel by 2010.” He also announced plans to provide similar tax credits to those already in place for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles for consumers who purchase light-duty clean diesel cars and trucks.
The President went on to say, “Clean diesel technology will allow consumers to travel much farther on each gallon of fuel, without the smoke and pollution of past diesel engines.” Those statements prove that President Bush “gets it” and hasn’t been snowed by the media machine’s hype that hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars are going to save the world.
Understanding diesel is the only viable short-term solution to less dependence on foreign oil. President Bush’s tax incentives are right on the money and should stimulate consumer interest and spark sales of new clean diesels.
To top it off, the following day, a group of clean diesel proponents held a “Clean Diesel Drive” at the United States Senate in Washington D.C. The drive was sponsored by Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) and Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Co-chairs of the Senate Auto Caucus in association with the Diesel Technology Forum. (http://www.dieselforum.com)
As Allen Schaeffer of the Diesel Technology Forum offered to drivers of these vehicles, “…today’s diesel cars, trucks and SUVs are clean, quiet and fun to drive. They offer a unique balance of power, performance, utility and economy that is unmatched by any other powertrain available today.”
Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy were on hand as well as reps from General Motors, Robert Bosch Corporation, DaimlerChrysler, Delphi Ford Motor Company, and Volkswagen of America.
Clean diesel vehicles from Europe, including a Chrysler minivan, Jaguar luxury and sport sedans, and several Ford Focus C-MAXs, as well as U.S.-spec diesels, including a Jeep Liberty CRD, a Volkswagen Passat and a Mercedes E320 CDI sedan were available for the senators and staffers to drive. The Mercedes E320 CDI is capable of 780 miles on one tankful of diesel! That’s a lot of rides around Washington D.C.
As a final note, it is rumored that President Bush drives a Ford Power Stroke turbodiesel pickup truck on his ranch in Texas. Of course, he does…he gets it.