Monday, December 1, 2008

Carbon Footprint Dupes Cap and Trade Proposal

Have you seen the carbon police? I am expecting them to show up at my door any day now wearing their grass green uniforms and carrying their stun guns.

Let me explain. I went online to a site that has one of the carbon footprint calculators where you put in the miles you drive and the average miles per gallon. I wanted to see what kind of carbon footprint I was leaving while driving my Powerstroke 1 ton dually. The calculator was on a power company web site, so I expect some bias on their part since they have to portray being green. Based on their carbon footprint calculator my carbon footprint is 194,000 lbs. Now I don't really know what that means, but it seems like it could be a lot of something piled up somewhere. My results had a big red flag attached to it, so 194,000 lbs of Co2 seems to be really bad. Feeling guilty I began thinking about LNG, Bio-diesel, burning fry oil, you know, alternative fuels. It's all about doing my part to go green.

I started thinking, maybe before I shutter the windows and bar the door from the carbon police, or make drastic changes to my vehicle or driving habits, I might look at some other web sites and do some more calculations. I searched and entered my same information into six different carbon footprint calculators and, you guessed it, no two returned anywhere near the same results. I went from a high of 260,000 lbs of Co2 all the way down to a low of 16,000 lbs of Co2.

There's obviously bias in both directions depending upon which web site you go to for calculations. But the differences I found can only mean that carbon footprint calculations and the cap and trade issue is going to become more of a money generator for the government than a precise instrument for the measurement of how our planet is doing. An article written by Ben Lieberman and posted on the Heritage Foundation web site at explains the economic downside to the proposed cap and trade program put forth by Senator Joe Lieberman on October 8, 2007 and cosponsored by 11 other senators across the nation. A similar bill was also proposed by Senator Barbara Boxer. Both bills are placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. All that really means is they are waiting for the new president to take office before the bills are brought up for vote. When you read the bill it appears that it pertains to (facilities) stationary structures. but if you read it closely it states that at the option of the administrator (the appointed head of the EPA) any fleet that emits 10,000 Co2 equivalents in any year can be considered a facility. As the bill reads now 1 Co2 equivalent equals 1 metric ton (2204 lbs).

My calculations were based on the 100,000 miles I drove during 2008 and the 12 miles per gallon average I got running both empty and loaded. Even though I am not in danger of a visit from the carbon police, I suspect once cap and trade is passed by our legislators in Washington some fleets can expect to start paying for their carbon footprint above predicted compliance levels.

It's coming, as sure as the sun sets on Washington, it's going to be another reason for money to be taken away from business and prices to go skyward.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Is Fuel Savings Part of Your Job?

Here is a link to an article written by one of our staff after a visit to a fleet. See if you agree that hiring the right people can reduce your fuel consumption. This was an interesting approach by a couple of folks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trucking Industry - Bend Over and Grab Your Ankles... again

We all agree that environmental conservation and even "global climate change" is a subject that warrants attention. But, depending upon who you want to believe, the pundits that say it's a hoax or the the environmental crowd that say we are doomed, the facts remain the same. Politicians are going green in their enthusiastic push to find ways to replace future falling revenues associated with fuel efficiency and alterntive fuels. Do you wonder why all the rhetoric when the phrase "carbon foot print" is thrown around? It's the latest buzz phrase that will allow politicians to push for other ways to tax energy use, and face it, the trucking industry is a big user of energy.

Let's be certain, cleaning the air, looking for alternative fuels, and working to improve fuel efficiency is important, however, when politicians get involved there can only be one result - more taxes in one form or another.

The EPA had its way with the latest technology to clean the air and the next round will create additional cost to running trucks. (We all have our opinions as to how fuel efficient the changes were in reality.) Don't fool yourself into thinking that politicians going "green" has very much to do with cleaning the air.

Get ready, that carbon foot print is going to show up on your backside real soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cold Weather Woes...

A spot check of truck dealers and engine compaines in the last few days has shown that the cold weather is taking its toll on utilization again this winter. Trucks of all year models are gelling up and creating backups at repair locations all across the north, from Maine to Montana. It's hard to determine how many of the gelled up trucks are the newer 07 models at this point.

Service departments are suggesting that truck operators use a fuel additive and carry an extra fuel filter, as well as plug in the block heater when parked. I would have to think that most fleets that operate in cold environments are already doing this. The real question is how much of the gelling is due to ULSD and the lack of effective anti-gelling products. It looks like another winter of unknown results is upon us.