Vehicles that run on gasoline and diesel are negatively affecting the environment on a daily basis. It is time to move away from harmful fuels and make the switch to a more ecological option. A full transition to the use of alternative fuels will help pave a path towards a healthier environment. The fate of California’s future is in the hands of all it’s citizens and its best to act fast. For that reason, all vehicles sold in the State of California should be required to run on alternative fuels. This action will allow for a reduction of pollution, support for farmers that produce biofuel crops, a renewable source that can replace gasoline, promotion of reusing and recycling, and will help people save money.
To begin, requiring vehicles to run on alternative fuels will help diminish toxic emissions and noise pollution. For instance, “...the Mercedes A-class car and the Toyota RAV4, use methanol to produce the hydrogen for their fuel cells. Both cars consume much less fuel than standard gasoline-powered cars…” (Cooper, pg. 972). In other words, vehicles that run on hydrogen are environmentally cleaner since they only emit water in the form of vapor and use less fuel. Also, according to Cooper, if regular gas vehicles keep being used, they will only continue to add to noise pollution while hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can potentially diminish this problem, as well as about 11 million barrels of oil daily by 2040 (Cooper, pg. 177). Hydrogen fuel cells are just one type of alternative fuel that can be used; there are several other ones that can be utilized which will still have a better output in terms of pollution and efficiency. As a result, one form of alternative fuel that people can use is hydrogen fuel cell vehicles since they reduce pollution.
Following pollution reduction, alternative fuels can also help support farmer’s businesses. An example of this, is biofuels made from corn since it “... has enormous appeal for growers and processors because it gives them a role in debates over energy policy and national security and allows them to make the case that their product is essential to achieving energy independence…” (Bettelheim, p. 799). Otherwise speaking, farmers have the opportunity to illustrate that other sources of energy are not needed if they can grow crops for biofuels. Farmers can grow other crops such as shrub trees, algae and soybeans for the production of biofuels (Schmidt, pg. A91). These are just a few options for crops that can be grown which means farmers are not limited to a single type of crop. Ultimately, farmers will be able to make good profit as well have choices from the type of crop needed to grow based off of the biofuel demand.
Furthermore, gasoline is not a renewable source, so it eventually has to be replaced; this is a chance for alternative fuels to be that solution. According to Inman, due to depleting oil and gas reserves, companies are looking towards resources such as tar sands which in turn are more difficult to extract from at the source (Inman, pg. 59). Since reserves are being exhausted, alternative fuels are a great solution because they are renewable and are able to be chosen in various types. On top of that, gasoline is a continuing distress because of “... petroleum price volatility…,” as well as “... the energy crisis of the 1970s and ensuing military conflicts in the Middle East…”(Vedenov, Duffield, Wetzstein pg. 12). Simply put, gas prices can fluctuate randomly and dependence of reserves from the Middle East can cause chaos in terms of war. Subsequently, it is important to find a replacement for gasoline because the reserve sources are not going to last forever.
Recycling and Reusing Oils and Fats
Moreover, alternative fuels help promote reusing and recycling. For instance, fuels including “... biogas, or methane, can be produced on farms from the decomposition of animal wastes, and that hydrogen could power cars…” (Bettelheim, pg. 797). Specifically, alternative fuels such as biogas and methane can be made from animal waste which means that waste is being recycled and reused to power vehicles. In addition, as reported by Cooper, one can use recycled cooking oils and animal fats to produce biodiesel (Cooper, pg. 185). This emphasizes how versatile alternative fuels can be because they can also be made from recycling and reusing oils and fats. Instead of having to throw away these resources, people will have a chance to make a difference even if it is just a small gesture. Overall, alternative fuel vehicles should be implemented because the fuels promote reusing and recycling.
Lastly, alternative fuels will help people save money in the long run. For example, fuels such as “...biodiesel acts as a lubricant in the ultra- low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuels now emerging to meet heightened pollu- tion standards in some states, protecting the en- gine against wear,” (Schmidt, A 89). Essentially, biodiesel is helping engines from long term damage which means people will save money on maintenance of their vehicles. On the other hand, pure biodiesel, or ”...B100 has strong solvent properties that liberate rust and other engine contami- nants, which plug filters and fuel injectors” (Schmidt, A 88). In other words, biodiesel can protect from decay blocks filters from functioning properly which is another plus for saving money on maintenance of vehicles. As a result, alternative fuels benefit the people since they help keep a vehicle’s engine in good shape for a longer period of time.
It does not make sense for California to continue producing and selling vehicles that run on traditional gasoline and diesel fuel. With depleting oil reserves, toxic emissions, complications with the Middle East, and environmentally harmful extraction methods, it’s time for a change. The technology for alternative fuel vehicles already exists, so there is no reason to make the switch. By implementing alternative fuel vehicles in California, other states or even countries around the world will begin to make the change as well. Hopefully people realize the dangers that will come with keeping gasoline vehicles and not acting on this situation.