July 27, 2015
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(ANTIMEDIA) A pending bill in the California legislature, SB-350, intends to cut California’s gasoline consumption in half over the next 15 years. California Governor Jerry Brown supports this bill, arguing that fuel usage is a prime cause of global warming. In a recent interview with CBS Los Angeles, the governor said,
“We’ve got a serious problem here, Burning oil and gas and coal and diesel is a big part of the problem. We’ve got to find new bio-fuels. We have to be more efficient. We’ve got a lot to do. And by the way, if we do nothing, the cost is unimaginable.”
The energy industry is up in arms over his strategy because they stand to lose billions of dollars if Californians reduce their automotive energy consumption. Tupper Hull of the Western States Petroleum Association said,
“We think this is reckless legislation and one that people certainly need to be aware of because it’ll impact every single motorist in the state of California,” “What are they supposed to do to get to work? To get their kids to school?” asked Hull. “What is supposed to replace all of this gasoline and diesel that’s gonna be taken out of the system?”
While the governor expects massive resistance to the bill from the petroleum and gas industry, he also believes the bill will become law.
Should that happen, here is a how-to guide to reduce your gasoline consumption and your carbon footprint.
I was once a serious motor head. Between 2000 and 2012, I raced a Nissan 200SX SE-R in SCCA and NASA club racing events all over California. I also owned a 2005 and a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII and IX. I modified both of them and tuned their ECU (Engine Control Unit) to extract more horsepower and torque. I even had my own small business—Looney Tuning—where I tuned customer cars and race cars that went on to win championships in their respective classes.
Owning a race car also entailed owning a truck to tow the race car on a trailer. As such, I owned a 2002 Toyota Tundra. To top it all off, I owned a 2007 Honda S2000 convertible two-door sports car. None of the cars I owned had a combined MPG more than 23, according to fueleconomy.gov. I had a very hefty carbon footprint, as you can tell from the chart below.
Following the 2007-2009 Great Recession, I became aware that I had to change my ways. Slowly but surely, I did just that. First to go was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, followed by the race car, the Honda S2000, and finally the Toyota Tundra truck.
I replaced all of them with two cars, a 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI (Diesel) and a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV (Electric Vehicle). The Golf is for long commutes that involve more than 80 miles round trip while the Spark EV is for short trips.
The Golf TDI has averaged 45.8 MPG since I owned it, a huge improvement over the 22.3 mpg I was getting with the Lancer Evolution IX and the 26.91 mpg I received with the S2000. It also provides huge savings in fuel costs. The last time I filled my Golf, the cost of a gallon of diesel was $2.79 while the cost of a gallon of unleaded regular was $4.00.
The cars I owned consumed an average of 17.5 barrels of domestic and imported petroleum per year. By contrast, the cars I have today only consume an average of 11.4 barrels of domestic and imported petroleum per year.
In terms of CO2 emissions, the cars I had emitted an average of 472.5 grams of CO2 per mile while the cars I have today only emit 299 grams of CO2 per mile.
Sooner or later, we must all follow a similar route, especially if SB-350 passes. You can either begin the process now or wait until the last minute and play catch-up. Sadly, the planet can no longer wait. The change I enacted in my lifestyle has been very rewarding. I lowered my fuel consumption, reduced my carbon footprint, and saved considerable amounts of money in the process. Most importantly, I did my little part to help our ailing planet.
This article (California Wants to Cut Gasoline Consumption 50% Over the Next 15 Years) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Naji Dahi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naji Dahi joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in June of 2015. His topics of interest include American politics, Middle East politics, foreign policy, electric cars, electric gadgets, and yoga. Born in Syria, he currently resides in Long Beach, California. Learn more about Dahi here!