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AP/ABC Concede Green Not So Green

December 17, 2014

from AP via ABC

“It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline” for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean … are not better than gasoline.”

The key is where the source of the electricity all-electric cars. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity, according to the study that is published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They also are significantly worse at heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming, it found.

The study finds all-electric vehicles cause 86 percent more deaths from air pollution than do cars powered by regular gasoline. Coal produces 39 percent of the country’s electricity, according to the Department of Energy.

This is not news for most of us, but, in this era of ‘hands up don’t shoot’ and ‘cash for clunkers*’, that there is a chasm between perception and reality.

We line our trash cans with ‘repurposed’ bags from the grocery store and my 2005 Ford Focus has avoided landfills for ten years while getting 30 mpg from ‘coal free’ energy sources.

* According to the GAO Cash for Clunkers added 677,842 automobiles to our nation’s landfills by requiring the destruction of functional ‘clunkers’.

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