Lotus Rental Car Company and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Approximately three weeks ago California won a major victory in the fight to lessen greenhouse-gas emissions when voters defeated Proposition 23 — an effort to block the landmark AB 32 Emissions Law. This law, if passed, will call for a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 . In addition, just two weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a warning that two regions in California (having the worst air quality in the country) must submit proposals to significantly reduce emissions or risk losing federal highway funding.
California is essentially a nation-state with a population exceeding 37 million. With so many people packed into congested urban areas, the harmful effects of fossil fuels are magnified. These dangers include: the release of carcinogenic and toxic pollutants which have been proven to adversely affect the healthy growth and development of children in California; the release of the potent greenhouse gas carbon dioxide; the release of ozone which causes a myriad of lung health issues; and the release of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide which lead to headaches, decreased mental alertness, and lung irritation. By systematically replacing these harmful fuels with healthy, clean-burning alternative fuels such as natural gas, biodiesel, and ethanol, the state of California can dramatically improve air quality and public health.
California will certainly continue their quest for cleaner air; by adding a limited number of alternative fuel vehicles to the fleet of rental cars available through Lotus Rental Car Company in California, we will gain approval from the majority of consumers in that state. The benefits of alternative fuel vehicles far outweigh the handicaps for Californians:
The California Energy Commission is currently working with alternative fuel stakeholders to develop a more robust alternative fuels market.
Californians have been suffering health complaints as a result of poor air quality since 1943; the state passed its first air pollution control law in 1947. (staff, Key Events in the History of Air Quality in California, 2010)
Under the direction of the Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER), the California Energy Commission aims to significantly lower greenhouse-gas emissions through their Bioenergy Action Plan. This plan aims to achieve a 40% instate production of California Biofuel by 2020.
Most importantly, the California EPA Air Resources Board (ARB) has been working to improve California air quality since 1967. Their recognition of the benefits of promoting alternative fuel use has already led to significant improvements in California air quality:
In 1996, California’s Phase II Cleaner Burning Gasoline came to market; the introduction of this cleaner fuel reduced lung-damaging ozone and other airborne cancer-causing chemicals by 300 tons per day, equivalent to wiping more than three million cars California highways.
In 2004, the ARB adopted the nation’s first law requiring automakers to begin selling alternative fuel vehicles by 2009.
In 2006, “AB 1811 directed the ARB to develop a joint plan with the CA Energy Commission to spend $25 million to provide incentives for the use and production of alternative fuels.”
In 2008, the ARB celebrated 40 years of success in improving California air quality, despite a huge increase in the number of vehicles since 1968.
Clearly, the Lotus Rental Car Company would gain significant approval from consumers in the state of California by adding a limited yet growing number of alternative fuel vehicles to its California fleet.
Misemer, P. (2010, 10-12). NGV Technology Forum. Retrieved 11-21, 2010, from http://www1.eere.energy.gov: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/pdfs/ngvtf10_cec_pier_rpt.pdf
O’Leary, K. (2010, 08-06). California: Brown Puts Whitman on the Defensive over Greenhouse Gases. Retrieved 11-21, 2010, from Time.com: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2009013,00.html
Press, A. (2010, 11 8). EPA proposes nixing 2 air pollution plans. Retrieved 11-21, 2010, from ABC7.com: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/state&id=7772284
staff. (2010). Air Quality & Your Health. Retrieved 11-21, 2010, from www.slocleanair.org: http://www.slocleanair.org/air/aq-health.php staff. (2010). Alternative Fuel Vehicles / California Energy Commission. Retrieved 11-21, 2010, from consumerenergycenter.org: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/transportation/afvs/index.html staff. (2010, 07-23). Key Events in the History of Air Quality in California. Retrieved 11-21, 2010, from http://www.arb.ca.gov: http://www.arb.ca.gov/html/brochure/history.htm
staff. (2010, 07-23). Key Events in the History of Air Quality in California. Retrieved 11-21, 2010, from http://www.arb.ca.gov: http://www.arb.ca.gov/html/brochure/history.htm
I found this resource to be the most helpful because it gave a comprehensive, accurate, government-agency published rundown of all events in California related to air pollution and vehicle emissions since smog problems were first reported there in 1943. I was able to devise an outline for my entire Lotus Car Company Assessment by studying this list of key events in California’s history of air quality and picking out the events and milestones pertaining to increased use of alternative fuels.