The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

US is now energy independent


March 12, 2020

To The Eagle:

Here’s Chapter 2 concerning Gordon’s Climate Change Calamity, focusing on his specious supposition that we need more fuel economy restrictions in place: When you stomp on the gas in a conventional car, gasoline travels a few feet to the engine where it ignites, expands, and cranks the wheels around. The fuel for your shiny new electric car comes from a distant power source run wholly or partially by coal or natural gas and piped through many miles of wire, attenuating (shrinking) all the way, to be stored in the car’s inefficient 500 lb. battery that loses up to 30 percent of its power in cold weather. Translation: Your Chevy Volt burns more coal and causes more pollution than my Studebaker pickup.

Washington and Oregon have squandered billions of our gas tax dollars on light rail and other hare-brained transit schemes rather than repair our highways and bridges or build new ones. This has turned the vast highway networks around Portland and Seattle into quagmires of slow moving vehicles, exponentially increasing the amount of pollution in these areas. Increased fuel efficiency will have no effect whatsoever on this problem. The single big breakthrough on reducing pollution was the catalytic converter, which was invented in the 1950’s, but was not effective on cars until tetraethyl lead was removed from gasoline in the 1970’s. Most further reduction of pollution was achieved by increasing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing weight, which achieved the dubious trifecta of making our cars more boring, more expensive. and less safe.

The bigger picture: During the Trump administration the U.S. has become energy independent and a net exporter of oil so we no longer need to defend the Strait of Hormuz or buy oil from the Middle East, and have dethroned Putin’s Russia as the extortionary supplier of fuel to Europe. We have a virtually unlimited supply of natural gas and it has just this week fallen to its lowest price in history. So our left coast governments are responding by outlawing natural gas, raising fuel taxes, installing highway tolls, tearing down dams, and pushing more light rail. Go figure!

Howard Brawn

Puget Island


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