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Re: Hmmm ... Maybe there are advantages to US cars

> From quattro-owner@swiss.ans.net Wed Jan  4 12:17:02 1995
> Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 09:22:24 -0700
> To: quattro@swiss.ans.net
> From: smarinel@Flint.Mines.Colorado.edu (Steve Marinello)
> Subject: Re: Hmmm ... Maybe there are advantages to US cars
> Reply-To: quattro@swiss.ans.net
> Just to add my two cents in here as we talk about fuel additives...whisch
> also relates to the recent media coverage lesson....
> MTBE (methyl ter-butyl ether) is one of the nastiest environmental
> compounds we've had foisted on us by some of the blinders-on, short sighted
> nimrods who believe themselves concerned about the environment and the
> health of the public.  There has been very little info on health effects of
> MTBE, but what is coming forward now ain't good...but we can even forget
> that and just look at it from a remediation standpoint.  If the stuff is
> spilled and gets into the soil or groundwater, it is virtually impossible
> to remove.  It is infinitely soluble with water and moves down gradient
> faster than the water itself.  Since it can't be removed and it doesn't
> degrade quickly, it's a long term problem.  Such incredible forsight!
> Just a thought on the wonderful environmental/political establishment in
> the US that brought us the the New Clean Air Act and oxygenated
> fuels/reformulated fuels based on a seriously flawed study performed in the
> Denver metro area and put upon the whole country as opposed to the few
> places where such fuels might help...and at such a small cost, too.
> Hey, I'm not bitter.  I just wonder if any of the people who pushed MTBE
> were aware of its' environmental persistence or the fact that the
> incomplete combustion of MTBE gas creates formaldehyde fumes which has
> caused people to pull over and puke because these fumes are heavier than
> air and stay at ground (read: people) level as opposed to the targeted
> byproducts which rise up to attack atmospheric ozone and create the dreaded
> "HOLE".  My most dreaded holes are the ones in between "their" ears.

It's no secret that lobbying has a lot to do with the introduction of
"reformulated" fuels and specific rules were included which allow certain
types of gasoline to be produced and sold here, but not imported.

To add insult to injury, I saw an advert in the paper yesterday that
was placed by some "oxygenated fuels" lobbying group.  It spoke of us
"driving our air clean" by using this new, miraculous product, and went
on to say how much this would be appreciated by children, the elderly, 
and people who have to work outdoors!

The crime is that people may actually believe it and actually drive more, 
or maybe just leave their cars running all the time in an attempt to
do their part in clearing the air.  I have neighbors that "warm-up"
their cars in the morning by starting them 1/2 hour before they leave.
That running time is two days of "commuting" for me!

> Hey...anyone know of any large stationary sources that might be
> contributing to the degradation of air quality just a tad more than todays
> cars?  

Well, that unfortunately is not the case where I live; there is no
smokestack industry to blame and the proportion of diesel trucks is
also negligible compared to passenger-vehicle use.  We really do have a
problem and it's quite obvious to anyone with eyes and/or a nose.  It's
definitely gotten worse since oxygenated fuels have been in the system
this winter, and Steve is apparently right about the pollutants staying
at ground level.  I now avoid the parking lot during peak travel times
as it really will bring tears to one's eyes.

John Greenstreet, Senior Engineer           (jgreenst@motown.ge.com)
Martin Marietta Government Electronic Systems    Moorestown NJ 08057
WPI Class of '75, Temple Class of '94

My new car history:
  1975    1978    1982       1986        1989      1992      1995
   VW ->  Audi -> Audi  -> Mercedes -> Mercedes -> Audi -> Mercedes
Scirocco Fox GTI  4000S    190E 2.3    190E 2.6    100CS     S320

POSSLQ's* new car history:
         1978       1981       1985      1988        1990     1993
       Triumph ->  Toyota ->  Toyota  ->  VW    ->   Audi  -> Audi
       Spitfire    Tercel     Corolla   Jetta GL      80      90S

*POSSLQ = Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters
Note: All Audis and Mercedes above were sold to friends or family.