The use of motor vehicles for transportation accounts for approximately two thirds of all U.S. petroleum use and is responsible for more than one quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions which have been linked to global warming. In Southeast Florida, the primary pollutant of concern is ozone and because motor vehicles account for nearly 50% of all air pollution in South Florida, we need to protect our future air quality by not only making more responsible transportation choices for clean air, but also thinking forward to the future and utilizing alternative fuels and alternative fueled vehicles. The Outreach, Planning and Mobile Sources Section is thinking towards the future and promoting the use of alternative fueled vehicles such as electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles in Broward County. The section works with the Florida Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition and Broward County's Energy and Building Automation in promoting the use of these advanced vehicles in Broward County.
What is an alternative fuel and why should we use them?
An alternative fuel is considered to be any fuel other than gasoline and diesel fuel. The six main alternative fuels are methanol (a.k.a. wood alcohol), ethanol (a.k.a. grain alcohol), compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified petroleum gas (LPG), electricity and hydrogen. The use of alternative fueled vehicles not only decreases our dependence on foreign oil sources, but also provides numerous environmental benefits. Most notable of these environmental benefits is the reduced release of carbon monoxide(CO) and hydrocarbon emissions. Gasoline and diesel powered motor vehicles give off emissions not only from the tailpipe but during other phases of normal operation such as refueling, driving and even while parked there are evaporative emissions that contribute to zone. One answer to address these problems is reducing vehicle use by making more responsible transportation choices. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that people are not always likely to give up the convenience of their cars. It appears that the best sustainable option is to find less polluting, more efficient propulsion systems- alternative fueled vehicles offer that option.
How can I learn more about alternative fuel vehicles?
The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuel Data Center has a wealth of information on alternative fueled vehicles. You'll also find information on air pollution from cars on EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality website. The Outreach, Planning and Mobile Sources Section has a variety of public information and education materials available on alternative fuels and other air quality issues.
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