Wednesday, September 08, 2010

alternative fuels ambiguity

Some news that Old Braddock gas station may be converted to pump 'biofuels' which will include a couple new fuel tanks, one of which will "hold pure plant oil".  The company working on this, Fossil Free Fuels, has been toiling away in Braddock for years to build a business centered around the conversion of vechicles to veggie power.  Cool stuff, though I am obliged to point out the long standing Pitt veggie-mobile... not that I have heard much on it in some time.

However and I really really hate to point this out, but there remains a bit of ambiguity in the law as to just whether veggie-powered cars of any kind are... well...  street-legal.  Maybe it's just ambiguity in the law, but you can read the relevant legalese on the EPA's web site.  We'll chalk it up to the bureaucrats not catching up to the rest of us, but still... 

I was curious on the state program the article said was going to help the veggie-stations along, Pennsylvania's Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program (AFIG).  The program specifies some of the potential uses of the grant including as a  "Nitrogen Tire Inflation System Grant".  There's some debate over whether nitrogen in tires helps out fuel efficiency... but it reminds me of another idea that few doubt could improve auto efficiency which would be to keep your tires property inflated.  Reminds me of one of those simple ideas that politicians come up with occassionally that actually make sense and a long ago idea to require gas stations to provide free air.  You know it's actually kind of hard these days to find a working air pump at a gas station whether free or not.  Must be someone in Harrisburg looking for an issue to champion?  No 'air' constituency?


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