Letters to the Editor

Emission-free automobiles? Actually, not

The article "State retreats on vehicle emission rules" (March 28, Page A-1) is inaccurate in describing the action of the California Air Resources Board as a "retreat." This is a recognition of reality, not retreat. The requirement for battery- or hydrogen-fueled vehicles was unsound to begin with. The proponents of such vehicles refer to them as "zero emissions" vehicles. This is untrue. The emissions are simply shifted to another location. Electricity must be generated somewhere. Hydroelectric generation cannot expand, so this leaves coal or natural gas generation as the source of electricity to charge batteries.

Hydrogen gas must be generated, containerized and transported. The production of hydrogen requires degradation of methanol, coal or petroleum. Water can be separated into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. Therefore, contrary to the claims of "environmentalists," neither of these types of vehicle is emission free. The bicycle is nearly the only emission free vehicle.

CARB is now facing reality. Environmentalists continue to take advantage of ignorance regarding basic science. Anyone who passed high school chemistry and physics should detect these fallacies.