Did you know that about 54% of the nations electricity comes from coal fired electric plants. Now, it stands to figure that if we had more solar, hydroelectric, and wind powered plants in North America, these numbers would be a lot different. I'm just going to deal with carbon dioxide (CO2) for this little comparison, the other pollutants you find in both vehicle and power emissions are approximately the same percentages, just in far smaller numbers. The average car driven approximately 12,000 miles a year will put off about 8,700 pounds of CO2. On average CO2 emissions from electric production is 8.4+ tons per person. People that is all the power production combined, coal fired, natural gas fired, oil fired, hydroelectric, solar, and wind power combined. That was figured based on 2.6+ billion tons of CO2 put off per year that the EPA admits to, divided by the population of the United States of America (including every man, woman, and child) per the U.S. Census Bureau of 312+ million people. Now, I'm not a math professor, but my math shows that the average car puts out about 4.3 tons of CO2 a year, where as as I mention earlier all electric power averages out to about 8.4 tons per person a year, nearly twice as much. Now, granted coal fired only accounts for about 54% of all electric produced, if the other 46% was totally green and renewable electric that would still be an average of about 4.5 tons of CO2 from electric, still more that your average car produces. Also, according to the EPA, a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle reduces carbon monoxide emissions 90%-97, reduces carbon dioxide emissions 25%, reduces nitrogen oxide emissions 35%-60%, potentially reduces non-methane hydrocarbon emissions 50%-75%, emits fewer toxic and carcinogenic pollutants, emits little or no particulate matter, eliminates evaporative emissions. Personally I'm all for CNG vehicles. Last I checked, I could get my truck converted to dual fuel (gas/CNG) for about $3,000, but when I can fill up for about $1.40 per equivalent gallon, it'll come out in the wash. And, the price of the conversion may have come down since I last checked. Now, for you self righteous Prius Owners, well... you could have had a V8.
Well, I'm done talking about it, just wanted to put a little food for thought out there, just a little FYI.
U.S. Department Of EnergyU.S. Energy Information Administration
Farron Cousins – DESMOGINBOG.COM
Extraordinary Road Trip
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
U.S. Census Bureau
Union of Concerned Scientists
ONG CNG Vehicle Stats