Letter: Colorado Clean car standards
I heartily agree with Steve Skadron’s and Patti Clapper’s thoughts on clean air for the valley in their recent guest opinion. That said, I’d like to point out that lack of enforcement on emissions laws render the tightest standards effectively useless.
In an admittedly unscientific but nonetheless informative survey I performed a year or so ago, I found that, here in the Roaring Fork Valley, close to half the diesel pickups roaring up and down Highway 82 have had critical parts of their emissions controlling components removed. Were this true of America’s entire diesel automotive fleet, the emission load would exceed that produced by Volkswagen’s deliberate software cheat that made headlines two years ago.
While diesels contribute less carbon dioxide per unit of power than an equivalent gasoline engine, they produce much more nitrous oxides, which, while not greenhouse gases, cause of a variety human health issues. The black smoke is mainly carbon particles, which fall to the ground (or enter your lungs.)
Until local law enforcement adds policing emissions scofflaws to their (already full) plate, the tighter standards suggested will help reduce carbon dioxide production, but will do nothing to actually clear the air in our valley.