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water resource - The largest contributor to greenhouse...

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The largest contributor to greenhouse gasses in the Unites States is the automobile and other mobile vehicles. Not only do these vehicles contribute greenhouse gasses such as carbon monoxide, but they also spew other air pollutants and air toxins. Finding alternative fuel sources for automobiles may be one of the solutions to curbing the emissions, thus the ongoing degradation of our atmosphere. The main reason vehicles contribute such a large pollutant load is due to the petroleum based gasoline and diesel fuels that the cars use. This fuel burns relatively inefficiently and pollutes through combustion and fuel evaporation. Among the pollutants that are emitted during the combustion process are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and air toxins. The air toxins that vehicles emit are substances that are suspected of, or known to cause cancer and other serious health or environmental problem (EPA, 2009). The other gasses emitted are known as greenhouse gasses and may be contributing to global changes in the climate (EPA, 2009). The carbon dioxide that is emitted by vehicles is not only linked to global warming but also has many potential health and environmental effects. Smog and acid rain are caused by nitrogen oxides from vehicle emissions as are hydrocarbons. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. From the 550 gallons of gasoline that the average passenger car uses in one year, it produces 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, 606 pounds of carbon monoxide, 80 pounds of hydrocarbons, and 41 pounds of nitrogen oxides. Alternative fuel sources would keep these pollutants out of our environment (EPA, 1997). On Friday, April 17, 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the findings from a scientific review of greenhouse gasses and found that six greenhouse gasses pose a threat to public health and welfare by contributing to air
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pollution. This was brought about by a Supreme Court order two years ago that focused on the air pollution emissions from automobiles. The gasses listed in the findings of the scientific review are: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. David Doniger, the climate policy director for the National Resources Defense Council, feels that this announcement by the EPA has “enormous legal significance”. By this, he means that this is really the first time that the government has conceded that climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions is real and that the pollution emitted by automobiles contributes to the pollution (Hebert, 2009). The Bush administration resisted the stance that the EPA is taking on the grounds that it would cost companies too much money to meet emission standards and would be very bad for the economy. The Obama administration is backing the EPA’s decision and sees it as an opportunity for businesses to expand and create new jobs.
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