Diesel Technology Forum Encourages Acceptance of Diesel as a Clean Energy Technology

The Diesel Technology Forum says the President Obama administration should focus on clean energy technologies we already have, such as diesel, as well as encourage research and development of new technologies.

As President Obama began his four-state “all-of-the-above” energy tour in Nevada, he is being urged not to continue pursuing energy policies and federal subsidies that favor select energy sources over other sources.

“We support the concept of President Obama’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, but we are also concerned by the Administration’s policies and budget proposals that clearly prioritize favored energy sources over other energy sources,” says Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

“The Administration’s energy agenda has focused on select energy sources – some of which are in developmental stages or won’t be functional for many years or even decades.  Whether they prove to be practical and efficient in the U.S. will be seen at some point in the future.

“Fortunately, we have one source of power that is efficient and clean that exists today – clean diesel technology. Diesel technology has an important role to play in America’s clean energy future. Diesel engines are the most energy efficient technology - whether they are using the new ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, a renewable biodiesel fuel blend, or hybrid diesel-electric technology.

“Unfortunately, clean, proven and available diesel technology is one energy source that is being largely ignored in the Administration’s energy agenda while billions and billions of federal dollars are being proposed for other energy sources that will require massive new national infrastructure systems simply to become operational.

“American consumers are enacting their own energy policy that increasingly includes clean diesel technology. Diesel auto sales in the U.S. increased by 27% in 2011 and are up 32% in 2012, according to sales information compiled by Hybridcars.com and Baum and Associates.

“There’s no question that diversifying America’s energy sources is important, but equally important is leveraging the existing technologies that are already reducing our dependence on foreign oil and using advanced renewable biofuels.”

Today’s Diesel Engines and Fuel Are Truly “Clean”

Schaeffer says that over the last 10 years emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses have been reduced by:

  • 99% for nitrogen oxides (NOx) - an ozone precursor
  • 98% for particulate emissions
  • And new ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel has reduced sulfur emissions by 97% – from 500 PM to 15 PM.

“It would take 60 of today’s clean diesel trucks to equal the same emissions from one pre-1988 truck,” Schaeffer says. “This 60 to 1 ratio is a vivid example of the remarkable advances in clean diesel technology.”

Over 80% of U.S. Goods Are Transported By Diesel Power

A 2011 economic study reported that over 80% of all freight is moved throughout the U.S. by diesel trucks, ships, trains and intermodal systems. Worldwide, 94% of all global trade is powered by diesel engines and equipment. In addition, the diesel industry contributes more than $480 billion annually to the U.S economy and provides more than 1.25 million jobs.

“Without diesel power, America and the world’s economy would come to a standstill,” Schaeffer says. “There’s a simple reason that technologies and fuels like diesel are still predominant today after many decades - they work. Diesel provides an unmatched combination of efficiency, power and many other attributes that have withstood the test of time.

“And diesel can now compete with alternative fuels on the emissions front, and is the most flexible technology for using a wide array of renewable biofuels.

“Diesel engines were the power behind building America’s iconic infrastructure like the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. Now, diesel engines will build the next generation of roads, bridges, broadband access and more advanced energy grids,” Schaeffer says.

Diesel Powers America’s Economy

Diesel Moves 80% of All Freight: Diesel-powered trucks, trains, ships and intermodal systems moved 83% of freight by value ($11.7 trillion) and 85% by weight (12.5 billion tons) in 2007.

Diesel Is Dominant In Agriculture, Mining & Construction Industries: In 2009, agriculture produced $330 billion in output, of which $27.2 billion was for farm sales, contributing $176.6 billion to the nation’s GDP. Total added value of agriculture to the U.S. economy is estimated to be $365 billion. Farms employed 2.1 million in 2008.

Diesel Powers Extractive Industries: Over 60% of mining and fuel production equipment is diesel-powered. The nation gets 93% of its energy from mined sources, such as petroleum, natural gas, coal and uranium.

Construction Relies on Diesel: Diesel is the dominant fuel source, powering 60% of construction equipment and using 98% of all energy.