Pardon Me Boys, Is That the Chattanooga Cough-Cough?
Add diesel locomotives to the list of things killing you
Recently, researchers discovered they’d been a little off in their estimates of how much smog-forming pollution diesel locomotives generate. How off? Turns out by 2030 the trains will be producing about twice what was previously estimated — 800,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 25,000 tons of soot, according to new estimates. Oops. The railroad folks rush to remind us that diesel locomotives are still three times more fuel efficient than trucks and emit only about a third as much pollution; indeed, greens are among the biggest fans of rail (for freight and passengers alike). But with new, cleaner diesel trucks and buses rolling out to meet strict regulations, rail will surpass their pollution almost twice over by 2030. The U.S. EPA says they’re just about ready to release new regs that would reduce smoggy train and ship pollution “on the order of 80 to 90 percent.” We’re holding our breath. Or we would be, if smog hadn’t reduced our lung capacity so much.