Monday, August 29, 2005

Diesel comback in Cali? Some can dream

Although it is more fuel efficient than other options to power your automobile, only dreamers can forsee a future where Diesel returns to California motorists.

Robert DesRoches has fond memories of his diesel-powered 1984 Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup. It required minimal maintenance and gave him 22 miles to the gallon, whether hauling groceries from the supermarket or towing his sailboat.

So when President Bush signed an energy bill this month that gives diesel car buyers a tax credit of up to $3,400, DesRoches was all for it. The 43-year-old computer networking specialist would love to buy a new diesel car or sport utility vehicle.

But because he lives in California, the tax break won't do him much good. Thanks to state emission regulations that are tougher than federal standards, sales of new diesel passenger cars and SUVs have essentially been barred here since 2003.

Thank you, Governor Gray Davis!