Lisa & Ian Murray wrote:
WASHINGTON, August 14, 2000 - The Department of Energy announced the selection of research and development teams that would share more than $4.4 million in their quest to increase the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks. The announcement by Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson said the research would target vehicles known as Class 7 and 8 trucks. Secretary Richardson called these trucks, which can weigh from 26,000 to 80,000 pounds (cargo included), "workhorses of the American economy."
Gosh, you mean the American economy depends on the movement of things over long distances using big hunks of metal? We're not weightless and postindustrial after all? Someone should tell Alan Greenspan.
Not to sound overly sentimental about rusting ironhorses, but if you want to cut back on energy consumption or rather increase the efficiency of that consumption, what about rehabing rail instead?
Once a day outside the warehouse were I work a small rail shipment goes by on the way to a factory down the street: about five to six car loads of corn syrup. Occasionally a big rig is parked on the tracks doing its own delivery at one of the other warehouses. So the train has to stop, honk and wait for the trucker to move his rig. You can see the scale of each transport system next to each other. You just forget how big a railroad car really is until you see one next to a truck.