Maybe in Florida that's the case, but we all don't live in Florida. Ever consider that Florida is closer to the source of much of the natural gas produced in this country? It would be expensive to rail all the coal down to you. In other areas of the country, coal is much closer to home and natural gas much further away although cheap gas is pushing pipelines ever further. Still, much of the electricity is this country is still produced from coal, in 2009 it was about 45%. Don't let your biases get in the way of facts.
It is a stretch, no doubt about that. But the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Law of Conservation of Energy and other trifling things are of no concern to the President and his administration. The goal is attainable if you are willing to sacrifice safety, economics, convenience, and utility. Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, . . . .
Too many U.S. drivers want acceleration more than they want fuel economy. Here in Tucson, there are so many traffic lights and relatively low speed limits that burdening a vehicle with a gas-hungry engines is simply pandering to acceleration junkies who want to feel the thrill of accelerating to the next light. There are a few vehicles that have a hp/weight ratio that still gives a feeling of performance AND mpg in excess of 30, but are they safe enough? Light-weight cars only risk life and limb when tangling with a monster in a crash. Frankly the 54.5 mpg standard seems a technical stretch. Today only very small cars, motorcycles and hybrids don't average that much. Nevertheless, I have hope that changing motor technology will improve mpg. I only hope it doesn't drive the cost of new cars embodying such technology to the moon (or Mars) as it has with hybrids and EV's. I wonder if 54.5 is our preparation for gas costing $8/gal.
Watashi... your quote "the next generation of engineers come to work grounded in the new tech" ... Typical answer from someone who doesn't really want anything to happen. Let's pass the buck to the younger generation so we don't have to take responsibility. Weak. I guess you either aren't an engineer, or aren't a very good one.
I agree whole heartedly with (modestly) funding basic research. Let the schools uncover the technology drivers and the private sector will use their market based, profit motive to exploit and develop something useful with it.
Plus, the next generation of engineers come to work grounded in the new tech.
Funny that a person touting the name "Common_Sense" doesn't use it. To Davek3gau, you fail to realize, that our eletricity (% depending on where you live) from the electric company is not all from coal. Do some research into your local power company (they probably send you a newsletter every month) and find out how much coal is actually used. Here in Florida, we get our energy from many clean and renewable sources, wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas... as a matter of fact, we get less than 6% of our power from coal. The largest source is natural gas. Florida is a leader in clean and renewable energy, a good example for the rest of the country. Please check your facts before spewing nonsense, or take your misinformation elsewhere, this is an engineering site and is read by people who know how to do research. To compare the environmental impact of wind and solar to that of coal and oil is ludacris.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.