Reader Question: Unavailable Oil Burners?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Jon asks: Are you aware that the new midsize trucks in Asia are diesel powered? This has been the norm for a long time. Why can you buy new diesels in Asia but not in the USA?

My reply: I am very aware – and have written several articles on this very subject. The reason diesel-powered vehicles are all-but-extinct in the United States is because emissions regulations have made them all-but-impossible to sell in the United States.

This would be tolerable, of course, if the emissions of these diesels were significant – enough to cause actual harm to people or the environment. In fact, they merely fail to meet federal (and California) standards, which require practically zero emissions – regardless of the absence of any evidence of harm caused to anyone.

The VW “cheating” inquisition set the tone. The cars were portrayed as “dirty” even though the “cheating” at issue (on federal emissions certification tests) was so trivial – literally, fractions of a percent differences – that it went unnoticed until specialized equipment was used to suss it out. No harm was ever proved. But standards were affronted. 

As to why the affronting was treated with such viciousness – VW’s TDI diesels were hounded off the market – the obvious answer is rage of the authority affronted. The subtler why has to do with the threat that diesels pose to the shove toward electric cars. Diesels are too inexpensive and efficient and practical; they make electric cars look silly. And so, they must go.

Even better, prevent them from getting here at all – by applying regulations so expensive and difficult to comply with as to make it not worth the effort to try.

And that’s why we don’t get the diesel-powered versions of the vehicles you mention. Or – lately – diesel powered anything at all. Just a handful of full-size trucks and even those probably won’t be available for much longer.

Thank Uncle.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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8 COMMENTS

  1. You can get a diesel mid-size truck in the US. The Canyon and Colorado both have the 2.8L Duramax. I think all the big 3 have diesels in their 1/2 ton full-size pickups with the GM’s getting 36mpg highway and the Ford getting 33mpg highway. Dodge is said to be working on a diesel for their mid-size.

      • eric, no doubt they do. Why would someone want a diesel in a work truck? You need a fancy name like a south Texas ranch or some such on a loaded to the hilt model to get a diesel. It makes such little sense when the entire industry is to make a profit. And I’d rather not even have carpet. It’s the reason I use big rig mud flaps I custom cut to fit the floors so I can just sweep crap out and liquid rolls out the door. So much easier to make the whole floorboard thick rubber and be done with it. I once went nearly 3 months with taped together Miller High Life case boxes taped together waiting for a company to make another run of factory rubber flooring. I will admit it fit like a glove.

        • Amen. I want something like a 70’s Ramcharger, with a nice turbodiesel and a simple 4-speed auto. Rubber floor mats. No fancy buttwarmers, etc. That would be sweet.

          • I was in my middle 30’s and my best friend who recently died lived with us. There was a couple who owned a wholesale liquor store I’d done bidness with since I was 16 so they’d sell me 50 cases at a time. I busted ass every day back then from early till late and drank a case every day as did the wife and my friend. The burn barrel stayed hot and the can crusher did too(our feet).

            But you know how it is, somebody’s gotta drink that beer.

            • Ah the ole burn barrel. Another image from my youth. Every house in East Texas had one. Some even had old bedsprings out back with dewberries running up close to the burn barrel, so as to make it easier to see the snakes when you picked the berries!

              • Our dewberries died during a drought in the 90’s and overspray constantly from a couple dickhead “death from above” guys. They’re both a-holes and I intend to sue one of them come spring. I’ve had it with my trees and garden being killed.

                I tried hard to not stir any shit for 20 years but the gloves are off now. If anyone wants to raid us for the 5th time, I’m ready for their sorry asses.

                East Texas was much better for growing per rain fall but west Texas has soil that makes them taste a lot better, makes everything taste better. I couldn’t afford the risk of burn barrels here due to western Diamonbacks. The neighbor saw a big black one down the road from us Monday. I doubt I need to worry about it today though.

                We have about 8 inches of snow on the ground and it’s supposed to be 15 degrees tonight. We’re back to the 70’s by the week-end as we were upper 70’s right before this shit hit.

                Don’t like the weather in west Texas? Hang around a little while, it’ll change.

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