Despite having another round of wintry weather over the weekend, and more to come this week, today provided at least some cause for hope. Leaving a meeting this afternoon just as the sun was setting I caught a whiff of softness in the air that comes with spring.
Oh, could it be? The weather pattern is still more winter than anything else, but we shouldn’t have to hold on too much longer. (Hopefully, the snow we’ve been accumulating won’t melt all at once.)
Recently, I was lamenting the apparent lack of urgency on the part of automakers to adapt their products to a world where being stingy with fuel is a plus, not something to be sniggered at. While I held the Jeep Renegade concept out as an example of where automotive technology should be headed, I also recognized that there are more realistic possibilities (like existing, cleaner, common rail diesel engines) to get us closer. To be fair, pollution regulations are a big reason why there aren’t more options like this available: Maine is one of several states (along with California, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont) with stricter air emissions requirements that prevent diesel passengers cars from being sold new. Until the EPA requires all diesel passenger vehicles to meet the same strict standards, we’re stuck without.