CNN’s Biodiesel Road Trip

I’ve been alternatively amused and agitated by CNN’s recent biodiesel road trip. It seemed like a novel idea for the mainstream media to tackle, but wrapping it up with a sideshow twist was bound to paint things with a skeptic’s light.

Did CNN intend for the voyage to run into problems? Was this just a stunt, merely intended for a portion of the audience to say, “hey, I told you so!” Did it happen by chance or was it planned, in the hope of producing some memorable segments?

With all of the abundant information on the use of commercial biodiesel, why would CNN choose a thirty-year-old International Harvester Scout that was inadequately prepared (if at all) for the trip?

It’s common knowledge that biodiesel will loosen up the junk in a dirty fuel tank and clog up the fuel filter. It’s common knowledge that biodiesel attacks old school rubber fuel lines, requiring replacement with Vitron or other synthetic lines.

Why didn’t they hit the road with a modern diesel, rather then a decades-old relic?

Without the drama of a breakdown, the segments might have become downright boring. And they might have painted the oil industry in a less than positive light.

With a modern clean diesel, the trip would have been entirely uneventful … even cushy. The picture painted cruising down the Interstate in a Mercedes-Benz 320 Bluetec, VW Jetta TDI, or Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD just couldn’t compare …

Here’s a challenge to CNN.

Lets do a real biodiesel road trip. Lets take a fleet of cutting-edge high-MPG clean diesels and put them on the road for a week or two. Lets keep track of the real-world mileage results produced by each and every vehicle. Lets collect the data electronically and publish it on the Internet for every hard-working American to see as it happens.

I double dare ya …

3 thoughts on “CNN’s Biodiesel Road Trip”

  1. i can’t help but laugh at this ridiculous attempt to prove nothing, biodiesel is a very limited solution, far less than 1% of total american consumption

    i ran my sailboat’s diesel for a decade using my used oil-i owned restaurants- it ran fine and i was only asked occasionally if i was making fish and chips aboard

    here on vancouver island where i live the total amount of used oil could not supply the demands of more than a few hundred vehicles, leading to the already ludicrous possibility that we would need to grow an alternative such as ethanol

    growing food so some moron can drive a hummer is stupid

    the answers are in less driving, smaller cars and for the usa to stop invading countries using incredible amounts of precious fuel

  2. @ Robert – Biodiesel is one of the keys to energy independence. If all goes well, domestically-produced algae-based fuel will displace imported oil, creating a new carbon-neutral industry. Algaefineries (we need to coin a shorter name) will put this country back to work. Conventional agriculture will only go so far.

  3. I have to agree with mpg-o-editor and I’m a little embarrassed to say I’m a canadian (no capital with standing) that a person has to purge out of his system the war in Iraq or Afgie.

    Go and squeeze out a pimple.

    Here is someone trying to make sense of all the crap that is going on today and we get a ridiculous retort from someone who has only sarcasm to give to the message board. Try something constructive.

    Or squeeze that pimple.

    yee of little faith

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