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 …