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Change fuel, not engines

Regarding the front-page article ``In a Push for Electric Cars, Golden State Officials Take a Second Look,'' May 12: The internal combustion engine is getting a bad rap as the cause of pollution. The problem is the fuel. The technical solution to pollution and global warming is to use fuel that contains no carbon in its formula, such as hydrogen.

Manufacturers will not produce a hydrogen-powered automobile unless the fuel is available for its customers. Renewable hydrogen fuel must be made available at a price that is competitive with petroleum fuel.

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This means building an infrastructure for producing and delivering hydrogen fuel. It will take a huge investment to make hydrogen fuel available at a price comparable to petroleum, since the mature petroleum industry invests more than $100 million per day in infrastructure to make petroleum fuel available at a low cost.

There are additional reasons for pursuing the renewable hydrogen fuel path. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are less expensive to manufacture than petroleum-fuel engines because they do not require the pollution-control equipment. Also, with battery-powered electric automobiles, we must consider that coal will actually create more carbon dioxide than using petroleum directly. And coal has sulfur pollution problems not associated with petroleum.

The renewable hydrogen fuel path can make us energy independent again while solving many of our most difficult environmental problems. It will be costly to follow a path that leads to a dead end. Charles H. Terrey, Phoenix

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