There is a difference between pollution and greenhouse gases like CO2. There is nothing environmentally wrong with carbon dioxide except that we have too much of it. That’s not the case with pollution. Any amount of pollution is bad for the environment.
It’s true that diesel is more efficient and can move your car 30% farther than gasoline does. That means that it produces about 30% less CO2 (I know that’s not how percentages work but it’s pretty close) than gas does. Unfortunately it makes creates a lot more of other types of pollution. Soot and tiny particles make for pretty sunsets but cause cancer, breathing difficulties and heart problems.
Diesel also takes 25% more oil to make a gallon of diesel than a gallon gas.
In general, emissions standards have been more stringent. Diesel in particular has been cleaned up extensively. The Environmental Protection Agency has taken a two fold approach. They are highlighting the fuel as much as they are the vehicle. By making ultra-low diesel fuel the standard they are helping car companies manufacture exhaust systems to elminate nitrous oxides and particulate matters from exhaust.
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