Diesel initially appears to be less polluting thanks to its higher efficiency (vehicles can travel on average 30% further off of a gallon of diesel fuel than gasoline). However, the production of diesel fuel requires more oil than that of gasoline (roughly 25%). As a result, diesel does tend to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, diesel fuel emits toxic smog forming particulate matter more than gasoline. For these trade offs, siding between gasoline and diesel is a matter of choosing between two similarly bad options. Gasoline may actually be better in the United States currently thanks to the huge amount of research and investment into cleaning the fuel and regulations over its consumption and emissions. But certainly neither gas nor diesel is a sustainable fuel.
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