Economics & Suv's

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SUV's have become the center of a large controversy in the last couple of years. Many studies have been conducted on the relation to the economy and the popularity of the SUV. The sport utility vehicle not only affects the economy with its gas-guzzling capabilities during a time of war, but with the safety questions that have continued to arise.

"Automobiles have a large impact on the quality of our environment and public health. Automobile use affects virtually every aspect of environmental quality - including noise levels, air quality, water pollution, and urban sprawl. Ninety percent of the environmental impact of automobiles occurs through the operation of the cars: about 10 percent from the production, raw materials and disposal of automobiles. •Federal law permits Sport Utility Vehicles to waste 33 percent more gasoline than passenger cars. •SUVs can spew 30 percent more carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons and 75 percent more nitrogen oxides than passenger cars. •Since 1990, the inefficiency of light trucks (including SUVs) have led to Americans wasting an extra 70 billion gallons of gasoline. "

SUV's burn more gas and spew out more pollution. Many of the big SUV's pollute three times as much as cars, which greatly contributes to climate change and smog. But for many of us, it is difficult to connect our actions at the gas pump with the temperature outside or with the quality of the air. Since we do not see the immediate impact of our gasoline use - or our vehicle choice - it is easy to ignore the repercussions.

Transportation is the number one thing we consumers do that harms the environment. Transportation causes the highest amount of environmental damage overall - nearly half of the toxic air pollution and more than a quarter of the greenhouse gases traceable to household consumption. Over time, however, sales of trucks, vans and SUV's went from 16% market share to over 50%. One big auto manufacturer even shelved their...
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