At least one barrier to diesel ownership may be falling by the wayside now that the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel has dropped below that of premium gasoline in the United States. According to the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. government, the average price of diesel fuel in this country on February 16th was $2.18. By way of comparison, the average gallon of premium gas: $2.19.

Of course, even that isn't an apples-to-apples comparison because a gallon of diesel fuel contains more potential energy than a gallon of gasoline. Add in the fact that internal combustion engines running on diesel fuel are more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts, and diesel starts making even more sense.

Still, it's not all rosy for diesel engines in America. There are many ways to measure emissions, and in some cases, diesels aren't so clean. Specifically, oil-burners exhaust higher levels of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides along with particulate matter (soot) in the form of unburned carbon compounds. All of these issues can be mitigated somewhat, but that costs money. Still, diesel (including biodiesel) is an alternative that is looking more and more practical as time marches on.

[Source: Energy Information Administration via The Car Connection]


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