A trip to a major equipment maker recently left me puzzled. As of now John Deere only produces tractors that meet EPA final Tier IV standards for emissions. Reaching that level in some cases meant redesigning how the tractor is put together. In one model the gas tank scheme had to be completely redone to make room for emission equipment to meet the regulations. If you're guessing some of these changes added cost, it's pretty apparent that you're right.
See the latest in new farm technology at the 2015 Farm Progress Show, Sept. 1-3, 2015, in Decatur, Ill.
What's puzzling is that the same factory also assembles tractors for Europe. Some of the tractors going to Europe have Final Tier IV emission equipment just like the tractors sold in the U.S. However, one whole line is devoted to producing tractors that only meet EPA Tier II standards. The tractors can't be sold in the U.S., because they don't meet the standards which are now in place. But they can be sold in parts of Europe, where emission standards for diesel engines aren't yet as stringent. Not only can they be sold there, they are being sold there – made here, shipped over and sold to European farmers.
That may not seem like such a big deal until you consider who makes the most fuss about greenhouse gases and pollution caused by emission from engines. It tends to be those across the Atlantic. Many governments there have environmental leanings. So why do some of those countries and their citizens say the U.S. is dragging its feet on doing something about greenhouse gases. If in fact something should be done, when their standards aren't as strict as ours.
If you've figured out there is a disconnect there, I would have to agree. A pot shouldn't call the kettle black when the pot is grimy itself. If its' OK for tractors that emit more pollutants than tractors that can be sold legally in the U.S. run in European fields, why can't those tractors run in American fields?
Think on that conundrum for a while!