Clean Air Watch

Latest from the Clean Air Blog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Guest Post: URGENT ALERT-- Add Your Voice to Save California’s Bees and Clean Up our Air

[This is a guest post by Triston Mendez with the California-based Planning and Conservation League]

Every acre plowed up this last spring to grow corn for ethanol delivered a blow to California’s commercial bee colonies and efforts to clean up California’s air.

Growing corn for ethanol has caused the loss of huge swaths of grassland habitat—and plowed under millions of acres of land that California’s commercial bees depend on for summer forage when they are not pollinating crops. California’s commercial bees are essential to pollinating billions of dollars’ worth of crops and employing ten-of-thousands of Californians growing almonds, alfalfa, melons, citrus, avocados, and sunflowers. Destroying more grassland to grow corn for fuel will put already stressed bee colonies in further jeopardy and there are efforts underway in Washington DC to increase the use of corn-ethanol in our fuel from the current 10% (also known as E-10) to 15% (E-15) which will mean millions of more areas of grasslands lost.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Top Seven Cities with the Cleanest Air

[With so much bad news lately, we thought it was time for some good news -- this guest post by Michael Elecho]

Every year, the American Lung Association releases its annual review of the air quality in the United States. Dubbed, “The State of the Air,” this report focuses on letting families and individuals make informed decisions about what cities and areas in the country to live in. This is especially important for people with allergies or other sensitivities to airborne contaminants.
Another facet of The State of the Air address is the list of the cities with the best quality of air in the United States. By looking at the amount of particle pollution and ozone in official monitoring sites, the ALA is able to assess how good the air is across the country and track general trends. Needless to say, emission reductions brought about by the U.S. Clean Air Act have improved air quality throughout the nation. 
The best cities to live in if you’re concerned about air quality, however, are seven cities that ranked top in terms of air quality, with five repeating for the second year in a row. They are located as far north and east as Vermont, as far south as Florida, and as far west as Hawaii. These seven cities are offered in alphabetic order, because they all had zero high particle pollution days all year.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Guest Post: Why Isn't Everyone Using More Biofuels?

["Biofuels." It's a raging issue in D.C. Should what some call the "corn mandate" be repealed -- or expanded?  Both Big Oil and Big Corn have deployed Big Lobbyists to duke it out. And major conservation groups such as the National Wildlife Federation have raised big concerns about corn-based ethanol.  NWF celebrates in one skirmish against more corn ethanol.
Guest blogger Emily Folk takes a big-picture look at this controversial issue.]

Why Isn't Everyone Using Biofuels? 
Like many people, you’ve probably heard scientists proclaiming their warning for years: Since fuels like coal and crude oil aren’t renewable resources, our supply will eventually run out. As the amount available becomes increasingly scarce, the cost will go up, too. Nonrenewable fuels also create harmful substances when burned. Because of these obvious problems, some people have suggested biofuels are the way of the future. Is that really the case, though?

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Learn more about the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.