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Monday, August 24, 2015

Guest Post: Green Heating and Cooling Technologies

[Clean Air Watch from time to time accepts guest posts that we think are of general interest. Today's post on Green Heating and Cooling Technologies is from Sarah Smith.  We were particularly intrigued because we had to look up one of them! Hope you find this interesting.]

Wind Power

A wind-powered water heater does not function like a traditional water heater because it doesn’t use heating elements. 

On a windy day, wind enters the device and activates the turbine. Then, many magnets rotate on a metal plate. While the magnets spin, the temperature of the plate rises. At this point, water heats up as it travels through copper coils.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Important study: further cuts in NOx emissions could pay off big for smog control

Here is an interesting new study which just came my way.  It is technical, but it is quite on point as EPA considers what to do about the ozone standard.  

Study refutes concept of diminishing returns for smog control

Basically, it has been the “conventional wisdom” that once you hit a certain point with air quality improvements, the “marginal benefit” [the added benefit] of more pollution control drops, while the cost rises.  

This study challenges that “wisdom” directly.  It argues that as NOx emissions drop “each additional ton of NOx reduction carries larger benefits than the previous ton.”  And this is especially true in the case of mobile sources.  (And it is quite possible to make huge further reductions in NOx emissions by setting much tougher NOx emission standards for new trucks.)

I believe the EPA and the White House should take a close look at this study as we reach the crunch time on the ozone issue.  It refutes the arguments of those who claim it would cost too much to set a more protective smog standard.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Guest Post: How Green are Green Vehicles? Why Fuel Efficiency Isn’t the Only Factor

(Clean Air Watch periodically accepts guest posts of general interest.  Today's provocative post is from Jon Wikstrom)

In 2013, the Motor Trend Car of the Year award was given to a surprising new company that promised to change the way we perceived cars forever. 
The car was awarded for being the quickest four-door in the country, and for being the most agile and responsive vehicle around. But what made this car special wasn’t how fast and nimble or even good looking it was, but rather how it worked. This surprising winner was the Tesla Model S, an all-electric car made in California.
The sleek design, super-fast pick up and remarkable features convinced many that the electric engine is here to stay. In fact, the trend of combustion engines being replaced by electric motors has just begun. Tesla distributes its electric cars in 4 countries, but they aren’t the only ones - many other well-established names, such as BMW and Toyota, are trying to get in on the action. 
Every single car manufacturer is at least entertaining the notion of building electric or hybrid cars. It seems the demand for a green vehicle is substantial. As the world battles environmental issues and consumers become more aware of their own impact on the planet, the need for green means of transport is only set to grow. 
But exactly how green are these electric and hybrid vehicles? A look into the factories of some of the key players in this revolution may reveal some dirty little secrets.

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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.