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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quick Reaction to EPA's Ozone Proposal

The EPA proposal – to change the current ozone standard of 75 parts per billion to a range of 65-70 – is now online at

 Here are a few quick thoughts: 

All in all, this is a very positive step in the right direction even though it doesn’t go as far as health and environmental groups would like.  We will press during hearings and the public comment period for an even tougher standard, towards the low end of the range urged by EPA’s science advisers. (They called for  a range as low as 60.)  Obviously, this action is long overdue. Like the agency’s science advisers, EPA recognizes that keeping the current, outdated, standard would be irresponsible.  The public does deserve to know if the outdoor air is dangerous. Keeping the current standard would flunk a truth in advertising test.  

Smog is the most widespread and insidious form of air pollution.  It’s not just a question of sniffles or runny eyes – it’s literally something that can send people to the emergency room or to an early grave.  Setting a tough new smog standard would really help cement President Obama’s environmental legacy.   

I would urge you to read not only EPA’s proposal but the summary of projected economic impacts.  It gives a lie to the flatulent industry claims that this would be the most expensive rule ever.  In addition to already adopted rules in the works (such as low-sulfur gasoline and the Tier 3 car standards) there are other options that can make cost-effective progress towards a tougher standard – for example, tougher standards for new big-rig trucks.  We do not need to choose between public health protection and a sound economy.  History has demonstrated that we can – and must – have both.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Public Supports Tougher Smog Standards: American Lung Assn. Survey

By a 2-1 margin, the public supports tougher smog standards -- even after hearing the arguments of opponents. 
We hope the political types and bean counters in the White House will take note -- and realize that permitting EPA to do its job -- and set better smog standards based on medical science -- is not only the right thing to do but is also supported by the public.

Here is the full survey:

Friday, November 07, 2014

Ten Reasons Why America's Dependence on Oil Needs to End

(Clean Air Watch periodically accepts guest postings.  This very interesting piece is from Holly Chavez, a regular contributor.  We hope you find it as informative as we did.)



The United States energy needs are a significant part of global consumption. While the growth of the global economy has had a major impact on increased oil usage, the United States is still a primary player in oil consumption according to many experts. Factoring in the national economy as a whole, it is clear that this is a pattern that cannot continue and must be altered for a variety of reasons, including business expense efficiency.

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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.