Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mark your calendar: upcoming news on global warming, lawn mower pollution, and more

Next week is the official start of summer – perhaps an appropriate time to remind you about some upcoming developments regarding global warming, lawn mowers, and – well, please note below.

Global gap: Come next week, it will be exactly a year (June 22nd, 2005) since the U.S. Senate passed a resolution calling for action on global warming. And what’s the government done since then? Well, unfortunately, not much, despite increasing evidence that it’s time to shake a leg.

But maybe…

I am sworn to secrecy, but, as we approach the anniversary, keep your eyes open for some interesting news opportunities.

California dreaming: Those of you who have followed the continuing controversy over emissions from lawn mowers should be aware of a possible showdown involving California. On June 29, the U.S. EPA will hold a hearing on the Golden State’s application to put tougher pollution standards into effect, starting next year.

This is an important issue – not only about pollution, but about a state’s right to protect its citizens. By law, California can do this, but EPA officially has to nod approval. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m., in room 1153, at the agency's East Building, 1201 Constitution Ave., N.W.

We will be on the lookout for continuing opposition from the Briggs & Stratton Corporation or its surrogates. And there will be further news on this issue – very soon.

School’s out! At least in much of the nation. But we still have a persistent problem – children breathing toxic diesel emissions from school buses. This is a problem that can be fixed. But the Bush administration and Congress have both fallen short when it comes to spending on the cleanup. We’ll be on the watch as the Senate Appropriations Committee addresses this issue in the near future.

In the meantime, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute is organizing a briefing on this issue next Thursday, June 22. I am told it will start at 3 p.m. in Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

On the agenda, the recent “school bus report” from my friends at Union of Concerned Scientists
as well as experts discussing health and technology.

Ethanol: hope – or hype? Finally (for now) a June 20 brown bag lunch in DC on Ethanol: The Hope and the Hype.

This will include a presentation from yours truly. See why I may have to wear a bulls-eye, as William Shatner did in a recent episode of “Boston Legal.”

The event is sponsored by that excellent organization, the Women’s Council on Energy and Environment . Location: Troutman Sanders LLP, 401 9th Street NW, Suite 1000, starting at noon.

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