Thursday, September 07, 2006

EPA concedes more ethanol means more smog emissions

Today the U.S. EPA proposed new rules designed to carry out a directive in last year's Energy Bill which called for more use of "renewable fuel" -- mainly ethanol.

In an incredible bit of hypocrisy, Congress has refused to appropriate enough money for EPA to evaluate the impact of this change. Yesterday a top EPA official conceded this has forced the agency to juggle its books -- and in the process has delayed much-needed new pollution standards for diesel trains and boats.

And today, in the fine print, the EPA conceded that more ethanol use would actually INCREASE emissions that cause smog:

…At the same time, other vehicle emissions may increase as a result of greater renewable fuel use. Nationwide, EPA estimates between a 28,000 and 97,000 ton increase in volatile organic compounds plus nitrogen oxides (VOC + NOx) emissions. However, the effects will vary significantly by region. EPA estimates that areas such as New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles will experience no increase, while other areas may see an increase VOC emissions from 3 to 5 percent and an increase in NOx emissions from 4 to 6 percent from gasoline powered vehicles and equipment.

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