Tuesday, November 07, 2006

As we wait for the polls to close, new evidence that pollution cleanup means jobs

As we wait for the polls to close today, there is fresh evidence that pollution cleanup means more jobs. A pollution control industry trade association has reported that more than 1,600 new jobs have already been created by EPA’s truck cleanup and motor vehicle standards:

http://www.meca.org/galleries/default-file/MECA%20PR%20-%20EPA%20clean%20diesel%20programs%20job%20creation%20110606.pdf

The organization reported the number of jobs will grow in the future as industry meets new requirements for smog-forming nitrogen oxides control for trucks and buses and new standards for off-road engines. We should note the number would grow even more if EPA makes good on its promise to clean up big diesel train and boat engines.

This is a good reminder that cleaning up pollution can also be good for the economy. Earlier studies have shown that more aggressive cleanup plans translate into more jobs. http://www.icac.com/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3286#010903pr

The U.S. Department of Commerce used to provide big-picture statistics on pollution control and jobs, but it seems to have discontinued this under the Bush administration. I wonder why.

More jobs would also be created, of course, by a new plan to clean up existing truck engines at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. (See excellent story on this in today’s Los Angeles Times:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-ports7nov07,1,4506307.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

The port commissions are scheduled to vote on adoption of this plan on Nov. 20.


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Other diesel news – EPA concedes one diesel cleanup effort has been a bust. According to BNA’s Daily Environment Report, the EPA has conceded that a mere 9 percent of existing diesel truck engines have installed upgraded software to reduce their nitrogen oxides emissions. Under a celebrated 1998 consent decree, EPA expected that all the engines covered by the decree – more than a million altogether – would have cleaned up within a few years. BNA noted that The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management has reported that more widespread use of the software would significantly reduce smog-forming pollution in the Northeast. Unfortunately, truckers have managed to game the system.

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Diesel engine makers fight better smog standards: BNA also noted that diesel engine makers are fighting any effort by EPA to set better public health standards for smog. EPA’s independent science advisers have unanimously called on EPA to set tougher standards.

Tougher standards, of course, would mean even more jobs in the future.

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