Tuesday, May 28, 2013

EPA Obviously Complies with Legal/Procedural Requirements As It Makes Modest Time Concession to Oil Industry on Tier 3

The oil industry, having lost big time in the battle over the content involving EPA's proposed "Tier 3" low-sulfur gasoline standards, has shifted in recent weeks to argue about "process."

The industry has claimed it hasn't had enough time to comment on the standards -- which have been posted online since March 29!

But the EPA now has made a modest concession to industry -- one that should take away that bogus "process" argument.  The EPA has now agreed to extend the public comment period from June 13 until July 1. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/documents/tier3/tier-3-comment-ext-fr-notice-05-23-13.pdf

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

House of Reps Set to Vote on "Reliability" Legislation that Could Limit EPA Authority to Protect Breathers

This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote -- under a special "suspension of the rules" -- on legislation that could limit EPA authority to protect breathers.

The bill, H.R. 271, is opposed by major environmental groups who argue it is "Not only vague and overly broad" but "takes the unprecedented step of authorizing total civil and criminal amnesty from all federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations for electric power producers under special orders from the Department of Energy."

Monday, May 20, 2013

EPA's "Tier 3" Clean-Gas, Clean-Car Proposal to be Published in Tomorrow's Federal Register

Of course, this information has been available online since March. 

As you probably know, the oil industry has been whining about “process” – because it’s losing this battle on substance. They act as if they don’t have internet access.

Will the oil companies stop whimpering now?  Don’t bet on it. I predict the delaying tactics will continue.

I don’t think breathers should suffer because the Government Printing Office has taken so long to get this material in hard copy format. 

Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles:

PDF - 3.6 MB; 1572 pages Permalink
Filed on: 05/20/2013 at 08:45 AM Publication Date: 05/21/2013
FR Document: 2013-08500 EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0135 FRL_9785-8

Friday, May 17, 2013

Reliability Council: Environmental Standards Won't Threaten Electric Reliability this Summer

The opponents of clean-air controls often cite the threat of brownouts and blackouts when attacking new pollution limits on power plants. 

But now the nonprofit which aims to ensure electric reliability across America is out with a new report.  And the verdict: power plant retirements and cleanups to meet future environmental rules won't cause reliability concerns this summer.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

From Russia with Love: Dirty Air along the U.S. Coast!?

While the political world has been abuzz about the U.S. official embarrassment about the alleged spy saga in Russia yhoo.it/16hbSmX , there is potential longer-term trouble for breathers in the U.S. because of a less-publicized Russian action.

At the request of Russia, the International Maritime Organization has voted to delay for five full years emission control requirements for big new ships near coastlines, including those of the United States. The requirements were due to take effect in 2016 as explained in this release: bit.ly/1053RNu

This is a terrible turn of events and could delay efforts to bring cleaner ships to U.S. ports by 2016. The U.S. government appears to have been blindsided by this Russian move. It needs to step up its game to protect breathers in the U.S.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Refiners: API Exaggerates Cost of Meeting EPA Proposed Clean-Gasoline Standards

A growing number of refining companies now say the American Petroleum Institute is exaggerating the costs of meeting EPA's proposed Tier 3 low-sulfur gasoline standards.

Keep reading for some examples:

149 Health and Medical Groups Urge President to Set Vital Clean-Gasoline Standards This Year

May 7, 2013

Dear Mr. President:

We the undersigned health and medical organizations urge you to support cleaner, healthier air and adopt cleaner gasoline and vehicle emissions standards as soon as possible. The nation needs these stronger public health protections urgently to reduce dangerous air pollution from cars, light trucks and SUVs.

We have seen first-hand the effects of these harmful emissions. Motor vehicles are a major source of ozone forming pollution which triggers asthma attacks, worsens lung disease and shortens life. Cars, light trucks and SUVs contribute to particle pollution which threatens heart and lung health, as well as increases the risk of premature death. Emissions from these vehicles also add to the toxic burden of those who live or work near the nation’s busy highways.

The new standards will protect our children, the elderly, those with chronic lung disease, heart disease or diabetes, and those who have low incomes. We strongly urge you to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue final Cleaner Gasoline and Vehicle standards by December 31, 2013.

[The full letter and list of signers is here:

http://bit.ly/16gLJnI ]

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Memo to EPA; We Really Need "Tier 3" Clean Gas Standards Because the Smog Problem is Much Worse than Your Official Stats!

As faithful readers well know, Clean Air Watch has been arguing for many months for the need for EPA to adopt smog-fighting lower-sulfur gasoline standards.  For example, here bit.ly/WfUCqo  and here bit.ly/Ys6tE8

And we want to note an important additional argument today: namely, that the smog problem in America recently has been much worse than recorded by EPA's official statistics.

Indeed -- and our anaysis is based on EPA's own material  http://www.epa.gov/airdata/ad_rep_mon.html -- the number of monitors recording a violation of EPA's national ozone standard during 2010-2012 is more than double the number of violating monitors EPA previously relied on to create its official "nonattainment" list of areas out of compliance. (EPA's official "designation" list was based on earlier information, including pollution levels during the depths of the recent recession and levels that may have been artificially lower because of some cooler, wetter weather.)

The bottom line: the smog problem is worse than we are being told.  And we need the Tier 3 gasoline and vehicle standards -- the best possible smog-fighting tool available -- to make progress.

The "10 Best Things About Global Warming" -- Yes, This is Satire!

There's been pleny of bad news about the climate change issue lately: big troubles with Europe's cap-and-trade system, more reports that global warming is acidifying oceans and seas http://frenchtribune.com/teneur/1317912-global-warming-attributing-rapidly-acidify-arctic-ocean
and, of course, the continuing delay by the U.S. EPA to deal with the problem of carbon emissions from power plants.

We needed a break from all this misery, so we were delighted to receive the short video below, which we are happy to share: