Monday, March 31, 2014

Guest Posting: Don't Want to Own a Car, but Public Transit Not for You? Try Community Lifts

(Periodically we carry guest posts of possible interest to readers  Today's guest author is Teresa Stewart.  We welcome different perspectives.)

There was once a time in American history where people didn't need automobiles to get from Point A to Point B. After the invention of the car, large cities and the Interstate system, however, a vehicle is now more of a necessity than a luxury. In larger cities though, such as New York, it's very easy to get around via public transportation. Regardless of convenience, there are still many who prefer not to use these methods of mass transit. Fortunately, there are now methods of getting from Point A to B that can save people money while simultaneously allowing them to avoid purchasing their own vehicle or taking mass transit.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Putin's Pollution Ploy! A Showdown with Russia -- Not Over the Crimea, but Big-Ship Pollution Standards

I want to alert you to a very interesting showdown next week: The United States versus Russia! 

But this isn’t over the Crimea or Snowden. No, it’s about a U.S. attempt to persuade an international body to say nyet to a Russian plan to postpone important international air pollution standards for five years.  Yes, this is Putin’s Pollution Ploy! 

As some of you may recall, in a preliminary skirmish, the Russians persuaded an international panel last year to postpone emission controls on smog-forming nitrogen oxides from big sea-going ships for five full years – until 2021.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

EPA Science Advisers ALMOST Urge Tougher National Smog Standards Than Lisa Jackson Had Sought, But...

After several days of reviewing detailed science on ozone (smog), EPA’s independent science advisers today appeared to be on the verge of urging the agency to set an even tougher national smog standard than then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson sought to set in 2011.  But the push for a tougher standard came to a screeching halt – at least for now -- when one panel member objected.

Just a very quick review of the numbers: in 2008, the Bush EPA set a standard of 75 parts per billion, averaged over an 8-hour period.  EPA’s science advisers had urged a standard between 60 and 70.   After years of reconsidering the issue, Jackson tried to reduce the standard to 70, but was stopped by the White House.  

(The President claimed that EPA would reconsider the issue in 2013.  Obviously that did not happen, but the EPA is again reviewing the question. Health and environmental groups have gone to court to seek to compel the EPA to set a final standard by October 2015. A court hearing on that is scheduled April 8.) 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ICYMI: An Odious and Quite Naked Attempt by a Polluter-Friendly Congressman to Intimidate EPA Science Advisers

This letter, by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, appears to be a pretty naked attempt to intimidate EPA's science advisers -- and the EPA itself -- on the eve of an important science adviser meeting to review EPA's efforts to update and toughen national smog standards.

Smith -- should we mention? -- is a darling of the oil industry, which seeks to block EPA from setting tougher smog standards. Recent campaign contributors include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, among others, according to Federal Election Commission data cited by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Yes, this is all part of a polluter-driven D.C. game (as was another polluter-driven report released yesterday by another oil industry favorite, Senator Vitter ) aimed at derailing tougher smog standards.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Clean Air Watch Hails EPA "Tier 3" Clean-Fuel, Clean-Car Standards

Dear friends,

 Now that EPA has posted the information online  I guess it is fair to comment on the agency’s final “Tier 3” clean-gasoline, clean-car standards.  No doubt many people will be commenting today, so I will keep this short on behalf of Clean Air Watch.   If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to email.
--Frank O’Donnell
President, Clean Air Watch


This is a great day for the breathing public!  This could prove to be the signature clean-air accomplishment of the entire Obama second term.

Without any doubt, this is the most significant move to protect public health that the EPA will make this year. 

Emission Control Companies Praise EPA "Tier 3" Standards, Cite Health and Economic Benefits

Tier 3 Regulations Will Generate Cleaner Cars, Healthier Air and More US Jobs, Says World’s Leading Manufacturers of Emission Control Technology:

Washington, DC, March 3, 2014 – “We commend the EPA for its leadership in acting to improve the air we breathe and stimulate the economy by adopting Tier 3,”  said Tim Regan, President of the Emission Control Technology Association which represents the world’s leading developers of emission control technology.  “Rarely does Government have an opportunity, as it does with Tier 3, to make such a significant, immediate improvement in the lives of all Americans.  As an industry, we are proud to stand with the Administration and a broad coalition of organizations in supporting these new rules.”

“ECTA is pleased, too, that the study we commissioned from Navigant Economics provided critical economic analysis showing that these regulations will not adversely impact consumers, but will stimulate billions of dollars in economic activity and create thousands of new jobs,” Regan added.  “Furthermore, the adoption of Tier 3 will enable domestic environmental technology manufacturers to produce new technologies for the U.S. market and export them to foreign markets with similar automobile standards, including Europe, Japan and Korea – and, over time, other significant markets.”

“Tier 3 is a winner for millions of American who regularly breathe unhealthy air and for the thousands of workers who will benefit from an enhanced manufacturing sector,” Regan added.

For More Information Contact:  Tim Regan (202-661-4155) or David Bushnell (202-288-8349)