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. http://www.cleanairwatch.org/2013/05/from-russia-with-love-dirty-air-along.html
And yes, this could block plans to require cleaner-burning ships near U.S. coastlines. So Russia’s dirty-air ploy could hurt American breathers. As one of our EPA friends has put it, The international marine diesel engine standards are a critical part of our national efforts to reduce air pollution from ocean-going engines.
Clean Air Watch joined other groups in urging the U.S. to fight this delay: http://www.cleanairwatch.org/2013/07/groups-to-epa-and-coast-guard-we-need.html
Fortunately, the U.S. has responded, and in recent months the Coast Guard and the US EPA have been trying to build an alliance to reverse this dirty-air decision.
The showdown could come as soon as Monday as the International Maritime Association’s Marine Environment Protection Committee meets in London to take final action on this issue.
We will keep you posted.