Thursday, February 11, 2016

Guest Post: Is Nuclear Energy Crucial for Clean Air?


[Clean Air Watch periodically publishes guest posts that we think are of general interest. Today's post on nuclear power by guest blogger Beth Laurel is controversial, to say the least.  Even though the Clean Power Plan has been stalled by the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue remains relevant. Clean Air Watch would entertain contrary views on this volatile subject.]

Nuclear Energy: Crucial for Clean Air

As greenhouse gas emissions further accelerate the effects of global climate change, our continued reliance on fossil fuels becomes increasingly problematic. 

Discussion of clean and sustainable energy sources generally focuses on the utility of solar and wind, such as with media coverage of Elon Musk’s SolarCity and Google’s investment in wind farms in Africa. Often notably absent, however, is a mention of nuclear power - a reliable, clean source of energy that already contributes nearly 20 percent annually to US energy consumption.

The new Clean Power Plan -- stalled this week by the Supreme Court, but still on the books -- sets goals for reducing US dependence on fossil fuels and increasing research and funding for developing a low or zero carbon grid based entirely on renewable energy sources. But any credible effort to reduce carbon emissions must include nuclear power – a controversial but consistent and renewable source of clean energy.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Why Volkswagen's Cheater Emission Crimes Are Worse than We Knew

There is fresh evidence that Volkswagen's dangerous emissions are worse than we knew -- especially for children and others with asthma.

The evidence comes in a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report summing up the latest science about nitrogen dioxide pollution -- the very sort of noxious emissions that have spewed (and continue to spew) from VW's cheater tailpipes. Link to new EPA report .

The bottom line: exposure to nitrogen dioxide pollution is much worse than we realized even a half-dozen years ago.

And, to be fair, Volkswagen is not the only culprit.  This report also underscores the need for tougher national emission standards for big-rig trucks -- something that the state of California and Northeastern states have been advocating.