Air
PTI – In 2020, Let’s Talk More About Air Pollution

PTI – In 2020, Let’s Talk More About Air Pollution

By Miro Korenha and Monica Medina Pardon the interruption from the constant conversation about the stock market, impeachment and conflict in the Middle East.  We’d like to talk about something completely different.  2020 is the 50th anniversary of the passage of one of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws — the Clean Air Act.  This week […]

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Ships To Become LA’s Biggest Polluters

Ships To Become LA’s Biggest Polluters


Ships visiting Southern California’s bustling ports are poised to become the region’s largest source of smog-causing pollutants in the coming years and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) wants to tackle this looming problem.

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Top Stories of 2019: Car Wars and Federalism

Top Stories of 2019: Car Wars and Federalism

News about electric vehicles — both cars and trucks — and particularly the efforts of California and other states to elevate their standards on tailpipe emissions to both reduce carbon and toxic air emissions made headlines throughout the year in Our Daily Planet.

Why This Matters: The future of cars is electric — if only we can get out of our own way to speed them to the finish line.

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Making Plastic From Fracked Natural Gas Could Replace Coal and Steel in Ohio Valley

Making Plastic From Fracked Natural Gas Could Replace Coal and Steel in Ohio Valley

Here in Madrid, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, touted his city as a green Phoenix, rising from the ashes of the failed steel and coal industries, with a growing economy based on high tech and health care companies and improved air and water quality — the city is turning a corner.  But he pointed out that just up the road Royal Dutch Shell is building a giant, greenhouse gas-spewing plant near Pittsburgh that will (using a process called “ethane cracking”) make tiny plastic pellets that can be turned into items like phone cases, auto parts, and food packaging according to The New York Times.

Why This Matters:  The Pittsburgh plant will be allowed to emit each year 2.25 million tons of carbon dioxide, 522 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and 160 tons of particulate pollution or soot, according to local NGO the Breathe Project.

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Unprecedented Air Pollution Chokes Sarajevo

Unprecedented Air Pollution Chokes Sarajevo

As the Washington Post reported, “authorities say air pollution in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo has reached dangerous levels in recent days, prompting officials to ban freight vehicles from the roads, cancel all outdoor public events and warn citizens to remain indoors.” The air is virtually unbreathable which has led city officials to reduce coal-fueled […]

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Tesla’s Not So Unbreakable CyberTruck, GM Electric Trucks To Hit in 2021

On Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk “rolled out” the company’s much-anticipated entry into the electric pickup truck market, and it was eye-catching and unconventional, to say the least. Worse yet, the demonstration of the vehicle’s “unbreakable metal” glass windows did not exactly go as planned, when a metal ball thrown at the windows broke them, not once but twice.

Why This Matters:  This truck may be something that tech bros in Silicon Valley would buy.  But does it look like the kind of vehicle that will sell well in the heartland?

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Electric Cars Racing Ahead

Electric Cars Racing Ahead

This week, in the good news category, electric cars just got a lot sexier — Ford unveiled its Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric SUV at a starting price of less than $50,000, and Ford’s CEO expects it will be profitable from the starting line, as well as zero-emission.   And for auto racing fans, CNN reported that […]

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California Won’t Buy Cars From Toyota, GM, Fiat Chrysler Due to Emissions Fight

California Governor Gavin Newsome took the fight over tailpipe standards, and California’s authority to set its own, to a whole new level by barring the purchase of new gas-powered vehicles for state government fleets from GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and other automakers that backed the Trump Administration.

Why This Matters:  As we reported, the carmakers that Newsome is penalizing are the ones that were hoping that by taking the President’s side they would force the Administration and California to find a middle ground.  Honda, Ford, BMW, and Volkswagen have sided with California and reached an agreement to continue to abide by the state’s requirements.  

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New Delhi’s Air Is So Bad It’s a Health Emergency

New Delhi’s Air Is So Bad It’s a Health Emergency

Residents of New Delhi are “in trouble” — the city’s air quality became so unbearable this past weekend that city officials had to halt outdoor work and activities like construction, limit the cars on the road, and keep people inside – they even closed several thousand primary schools until today.  The government declared it an official public health emergency in which a toxic cloud hangs over the capital, obscuring the sky and sending people to emergency rooms with pulmonary problems.

Why This Matters:  New Delhi’s air quality is 20 times worse than what the World Health Organization considers safe.  That causes many premature deaths as well as the country’s children possibly suffering permanent brain damage from poisonous air in polluted cities.

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GM, Chrysler and Toyota Take Trump’s Side on Federal Standards on Clean Cars

GM, Chrysler and Toyota Take Trump’s Side on Federal Standards on Clean Cars

Three major automakers announced late Monday that they join the ongoing litigation on clean cars in support of the federal government’s authority to decide whether there should be a single, federally mandated standard fuel economy standard, although the companies stopped short of endorsing the administration’s proposal to roll back fuel efficiency standards for cars.  

Why This Matters:  The car companies need certainty so that they can plan ahead, cut the cost of regulatory compliance and avoid having to meet numerous different standards for different states. The California clean-car standard is essential for the U.S. to cut carbon emissions.  These companies know that California is within its rights under the Clean Air Act to set a tougher standard and they should be working to electrify the fleet not double down on continuing with fossil fuels.

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Senate Dems Propose Major Clean Cars Push As Court Rejects Challenge to Clean Car Rollback

Senate Dems Propose Major Clean Cars Push As Court Rejects Challenge to Clean Car Rollback

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Sen. Jeff Merkley  of Oregon, on Friday announced a $450 billion/10 year “Clean Cars For America Climate Proposal”  to accelerate the transition to net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century by making clean cars and charging infrastructure accessible and affordable to all Americans.  Meanwhile, an appeals court in Washington, D.C. rejected on procedural grounds a challenge to the Trump Administration’s announced decision that it intends to replace the Obama clean car rule because the case is not ripe until the new rule is put in place.

Why This Matters:  It is impressive that the Senate Democrats’ proposal to speed the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S. unites auto workers, environmental groups and the auto companies all in support of speeding the development and adoption of cleaner cars.

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Dems Not Taking Trump’s Repeal of Clean Power Plan Lying Down

Dems Not Taking Trump’s Repeal of Clean Power Plan Lying Down

The Trump EPA replaced President Obama’s legacy Clean Power Plan with the much weaker Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. Yesterday Democrats tried to use a seldom-used legal maneuver that requires the signature of just 30 senators to review and overturn ACE.

It failed, but Democrats shouldn’t let this vote pass without expanding the narrative that any rules that weaken air pollution protections pose an immediate threat to the health of Americans.

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