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As CBS News reported, a pall of eerie black snow has covered several towns in the Siberian region of Kuzbass, which is home to 2.6 million people and one of the world’s largest coal fields. According to the Guardian and the Siberian Times, the snow is tainted with toxic black coal dust that was released into the air from open coal pits and improperly maintained factories in the region.
Cruise ships are an extremely popular part of the global tourism industry and around the world, 24.7 million people take one every year, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. But large ships are one of the dirtiest forms of transportation and mid-sized cruise ship can emit as many emissions every day as 1 million […]
Late last week, auto giant Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay out $800M to settle an enforcement action with the U.S. government and private lawsuits with car owners, after admitting that they installed emissions test-cheating devices on diesel Jeeps and trucks resulting in an additional 35,000 tons of pollution. The company is also required to recall […]
Ignoring the pleas of residents of the historic African American community of Union Hill in Richmond, the Virginia state air pollution control board voted unanimously to approve a natural gas compressor station there.
Why This Matters: The large and powerful fossil fuel industry always seems to have the upper hand — in DC and in state capitals around the country. The ruling probably does not matter because the pipeline is mired in more serious federal court litigation. But environmental groups were disappointed that Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, replaced two skeptical air pollution control board commissioners whose terms had run out, with two pro-pipeline commissioners. Governor Northam, according to The Post, attended a political fundraiser with Dominion executives in recent days. Yup. It’s all about the money.
Toxic carbon dioxide emissions (that are an important contributor to global warming) increased by 3.4% in 2018 after three years of declines, according to a new report based on government statistics released today, demonstrating that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction on cleaning up air pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Why This Matters: The Washington Post reported that the study’s authors concluded that we are now experiencing the impacts of the Trump Administration’s regulatory rollbacks of the clean power plan, the clean car rule, and dozens of other rules designed to protect health and reduce air emissions that cause global warming. And recall that these impacts are not harmless — according to a study by Harvard scientists published last summer in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Trump administration‘s changes to air pollution policies will result in an extra 80,000 deaths per decade. And we no longer are leading the world on battling climate change, despite the best efforts of states, cities, corporations and individuals. This should give greater impetus to the Green New Deal proposals likely to emerge from the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives.
Toyota Motor Corporation announced last month that it intends to speed its development and introduction of additional electric vehicles (hybrids, battery electric models and fuel-cell electric), with a goal of having every Toyota and Lexus model include an “electrified” option by 2025.
Why This Matters: As we pointed out in another ODP story today, vehicle emissions are rising in the U.S. again — which is very bad news. This announcement by Toyota shows that even though the Trump Administration is rolling back the clean car standards, the auto industry is going to move in the right direction. Increasingly, U.S. consumers want to wean themselves off conventional gasoline cars and the market will reflect that. What is needed is a full suite of electric options — more electric vehicles of all types, sizes, configurations and prices — and more companies like Toyota, Tesla and Volvo that are moving rapidly in that direction. The future is most definitely electric.
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