Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tailpipe Emissions to Increase with New EPA Guidelines as Director Faces Corruption Accusations

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The New York Times is reporting that the EPA is set to revise Obama era rules regarding tailpipe emissions from cars. The rules were established to mitigate climate change, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and to improve air quality to enhance public health. The Obama plan would have required cars to get 54.5 miles per gallon (for full disclosure, my electric hybrid gets about 100 miles per gallon).

The rollback comes at a time when there are calls for the investigation of the head of the EPA for corruption. This report from the Washington Post details an inexpensive housing relationship that was set up with a Washington lobbyist and campaign contributor. The housing arrangement was for $50 a night in a city where the low end of costs of a hotel room are closer to $200 a night.   It turns out that the lobbying firm associated with the individual represents the fossil fuel industry.

As a reminder, the mission statement of the EPA is:

The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.
EPA works to ensure that:
  • Americans have clean air, land and water;
  • National efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information;
  • Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are administered and enforced fairly, effectively and as Congress intended;
  • Environmental stewardship is integral to U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
  • All parts of society--communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments--have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
  • Contaminated lands and toxic sites are cleaned up by potentially responsible parties and revitalized; and
  • Chemicals in the marketplace are reviewed for safety.

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