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Truck Emissions Standards a Strong Start
New Rules Will Decrease U.S. Global Warming Pollution, Oil Dependence
Washington, D.C. – President Barack Obama is announcing today that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are setting the first-ever emissions standards for medium and heavy duty trucks starting in 2014 and will begin the next round of standards for cars and light trucks for 2017 and beyond.
Statement of Carl Pope, Chairman of Sierra Club
With the oil disaster in the Gulf showing us of the true cost of our oil dependence, we applaud President Obama for this historic announcement to improve the fuel economy of trucks. We urge the administration to set the strongest standards to drive us towards an oil-free energy future.
We need to end our dependence on oil as quickly as possible and the steps the President announced today will help us move us closer to that goal while also cleaning the air we breathe.
After cars and light trucks, freight trucks are the second largest consumers of oil – burning more than 2.4 million barrels per day and growing. Right now these trucks only average 6 miles per gallon--a number that has remained virtually unchanged since the 1970’s.
We are thrilled that the administration is moving forward with the next round of standards for cars and light trucks. Setting standards for vehicles for the longer term is needed to push old technology out and bring in the new. We are pleased that California is joining with EPA and NHTSA in looking at technology, continuing its critical leadership in setting a high bar for reducing vehicle greenhouse gas pollution.
For heavy duty trucks, these standards are a great start, but it is important to begin moving more freight by rail. This will yield the greatest savings in both oil and global warming pollution.
As part of the plan to end our oil dependence, we are also calling on President Obama to issue a presidential moratorium on offshore drilling. We already have the technology to create a clean, 21st century transportation system that will end our addiction to oil. We've been talking about getting off oil for decades. The disaster in the Gulf is a wake up call. It's time to get off oil and on to clean energy.
Shell Oil Co. pledged Monday to deploy a prefabricated coffer dam ready for "immediate" use in the event of a blowout, with a full-scale oil spill response within an hour.
In a letter intended to reassure federal officials that offshore drilling can safely begin in the fragile Arctic in July despite the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell said it also would be ready to apply dispersant immediately underwater near the source of any oil flow and would have a remotely operated submersible and trained divers at the drilling site.Sorry Shell, despite this move, we still think Arctic drilling is a bad idea. Learn more in this LA Times article from earlier this month.
After the Sierra Club and our partners began campaigning to end JPMorgan Chase's coal financing in September of 2008, JPMorgan Chase conducted an internal review of their environmental policies and financial support for coal companies engaged in mountaintop removal. Starting in 2009 JPMorgan Chase began an "enhanced due diligence" process for any potential financial transactions related to mountaintop removal coal mining, which means extra review of potential risks to their bottom line or their reputation.In global warming news, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced yesterday that "The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for both April and for the period from January-April, according to NOAA. Additionally, last month's average ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for any April, and the global land surface temperature was the third warmest on record."
As a result of that process JPMorgan Chase decided not to conduct business in 2009 with any coal companies engaged in "significant" mountaintop removal operations, such as Massey. While Bank of America and Citigroup have similar policies in place, JPMorgan Chase still lags behind Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo which have policies that end or phase out any financial involvement with companies engaged in mountaintop removal, respectively.
And not just any Bike to Work Day, the most successful one in the event's 16-year history, with more than 1,000 bikes accounting for a record-breaking 75 percent of morning traffic Thursday on Market Street, organizers and city officials said.To help celebrate May as Bicycle Month (and not BP oil disaster month) Sierra Club challenges you to write a haiku about your bike -- a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. And, send us a photo with that haiku!
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