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Air Pollution Control

BUSINESS
October 21, 2009 | Ronald D. White
The Port of Long Beach has reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the American Trucking Assn. over disputed elements of a plan to clean up the air around the nation's busiest seaport complex. Long Beach officials have agreed to strip their plan of all requirements that are not directly tied to the goal of getting cleaner trucks on the road, including a demand that trucking companies file financial reports. Under the change, trucking companies would agree to comply with environmental, safety and security requirements.
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NATIONAL
October 6, 2009 | Jim Tankersley
Urging the government to "lead by example," President Obama ordered federal agencies on Monday to set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut energy use, save water and recycle more. The order calls for a 30% cut in vehicle fuel use by 2020, a 50% increase in recycling by 2015 and the implementation of high-efficiency building codes. It also instructs agencies to set goals within 90 days to reduce the heat-trapping gases scientists blame for global warming. The measures echo a Los Angeles sustainability program launched under the direction of then-Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley, who now heads the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
NATIONAL
October 3, 2009 | Kim Murphy
When Greg Nickels became Seattle's mayor in 2002, global warming was hardly at the top of the municipal agenda. New York's World Trade Center had been attacked, and officials had to figure out how to protect their own city from terrorism. Boeing was laying off 30,000 machinists, so there was the declining regional economy to deal with. Surely the federal government would worry about climate change. Then came the winter of 2004, when the Cascade Mountains snowpack was so disastrously low that ski resorts -- facing their worst year on record -- laid off most of their employees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2009 | Eric Bailey
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is set tonight to announce a groundbreaking agreement by California's biggest timber firm to begin marketing its vast forests as a weapon in the fight against global warming. The announcement comes less than a week after the Schwarzenegger administration pushed through new rules that allow Sierra Pacific Industries to sell its trees' ability to absorb harmful carbon dioxide from the air. Environmental groups immediately raised questions about the timing, so soon after the administration pressed the California Air Resources Board to approve the new protocols.
NATIONAL
October 1, 2009 | Jim Tankersley
The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a detailed proposal Wednesday for using the government's regulatory powers to curb greenhouse gas emissions -- reassuring foreign allies of the U.S. commitment to fight climate change and warning Congress that the administration will act on its own if lawmakers fail to address the issue. The proposed regulations would apply to large-scale industrial sources of heat-trapping gases, including power plants, factories and refineries, but not to smaller sources such as new schools, as some critics of EPA action had feared.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2009 | Jim Tankersley
A federal lawsuit by two industry groups aims to halt the U.S. government and the state of California from moving ahead with new greenhouse gas emissions rules for cars and trucks -- an action that, if successful, could scuttle a key piece of the Obama administration's plans to set stricter nationwide standards for vehicles. The lawsuit may be the first of many legal challenges targeting President Obama's efforts to limit the heat-trapping emissions that scientists blame for global warming.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2009 | Amy Littlefield
Among her many accomplishments, Otana Jakpor, 15, has managed to break up the monotonous atmosphere of air-quality hearings. It's no easy task. Typically, environmentalists spout acronyms and percentages, while industry lobbyists predict the economy will collapse under new rules. Then the 5-foot-6 African American high school senior steps forward in defense of clean air. "My name is Otana Jakpor, and I am a senior at Woodcrest Christian High School in Riverside," she began at a recent Environmental Protection Agency hearing on nitrogen dioxide regulations.
BUSINESS
August 26, 2009 | Ronald D. White
Several of the nation's biggest trade associations have fired a warning shot across the bow of the Port of Los Angeles, urging it to cease lobbying efforts to change a federal law that could greatly affect the way cargo is hauled into and out of the nation's seaports. The warning came Tuesday in a letter signed by 24 groups representing U.S. retailers, agricultural interests, apparel and textile firms, trucking groups and logistics officials. It's a response to the port's recent hiring of Atlanta-based Gephardt Group to try to change part of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act to help reduce air pollution at the port.
NATIONAL
August 22, 2009 | Jim Tankersley
A group of Midwestern Democrats is pushing for tariffs on products from countries that don't limit greenhouse gas emissions, a controversial step that the legislators say is needed to help American manufacturers survive expected emissions restrictions here. The Democrats say the measure would level the playing field for U.S. factories, which will probably face increased energy costs due to global warming legislation backed by the Obama administration. The legislation narrowly passed in the House in June and is pending in the Senate.
BUSINESS
August 13, 2009 | Steven Mufson, Mufson writes for the Washington Post.
At a bend in the Ohio River, a bulky new device is being attached to a 30-year-old coal plant near the small town of New Haven, W.Va. The device is being housed in a building four stories tall and bigger than a football field. A 150-foot-tall exhaust stack -- so wide that it would take six adults with their arms fully stretched to reach around it -- will reach into the sky. And pipelines will run out of the building and into saline aquifers two miles underground. The entire contraption will start up as early as September.
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