Thursday, August 03, 2006

Why No One Talks about the Good Things done by the Bush Administration

by Ken Houghton

The astute, brilliant Gregg Easterbrook, in his first TMQ column of the season (back with Disney after his Gibsonian departure), drops in some non-football wingnuttery:
The Evolution is selling like crazy in part because the George W. Bush administration imposed the first national emissions standards on locomotives; also on construction equipment, off-road vehicles, marine engines and other previously unregulated sources of diesel exhaust. Bush further required that diesel fuel itself be "reformulated" to reduce inherent pollution content. Did you know that President Bush ordered a major strengthening of clean-air law? Of course you didn't, since the mainstream media refuse to report this.

Sadly, No!(h/t, if not TM, to these guys)

No one was talking about tightening diesel emission standards:

Certainly not this blog, 15 months ago.

Not the National Resources Defense Council:
But sweeping change is now underway. Local governments, school districts and businesses -- from transit agencies and trucking companies to farmers and construction firms -- have begun switching to vehicles and heavy equipment that run on cleaner fuels. In 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new national standard that will eventually make bus and truck diesel engines dramatically cleaner, and help Americans breathe easier. And in April 2003, the EPA took a big step toward closing another dirty-diesel loophole, proposing an equally restrictive standard for the nation's farm, construction and other heavy "nonroad" diesel equipment engines.

And especially not the diesel community, which knows that this didn't start with the Bush Administration:
These tests were introduced for most signees of the 1998 Consent Decrees between the EPA and engine manufacturers for the period 1998 - 2004. Federal regulations require the supplemental testing from all engine manufacturers effective 2007. In California, the tests are required for all engines effective model year 2005. [emphasis mine]

What, you mean that the standards weren't a result of a Bush Administration initiative, but rather a legal agreement between the EPA under President Clinton and the industry?:
Under the proposed Consent Decree, DDC has agreed to resolve the
United States' claims by, among other things:
(1) Reducing emissions from motor vehicle and nonroad heavy duty diesel engines and eliminating the strategies of concern in future production, in accordance with the schedule set forth in the proposed Decree. This includes a substantial reduction in emissions from motor vehicle diesel engines by the end of this year, and a requirement that DDC achieve early compliance (by October 1, 2002) with the more
stringent NOX plus nonmethane hydrocarbon emission standard that would otherwise not apply to motor vehicle diesel engines (under current law) until January 1, 2004;
(2) Meeting Consent Decree emission limits both on the FTP and on a supplemental test called the EURO III test, which measures emissions under steady state conditions;
(3) Meeting "emission surface limits" and "not-to-exceed" limits that impose specific emissions limits in real-world operating conditions;
(4) Addressing emissions from engines previously sold and currently in use by developing and supplying dealers and independent rebuilders with Low NOX Rebuild Kits, which would be used by engine rebuilders at the time of rebuild, and would reduce NOX emissions in rebuilt engines; and
(5) Meeting certain emission limits for nonroad engines one year earlier than the law requires;

You mean Gregg Easterbrook didn't have the fifteen minutes it took me (I'm slow) to find out that the source of those tougher standards was not the Bush Administration, but rather a Clinton-era legal agreement?

(In fairness to Easterbrook, he does point his readers to this article, which is incredibly worthwhile for fans of Wallace & Gromit in general and this film in particular.)
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