Friday, December 16, 2005
Northeast US Kyoto Redux
Now I had thought this to be a bit of a misguided effort, but if they could accomplish something it would be likely to be at least an agreement that something should be done. Not for the right reasons, but in this case the ends would justify the means. (Take a note from Iraq)
Technorati Tags: Gas | Politics | Kyoto
- Northeast Emissions Talks Break Down (phillyBurbs.com) | National
BOSTON - Talks broke down Wednesday among state officials trying to reach an agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Northeast.
A spokesman for Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri said Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut had misgivings over the proposed nine-state plan to cut so-called greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Carcieri is concerned about the costs, according to spokesman Jeff Neal. "Ultimately we don't know how much this plan will raise energy prices," Neal said.
- A spokeswoman for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he would likely comment on the matter on Thursday. Romney has expressed concerns with the initiative in the past, saying the costs of cutting emissions would be passed on to consumers.
The draft proposal would freeze utility emissions at current levels through 2015, and then require a 10 percent reduction by 2020. It also would create a market for greenhouse gases, allowing those who lower emissions to sell excess "credits" to those who can't cut quickly enough.
Some critics fear the plan could drastically increase electricity rates because it would force companies to build new plants, or convert plants to use natural gas.
- Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/14/2005 | Emissions rules fuel a Pa. debate
The state's independent Environmental Quality Board in October set a 2008 deadline for all new vehicles in Pennsylvania to meet emissions standards set by California - which are more stringent than the more widely used federal standards.
Republican lawmakers, concerned about the potential higher cost of low-emission vehicles and angry about essentially ceding authority to another state, quickly drafted bills to revoke the Pennsylvania board's authority to adopt the standards.
"It's a risky course," Sen. Mary Jo White (R., Franklin), chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said at a hearing yesterday. "We should make standards based on Pennsylvania climate and Pennsylvania economic conditions, not on a decision made by the California air-quality board." [ed. you know, this special blend of gasoline we use in the winter causes us to get lower mileage and thus, requires us to burn MORE gas ... start there guys]
Administration officials have argued that vehicles with lower emissions will not cost more - although industry officials say they will cost up to $3,000 more per vehicle. They have also cautioned that if federal clean-air standards are not met through improved vehicle emissions, they will be forced to further limit emissions from industries and power plants, which could cost jobs. [Ed. See above article]
Transportation Secretary Allen Biehler told committee members that the state could face federal sanctions, specifically the reduction of highway funds, if it does not meet clean-air regulations. [ed. Our highways/bridges SUCK ... where is all the money going now?]
In 2004, New Jersey adopted the California standards. Six other states, including New York, have either adopted the California standards or are considering them.
[ed. See the previous article above ...]
The 20-member Pennsylvania rule-making body includes environmental-agency officials, representatives of both parties in the General Assembly, and citizens.
At the hearing yesterday, Sen. Jay Costa (D., Allegheny) asked auto-industry representatives to explain how they reached their estimate that vehicles would cost up to $3,000 more under the California standards.
Charles Territo, director of communications for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said the increase would be driven by new technology needed for low-emission vehicles similar to what is used in hybrid vehicles."There are added costs to those technologies," he said.
- PHILADELPHIA - By gradually adding hybrids to this city's vehicle fleet, James Muller knows he's helping to save the environment. What he doesn't know is whether switching to the more expensive "green" vehicles will save taxpayers money.
The city just bought 20 new hybrid Ford Escapes to add to the six Toyota Priuses already in its 6,000-vehicle fleet. Muller, Philadelphia's fleet manager, said officials are doing it to improve air quality, but that the upfront costs definitely take a bigger hit on city coffers.
"That's what we're finding with the initial cost ... it doesn't wash out," he said. "You're actually paying more money."
It's only been a year or two since many cities started adding hybrids to their fleets, but officials say the initial costs can be tough to bear. And they simply don't know whether they'll save money over gasoline-only or diesel vehicles the long run.
Officials in various cities estimate that choosing a hybrid vehicle costs an extra $3,000 to $8,000, depending on the model and which gasoline-only model would have been bought in its place.
Officials in Ann Arbor, Mich., decided not to add hybrids to their fleet after determining the costs would outweigh the benefits. Ann Arbor has other types of alternate-fuel vehicles, but found that hybrids just weren't cost-effective, said David Konkle, the city's energy coordinator.
Konkle estimated the hybrids would save $300 to $500 a year each in gas, making it impossible to make up the difference in purchase price, which he said was $8,000.
- King Henry the Sixth, Part II
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". - (Act IV, Scene II).
"Small things make base men proud". - (Act IV, Scene I).
"True nobility is exempt from fear". - (Act IV, Scene I).
Technorati Tags: Gas | Politics | Kyoto