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New Standards for Cleaner Freight Trucks – By the Numbers

rp_Pepsi-truck-300x225.jpgThe Clean Truck standards are here!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) just announced new greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

These are the second phase of EPA and DOT’s joint program for heavy-duty trucks.

They will apply to the freight trucks that transport the products we buy every day, as well as to buses and school buses, tractor-trailers, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and garbage trucks for model years 2018 to 2027.

These standards will have widespread benefits. They’ll help ensure that our nation’s fleet of trucks uses dramatically less fuel, will cut climate and other harmful pollution, and will save both truckers and consumers money. EPA and DOT estimate they will yield $230 billion in net societal benefits over the life of the program.

Here’s a bit more on the benefits of the new Clean Truck standards, by the numbers:

Cutting Pollution

  • 1.1 billion tons of carbon pollution: EPA projects the standards will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.1 billion tons over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the program.
  • 550,000 tons of nitrous oxides and 32,000 tons of particulate matter: EPA projects that the standards will have multi-pollutant benefits and result in significant reductions of nitrous oxides and particulate matter — harmful air pollutants associated with respiratory ailments and premature death.

Saving Fuel

  • 2 billion barrels of oil: EPA estimates that the standards will save two billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the program.

Saving Money

  • $170 billion: EPA estimates that over the lifetime of the program, the standards will save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion.
  • 2 years: The typical buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 could recoup the cost of modernizing with advanced low-emitting technologies in less than two years through fuel savings.
  • $250: The program will also benefit con­sumers by reducing the costs for shipping goods. The Consumer Federation of America found that rigorous fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards could save American households $250 annually in the near term and $400 annually by 2035.

Broad Support

  • 300 Companies: More than 300 companies called for strong final standards during the rulemaking process, including PepsiCo and Walmart (two of the largest trucking fleets in the U.S.), mid-size trucking companies RFX Global and Dillon Transport, and large customers of trucking services General Mills, Campbell’s Soup, and IKEA. Innovative manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and freight shippers have also called for strong standards.

Strong Clean Truck standards are also supported by national security and veterans groups, labor, consumer, and health groups, and clean air advocates (including EDF). 

Beyond the numbers, they are a testament to the fact that when we work together we can secure commonsense standards that protect public health while driving innovation and helping to create more efficient trucks for the future.

(This post was co-written by EDF Legal Fellow Alice Henderson)

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New Clean Trucks program: Business, Consumers and the Planet all Win

(This post originally appeared on EDF+Business)

Across America, companies have reason today to celebrate an important step to drive cost and emissions out of their supply chain. The U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy trucks. Once fully implemented, the new standards will cut over a billion tons of climate pollution and save hundreds of millions of dollars by 2035.

Every business in America stands to benefit.

Why? Because every business in America relies, in some form, on trucking services. Product manufacturers need trucks to get goods to market. Service and knowledge companies depend on trucks to deliver equipment and supplies. Retailers utilize trucks in distribution.

One of Walmart's aerodynamic trucks

One of Walmart's aerodynamic trucks

Retailers and consumer brands are among the top winners of strong fuel efficiency standards, as these companies account for a lot of freight movement. Companies that have undertaken detailed carbon footprint analysis often find, as Ben & Jerry’s did, that freight transportation can account for upwards of 17 percent of their total impact.

The new fuel standard means continued progress in tackling this significant source of emissions. This progress will reveal itself in lower carbon footprints for every product brought to market. It will be apparent through lower freight and fuel surcharge fees – saving large consumer brands millions annually.

The standards will be increased in 2024 and 2027, resulting in final standards that will require new tractor-trailer units to emit 25 percent less climate pollution in 2027 than in 2017. Long-haul truck drivers will see the new efficiency technology pay back in under two years.

The new standards will drive market uptake of a number of proven fuel saving technologies. Through the Super Truck program of the U.S. Department of Energy, for example, a Daimler team developed a 12.2 MPG trucks and a Cummins and Peterbilt team developed a 10.7 MPG truck. As a group of leading technology innovators noted early this year, “clear, stringent, long-term fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards” are critical to scaling emerging solutions “by creating certainty that high-quality, effective innovations will be rewarded in the marketplace.”

With the certainty of long-term standards, manufacturers will make the needed investments to introduce new engine platforms, better integrate powertrains, and take advantage of other cost-effective choices. In fact, this is just what has happened during an earlier phase of the clean truck program.

PepsiCo, Walmart, General Mills and a number of other leading companies played a critical role in securing the robust, final standards. They were drawn to advocate for strong standards because of the clean truck program’s combination of significant environmental and cost savings, and its ability to bring forward market-ready solutions.

It’s telling that these companies, which are leaders in adopting voluntary green freight best practices, were motivated to advocate for federal greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards too. They recognize that freight movement, which accounts for around 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gases, has a critical role to play in cutting our emissions.

Making heavy trucks more fuel efficient is the single most important step to reducing freight emissions. The program announced will be crucial to build a low-carbon future that enables the free flow of freight. That is an outcome every business should celebrate.

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Broad Support for Cleaner Freight Trucks

New Clean Truck standards will arrive soon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are expected to imminently finalize new greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for medium-and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The standards will apply to the freight trucks that transport the products we buy every day, as well as to buses and school buses, tractor-trailers, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and garbage trucks. (They are separate from standards for cars and passenger trucks.)

While the new standards have not yet been released, the overall support for improving our nation’s greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards is tremendously broad – including manufacturers, trucking fleets, national security experts, and others:

Manufacturers

"Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and its subsidiaries have focused for decades on improving freight efficiency in order to lower customers’ total operating costs. As the market leader in fuel efficiency, and the first to certify all of our products to Phase 1 GHG standards, DTNA shares EPA and NHTSA goals to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases.”

Greenhouse gas reduction standards for 2014 and 2017 “are very good examples of regulations that work well … We’re hoping for something similar with the next phase – challenging but good for everyone.”

  • Martin Daum, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America

“Environmental care is a core value for the Volvo Group, and we are aligned with the federal government’s goal to reduce GHG emissions from heavy-duty trucks.”

"As a power management company committed to increased fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gases, Eaton strongly supports the next phase of standards for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles."

“Cummins supports the proposed Phase II rule and believes it will help our industry grow in a more sustainable way, which is a win for our customers and win for the environment.”

“Fuel is an enormous expense for our industry — and carbon emissions carry an enormous cost for our planet. That’s why our industry supported the Obama administration’s historic first round of greenhouse gas and fuel-efficiency standards for medium and large trucks and why we support the aims of this second round of standards.”

Fleets and Shippers

“Strong federal standards will create an incentive for truck manufacturers to innovate and develop more fuel-efficient vehicles, so the trucks coming on the road in the years ahead will use a lot less fuel than today’s vehicles .. Better fuel economy and higher efficiency help companies compete; less money spent on fuel means more to invest in products, processes, people and communities.”

  • Indra K. Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo (in an op ed written with EDF president Fred Krupp)

“Our ability to access higher efficiency trucks is enhanced with well designed federal heavy truck fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards. We believe that the gains we have seen to date are just a hint of the engineering capabilities of this industry.”

“We support a strong Phase 2 rule that will drive innovation in truck technologies to viable solutions at a pace that ensures the technologies will have the intended triple bottom line outcomes without unintended consequences.”

  • Tracy Rosser, Senior Vice President, Walmart

“Ben & Jerry’s is committed to reducing our carbon footprint across our entire business … Strong truck fuel standards will help us continue taking bites out of our carbon footprint.”

“Strong efficiency standards for heavy trucks will help our companies avoid billions of dollars in fuel costs and at the same time support the U.S. economy by keeping product transportation affordable and insulating freight costs from volatile global and regional crude oil prices.”

“Phase 1 has begun reducing U.S. oil consumption, cutting GHG emissions and producing fuel costs savings for fleets. Phase 2 should also drive GHG reductions and fuel savings while achieving important economic and energy security benefits.”

  • Heavy-Duty Fuel Efficiency Leadership Group statement of principles, quoted in FedEx comments to the agencies (Companies in the Heavy-Duty Fuel Efficiency Leadership Group are PepsiCo, Cummins, Wabash, Waste Management, FedEx, Eaton and Conway)

“Strong fuel efficiency standards are good for American manufacturing because they incentivize innovation, making U.S. businesses more competitive globally. Investment in the research, production, and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies will give the United States an opportunity to lead in markets such as advanced batteries, which is growing quickly as technology costs have declined 50 percent since 2009.”

Innovators

“These proposed new efficiency standards will not just prove large trucks can be environmentally friendly, but they will lead to lower costs of goods and cheaper transportation costs to the benefit of businesses, truck owners and consumers, all while stimulating technological innovation and job creation, and protecting the health of Americans … It is important to note that the 40% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions in Class 6-8 vehicles proposed in the new rule is not something for the future. It is happening now. Parker has developed and is actively marketing a hydraulic hybrid medium- and heavy-duty vehicle transmission that is currently achieving and surpassing the 40% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions sought in the new rule.”

“Strong fuel efficiency standards are good for American manufacturing because they stimulate innovation, making U.S. businesses more competitive globally … Further investment in the research, production, and deployment of vehicle innovation will give the United States an opportunity to lead international markets as countries like China and Japan consider additional efficiency requirements for trucks … We urge U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation to finalize strong phase two standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in 2016.”

Clear, stringent, long-term fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards assist our companies and other solution providers by creating certainty that high-quality, effective innovations will be rewarded in the marketplace. To this end, we urge you to strengthen the proposed standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles.”

National Security Experts

“New fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles … would increase investment in advanced technologies that will increase truck efficiency, advance our nation’s energy independence and advance national security on several fronts … The benefit to stretching a gallon of diesel to take our heavy-duty trucks father down the road on less fuel is clear. Reducing oil use improves our operational effectiveness, decreases the size and number of dangerous resupply convoys, better ensures delivery to point of need and will save American lives.”

“[T]echnologies developed to improve fuel efficiency for the U.S. trucking industry will likely also improve military operational effectiveness and save lives … To date, fuel economy standards for cars and trucks have proved to be powerful tools that have speeded innovation, decreased our dependence on oil and improved our nation’s overall security. The CNA MAB supports the next phase of rulemaking for medium and heavy-duty trucks as a matter of national security.”

“The United State’s near-exclusive dependence on oil to power transportation has routinely forced America’s military to protect oil supply lines around the globe. I am pleased to see that so many in the trucking industry support the proposed rule … Increasing the efficiency of a sector of the economy that is such a large and growing oil consumer will strengthen our national security, give our armed forces more flexibility and make our servicemen and women less likely to go into harm’s way.”

  • General James T. Conway, former 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and co-Chairman of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for regulating trucks will improve American energy security by reducing our dangerous oil dependence. Despite record levels of domestic production, America remains exposed to global oil market volatility, which recently reached levels last seen during the financial crisis. Meanwhile, violence throughout the Middle East threatens to rattle oil markets, damage our economy greatly and deepen our military involvement. The only means to reduce our exposure to such risks is to reduce our oil dependence, especially in transportation, which accounts for about three-quarters of total oil consumption.”

  • Admiral Dennis Blair, former director of national intelligence and former commander in chief of the United States Pacific Command, and a member of the Energy Security Leadership Council at Securing America’s Future Energy

“We applaud the EPA for taking this additional step to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and cut emissions that contribute to climate change. The national security community has long recognized the effects of climate change as ‘threat multipliers,’ which is why the military has led the way on investing in energy efficiency and clean sources of energy. It is encouraging to see the civilian transportation infrastructure of this country playing a role in that fight.”

Consumer, Labor and Environmental Groups – including EDF

“As the federal government takes another step forward in addressing the nation’s energy challenges, today’s proposal to increase big truck fuel economy will not only further reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but reduce the cost of everyday consumer purchases.”

“America’s economy depends on leadership in building the next generation of clean globally competitive energy and vehicle technology. These new standards can provide a critical opportunity to sustain jobs, further reduce the pollution driving climate change and foreign oil dependence while enhancing the competitiveness of U.S.-manufactured trucks in global markets.”

“The proposed Clean Truck standards will move us miles down the road toward a cleaner, safer future. The standards will sharply reduce climate pollution from the transportation sector and will reduce America’s reliance on imported oil.”

  • Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
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Coming Soon – Cleaner Trucks, Less Pollution, and Fuel Cost Savings

Traffic Light TrucksNew and improved Clean Truck standards are coming soon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are expected to imminently finalize new greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for medium-and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The standards will apply to the freight trucks that transport the products we buy every day, as well as to buses and school buses, tractor-trailers, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and garbage trucks. (They are separate from standards for cars and passenger trucks.)

EDF, together with a broad coalition of stakeholders, has consistently called for a protective cost-effective program that will curb climate pollution and reduce our nation’s oil consumption while also driving innovative technologies that will stimulate economic growth and create high-quality domestic jobs.

Heavy-duty trucks consume almost 120 million gallons of fuel every day and emit more than 400 million metric tons of climate pollution annually. (These estimates do not include upstream emissions.) Freight movement is also one of the most briskly growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption in the United States.

The upcoming second phase of Clean Truck standards will build on the first ever heavy-duty fuel economy and GHG program, which was finalized in 2011 with broad support from truck manufacturers, national security and veterans groups, labor, consumer, and health groups, and clean air advocates (including EDF). The success of the first phase Clean Truck program is already being demonstrated by the demand for more efficient trucks and the wide variety of efficiency technologies already available for consumers to choose from.

The second-phase Clean Truck standards will apply to vehicles manufactured years from now, beginning in model year 2021 and spanning later years.The nearly final standards are an important step forward in delivering climate, health and energy benefits.

EPA estimates the standards, as proposed, would:

  • Reduce carbon pollution by one billion tons and cut fuel use by 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles subject to the standards
  • Save vehicle owners $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicles
  • Save the average American household $150 a year by 2030
  • Reduce harmful criteria and air toxic emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons annually

Increased Efficiency Provides Savings across the Entire Supply Chain

The average semi truck today burns 20,000 gallons of diesel a year – the same volume of fuel used by 50 new passenger cars. Fuel has been the largest single cost for trucking fleets, accounting for 39 percent of the cost of ownership in 2013. According to a study by EDF and CERES, robust fuel efficiency standards for trucks could lower total per-mile cost of ownership by 22 cents-a-mile by 2040.

Companies across the Supply Chain Support Strong Final Standards

Given the combination of environmental and economic benefits that strong final standards will provide, many leading companies have already shown support. PepsiCo and Walmart – two of the largest trucking fleets in the U.S. – support strong standards. General Mills, Campbell’s Soup, IKEA and many other companies that rely on trucking also support strong standards. Innovative manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and freight shippers have also called for strong standards.

Consumers Demand More Efficient Trucks

Some of the savings from the Clean Trucks standards will be passed on to consumers. The Consumer Federation of America found that rigorous fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards could save American households $250 annually in the near term and $400 annually by 2035 on goods and services (even more than what EPA estimated). According to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America, a large majority of Americans74 percent – favor requiring truck manufacturers to increase the fuel economy of large trucks to reduce their fuel costs, as much of that savings is passed on to consumers.

Cost-Effective Technologies are Proven and Available

There are many technology solutions on the shelf and in production today that can be cost-effectively scaled to make trucks significantly more efficient and cleaner. Truckers and fleets across the nation have already begun adopting many of these fuel saving technologies and strategies.

Here are some examples:

Rigorous fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses will make the American freight industry cleaner and create American jobs while saving American fleets and consumers money.

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Clean Trucks Turn Five and Bring Far-Reaching Economic and Environmental Benefits

One of Walmart's aerodynamic trucks

One of Walmart's aerodynamic trucks

Five years ago today, President Obama announced final fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy duty trucks. These new Clean Truck standards are helping to keep Americans safe from climate change and from unhealthy air pollution, reduce our country’s reliance on imported oil, and save money for both truckers and consumers.

On the fifth anniversary of their release, it is unequivocally clear that this program has been an enormous success for manufacturers, truck fleets, freight shippers, and the American people. It is also clear that more is needed and that more is possible.

The first generation Clean Truck standards were created with the broad support of the trucking industry and many other key stakeholders. Among the diverse groups that supported them were the American Trucking Associations, Engine Manufacturers Association and the Truck Manufacturers Association, the United Auto Workers — and of course EDF. With the benefit of five years of hindsight, it’s clear that this support was well deserved.

The Clean Truck standards went into effect in 2014, which was a banner year for new truck sales. These new standards drove a wave of innovation for fuel efficiency. Cummins brought forward an engine that was seven percent more efficient. Volvo improved its engine by three percent compared to just the previous year’s model. Numerous component manufacturers brought forth new fuel saving solutions.

We are now seeing this same pattern repeat itself as manufacturers announce their 2017 product lines. Volvo just introduced an engine capable of improving fuel efficiency by 6.5 percent over its 2013 model in part because of its use of waste-heat recovery. Cummins base 2017 engine is three percent more efficient than its 2016 engine and it offers a model that is 10 more efficient than one made just five years ago.

The progress we made toward fuel efficiency in 2014 and 2017 is the result of a Clean Trucks program that strikes an important balance between protective, long-term standards and the ability of manufacturers to bring new solutions to market. As Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America has noted, these standards “are very good examples of regulations that work well.”

The new trucks built under the 2014-to-2018 program are delivering tens of billions of dollars in savings for truck owners. Individual consumers are benefiting too, as passed-through truck fuel use expenditures cost Americans more than $1100 per household annually.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) are now building on this record of success with a new round of standards. These second-round standards were proposed last summer and are expected to be finalized soon. The proposed second-round standards were a good first step, but significant opportunities remain to strengthen and improve on the proposal. Chief among these is the need for a more robust engine standard.

The 2014-to-2017 program, which has been incredibly successful, required a nine percent engine efficiency improvement over the course of four years. In comparison, the proposed 2021-to-2029 program would require only a four percent improvement over the course of nearly a decade. Failing to strengthen these standards would be an enormous lost opportunity. Leading engine experts have found that fuel savings of fifteen percent beyond the 2017 standards are technically feasible and cost effective over the course of the 2021-to-2029 program.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a recent analysis of the emissions impacts of the 2021-to-2029 standards as proposed. It found that the standards would cut direct emissions by 100 million tons in 2040 compared to a business-as-usual scenario. Even with these impressive reductions, freight trucks are projected to directly emit nearly 400 million tons of climate pollution in 2040. This doesn’t have to be so.

We are seeing significant investments in potential solutions and technologies that can dramatically reduce future truck emissions.

High-profile examples of this innovation include:

  • Tesla’s intention of bringing forward an electric semi-truck, noting that a prototype truck will be unveiled in 2017
  • Walmart’s introduction of its W.A.V.E. truck
  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s SuperTruck team road-testing trucks capable of getting 10.7 and 12.2 miles per gallon

By building on the foundation of the 2014-to-2017 standards with truly strong 2021-to-2029 standards, EPA and DOT will provided needed wind in the sails to get breakthrough innovations like these to market. The benefits have been, and will be, far reaching — in fuel cost savings for trucker and shippers alike, job creation, pollution reductions, and the technological innovation that is the foundation of a strong, vibrant economy.

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San Antonio Leadership Puts People over Politics by Supporting Clean Power Plan

By: John Hall, Texas state director, clean energy, and Colin Leyden, senior manager, state regulatory & legislative affairs – natural gas. This post originally appeared on our Texas Clean Air Matters blog.

san antonio riverwalk pixabayWhen it comes to clean air and clean energy, Texas cities – and their encompassing counties – know what’s good for them.

San Antonio’s Bexar County Commissioners, for example, recently approved a resolution supporting the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the Clean Power Plan.

Bexar County includes the City of San Antonio and adjoining areas. By endorsing the plan, the broader San Antonio community joins Texas’ largest cities Houston and Dallas, whose mayors are also supporting the sensible, cost-effective clean air measure. (In fact, Houston and Dallas filed an amicus brief together with a large coalition of cities to support the Clean Power Plan in court).

All of this comes in the face of staunch opposition from Texas state leaders, who have used taxpayers’ money to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over these safeguards. Meanwhile, Bexar County Judge Nelson W. Wolff and commissioners passed the resolution unanimously, meaning members from both sides of the aisle put politics aside and voted for healthier air for our communities and families.

In addition to serving as a testament to bipartisan leadership on reducing climate-altering carbon emissions, Bexar County’s support for the Clean Power Plan is a reflection of San Antonio’s clean energy leadership and could help the city meet our nation’s health-based ground-level ozone (more commonly known as smog) standard.

San Antonio climbing clean energy ranks

Since the Clean Power Plan will encourage investment in cleaner energy sources, it should come as no surprise that San Antonio’s Bexar County backs the effort – the city is already a leader in that area. San Antonio was recently ranked 7th in terms of solar energy capacity in the Shining Cities Report – the only Texas city to make the top 10. And that ranking didn’t even include the solar power that CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal utility that serves Bexar County, draws from outside city limits.

CPS has also taken a progressive approach to advancing the low-carbon energy future through its New Energy Economy initiative. Launched nearly five years ago, the program aims to increase the use of clean energy resources while investing in the economy of San Antonio. In order to focus on lower-carbon sources, the shift resulted in the decision to shut down a large coal-fired power plant by 2018, about 15 years earlier than expected. Additionally, the New Energy Economy plan encouraged clean energy and innovative technology companies to relocate to the city. As a result, partners like OCI Solar Power, Silver Spring Networks, and Landis+Gyr have landed in the Alamo City, creating more than 840 jobs and $947 million in annual economic impact.

Clean Power Plan will have clean air rewards for the children of Bexar County

San Antonio’s air quality has been at a tipping point for many years, with smog levels just narrowly hovering beneath national health-based standards. The standards, anchored in extensive medical studies, establish the acceptable smog concentrations to ensure healthy air quality, but recent air monitoring data show San Antonio is poised to be designated in “nonattainment” by October 2017. In other words, on many days the air pollution levels are unhealthy and the city and surrounding areas will most likely not meet the standards.

Fortunately, CPS Energy’s New Energy Economy efforts, in addition to reducing harmful carbon pollution, will contribute to San Antonio’s efforts to meet the health-based smog standard. That’s because coal-fired power plants generate substantial amounts of pollutants that lead to the creation of smog. Therefore, replacing power generated by coal plants with power from cleaner sources will lower carbon emissions and smog contributors. And that is very good news for Bexar County’s children, the elderly, and individuals with lung and heart diseases – populations facing serious health threats from unhealthy air.

With both the County Judge and city utility supporting the Clean Power Plan, San Antonio should be on a path to cleaner air. However, many ozone-causing pollutants are drifting from surrounding areas in the state. In fact, recent air quality modeling shows that on some bad air quality days, more than 60 percent of the smog can be attributed to outside sources – including emissions from nearby oil and gas development in the Eagle Ford shale. To address the region’s air quality challenges, perhaps the county commissioners’ bipartisan leadership on clean energy can be an effective voice in urging state leaders to put in place polices that would incentivize surrounding areas to reduce their contribution. It will take many different strategies to reduce smog levels in Bexar County and a truly regional approach will be needed.

It makes sense for Texas to embrace the Clean Power Plan: The plan will maximize our state’s plentiful clean energy resources, leading to public health benefits and water savings. City Council member Ray Lopez put it best when he said, “We know here in San Antonio that clean power means clean air, a healthy planet, and a strong economy.” While our state decision-makers use our hard-earned taxpayer dollars to obstruct clean air safeguards, our cities are leading the way in protecting our communities and families from unhealthy air pollution and forging a strong clean energy economy.

Also posted in Clean Power Plan, News| Comments are closed
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