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Posts Tagged ‘EPA’

Can I Interest You in a Used Car? DOE/EPA Release New Fuel Economy Tool For Used Cars

If you’ve been following auto industry news of late, you already know that new car sales in the U.S. are hitting heights they haven’t seen in years. This is certainly good news for the auto companies and auto dealers – but it’s also good news for consumers, as more efficient vehicle choices roll into showrooms thanks to the ramping up of fuel economy standards over the last several years.

New car buyers not only have more choices, but also have better information on which to base their new car purchase decisions, thanks to improved fuel economy labels developed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011. So where does that leave someone looking to purchase a used car? Out of luck, when it comes to good information on how far that vehicle can go on a gallon of gas and what that might mean in terms of global warming emissions. That is, until yesterday. Read More

Categories: Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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A Chemical Safety Law That Works for the People

Remember the precautionary principle?  It’s the approach that says that even when the science is uncertain about the harm a product or technology may cause, we should take steps to prevent the public and the environment from being exposed to that harm, until its safety can be demonstrated. It is the job of the business that wants to use or sell the product to prove that it is not harmful. Read More

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The House Science Committee and the EPA Fighting Over Data: Is That the Same as Secret Science?

Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Science Committee seems to be implying that unless the raw data from two major studies are made available to him and his colleagues, that the science used by the EPA in crafting some air quality regulations is secret.  The Center for Science and Democracy at UCS was formed to advance the role of science and scientific evidence in public policy.  So should we be supporting Chairman Smith’s demand, which he has backed up by a subpoena? Read More

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Our Chemical Safety Law Fails to Protect Us

It’s after Labor Day. You’re thinking about getting the kids back to school, resuming your doctoral studies, or just gearing up after vacation for a busy September. The last thing you want to think about is the soup of hazardous chemicals you’re exposed to every day. For more than 30 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has largely pursued the “ignorance is bliss” approach. That wasn’t the agency’s fault. It’s been rendered virtually impotent by TSCA. Not the opera, the Toxic Substances Control Act. Read More

Categories: Science and Democracy  

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EPA Inspector General Pushes Agency on Scientific Integrity

The EPA inspector general last week released the results of an investigation following up on the agency’s implementation of its scientific integrity policy (thanks to Michal Conger of the Washington Examiner for the heads up). But here’s an interesting question: is the inspector general’s attention misplaced? Read More

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The C-Max MPG Fix: Getting it Right is Good for Consumers and Automakers Alike

The recent announcement from Ford that they will be changing the MPG rating of their Ford C-Max hybrid isn’t just a reminder of how much consumers care about fuel economy, but how important it is to get the ratings right. Accurate ratings can be a challenge as vehicles get more efficient since small variations in fuel consumption are amplified in the vehicles’ MPG ratings. The experience with the C-Max is moving the EPA to reexamine some aspects of their MPG labeling certification requirements to make sure they keep pace with advances in fuel economy.  This is good news for both automakers—who tout vehicle ratings as key selling points—and consumers, who depend on MPG ratings when comparing their vehicle choices. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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No Proven Case of Water Contamination?

We have all heard the oft-repeated statement from proponents of unconventional oil and gas development that “hydraulic fracturing does not cause water contamination.” It has come up in relation to controversies over EPA studies in Pavillion, Wyoming, and, most recently, Dimock, Pennsylvania. It has even come up at congressional hearings, where senators were distracted from the more important issue of contamination by the difficulty of pinning down expert witnesses on a simple definition of their terms — whether so-called “fracking” refers to a specific step in the process of extracting oil and gas or more broadly to all of the operations and activities involved. Read More

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A Peek Inside the Administrator’s Inbox – Some of What’s Waiting for Gina McCarthy as New EPA Administrator

The Senate has finally confirmed Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She starts with a very full plate. I have some personal experience with what lies ahead for Administrator McCarthy; I once directed a federal agency myself.

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The Social Cost of Carbon: Setting the Record Straight Ahead of Today’s House Hearing

The Obama administration has recently updated the official U.S. social cost of carbon (SCC), which attempts to estimate the costs of damage from carbon pollution. It’s one important way to show the value of cutting our global warming emissions. We’ll need to keep improving the SCC estimate to ensure it reflects the latest science and economics. We also have to ensure a more transparent process for updating and using this critical number going forward. But today’s House hearing on the SCC is simply a sideshow aimed at undermining climate action, not likely to focus on issues of substance. Read More

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What We Know: Renewable Energy Can Deliver for the President’s Carbon Reduction Plan

Past experiences with doubling renewable energy in the U.S. show that three of the president’s largest proposals can deliver reductions in carbon emissions. Great lessons learned so far light the path for reaching and exceeding the president’s goal for doubling again our deployment of renewable energy. Read More

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