Thursday, December 20, 2007

onward and downward in the headlines

United Nations passes resolution calling for a worldwide death penalty moratorium. US EPA denies waiver to California and 16 other states refusing to allow them to impose stricter MPG and emission standards for vehicles in their state than are mandated nationally.

The UN resolution is good news, coming one day after New Jersey became the first US state to throw out the death penalty.

The EPA decision is very bad news. The Federal bill Bush signed on Wednesday is not nearly sufficient. It raises MPG requirements to 35 MPG, and gives automakers until 2020 to meet that standard. Good, but that's a 12 year timeline to achieve only a 40% increase, too little and far too late. California was proposing to raise MPG to 43 for cars and do it by 2016. they automakers say they can't do it, but hey, they had full electric cars on the road 10 years ago. Furthermore the Federal bill encourages the development of ethanol, which is not a clean fuel, and doesn't adress emissions at all. California wants to regulate emissions separately from MPG, which would encourage development of clean fuel, and set an emission standard 30 percent below current levels.

I'm glad the world community is considering seriously the idea that our governments should not be executing our citizens. But if we don't get our act together about protecting the environment we'll end up killing all of us.

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