The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to tighten the standard for how much ozone is allowed to be in the air — even though many areas, including So Cal, are regularly out of compliance. Business is fighting having the standard drop to what scientists say would be healthier because it would expensive to comply. The Obama White House will make the call and financial considerations are in play because of the weak economy, experts say. Ground level ozone, btw, is formed when hydrocarbons (gas, oil, etc.) evaporate and causes harm to the lungs.
On a related note, the U.S. EPA is also expected this week to announce mileage standards for heavy duty trucks, which have never had mileage standards before. Trucks are huge consumers of fuel, are big polluters and are all over the road in So Cal because we’re such a big shipping center.
California bullet train’s moment of truth (San Francisco Chronicle)
The big question: with Congress unable — actually unwilling is the more accurate term — to agree on any kind of federal budget, where will federal money allotted for California’s high-speed rail project come from? The short answer is no one knows. Money from private investors has yet to materialize and the state bond that got the project rolling is only for $9.5 billion. The project’s current cost estimate is $43 billion to connect Anaheim to San Francisco with a new estimate due in the fall. If the price-tag goes up, then what?
Let me repeat: THEN WHAT?
Santa Monica explores bike sharing program (NRDC Switchboard blog)
The city has already done a good job of installing bike lanes on many streets, even when it means taking a lane from (GASP!) car traffic. Now Santa Monica is looking into a bike sharing program that puts bike rental stations around town so that people can rent a bike for a one-way trip. Such programs are quite popular in Europe and have been catching on in the U.S. and it would be cool to see how they would fare in a city with good bike infrastructure.
Categories: Transportation Headlines