Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Imported smog

From page A4 | January 07, 2013 | 3 Comments

One of the stories from 2012 that was a continuing story for the last 25 years if not longer is high smog readings in El Dorado County. The reason, of course, is because of the smog that blows in from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento County.

We are a victim of imported smog.

The EPA last year revealed that El Dorado County was not among the nine areas that met the 1997 smog standards.

The good news, however, according to El Dorado County Air Pollution Control Officer Dave Johnston, is that four out of five monitoring stations that recorded smog in this county are indicating decreasing smog levels since 1990. That trend leads Johnston to predict the county will meet national standards for ground-level ozone in 2018.

Of, course with four more years of President Obama don’t be surprised if his next EPA administrator moves the attainment bar higher out of reach for El Dorado County.

It should be noted that the decreasing smog levels coincide with the increased technical ability of automakers to produce low and ultra-low emission vehicles. Engine efficiency and catalytic converters have made car exhaust so clean that it is next to impossible to commit suicide by running the car in a closed garage.

Add to that the discontinuance of rice burning by Sacramento Valley farmers and the air is looking pretty good — good enough to see Mount Diablo nearly every day and see the Coast Range from Highway 50 in Cameron Park and Sutter Buttes from high points in Placerville and El Dorado Hills. On a good day Mt. Lassen is also visible.

The smog may be imported, but California’s emission standards have dramatically improved things over the last quarter century.

Mountain Democrat


Discussion | 3 comments

  • Angela TJanuary 07, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    "Of, course with four more years of President Obama don’t be surprised if his next EPA administrator moves the attainment bar higher out of reach for El Dorado County." What does this even mean? You seem to accept that cleaner air is better, so why is the Obama Administration's hypothetical tightening of standards an opportunity to fling mud? If these efforts were underway, which they are not, it would be to make the views of Mt. Diablo better, not because the President has it in for El Dorado County.

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  • AnthonyJanuary 07, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    Angela T, fiction is so frequently the primary component in criticism of the President (birth certificates, death panels, etc.) I have learned to mostly ignore it. It is ironic that along with the jab at the President, the editorial cites improvements in our air quality which are due to the several government mandates over the years which conservatives condemned as "big government" There is also the unmistakeable sentiment from conservatives as they hope for the failure of the Chevy Volt which produces zero emissions. Fortunately, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the demise of the Chevy Volt have been severely overstated. Volt sales triple in 2012

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  • Ken SteersJanuary 08, 2013 - 1:44 pm

    I thought that Anthony's reference to the Volt/electric cars in general to be important enough for all to read. It seems that he thinks the Volt is a success? A year ago, it seemed like every major outlet was eagerly awaiting the final sales tally for two of the most-watched new cars in the industry, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. This year, the sales numbers are barely a blip on the radar on many blogs and news sites.. But something very important happened in 2012, as consumers overwhelmingly chose the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt to the pure electric Nissan Leaf. In 2012, sales of the Chevy Volt more than tripled 2011 sales, with 23,461 Volts sold or leased in the past year. In 2011, GM sold just 7,671, well short of their initial goals, which were anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 cars depending on who you asked and when. Meanwhile, sales of the Nissan Leaf EV were stagnant. 2012 sales in the U.S. amounted to just 9,819 units, not much more than the 9,674 sold in 2011. No wonder Nissan’s executives are publicly expressing disappointment and frustration with the low sales. Worldwide sales of the Leaf haven’t been released yet, but we doubt it is anything to write home about. What does this mean for electric cars? While not a total failure, Nissan’s big bet on pure EVs doesn’t appear to be paying off. Meanwhile though, Chevy Volt sales are gaining steam, and other automakers are keen to play catch-up with plug-in hybrids of their own. Both Nissan and Chevy has offered aggressive lease deals to get consumers in the door, the Volt is pulling way ahead, at least in the American market. Can electric cars make a comeback? Source: GM | Nissan

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