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Energy Reduction Budget Cuts- A Strategic Move?

by on May 6, 2013

One of our nation’s most successful air quality programs is in danger. The Obama Administration’s proposed budget cuts 70% of funding for the program that cleaned up over 50,000 diesel engines, 230,000 tons of smog-causing pollutants, and 2 million tons of carbon dioxide. However, there are still millions of vehicles that release harmful emissions that are linked to human health threats including cancers, respiratory disease and heart attacks. With approximately 45 million people living within 300 feet of a freeway in the United States, that puts a good amount of our population in harms way.


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  1. I think this relates to class discussion this passed Wednesday. Great post Katie. Parenti proposes a vague comprehensive plan to combat some of the already irreversible damages that we have induced on the rest of the world. I think this furthers claims made in class that it cannot be strictly government regulation, or maybe more accurately it will not be. At the same time personal awareness is not the simple answer. I live 2 streets from a highway overpass at home, and 8 months out of the year I live 2 houses from a highway. I have not sought out sources to inform and change myself significantly. I would not use myself as the prime, special example of the general public and representative of 45 million people across the nation. Yet I do have an interest and desire to change at least to some degree, as exemplified in energy internships and multiple environmental classes, like this one.

  2. I think this article speaks to Ray Anderson in a book called the radical industrialist where he calls for bussiness to be leaders in environmental issues. Government cannot be the only group to attempt to deal with environmental issues and this is a perfect example. It will be interesting to see if large companies such as Pepsi and Coke who have joined the program will continue in their efforts to green their fleets. Government can jumpstart programs but it cannot be solely responsible for environmental health. It is really sad that even though we are expecting to waste about a trillion dollars on a fighter jet that may never fly (the f-35) we are cutting a program that is providing immediate benefits and one htat will really not have a major impact on the budget. To me its disgracful that cutting this program would be supported by anyone

  3. becarr13 permalink

    When reading this article, the first thing that caught my attention was that 70% of this federal program, that not only attempts to reduce smog and GHGs, which are extreme environmental concerns worldwide, but that also has been successful in cleaning up or removing more than 50,000 “high-polluting diesel engines” from the US roads, could be threatened with cut-costs from the Obama administration. As I continued to read, I was surprised by the statistics but the more I thought about the situation, it seemed to make sense.
    Throughout the semester, we have continually returned to the concept of environmental injustice and once again, as stated by a senior scientist at the NRDC, Diane Bailey, this is evident in this issue of the effects resulting from diesel: Bailey says, “diesel disproportionately impacts low-income communities, and usually, mostly people of color.”
    On the other hand, the fact that this program is focusing many of its projects on school buses was reassuring. Children aren’t the ones operating such high-polluting diesel engines and therefore, not only are they the most vulnerable, especially since they may not understand the consequences of such pollutors, but they also deserve clean transportation. The fact that we are cutting a program that has been consistently successful is, to use Dylan’s word, disgraceful. I further agree with Dylan that it is alarming that cutting this program has received support, especially because of its marked success.
    Lastly, I completely agree with Schaeffer that the proposed cuts are “not a very smart strategic move” by the Obama administration. Schaeffer backs this statement by calling to our attention that Obama just “annonced clean air particulate standards, and will be announcing ozone standards soon, so there will be many more communities that would naturally turn to a program like this to help reduce their emissions.” I was not aware of this recent release given by the Obama administration, but now that it has brought to my attention I am very interested in learning more about it and ultimately following any developments surronding this issue.

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