Draconian Diesel Engine Regulations

The equivalent of not seeing the trees for the fires – literally!

This month as we geared up to again take-on both CARB (a lawsuit to stop their on-road truck and bus rule) and a EPA related legal action (to stop the off-road diesel engine rule), I couldn’t help to laugh at all of this efforts we are involved in while I drove each morning to work up Highway 71 and Euclid Ave. (Chino) from my home in Anaheim to Upland and looked up at the mountains.

Since Labor Day, it was obvious that there must be a fire because, well, I could hardly see Mount San Antonio (Baldy) to Mount Ontario as I drove to work each day.

I read in the paper that a large wildfire was burning in rugged areas of the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles (Camp Williams area) and it was expected to be fully contained about 10-days after it started. The U.S. Forest Service said on Sept. 9 that the fire was 83 percent contained after burning 6½ square miles of mostly pasture and forest lands.

View of the smoke shrouded San Gabriel Valley Mountains 
which where on fire, from early to mid September

According to local climatologists 80% of fires in our area are human-caused, either intentional or accidental. In areas with greater climate variations brings lightning, lightning in fact causes 80% of all fires in the western U.S according to the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, and State Forestry. So far, no explanation for this fire has been given.

The fire story went on to say that crews were concentrating on the northern edge of the fire near Camp Williams. The area had numerous ranch homes that firefighters are working to protect, but none had burned as yet as the blaze was moving away from them and no evacuations have been ordered.
About 200 firefighters were at the scene, and they had helicopters flying even at night dropping water. The report also noted that in all fourteen firefighters had suffered minor injuries. Can you say union pension and overtime propaganda in an election year?

As noted, during my morning commute, the visions of the mountains shrouded in smoke caused me to laugh a little as we battle CARB over almost immeasurable diesel emissions which are at the foundation of the claims behind the CARB regulations. The new diesel engines 2010’s now in service are 99% cleaner than 2000 year engines – and they were clean. These regulations incidentally will cost businesses and taxpayers here at least $10-billion, and there is virtually no health benefits associated with these regulations now.

I found it funny that when there was a fire Aug. 6 at the Richmond, Chevron Corp. refinery, 15,000 locals crowded into the area hospital emergency rooms and lawyers offices looking to win the lottery.

And just recently the local Air District there has publicly admitted that “mistakes” were made in alerting the public about potentially dangerous pollution created by the fire. The disclosure came as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BayAQMD) held a public meeting in San Francisco to discuss its response and the innumerable investigations into the fire.

Yes, local regulators told those who attended that they “are working to improve pollution monitoring during emergencies.” Apparently the phone notification system took three hours to notify 18,000 of the accident and dangers and that was not good enough. District executive officer Jack Broadbent said the initial, incorrect assertion that all air quality samples taken near the refinery fire were safe “clearly fell short. The public was suffering from this event,” he said. The air district is looking at deploying more air monitors near the refinery, and studying new, mobile air-monitoring stations that can be set up quickly during an emergency.

One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to conclude that this is all code for – Chevron is going to pay through the nose, and of course they will just pass on their costs and as usual, we will all be paying a 50-cent premium for it all.

So back to the forest fire: why is it when there is a forest fire here you never hear about 15,000 people crowding the emergency rooms and looking for legal reparations, even when it’s human-caused? Most of the same types of dangerous emissions have to be hanging in the air. But when there’s an accident associated with Big Oil or trucks it’s like legal cat-nip to plaintiffs (the public) and trial lawyers here.

This all piqued my curiosity as to just how many tons of foul, odiferous, health inhibiting forest fire, volcanoes and dust caused fumes and particulate matter blow across this state, country and the globe for that matter each year. Ha, don’t the farmers even burn there fields still?

I wondered between volcanoes, forest fires, wind-blown dust, sand, sea salt and all the other natural occurring deadly elements in our air referred to as particulate matter, isn’t that what helped make us, from nose hairs to lung cilia, antibodies etc…..all these emissions have been around us as we evolved over the last one hundred thousand or maybe million years. It’s called evolution with all this nasty stuff in the air we breathe everyday has helped to make us what we are – and live to the age of 78.5.

Environmental activists think they can control all of this – they can’t. It’s mostly propaganda.

The air is clean enough; no matter how clean it is, the EPA (and organizations like CARB) continues to find unacceptable risks. The EPA and state regulators’ powers and budgets, as well as those of environmentalist, depend on a continued public perception that there is a serious problem to solve. Time to recognize fact from fiction. Let’s work on non-public job creation now before it’s too late! And while we are at it, let’s standardize the fuels in this country.

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