Colorado Resists Pruitt’s Polluting Agenda by Adopting California Emissions Standards
Colorado joined 12 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting California's stricter vehicle emissions standards Tuesday, The Denver Post reported.
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order calling on the state to adopt low-emissions vehicle standards by 2025 and to begin drafting the standards in time to start implementing them by the end of 2018. Hickenlooper said in a statement that the move would help reduce air pollution, which poses a greater risk at Colorado's high altitudes, and be in line with the state's commitment to fighting climate change.
"Our communities, farms and wilderness areas are susceptible to air pollution and a changing climate," his order said. "It's critical for Coloradans' health and Colorado's future that we meet these challenges head-on," The Associated Press reported.
Colorado's move is necessitated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt's announcement in April that the agency would reduce national emissions standards through 2025. California has a waiver under the Clean Air Act to adopt stricter emissions standards than the rest of the country, and other states can choose to adopt them as well. But during the Obama era, the national government's standards were strict enough that California and the other states following its lead were willing to accept them, meaning that automakers only had to make cars for one national set of standards. Pruitt's decision changed that.
Now, Colorado is invoking the Clean Air Act to adopt California's standards as well, saying it will help the state to meet its 2030 target for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, The Denver Post reported.
The move makes Colorado one of the few non-coastal states to adopt California's rules. Both New Mexico and Arizona took on the California standards, but later reversed their decisions, according to The Denver Post.
"This is really daring on the governor's part to put a mountain state in the mix of the coastal states," CEO and president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association Tim Jackson told The Denver Post. "It has never been tried and I'm not sure how much it will cost consumers."
Jackson said he was concerned that Colorado was allowing another state, that tested air quality under different conditions, to set its standards, but environmental activists applauded the decision.
"Adopting clean-car standards means fewer bad-air days and a better quality of life for citizens across our state," Environment Colorado Director Garrett Garner-Wells told The Denver Post.
This isn't the first time that Colorado has stepped up to represent non-coastal states in the fight against climate change. Two Colorado counties and the city of Boulder became the first inland municipalities to sue oil companies for damages incurred by rising temperatures in April.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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