And more crony capitalism to boot?
In the EPA media release “EPA Announces Millions in Grants to Clean Air Projects in San Joaquin Valley“, the agency asserts:
U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld today announced $5 million in funding that will pay for cleaner locomotives throughout the San Joaquin Valley, including a state-of-the art locomotive operating between the Port of Stockton and Lodi. EPA and its partners in the valley, the California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District made the announcement at the Central California Traction Rail Company in Stockton, CA.
In addition, approximately $16 million in grants was announced to slash diesel emissions, advance air quality and improve public health throughout the state of California. The San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country, also has some of the nation’s worst air quality and highest rates of asthma. Federal, local and state partners are working to alleviate these problems by channeling significant funds into new clear air technologies.
“EPA’s goal is to reduce the public health impact of diesel emissions from the trucks and trains moving goods through the San Joaquin Valley,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This funding will reduce particulate matter emissions by 210 tons statewide for the lifetime of these projects—the equivalent of removing 1,000 heavy-duty trucks off the road.”
There is, of course, no evidence that diesel emissions harm anyone — though EPA has been trying to link diesel with health risk for 30+ years.
Now the agency has teamed up with the trucking industry’s main competitor — i.e., the rail industry — to attack trucking.
Also, will these locomotives be purchased from green locomotive maker General Electric, whose CEO chairs Obama’s jobs council?