This just in, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Seattle is in violation of the Clean Air Act for the first time since the 1990s. Going over the legal limit for smog over the weekend means officials here will have to start hammering out a plan to improve air quality. That could feature a number of measures to put the brakes on pollution, including requiring reformulated, more expensive gasoline for the region.
The final violation of the smog standard needed to push the Emerald City and the Puget Sound region into official violation of the act occurred Saturday afternoon, when a monitor at Enumclaw in south King County went over the official limit.
It’s thanks to ozone emissions, which at ground level are a public health hazard. The official designation of the city and region as a “non-attainment area” won’t be until 2010, due to reporting regulations. But if one more wake-up call were needed, this might be it. There are plenty of other reasons to move beyond oil in transportation – anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and national security to name two – but if that’s not quite enough, how about having to devise “reformulated, more expensive gas for the region.”
As it happens, Cascadia Center, with Microsoft, Idaho National Laboratory and other event sponsors, is holding a two-day conference in Redmond Sept. 4 and 5th, titled “Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation.” Top international, national and regional experts will present solutions involving electrifying transportation, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy sources, and much more. Our event page with updated agenda and registration information is here.
Speakers include Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, former CIA chief R. James Woolsey, Project Better Place founder Shai Agassi, and Chelsea Sexton (above at right), star of “Who Killed The Electric Car” and now head of Plug In America.
UPDATE, 8/18/08, 3:56 p.m.: Additional coverage of the Clean Air Act violation from The Seattle Times.
Our 2007 Cascadia-Microsoft PHEV/alternative energy conference page: Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy Future (links to speaker PowerPoints, more)
Cascadia’s “Beyond Oil” page (including our op-eds – from ’07 to 7/31/08 – on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, moving beyond oil in transportation, more)
RECENT NEWS ARTICLES & COMMENTARY
“Trucks – From Delivery Vans To Big Rigs – Need To Get Efficient, Too,” Steve Marshall & Bruce Agnew, Puget Sound Business Journal, 8/18/08
“Turbulence In Air Travel: What High Fuel Costs Mean To Boeing,” Steve Marshall & Bruce Agnew, (Cascadia Center), Puget Sound Business Journal, 8/4/08
“PGE Installs Filling Station Of The Future,” Daily Journal Of Commerce, 7/31/08
“Kulongoski ‘Plugs In’ To Transportation Solutions,” Daily Journal Of Commerce, 7/31/08
“Paccar’s Fuel-saving Hybrid Trucks Aimed At Nation’s Distribution Industry,” Seattle Times, 7/29/08
“Plug-in Cars Zoom Forward,” Forbes, 7/29/08
“Texas To Tel Aviv,” Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times, 7/26/08
“Electric Industry Plugged In For Move To Rechargeable Cars,” Oregonian, 7/24/08
“PHEVs In The Spotlight,” Green Biz, 7/23/08
“Can Plug-in Hybrids Ride To America’s Rescue?” Christian Science Monitor/ABC News, 7/19/08
“Electric Ride Powering A Transportation Revolution,” Globe & Mail, 7/7/08
“Ensuring America’s Growth,” Peter Morici, Forbes, 5/28/08