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We're Doing Worse In The Last 6 Months, But Way Better Than 2007

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute calculates the average MPG of new cars sold in the US, and finds that June was worse than May.

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You try to do a good thing, but someone always has to come around and say there's a down side. In this case, the good thing is AB 32, also known as California's greenhouse gas emission reduction law, and the potential down side is one that could generate a lot of bad publicity.

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Among all the various factors playing into the collapse of bee colonies around the world, one of them could be your car. A UK study into how diesel exhaust fumes may affect bees' ability to pollinate flowers found that nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen oxide (NO2) - NOx gases - change the chemical composition of floral odors, making it harder for them to identify and locate flowers that they're normally attracted to, National Geographic reports. While this study focused on diesel engine exhaust fum

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Fuel-efficient cars might be nearly synonymous with Toyota here in the US, but in Mexico, the Japanese automaker is reportedly leading a fight in a dustup over more stringent automobile fuel efficiency regulations. Mexico's government is reportedly trying to make its own mile-per-gallon rules the same as those in the US as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout its economy, but Toyota isn't taking too kindly to the proposed legislation.

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It's got to be difficult to accurately measure and predict the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but if tests by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are correct, then things are getting worse than people originally thought.

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Operating an electric vehicle in China today emits more greenhouse gases than simply driving a gasoline-fueled equivalent, according to emissions expert Juerg Gruetter of Gruetter Consulting. The reason is that, despite the country's push to promote electric vehicles, China's power grid is so overwhelmingly fed by dirty coal that recharging the battery-powered rides will release far more emissions than just putting gasoline in the tanks of the nation's 200-plus million registered vehicles.

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Tiny chemical particles emitted by diesel fumes could raise the risk of heart attacks, research has shown. Scientists have found that ultrafine particles produced when diesel burns are harmful to blood vessels and can increase the chances of blood clots forming in arteries, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

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The Clean Air Act of 2007 gave the Environmental Protection Agency the right to regulate tailpipe emissions due to their dangers to public health. The law also gave states like California the right to set their own emissions policies; a move that could force automakers to meet several different standards in the U.S. alone. That led the federal government to essentially adopt California's standard, resulting in a mandate of 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.

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The Clean Air Act of 2007 gave the Environmental Protection Agency the right to regulate tailpipe emissions due to their dangers to public health. The law also gave states like California the right to set their own emissions policies; a move that could force automakers to meet several different standards in the U.S. alone. That led the federal government to essentially adopt California's standard, resulting in a mandate of 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.

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Toyota Prius versus sheep – Click above to enlarge

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Toyota Prius versus a sheep – Click above to enlarge

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Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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The so called Climate Bill, formally referred to as the American Power Act (read it in PDF), contains a wealth of information that could impact the environment, transportation, offshore drilling, clean coal and so much more. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) presented the bill yesterday with hopes of passing it by the end of the year. Reuters prepared a rundown of some emissions and transportation-related aspects contained in the bill:

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Ever since the idea of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) was first proposed, everyone from politicians to Big Oil lobbyists have spoken of the technology as already up and running successfully and ready for large scale implementation. Well, a new report in the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering thinks that CCS' success is anything but a sure thing.

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The U.S. media's political lens is focused pretty heavily on the health care debate right now, but that doesn't mean other items of interest aren't happening in Washington, D.C. For example, debate over the EPA's endangerment finding that found that greenhouse gases (GHGs), including those from on-road vehicles, threaten the public health and welfare of the American people is far from over.

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Last spring, the EPA ruled that it could regulate CO2 and five other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act because they are could be harmful to the health of humans. Automakers quickly responded by saying they hoped the finding wouldn't stop efforts to find a nationwide regulatory environment for emissions. In December, the EPA announced that, indeed:

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To the surprise of many, the vast majority of the automakers that sell their wares here in the United States welcomed the EPA's decision earlier in the year that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are damaging to the environment and should therefore be regulated. That has plenty to do with the desire for a single national fuel mileage standard. But transportation certainly isn't the only way we generate greenhouse gases as a society.

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It's official: the cars we drive are hurting us. The EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that "greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat."

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The saga of California's greenhouse gas waiver has come to an end with the EPA deciding that the state can indeed enforce its own GHG emissions standards for new motor vehicles. This means that, at least between now (with current model year vehicles) and when the 2012 MY vehicles arrive, California and the 13 states (and D.C.) that have adopted its rules will use the stricter emission standards to regulate vehicles. In the EPA's statement on the decision, it says it used "the law and science as

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