Evan Bayh Archives - Shopfloor

Imperial EPA: Speeding Up Ozone Rules, Slowing Down Jobs

By | Energy, General, Regulations | 3 Comments

The EPA is so aggressive on so many regulatory fronts, otherwise major issues tend to get shortchanged in the media, so kudos to The Wall Street Journal for covering the agency’s proposed ozone regs, being pushed before the new 2008 regulations even had a chance to go into full effect.

Monday’s WSJ reported, “New Smog Proposals From EPA Draw Fire“:

A proposed crackdown on smog by the Environmental Protection Agency is fueling resistance from businesses groups concerned about costs, Republicans who say it’ll be a drag on the economy—and some heartland Democrats engaged in tough election battles this fall.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has dramatically stepped up the pace and scope of regulatory activity since 2009. She has pushed sweeping rules to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions linked to climate change, challenged coal companies over their mining practices, and questioned the methods energy companies are using to drill for natural gas.

Now Ms. Jackson is proposing to redefine what constitutes unsafe levels of ground-level ozone, a primary ingredient in smog.

The Journal cites two letters from elected officials alarmed by the EPA’s excesses. One comes from a bipartisan group of Senators led by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH). The letter, available here, notes that the EPA normally revises the National Ambient Air Quality Standards on a five-year basis, if not longer. The Senators argue.

However, the Agency has proposed to significantly tighten the standards that were adopted less than two years ago, with no new data prompting EPA’s reconsideration. We believe that changing the rules at this time will have a significant negative impact on our states’ workers and families and will compound the hardship that many are now facing in these difficult economic times. Read More

R&D for Cleaner, More Fuel Efficient Vehicles

By | General | No Comments

Cummins hosted Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in Colombus, Ind., Monday as the Obama Administration announced nine project awards totaling more than $187 million to improve fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles.

From left: Sen. Evan Bayh, Cummins Chief Technical Officer John Wall, Secretary Chu, Rep. Baron Hill As the company’s news release explains, Cummins will receive nearly $39 million to support systems level technology development, integration, and demonstration for highly efficient Class 8 trucks (SuperTruck). Another $15 million will support advanced technology powertrains for light-duty vehicles (ATP-LD).

Cummins will partner with Peterbilt Motors Company, a division of PACCAR, for its SuperTruck project. The Cummins project will develop and demonstrate a highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced waste heat recovery system, an aerodynamic Peterbilt tractor and trailer combination, and a fuel cell auxiliary power unit to reduce engine idling.

“Cummins has long enjoyed a collaborative partnership with the DOE. These R&D programs have helped us develop the best products for our customers and the environment,” said Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Linebarger. “We appreciate the funding provided by the DOE for the Cummins SuperTruck and Light-Duty programs, which will create jobs, help address climate change and reduce oil consumption. This public-private partnership is a win for our economy, a win for the environment and a win for energy challenges. We are looking forward to working closely with Peterbilt on this important technology project.”

Emphasize that partnership angle. The Department of Energy notes that with a private cost share of 50 percent, the awards will support nearly $375 million in total research, development and demonstration projects nationally. Secretary Chu said:

Improving the efficiency of our vehicles is critical to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and addressing climate change. Today’s awards will help demonstrate the potential benefits for long-haul trucks and passenger vehicles and will play an important role in building a more sustainable transportation system for the country.

Other funding recipients announced Monday were Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar Inc., Chrysler Group, Delphi Automotive Systems, Ford Motor Company, General Motors. So you can see why it was big news at the Detroit Auto Show, too. See Detroit News,US grants Detroit 3, suppliers millions for fuel savings, jobs”


(Caption: From left: Sen. Evan Bayh, Cummins Chief Technical Officer John Wall, Secretary Chu, Rep. Baron Hill. Photo courtesy Cummins.)

Senator Bayh on Spending

By | Economy | No Comments

Just saw this important op-ed by Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, “Deficits and Fiscal Credibility“:

This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.

The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.

The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year’s levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.