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Climate: EPA eyes limits on airline carbon pollution

U.S. airlines have long lobbied against any measures aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, but they probably won't be able to dodge new EPA pollution regulations developed under the authority of the Clean Air Act.

U.S. airlines have long lobbied against any measures aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, but they won’t be able to dodge new EPA pollution regulations developed under the authority of the Clean Air Act.

Agency targets spring 2016 to make initial findings

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — U.S. airlines may soon be required to at least start thinking about cutting their carbon footprint.

Aviation accounts for about 11 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. transportation sector and is one of the fastest-growing sources of carbon pollution, rising between 3 percent to 5 percent a year. Carbon emissions from global aviation will quadruple by mid-century without action. Continue reading

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Climate: Airline carbon politics heating up again

American airlines could be banned from participating in a carbon reduction program under a new law passed by the Senate commerce committee.

Senate committee passes bill that could block U.S. airlines from joining an EU carbon-reduction plan

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — While much of the world is trying to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the commercial air travel, U.S. politicians seen intent on trying to stymy progress in the airline sector.

The Senate Commerce Committee this week passed a bill (S.1956) that would give the U.S. secretary of transportation authority to ban U.S. airlines from participating in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System if he thinks it serves the public interest. The bill does not ban  U.S. airlines from participating in the EU system.

“Passage of this disappointing and short-sighted bill today seems only to decrease the odds of action at the international level by calling into question the status of the one lever that actually moved the International Civil Air Organizationto have serious discussions after 15 years of inaction – the EU Emissions Trading System,” said Annie Petsonk, international counsel for Environmental Defense Fund.

“This bill now ups the pressure on the Obama administration to produce a solution at ICAO. We are happy to see the text at least encouraged international negotiations at ICAO, which we believe hold the key to a global agreement to reduce aviation emissions.

“Legislation that blocks American companies from obeying the laws of the countries in which they do business is almost unprecedented in U.S. history, showing up most recently when Congress barred American firms from suborning apartheid in South Africa,” Petsonk said. “How disconcerting that airlines, which are spending significant funds touting their environmental friendliness, are acting as though an anti-pollution law is as grievous as a massive human rights violation.”

U.S. teams with fossil fuel dinosaurs on airline emissions

The U.S. continues to oppose a European plan that would take meaningful steps to reduce emissions from commercial aviation.

International aviation group opposes EU plan to cut airline carbon footprint
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In the ongoing battle over reducing greenhouse gas emissions from commercial aviation, The U.S. last week sided with fossil fuel dinosaurs like Saudi Arabia.

American officials signed a statement suggesting opposition to an European Aviation Directive that would hold all airlines accountable for their emissions from flights using European airports starting in January 2012.

The statement suggests that the EU policy is inconsistent with existing international legal frameworks. It also calls for emissions from aviation to be addressed in the International Civil Aviation Organization. Continue reading

Sunday travel: The great debate (or is it?)

A French youngster sorts through apples at a market in Brignoles. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

Travel writers versus travel bloggers – does anyone really care?

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — For some time now, travel writers and bloggers have been debating about the relative merits of their chosen platforms. Bloggers claim that the immediacy of their posts, often written from the road, give readers a sense that they’re traveling along.

Some traditional travel scribes — and by that I mean writers who go on a trip, take notes and pictures, do research, then go home and write a story that appears in a magazine or newspaper a few months later — apparently feel that at least some travel blogs are under-reported, in the sense that they lack context. In some of these online debates, I’ve also seen some travel editors claim that some of the most popular travel bloggers don’t convey a sense of place, that they make they make the story all about themselves.

Although I’ve dabbled in travel blogging, I’d have to agree with at least part of that argument. At least a few of the bloggers who bill themselves as successfully making a career from their travel postings seem to think that the whole world revolves around them. The writing is pedestrian at best, sometimes includes egregious mistakes, and the photography often is somewhere around the level of what you might find in a family snapshot album, or worse.

In defense, bloggers have responded that personality is everything, and that their readers expect them to inject themselves and their subjective opinions into the story; whether they back up those opinions with any other views or facts seems irrelevant to them. And — who knows — judging by the number of people following their blogs and tweets they may be right.

Continue reading

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