Jul 21 2006
02:25 pm

For the scientists in the audience. Does ground level Ozone contribute to Global Warming? If so, then shouldn’t we do everything we can to reduce ground level Ozone? Sort of a two for one special, help your health and help the planet.

Ozone is a good thing if it is high in the atmosphere. There would be no life without the protective shield of Ozone around the planet. When Ozone is lower near the ground it is one of the chief components of smog. Here in East Tennessee we used to live in one of the best places anywhere on this planet but in the last ten years Knoxville has Ozone concentrations that are in the top ten worst in America.

Michael Silence wrote on February 23, 2005, “"Diesel & Health in America: The Lingering Threat" ranks Knox County in the top 10 percent of counties nationwide in adverse health effects from diesel pollution.”

What has been the response from our elected leaders? The Orange Route and the new Interstate I-3 from Savannah. More ground level Ozone, more sprawl, and of course more ground level Ozone. But what is more important, economic development or your health? When you don’t vote you give your answer by proxy.

I know of three things that will dramatically lower ozone in our valley. The first is scrubbers on TVA coal power plants. Some progress has been made but much more needs to be done.

The second is low sulfur coal for TVA coal power plants It costs more on the front end but actually saves money in the final result. Compared to the implementation of scrubbers it is a bargain.

The third is low sulfur diesel fuel for trucks. Many people think biodiesel is the answer but bio-diesel is such a small percentage it hasn't made much of a difference. Biodiesel is good for recycling food oil that would be wasted but it is more of a politically correct overture than a real solution.

Between our national government and private industry real solutions have been delayed to effectively do something about air pollution in East Tennessee and perhaps even Global Warming. But that delay results in higher health care costs and is merely a transfer cost to individual citizens.

Low sulfur diesel is just beginning to be sold. It should have been available four years ago. There is always an excuse to put off what needs to be done. How do we expect anything to be done on Global Warming when the track record is so poor in solving our local East Tennessee problems with Air Pollution?

My point is this, our local air quality has a more immediate affect on your life and health than global warming does. At least at this point in time. When do we decide to think and act locally?

What does your pick for the U.S. Senate have to say about air pollution in East Tennessee?

Number9's picture

The invisible hand of the market?

The invisible hand of the market? Did I detect the sarcasm font?

Doesn't seem very invisible.

Why did we not have low sulfur diesel four years ago? You might ask the CEO of Pilot Oil Company.

June 15, 2000

Good morning Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee. My name is Jimmy Haslam. I am Chief Executive Officer of Pilot Oil Corporation, a family-owned private company headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me to testify today on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed regulations to reduce on-road diesel fuel sulfur levels.

Pilot was started by my father in 1958. We do not make diesel fuel -- we sell it. Our company currently owns and operates 180 travel centers and convenience stores in 37 states stretching from Connecticut to California, northward to Wisconsin, and south to Florida and Texas. We employ over 7,000 people nationwide and sold approximately 10 percent of all the on-road diesel fuel in the United States last year. As a result, Pilot is the largest independent retailer of on-road diesel fuel in the nation.

I appear before this Subcommittee today on behalf of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. SIGMA is an association of approximately 260 motor fuels marketers operating in all 50 states. Together, SIGMA members supply over 28,000 motor fuel outlets and sell over 48 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel annually -- or approximately 30 percent of all motor fuels sold in the nation last year. Collectively, SIGMA members sold over 13 billion gallons of on-road diesel fuel last year, and 89 percent of our members sell diesel fuel.

My personal experience with Pilot and my representation of all SIGMA members at this hearing today combine to make me well qualified to speak about the EPA's diesel sulfur proposal -- not just from the diesel fuel marketers' perspective, but from the perspective of diesel fuel consumers as well. From the point of view of diesel fuel marketers and our customers, EPA's proposal will have dire consequences on our business, on our customers, and, potentially, on our national economy.

SIGMA urges the members of this Subcommittee, as well your Senate colleagues, to join in strong condemnation of EPA's proposal. SIGMA strongly opposes the proposal for one fundamental reason: it will reduce -- perhaps substantially -- the supplies of on-road diesel fuel.

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