Saturday, November 20, 2010

Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy: 25th Anniversary


By Norris McDonald

Today is our 25th anniversary.  The Center was incorporated on November 20, 1985.

You can see a listing of many of our activities during that time at our original website, which we converted to Multiply when the original Msn Groups platform ended).  There is more activity information at our History page. My career has been very satisfying.  From my beginning in the Fall of 1979 at the Environmental Policy Center (now Friends of the Earth) until today, the adventure has been incredible.  I started out in the Washington, D.C.-based environmental movement.  Jimmy Carter was president and was just finishing a rough 4-year run.  I shook his hand at the Democratic National Convention in New York in 1980 not knowing that Washington was about to get a completely new makeover.  The Reagan era was interesting and quite the challenge for the environmental movement.  I still remember his 'no standard standard' for appliance efficiency standards.  I also remember the Air Florida crash and the Metro subway accident on the day that I was walking back from the U.S. Department of Energy after testifying on appliance standards.

Well, without sounding like the old guy in the room sharing old war time stories that nobody really wants to hear, the situation today is as exciting as ever.  We are embarking on trying to build biomass power plants in Mississippi, California and in Kenya.  The adventure continues and I am having more fun than ever.  Our team is lean and mean and green. 

I have kept the Center small on purpose and will continue to do so.  I almost died from respiratory failure in 1991 and 1996 (intubated for 4 days in ICU each time).  After getting divorced and full custody of my son when he was 2 years old, I decided that I wanted to stick around to see my son grow up.  But I also wanted to continue with my entrepreneurial environmentalism.  So keeping it small worked.  Although I still struggle with a chronic acute asthma that could kill me any day, my son is now 18 and I am still 'doing my green thing.'  Life is good.  Hey, and we just opened a new Center Hollywood blog this week.  Oh, and if you're feeling generous, feel free to click on our Donation button on our sites.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

EPA Hearing in Chicago on E15 Pump Label Regulation

The U.S. EPA will hold a public hearing next week in Chicago on a regulation to help ensure that E15 (gasoline containing greater than 10 percent by volume ethanol up to 15 percent) is only used in approved motor vehicles.

EPA has proposed regulations to help consumers easily identify E15 when filling up at the pump. E15 fuel can be used for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks.

The regulation includes E15 pump labeling requirements and requires the fuel industry to specify the ethanol content of gasoline sold to retailers. EPA also proposed a quarterly survey of retail stations to help ensure that gas pumps are properly labeled.

The Agency is holding the hearing to gain public input on the pump label regulation.

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or until everyone has had a chance to speak
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Place: Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago, 163 East Walton Place

View proposed rule and labels

Listen to the Hearings over the Phone: 150 lines will be available for those who wish to listen to the hearings, but are unable to attend in person. Note: you will not be able to present testimony over the phone. When each of the above hearings is occurring, you may call the following toll-free number: 1-866-299-3188. At the prompt, enter conference code 7342144423 followed by the # sign.