Even if you’ve been out hugging trees this week, you could not have missed the news that Carbon Dioxide is now classed as an environmental pollutant – by law. I was driving through Vandalia, Illinois (America’s corn ethanol hell) when the news flash hit the radio: the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, were air pollutants subject to federal regulation.
Despite the symbolic victory for environmentalists, this Supreme Court ruling will not create any real change in U.S. greenhouse gas regulation, at least not under the current administration. It was President Andrew Jackson who famously stated, “The Court has made its decision; now let’s see them enforce it” in response to a disagreeable Supreme Court ruling against the forced relocation of Native Americans to Okalahoma. Now history repeats itself. In his April 3rd Rose Garden address, President Bush stated that he thought the environmental regulatory measures taken so far were sufficient, and he gave no sign that the EPA would begin to regulate greenhouse gasses. Amazingly, no statement concerning the Supreme Court’s decision appeared on the EPA press release Web page, signaling no forthcoming change in regulatory policy from the agency.
In the meantime, states like California have filled the regulatory void by adopting their own emissions regulations. However, these rules have no teeth unless the EPA certifies the state’s rules compliant with the Clean Air Act. For example, the automobile industry is suing California, arguing that the state’s emissions rules conflict with the Clean Air Act, but the state cannot mount a defense without an EPA waiver. Mr. Bush will not instruct the EPA to grant waivers to states or regulate CO2 emissions itself. Nothing will be gained until the chief executive is compelled by lawsuit, public pressure, or congressional mandate to take action. Given how slow the gears of government crank, a new president will be elected before any action is taken by the executive branch to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
At the Design News webinar on June 27, learn all about aluminum extrusion: designing the right shape so it costs the least, is simplest to manufacture, and best fits the application's structural requirements.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.