Thursday, October 13, 2005

Deep, Dark Truthful Merlot

USA Today reports that the government is finally going to crackdown on pollution and clear the skies:

That glass of garnet-colored California merlot may caress the palate and delight the nose, but state officials say wineries also create a less agreeable byproduct: smog.

Now air-quality managers in California's San Joaquin Valley, where nearly two-thirds of domestic wine is produced, are cracking down. By year's end, local officials will propose the nation's first restrictions targeting pollution from winemaking.

"We have regulated virtually all other significant (non-vehicle) sources, some a lot smaller than wineries," says San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District planning director Scott Nester. Winemaking pollution "is significant, and it is completely uncontrolled."

After all, we have to make the air cleaner somehow, given this news from the AP:

The Bush administration proposed new regulations Thursday that could allow the nation's dirtiest power plants to release more air pollutants each year — and possibly undercut lawsuits aimed at forcing companies to comply with the Clean Air Act.

The proposal follows a June federal court ruling that said power plants can throw more pollutants into the air each year when they modernize to operate for longer hours.

It's the latest in a series of attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency to make the nearly 30-year-old Clean Air Act rules for coal-fired power plants more industry-friendly. Some changes were held up by lawsuits from environmentalists and state officials.

You know, I might not mind drinking my wine in the dark. But then a light bulb went off and it hit me that in general power producers are bigger companies than winemakers. Not that that kind of thing ever matters.


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