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Strict Diesel Pollution Limits

Striking an unprecedented deal that will help clean up the air in the nation’s smoggiest cities, the Clinton administration and engine manufacturers have agreed to set a stringent new pollution standard for diesel trucks and buses.

The agreement between industry and environmental regulators is considered a breakthrough in the tumultuous politics of air pollution.

The diesel industry is promising it will overcome technological hurdles to create dramatically cleaner-burning engines by 2004.

And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has vowed to impose the costly pollution mandate in a political climate when such regulations are unpopular.

The partnership is unprecedented in that no major pollution standard has ever been adopted for motor vehicles without a vigorous fight from the companies that make them.


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Sen. Maria Cantwell says governments should not be on the hook for coal mine cleanups

UPDATED: 12:25 p.m.

updated  WASHINGTON – Congress should end a practice that puts the federal government and states at risk of paying for expensive coal mine cleanups when mining companies go bankrupt, according to a new finding by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The GAO, an investigative arm of Congress, is recommending that lawmakers eliminate the ability of coal mine owners to self-certify their financial wealth, known as “self-bonding.” The controversial process lets owners avoid putting up collateral or getting third-party surety bonds – a requirement of companies in every other energy sector.