January 3rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
In July 2008, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (at podium, right) signed into law a bill that banned the use of trans fats in restaurants, effective Jan. 1, 2010.
Restaurants must now use oils, margarine and shortening that contains less than half a gram of trans fat per serving. Violators will be fined up to $1,000.
The second part of the law, a trans-fat ban for baked goods, takes effect next January. The lag time allows the industry to make the proper conversions.
As reported in the Sacramento Bee, the California Restaurant Association initially balked at the bill, but its spokesperson now says the industry is compliant.
Other opponents represented a wide spectrum of the food industry, from the California Grocers Association and California Retailers Association to the California Chamber of Commerce and California Retailers Association. Business interests resisting a public health-oriented change? Profits over patriotism? Not exactly shocking.
California is the first state to ban trans fats, following the lead of cities like New York, Philadelphia and Boston.
Read More:Trans Fats Gone from California Restaurants
October 21st, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) are holding public hearings this week on the country’s first greenhouse gas emissions limits for passenger vehicles.
Hearings began today in Detroit and will continue in New York City on Friday and Los Angeles on Tuesday. You can thank President Obama for pushing this environmental agenda, in concert with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, automakers, the United Auto Workers Union and eco-conscious organizations.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), passenger cars and light trucks emit “nearly 20% of the nation’s greenhouse gases, in the form of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons. In April, EPA provisionally found that these four contaminants and two other greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare.”
The proposed standards would apply to new cars produced from 2012 to 2016. The EDF cites the following benefits:
- Breaking Our Oil Addiction and Strengthening National Security. The vehicles subject to the proposed standards are responsible for about 40% of all U.S. oil consumption. The standards would reduce our oil consumption by 1.8 billion barrels, while achieving a 5% annual improvement in fuel efficiency for U.S. passenger cars.
- Reducing Global-Warming Pollution. Vehicles covered by the proposed standards account for 60% of heat-trapping emissions from the transportation sector and about 20% of all U.S. heat-trapping gases. These emissions have increased by more than 1% annually. The proposal would cut carbon dioxide pollution from passenger vehicles approximately 21% by 2030, reducing emissions by 950 million tons.
- Saving Money at the Pump. Families can save more than $3,000 over a vehicle’s lifetime.
Read More:Feds Hold Public Hearings on Auto Emissions Limits