The ongoing debate over the Kerry-Boxer climate bill has tended to focus primarily on two issues: the bill's potential costs and its proposed environmental benefits. But there are at least two other critically important items that have not been addressed adequately by the bill's sponsors. Both were mentioned briefly at yesterday's hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.
The first involves government-mandated diesel emission reductions that began about seven years ago. The goal was to reduce emissions from heavy trucks to near-zero levels for both nitrogen oxide and particulate matter (soot). The American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports the air quality gains, but it notes that the environmental improvements haven't come cheap.