clean air

Applied Materials

Life in the Fast Lane – Electric Vehicle Observations

Recently I had the opportunity to use a Nissan Leaf™ for several full days, a much more interesting exercise than a simple test drive. As someone working in the sustainability area, as a co-chair of the California Clean Cars campaign and as a likely car buyer in 2012 (my current vehicle has over 230,000 miles on it) I am very interested in the electric vehicle (EV) market.Nissan’s Leaf™ is among the handful of low emission cars that are presently authorized to carry a Clean Air Vehicle Sticker, entitling a single occupant to use the carpool lanes during rush hours – a very nice side benefit to EV ownership that helped speed my commute this week.My general impression of EV driving is very favorable.
Applied Materials

Reflecting on the 41st Anniversary of the Clean Air Act

At this time of year, when many of us will be traveling to visit families--either by plane, train or automobile, it is worth reflecting upon one of the United States’ seminal pieces of environmental legislation, the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act, established in 1970, is celebrating its 41st anniversary this December 17. In 1970, California’s population was only 20 million. During that same decade, in 1975, the Los Angeles basin recorded 118 Stage 1 smog alerts. By 1980 the state’s population had reached 24 million and 17 million automobiles racked up over 155 billion vehicle miles (!) By 2010 our population reached over 38 million, a doubling from 1970, but many air quality statistics demonstrate some remarkable improvements: the number of smog alerts in the South Coast has fallen by over 95% and some years have seen zero such incidents; emissions of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons from cars are down 200,000 tons from the peak in 1990 despite vehicle miles growing to 280 billion miles annually.
The Bay Area’s Future – You Choose

The Bay Area’s Future – You Choose

Last week I attended an interesting community forum on the future growth of the San Francisco Bay Area. Sponsored by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (an organization with which Applied Materials has often partnered) and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 80 or so members of the community gathered to explore various scenarios for the anticipated growth of the area. It is projected that by 2035 the Bay Area will add 900,000 households and 1.2 million jobs. The tough questions we were asked included: “Where will this growth take place?” and “How will we grow?” The assumption is that we need to grow sustainably in order to maintain the many great qualities the region possesses.