O&A Masthead

Nevada Ramblings —
February 1999

Columnist — Carolyn Bishop

A view from Red Rock Canyon affords a dismal picture of the city of Las Vegas. Talk about pea soup! To make matters worse, winds have been almost non-existent.

Environmentalists have voiced their concern over the Clark County Health District’s air quality program. In a recently held meeting, they told a panel of federal regulators they have little faith in the program. Among concerns voiced was a lack of control by the district over trucks and equipment with diesel engines that spew an unhealthy cloud in the air.

Since the Valley is close to exceeding federal guidelines, the area is facing restrictions on growth and a loss of federal highway funds. Already, in the past year, three unhealthful days have been recorded. This means that Clark County cannot exceed the level more than twice in the next two years. .

Carolyn Bishop Headshot

Health officials must present a viable plan to the County Commission by February. After that time, the proposed changes in gasoline will be revealed in public hearings. While Southern Nevada environmental experts are proposing to reduce the sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbons in local gasoline, petroleum industry officials are fighting changes to fuels, saying cleaner gasoline means higher prices — possibly up to six cents a gallon. Also in the works is a resolution asking the Nevada Environmental Commission to begin smog checks on diesel buses and trucks.

The Clark County Health District has given the state Environmental Commission until March to decide whether the use of MTBE will be mandated for summer use — if it is deemed safe.

The deadline is up for gas stations to replace or upgrade their tanks. This was mandated by a federal order 10 years ago. Station owners had their choice: shut down gasoline pumps and come up with a plan to come into compliance or continue to operate and risk fines of up to $5,000 a day. Many in rural areas of Nevada have chosen to close their gas pumps and limp along operating their mini-market.

It is not too early to make plans to attend the Nevada Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store 1999 Convention and Trade Show, June 8-10. It will be held at the Primm Resort and Casino, Primm, Nevada, 40 minutes outside Las Vegas. Play golf in the second annual Jim Smitten Memorial Golf Tournament. And if you have energy left over, visit the Primm outlet mall for some good shopping.

Hopefully, you are attending the WPMA meeting in Las Vegas, Feb. 23-25. If you didn’t attend, you can still join the after-convention seminar which will take place on May 15-28 aboard the luxurious Celebrity Cruise Line ship Century. The itinerary includes the Greek Islands of Katakolon, Iraklion, Santorini, and Gythion; Athens, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Balleta, Malta; and Venice, Rome, Livorno and Genoa, Italy. Call (888) 252-5550 or (800) 748-4777 for information.

If Santa Claus had traded reindeer power for gasoline power, he would have found gasoline prices in Nevada this Christmas a real bargain. Fuel prices averaged $1.11 in Las Vegas and $1.16 in Reno. On the other hand, he’d better not decide to move here from the North Pole because cost-of-living prices have risen.

If you have ever run out of gasoline in an isolated spot and had to hike miles looking for a gasoline station, a new company has developed an emergency can of specially formulated fuel that can be kept in the trunk of your car without the worry that it will explode. The new fuel is called Spare Tank. If you doubt its safety, infomercials feature firefighters dropping matches into containers of Spare Tank and even baking them in ovens. The inventor was inspired by the sight of a man forlornly pushing his motorcycle in search of a station. After three years of testing various mixtures in lawn mowers in his garage, he finally came up with Spare Tank. The bad news is that the cost is $40 a gallon.

Originally published in the February 1999 issue of the O&A News.
Copyright 1999 by KAL Publications Inc.

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