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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 7, 2011.

Posted: 07 Jan 2011 11:43:18
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 7, 2011.  

This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


Wood-Burning Advisory In Effect. Chico — The Butte County Air
Quality Management District is asking Chico residents to
voluntarily refrain from using woodstoves and fireplaces today
and tonight. The agency issued the request — in effect until
midnight tonight — because air quality is forecast to be
unhealthy for sensitive groups. The advisory is part of the
district's "Check Before You Light" program. Officials and health
professionals have identified smoke from home wood stoves and
fireplaces as a major source of wintertime air pollution in the
county. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_17032986

California Ports First to Scrub Ship's Emissions with Seawater. A
new technology that uses seawater to remove pollutants from the
exhaust of ships' auxiliary engines and boilers will be tested
for the first time on a container vessel visiting Southern
California in a three-year project starting this coming spring.
Co-sponsored by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the $3.4
million project is expected to reduce the ship's sulfur oxide
emissions by up to 99.9 percent and particulate matter by as much
as 85 percent. Posted.


Boxer Promises GOP A Fight On Climate Change. Washington -- Sen.
Barbara Boxer had this to say Thursday to newly empowered
Republicans aiming to block federal regulators from cracking down
on greenhouse gas emissions: Not so fast. The California
Democrat, head of the Environment and Public Works Committee,
vowed to "use every tool" to beat back any effort to undermine
the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate carbon as
an air pollutant. Posted.

2 Environment Rules Halted in New Mexico. Acting on a campaign
promise, New Mexico’s new Republican governor, Susana Martinez,
has scuttled a state regulation requiring annual 3 percent cuts
in greenhouse gas emissions. A second environmental rule intended
to control the discharge of waste from dairies in southern New
Mexico was also dropped before publication. A different state
rule that caps greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources
like power plants remains in effect for the time being. Posted.

Congressional Review Act Might Not Be an Option to Fight EPA's
Greenhouse Gas Regs. Asked last weekend in a televised interview
how he planned to stop U.S. EPA regulation of carbon -- rules he
says have the potential to inflict serious harm on the economy --
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton mentioned only one
specific strategy: using the Congressional Review Act. What the
Michigan Republican did not mention is that the core EPA findings
and rules related to carbon mitigation were published more than
60 continuous legislative days ago, making it impossible to
nullify them through a resolution of disapproval under that act.

Sierra Nevada, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Listed As Top Areas
Under Duress. California's Sierra Nevada mountain range and
Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in the Bay Area have been
identified as two of the most threatened ecosystems in the United
States, especially as climate change threatens to undermine the
state's water supply and cause more wildfires. The interconnected
regions were listed on a "top 10" list this week on areas where
wildlife, fish and plants are potentially nearing extinction.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/07/6

Climate Shifts Are Changing New Weather 'Normals'. As the new
decade opens up, researchers are gathering data that will
redefine weather pattern averages for the nation. The "new
normals" will update the averages for temperatures, rainfall and
snow. A climate normal bases itself on the weather patterns of a
particular region over a 30-year period. Every decade, in
accordance with international agreements, the National Climate
Data Center releases new temperature and rain and snowfall
normals for 10,000 regions across the country. Posted.


Diesel Technology Forum Endorses DERA Reauthorization. Executive
director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), Allen Schaeffer,
has issued a statement praising President Obama’s reauthorization
of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) earlier this week.
“While the reauthorization of DERA isn’t receiving the publicity
that some other legislative issues attracted, it will be a
significant and important accomplishment for the 111th Congress,”
Schaeffer said.  “Because of the national importance of
modernizing older diesel engines to reduce emissions, DERA is one
of the most important clean air initiatives passed by Congress in
recent years,” he continued. Posted.


Ethanol In Gasoline Bad For Engines And Emissions. The Obama
Administration has directed the EPA at the behest of corn growing
states to allow 15 percent ethanol in gasoline.  The EPA staff is
disturbed by this but have no choice but to carry out Obama’s bad
policy for the environment.  Count on you car lasting half as
long as it would without the rule. Alcohol fuel, ethanol and
methanol, is highly corrosive to metal, which is what all engines
are made.  Ethanol in gasoline engines requires the manufacture
to coat the engine parts with a thin layer of plastic.  Posted.

Uranium Mill in Colorado Gets License. Denver — Colorado
regulators on Wednesday approved a license for the first new
rock-crushing uranium mill to be built in the United States in
more than 25 years to make fuel for nuclear power plants. The
plan still has many hurdles to overcome, including transportation
and air emissions permits, and opponents said they would keep up
their fight as well. But the approval of a license to handle
radioactive materials is still a big step forward for a plan to
bring back a storied, deeply controversial industry that boomed
across many corners of the West before crashing in the 1980s.


Capital Firm Solar Power To Sell 70% Share To Chinese Company. A
Chinese solar manufacturer has agreed to acquire 70 percent of
Solar Power Inc. for $33 million, news that sent shares in the
Roseville-based company soaring by more than 29 percent. LDK
Solar Co., one of the world's largest makers of solar wafers,
will pay about 64 cents per share for its stake in Solar Power,
bringing much-needed cash to the struggling local company. In the
deal, LDK will take over the operations of Solar Power's
manufacturing plant in China, which employs about 150 people.

California Solar Firms Lured To Other States. Just as Gov. Jerry
Brown begins his term – after a pledge to create 500,000 green
jobs – financial incentives are luring some California solar
panel manufacturers to expand in other states. This week, two
Silicon Valley solar panel manufacturers announced they would
build factories in southern states that offered business-friendly
conditions and strong clean energy markets. Stion, based in San
Jose, will invest $500 million to build its new production
facility in Hattiesburg, Miss., after the state agreed to a $75
million loan, and tax and training incentives.  Posted.

2011's Green Homes To Be Cheaper, Smarter, Tighter. What will be
the top 2011 trends in green building? A non-profit research
group expects green homes will become increasingly affordable,
smart and energy efficient -- all trends that Green House agrees
are likely. "We believe it's going to be a promising year for the
green building industry," writes Tom Breunig of the Earth
Advantage Institute, a Portland, Ore.-based group that has has
certified more than 11,000 eco-friendly homes. A recent report by
McGraw-Hill Construction also gives a rosy forecast. Posted.

Kaiser Permanente Installs Panels At First Of 15 Facilities.
Health care giant Kaiser Permanente has made good on its plan to
deploy solar power at its California facilities with the
installation of 1 megawatt at a hospital in Santa Clara. The
panels, built by Recurrent Energy, are the first of 15 MW total
to be deployed on 15 Kaiser facilities in California. The Santa
Clara panels are spread over two parking garages and are coming
online in segments, according to Kaiser Permanente spokesman Karl
Sonkin. Posted.


Toyota Aims to Remain King of the Hybrids. Tokyo — As Toyota
heads to the Detroit auto show that opens Monday, the company
aims to burnish its reputation as a leader in environmental
technology — an image increasingly under threat from resurgent
rivals. Both Nissan and General Motors have been promoting their
new electric-powered vehicles, which began reaching consumers
last month. And Ford, which will start selling an all-electric
version of its popular Focus compact later this year, will use
the Detroit show to promote its green credentials. As Toyota
works at the Detroit show, it will be trying to convince
customers that there is still mileage in the gas-electric hybrid
technology it pioneered more than a decade ago with its Prius.

Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf Make Electric Inland Debut. Riverside
resident Mark Sterner is an electric-car owner from way back, so
he wasn't surprised when Chevrolet dealers told him his new Volt
might attract some attention on the road. Sterner, who made his
first electric car himself when he converted a Mazda Miata in the
early 1990s, became Riverside's first Volt owner Thursday when he
took delivery of the vehicle at Singh Chevrolet in the city's
auto center. The much-anticipated Chevy Volt, which runs on
electric for 40 or so miles and has a gas-powered motor to
provide extended driving range …Posted.

GM Plans For Wireless Car Chargers. General Motors Co. today
announced a deal that aims to equip electric cars with units that
can charge electric gadgets like smart phones and digital music
players. The deal allows GM to take a $5 million stake in
Powermat, a company that sells cordless charging units. And under
the surface, the deal may have bigger implications. It allows for
the possibility of recharging electric cars without plugging them
in. This would be done by parking an electric car on a charging
mat that could be placed anywhere. Posted.

Ford To Release Charging App With Electric Vehicle. Drivers of
the battery-powered Ford Focus Electric will be able to use their
smartphones to control recharging, thanks to an application
unveiled by the automaker at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Vegas. MyFord Mobile will display the Focus' charging status,
allow owners to start or stop charging, locate the nearest
charging station and check the overall health of the battery. It
is part of Ford's attempt to give drivers as much control over
their energy use as possible. Posted.


Editorial: Back To The Future With Many Of Brown's Picks. Some
days ago, we questioned why Gov.-elect Jerry Brown was taking so
long in announcing his appointments. Now that he's seated and
making a few, we wonder if he should have taken a bit more time.
Brown made an excellent choice in appointing former Assemblyman
John Laird as natural resources secretary. Laird's deep knowledge
of coastal issues – and his strong advocacy of water conservation
while in the Legislature – will serve the state well. So will his
expertise on all state programs, having chaired the Assembly
Budget Committee from 2004 to 2008. Posted.

Greenhouse Gases. Erlich suggests we pretend that we knew the sun
was going to get hotter and threaten our planet. If so, wouldn't
we try to reduce the greenhouse gasses. Therefore, even if this
wasn't true, shouldn't we reduce greenhouse gases anyway to be
sure our planet would be safe. This makes no sense. The main and
most powerful greenhouse gas is water vapor, which makes up about
1 percent of the atmosphere. Removing water vapor would cause
crop failures. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, makes up less
than .04 percent of the atmosphere. There has been no correlation
between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and
climate. Removing carbon dioxide slows plant growth. Posted.

Should State Air Board Impose “Truth Rule”. As California’s
smog-fighting Air Resources Board (ARB) gets set to impose
America’s first cap-and-trade rules for fighting the greenhouse
gases most scientists believe are helping cause global warming
and climate change, it is also considering imposing a “truth”
rule on everyone who testifies in its hearings or submits reports
to it. For some, that appears a bit ironic right now, as the
board has just scaled back diesel particulate pollution
regulations based on a report whose lead author turned out to
have falsified his academic credentials. Posted.


Hold That Megawatt! “Frequency regulation,” an esoteric but
increasingly important element of the electric system, is getting
a new competitor. Frequency regulation is as critical as voltage
control or generating capacity but is not something that most
customers notice, at least until it goes catastrophically wrong.
It means fine-tuning the system to keep supply and demand in
balance. The problem is that the North American electric grid is
supposed to run at 60 cycles, meaning that the electrons change
direction 60 times each second. Posted.

House Republicans Seek To Limit EPA Climate Rules. The 112th
Congress has just begun, and so have the attacks on the
Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse
gases. Three Republican House members -- Marsha Blackburn
(Tenn.), Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.) and Ted Poe (Tex.) have
each introduced separate bills aimed at blocking EPA from
regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the
Clean Air Act. Posted.

Who is Standing Against Polluters and For Clean Air? Yesterday I
noted that several polluter-supported members of Congress are
introducing legislation to “throttle” the Environmental
Protection Agency, which would sacrifice much-needed safeguards
by putting the profits of corporate polluters at the top of their
agenda. Fortunately, some members of Congress are just as
determined to make sure the EPA can keep doing the job it has for
the last forty years - protecting the health of all Americans by
cracking down on corporate polluters and the life-threatening air
pollution they recklessly dump. Posted.

E.P.A. Faces First Volley From the House. The newly empowered
Republicans in the House aren’t wasting any time making good on
their pledge to throttle the Environmental Protection Agency. On
the first full day of legislative business, House Republicans
introduced measures on Wednesday to block the environmental
agency’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gases and new rules
limiting toxic air emissions from cement factories. Posted.

A Steady Dose of Atmospheric Detergent. To start the new year on
a hopeful note, here is a piece of good news about the
environment. A new study suggests that the level of a substance
that acts as a kind of detergent in the atmosphere is a lot
steadier than previously believed. That may not sound like a big
deal, but it is: it means that future pollution levels can be
predicted with some confidence from current and projected
emissions, and that the study therefore provides a firmer
scientific basis for regulations and other efforts aimed at
controlling those emissions. Posted.

California Cap-and-Trade Rules: Still Flawed. There has been a
lot of cheering over the Dec. 16 decision by the California Air
Resources Board to adopt rules setting up the nation’s first
cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon emissions. While the
regulations represent an important first step and contain several
positive elements, their flaws are serious and shouldn’t be
ignored. As the regulations now stand, their ultimate result
could be a massive giveaway to the state’s biggest polluters.
Instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the proposed rules
could result in billions of dollars in windfall profits to
polluting industries at the expense of California’s most
vulnerable communities. Posted.

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