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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 24, 2011. Posted: 24 Jan 2011 13:03:31
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 24, 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. AIR POLLUTION With Extension Denied, EPA Sends Boiler Rules to White House. “On the same day that a federal judge rejected U.S. EPA's bid to wait 15 more months before setting a set of controversial air pollution rules for industrial boilers, the agency sent the final rules to the White House for review, drawing fire from environmentalists, who say the agency was being disingenuous in requesting an extension.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/01/21/21greenwire-with-extension-denied-epa-sends-boiler-rules-t-75622.html?scp=9&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse INLAND REGION: Fireplace Rule Gets Dress Rehearsal. Southern California residents may have seen televised advisories telling them whether it's a good day to warm up with their home fireplaces or wood stoves. Those who ignore an advisory and light up the fireplace anyway won't face any punitive action just yet, but the regional air pollution agency is hoping the messages educate people about the consequences of burning on bad-air days. In November, fines ranging from $25 to $150 kick in. Wood smoke contributes to fine-particle pollution, linked to an array of ailments. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_fireplace24.193c488.html HEPA Filter May Improve Air Near Wood-Burning Stoves. Indoor pollution and cardiovascular health risks lower when filter was in use, study finds. HEPA filters may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease caused by exposure to indoor air pollution, a new study suggests. Canadian researchers looked at 45 adults from 25 homes in a small community where wood-burning stoves were the main sources of pollution. HEPA (high-efficiency particle air) filters were placed in each home's main activity room and in each participant's bedroom. The HEPA filter was operated normally during one seven-day period and without the internal filters during another seven-day period. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/649100.html CLIMATE CHANGE Warming Effect Of Melting Ice Fields Stronger, Report Finds. A study of the 'albedo effect' – the reflection of radiation from sunlight back to space by Arctic ice and glaciers – shows that shrinkage has led to higher heat absorption than previously estimated. The dramatic shrinking of Arctic Sea ice and the Northern Hemisphere's glaciers and snowfields has reduced the radiation of sunlight back into space more than scientists previously predicted, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience. As a result, the ocean and land mass exposed by the melting ice and snow have absorbed more heat, contributing to global warming. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-climate-arctic-20110121,0,2377795,print.story Mountain Plant Communities Moving Down Despite Climate Change, Study Finds. A study in the journal Science challenges assumptions that climate change and rising temperatures would send vegetation to higher elevations. A rise in precipitation could be the cause. Predictions that climate change will drive trees and plants uphill, potentially slashing their range to perilous levels, may be wrong, suggests a new study that found vegetation in California actually crept downhill during the 20th century. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-climate-trees-20110121,0,1920274,print.story Scenario to Cap World Emissions by 2020 Is Fading Fast, Warns IEA Economist. “Unless the United States, Europe, China, India and the other emerging economies get on a crash course to slash greenhouse gases, Birol contends, world leaders can simply forget about one of their oft-talked-about goals: stabilizing the average global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/01/24/24climatewire-scenario-to-cap-world-emissions-by-2020-is-f-69072.html?scp=16&sq=Fuels&st=cse For Many Species, No Escape as Temperature Rises. “Over the past two decades, an increasing number of settlers who have moved here to farm have impinged on bird habitats and reduced bird populations by cutting down forests and turning grasslands into fields. Now the early effects of global warming and other climate changes have helped send the populations of many local mountain species into a steep downward spiral, from which many experts say they will never recover.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/science/earth/22kenya.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=climate%20change&st=cse UK Prepares To Submit Final List Of Sites For Nuclear. The U.K. government is preparing to submit to parliament a final list of sites suitable for new nuclear power stations, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary said Monday, clearing the way for a new nuclear fleet to help the country meet climate change obligations and keep the lights on. Once approved by lawmakers, the list of sites will allow companies including EDF Energy, the U.K. subsidiary of Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR), to come forward with formal planning applications. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110124-707508.html Some Himalayan Glaciers Advance, Despite Warming. (Reuters) - Some Himalayan glaciers are advancing despite an overall retreat, according to a study on Sunday that is a step toward understanding how climate change affects vital river flows from China to India. A blanket of dust and rock debris was apparently shielding some glaciers in the world's highest mountain range from a thaw, a factor omitted from past global warming reports. And varying wind patterns might explain why some were defying a melt. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70M1RC20110123 EU Carbon Trading Thefts Reveal Systemic Flaws. Brussels - Nikos Tornikidis, a trader of carbon emissions permits in the Czech Republic, was used to the ups and downs of Europe's Emissions Trading System, a euro90 billion ($122 billion) online market splintered across 30 nations. But the news last week that hackers had stolen euro7 million in emissions permits from his firm revealed just how vulnerable the market — and his company's money — was. "No one had any clue," said Tornikidis, a portfolio manager at emissions permits trading company Blackstone Global Ventures, after alerting national authorities on Wednesday morning. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-24/eu-carbon-trading-thefts-reveal-systemic-flaws.html "Blue Carbon" Initiatives Emerging As Promising Carbon Sinks. Robin Miller winced as she stuck her hand into the frigid waters of an experimental Delta wetland to probe the soft soil below. "I found it," the U.S. Geological Survey scientist called out, pulling from the muck a small packet filled with rotting plants called "proto-peat." In time, that plant matter becomes peat, the rich soil formed by decayed plants that makes the Delta such productive farmland. Though farmers have long prized peatland, scientists are also according it new respect given its impressive carbon gas storage capabilities. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_17164343?source=rss&nclick_check=1 Scripps Deal Could Change Climate Policies. Just two years after British researchers discovered a hole in Earth’s ozone layer, countries around the globe agreed to phase out chemicals that caused the problem in what became known as the Montreal Protocol of 1987. Scientists still use that pact as an illustration of how the ability to measure environmental changes leads to new programs and regulations. Closer to home, attempts to curtail beach pollution in California blossomed in the late 1990s after expanded water-quality testing highlighted bacterial pollution in coastal waters. Posted. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jan/22/scripps-deal-could-change-climate-policies/ States Take Lead In Efforts To Fight Climate Change. Now that 2010 has gone down as one of history's hottest years, many states are choosing not to wait for Congress to tackle global warming and are taking their own steps to slash greenhouse gas emissions. States are increasingly adopting spending more money (partly federal) on energy efficiency and prodding big polluters to cut heat-trapping emissions. "This is ground-breaking work the states are doing to provide leadership," says Kevin Kennedy of the California Air Resources Board a state agency that approved rules in December to cut the state's current carbon dioxide emissions 15% by 2020. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/01/states-tackle-global-warming-cut-greenhouse-gas-emissions/1 FUELS EPA Allows Higher Ethanol Levels In Gas For Most Cars. “The agency said 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline is safe for cars and light-duty trucks manufactured from 2001 to 2006, expanding an October decision that the higher blend is safe for cars built since 2007. The maximum gasoline blend has been 10 percent ethanol.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/business/energy-environment/22ethanol.html?sq=Fuels&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=4&adxnnlx=1295888752-lPXYzHNslL/HQoZqPbe8GQ http://www.modbee.com/2011/01/22/1524035/epa-allows-higher-ethanol-levels.html Enzyme Maker Sees U.S. Ethanol Volume Rising, Still Missing EPA Mandate. Copenhagen, Denmark -- Novozymes, the world's biggest producer of industrial enzymes, forecasts that the U.S. biofuels industry will produce 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol this year, a 5 percent increase from 2010, as U.S. EPA allows increased blending of ethanol in gasoline and as U.S. exports continue to increase. EPA requires that 13.95 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels be blended into gasoline this year in the United States. On Friday, EPA announced that vehicles made in the last decade can now use up to 15 percent ethanol. The agency already approved using the blend on cars made in or after 2007 (ClimateWire, Oct. 14, 2010). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/24/6 GREEN ENERGY Solarcity Plans To Add 25 Workers This Year. Foster City-based SolarCity said it will add 25 employees to its local operations this year. The company, which recently moved to larger facilities on Academy Way, now employs about 75 in the Sacramento area, up from about 13 last year. SolarCity has about 700 solar projects in the Sacramento region, including major retail outlets and large-scale manufacturing facilities such as Intel Corp.'s Folsom location. The company also has a large number of residential customers, who lease solar systems. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/22/v-print/3342971/solarcity-plans-to-add-25-workers.html VEHICLES Mazda To Lease Electric Vehicles In Japan In 2012.“Mazda is developing its own electric car for leasing in Japan starting in spring 2012, joining the rush to develop green vehicles, an area in which it's lagging General Motors, Nissan and other rivals. The electric vehicle will be based on the car maker's Demio subcompact, called the Mazda2 overseas, and will have a driving range of 120 miles (200 kilometers) on a single charge”. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012401435.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/01/24/1525426/mazda-to-lease-electric-vehicles.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jan/24/mazda-to-lease-electric-vehicles-in-japan-in/ http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/01/24/2244607/mazda-to-lease-electric-vehicles.html#storylink=misearch http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/01/24/14 Betting on Green, Mitsubishi to Park 3 Models. “Mitsubishi’s American unit will drop three slow-selling models by 2013: the Galant midsize sedan, the Eclipse sporty coupe and the Endeavor S.U.V. In their place, Mitsubishi will offer some of the smaller hybrid and electric models, which will also be aimed at developing markets.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/automobiles/23MITSU.html?scp=3&sq=green%20vehicles&st=cse Delta To Host Free Emissions Testing “Sponsored by San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and Valley Clean Air Now, the program is designed to help reduce emissions in older, out of tune cars. If the vehicle does not pass the emission test, the motorist will receive a $500 voucher for repairs at a local Gold Shield-certified smog shop.” Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110122/A_LIFE/101220304 Reducing Parking Spaces Helps Cities Cut Auto Emissions. With bicycle share schemes, smoothly running metros and pedestrian-only streets, Europe has an edge over the New World when it comes to alternatives to automobile transportation. A new study reveals that Europe has success with another tool designed to remove people from their cars: subtracting parking spaces. Because every vehicle trip must end in a parking space, limiting parking through economic and policy changes has significantly reduced miles driven in 10 European cities, according to "Europe's Parking U-Turn Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/24/3 Electric Cars Hit The Fast Tracks. While plug-in vehicles are rolling into showrooms, some of them are also gearing up for the racing circuit this summer. Plans are moving ahead for the EV Cup, the first-ever circuit race to feature only electric vehicles. The EV Cup, a mostly European venture, will host seven races this year. Four of them will be held in the United Kingdom, one in Spain, one in Portugal and one in the United States, most likely in California. The races are being used as a promotion tool for EVs. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/24/5 DOE Slow To Distribute Clean Car Loans, Putting Startups At Risk. Despite having a pool of $25 billion in loans for advanced vehicle technology, automakers and startup companies say the federal government has been sitting on the funds, putting projects at risk of collapse. Less than $8.5 billion of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan program has been distributed since its launch in September 2008, despite $42.7 billion in requests. Some applications have sat for two years, and other companies have reported that it took seven months for the loans to close. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/01/24/12 With Rising Demand, GM Considers Doubling Volt Production. General Motors Co. will double production capacity for the Chevrolet Volt next year to 120,000 as the company works to boost sales, according to two sources close to CEO Dan Akerson. Akerson said this month that Volt production may increase to 25,000 this year, up from the planned 10,000. But now GM is reportedly working on boosting its 2012 capacity from the original target of 60,000, although that is contingent on availability of parts and demand. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/01/24/13 MISCELLANEOUS Government Roundup: Environmentalists Sue Over Sludge Project. “The Association of Irritated Residents, backed by lawyers at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, filed the action in Kern County Superior Court, charging the county didn't adequately study all of the project's environmental impacts including its cumulative ones when considered with other projects. It says the county didn't accurately calculate the project's greenhouse gas emissions or identify adequate ways of offsetting pollution.” Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x1515766528/Government-roundup-Environmentalists-sue-over-sludge-project?utm_source=widget_56&utm_medium=photo_entries_teaser_widget&utm_campaign=synapse BLOGS In New N.Y.U. Plant, a Collateral Carbon Benefit. “New York University is in the final phases of opening a power plant that provides electricity for its lights, elevators and computers and steam for heating and cooling water. The new plant is nearly 90 percent efficient, meaning it gets almost three times as much useful energy out of a unit of fuel as a typical utility power plant does. And its carbon dioxide output is 23 percent smaller than that of N.Y.U.’s old system.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/in-new-n-y-u-plant-a-collaterial-carbon-benefit/?scp=6&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Slower Flow Threatens Aging Pipeline. “Energy experts and even executives at Alyeska, the pipeline operator, are warning that more shutdowns of the aging pipeline network may be in store in the future. One problem, perhaps the central problem, is the long-term decline in oil flow down the pipeline as a result of the virtual collapse of Alaska production over the last couple of decades.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/slower-flow-threatens-aging-pipeline/?scp=7&sq=climate%20change&st=cse America’s Energy Challenge, and Opportunity. “The goal, to my mind, can be to build the foundations of an energy system sufficient to meet human needs, with limited environmental costs, as the world heads toward and beyond a mid-century crest of some 9 billion people seeking decent lives.” Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/americas-energy-challenge-and-opportunity/?scp=4&sq=green%20energy&st=cse