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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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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. 

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.


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.


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.


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.


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”. 


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.” 

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.

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.

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.

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