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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 28, 2011.

Posted: 28 Jan 2011 14:34:30
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 28, 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.


Valley Air Quality Much Better, But More Must Be Done. In the San
Joaquin Valley, our air-quality challenges are more difficult
than those in any other region in the nation. On one hand, we
have circumstances over which we have no control: the valley's
geography, topography and climate turn our region into a bowl
with a lid; pass- through highway traffic brings pollution
without any economic benefit; and emissions from the northwest
add to our own. On the other hand, our resources and capacity to
absorb the economic costs of combating air pollution are limited
due to our high poverty and unemployment rates. Posted. 

Part Of Hinkley's Plume Shows Contraction; Two Other Parts Show.
Hinkley - A plume of toxic hexavalent chromium has receded on the
town's western edge, according to recent samples. But it's
creeping out on its northeastern and southeastern edges, Lahontan
Regional Water Quality Control Board officials told about 200
Hinkley residents during a public forum at Hinkley Elementary
School Wednesday night. The expansion is a violation of the water
board's 2008 directive to contain the plume, board officials
said. That has been unsettling to many in Hinkley. Posted.

Activist Returns To Community To Battle Pollution. After
graduating from a prestigious university, a young Hispanic woman
decided to return to her community in East Los Angeles to start a
campaign against pollution blamed for an increase in local cancer
and asthma cases. "When I was a little girl, I saw the trains go
by and it was a happy thing and fun. We waved to the conductors
and I wondered why they didn't have any passengers," 24-year-old
Isella Ramirez says of her childhood in the small city of
Commerce, six miles from downtown Los Angeles. Pollution
resulting from the shipping of merchandise …Posted.

Environmental Group Urges New EPA Air Rules. An environmental
group in Iowa urged the state's residents to push their senators
to support a new standard by the U.S. EPA that would limit toxic
air pollution from power plants. Jessica Buchberger, a
spokeswoman for Environment Iowa, said plants in Iowa are
releasing mercury, an issue she says is important to the health
of residents and their children. There is 2,735 pounds of mercury
emitted each year, Buchberger said. To put that into context, a
1-gram (0.0022-pound) drop of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre
lake, she said.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/28/10


Sen. Inhofe Shapes Major GOP Bills to Fight EPA's Greenhouse Gas
Regs. The Senate's most vocal climate change skeptic has taken a
key role in crafting two bills to be introduced next week that
would both permanently stop U.S. EPA from regulating greenhouse
gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.  Sen. James Inhofe
(R-Okla.), who famously called climate change the "greatest hoax
ever perpetrated on the American people," will unveil a bill with
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that
would strip EPA of its authority to limit carbon emissions from
power plants, refineries and other stationary sources. Posted.

Record Snowstorms Indicator Of Global Warming. The heavy snows
that are hitting our area make many people question global
warming. But according to Environment Ohio, as the earth warms,
many areas of North America will experience more storms with
extreme levels of rain and snowfall. And while the frequency of
storms has decreased in the middle latitudes, the intensity of
those storms has increased. It stands to reason that if the world
is getting warmer--… Posted.

UN Chief: Economic Model An Environmental Threat. DAVOS,
Switzerland -- The world's current economic model is an
environmental "global suicide pact" that will result in disaster
if it isn't reformed, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon warned Friday. Ban
said that political and business leaders need to embrace economic
innovation in order to save the planet. "We need a revolution,"
the secretary-general of the U.N. told a panel at the World
Economic Forum on how best to make the global economy
sustainable. "Climate change is also showing us that the old
model is more than obsolete."  Posted.



UN Climate Talks In Focus At Davos Forum. U.S. businesses must do
more to pressure Congress to act on climate change and realize
that China is "winning the green race," world leaders and climate
change experts said Thursday at the World Economic Forum. In a
panel discussion at Davos, where some 2,500 business leaders and
politicans are gathered, U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres
said China "is going to leave us all in the dust" in the
transition toward a more energy-efficient global economy. Posted.



Warmest Current In 2,000 Years Found To Be Thawing The Arctic. A
North Atlantic current that carries water into the Arctic Ocean
is warmer than it has been for at least 2,000 years, according to
a new study. The recent heating of the water flowing through the
Fram Strait, between Greenland and the Norway's Svalbard
archipelago, is likely a major factor in the ongoing retreat of
Arctic sea ice, concludes the research, published yesterday in
the journal Science. Posted.

U.N. Leader Switches Focus From Climate To Clean Energy. United
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced his plan to
switch his focus from international climate change negotiations
to promoting clean energy and sustainable development. After
failing to find significant solutions at the 2009 climate
negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, Ban decided world leaders
are not yet ready to come together on climate change. Posted.


Advisory Panel Says New Technology Is Needed To Verify Emissions
Cuts. Determining whether individual nations comply with future
climate pacts will require a new satellite to keep tabs on
countries that resist other forms of monitoring, a government
advisory panel says. The elite, independent panel of scientists
-- known as JASON -- examined the United States' ability to
monitor the progress of international agreements to reduce carbon
dioxide emissions produced by burning fossil fuels. Although
JASON's work is often classified, the new report is not. Posted.


California’s Political Correct Police Are Killing Local Gas
Stations. Why are gas prices different in different parts of the
country?  When asked, the usual answer is “I don’t know.” 
Different regions have different requirements for fuel additives.
 Here in California drivers are under stringent regulations. Gas
station owners are under constant assault by such groups as the
Air Resource Board, the Sierra club, and any number of
environmental groups, not to mention the EPA.  In the 1990s, gas
stations were required to dig up their tanks and replace them
with new hi-tech supposedly leak proof tanks. Posted.

Exxon Predicts Gas Use Will Surpass Coal's. In Exxon Mobil
Corp.'s crystal ball, the future of natural gas is looking
increasingly rosy. Global demand for natural gas, commonly used
for heating homes and businesses and for generating electricity,
will increase 2% a year through 2030, the Texas oil giant says,
raising the 1.8% estimate it made last year. This is no small
change. It means that Exxon expects the world in 2030 to burn
seven quadrillion British thermal units of gas more than the
company predicted a year ago. That's about the same amount of
energy consumed by California in a year. Posted.

Exxon: Global Gasoline Demand To Fall Over 20 Yrs. “There will be
400 million more cars on the world's roads 20 years from now, yet
gasoline consumption will decline, according to a projection from
Exxon Mobil Corp. in its long-term energy outlook released
Thursday.  The world's biggest investor-owned oil and gas company
expects energy use overall will grow 35 percent by 2030, But that
growth would be three times higher if people used as much energy
per capita as they do now. Nowhere is that more apparent than in
projections of gasoline demand. Posted.

EPA Urges 'Civility' In Fuel-Efficiency Debate. U.S. EPA
officials used an appearance at the Washington Auto Show
yesterday to clear up some misconceptions about their
consideration of new fuel efficiency standards for cars produced
between 2017 and 2025. No, the agency has not decided the
standards will reach 62 mpg in 2025. No, the agency is not
encouraging automakers to choose one technology, like electric
vehicles, to meet the standards. And no, the agency has not
finished reviewing the cost and technology challenges for
automakers. Posted.

Researchers Find Gut Reactions To Biofuel Issues In Cows.
Scientists hunting for ways to drive down the cost of converting
plant waste into fuel may have found some valuable clues in the
bellies of cows. Researchers employing high-tech genetic
sequencing methods identified dozens of gut-dwelling organisms
that help cows break through the protective sheath that guards
the sugars inside plants. Posted.

Most Of U.K.'S 'Green' Fuels Come From Questionable Sources. The
majority of biofuels in the United Kingdom do not meet their own
standards for sustainability. The country's Renewable Fuels
Agency has found that only 31 percent of the biofuels used to
power vehicles meet the requirements to be considered
"renewable." Suppliers were unable to verify the origin of the
fuel for the other two-thirds. Under the government initiative,
suppliers were told to ensure that at least 50 percent of their
biofuel was to be sourced from renewable sources, like biomass or
used cooking oil. Posted.


UC Berkeley Ranked As World's Greenest School. The University of
Indonesia has named UC Berkeley the world's "greenest"
university. In its index released last month, the Jakarta school
ranked Berkeley's environmental policies and other factors just
ahead of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.
Northeastern University in Boston was third on the list. "It's
really nice to be recognized, especially by your peers," said
Lisa McNeilly, UC Berkeley's sustainability director. The
Indonesian list is one of many that measure universities'
commitment to environmentalism and renewable energy. Posted.

On A School Lawn, Protests Over Solar Panels. Hundreds of
students and their parents protest the installation of solar
panels on the popular front lawn at Dwyer Middle School in
Huntington Beach. To the students at Dwyer Middle School in
Huntington Beach, the grassy area below the stairs is the spot.
For Nina Nguyen, 13, it was where she was asked out by a boy for
the first time. For Mark Elvidge, 12, it's where he met his first
friend at the school. It's where students socialize before and
after class, where physical education classes are held and where
middle school culminates for the eighth-graders.

Australian Company Joins Race To Make 'Green' Cement From CO2.
London -- An Australian cement and minerals company believes it
has an answer to a problem that is vexing the experts -- how to
safely and effectively capture the carbon from a power plant at
very low energy cost and high efficiency. Not only that, but the
resulting byproducts may have uses in construction or farming.
Calix, based in Sydney, says its Endex Reactor can scrub 90
percent of the carbon dioxide from the fuel gas of a power plant
-- burning either natural gas or gasified coal -- by using
specially treated lime. Posted.

Redlands: Project Could Convert Trash To Power. A technology that
helped a struggling Austrian city shed its dependence on fossil
fuels and become economically vibrant could be brought to
Redlands. A renewable energy company born in that small town is
proposing to use waste from a Redlands landfill and sewage
treatment plant to create electricity, synthetic natural gas and
other fuels. Posted.

Exxon Mobil Forecast Predicts A Price On Carbon By 2030. The
developing world's accelerating thirst for energy can be met by
parallel advances in new technologies, including unconventional
natural gas production, deepwater oil drilling, biofuels and
hybrid vehicles, Exxon Mobil Corp. officials said in the
company's annual energy outlook report. Parallel increases in
energy demand and supply, plus increases in energy efficiency,
will protect consumers from a mismatch that could trigger price
shocks, said William Colton, Exxon Mobil's vice president for
corporate strategic planning. Posted.

U.S. Chamber Launches 'Energy Reality Tour' To Counter Obama.
Calling it "unrealistic" and too costly, the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce is criticizing President Obama's latest plan for
changing the nation's energy mix and reducing its heavy reliance
on oil and coal. "The fundamental problem with the
administration's approach on energy is that it picks winners and
losers," said Karen Harbert, who heads up the chamber's Institute
for 21st Century Energy. "Raising taxes on the industry that
fuels our lives shows a profound detachment from our energy and
economic reality." Posted.


GM Says It No Longer Needs Gov't Loan To Go Green. “General
Motors Co., in another sign of its progress since a
government-led bankruptcy, said Thursday it is withdrawing its
application for $14.4 billion in federal loans it had sought to
help build more fuel-efficient cars.”  GM, which has posted three
straight profitable financial quarters since its 2009 bankruptcy,
said it no longer needs the loans because the company's cash
position has improved. GM applied for the loans in 2009 to
modernize plants to build fuel-efficient vehicles. Posted.



Car Rental Company Going Green With New Projects. “Enterprise
Rent-A-Car says it will spend $150 million over five years to
make all of its locations environmentally friendly.” The St.
Louis-based company announced its Enterprise Sustainable
Construction Protocol on Wednesday. It says all newly constructed
and retrofitted locations will be designed, built and managed
with sustainability in mind. Enterprise says its efforts will
focus on seven areas, including use of sustainable materials,
energy efficiency, recycling and process innovation. Posted.

New Passat Delivers German Engineering Built In U.S. “Volkswagen
has redefined craftsmanship with their world debut of the all-new
Passat, a transformational car in Volkswagen‘s ambitious growth
plan for the U.S. market.”  Designed in Germany and made in
America, the Passat was developed as a larger vehicle with
premium features and handling characteristics that will perfectly
match it with the tastes and lifestyles of Americans. It will be
built in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the world’s newest, most advanced
and environmentally responsible auto assembly plant. Posted.

Government Pushing More Fuel Efficiency For Trucks. “Future
longhaul trucks, school buses and large pickup trucks will be
required to cut fuel consumption and emissions by 10 to 20
percent under first-ever fuel efficiency plans for trucks
released Monday by the Obama administration.”  For the first
time, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation
Department announced proposed fuel economy requirements and
reductions in tailpipe emissions for medium- and heavy-duty
trucks, beginning with those sold in the 2014 model year and into
the 2018 model year. Posted.


Viewpoints: Earth's Hardworking Forests Are Taken For Granted, To
Their Peril. This year, 2011, is the International Year of
Forests. Forests are the lungs of our planet, providing clean air
and stabilizing our climate. They collect, clean and store
rainfall and snow, slowly releasing it for crops and drinking
water. They are open space and solace, homes for wildlife and
places for us to work and play. Cool, you say, I love forests.

EDITORIAL: Snow Job. Depending on government will leave you
stranded. Wednesday’s five-inch layer of snow paralyzed the
nation’s capital and served as a potent display of nature’s fury.
A blanket four-times as thick pushed a number of northern cities
like New York and Newark into the record books with the heaviest
January snowfall ever. The storm’s aftermath provides a lesson
that should linger long after the chilly nights have passed:
Depending upon government to solve our problems inevitably ends
in disappointment. Posted.

Our View: Investigate Evidence Of Global Warming. It is time for
an independent investigation of whether or to what degree human
activities are creating catastrophic global warming. It should be
conducted by scientists untainted by advocacy and uncompromised
through receiving taxes or private funding to advance or debunk
the theory. Many in the new Congress were elected on promises to
re-evaluate global warming claims used to justify Draconian
regulations. A "team of nongovernment and non-U.N. experts must
be established with access to all the raw data, records,
adjustments, fudges ... Posted.


Tesla Plans Electric SUV, Due In 2014. Tesla, the electric car
manufacturer, has begun planning for a small sport utility
vehicle that will be called Model X and come to the market in
2014, the Palo Alto company said. Although the vehicle will be
the size of a small SUV, Tesla said it would offer a much larger
interior because the electric drive train and components will
take up less space than a conventional gasoline engine and
transmission. Tesla also is working with Toyota to develop an
electric version of the RAV4 compact sport utility vehicle. It
will go on sale in 2012. Posted.

Environment and Electrons Create Sparks in SoCal. The road that
takes you from the sleepy town of Boulevard into the path of the
Sunrise Powerlink is a dusty, unmarked path that’s a couple of
miles long. It ends at a gate without a sign, where a guard
stands in the hot midday sun. He knows to keep any unauthorized
visitors away; there’s a party going on inside, while the
protesters make noise for hours outside. No one yet knows what
the Sunrise Powerlink will end up looking like, and at what cost
-- and that’s just two of the main issues people have with it.

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