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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 21, 2011.

Posted: 21 Mar 2011 13:08:17
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 21, 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.

At Radiation Sensor In Anaheim, It's Business As Usual. In the
face of rising concern over the possibility of radiation from
Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors reaching the West coast, air
quality officials Friday visited a radiation sensor site to show
the public that there is currently no such threat — and there’s
not likely to be. In Anaheim, Philip Fine, atmospheric
measurements manager for the South Coast Air Quality Management
District, checked his watch by a truck-sized shipping container
surrounded by instruments the district uses to test the air.

EPA Deploys More Radiation Monitors To The West Coast. As public
concern grows about radiation from Japan possibly drifting to the
West Coast of the United States, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency on Tuesday announced that it will deploy more
electronic monitors that measure radiation levels in the air. The
monitors, which detect gamma radiation and radioactive particles,
will be set up in "parts of the Western U.S. and U.S.
territories," the agency said in a statement. Posted.

Federal Agency Says Testing Finds No Health Threat From
Radioactivity Along West Coast Of US.  San Francisco — Minuscule
amounts of radiation from Japan’s stricken nuclear plant have
reached the west coast but federal and state officials say it
poses no health risk.  They said Friday that the doses of
radiation that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, and
the sun are 100,000 times the dose rates detected at a monitoring
station in California and another in Washington State.  Posted. 


SAN BERNARDINO: Grant Will Boost Clean-Air Efforts.  Regional air
quality officials on Saturday will distribute 500 electric lawn
mowers to San Bernardino residents, the first of several
initiatives to reduce air pollution in the city. In the coming
months, the South Coast Air Quality Management District will
offer city residents natural-gas-burning "logs" for their
fireplaces at big discounts. Subsidies for quieter,
lower-emission leaf blowers also will be available. District
spokesman Sam Atwood said the lawn mowers sold out fast, because
the agency charged as little as $40 for a machine that retails
for about $300. Posted. 

What Affect Does Smog Really Have On Your Children? Ever wonder
what affect the smog in Los Angeles has on your children's
health? Or the impact of San Pedro's oil refineries? Or the Port
of Long Beach? Well, the National Children's Study is launching a
pilot program to research the impact of these and other
environmental factors in children, through 37 study centers
across the United States. One of those hubs is the Los
Angeles-Ventura Study Center, which is looking for residents of
14 Los Angeles County neighborhoods to participate in the pilot
study. Posted. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_17652702


China, India, Brazil Pledge Emission Limits to United Nations
Climate Body. China, India and Brazil pledged to limit their
greenhouse gas emissions in documents submitted to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, formalizing
commitments made in Copenhagen in December 2009. China said it
will try to lower carbon-dioxide emissions per dollar of economic
output at least 40 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, according to
a document dated March 18 and e-mailed today by the UN body,
which stewards global climate treaty talks. Posted.

USDA Funds Research On Crops And Climate Change. The federal
government is investing $60 million in three major studies on the
effects of climate change on crops and forests to help ensure
farmers and foresters can continue producing food and timber
while trying to limit the impact of a changing environment. The
three studies take a new approach to crop and climate research by
bringing together researchers from a wide variety of fields and
encouraging them to find solutions appropriate to specific
geographic areas. Posted.





Experience In Floods Makes More Climate Change Believers – Study.
People who have directly experienced flooding are more likely to
be worried about climate change and willing to adopt
energy-saving behavior, according to a new study. Researchers at
two British universities based their findings on a 2010 survey of
1,822 individuals across the United Kingdom. "We show that those
who report experience of flooding express more concern over
climate change, see it as less uncertain and feel more confident
that their actions will have an effect on climate change," the
authors write. Posted.


Ethanol Creates Schism Within Agriculture. The drive to fill the
gas tanks of America's cars with corn-based ethanol is creating a
division within the ranks of the country's agricultural
producers. The most recent acceleration of the trend has been the
approval to nudge the percentage of ethanol at the gas pump from
10 to 15 percent. Livestock and dairy producers rely heavily on
corn for the rations they feed beef and dairy animals, hogs and
poultry. The increased demand on the automotive side is causing
prices for corn to increase beyond the level that animal feeders
can pay. Posted.


Ofgem Pushes for Competition in Energy Market . London—The U.K.'s
six biggest gas and electricity suppliers will be required to
auction up to 20% of their electricity-generation output under
new proposals to increase competition in the energy market,
Britain's energy regulator Ofgem said Monday. The energy
companies have eight weeks to "engage constructively" with
Ofgem's proposed changes to the market or risk being referred to
the U.K.'s Competition Commission, the regulator said in a
statement. Ofgem said a review of the retail energy market found
that competition is being stifled by complex tariffs, poor
supplier behavior and a lack of transparency. Posted.

Whatever Nuclear Power’s Threat, No Easy Alternatives. The
three-pronged disaster in Japan — earthquake, tsunami and
radiation leakage — has stirred a global outpouring of sympathy
and good will. But the nuclear catastrophe is what really has the
world on edge. People as far afield as Texas, fearing that a
noxious plume will come their way, are raiding drugstores for
potassium iodide to protect against radiation, despite experts’
assurances that the plumes will disperse over the Pacific Ocean.

Solar Industry Has A Strong Year. A recent report by the Solar
Energy Industries Association found that 2010 was a banner year
for solar in the United States. The total size of the U.S. solar
market - which includes rooftop installations, hot water heating
and utility scale projects - grew from $3.6 billion in 2009 to $6
billion, a 67 percent increase. "Solar is growing quickly across
the U.S. at the residential, commercial, and utility scale
levels. Posted.

E.U. Climate Chief Says Wind Power Will Be Cheaper Than Nuclear.
Producing energy from wind turbines at sea would be a cheaper
alternative to building new nuclear power plants, said Europe's
climate chief. "Some people tend to believe that nuclear is very,
very cheap, but offshore wind is cheaper than nuclear," said
Connie Hedegaard, the E.U. climate change commissioner. "People
should believe that this is very, very cheap." Although offshore
wind energy has long been looked at as costly, the expense is
likely to come down, according to an analysis by the European
commission. Posted.

ENERGY: Electric Car Owners Prone To Going Solar.  Electric car
buyers said they're purchasing solar panels to support their new,
electricity-intensive driving habits.  The first in the most
recent wave of plug-in electric cars rolled out last year in San
Diego County, an all-electric vehicle from Nissan, followed a
month later by Chevy's mostly electric Volt.  Posted. 


Do Your Part: Are Plastics Polluting Your Home? It's virtually
impossible to go through a day without coming into contact with
plastic. Take a second to think about everything plastic you
touch each day. It could be your toothbrush, remote control, food
containers, toys, pens, debit card, cell phone, laptop and I
could go on and on. While we all enjoy the benefits of plastic,
some plastics are a whole lot safer than others. And, there's one
type that actually releases harmful chemicals that accumulate in
our bodies, homes, and the environment. Posted.

Group Seeks Forest Restoration To Cleanse Planet.  Copemish,
Mich. -- Redwoods and sequoias towering majestically over
California's northern coast. Oaks up to 1,000 years old nestled
in a secluded corner of Ireland. The legendary cedars of Lebanon.
 They are among the most iconic trees on Earth, remnants of
once-vast populations decimated by logging, development,
pollution and disease.  Posted. 
New Highgrove Library Opens Its Doors.  Riverside County unveiled
its latest library on Saturday with a grand opening of the new
Highgrove branch, a 7,500-square-foot, environmentally efficient
building.  The new facility replaced a 1,600-square-foot library
nearby and was funded by Redevelopment dollars from the County of
Riverside Redevelopment Agency, according to officials.  Posted. 
Charity Auction Pledges To Benefit Environment.  New York ---- A
day with former president Bill Clinton, flying with Harrison Ford
on his private aircraft and sailing off the coast of Maine with
the Rockefellers are just a few of the celebrity and luxury items
being offered at an auction to benefit four leading environmental
organizations.  Posted. 


EPA Is Following the Supreme Court. Your March 15 editorial
"Carbon and Democracy" accuses the Environmental Protection
Agency of ignoring democratic principles and the rule of law in
its efforts to protect the public from the harm caused by changes
in our climate. Let's review the facts. It was the Supreme Court,
not the EPA, that decided in 2007 that carbon dioxide meets the
definition of pollutant under the Clean Air Act—a law enacted by
a democratically elected Congress and signed by a democratically
elected President, George H.W. Bush. Posted.

The Truth Abouth AB 32. As executive officer of the agency
charged with enforcing AB 32, California's Global Warming
Solutions Act, I wish to assure The Californian's readers that
the claims made in an article by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove are
completely groundless and bear no relationship to any
requirements of this legislation ("Roll back greenhouse gas law,"
Local, March 13). The article states that an unnamed local
company "is required to track the daily use of 400 pieces of its
equipment, from diesel engines to weed-eaters. Posted.

Gregory Rodriguez: Getting The Upper Hand On Nature. Maybe we
need to stop trying to protect nature from humans, and focus on
taming it to protect humans from nature. Maybe John Muir was a
fool. Muir, the godfather of contemporary environmentalism, was
among the first activists to proclaim the "oneness" of humans and
the natural world and to insist that we seek to live in harmony
with our surroundings. Posted.

Another View: California Has Made Clear-Cutting A Model Of
Sustainability. Re "Clear-cutting forests is wrong way for state
to lead on climate policy" (Viewpoints, March 10): Does anyone
really believe California's forests are being wiped out by
clear-cutting? Or that the state with the toughest environmental
laws in the nation would make deforestation legal? Clear-cutting
is by definition a regenerative technique; any college textbook
on the subject will tell you that. In California, clear-cutting
creates small openings in forests that support abundant
biodiversity. In California, clear-cuts may be no larger than 20
acres, a size that mimics natural disturbances such as wind, fire
and insect attacks. Posted.

Viewpoints: Japan Crisis Reminds Us Plutonium, CO2 Not The Only
Choices. The energy policy debate in America was woefully
incomplete until the nuclear disaster occurred in Japan. The
public wasn't informed that nuclear power plants hold awesome
radioactive threats that cause cancer, threats that are here and
now, and very real. The federal government and the nuclear lobby
are advancing these radioactive factories as a clean and safe
solution to climate change. Posted.

EPA Rules Disrupt The Economy. Not satisfied with its efforts to
regulate carbon, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is
beginning a two-month comment period on new proposed rules that
would tighten emissions restrictions on power plants that burn
coal and oil. If adopted, these new rules will raise power
production costs, perhaps forcing the closure of the oldest
plants, and making new ones more expensive. The proposed rules
would affect power plants’ emissions of “heavy metals,” including
mercury, arsenic, chromium, and nickel, as well as acid gases
like hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. Posted.

Commentary: Vehicle For Change.  It's a complicated premise:
establishing a public-private partnership by which insurance
companies bid on tax credits to generate a $100 million
investment in start-up and early stage companies -- but one with
incredible promise. For Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D),
InvestMaryland's goal is simple -- it's about the continued
cultivation of biotech, clean/green tech, cybersecurity, life
sciences and information technology jobs for long-term economic
gain.  Posted. 

Long-Delayed Rules for Cleaner Air.  After 20 years of delays and
interminable litigation, the Obama administration has proposed a
new rule requiring power plants to reduce emissions of mercury
and other airborne toxics by 91 percent within the next five
years. Some environmental groups saw the rule as the most
important step forward for healthier air since the Clean Air Act
was last updated in 1990. It is unquestionably a victory for the
public: when fully effective, the rule could save as many as
17,000 lives a year. Posted. 

ELIAS: Is California Getting The Wrong Kind Of Solar?  Then-Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger made his way to a remote desert location
last October, not far from the stretch of Interstate 15 that runs
between Southern California and Las Vegas. So did U.S. Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar and bunches of utility executives. All
pronounced themselves thrilled to mark what they called a
landmark advance in energy, the start of work on a huge solar
power farm that will help meet the state's goal of producing
one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.


Senate Ally Defends Obama on Gas Prices.  In recent weeks,
President Obama’s foes in Congress and industry have sought to
pin the blame for rising gasoline prices — now averaging above
$3.50 a gallon — on his administration’s energy policies.
Associated Press Senator Jeff Bingaman. Specifically, his
adversaries’ claim that the administration’s move to regulate
greenhouse gas emissions, combined with the slow pace of
permitting deep-sea drilling in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico
oil spill, are responsible for Americans’ pain at the pumpPosted.

Do You Trust Corporate Emission Reduction Claims? No One in
Britain Does. The pace of publicity for corporate carbon emission
reductions may have slowed in the past year but that doesn't mean
people believe the hype any more, at least in the UK. Based on a
survey by Carbon Trust, a mere 7% of people there believe the
claims made by companies that they are taking tough action to do
their part to blunt the impact of climate change. Posted.

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