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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 23, 2011 Posted: 23 Mar 2011 13:30:03
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 23, 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 Philadelphia is America’s Most Toxic City. Recently, Forbes looked at the 80 largest metropolitan areas in the country and ranked them based on their toxicity. And the city with the WORST air and water quality is… Philadelphia. Philadelphia claimed the top spot because it has more than 50 former industrial sites that contain hazardous waste. But even though Philly took top “honors”, the real winner, er, loser here is California. California metro areas claimed four of the 10 spots on the list, mostly due to their smog problem. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/23/idUS129381714720110323 U.K. Sets Minimum Carbon Costs for 2013 at 16 Pounds a Ton. U.K. power generators will have to pay at least 16 pounds ($26) for every metric ton of carbon dioxide they emit starting in 2013 under a government plan to discourage fossil fuels and raise revenue. “Today we become the first country in the world to introduce a carbon-price floor for the power sector,” Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said today in his annual budget presentation in London. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-23/britain-sets-minimum-emission-costs-at-16-pound-a-ton-starting-in-2013.html http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110323-710203.html Kettleman Group To Appeal Landfill Court Ruling. The legal battle over a controversial landfill project near Kettleman City, a community marked by a spike in birth defects, looks set to continue for months. Community advocates and environmental justice activists say they are appealing the lower court's unfavorable ruling in a lawsuit over Kings County's approval of Waste Management's toxic-waste facility expansion. Posted. http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/article_1411f5fe-54af-11e0-8435-001cc4c03286.html Court Sets Schedule For Litigation Over EPA Emission Rules. A federal appeals court has set the briefing schedule for the three cases it is handling concerning the legality of U.S. EPA's greenhouse gas regulations. There are four rules under the legal microscope before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, but two have been consolidated into one case (Greenwire, Dec. 14, 2010). In all three cases, no arguments have been scheduled yet. The briefing, with opening briefs due in May and June, will go on until the end of this year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/23/18 CLIMATE CHANGE California's Bid To Curb Global Warming Could Soon Get Back On Track. California air regulators must conduct a new environmental review before a judge will green-light its cap-and-trade pollution program, attorneys say. A final order is expected in about a week. California's effort to curb global warming, which was put on hold by a court decision, will be able to proceed on schedule once officials conduct a new environmental review, according to attorneys analyzing the case. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-fi-climate-court-20110323,0,1684518,print.story Calif.'s Plan To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Halted. California's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by giving incentives to the state's largest polluters has been temporarily halted by a court ruling. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled Friday that the state violated its own environmental law by failing to consider alternatives to its so-called cap-and-trade program. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/03/judge-califs-greenhouse-gas-plan-/1 EU Goal Of Global Carbon Market 'Stalled By US Failure'. EU hopes of establishing a global emissions trading system have been dashed because of a lack of progress in the US, Jos Delbeke, director general of the Climate Action division of the European Commission, said Tuesday. "The development of an OECD-wide global carbon market has stalled due the failure of climate legislation in the US," he said at a parliamentary briefing on the ETS in Brussels. Posted. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/8697834 Judge Orders Review Of Calif. Air Law. San Francisco -- A judge has ordered a review of the impact of California's air pollution law before the state's cap-and-trade system takes effect Jan. 1. The law was challenged by Communities for a Better Environment, a group based in Oakland, and other environmental organizations, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Posted. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/03/23/Judge-orders-review-of-Calif-air-law/UPI-69821300853417/ California Judge Rules Against California Cap-And-Trade Program. California's cap-and-trade initiative, scheduled to be implemented next year by the state's Air Resources Board (ARB) as part of the state's A.B.32 climate-change law, has encountered a legal obstacle. Judge Ernest Goldsmith of the San Francisco Superior Court has ruled that the ARB must first consider alternatives to the program. This ruling does not necessarily mean that the ARB must delay or cancel its rollout of the program, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Posted. http://solarindustrymag.com/print.php?plugin:content.7539 California's Global Warming Law Halts Temporarily. Air Regulators Need To Consider Alternatives. Shafter, Calif. -- On Thursday, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the California Air Resources Board must spend more time looking at alternatives to a cap-and-trade program in its plan to implement AB 32. AB 32 greenhouse gases to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. Posted. http://www.turnto23.com/news/27286914/detail.html As Climate Changes, Coffee Farmers Struggle To Protect Crops. Shifting weather patterns have led to lower bean yields and higher prices at coffee shops. A mile above this rural mountain town, coffee trees have produced some of the world's best arabica beans for more than a century. Now, farmers are planting even higher — at nearly 7,000 feet — thanks to warmer temperatures. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-coffee-20110323,0,2370775,print.story FUELS Corona Alternative-Fuel Rebate Program A Success. John Sinacore is the conservation-minded type of resident that Corona officials like seeing come through their doors at City Hall. Sinacore, a retired insurance company manager, installed an electricity-saving pump for his swimming pool, switched to energy-saving windows and, when he turned in his 17-mpg SUV for a 50-mpg Toyota Prius hybrid, became the first person to take advantage of the city's alternative-fuel vehicle rebate program. Sinacore received $2,000 for buying from a Corona dealer, Quality Toyota. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/corona/stories/PE_News_Local_D_wgreen23.27150c4.html Neb. Ethanol Labeling Bill Clears First Vote. Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska gas pumps that dispense less than 1 percent ethanol would need to say so under a proposal unveiled Tuesday as a compromise to the state's current labeling law. Lawmakers granted first-round approval to a measure (LB698) that would lift sticker requirements on gas that contains less than 11 percent ethanol. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/23/neb-ethanol-labeling-bill-clears-first-vote/ Small-Engine Groups Ask EPA To Continue Sales Of 10% Fuel Blends. Several trade groups representing nonroad engines and foreign automakers are petitioning U.S. EPA to require the continued sale of gasoline with no more than 10 percent ethanol content, in a parry of new regulations that would allow blends of up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) for some vehicles. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/23/12 VEHICLES Big BMW Sedan Adds Hybrid. Gasoline-electric hybrid versions of BMW's big, 2011 BMW 7-Series sedans come with the federal government's lowest fuel economy rating of all regular-production hybrids. But the 750i and 750iL ActiveHybrids are the quickest hybrid luxury sedans in showrooms, jetting from 0 to 60 miles an hour in a sports car-like 4.7 seconds. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_11b39f3b-a391-5605-a66a-e7a9b89f2e81.html GREEN ENERGY A Nuclear Renaissance In U.S. Was Unlikely Even Before Japan Disaster. Economics, not fears of a meltdown or radiation poisoning, prevented a resurgence in nuclear energy. Natural gas power plants are much cheaper to build and operate. To all those who may be concerned that the catastrophic events at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will derail the heralded renaissance of nuclear power in the U.S., you can relax. The reason is simple: There is no renaissance. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20110323,0,1718932,print.column O’Malley Proposes Amendments To Revive Offshore Wind Bill. Annapolis, Md. — Gov. Martin O’Malley will propose amendments to revive a bill to develop offshore wind energy in Maryland. O’Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the governor will propose a threshold test in which state regulators would kick out proposals projected to raise an average family’s electricity bill by more than $2 a month in the first year. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/omalley-proposes-amendments-to-revive-offshore-wind-bill/2011/03/23/ABJ9WpGB_story.html Energy Economists Looking For Signs That Americans Have Cut Back On Fuel Purchases. New York - Oil prices are higher as investors anticipate a government report on U.S. petroleum demand. Benchmark crude added 73 cents at $105.70 per barrel Wednesday morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After a sharp increase recently in oil and gasoline prices, economists are looking for signs that Americans are pushing back. A drop in consumption would suggest that motorists are starting to drive less. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-economists-looking-for-signs-that-americans-have-cut-back-on-fuel-purchases/2011/03/23/ABP3JqIB_story.html MISCELLANEOUS UC Merced Connect: Hall Of Fame For Going Green. UC Merced will be the host for the inaugural International Green Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony and conference Friday. The all-day event will be highlighted by the announcement of the first six inductees to the new Hall of Fame, which is designed to recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements in the green industry and provide an educational forum for the international public. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/23/3497046/uc-merced-connect-hall-of-fame.html Mass. Officials Pick Route For New Commuter Line. Boston - State transportation officials hoping to build a new commuter rail line have decided on a preferred route to connect Boston to New Bedford and Fall River. Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan said Monday that a route that would take trains through Stoughton is the best option to meet the state's transportation, economic and environmental goals. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/22/mass-officials-pick-route-for-new-commuter-line/ OPINION Everyone Into The Carpool Lane. Re "If freeways aren't free," Editorial, March 18.Are you serious? Have you tried a carpool lane at peak time? It sometimes is as busy as all the other lanes. Where are the rich people who pay to use them at those times going to go? When are we going to see that we just have too many cars using the freeways at the same time? When are we going to try something else, like alternating work schedules or making deliveries at night to minimize trucks? Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0322-tuesday-20110322,0,1554408.story Mercury News Editorial: Lawsuit Must Not Derail California's Global Warming Law. California's first-in-the-nation global warming law, AB32, is in jeopardy following a San Francisco Superior Court ruling last week. The setback can't be allowed to derail the legislation aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and making California more energy efficient. Judge Ernest Goldsmith told the California Air Resources Board to more thoroughly analyze alternatives to the cap-and-trade program it adopted last year to reach the goals of AB32. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_17675867 LISA JACKSON: Addressing State's Environmental Concerns. On my visit to California this week, many people have offered thoughts and prayers for Japan and the earthquake and tsunami victims now facing threats from radiation. Many have also voiced concerns about radiation reaching the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and our federal partners are closely monitoring radiation levels and ensuring that all steps are taken to safeguard health, and we will continue to work closely with state and local officials and regularly update the public. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/22/2320562/lisa-jackson-addressing-states.html ED DUGGAN: Clean Energy A Powerful Job Generator. Like Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, I, too, share a deep commitment for creating jobs and removing roadblocks to economic recovery, all while protecting the unique natural resources that exist here in Kern County. Ms. Grove, in her March 13 article "Roll back greenhouse gas law," is absolutely right on one count: We can have both a clean environment and a strong economy. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, my company is a perfect example of this. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community/x529879889/ED-DUGGAN-Clean-energy-a-powerful-job-generator Is Cap-and-Trade Kaput? What's in a name? Everything when it comes to a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade programme in the US. Energy industry prognosticators saw US adoption as almost inevitable just two years ago following the election of President Obama. Then opponents dubbed the initiative 'cap-and-tax', a moniker that became a death knell in a political climate wary of raising taxes. Cap-and-trade legislation died with neither a bang nor a whimper; but with a slammed door. Posted. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/03/is-the-cap-kaput Let The EPA Do Its Job. The House of Representatives recently passed legislation that could severely cripple the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect people’s health and the environment. The EPA is doing its job, and a story in the CDT on Thursday proposed stronger protections against mercury and arsenic pollution. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that can harm the nervous systems of people and animals. Posted. http://www.centredaily.com/2011/03/23/v-print/2600834/let-the-epa-do-its-job.html BLOGS California Judge Calls Time Out for Climate Change Law. Steam rising from a refinery in Wilmington, Calif. In analyzing how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, state regulators examined the potential impact on this industrial suburb of Los Angeles. Irony usually speaks for itself, so I’ll tread lightly here. But what is one to make of a climate-change law that withstands a $35 million campaign supported by conservative oil interests only to be thrown off course by a legal challenge from the leftier edges of the environmental movement, particularly its environmental justice wing? Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/california-judge-calls-time-out-for-climate-change-law/?partner=rss&emc=rss California's Climate Bill Remains on Track. Last Friday, the San Francisco County Superior Court issued its decision in a lawsuit challenging the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of the AB 32 Scoping Plan (the Scoping Plan is the state’s comprehensive blueprint for achieving AB 32’s goal of reducing global warming pollution statewide). Environmental justice groups contended that CARB did not comply with the mandatory statutory requirements of AB 32 and the procedural requirements set out in the California Environmental Quality Act. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ajackson/californias_climate_bill_remai.html The Politics Of Healthier Power Plants. A new EPA proposal attempts to limit toxic emissions of air pollutants from coal and oil-fired power plants. Nuclear power plant safety has dominated the headlines in the past week for obvious reasons. But there has also been plenty of talk about the more conventional types of power plants in the United States. This means coal, oil and natural gas. Posted. http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/politics/blogs/the-politics-of-healthier-power-plants