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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 24, 2011.

Posted: 24 Mar 2011 11:35:41
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 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.


Head Of EPA Met With Protest In Central Calif. Fresno,
Calif.—Environmental groups are urging the federal Environmental
Protection Agency to better protect the health of residents in
California's San Joaquin Valley, which is one the most polluted
regions in the nation. With EPA administrator Lisa Jackson making
her first trip to the state's farming regions, activists gathered
in Fresno on Wednesday to protest her visit. 
Environmentalists are hoping Jackson will reconsider some of her
agency's recent decisions, such as granting a draft permit to a
proposed fossil fuel power plant near Kettleman City and
exempting it from national air quality standards. Posted.

Tipped By News Story, EPA Sues Mich. Utility Over Pollution As
Part Of Broader Clean-Air Sweep.  MONROE, Mich. – A Michigan
utility spent $65 million last year replacing key parts at the
state's largest coal-fired power plant. When regulators found
out, they hauled the company into court for what it didn't do:
Spend millions more at the same time to greatly eliminate air
pollution. The fight with DTE Energy isn't an isolated one.

Air Quality Testing At Oceano Dunes To Begin When The Rain Quits.
As soon as the weather dries out, three weeks of testing and
monitoring will begin at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation
Area that may reveal a way to stop unhealthy amounts of sand
particles from blowing onto the Nipomo Mesa. Larry Allen, county
air pollution control officer, said at least five days without
rain are needed to sufficiently dry out the sand at the park to
begin testing. The most likely start date is April 11, he said.
The testing will consist of placing devices that measure sand
movement in various places in the park. Posted.

Brown Will Take A ‘Fresh Look' At Methyl Iodide Decision.
Sacramento — In his first public comments on the issue, Gov.
Jerry Brown said today that his administration will take "a fresh
look" at state pesticide regulators' controversial decision to
permit the use of the soil fumigant methyl iodide in California,
but he has "no immediate strategy" on how to proceed. His
comments came a week after Department of Pesticide Regulation
Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam, who issued the decision last year,
announced her intention to resign, effective next week. Posted.

EPA To Tell Congress Cutting Black Carbon Is A 'Win-Win'.  There
is strong evidence that soot from cars, cookstoves and factories
is warming the planet as well as causing widespread health
problems, making it an attractive way to tackle climate change,
U.S. EPA scientists say in the first draft of a report due to
Congress next month. So far, most efforts to slow global warming
have been aimed at carbon dioxide, one of the long-lasting gases
that can trap heat in the atmosphere. But the 386-page draft
report, dated March 18, says lawmakers could also focus on "black
carbon," an ingredient of the soot that is released into the air
when wood and fuel are burned. Posted.

EPA Science Advisers Repeat Call For Stricter Smog Standard.
Several years after they first warned U.S. EPA that its current
air pollution standards aren't strong enough to protect Americans
from smog, the agency's scientific advisers are sticking to their
guns. Yesterday, the members of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory
Committee (CASAC) put the final touches on another letter urging
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to lower the nationwide limit on
ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog. Posted.

EPA To Phase Out Potent Refrigerant. U.S. EPA plans to ban the
use of a potent heat-trapping chemical used in car air
conditioners. The industrial refrigerant, HFC-134a -- which is a
type of hydrofluorocarbon -- carries a carbon footprint 1,400
times greater than that of carbon dioxide. A coalition of
environmental groups was pushing to make it illegal to use the
substance, contending there are a host of more climate-friendly
alternatives now available. Posted.

Pimp My Riders. House Assault on Environment Unrelated to
Reducing Deficit. This January, the newly-elected Republican
majority of the House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 1,
described by the League of Conservation Voters as “the most
anti-environmental piece of legislation in decades.” H.R. 1 is
the “continuing resolution” budget bill that would precipitously
cut $63 billion dollars of federal spending in a mere five
months, primarily through deep cuts in domestic spending. Posted.

High Smog Levels Might Threaten Lung Transplant Success. Study
found exposure doubled risk of rejection, death in patients.
Exposure to high levels of traffic pollution doubles the risk of
organ rejection and death in lung transplant patients, a new
study suggests. Belgian researchers tracked the health of 281
lung transplant patients over a five-year period, and found that
117 (41 percent) developed a serious inflammatory condition
called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Posted.


Judge's Ruling Puts Global Warming Law On Hold. Activists are
celebrating a victory in their lawsuit against the state's Air
Resources Board, halting the start of the landmark climate change
law, at least momentarily. In San Francisco Superior Court last
week, Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the board violated the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by not fully
evaluating alternatives to the cap-and-trade system, which is
part of the 2006 law. Posted.

Calif. Regulators Scramble In Wake Of Court Ruling On Emissions
Law. California's climate change law is not in danger of outright
reversal following a court decision this week that suspended it,
but the deadline for approving a cap-and-trade carbon market
later this year is in doubt, according to state government and
legal experts following the process. If that deadline, which
requires the state's Air Resources Board to vote on cap and trade
in October, slips even one day into November, a ripple effect
could delay greenhouse gas regulations set to go live on Jan. 1,
2012. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/24/1


Europeans Ahead Of U.S. On Diesel Cars.  Question: Some years ago
I traveled to England and saw many small, diesel-powered cars. I
have read that most of the new cars sold in Europe are diesel.
Considering that diesels get significantly better fuel mileage
than gasoline-powered cars, why haven't the car manufacturers
offered the diesel option over here?  Posted. 
Volvo's Ethanol-Powered Electric Car.  Volvo has always had an
alternative image in the United States market, catering to a
certain segment of the upper middle class and above that is
attracted to its once-quirky, always safety-minded cars. But
alternative fuels have never been a big part of the appeal. 

Long-Term Nissan Leaf Update: Hey, Buddy, Can You Spare A Plug?
In the first two weeks of conservatorship of the AutoWeek
semi-long-term Nissan Leaf electric car, colleague Barry Winfield
and I have put 287 miles on it. What does everybody want to know?
The range. How far will it go on a charge? So far it has returned
between 62 miles and 98 miles of range from its 24-kilowatt-hour
lithium-ion battery pack. Those are extrapolated figures, gleaned
from taking the range achieved on a given mileage and comparing
that with how far it would have gone had we driven at the same
rate until we completely drained the battery. Posted.

Production Of Hybrids, Electric Vehicles Hurt By Japan Disaster.
As Japan continues to recover from its devastating earthquake and
tsunami, the country's profitable automakers are still reeling
from factory shutdowns that have cost the production of more than
300,000 vehicles. And analysts say the disaster may strike a
longer-term blow to the fuel-saving hybrid and electric vehicles
that Japanese companies produce. Toyota Motor Corp. yesterday
announced it was delaying the Japanese launch of the Prius V, the
larger version of its popular hybrid, and a second Prius model
planned for next month. Posted.


The Towbes Group Installs Commercial Electric Vehicle Charging
Stations at its Ralston Courtyards in Ventura.  Ventura, CA – The
Ralston Courtyards, has become one of the first residential
communities in California to offer electric vehicle charging with
the installation today of six commercial charging stations at its
108-unit luxury residential development in Ventura.  Posted. 
Clean Energy Training Program In Southern Humboldt.  Southern
Humboldt youth between the ages of 18 and 24 have the opportunity
for paid training and work experience in one of the fastest
growing industries. The Clean Energy Program is a partnership
with the County of Humboldt and College of the Redwoods. Eligible
youth in our community will receive six exciting weeks of
classroom and hands on training with industry professionals.
Recruitment begins immediately and classes are scheduled to begin
in late April.  Posted. 
We’re No. 8! (Hey, Not Bad.)  Sactown deserves gold stars for its
green buildings. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection
Agency released its annual list of cities with the most Energy
Star-labeled buildings. For the first time ever, Sacramento
cracked the top 10, ranking No. 8 with 168 total Energy Star
buildings.  Posted. 


Be a Part of Earth Hour - the Largest Voluntary Action in
History.  During Earth Hour the lights go off at the Eiffel Tower
in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London, San Francisco’s Golden
Gate Bridge and the Forbidden City in China. Will they be off at
your house?  Posted. 
Clean Air Topic Of San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District Video Contest.  Students and teachers have a chance to
help clean the air with 30-second videos promoting bicycle
riding, car-pooling and other practices.  The San Joaquin Valley
Air Pollution Control District is holding its third annual For
Reel Video Contest for elementary through college entrants. 

Solano, Yolo County Residents Eligible For Mower Exchange
Program. Gas-powered mowers can be turned in to purchase a zero
emission, rechargeable mower at a reduced rate. Mowers for the
Yolo-Solano Mower Exchange program are on display at Vacaville's
City Hall, residents are encouraged to stop to see both models
that are offered. Only residents of Solano and Yolo counties are
eligible for this program which begins with online registration
at 6 a.m. on April 5 at www.neutonpower.com/YS. 
Registering reserves a rechargeable mower, a voucher and provides
instructions on how to turn in the gas-powered mower. Posted.


It Could Happen Here.  IT will be years before we know the full
consequences of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
power plant in Japan. But the public attention raised by the
problems there provides an opportunity to rethink nuclear-power
policy in the United States and the rest of the world — and
reduce the dangers of a similar disaster happening elsewhere. 

EDITORIAL: Obama Greens Turn Yellow. EPA blinks in the face of
GOP challenge. Environmentalists are backpedaling in their long
march toward deindustrialization. The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) has offered to delay some of its plans to regulate
so-called greenhouse gases. Republicans in Congress shouldn't
hesitate to press their advantage. The agency's advance faltered
last week with the announcement that it was willing to put off
for three years new rules requiring biomass-fired boilers to
obtain permits to emit carbon dioxide. Posted.


On Our Radar: Climate Questions Follow 2012 Presidential
Contender.  A video created by a Democratic state legislator in
Minnesota captures Tim Pawlenty, the former Republican governor
and a 2012 presidential candidate, repeatedly calling for a
cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions to fight
climate change. The video was aired during a hearing on a
Republican bill to lift restrictions on coal-fired power plants.
Mr. Pawlenty now describes his past support for cap-and-trade as
“stupid.” [MinnPost].  Posted. 

EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards: Cleaner Air AND Reliable
Electricity. Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
proposed Clean Air Act mercury and air toxics standards to curb
harmful emissions from the nation’s fleet of aging and dirty
power plants fueled by coal and oil.  The rule is part of a
package of EPA rules that strive to make electricity generation a
cleaner process, so that power plants do not continue to pollute
the air and endanger people’s health. Posted.

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