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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 25, 2011. Posted: 25 Mar 2011 11:58:57
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 25, 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 Glitches Hamper Radiation Warning System In California. Half of the 12 EPA detectors in California have problems that could delay alerts.The federal government's radiation alert network in California is not fully functional, leaving the stretch of coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco without the crucial real-time warning system in the event of a nuclear emergency. Six of the Environmental Protection Agency's 12 California sensors — including the three closest to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo — are sending data with "anomalies" to the agency's laboratory in Montgomery, Ala., said Mike Bandrowski, manager of the EPA's radiation program. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-radiation-california-20110325,0,3184995,print.story EPA Officials Say U.S. Radiation Levels Remain Safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reiterated Thursday that the agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission don’t expect to see harmful radiation levels reach the U.S. from Japan. As part of the government’s efforts to “make our activities and science transparent and available to the public,” EPA officials said data from the nationwide RadNet radiation monitoring system will continue to be available online. The EPA has added more monitors to Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the agency said. Posted. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/mar/24/epa-officials-say-us-radiation-levels-remain-safe/ CLIMATE CHANGE USGS: Climate Change Could Limit Yucca's Range. Flagstaff, Ariz.—Researchers say a giant yucca known for its distinctive shape could disappear from 90 percent of its current range by the end of the century. Joshua trees are found in the desert grasslands of the Mojave Desert in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. In a new study, U.S. Geological Survey researchers say that climate change in the Southwest could restrict the yucca to the northernmost portion of its habitat in 60 to 90 years. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17698307 Joshua Trees: Wiped Out By Warming? Global warming could erase the iconic Joshua tree of the California desert from 90 percent of its range within 90 years, and perhaps as few as 60, a new study by U.S. Geological Survey researchers shows. Using climate models as well as fossilized sloth dung and packrat debris piles called middens, ecologist Ken Cole and his team found that the giant yucca plants, which form forests in Joshua Tree National Park, are sharply limited in their ability to recover from sudden warming spikes. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/joshua-293645-trees-tree.html Arnold Schwarzenegger Air Pollution Law Under Review. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s air pollution law is under review a few years after it was passed in California. A San Francisco superior court judge has put California's sweeping plan to curb greenhouse gas pollution on hold, saying the state did not adequately evaluate alternatives to its cap-and-trade program. The law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, previously survived industry challenges, and, most recently, an attempt by Texas oil companies to halt it when voters rejected Proposition 23 in November. Posted. http://www.thirdage.com/news/arnold-schwarzenegger-air-pollution-law-under-review_3-25-2011 DIESEL EMISSIONS Fresno Workshop To Explain Truck Emission Rules. New emissions rules applying to diesel truck owners can be perplexing as well as costly. Getting them funded and up to speed will be the focus of a Fresno workshop on March 26. The One-Stop Trucking Event, put on by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the California Air Resources Board, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fresno City Council Chambers. Posted. http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/environment/8907-fresno-workshop-to-explain-truck-emission-rules VEHICLES Volkswagen Lab Being Built In Oxnard. The Oxnard facility is to house auto emissions testing and powertrain development for VW, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. It will replace a facility in Westlake Village. Construction has begun on a $25-million laboratory in Oxnard that its owners hope will be one of the most advanced auto emissions testing and powertrain development facilities in the country. Engineers for Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will work there on the company's signature VWs as well as other brands it owns: Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-volkswagen-lab-20110325,0,561274,print.story Microsoft’s MURS Will Help Plug-In Vehicle Drivers Find The Cheapest Charging Stations. Can Microsoft become the go-to source for locating the cheapest charging stations in the U.S.? The computer giant will try, starting with the launch of a national database of plug-in vehicle charging rate plans called the Microsoft Utility Rate Service (MURS). MURS will be available via subscriptions to government agencies, power providers, auto makers and electric vehicle charging equipment companies. Posted. http://autogreenmag.com/2011/03/24/microsofts-murs-will-help-plug-in-vehicle-drivers-find-the-cheapest-charging-stations/ Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Batteries Aren’t the Future. Tesla Motors has based their whole business model on batteries. They kind of have to since, after all, they sell electric cars. Tesla’s Roadster contains 6,831 lithium ion laptop-style batteries and the company’s up and coming 2012 Model S will have around 8,000 lithium ion laptop-style batteries. This is why it’s such a surprise to hear Tesla CEO Elon Musk say that he doesn’t think batteries will be part of the breakthrough that really pushes electric vehicle transportation into the mainstream. Posted. http://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-batteries-aren-t-the-future-ar106935.html GREEN ENERGY Grants Are More Effective And Cheaper Than Tax Credits For Spurring Clean Energy – Report. Treasury grants promote renewable energy projects at about half the public cost of tax credits, according to an analysis being released today that focuses on streamlining energy subsidies as federal spending declines. The grants, a product of recovery funding known for their section number, 1603, could have encouraged the construction of 19 gigawatts of wind power at a cost of about $5 billion to taxpayers -- half as much as the government spent using the investment tax credit to spark that amount of construction between 2005 and 2008, the analysis finds. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/25/3 East Contra Costa Sanitation District Awarded $1 Million For Energy Project Research. Sacramento -- A Bay Area coalition led by a local sanitation district was awarded nearly $1 million this week by the California Energy Commission to research a regional project that would convert wastewater residue to energy. Delta Diablo Sanitation District, which serves Antioch, Pittsburg and Bay Point, will use the $999,924 to develop, demonstrate and implement the system. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17693240?nclick_check=1 Planners Put Off Decision On Simi Valley Area Landfill Expansion. The Ventura County Planning Commission on Thursday heard more than eight hours worth of arguments for and against the proposed expansion of the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center. Still, it wasn't enough time to make a decision on the project. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/24/planners-put-off-decision-on-simi-valley-area/ MISCELLANEOUS Rechargeable Mowers On Display In Yolo. Mowers for the Yolo-Solano Mower Exchange program are now on display at Yolo County's Administration Building, 625 Court St., Woodland. Those interested in turning in their gas mower to purchase a zero emission, rechargeable mower at a reduced rate are encouraged to stop by to see both models that are being offered. Only residents of Yolo and Solano counties are eligible for this program which begins with on-line registration on April 5. There are a limited number of mowers so it is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants can choose between two sizes. Posted. http://www.dailydemocrat.com/news/ci_17698253 OPINION Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs Launches Effort to Boost Renewable Energy Jobs. With turmoil and upheaval in the Middle East and with forces in Washington bent on turning back the energy clock, never has there been a more urgent need for California to provide leadership to the world on clean energy policies and technology -- especially as it relates to job creation and national security. Posted. http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/node/8812 A Siege Against The EPA And Environmental Progress. How soon we forget. In 1970, speaking from badly polluted Los Angeles, Bob Hope cracked, “I don’t trust air I can’t see.” Most Americans could see too much of their air. So they demanded that Congress and the president do something about it. Today the agency President Richard Nixon created in response to the public outcry over visible air pollution and flammable rivers is under siege. The Senate is poised to vote on a bill that would, for the first time, “disapprove” of a scientifically based finding, in this case that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-siege-against-the-epa-and-environmental-progress/2011/03/23/ABsuyeRB_story.html California Ruling Puts NM Cap And Trade Program Into A Haze. Will a judge’s ruling in California put cap and trade regulations in New Mexico on hold? That’s what supporters and critics of the New Mexico’s recently-adopted restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions are wondering — and nobody is quite sure of an answer. Back on Monday (March 21) a judge in San Francisco ordered a delay in implementing California’s cap and trade system of pollution credits. Why does that matter to New Mexico? Because, due to its sheer size, California is a crucial piece of the cap and trade puzzle. Posted. http://watchdog.org/8758/california-ruling-puts-nm-cap-and-trade-program-into-a-haze/ BLOGS Traffic Pollution Doubles Lung Transplant Death Rate, Study Finds. Air pollution from car traffic may double the risk of organ rejection and death in lung transplant patients, Belgian researchers report in a new study. The study, which tracked nearly 300 lung transplant recipients over more than a decade, found that patients living less than 600 feet from a main road were twice as likely to develop a severe lung inflammation associated with organ rejection within several years of surgery. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/traffic-pollution-doubles-lung-transplant-death-rate-study-finds/ Now, Starter Homes Boast Solar Arrays. Among the standard features offered for new homes at Manzanita at Paseo del Sol, a KB Home development in a desert suburb southeast of Los Angeles, are nine-foot ceilings, six-panel doors and a 1.4-kilowatt solar array. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/now-starter-homes-boast-solar-arrays/ How Air Pollution Affects Your Heart. You know air pollution hurts your lungs. But what about your heart? Dirty Indoor Air Bad for Heart. It turns out that air pollution is another factor that contributes to cardiovascular disease. According to a new study, air pollution can increase inflammation, which leads to many chronic diseases. This study looked at the effect of air pollution that occurs inside the home, and a step that may reduce that pollution. Indoor air pollution poses a particular problem to overall health because we spend most of our time inside. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-galland-md/air-pollution-heart_b_839143.html