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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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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. 

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. 


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.


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. 

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.

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.


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. 
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. 

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. 

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