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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 29, 2011. Posted: 29 Mar 2011 13:16:22
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 29, 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 Radiation Detected in U.S. Traces of radiation from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan are being detected in states from California to Massachusetts, carried across the Pacific on broad rivers of wind. But state officials say there is no public health risk. “The levels that we're detecting are extremely, extremely low—we're talking about many orders of magnitude below what we would consider a risk," said Eric Matus, a radiation physicist for the Nevada State Health Division. Radiation has been detected at two monitoring sites in the state. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471904576228833487550772.html Court Oks Air-Pollution Restrictions For Ships. A federal appeals court rejected a shipping industry challenge Monday to California's offshore air pollution rules requiring vessels to use low-sulfur fuel within 24 miles of the coast, standards that the court said would save about 3,500 lives over six years while modestly increasing shipping costs. The ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is a milestone in California's efforts to curb a significant source of hazardous emissions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/29/BAD91IL0RQ.DTL&type=printable http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/29/3510574/judges-uphold-cal-offshore.html Scientists At UC-Berkeley Keep Watch On Japan Radiation Levels From A Campus Rooftop. Five thousand miles from Japan, UC Berkeley scientists don't have to read the headlines to know what is happening at a crippled nuclear power plant. They just need to glimpse at their computer screens. There, a steady stream of data from Berkeley's air, rain and creekwater samples shows peaks and troughs of radioactive contamination -- posing no threat to Californians' health, but telling a tragic tale of Japan's struggle to contain the threat. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_17719939?source=rss Closings Start In Merced Plant Contamination Case. Fresno, Calif. -- Closing arguments are set for Tuesday morning in a trial involving a former subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant Merck accused of polluting groundwater, air and soil in a Merced subdivision for years. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/28/1619710/closing-arguments-set-in-merck.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/29/2328641/closings-start-in-merced-plant.html#storylink=misearch CLIMATE CHANGE Drafter Of California Cap And Trade Stands By Analysis. An architect of California's cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases defended his analysis of the regulatory plan in an interview yesterday and offered a peek at how the state might defend its regulations in upcoming court battles. Kevin Kennedy, assistant executive officer of the California Air Resources Board, argued that his examination of the program's potential impacts complied fully with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) -- an assertion that runs counter to a recent court ruling (Greenwire, March 24). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/29/3 DIESEL EMISSIONS Diesel Emissions Researcher Resumes Fight For Job Next Week. A longtime professor who has said his criticisms of the California Air Resources Board may have made him enemies will resume a fight to keep his job next week. James Enstrom has spent 36 years at UCLA, the last 34 as associate research professor. His career studying epidemiology was a springboard to his current expertise into the effects of diesel emissions on the human body. Last August, Enstrom’s contract was not renewed after a secret vote of faculty members in his department. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Mar11/032811/032811-04.shtml FUELS GE To Buy Converteam In $3.2-Billion Deal. General Electric Co. said Tuesday it will spend $3.2 billion for a controlling stake in French equipment developer Converteam as it continues to position itself as a major player in what's expected to be a 20-year boom in oil and natural gas demand. Converteam, which serves a variety of industries including oil and gas companies, is the latest of $11 billion in acquisitions by GE's energy business. GE also has acquired Dresser Inc., Wellstream Holdings, Lineage Power Holdings and Well Support in the past six months. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ge-20110329,0,4091813,print.story $5-A-Gallon Gasoline May Be On The Horizon. If you think $4 gas has put a dent in your wallet, prepare for a pothole in your purse this summer, fuel analysts say. As the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular rose Monday for the sixth consecutive day, some say it could hit $5 before the worst is over. "We're talking about five bucks by the end of August, because of the hurricane season. Then it may drop to $3 by the end of the year," said Bob van der Valk, a pricing analyst for 4Refuel, a fuel management company. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/breakingnews/ci_17721173 VEHICLES Transport 2050 Challenges: Innovating For The Future. The document “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” sets “very challenging goals”, said EU Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas. These goals “will have to be met by 2050 to achieve the global vision described in the White Paper.” Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/54520110329.php Volvo Cars To Hire Up To 1,200 Workers. Stockholm -- Volvo Cars said Tuesday it will embark on a major recruitment program, hiring up to 1,200 workers within a 12-month period as it makes a major push to develop fuel-efficient vehicles. Most of the recruits will be research and development engineers working on improving fuel efficiency, including the electrification of cars, the Sweden-based company said. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/29/1620245/volvo-cars-to-hire-up-to-1200.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/29/volvo-cars-to-hire-up-to-1200-workers/ http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/29/2328532/volvo-cars-to-hire-up-to-1200.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/volvo-cars-to-recruit-1200-workers-in-major-push-to-develop-fuel-efficient-cars/2011/03/29/AFvZpWtB_story.html Colo. Auto Group Aims To Get Clunkers Off The Road. Denver — The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association says it hopes to remove 1,000 high-polluting cars from roads this year through a program with car recyclers. The association's Clear the Air Foundation is accepting old or poorly maintained cars from car dealers and the public that it would sell to recyclers. The car donors could get tax breaks. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/29/colo-auto-group-aims-to-get-clunkers-off-the/ GREEN ENERGY Clean-Tech Developers Fret Over Witching Hour for DOE Grants. New York -- Two-and-a-half years since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. sent Wall Street into a tailspin, financing for wind, solar and other clean energy projects is still hard to come by, experts say. Deals are getting done, but not at the rate that the industry would call robust, and many project developers are still dependent on temporary government support measures. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/03/28/28greenwire-clean-tech-developers-fret-over-witching-hour-70921.html?pagewanted=print Obama To Turn Attention To Energy Issues – Barring Disaster Or Global Crisis. President Obama is expected to outline his plan for energy security in a speech this week, followed by visits to companies operating energy-efficient vehicles. Japan's earthquake and tsunami, and Middle East turmoil, have overshadowed his earlier efforts to discuss energy. After a speech meant to bring clarity to U.S. engagement in crises abroad, President Obama will turn his attention to what aides say will be a sustained focused on energy issues in the coming weeks. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-energy-20110330,0,593418,print.story 60 Percent Of U.S. Homes Use Some Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs – Study. American homes have become more energy efficient over time, but they also hold more energy-using devices than ever before, the Energy Department's statistical agency said yesterday. In 1978, one television was normal for a home, but by 2009, the average household had two and a half, the Energy Information Administration said. Similarly, in 1978, almost no homes had personal computers, but by 2009, three-quarters of homes did; about a third of homes had more than one. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/29/6 MISCELLANEOUS Disease Clusters Found In Some Calif. Communities. Environmental groups say disease clusters are on the rise and the government needs to do more about it. In a report released Monday, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Disease Cluster Alliance highlighted 44 communities in 13 states with higher than ordinary numbers of birth defects, cancer and other illnesses. They cited eight communities in California [PDF], including Kettleman City, where residents have expressed concern over high levels of birth defects. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/disease-clusters-found-some-calif-communities-9501 OPINION Fuel Inefficient. Re "Gas tops $4 in L.A. region," Business, March 26. I've been experiencing the shenanigans of gas prices since the gouging started around 1973. My way of life has been affected by how it has increased my cost of living. It also affects my mind, which runs riot over the fact we have done almost nothing to tackle the problem. We have a politically charged government that goes back and forth after every election, undoing any gains made toward improving our energy use. Why not lower the speed limit and find alternatives to driving? Oops, President Carter tried that. Posted http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0329-tuesday-20110329,0,780776,print.story Nuclear Power. As we all know, Chernobyl was the worst nuclear accident ever. So far, research places the number of deaths at 50. Now this does not mean more folks have not died because of the event, but it suggest that the total number is relatively small. One should be asking how many folks died early due to pollution due to coal fired electrical plants and smog. Not to mention deaths from cancers caused by pollution. I am sure the number would be exponentially higher than the 50 from Chernobyl. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/29/nuclear-power/?print=1 BLOGS Weighing the China Model? Take a Deep Breath in Beijing. Developed-world proponents of the “China Model” often point to environmental degradation as an example of the intractable sort of problem authoritarian governments, free of the need for grinding public debate, are good at addressing. But in new study examining one of the country’s highest profile environmental problems, a team of Chinese and U.S.-based economists casts some doubt on that thesis. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/03/29/weighing-the-china-model-take-a-deep-breath-in-beijing-air-pollution/ Clean Energy Investment Is Up, but U.S. Lags. A study released Tuesday by the Pew Environment Group suggests that investment in clean energy among the world’s 20 leading economies, a k a the G-20, is generally on the rebound after a grinding global recession. It also suggests that the narrative in the United States, which has been marked by partisan bickering and general paralysis over energy and climate policy, continues to weaken its position as a locus for investment. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/clean-energy-investment-is-up-but-u-s-lags/?pagemode=print Spoiler Alert: Downforce Accessories May Concentrate Pollution. Like the tail fins of yore, rear spoilers on the majority of today’s passenger cars are primarily appearance enhancers, not downforce tools, because the benefits of downforce are only apparent at high speeds. A new study suggests that rear spoilers do serve a dynamic purpose — one that might induce coughing fits in transportation-design classrooms. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/spoiler-alert-downforce-accessories-may-concentrate-pollution/ Americans Less Worried About Global Warming Than Drinking Water, Rainforests Or Sprawl. I think you could divide this table into two parts: the top five, which concern more than 70 percent of Amerricans, are “things that could kill my child now.” The bottom four are “things that could harm my child, or maybe my grandchildren, later.” Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/americans-less-worried-about-global-warming-than-drinking-water-rainforests-or-sprawl/2011/03/25/AFnDBioB_blog.html Cash for Clunkers 2: The Return of Government Motors. Ready for another cash for clunkers program? It looks like General Motors is attempting to replace it's own consumer incentives with tax payer money. The car company, bailed out of bankruptcy in 2009 by the American tax payer, appears to be turning the government into an automatic rebate provider. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/mar/29/cash-clunkers-2-dumped-capitol-hill/?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4d91fcd8f968b86b,0 Airplanes' Contrails Cause Far More Warming Than Their Carbon Emissions, But... Radiative forcing has been on TreeHugger's radar for a while, and after finding out about this next study it'll be on your's too: According to research by the DLR German Aerospace Center, airplane contrails have a much, much greater impact on global warming than do the carbon emissions caused by planes' engines. I can't emphasize the 'much, much' part of that enough. Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/03/contrails-cause-more-warming-than-carbon-emissions.php?campaign=th_rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+treehuggersite+%28Treehugger%29