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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 20, 2011. Posted: 20 Apr 2011 12:29:37
California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 20, 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 Government Roundup: Bill Would Repeal $29 Million Air Pollution Fine. Congressman Kevin McCarthy announced Tuesday he's introduced a bill that would repeal a controversial fine imposed on the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for failing to meet a tough clean air rule. The Commonsense Ozone Regulation Act would rescind the $29 million fine, which the district decided to pay by tacking an additional $12 onto the annual cost of registering a motor vehicle in the valley. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x517034414/Government-roundup-Bill-would-repeal-29-million-air-pollution-fine EPA Threatens Utah With Air Quality Sanctions. Federal officials threatened Monday to block road money and seize control of Utah's air quality management plan because of an exemption for excessive pollution from oil refineries and other sources. Utah officials have about 18 months to change the rule to ensure polluters are cited for a violation first, instead of the state having to investigate a breakdown... Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9MMQ96G0.htm Scientists: Soot May Be Key To Rapid Arctic Melt. Washington (AP) — An international research team is in the land of snow and ice, in search of soot. Though the Arctic is often pictured as a vast white wasteland, a scientist believe a thin layer of soot — mostly invisible — is causing it to absorb more heat. They want to find out if that's the main reason for the recent rapid warming of the Arctic, which could have a long-term impact on the world's climate. Soot, or black carbon, is produced by auto and truck engines, aircraft emissions, burning forests and the use of wood- or coal-burning stoves. Posted. http://hosted2-3.ap.org/KXJZFM/7c3175a29c1940e189e7b8e1073e7721/Article_2011-04-20-Arctic%20Soot/id-db4aa65537c7407db5a1d63faf19d1c2 EPA Staffers Recommend A Crackdown On Soot. The air quality standards that U.S. EPA has put in place for chemical-laden dust and soot aren't strong enough to protect human health, agency staffers say in a new memo to Administrator Lisa Jackson that could pave the way for stricter rules later this year. In the final policy assessment, staffers express particular concern about fine particles, which are released by diesel engines, coal-fired power plants and the burning of wood and other plant matter. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/04/20/2 CLIMATE CHANGE Justices Skeptical on Role of Courts in Setting Emissions Standards. Washington - A lawsuit by six states and New York City to force major power companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was met with seemingly unanimous skepticism from the justices on Tuesday during arguments at the Supreme Court. No one questioned the basic premise of the suit — that greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming. But there was essentially no support for the states’ position that courts are the proper forums in which to regulate the problem. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/us/politics/20scotus.html?_r=1&scp=10&sq=climate%20change&st=cse&gwh=13398DA1CAA42B9D5074AE25822DE4C9 Supreme Court Skeptical Of Allowing Global-Warming Case To Move Forward. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled Tuesday that they might halt a huge global-warming lawsuit in which states are asking the federal courts to restrict polluting power plants outside their borders. “Asking a court to set standards for emissions sounds like the kind of thing that EPA does,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, referring to the Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-skeptical-of-allowing-global-warming-case-to-move-forward/2011/04/19/AFIitM8D_story.html http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-court-warming-20110420,0,2042058,print.story Court Casts Doubt On States' Global Warming Suit. Washington --The Supreme Court appeared deeply skeptical Tuesday about allowing states to sue electric utilities to force cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Both conservative and liberal justices questioned whether a federal judge could deal with the complex issue of global warming, a topic they suggested is better left to Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/19/justices-mull-states-emissions-lawsuit/?page=all http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/supreme-court-hears-plea-from-administration-utilities-to-block-states-global-warming-suit/2011/04/19/AFxCg82D_story.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/04/19/1651952/court-casts-doubt-on-states-global.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/apr/19/court-hears-arguments-in-new-global-warming-case/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_a32c93e4-11a5-5237-bfd6-e362c31330a7.html Polls Show Wide Partisan Gap, Erroneous Beliefs On Climate. A series of polls was conducted recently to ask about the facts of climate change while trying to avoid the divisive political beliefs around government policies to address it. It didn't work. Researchers found that seemingly neutral questions about the level of people's knowledge of climate change, their notions about scientific consensus and their personal beliefs on warming resulted in strong partisan responses. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/04/20/2 Carbon Credits Could Be A Billion-Dollar Industry. Most B.C. projects are forestry-related, says a sustainability expert. British Columbia has a bank of carbon credits already approved for sale that adds up to over $1 billion once a promised cap-and-trade system is established by the Western Climate Initiative, says the Sauder School of Business ISIS research centre. The $1 billion credit has essentially created a new export industry for the province, ISIS executive director James Tansey said in an interview Monday. Posted. http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=4637677&sponsor= B.C.'s Business Case For Cap And Trade. This week the provincial cabinet is expected to meet to discuss British Columbia's future role in the Western Climate Initiative, the initiative developed by 11 provinces and U.S. states to set up a carbon cap-and-trade system to mitigate climate change. Premier Christy Clark is at a crossroads: Do we as a province continue advancing as a green economy leader, using our leadership role in the WCI and growing partnership with California? Posted. http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/business+case+trade/4645410/story.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Apply Soon For Diesel Truck Funds. Stockton - Owners of heavy-duty diesel trucks have through April 29 to apply for money to replace, power or retrofit their vehicles. The money comes from voter-approved Proposition 1B. Owners can receive up to $60,000 to upgrade their trucks. Diesel trucks are a significant source of pollution in the San Joaquin Valley, with Interstate 5 and Highway 99 serving as major shipping corridors. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110420/A_NEWS/110419862&cid=sitesearch VEHICLES Study Emphasizes Importance of China’s Transition to Electric Cars. A STUDY prepared for the World Bank Transport Office in Beijing released today makes clear the urgency of China’s transition to electric cars. According to “The China New Vehicles Program: Challenges and Opportunities,” prepared by PRTM, a management consulting firm, China’s soaring consumption of imported oil could stifle the country’s economy, while emissions from petroleum-powered vehicles could choke its cities with air pollution. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/automobiles/20Electric.html?scp=2&sq=diesel%20emissions&st=cse&gwh=9F2C50C8837D4D8E97504A0A3E7FA74B GREEN ENERGY IEA Urges China to Reduce Energy Subsidies. Shanghai -The head of the International Energy Agency called on China to more quickly reduce subsidies on gasoline, diesel and electricity. In an interview Wednesday with The Wall Street Journal, Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the industrialized world's energy watchdog, said prices in China should reflect the fact that the age of cheap energy is over, a reality underlined by the Japanese nuclear crisis. He said it is obvious that the nuclear industry's expected expansion will be curtailed in the wake of Japan's disaster in Fukushima prefecture, though he thinks the energy source will remain important. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704658704576274243829736066.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Government Using Score Cards To Track Federal Agencies’ Greening Efforts. Using a scoring system modeled on a traffic light, the Obama administration on Tuesday unveiled a new way to track how the government’s largest agencies and departments are scaling back their use of electricity, water and fuel. In October 2009, President Obama ordered federal agencies to hit the gas on plans to cut the government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2020. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/government-using-score-cards-to-track-federal-agencies-greening-efforts/2011/04/19/AFm3Jd7D_story.html Alpena Refinery To Convert Wood Waste To Chemical. Alpena, Mich. (AP) - Two companies have announced plans for a refinery in Alpena that will use waste wood from a local particle board plant to make a renewable industrial chemical called biobutanol. Biobutanol is used widely in paints and other chemical products and can be converted into plastics and fuels. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/apr/20/alpena-refinery-to-convert-wood-waste-to/ Bay Area Program To Help Governments, Businesses Get Solar Panels. The city of San Jose, Calif., and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative have launched a program that allows local governments and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to collectively buy solar panels for their buildings. The program, called SunShares, will hopefully lead the way for similar initiatives throughout the state, said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "It's an opportunity to bring the cost down and demonstrate how easy it is to get solar," said Reed. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/04/20/10 Money For Green-Tech Academies. Brown signs bill that Schwarzenegger vetoed. Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed legislation that at least will protect high school green-tech career academies from a state budget implosion and will even expand the number over the next few years. Doing so took some creative thinking from the bill’s sponsor, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. SBX 1-1 will direct $40 million over five years from a fund for conservation and alternative energy uses financed by a tiny surcharge ($.0003 per kilowatt-hour) on utility bills. Posted. http://toped.svefoundation.org/2011/04/20/money-for-green-tech-academies/ MISCELLANEOUS Mercury Climbing In Food Chain, New Study Shows. Levels of mercury have risen dramatically in some Pacific seabirds in the past 120 years, suggesting that industrial emissions containing the poisonous metal associated with fetal and brain damage may be climbing the food chain and endangering sensitive species, according to a new study. While the study did not specifically address human-mercury exposure, there is rising concern among scientists that more people are consuming the heavy metal through tainted seafood, where the compound is known as methylmercury. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/20/MNK71J3OLL.DTL&type=printable OPINION Justices Against Court-Imposed Cap-And-Trade. It appeared yesterday during oral arguments in a case raising important constitutional and political issues that members of the U.S. Supreme Court doubt the wisdom of allowing federal judges the power to regulate carbon emissions. The case was AEP v. Connecticut in which eight states sued American Electric Power and other electricity providers over carbon emissions. Posted. http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/04/justices-against-court-imposed-cap-and-trade#ixzz1K5XcGRsk Charlie Zender: More Dangerous Than Japan Radiation. West Coast inhabitants have learned by now that we live downwind from the crippled nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. The plume of radioactive material poses a real threat near the source, where images include health workers wearing protective "moon suits," infants probed by Geiger counters, and contaminated smoke and steam spewing from the damaged reactor buildings. These emissions are carried our direction in the global wind belt called the prevailing westerlies. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/common/printer/view.php?db=ocregister&id=296900 LETTERS: Hiding Their Real Motivation. Many arguments critical of Liberty Quarry aren't based in reality. Armondo Lopez (April 12) claims that Temecula may go the way of towns that died because of mining operations. If he is right, the cities of Palos Verdes, Upland, Ontario, Claremont, Pasadena, Riverside, San Juan Capistrano, Orange and countless others would be ghost towns. The mines Lopez is talking about are coal mines, gold mines and copper mines, not rock quarries. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/letters/article_ed291115-24ef-5157-8d40-ec5bef38f771.html