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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 29, 2011. Posted: 02 May 2011 12:05:27
California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 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 Groups Call On BLM To Act Against Wyoming Ozone. Cheyenne, Wyo. -- Environmentalists are asking regulators to consider slowing the pace of gas drilling in western Wyoming after several days of severe ozone pollution last winter. Ozone levels in the Upper Green River Basin topped the highest levels in Los Angeles all last year. The ozone results from air pollution from gas drilling, which has picked up with the reviving economy. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/groups-to-blm-consider-drilling-slowdown-to-address-high-winter-ozone-in-wyoming-gas-fields/2011/04/29/AFcBV2DF_story.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/04/29/1666600/groups-call-on-blm-to-act-against.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/04/29/2369282/groups-call-on-blm-to-act-against.html#storylink=misearch West Trumps East and Midwest! (In terms of dirty air). America’s skies are cleaner than a few years ago, but many cities still have polluted air — and about half of Americans live in those places. That’s the upshot of a new report by the American Lung Assn. called State of the Air 2011. The annual report states: “Unhealthy air remains a threat to the lives and health of millions of people in the United States, despite great progress. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-air-quality-20110428,0,7268984,print.story Ads Spotlight Brown, Mccaskill Environmental Votes. The League of Women Voters is launching ads on TV and the Internet today highlighting votes by Sen. Scott Brown and Sen. Claire McCaskill to block air pollution standards. Brown, R-Mass., and McCaskill, D-Mo., are both up for re-election in 2012 in closely watched contests that could help decide which party is in power in the Senate. The League of Women Voters is highlighting Sen. Scott Brown's votes to limit the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/04/scott-brown-claire-mccaskill-clean-air-league-of-women-voters-/1 Mecca Residents Want Soil-Recycler Closed. Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told an auditorium full of Mecca residents that they are investigating a soil-recycling plant for possible violations of federal hazardous waste regulations. The meeting at Saul Martinez Elementary School drew about 150 people, and many of them said they want the plant closed immediately. They blame the operation for strong chemical odors that they say have made people sick. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/environment/stories/PE_News_Local_D_mecca29.280fa43.html Officials Promise To Clear Foul Odor From Mecca Air. Residents, frustrated by pace of probes, press for timeline for results. The 200 or so Mecca residents who packed into the Saul Martinez Elementary School cafeteria Thursday received no new insight into what chemicals, particles or other substances could be causing the foul odors that have sickened scores in the community since December. But they did get renewed assurances from state and federal environmental health officials that the air quality tests will continue…Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110429/NEWS01/104290310/Officials-promise-clear-foul-odor-from-Mecca-air?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage Gag Reflexes Tested By Foul Stench In Mecca. A Strange Odor Started In December, Hasn't Gone Away. MECCA, Calif. -- A foul odor has plagued Mecca for months, forcing school evacuations, sending students and teachers to the hospital and on Thursday the South Coast Air Quality Management District held its second town hall meeting at Saul Martinez Elementary school this week to address the problem. The question-and-answer session got heated at times. Parents, teachers and local leaders voiced their concerns about the on-going stench. Posted. http://www.kesq.com/print/27713764/detail.html Draft Bill Offers Rule Exemptions For Coal-Burning. Draft legislation being circulated on Capitol Hill would exempt utilities from a host of air pollution rules if they agree to retire older coal-fired power plants by the end of 2020 or if they submit an alternative plan to U.S. EPA for ratcheting down sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants. Sources say the discussion draft was written by American Electric Power Co., a major multistate utility that has been lobbying Congress for more industry-friendly Clean Air Act rules and a longer time frame to comply with them. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/04/29/1 CLIMATE CHANGE Business Roundtable Urges EPA to Stop Greenhouse Gas Rules. The Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives officers from companies such as General Electric Co. (GE) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), urged the Obama administration to abandon efforts to regulate greenhouse gases from industrial polluters. The Washington-based association wants President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency to scrap the rules for power plants and oil refineries, giving Congress time to craft legislation, according to an e-mailed statement today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-04-28/business-roundtable-urges-epa-to-stop-greenhouse-gas-rules-1-.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Oakland Port to Offer a Greener Power Supply to Berthed Ships. The Port of Oakland is about to start the construction of shore power connections at twelve of its berths, which will provide power from land to a vessel that is berthed or at the dock. Providing a land-based source of power is intended reduce the amount of pollution from ships burning diesel fuel while they are in port. Usually berthed ships keep auxiliary engines running in order to provide power to core ship functions and to cool cargo. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/environment/story/oakland-port-offer-greener-power-supply/print/ FUELS Amyris Builds Brazil Plant to Turn Sugar Into Renewable Source of Diesel. Amyris Inc. (AMRS), a U.S. biotechnology company, built its first industrial-scale facility to produce from sugar-cane syrup a compound that can be converted into a renewable fuel, tapping Brazil’s expansive cane industry for feedstock. The plant in Sao Paulo state on a property owned by Biomin do Brasil Nutricao Animal Ltda. will go into production next month, Emeryville, California-based Amyris said today in a statement. It will make farnesene, a compound that can be processed further into diesel or lubricants. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-04-29/amyris-builds-brazil-plant-to-turn-sugar-into-renewable-source-of-diesel.html EPA Stance on Natural-Gas Recovery Gets Support. Washington—Diesel fuel shouldn't be added to drilling fluids used to recover natural gas, the head of the American Gas Association said Thursday. The comments from Dave McCurdy, the industry group's president and CEO, came days after the Environmental Protection Agency said it would more closely regulate the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a process that involves injecting drilling fluids into wells to free oil and natural gas trapped in shale formations deep underground. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704463804576291440236600946.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#printMode EPA Starts Work On Diesel Fracking Guidance. U.S. EPA is in discussions with industry to issue formal guidance on how drillers can perform hydraulic fracturing with diesel fuel, seeking to resolve an issue that has chipped away at the credibility of both the agency and industry. "We are in the process of engaging the public, industry, states and environmental groups as we develop permitting guidance for companies that use diesel fuel," EPA said in a statement, confirming a comment by Administrator Lisa Jackson to reporters earlier this week. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/04/29/3 VEHICLES BMW Launches Electric Car Compatibility App. Interested in buying an electric car, but not sure if it fits your lifestyle, commute, or needs? Auto maker BMW — which has been rather hesitant when it comes to EVs — recently launched an iPhone app , called EVolve, designed to help users discover if they are a good fit for owning an EV or not. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/28/idUS143810340120110428 Chevy Volt Hate Comes On Strong; Bob Lutz Strikes Back Hard. 2011 Chevy Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery. Is there any car out there that draws more political fire than the Chevy Volt? Sure, people rag on the Nissan Leaf for its limited range and on a bunch of cars – the Murano CrossCabriolet, the Acura ZDX, the Juke – for their styling, but the Volt really seems to have a special ability to get people's claws out. It's almost like they've forgotten all about the Toyota Prius. The main issues are the alternative powertrain and the political effects of the feds bailing out General Motors and issuing plug-in vehicle rebates. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/article.flash.php?Id=1985&AlertDate=2011-04-28 GREEN ENERGY Report urges SA to invest in electricity. SA WILL need to make further investments if the country’s electricity transmission networks are to cope with additional capacity from multiple renewable energy projects, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. The report’s observation reinforces the view that the commissioning of new capacity, as proposed in the integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP2010), will need to be accompanied by investment across the electricity chain. Posted. http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=141353 Clean Energy Finance Can Be Thwarted By A Lack Of Structure. In nations where renewable energy policy and infrastructure are weak, public and private investors in clean energy may be throwing money to the wind. Renewable energy goals in emerging markets need a firm regulatory and infrastructure framework in order to work, says a new World Economic Forum (WEF) report. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/04/29/4 Dow, DOE Team Up To Keep Cool Roofs Clean. The Energy Department announced this week a research partnership with Dow Chemical Co. to resolve the issues of dirt, algae and mold accumulation on cool roofs. Cool roofs are typically white or light-colored and reflect incoming sunlight with the effect of reducing the need for interior cooling. The technology is particularly useful in asphalt-covered cities that tend to absorb and retain more heat than their rural surroundings. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/04/29/12 MISCELLANEOUS Oil Companies Are Making More Money And Less Fuel. Refiners including Exxon Mobil are raking in profits while producing less gasoline and diesel in the U.S. than usual for this time of year. They're also exporting more to foreign countries. With oil prices rising, that makes for sticker shock at the pump. Gasoline prices are skyrocketing — and so are oil company profits. Exxon Mobil Corp. earned nearly $11 billion in the first three months of the year, a rollicking 69% increase over its performance for the same period last year. That's on sales of $114 billion. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-oil-refineries-20110429,0,6421589,print.story OPINION Pain at the Pump? We Need More. GASOLINE prices are above $4 per gallon in much of the country, a reminder that our dependence on oil carries a great cost. President Obama has promised that the Justice Department will be vigilant in pursuing price-gouging at the pump, but what we really need is to address the full set of energy-related problems, with a focus on spurring clean energy innovation. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/opinion/28esty.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse&gwh=2DA8F390AB3B993C054E0A4402867C0C Costly Ethanol Subsidies Should Be Ended Now. With gasoline above $4 a gallon, it's time to rethink the $6 billion Uncle Sam spends annually on ethanol subsidies paid to corn growers and ethanol producers. Ethanol increases the price of gasoline, pollutes the air, and drives up food costs, as well as increasing the deficit, which this fiscal year stands at $1.6 trillion. Ethanol, a corn-based fuel that can be substituted for some of the gasoline needed to operate vehicles. But the gasoline-ethanol blend, currently 10 percent ethanol, lowers vehicles' gas mileage, leaving motorists with higher fuel bills. Posted. http://washingtonexaminer.com/print/opinion/columnists/2011/04/costly-ethanol-subsidies-should-be-ended-now Russ Dahler: Clean Air Projects Quietly Make A Difference. Since its inception in 2007, Measure R has funded more than $9 million in transit, bike and environmental projects. These projects are funded through the 14 percent clean air projects category of Measure R, as detailed in the voter-approved expenditure plan. The funding "pie" also allocates 35 percent of the budget for use in the incorporated cities and the County of Tulare, for local projects; 50 percent on major projects of regional significance; and 1 percent on administration. Posted. http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/article/20110429/OPINION/104290328/Russ-Dahler-Clean-air-projects-quietly-make-difference?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFrontpage%7Cp BLOGS China's Energy Use & Emissions To Peak Well Before 2050. Some good news about China's energy use coming out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, relying on some assumptions that may or may not actually come to pass (or even be good for the environment defined broadly). According to the China's Energy and Carbon Emissions Outlook to 2050, contrary to the prevailing wisdom, China's energy use and carbon emissions will stop growing well before 2050, as market saturation for consumer products and in construction takes hold. Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/04/china-energy-use-emissions-peak-before-2050.php?campaign=top_news