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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 4, 2011. Posted: 04 May 2011 15:32:02
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 4, 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 Asthma Rate Rises Sharply in U.S., Government Says. Americans are suffering from asthma in record numbers, according to a study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one in 10 children and almost one in 12 Americans of all ages now has asthma, government researchers said. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/health/research/04asthma.html?pagewanted=print http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-asthma-rates-increasing-05032011,0,3191787,print.story Region’s Air Is Cleaner, Report Says. The Sacramento region has made big cuts in air pollution over the past 20 years despite a 40 percent increase in population, according to a new air quality progress report released Tuesday by the Cleaner Air Partnership. The report found the region still needs to do more to reduce health effects of poor air quality. The rate of asthma hospitalizations, for example, has declined — but there were still 2,233 hospitalizations in 2009. Still, efforts to curb pollution have paid off, the report concludes. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2011/05/03/regions-air-is-cleaner-report-says.html House Bill Would Require Regular Economic Analysis of EPS Regs. Two members of Congress will introduce a bill today that would require agencies to conduct periodic analyses of the effect of a range of air quality rules on the U.S. economy, the reliability of the power supply, employment and international competitiveness. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/05/04/2 CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Activists Target States With Lawsuits. Billings, Mont. A group of attorneys using children and young adults as plaintiffs plans to file legal actions in every state and the District of Columbia on Wednesday in an effort to force government intervention on climate change. The courtroom ploy is backed by high-profile activists looking for a legal soft spot to advance a cause that has stumbled in the face of stiff congressional opposition and a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/climate-activists-target-all-50-states-dc-with-legal-action-to-establish-atmospheric-trust/2011/05/04/AFv4zJlF_story.html http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/05/04/financial/f013116D74.DTL&type=printable http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/04/3600429/climate-activists-target-states.html http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_17989041?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.modbee.com/2011/05/04/1673301/climate-activists-target-states.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/may/04/climate-activists-target-states-with-lawsuits/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_7391bb34-3867-5462-8918-eb8f0aec5c8b.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/05/04/2375152/climate-activists-target-states.html#storylink=misearch New Alarm On Melting Ice: 5-Foot Sea Level Spike. Stockholm -- The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, dramatically higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says. The findings "emphasize the need for greater urgency" in combatting global warming, says the report of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the scientific arm of the eight-nation Arctic Council. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/04/MN601JBFFK.DTL&type=printable Climate Change: Report Offers Strategies To Adapt. The Bay Area must start prepping for the whens, not the ifs, of climate change - like building cooling centers for use during heat waves, propping up homes on stilts in flood-prone areas and even abandoning roadways vulnerable to sea-level rise, according to an influential urban policy organization. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/04/BA1L1JBFQR.DTL&type=printable Rwanda Gets $30 Million World Bank Grant For Skills Development. Rwanda received $36.5 million of grants to develop skills and a strategic plan for the environment, the Finance and Economic Planning Ministry said. The East African will receive $30 million from the World Bank for skills development and $6.5 million from Sweden to implement its climate-change plan, the Kigali-based ministry said on its website today. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-05-04/rwanda-gets-30-million-world-bank-grant-for-skills-development.html Central Valley Small Businesses Recognized For Climate-Smart Efforts. Six small businesses in the Central Valley or foothills are among 23 statewide that have been singled out by the California Air Resources Board for their “climate-smart” actions. The CARB program recognizes California small businesses that demonstrate leadership and made notable, voluntary achievements toward reducing their climate impact. “These California small business owners demonstrate passion and conviction for reducing their impact on the environment,” says CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=18329 Richardson: Climate Right for Change. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson hopes that Osama bin Laden's death will spur President Barack Obama to promote climate change legislation. “My hope is that from this success in the foreign policy arena two days ago, that he will be emboldened to take once again to the Congress legislation — not just to increase a renewable energy standard — but climate change legislation that this country and the world need,” …Posted. http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=BF8FE0E4-45C3-4890-9E38-25F9B454DC9F FUELS Economic Studies of Biofuels Paint Opposing Pictures in Gas Price Wars. Both sides in the debate over government biofuels support are looking to bolster their arguments with numbers, as new, warring economic studies present differing figures on the role that ethanol production plays in gasoline pricing. A paper by two economists published by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University argues that ethanol production has reduced wholesale gasoline prices by 25 cents per gallon on average over the past 10 years, with recent price impacts in certain markets reducing the cost by as much as $1.37 per gallon. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/05/03/03greenwire-economic-studies-of-biofuels-paint-opposing-pi-21329.html?pagewanted=print Grassley Plans Bill to Tie Ethanol Tax Break to Oil, Group Says. U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, plans to introduce legislation that would tie an ethanol tax break to the price of oil, said Matt Hartwig, a spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association in Washington. The measure, which Grassley may offer today, would convert the 45-cent credit into a “variable tax credit that would adjust based on the price of oil,” Hartwig said in an e-mail. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-04/grassley-plans-bill-to-tie-ethanol-tax-break-to-oil-group-says.html Senators Introduce Bipartisan bill Scuttling Subsidy, Import Tariff. A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation yesterday that would immediately end a federal ethanol tax break and a tariff on ethanol imports. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are spearheading the measure, which also lists as co-sponsors Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and James Risch (R-Idaho). Feinstein filed a similar measure in March, and Coburn has long been critical of ethanol use … Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2011/05/04/5 “Exploding Lake’ Could Power Economic ‘Revolution’. Spanning the borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the serene waters of Lake Kivu hide a deadly secret. Beneath its tranquil surface, the 1,000-square mile expanse of water is one of the continent's "exploding lakes," thanks to the rich supplies of methane gas that are lying in its depths. Because of the area's volcanoes and anaerobic bacteria in the water, there is an estimated 60 billion cubic meters of methane gas and carbon dioxide trapped in the deep-water lake. Posted. http://www.cnn.com/2011/BUSINESS/05/04/rwanda.kivu.exploding.methane/ VEHICLES Queen of the Road: Right Turns On Red and Plug-In Hybrids. QUEEN: Her Majesty recently ran a letter from a reader asking about converting his hybrid car, a Prius, to a plug-in. In her response, she quoted a spokesman for a public agency about kits for conversion and their cost, and here's what a reader said: COMMUTER: I love the doublespeak of John Swanton, the "smog expert" from the California Air Resources Board. I have some specific questions for him. Steve, Antioch. QUEEN: Steve then went on with questions for Swanton. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_17983343 Small Cars Boosting Sales For Carmakers As Consumers Look To Fuel-Efficient Models. Higher gas prices meant more small cars were sold last month. Several automakers reported better than expected sales in April as buyers turned to smaller, more fuel-efficient models to counter the rising cost of gas that's now near $4 a gallon. The trend was welcome news for the U.S. auto industry, which posted sales of more than 13 million vehicles for the third straight month - the first time that's happened since the summer of 2008. Posted. http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2011/05/04/2011-05-04_small_cars_are_big_rising_prices_at_pump_pushing_consumers_to_fuelefficient_mode.html Congress Might Charge Up the Electric Car Industry. A bill to set up a pilot project that could give a boost to electric cars has begun its meandering through Congress. Co-authored by Central Valley Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, it would establish 10 “deployment communities” around the country to serve as hubs for increasing the use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=18331 GREEN ENERGY Turning His Near-Ghost Town Into A Clean-Tech Boomtown. Gerald Freeman saw the tiny outpost of Nipton, Calif., as 'a little place to make a home' and maybe some money. He bought it in the 1980s and has moved toward creating a sustainable wonderland. Gerald Freeman was prospecting for gold in the Mojave Desert when he stumbled on Nipton. In 1984, it had become a virtual ghost town. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-nipton-20110504,0,569145,print.story NJ Company to Build $18M Solar Energy Project. A New Jersey company says it will invest $18 million to install a solar power system capable of producing 3.6 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 450 homes every year. The clean energy division of New Jersey Resources is leasing 13 acres in Manalapan to build a "solar field" of ground-mounted, crystalline panels. The energy generated will be fed into the power grid through the wholesale market. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9N064AO0.htm http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/may/03/nj-company-to-build-18m-solar-energy-project/ Wary of Cheaper Gas, E.U. Climate Chief Wants to Raise Renewable Energy Target. E.U. climate Chief Connie Hedegaard is pushing to stretch Europe's renewable energy targets to 2030, in an effort to boost the industry amidst attacks from the gas sector. Hedegaard wants to extend mandatory targets for renewable energy beyond 2020. After then, the current commitment to generate 20 percent of energy from renewables will expire. The natural gas industry has been lobbying intensely to brand gas as a cheaper alternative to renewables, holding a series of meetings with high-ranking E.U. officials. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/05/04/7 MISCELLANEOUS A Remote Town In Hawaii Has the Most Expensive Gas In The U.S. In Hana on the island of Maui, a gallon of regular costs $6.03, more than $2 above the national average. Among the cheapest places was a convenience store in Casper, Wyo., where regular was selling for $3.36 a gallon. If you're fed up with high gasoline prices, you might want to avoid the roads less traveled. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-most-expensive-gas-20110504,0,92155,print.story A Fresh Cabin Air Filter Creates ‘Breathing Room’ Inside Your Vehicle. BROADVIEW, Ill.- Let's say you are about to take a long road trip. It's one thing to have to clean out your car ahead of time to create enough space for you and your family to be comfortable inside. But did you know that you could also help them breathe more comfortably — especially if some of them suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma? Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/04/3600525/a-fresh-cabin-air-filter-creates.html OPINIONS Commentary: Could High Gas Prices Be A Good Thing? Are high gas prices a good thing? That is not as dumb a question as it sounds. Examine a few revealing past remarks from President Obama and the Cabinet officials who are now in charge of the nation's energy use and oil leases on federal lands. Then decide whether the current soaring gas prices are supposed to be good or bad. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/03/3595344/commentary-could-high-gas-prices.html Is That A Nose On Your Chin? Along with my trusty Schwinn, the buses of Orange County have been my primary source of transportation for the past couple of years. I’m not an environmentalist or anything like that — trying to do my part to cut down on emissions — I am though what you might call fiscally challenged. Therefore I don’t have a vehicle that runs. Posted. http://www.coastreportonline.com/views/article_77233ac6-75df-11e0-8358-001cc4c002e0.html BLOGS Electronic Health Records: Green of Polluter? This is the year that billions of dollars in government incentive payments are set to begin flowing to the nation’s doctors and hospitals to encourage them to adopt computerized patient records. The goal, of course, is to help improve the quality of care and curb costs. But what about the environmental impact? That was the question asked by researchers at Kaiser Permanente, a giant health-care group, which covers 8.7 million people in nine states and the District of Columbia. Posted. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/electronic-health-records-green-or-polluter/?pagemode=print Are Rising Seas Returning to the West Coast? Researchers say sea levels haven't been rising along the West Coast of North America for decades, but that could be about to change, according to a new study. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography say they've observed changing wind patterns that, if persistent, could soon speed up sea level rise along California's shores. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/05/03/are-rising-seas-returning-to-the-west-coast/ CAFO Air Pollution Crackdown? I'm traveling in New Mexico this week, learning about its dairy industry, and thinking a fair bit about how we raise animals -- for milk and meat -- in the United States. Many of the people I've met so far on this trip live very near large dairies. Some of the people I hope to meet later run large dairies, or consult with them to help them be more efficient or environmentally-benign. Posted. http://www.hcn.org/hcn/blogs/goat/a-regulation-for-cafo-air-pollution Pioneering Wind Energy Study Looks 30-50 Years Ahead for Global Warming. "First ever analysis of long-term stability of wind over the U.S." This week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (often just known by its acronym: PNAS) contains the first ever analysis of long-term wind stability in the United States. The goal was to see if global warming will have a big impact on wind patterns and, potentially, disrupt wind power production, compounding the problems caused by climate change. The results are very interesting... Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/05/wind-power-study-looks-30-50-years-global-warming-climate-impact.php Wakening the Kraken: Methane and Warming Oceans. Methane (CH4) is a very potent greenhouse gas, 20-30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) on a century timescale. Fortunately, it only occurs in very low concentrations in the atmosphere - about 0.3 to 0.4 parts per million during ice ages and 0.6 to 0.7ppm during warmer periods. Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/05/methane-warming-oceans-wakening-the-kraken.php Evs Help Out In Japan Crisis And New I-Miev And Leaf To Store Energy - In the area in Eastern Japan that was hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami in March, electric vehicle sales are soaring. Terra Motors, a manufacturer of e-bikes and e-scooters reports that while the company has sold 300 units in 2010, they have sold 200 units in the weeks after the earthquake alone. As gasoline is scarce in the affected areas, the electric two-wheelers are often the only means of transport. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/57420110503.php Guidelines For The Safe Conversion Of Electric Cars. The Japanese Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV) has published guidelines for conversion of gasoline cars to electric vehicles. The need arose as over the last years more and more businesses as well as private people started to convert cars to EVs which can bear some risks if not done properly. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/57320110503.php