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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 11, 2011.

Posted: 11 May 2011 14:51:40
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 11, 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.


Emissions: State Urged To Tighten Tailpipe Rules. California must
tighten tailpipe emissions controls not just to clean up some of
the dirtiest air in the nation, but to save hundreds of lives
each year and billions of dollars devoted to asthma and other
disorders stemming from smog and diesel fumes, a public health
group will argue in a report to be released today. Posted.

Court Ruling Complicates EPA's Refrigerant Phaseout. U.S. EPA is
walking a fine line as it prepares new limits on the use of gases
that harm the atmospheric ozone layer, one of the largest
manufacturers of the ozone-depleting gases told the White House
this week as it met with officials about the upcoming rule. The
Office of Management and Budget started review last week on an
interim final rule that will tell chemical companies how much
hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) they are allowed to produce in
2011 and 2012. Posted.

Asthma Rates Up, Despite Less Smoking And Air Pollution.  Los
Angeles ---- About 1 in 12 people in the United States now has
asthma, a total of 24.6 million people and an increase of 4.3
million since 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention said recently.  The cost of medical care for these
patients increased by about 6 percent between 2002 and 2007,
totaling $56 billion in the latter year, according to information
in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  The
increases come despite improved air quality throughout most of
the country and widespread decreases in smoking.  Posted. 

EPA Defers Air Sanctions Against Sacramento-Area Businesses. The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reporting that the
Sacramento region has attained an air quality standard it
previously failed to meet. As a result, the agency will defer
sanctions to businesses that would have taken effect July 5 and
other economic sanctions set to become effective Jan. 5, 2012.

Dumping Continues In Mecca After Odor Order. Soil plant officials
say they're in touch with EPA regulators on issue. The heavy
hauling trucks continued to rumble onto tribal lands Tuesday
outside Mecca, a day after a federal agency ordered a halt to
hazardous waste shipments at two plants there. There was activity
at the Western Environmental Inc. plant targeted by an
Environmental Protection Agency order on Monday, but it wasn't
clear if it was business as usual. No one at the plant would say.


Arctic Nations Eye Future Of World's Last Frontier. (Reuters) -
Leaders of Arctic nations gather in Greenland this week to chart
future cooperation as global warming sets off a race for oil,
mineral, fishing and shipping opportunities in the world's
fragile final frontier. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will
join foreign ministers from seven other Arctic states in
Greenland's tiny capital of Nuuk -- population 15,000 -- on
Thursday for an Arctic Council meeting on the next steps for a
region where warming temperatures…Posted.

Gates Puts His Energy Into Finding Solutions For Climate Change.
Seattle - Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is investing more of
his own time and money in the search for clean energy and
solutions to climate change. Gates is moving into a third arena,
after software and philanthropy, and is using his Kirkland-based
incubator, BGC3, to fund related science. "The more I learn about
this problem, the more I see it as super critical," he said.


California Businesses Get Help Moving To Cleaner Diesel Vehicles.
California small businesses now can tap into a $5 million pool of
federal money to replace, repower or retrofit their off-road
diesel vehicles, the California Air Resources Board says. The
objective is to encourage early compliance with CARB’s off-road
diesel regulation vehicles used in construction, agriculture,
mining and industrial operations. “Small businesses can take
advantage of the loan program and modernize their vehicles
improving air quality and public health ahead of state
deadlines,” says CARB Chairman Mary Nichols. Posted.


Gasoline Futures Drop 8 Pct As Government Reports Lower Gasoline
Demand, Higher Supplies.  New York — Gasoline futures tumbled
almost 8 percent Wednesday after a government report added more
evidence that Americans are driving less because of higher pump
prices.  The Energy Information Administration said that U.S.
gasoline demand dropped 2.4 percent last week, the largest drop
in seven consecutive weeks of demand declines. Analysts said
motorists have been forced to conserve gasoline with pump prices
close to a national average of $4 per gallon.  Posted. 

Corn-based Ethanol: The Real Cost. It was supposed to be the fuel
that could wean, at least partially, the United States and other
petroleum importing countries from their dependence on foreign
oil. Corn-based ethanol was heralded to do the trick and with
massive political support from both sides of the political
spectrum, it has emerged as the biofuel of choice, anointed by
the United States government and enjoying the support of
agricultural lobbies and states. Posted.


House Dems To Roll Out Alt-Fuel Vehicle, Drilling Measures. House
Democratic leaders today are set to unveil two new measures aimed
at promoting alternative-fuel vehicles and increasing domestic
energy production, fleshing out the party's counterpoint to the
revved-up GOP push for faster offshore drilling. House Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to outline the two
bills this afternoon, while the House debates two Republican
offshore drilling proposals. Posted.

Metro Adding More Hybrid-Electric Buses To Its Fleet.  Metro
takes plenty of heat from bus riders, who complain that older
buses break down too often and wheelchair lifts don’t work
properly. But on Tuesday, transit officials showed off a new
hybrid-electric bus that — in theory — is supposed to solve some
of those problems.  The “New Flyer Xcelsior XDE40” is an updated
version of Metro’s diesel buses, some of which are 15 years old.


Bill Gates Calls for More U.S. Clean Energy Investment, Urges
American Companies to Work With China.  Microsoft founder, famous
billionaire and clean energy supporter Bill Gates yesterday
downplayed the notion that China is overtaking the United States
in renewable energy at a breakfast meeting about climate change
in Seattle.  "A lot of figures that are thrown about China are
sort of these bogeyman, 'We should feel bad'-type things," he
said. "But China is very important. China can be a part of the
solution here."  Posted. 


Dan Walters: High-Speed Train Trip Going Nowhere. California's
chronic inability to govern itself has made it an international
laughingstock with a blistering article in the Economist, a
highbrow British magazine, only the latest manifestation of that
unfortunate status. The state now has another opportunity to
either cement its image as a civic buffoon or begin acting like
an adult. It is the disaster-in-waiting known as the high-speed
rail project. Posted.


Ford Says There’s Wealth in Weeds.   Petroleum is found
throughout passenger vehicles, not only in the gas tank. But Ford
announced on Tuesday a project intended to minimize its reliance
on petroleum-based vehicle components, and it chose an unlikely
standard bearer: the dandelion.  Developed in collaboration with
Ohio State University, the project harnesses the scourge of lawn
tenders worldwide, Taraxacum kok-saghyz, commonly called the
Russian dandelion, to produce a versatile, milky-white substance
that can be used as a plastics modifier.  Posted. 

Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Could Save $7.2 Billion Annually In
California Health Costs. California could save $7.2 billion in
healthcare costs -- and prevent more than 400 premature deaths --
annually if the state adopts a 64 miles- per-gallon equivalent
fuel economy standard, according to a report released Tuesday by
the American Lung Assn. in California. The Road to Clean Air
study estimates a 70% reduction in asthma attacks …Posted.

Van Nuys, Long Beach Airports Cited As Major Lead Polluters. The
Center for Environmental Health on Tuesday announced impending
legal action against more than 40 suppliers of aviation fuel
containing lead, often used in piston-powered aircraft engines,
at California airports. The Oakland-based group blames
ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, AvFuel Corp. and 38 other
suppliers for water and air pollution around 25 airports in
California, including Van Nuys Airport, Long Beach/Daugherty
Field and LAX. Posted.

Calculating Benefits of Cleaner Car Technology. Toughening clean
air standards for automakers can reduce California’s respiratory
and coronary health impacts and save more than $7 billion
annually in health costs, according to a new study funded by the
American Lung Association in California. With the California Air
Resources Board—CARB—set to devise new standards for car
manufacturers, the ALA is pushing them to take the high road in
rules that will reduce the maximum amount of greenhouse emissions
and particle pollution from vehicles. Posted.

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