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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 13, 2011.

Posted: 13 May 2011 12:02:30
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 13, 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.


Alaska Offshore Oil Bill May Boost State Air Pollution, EPA Says.
 A Republican proposal in the House aimed at speeding up oil
production in Alaska may expose the state’s population to
significant air pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency said in opposing the measure. Posted.

Neighbors Oppose Strawberry Farms' Fumigant Use.  When Annette
Danzer and her husband moved into a house surrounded by brush and
strawberry fields on California's Central Coast, they were drawn
by the rural feel and closeness to nature.  Three years later,
the couple fears the fields near Salinas could become a health
threat due to potential use of the pesticide methyl iodide. 


Climate Treaty Is Possible, UN Envoy Says, Rejecting U.S. View.
The United Nations diplomat leading talks on a binding treaty to
curb global warming today rejected the U.S. position that the
negotiations are based on unrealistic expectations. “What is not
doable is not to address climate change and not to do it in a
timely fashion and at the level which it merits and with the
urgency it needs to be done,” Christiana Figueres, the executive
secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change told
reporters in New York. Posted.

Research Panel Says Climate Change Doubts Slow Urgent Action.
Public misconceptions of climate change have thwarted urgently
needed U.S. efforts to reduce emissions blamed for global
warming, according to a report from the National Research Council
of the National Academies. The media sometimes present aspects of
climate change that are well-established as if they were “matters
of serious debate,” according to the report released today in
Washington. Groups opposed to policies limiting carbon-dioxide

Scientists’ Report Stresses Urgency of Limiting Greenhouse Gas
Emissions. The nation’s scientific establishment issued a stark
warning to the American public on Thursday: Not only is global
warming real, but the effects are already becoming serious and
the need has become “pressing” for a strong national policy to
limit emissions of heat-trapping gases. Posted.

As Clinton Works Against Global Warming In Greenland, Some There
Don’t Mind It. Nuuk, Greenland — Few places on Earth have seen
starker changes in weather than this icebound island straddling
the Arctic Circle. With that in mind, America’s top diplomat
arrived here this week intent on calling attention to the perils
of climate change. The problem was that Greenlanders aren’t
exactly complaining. Posted.

Sierra Club Wants Landmark Climate Law Altered. California's
quest to create the world's first clean energy economy was again
under fire this week when the Sierra Club urged Gov. Jerry Brown
to drastically alter key elements of the much criticized climate
protection law. The state's largest environmental group urged the
governor in a May 9 letter to re-evaluate and revise proposed
"cap-and-trade" business incentives, particularly the rules that
would allow companies to offset their pollution by purchasing
credits from clean businesses outside the state and country.

UN Climate Chief Predicts US Turnaround On Warming. New York --
Washington's inaction on climate legislation is a "very serious
hand brake" on world efforts to combat global warming, the U.N.
climate chief said Thursday. But Christiana Figueres said she
believes the U.S. will eventually join the rest of the
industrialized world in mandatory reductions of greenhouse gases.
"I don't think it's a permanent state of affairs that the world
will be able to live with," she said of the failure of the U.S.
Congress to cap emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases
blamed for global warming. Posted.

Report: Strong U.S. Action Needed On Warming. The United States
should lead a strong national and worldwide response to the
threat of global warming, including placing a price tag on
greenhouse gas emissions and assisting other nations in dealing
with climate effects, according to a new report from the National
Academy of Sciences. 
"The message in a nutshell is that this committee reaffirms that
climate change is occurring, and that it's very likely caused
primarily by human activity," said Albert Carnesale…Posted.

Huntsman On Cap And Trade: 'It Hasn't Worked'. Jon Huntsman is
backing away from his support for a cap-and-trade system for
Western states that he once championed as Utah governor. "It
hasn't worked," the potential GOP presidential candidate told
Time Magazine in his first extended interview since leaving his
post as U.S. ambassador to China. "And our economy's in a
different place than five years ago." Until the economy recovers,
Huntsman added, "this isn't the moment" to implement it.
Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54890.html

U.S. Looks To Germany For Landfill Lessons. In 2005, a landfill
ban on untreated household waste in Germany forced the country to
stare its trash problems in the eye, and pushed it to become one
of the most efficient waste managers in the world. Now, American
waste management stakeholders are turning to German policymakers
for examples of how to better deal with garbage, especially when
it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Posted.

U.S. Climate Action Urgent – Report. Climate change poses
"significant risks" to society, the National Academy of Sciences
said yesterday, warning that delaying cuts in greenhouse gas
emissions will make dealing with the problem harder in the
"Each additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted commits us to
further change and greater risks," an academy panel said in a new
report, which calls for the federal government to take a lead
role in combating climate change at home and abroad. Posted.

Africa: The Hype Versus the Reality of Carbon Markets. The launch
of an Africa Carbon Exchange is unlikely to meet the goals of
curbing carbon emissions and financing adaptation needs, writes
Shefali Sharma. The Africa Carbon Exchange (ACX) was launched in
Nairobi on March 24; yet only two days before, Bloomberg
headlines announced: 'Global Carbon Credits Die as Smart Money
Backs Indian RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates). Posted.


New Hampshire Senate Votes to Amend Involvement in Carbon Market.
The New Hampshire Senate voted to amend, rather than repeal, the
state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,
a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions from power
plants. The state’s House of Representatives approved in March a
bill to exit the 10-state program. Under the amended bill
approved today by a vote of 16 to eight, the state’s would
replace an emission reduction fund with an energy efficiency fund
and would increase energy-efficiency rebates. Posted.

Delaware Bill To Quit Regional Climate Pact Stalls. Members of
the House Energy Committee voted Wednesday to keep a bill in
committee that would seek to end Delaware's participation in a
regional program aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions from
power plants. After a hearing lasting nearly two hours, committee
members voted to table the measure, meaning they would not
release it for discussion by the full House. The proposal seeks
an end to Delaware's participation in the 10-state Regional
Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known as RGGI, or "Reggie."

Environment Maine Hails Panel’s Decision to Keep Maine in RGGI
Program. Augusta, Maine—The Energy, Utilities, and Technology
Committee today rejected a bill, LD 793, which would have
withdrawn Maine from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
(RGGI).  Instead, it reaffirmed an existing condition for Maine’s
participation in the RGGI program. “The RGGI program is a win-win
for Maine’s environment and economy.  It’s cutting pollution,
reducing energy costs, and creating jobs.  Posted.


Obama Administration Set To Raise Fuel Efficiency Standards, But
By How Much?  As the first Toyota Priuses took to U.S. roads more
than a decade ago and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and
Cameron Diaz touted their virtues, enthusiasts predicted that
hybrid cars would quickly become mainstream.  But there was a
problem: They cost too much, and consumers spurned them. Posted. 

China Suspends Exports Of Diesel Fuel To Counter Energy Shortages
During Peak Summer Season. SHANGHAI — China is suspending exports
of diesel fuel to help counter shortages likely to worsen during
the peak summer months. The National Development and Reform
Commission, the country’s planning agency, on Friday urged oil
companies to help “maintain social stability and promote economic
development” by increasing refinery output and stepping up new
projects to ensure stable supplies. Posted.

Carmakers Urge Obama Admin To Move Slowly On Fuel-Economy
Standards. The nation's largest automakers are urging the Obama
administration to go slowly on setting fuel economy standards for
light-duty vehicles in the wake of a recent call by a bipartisan
group of senators for a 62-mile-per-gallon standard. In a letter
to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa
Jackson, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said it would
be "inappropriate" to promote a fuel economy target before the
proper analysis was completed. Posted.

Making a Great Fuel Even Better. How replacing natural gas with
biomass as feedstock for methanol production can improve
biodiesel's already good environmental footing. The vast majority
of methanol produced today is sourced from natural gas, but this
has not always been the case. A biobased version of the alcohol
was produced for centuries before the industry moved to
fossil-based feedstock. Posted.


Solar Plane Takes Off For 1st International Flight.  Geneva -- A
team of Swiss adventurers took their solar-powered plane on its
first international flight Friday, a 370-mile (600-kilometer)
leap from a small airfield in Switzerland to Brussels airport in
Belgium.  The Solar Impulse HB-SIA single-seater prototype took
off from Payerne airfield in Switzerland at 8:40 a.m. (0640 GMT)
after a three-hour delay due to strong winds. It is expected to
reach Brussels by nightfall.  Posted. 


Coastal Fireworks In South O.C. And San Diego County Now Need
Pollution Permits. The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control
Board adopts new rules — the first in the nation— for displays
over water. Operators will pay a $1,500 fee, minimize the
discharge of pollutants into the water and clean up shells, fuses
and other debris.
Water regulators have voted to require pollution permits for
coastal fireworks displays in southern Orange County and San
Diego County, in what they said was the first such regulation in
the nation. Posted.

Wide Disparities In Public Transit Access Keep Residents From
Jobs, Brookings Study Says. Washington -- Seven in 10 working-age
metropolitan residents live within three-quarters of a mile of a
transit stop. But a new study from the Brookings Institution
found that these commuters can reach only 30 percent of the jobs
in their area in under 90 minutes. The report, "Missed
Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America,” revealed
access to jobs varied widely across metro areas:  Posted.


It's Time To End Ethanol Subsidies. America's ethanol subsidies
and tariffs are outdated, expensive and damaging. There's no good
reason we should continue offering them, and a bipartisan pair of
U.S. senators have sponsored an amendment to abolish them. There
are three subsidies and tax credits for ethanol. One of them is a
45-cent-per-gallon blender's tax credit. That subsidy alone costs
taxpayers about $6 billion a year. Another is a
54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, which is less
expensive than the domestic product. Posted.

At A Disadvantage. I was glad to see a Reporter editorial
addressing the seeming inconsistencies between our local
Vacaville general plan and the regional Association of Bay Area
Governments-Metropolitan Transportation Commission's "Plan Bay
Area" ("Regional vs. Local Control," May 8.) The editorial
referred to it as a tug of war and, indeed, it is just that.
There are a couple of issues, though, that give the regional
planners a longer, stronger rope with which to tug: * Sustainable
Community Strategy: The Vacaville general plan update is subject
to 2008 state legislation governing greenhouse gas emissions and
global warming (SB 375 and AB 32). Posted.

Some Common Sense About Global Warming. Can we lay folk agree on
some uncommon common sense about this controversy over global
warming? Here are some of my musings about it. Without human
help, our globe - once it solidified and held an atmosphere - has
had a changing climate. We cannot know all its changes over
several billion years, but we know that, during recent millennia,
terrestrial, solar and maybe even cosmic forces have influenced
the overall coldness and warmth of the globe. Again, without
human help. Posted.


Oakland Airport Builds E.V. Chargers and Awaits the E.V.’s.  If
every electric car in the United States suddenly descended on
Oakland International Airport, only 15 of them would be able to
charge their batteries. But for E.V. drivers in the Bay Area,
that is plenty of capacity, for now.  As it makes preparations to
accommodate E.V.-driving travelers, Oakland Airport officials
will formally inaugurate 15 charging stations next week.  Posted.

Greenland Benefits From Global Warming. “Rather than questioning
global warming, many of this island’s 60,000 inhabitants seem to
be racing to cash in.  The tiny capital of Nuuk is bracing for
record numbers of visitors this year; the retreating sea ice
means a longer tourist season and more cruise ships from the
United States. Hunters are boasting of more and bigger caribou,
and the annual cod migration is starting earlier and lasting
longer. Posted.

High Marks but Few Takers on California Transit. A new study from
the Brookings Institution finds that compared with the rest of
the nation, the Bay Area offers pretty good public transportation
options. Among 100 major metropolitan areas, San
Francisco-Oakland-Fremont ranks 16th, and San Jose-Santa
Clara-Sunnyvale ranks second.  Areas were ranked according to how
accessible transit is to riders, how long it takes to get to work
on transit and how often the systems run during rush hours. 

Jon Huntsman, Once A Climate Hawk, Now Disses Cap-And-Trade Like
All The Other Republicans. A couple of months ago, I asked, "Is
Jon Huntsman the greenest GOP presidential hopeful?" In 2007, as
Utah governor, he brought his state into the Western Climate
Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade program. And up through
2009, when he took the post of ambassador to China, he called
repeatedly for climate action. Posted.

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