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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 9, 2011.

Posted: 09 Jun 2011 12:51:14
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 9, 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.


EPA's Tests Of Air Outside Schools Find Problems. Washington —
The federal government's first attempt to assess the dangers from
air pollution around schools is nearing completion, and the
findings underscore the need for more extensive air monitoring,
especially in pollution hot spots, the head of the Environmental
Protection Agency says. "There is work to be done still on air
quality," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says. "The best result
would be to find that all of our concerns were overblown, but
we're not finding this in every case." Posted.

Air-Quality Regulators To Study Health Effects Of San Bernardino
Rail Yard. The in-depth examination will try to determine whether
the inland shipping hub has caused an increase in cancer and
asthma in nearby low-income communities. Southern California
air-quality regulators are sponsoring an in-depth study to
determine if the San Bernardino Rail Yard, a major inland hub of
goods shipped across the U.S., has caused an increase in cancer
and asthma in the neighboring low-income communities. Posted. 

Pollution Worsens Kids' Asthma, But Efforts To Cut It Split
Congress.  Washington -- Summer air pollution could trigger more
asthma attacks for children who live in industrial cities, and
the Environmental Protection Agency would like stricter rules to
cut smog.  Congress is split on the agency's proposal, however,
with some Republicans saying the EPA's regulatory agenda could
cost businesses as well as drive up energy expenses for families.
Clean air advocates counter that low standards for pollution cost
families by endangering children's health.  Posted. 

Study: Trucks, Cars Valley's Big Polluters. Greenhouse gas survey
gives baseline for reduction efforts. Cars and commercial traffic
barreling down Interstate 10 likely spew about two-thirds of the
greenhouse gases generated in the Coachella Valley, undermining
efforts by local residents and industries to roll back carbon
emissions. The findings are in the Coachella Valley Association
of Governments' long-delayed regional greenhouse gas inventory,
which is to be released today. Posted.

Southern California Man Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for
Conspiring to Violate the Clean Air Act During Asbestos Removal.
The owner of a San Fernando Valley condominium complex was
sentenced June 6 to four years in federal prison for conspiring
to violate the Clean air act's asbestos work practice standards
during the renovation of the 204-unit apartment building – work
that caused asbestos to be released into the complex and the
surrounding community. Posted.


Romney Draws Early Fire From Conservatives Over Views On Climate
Change. It seemed like a straightforward question on a
second-tier issue: Would Mitt Romney disavow the science behind
global warming? The putative Republican presidential
front-runner, eager to prove his conservative bona fides, could
easily have said what he knew many in his party’s base wanted to
hear. Instead, the former Massachusetts governor stuck to the
position he has held for many years — that he believes the world
is getting warmer and that humans are contributing to that
pattern. Posted.

Law Would Force Bay Area Cities To Plan For Sea Level Rise. Bay
Area cities and counties whose jurisdictions contain the San
Francisco and Oakland airports and the ports of Oakland and
Redwood City would be required to prepare action plans to deal
with rising sea levels under a trailblazing bill passed by the
state Assembly last week. Posted.

Mitt Romney: No Apologies On Climate Change Stance. Mitt Romney
won't be doing any apology tours on climate change. The early GOP
presidential front-runner has broken with his party's
conservative ranks to declare global warming a real threat to the
planet that merits some sort of action to curb heat-trapping
emissions. But the former Massachusetts governor is also quick to
trash cap and trade, carbon taxes and other controversial
policies that have been kicked around over the last decade in
Washington. Posted.

Rick Santorum: Climate Change Is ‘Junk Science'. Rick Santorum is
no Mitt Romney when it comes to global warming science. Appearing
Wednesday on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, the former Pennsylvania
GOP senator jumped at the chance to distinguish himself from his
Massachusetts rival by displaying his climate skeptic
"I believe the earth gets warmer and I also believe the earth
gets cooler," Santorum said. “Posted.

New Degree Program For Carbon Traders Aims To Boost Résumés And
Restore Credibility. New York -- Two organizations that train
emissions monitors and offset credit generators are moving to put
an end to the "carbon cowboy" days of the global carbon markets.
This week, the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and the
Environmental Careers Organization of Canada launched a new
professional certification program for individuals pursuing
careers in greenhouse gas management. Posted.

Cow Farts And Snowboarders Teach Student 'Troops' About Climate.
Climate change advocacy is taking after-school activities to a
new level. The Alliance for Climate Education has held hundreds
of "assemblies" over the past two years to teach students about
global warming and to get them to act. The group mixes hip
presentations with modern technology, like texting, to turn a
lesson on climate science into a lasting lifestyle relying on
less energy and more fun. Posted.

USDA Funds 9 Projects To Mitigate Greenhouse Gases. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture is disbursing more than $7.4 million in
an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating new
revenue streams for farmers. The money will go to nine projects
in 24 states that center on creating income opportunities through
carbon markets. "It helps stimulate better bottom lines for
farmers," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in announcing
the awards. "It allows us to refine targets and strategies for
various types of market practices." Posted.


Getting On The Propane Train. Local firm leads way with how-to
classes on converting engines and gas stations to eco-friendly
propane. Most discussions about alternative automotive fuels
revolve around hybrid, electric or other emerging, expensive
technologies, but Bill Gaines believes there’s a better answer
the general public may not be aware of—propane. “It’s the
low-hanging fruit of all the alternative fuels,” Gaines said, and
he should know—he is a senior engineer (and co-founder) at
Transfer Flow Inc., a Chico company that manufactures fuel-tank
systems. Posted.

Biomass Diversity and Supply Chain Approach Will Boost Green Jet
Fuel.  A new report from aviation and renewable energy interests
in the Pacific Northwest has found that an emerging market for
sustainable aviation fuels is eminently plausible.  The
Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest consortium concludes that no
single feedstock or technology pathway is likely to provide
sustainable aviation fuel at the scale or speed needed to produce
and maintain jet fuel supply.  Posted. 


REGION: State Seeks Boost In Clean Car Rebates Program. State air
pollution regulators want to increase the amount of funding used
to pay rebates to those who purchase electric cars and other
low-emission vehicles.  With high gasoline prices and cars such
as the Nissan Leaf in demand, a fund that pays state rebates
ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 per vehicle is expected to run out
next month.  The California Air Resources Board staff, however,
is proposing replenishing funds by $12 million to $17 million for
the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. Posted.

Veggie-Powered Road Trip.  A Frank Gehry design whiz creates
biofueled Volkswagens. Nick Pisca lives in a comfortable home in
a middle-class area of Inglewood, where he and his pregnant wife,
Erika, have something in their garage none of the neighbors can
match: a veggie fuel–powered Jetta he takes on cross-country road
trips to show that converting to vegetable oil isn't just for
aging hippies. Posted.

Roadrunner Shuttle First Ventura County Business to Adopt ROUSH
CleanTech Propane Autogas Technology. California ground
transportation company Roadrunner Shuttle and Limousine Service
is driving ‘green' airport service home as it becomes the first
of its kind in Ventura County to adopt propane autogas as its
alternative fuel of choice. Propane autogas is a cleaner-burning,
domestically produced fuel choice that reduces harmful emissions
that contribute to poor air quality. Posted.

Electric Vehicle Lifecycle Emissions Undercut Conventional Cars. 
Electric vehicles (EVs) produce more emissions than conventional
cars in production, but still have far lower carbon footprints
over their lifetimes, according to a new study that "dispels the
myth" that low carbon cars transfer emissions from exhaust to
manufacture.  The research conducted by UK advisory group LowCVP
calculates that a typical medium-sized family car will pump out
24 tonnes of CO2 compared to just 19 tonnes for EVs and plug-in
hybrids, and 21 tonnes for standard hybrids.  Posted. 

Group Calculates Big U.S. Oil Savings With 62-Mpg Standard. The
United States could save as much as 1.6 million barrels of oil a
day by 2025 and 4.4 million barrels a day by 2040 if the Obama
administration sets the highest fuel economy standards under
consideration for new cars, according to a report released
yesterday by an advocacy group. The report by Securing America's
Future Energy -- a group of corporate executives and retired
military personnel dedicated to reducing U.S. oil use -- says the
benefits of a 62-mpg standard are clear. Posted.


U.S. Is Falling Behind in the Business of ‘Green’. Leicester,
England — The Mark Group started hunting for a new untapped
market when it realized that its core business — insulating old
homes using innovative technology — would drop off in coming
years. Based in this rust-belt city, the company had grown
rapidly over the last decade largely because of generous and
mandatory government subsidies for energy conservation that
impelled the British to treat their homes. Posted.

Hydrocarbon Lobby Puts Roadblock In Russia's Clean Energy Goals.
Russia's goal to quadruple the amount of renewable energy used in
the country by 2020 may be thwarted by the country's powerful
hydrocarbon lobby, which is currently obstructing progress and
has no plans to back down. Russia's current goal is to increase
the amount of power coming from renewable sources from 1 percent
to 4.5 percent by the end of the decade. Posted.

U.S. Energy Efficiency Market 'Nearly Untouched'  When it comes
to green business, the United States has fallen behind its
foreign competitors. Thanks to government incentives, many
European and Asian countries have saturated the market with
carbon-reducing technologies, solar and wind developments and
energy efficiency. Posted.


The Earth Is Full. You really do have to wonder whether a few
years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st
century — when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world
population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and
droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments
were threatened by the confluence of it all — and ask ourselves:
What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was
so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural
resource/population redlines all at once? Posted.

Opinion: Thomas L. Friedman: Climate Crisis Will Force Drastic
Economic Change. You really do have to wonder whether, a few
years from now, we'll look back at the first decade of the 21st
century -- when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world
population surged, tornadoes plowed through cities, floods and
droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments
were threatened by the confluence of it all -- and ask ourselves:
What were we thinking? Posted.

Green Energy Initiative A Good Step For The Valley. Whether you
believe that climate change is the beginning of the end of Mother
Earth or if you think it's all a lot of hooey, it makes sense to
build buildings that are as efficient as possible. Not only does
it reduce air pollution that threatens the Coachella Valley's
iconic blue skies, it reduces dependence on fossil fuels and
saves money on electric bills. The Coachella Valley Association
of Government's Green Government Initiative is a step in the
right direction. Posted.

The EPA’s New Move. Is The NAT GAS Act An EPA Trojan Horse? The
debate over the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans
Solutions Act of 2011, or NAT GAS Act, has focused mostly on the
question of whether the federal government should use hefty
subsidies — $64,000 per truck — to interfere with the free-market
allocation of resources. On that point, a surprisingly large
number of Republicans are siding with their
central-planning-advocate colleagues on the other side of the
aisle. Posted.

Seeing Through The Haze Not Always Easy Here. The skies in the
mountains are amazingly blue, a deep solid color. On a good day,
the clarity of the ridges against this blue is deeply rewarding.
Yet all too often in our area, the clarity is diminished by haze.
Sometimes it is smoke from forest fires, usually caused by
people. Or, when the wind blows hard through northern Arizona or
southern Utah, we can get a lot of dust. More common is a bluer
haze. Posted.


Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Gains Traction in Oregon.  Oregon soon
could become the second state to allow peer-to-peer car sharing.
Legislation establishing standards for personal vehicle sharing
programs was approved this week by the House of Representatives
and the Senate. HB 3149 paves the way for residents to rent their
cars directly to other people through vehicle sharing programs
like GetAround or the Google-backed RelayRides. California passed
a similar law last year.  HB 3149 passed with bipartisan support
and little opposition. Posted. 

San Bernardino Rail Yard Communities Targeted For Health Study.
Southern California air quality regulators are sponsoring an
in-depth study to determine if the San Bernardino rail yard, a
major inland hub of goods shipped across the U.S., has caused a
rise in cancer and asthma in the neighboring low-income
communities. The study comes two years after the California Air
Resources Board determined that diesel emissions from

Latino Groups Push Obama On Ozone Standards. On the heels of a
scathing critique by former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt on
Wednesday, President Obama faced pressure from a burgeoning
environmental justice coalition demanding stronger action on
ozone, a component of smog, in predominantly Latino communities.
Fourteen groups sent a letter to Obama expressing dismay at
missed opportunities and delays in bringing permissible ozone
levels down to between 60 and 70 parts per billion: Posted.

Steve Jobs Pitches New Apple 'Spaceship' Campus To Cupertino City
Council. Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed plans for a new
headquarters for the company that "looks a little like a
spaceship" at a City Council meeting in Cupertino, Calif., on
Tuesday. In his trademark black turtleneck, jeans and gray New
Balance running shoes, Jobs said at the meeting the new building
would hold 12,000 employees, and even house its own green-energy
power plant. Posted.

San Francisco Most 'Climate-Ready' City In U.S. Climate-ready
appears to mean doing the most to reduce carbon emissions, not
best equipped to ride out the storms of climate change. The
listing considers the political commitment of city leadership,
the number of transit riders per capita, and number of green
buildings per capita, the amount of investment in cleantech and
GHG reduction targets. (It also, for reasons I don't understand,
includes university memberships in the Association for the
Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.) Posted.

Investors, Workers: Strong Fuel Economy Standards Will Fuel
America’s Economy. Capital doesn’t flow in a vacuum. And big
investors are telling us that’s exactly what we have right now
with uncertain U.S. energy policies. This spring, California’s
Air Resources Board (ARB) is working jointly with federal
officials on one of this year’s biggest energy and environmental
decisions – stronger nationwide automobile fuel economy and
emissions standards starting in 2017. It shouldn’t need saying
that those standards have huge economic implications. Posted.

If Kids Could Vote, Clean Air Would Rule the Day. Our society
goes to great lengths to protect children’s health, from fancy
car seats to an elaborate system of recalls on any faulty
children’s products.   And why shouldn’t we take extra
precautions to protect the most vulnerable among us and our
future?  Somehow when it comes to protecting children from the
very well-known health hazards of air pollution, however, we
continually fall short. Posted.

How Bad Is Climate Change For Your Lungs? A new study puts a
hefty price tag on climate change by linking it to the air you
breathe. The report, published last Thursday by the Union of
Concerned Scientists (UCS), concludes that CO2-induced
temperature increases will worsen ground-level ozone
concentrations (the kind coming from power plants and exhaust
pipes, not the kind that shields the Earth from UV rays). Posted.

No Way: Auto Lobbyists Make Up a Scary Job-Loss Number Linked to
Mileage Plans. The surest way to kill a bill today is to tag it
as a job killer. While is why auto lobbyists have taken it upon
themselves to, let’s say, creatively interpret some government
data to make it look like a proposed 62 mpg federal fuel
economy/greenhouse gas standard would spark an employment
holocaust, deep-sixing a quarter million jobs. Posted.

First Wood-Digesting Enzyme Found In Bacteria Could Boost Biofuel
Production.  Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and
Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-led Integrated
Biorefining Research and Technology (IBTI) Club have identified
an enzyme in bacteria which is important in breaking down lignin.
This research, carried out by teams at the Universities of
Warwick and British Columbia, could make sustainable sources of
biofuels, such as woody plants and the inedible parts of crops,
more economically viable.  Posted. 

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