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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 15, 2011. Posted: 15 Jun 2011 14:26:18
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 15, 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 Study Looks At Air Quality Of West LB Rail Yard. Researchers are wrapping up work on a detailed two-year study of health impacts from pollutants emitted by trains, trucks and cranes at a massive rail yard bordering West Long Beach. The Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, or ICTF, moves about 750,000 containers annually through a roughly 150-acre facility on Willow Street just west of the city’s border. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/fdcp?unique=1308164817244 Air Quality Exec's Compensation: Nearly $400,000. You might want to take a deep breath before reading this. The executive officer at the South Coast Air Quality Management District – the air pollution control agency for Orange County and the urban parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, which happen to be one of the smoggiest in America – had $386,423 in total compensation in 2009, according to figures from the state controller’s office. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/quality-304441-air-exec.html AEP's Shutdown Claims Are 'Misleading At Best' – Jackson. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson had harsh words for American Electric Power Co. Inc. this morning, a week after the utility shook up the debate over new emissions rules by announcing it would shut down 6,000 megawatts of coal-fired plants in the next few years. The Columbus, Ohio-based company's claims were "misleading at best, scare tactics at worst," Jackson said after a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the Clean Air Act. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/06/15/3 CLIMATE CHANGE A Green Solution, or the Dark Side to Cleaner Coal? The six massive silos standing beside this industrial port in northeastern China hold seemingly contradictory promises: They could help improve the quality of China’s polluted air, but they might also contribute to faster global warming. The silos, which are scheduled to start operation in July, are designed to blend cleaner-burning imported coal with China’s own high-polluting domestic coal, which is contaminated with sulfur and dust. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/business/energy-environment/15iht-sreCHINA15.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Doctors Prepare Their Professions to Explain and Treat Climate-Related Symptoms. Dr. Anthony Szema is used to seeing patients with red eyes and runny noses. But in the past couple of years, the New York-based allergist has been faced with an onslaught of patients complaining their symptoms are starting earlier and hitting harder than ever before. Szema believes climate change is a culprit in the extended severe allergy seasons. And he is one of a small number of physicians who are beginning to talk to their patients about it. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/06/15/15climatewire-doctors-prepare-their-professions-to-explain-8660.html?pagewanted=print Climate Change Link to Fires Ignites Senate Committee. Climate change crept into the discussion of fire management at a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing yesterday, despite Republicans' tiptoeing around the issue. As fires like the voracious Wallow Fire spread throughout the Southwest, the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior are being pressed to offer solutions. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/06/15/15climatewire-climate-change-link-to-fires-ignites-senate-26892.html?pagewanted=print UN: Tackling Smog Key To Limiting Global Warming. Tackling smog and soot could provide a cheap and effective way of slowing global warming in the short term as well as benefiting agriculture and respiratory health, according to a new UN report. Combating ground-level ozone and limiting so-called 'black carbon' particles from vehicles, cooking stoves and inefficient biomass burning could cut as much as 0.5 degrees Celsius off the projected two degrees Celsius rise by 2050, the study says, echoing a UN paper published in February. Posted. http://www.businessgreen.com/print_article/bg/news/2079015/-tackling-smog-key-limiting-global-warming FUELS Obama Hydrogen Fuel Failure Conceded by Chu Paring Budget: Cars. Bloomberg June 14 --Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose mandate includes getting more fuel-efficient cars on U.S. roads, is disregarding advisers in his own department and seeking to cut almost half the federal funding for hydrogen-powered autos. A Nobel Prize-winning physicist who also researched advanced biofuels, Chu says hydrogen fuel-cell technology developed by carmakers such as General Motors Co., Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. isn’t yet practical. Auto companies and members of a government panel say he’s wrong and that they will be ready to market such cars by 2015. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. (Bloomberg) Effort to End Tax Credit for Ethanol Fails in Senate. The Senate beat back a challenge to ethanol fuel subsidies on Tuesday in a demonstration of how the drive to cut the federal deficit can run headlong into a favored interest on Capitol Hill. At the same time, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. expressed confidence about bipartisan talks aimed at producing a budget deal that would clear the way this summer for an increase in the federal debt ceiling. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/us/politics/15senate.html?scp=9&sq=fuels&st=cse Ethanol Subsidy Faces More Senate Tests. On Tuesday afternoon after the Senate failed to back an amendment that would have put an abrupt end to $6 billion a year of subsidies for corn ethanol, the president of the Renewable Fuels Association, Bob Dinneen, savored the moment. “Sometimes your opponents give you a gift,” he said, referring to the strategy of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who introduced the amendment and unsuccessfully pressed for an end to debate on the matter. “The way Coburn went about this didn’t help his cause,” Dinneen said. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ethanol-subsidy-faces-more-senate-tests/2011/06/14/AGNaw2VH_story.html Biodiesel Sets Sail. A high percentage of biodiesel is used by consumers on land, and marine operators are trying to match that same level of usage by sea. Encountering red tape isn’t new for alternative fuels such as biodiesel on their journey to acceptance as viable, on-road fuel. The same could be said for its off-road applications, specifically in maritime use. Posted. http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/7858/biodiesel-sets-sail DTE Energy’s Coal-To-Biomass Conversion Approved. DTE Energy has received approval from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in California to convert a coal-fired power plant to biomass fuel. In July 2010, DTE bought the plant, which was closed in April 2009 after operating for 20 years. It is located at the Port of Stockton, a major deepwater port in Stockton, Calif., that is situated on the San Joaquin River. Posted. http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/5586/dte-energyundefineds-coal-to-biomass-conversion-approved VEHICLES Electric Vehicle Batteries As Energy Storage Devices. In some years, lithium-ion batteries may become determinant to supply energy to households during energy peak consumption periods. Presently, utilities and distributors recur to generators that are activated during peak consumption to compensate for load fluctuations. Frequency regulation, as the practice is known, is a market valued at $1bn. (€700 m.) and could benefit from the introduction of electric vehicles as smart grid energy components. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/60220110614.php First Customers are Key to EV Sales Success, Execs Say. Word of mouth is a key element to generating buyers for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Today, it's the early adapters, tech-savvy buyers who are embracing the technology and buying the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt and the battery-powered Nissan Leaf. But for these vehicles and similar models to go mainstream, anxiety about the technology needs to be eliminated. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110614/OEM05/110619929/1186 GM Investing In Electric Bus Company. General Motors Co. announced a partnership Monday with Proterra Inc., a company that makes zero-emission electric buses and the automated bus recharging stations that service them. Proterra, based in Golden, Colo., has already shipped a fleet of its buses to Pomona, Calif., last September, and San Antonio and Tallahassee, Fla., have already placed orders, with deliveries set for later this year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/15/10 GM Expresses Optimism For Volt Sales Despite Slow Start. Next year, Chevrolet will make its extended-range electric Volt available in all 50 states and lower the sticker price to $39,995, but whether the changes can overcome a sluggish start to its sales remains to be seen. General Motors Co. reported 481 Volts sold last month, down from 493 in April and 608 in March -- a total of 2,184 sales in three months. By contrast, the company reported 22,711 sales in May of the Chevy Cruze, a fuel-efficient compact. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/06/15/22 GREEN ENERGY Comments Sought On Solar Farm. The public can comment Thursday evening on the solar electricity system proposed for 160 acres just north of Modesto. The Modesto Irrigation District will take comment on the draft environmental impact report for the project. Although solar is seen as an alternative to more polluting power sources, the planners have to document the project's effects on the environment. They include the loss of farmland and the aesthetics of the solar panels. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/06/14/1732782/comments-sought-on-solar-farm.html Calif. Energy Efficiency Guru To Spread The Word In Russia. When Arthur Rosenfeld joined the California Energy Commission in 2000, the state electric power system was teetering on the verge of an energy crisis. "It was clear we were going to crash," Rosenfeld explains. "Utilities didn't know how to predict future demand. There hadn't been enough power plants built." Rosenfeld, an 85-year-old scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is considered the godfather of energy efficiency in California. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/15/3 2 More DOE Loan Guarantees Awarded To Calif. Projects. Two more concentrated solar power projects yesterday won big-money loans from the U.S. Energy Department. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced conditional offers of nearly $2 billion to NextEra Energy Resources LLC and Abengoa Solar Inc. for plants to be built in an arid, open section of Southern California that has become a target for large-scale solar development. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/15/7 MISCELLANEOUS Mary Nichols. Mary D. Nichols is Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, a post she has held since 2007. Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and private, not-for-profit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has held a number of positions, including: assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under the Clinton Administration, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003, and Director of the University of California, Los Angeles Institute of the Environment. Posted. http://www.theclimategroup.org/our-news/interviews/2011/6/14/mary-nichols/?dm_i=6R6,FY6G,46NH5I,1AKE3,1 BLOGS California Redoes Its Greenhouse Gas Analysis. California Air Resources Board A summary of how various approaches to controlling emissions are expected to meet 20 objectives set by California air regulators. Nothing focuses the mind like being told by a thesis adviser (or a judge) that your analysis is inadequate and that your degree (or your carefully constructed policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions) will be on hold until you provide a better one. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/california-redoes-greenhouse-gas-analysis/?pagemode=print Environmentalists Unhappy With Latest CARB Revision. The first article in this series questioned whether environmentalists will stand in the way as California gears up to meet the requirements of Assembly Bill 32, more commonly known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. With some research, it would appear that answer is “yes.” The first round of reductions mandated by AB 32 are scheduled to be in place in slightly over six months. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-los-angeles/environmentalist-unhappy-with-latest-carb-revision Fast Action On Black Carbon, Ozone And Methane Could Help Limit Global Temperature Rise To 2 Degrees C. Fast action on pollutants such as black carbon, ground-level ozone and methane may help limit near term global temperature rise and significantly increase the chances of keeping temperature rise below 2 °C (3.6 °F)—and perhaps even 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), according to a new assessment released today in Bonn, Germany, during a meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/06/unep-20110615.html Science Connects Climate Change And Wildfires. Why Won’t The Media? One of the least controversial impacts of the climate crisis is more frequent, severe, and damaging wildfires in America's West. Why won't reporters say so? It's been a scary spring for wildfires in places like Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Global warming caused by human-made carbon pollution is fueling perfect conditions, with longer fire seasons, drier conditions, and more lightning strikes. Posted. http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-06-14-science-connects-global-warming-arizona-wildfires-the-media