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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 24, 2011.

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 11:59:37
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 24, 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.


California Air Board Expands Clean-Fuel Shipping Zone. After the
Navy complained that cargo ships were traveling through its
testing area to avoid pollution regulations closer to shore, the
California Air Resources Board votes to extend the clean-fuel
zone. More than half of oceangoing vessels serving the ports of
Los Angeles and Long Beach have been skirting traditional
shipping lanes to avoid air pollution curbs, prompting California
officials Thursday to extend the state's clean-fuel zone beyond
the Channel Islands. Posted.

NASA To Fly Over Baltimore-Washington Region To Help Satellite
Study Of Air Quality.  NASA will be sending aircraft over the
Baltimore-Washington region starting next week to help improve
how satellites track air pollution. Satellites already monitor
many components of air pollution, but researchers said Thursday
that it is difficult to use measurements from space to detect
pollution near the ground. The multi-year study is designed to
help improve the ability of satellites to measure conditions near
the surface. Posted.

Study: Spike In Birth Defects Near Mountaintop Mining. Birth
defects are more likely to occur in Appalachian counties with
mountaintop removal coal mining — including Eastern Kentucky —
than in other counties in the region, according to a new study.
The study, published last month in the peer-reviewed journal
Environmental Research, suggests that birth defects could result
from air and water pollution created by mountaintop removal,
including mercury, lead and arsenic, which have been shown to
pose risks to fetal development. Posted.

Stress May Worsen Lung Function in Kids Breathing Dirty Air.
Traffic pollution combined with stressful home contribute to
respiratory problems, study finds. Children who live in
stress-filled homes experience more air pollution-related lung
damage than kids in less stressful environments, a new study
finds. Researchers looked at the effects of traffic-related
pollution and parental stress on 1,400 children, aged 10 to 12,
in California. There were no significant associations noted
between parental stress alone and lung function levels in the
children. Posted.

Buffer Possible For TI Freeway. Southern Californians pay a high
price for air pollution. Each year, air pollution is responsible
for more than 5,000 premature deaths, and impacts quality life by
causing respiratory illness, cancer and acute bronchitis;
financially, air pollution costs the region at least $14.6
million per year, according to the California Air Resource Board.
In Long Beach, air quality has been an ongoing issue,
particularly because of the pollution generated from the Port of
Long Beach. Posted.

Law Requires Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Homes by July 1. The
gas causes between 30 and 40 avoidable deaths annually in
California. Beginnig July 1, carbon monoxide detectors will be
required in most California single family houses. SB183, the
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010, which was
passed and signed into law last year, requires “that a carbon
monoxide device be installed in existing dwellings intended for
human occupancy that have a fossil fuel burning appliance,
fireplace, or an attached garage.” Posted.

Enviro Groups Sue EPA Over San Joaquin Valley Ozone. San
Francisco -- California environmentalists sued U.S. EPA yesterday
for failing to curb high ozone levels in the San Joaquin Valley.
Earthjustice, representing the Sierra Club and other groups,
filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of California, invoking the Clean Air Act's protections against
ozone, the chief component of smog. Posted.

EPA Sets New Schedule For Controversial Boiler Rules. U.S. EPA
will propose possible changes to its controversial toxic
emissions rules for boilers and solid waste incinerators this
October and make final decisions by the end of April 2012, the
agency said in a court filing today. The Obama administration is
reviewing a set of petitions that seek to reconsider the rules,
which have drawn an outcry from industry groups and lawmakers
since they were proposed last year. Posted.

Court Sides With EPA On Medical-Waste Incinerator Rules. A
federal appeals court rejected a challenge today to the toxic
emissions limits that U.S. EPA chose for medical waste
incinerators in 2009, turning away industry groups who say the
rules were stricter than the law allows. EPA may have "dithered"
for a decade after the court found that a previous version of the
rules was based on inadequate data, but when the agency finally
acted, it made a reasonable attempt to base its emissions limits
on the best data available, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia ruled. Posted.

Tougher Fuel Standards Not Enough To Cut Emissions And Oil Demand
– Study. Simply forcing the U.S. automotive industry to comply
with tougher fuel economy standards won't be enough to create
substantial cuts in either greenhouse gas emissions or oil use,
says a new report from the National Research Council. The study
finds that while tougher fuel efficiency standards are a crucial
part of any plan to reduce emissions and oil demand, better
standards alone would only slow the growth in both categories.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/24/4

Livermore Scientists Find Climate Change Could Make The Southern
Ocean Smellier. A pungent organic compound that affects the
Earth's heat balance is more reactive to climate change than
previously believed, a new study out of Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory finds. Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) -- dubbed "the
smell of the sea" for its cabbage-like odor -- is produced
naturally by marine plankton and is one of the greatest organic
sources of sulfur emissions. Posted.


Gillard Stares Down 'Electoral Annihilation' With Carbon Tax.  A
year after ousting her predecessor, Prime Minister Julia Gillard
is counting on the same political skills she used then to hold
her party together as she pushes a climate-change plan opposed by
60 percent of Australian voters. With the least-liked government
in almost four decades and the lowest personal popularity in 13
years, Gillard is wooing legislators across Australia for the
package. Posted.

Agency Lists Science 'Gaps' On Arctic Drilling. Decision makers
lack key scientific information on what effect oil and gas
drilling would have in Arctic offshore waters, according to a
report released Thursday that also acknowledges pro- and
anti-development sides in the largely undeveloped region are
unlikely to agree on what is a science "gap" and what is
sufficient. Posted. 


Getting Mr. Warren Plugged In on the LA Port Supertanker Debate.
Talk Back - Some members of the community have criticized the
Board of Harbor Commissioners for approving the project without
requiring a higher percentage of AMP calls per year.  (See Peter
M. Warren CityWatch article, “Unplugged Supertankers and the
Diesel Death Zone at LA’s Port”) However, the Board of Harbor
Commissioners imposed a mitigation measure on the project
requiring increasing percentages of AMP (alternative marine
power) …Posted.


Germany's Verbio to Increase Ethanol Output for Use in Gasoline.
Verbio Vereinigte BioEnergie AG, an operator of two ethanol
plants in Germany, plans to increase production as demand rises
for the motor-fuel additive. The company plans to run its ethanol
plants in Schwedt and Zoerbig at full capacity in the second half
of the year, Frank Struempfel, a Verbio spokesman, said by phone
yesterday. That's up from about 50 percent in the second quarter.

Historic Anti-Corn Ethanol Amendment Faces Uphill Battle. Almost
three-quarters of the Senate approved a measure to end the
$6-billion-a-year blenders credit, but its prospects for ultimate
passage remain cloudy. Washington—Deficit hawks have practically
turned sharpened scissors into a fashion accessory on Capitol
Hill. What's shocking some and delighting others is the
unexpected pairings of legislators willing to share a whetstone
this congressional session. Take ethanol subsidies, for instance.

Ethanol-Dependent Towns Caught In Middle Of Subsidy Fight.
Claremont, Minn -- Claremont, Minn. - The white plume still
billows from the smokestack at the ethanol plant off Hwy. 14
here, and the 18-wheelers still screech to a stop at the corn
unloading station. Nothing is visibly different this week at the
Al-Corn plant, one of Minnesota's oldest ethanol makers - except
that an era of nearly unwavering government support for the
industry seems to be over. Posted.

Herger Bill Takes Aim At Corn Ethanol. Washington — Congressman
Wally Herger has joined an attack on ethanol made from corn,
winning support from business, agricultural and environmental
groups. On Thursday, Herger, R-Chico, and Rep. Joseph Crowley,
D-N.Y., introduced a bill that would reduce government support
for ethanol made from corn, which is added to gasoline. Their
legislation, The Ethanol Subsidy Repeal Act, would eliminate a
tariff as well as a tax credit given to oil companies that blend
ethanol with gasoline. Posted.


Used Gas Sippers, Keeping That New-Car Value. Cars are not
supposed to be a good investment. But Spencer Hunter, an Oregon
patent lawyer, recently turned a small profit selling his
13-month-old Toyota Prius. “I drove a brand-new car for free for
a year,” said Mr. Hunter, who now rides a motorcycle.  The rule
of thumb says that a car loses at least 10 percent of its value
the moment it leaves the dealership. Posted. 

Lexus CT Hybrid Is Costly Nonconformist.  Last year Honda tried
to break the hybrid mold by introducing the CR-Z a two-seater
that was meant to differentiate itself from staid hybrid sedans
like the Toyota Prius by being fun and different. Now it's Lexus'
turn with the CT200h, a compact five-passenger hatchback whose
motive – along with sipping gas – is to be a nonconformist. 

Going Green In The Carpool Lanes Takes Patience. Q. Dear Honk:
Perhaps you could do some further research about confusion over
the new green stickers that will let solo drivers go into the
carpool lanes. In the March 18 column, you stated that "a Toyota
Prius has won state approval." I have a 2005 Toyota Prius. What
cars, exactly, will qualify?– Joe Ward, Anaheim. A. As you know,
Joe, the 85,000 yellow carpool stickers, as of July 1, expire and
will be worth far less than "Honk for President'' bumper
stickers. Posted.

AUTOMOBILES: California Electric Car Subsidy Out Of Cash, For
Now. California is out of rebate money for buyers of electric
cars, the California Air Resources Board said Thursday. The $5
million fund saw a rapid run-up in applications in recent months.
Officials expect to renew funding in the fall, but with half the
rebate amount. Government officials see electric cars and plug-in
hybrids as a key way to lower pollution. In 2007, lawmakers
passed a law offering rebates to people who purchase the cars.

Toyota To Roll Out New Prius Model This Fall. Toyota will begin
offering a Prius hybrid station wagon this fall and could add a
third Prius model to its offerings sometime next year. The wagon,
which Ed Larocque, marketing manager of advanced technology
vehicles at Toyota Motor Sales USA, said would likely hit
showrooms sometime in October, will be called the Prius v, and
its sales are expected to equal roughly 15 to 20 percent of the
current Prius' sales. Posted.

Experts See Cost Cuts For Electric Cars.  Detroit--Although a
technological breakthrough for batteries is unlikely before 2020,
industry experts say the case for electric vehicles will improve
significantly in the next few years.  Jon Bereisa, CEO of
consulting firm Auto Lectrification, said at the Automotive News
Green Car Conference here last week that costs of such items as
the lithium ion batteries will drop as automakers boost
production and achieve economies of scale.  Right now the battery
costs are prohibitive for many drivers.  Posted. 


Mexico’s $8 Billion Power Projects May Cut California Emissions.
Mexico expects foreign investment in renewable energy to almost
triple this year to $8 billion, helping U.S. states such as
California to slash carbon emissions, said the head of the Latin
American nation’s investment promotions agency. ProMexico, as the
agency is known, is in talks with European and U.S. wind and
solar-power companies for four to five projects this year,
compared with four projects totaling $3 billion in 2010…Posted.


Beachgoers To Join Hands For Clean Energy Saturday.  The
Surfrider Foundation's South Orange County chapter invites you to
join in "Hands Across the Sand," a linking of hands Saturday on
three beaches to promote clean energy as an alternative to fossil
fuels and offshore oil drilling.  Supporters will meet about 11
a.m. and link hands at noon as part of a worldwide event.  In San
Clemente north of the pier, a beach cleanup will follow in
cooperation with the San Clemente Watershed Task Force's
Adopt-a-Beach program.  Posted. 

Warsaw Airport Hosts Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Hundreds of airplane
enthusiasts hoisted binoculars to the skies to watch the Boeing
787 Dreamliner make its first landing at Warsaw's airport. The
airplane arrived directly from its showcase at the Paris Air
Show. Warsaw is the first commercial airport in Europe to host
it. Poland's LOT was the first European airline to purchase the
Dreamliner, with the first of eight on order to arrive mid-April.

CARB To Host Meeting To Explain All Diesel Truck Rules. Having a
hard time keeping up with the California Air Resources Board’s
multiple diesel regulations? Have you run out of room on your
scorecard marking adjustments and changes during the agency’s
never-ending regulation amendment process? You’re not alone. To
help explain its diesel rules, CARB is hosting a training course
on July 19 in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Trade Technical
College. Posted.

Viewpoints: State Should Lead Again On Emission Standards.
Despite another round of $4 gasoline and a continuing surge of
consumer interest in high-mileage cars, the auto industry is
trying to slither out of tougher fuel efficiency and emissions
standards. California can put things right. By writing the
nation's first global warming emissions rules nearly a decade ago
under the Pavley law, the state set a ground-breaking path for
the United States in the fight against global warming. Posted.

Too Much Unsettled Air Around Climate Change. By siding with
coal-burning utilities and against environmental groups this
week, it would seem the U.S. Supreme Court was issuing a another
big-business blessing. The case, after all, was aimed at forcing
smokestack power companies to limit greenhouse gas emissions. But
the decision deserves a closer look and a less alarming
conclusion. It was unanimous, meaning all sides on the divided
court agreed, and it was written by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a solid
liberal. Posted.

Put Brakes On Ethanol Gravy Train. The U.S. Senate finally
mustered enough votes to end one of the federal government's most
ineffective special-interest subsidy programs, giving new hope
that there can be bipartisan progress on reducing unsustainable
federal deficits. The Senate voted 73-27 last week to repeal the
$5 billion annual ethanol subsidy just a couple of days after
turning down a similar measure. The bill also would repeal a
harmful 54-cents-a- gallon tariff on imported ethanol, most of
which comes from Brazil. Posted.

Don't Ignore Climate Skeptics – Talk To Them Differently. More
scientific data won’t convince doubters of climate change. But
reframing the debate as one about values could make a difference.
The American debate over climate change turns on two main themes.
One is the science of the problem; the other is government
measures to fix it. Many believe these themes cover the entire
debate. They're wrong. Far more than science is at play on
climate change. At its root is a debate over culture, values,
ideology, and worldviews. Posted.


California Widens Clean-Fuel Zone for Ships. A ship anchored
outside the Port of Long Beach waits to unload some cranes.
Noting that cargo ships are traveling longer distances to avoid
having to switch as quickly to a cleaner-burning fuel off the
California coast, the state’s Air Resources Board has changed its
fuel regulations. Posted.

Fracking and Water: E.P.A. Zeroes In on 7 Sites. The
Environmental Protection Agency has chosen seven natural gas
drilling sites where it will conduct case studies to evaluate the
impact of hydraulic fracturing on local drinking water. Hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, involves freeing of natural gas trapped
in shale rock by injecting copious amounts of water at very high
pressure. It has become increasingly controversial as companies
have turned to drilling horizontally at significant depths.

Wanted: Republicans for Responsible Oil Policy. When President
Obama announced the release of oil from the country’s Strategic
Petroleum Reserve today, the usual suspects weighed in all
around. Iran and other oil exporters, along with the American
Petroleum Institute, criticized the move. Joe Romm, who’s
directly on his game on such issues, referred readers to his 2008
congressional testimony laying out the logic for such releases if
they’re coupled with conservation measures. Posted.

California Congressman Tackles Toxic Trade In New Bill.
Modern-day alchemy is alive and thriving. Impoverished
populations in China, India, Nigeria and Ghana burn old desktop
computers, hard drives and circuit boards, breathing in metallic
fumes while searching for minuscule amounts of gold and other
valuable metals embedded in computer chips. Posted.

The Nine Lives of Ethanol Myths. Do myths have nine lives? In the
case of myths about ethanol, one might think so. Pervasive
ethanol myths like “ethanol isn’t energy efficient,” and “ethanol
raises food prices” – keep coming back to life even though they
have been debunked over and over again. Why do these myths
continue to resurface? Powerful special interests, such as Big
Food and Big Oil, pay millions of dollars in lobbying and
advertising every year in order to keep these myths fresh in the
minds of American consumers. Posted.

Bank of America Putting Billions into Solar. This deal is a
really big deal. Bank of America announced an agreement this week
with ProLogis, and NRG Energy and the US DOE’s Loan Program
Office to finance the deployment of up to $2.6 billion of
commercial and industrial rooftop solar installations, all across
the country. This will be the largest distributed solar deal in
history, which will create the equivalent of over 10,000
job-years, while providing 733MW of distributed solar energy,
which is enough to power 100,000 homes across 28 states. Posted. 

New Solar Cells Can Be Printed Right Onto Buildings.  The world's
largest dye-sensitized solar cell has just made an appearance.
These cells have a couple of major advantages over traditional
solar cells: one, they're incredibly cheap, and two, they can be
printed right onto the materials used to make a building. Right
now they’re being incorporated into girders manufactured by Tata
steel.  Posted. 

Study Finds That Linking Increased Transportation Tax To
Environmental Or Other Specific Benefits Increases American’s
Support For Higher Transportation Taxes.  A national phone survey
by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) found that a
majority of Americans would support higher taxes for
transportation, under certain conditions. The survey results show
that very low support levels for a one-time gas-tax increase or a
new mileage tax can be raised by modifying how the tax is
structured and the way it is described.  Posted. 

ARB What's New