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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 5, 2011

Posted: 05 Jul 2011 12:54:22
California Air Resources Board News Clips for July 5, 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.


Bad Valley Air Could Travel From Overseas.  Air-quality
scientists long have suspected some of the San Joaquin Valley's
notorious brown haze comes all the way from places such as China,
taking an amazing wind-blown trip. Now it's time to find out.
Years ago, researchers confirmed that plumes of east Asian forest
fires, airborne dust, industrial pollution and vehicle exhaust
float high in the atmosphere to California and the rest of the
West. Posted. 


US airlines take EU to court over emissions cap.  BRUSSELS—U.S.
airlines took the European Union to court on Tuesday arguing that
its imposition of emissions caps on non-European carriers
breaches international law.  The suit at the European Court of
Justice in Luxembourg was filed by Air Transport Association of
America, which represents the U.S. airlines, together with
United/Continental and American Airlines.  Air travel is
responsible for about 3 percent of greenhouse gases, but their
share of global emissions is rising rapidly. Although thousands
of airlines will fall under the scheme, 50 major carriers are
responsible for about 70 percent of the emissions.  Posted.  AP
Newsbreak Story: 


B.C. finds success with controversial carbon tax.  At Richmond
Plywood Corp., on an arm of the Fraser River just south of
Vancouver, a new energy system that burns the company’s own waste
has slashed natural gas costs – almost completely insulating the
firm from British Columbia’s carbon tax.  The carbon tax wasn’t
the sole reason Richmond Plywood made the move – high natural gas
prices were also a factor – but it was the tax’s introduction
that sparked the change. And it’s exactly the type of action that
then-premier Gordon Campbell hoped industry and individuals would
undertake when he introduced one of the world’s first carbon
taxes three years ago.  Posted. 

Crucial Australian Independents Back Gillard's Climate Plan. 
Australian independent lawmakers whose support Prime Minister
Julia Gillard needs to pass a carbon emissions plan, gave
conditional backing ahead of a July 10 announcement on how it
will be structured.  Tony Windsor, who is from New South Wales,
said for the first time he would back the trading system as long
as it reflects recommendations from the Multiparty Climate Change
Commission on which he sits. Tasmanian lawmaker Andrew Wilkie
said he would vote for the laws as long as household and
corporate assistance is provided.  Posted. 

New vehicle rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions spark debate. 
Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and
climate-change policy, makes a forceful case for the need to
slash greenhouse-gas emissions and boost the efficiency of cars
and small trucks: The moves will cut America’s oil consumption,
foster the nation’s energy independence, save consumers money at
the pump and help revive domestic auto manufacturers.  What she
doesn’t volunteer is that they will curb climate change.  Posted.

Study says sulfur from China’s coal-burning caused slight pause
in global warming.  WASHINGTON -- Scientists have come up with a
possible explanation for why the rise in Earth's temperature
paused for a bit during the 2000s, one of the hottest decades on
record.  The answer seems counterintuitive. It's all that sulfur
pollution in the air from China's massive coal-burning, according
to a new study.  Posted.  


PM Excludes Gasoline From Aussie Carbon Tax Plan.  Prime Minister
Julia Gillard softened the impact of her unpopular carbon tax
plans on Sunday by promising it will not increase Australian
gasoline prices. She said the tax would never be applied to
gasoline despite transport being Australia's third-largest and
fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. 

U.S.-E.U. showdown over airline emissions begins today.  If
European lawmakers have their way, by next year any American
flying from Boston to Paris will have to pay for the plane's
carbon emissions over Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, the Atlantic
Ocean and France.  A case before the highest court in the
European Union to decide the matter starts today. At stake is
this question: Can Europe's climate policy reach the tailpipes of
planes flying to and from the continent, even when that plane is
over other parts of the world?  Posted. 

EPA grants biomass a final reprieve from CO2 rules.  As proposed
earlier this year, biomass-burning facilities will be spared from
new federal curbs on gases that help cause climate change.  The
final plan released Friday by U.S. EPA will give biomass a
three-year pass while the agency studies the effect of plant
emissions on climate change. During that time, industrial plants
that burn woody biomass and landfills that release the greenhouse
gases from decomposing biomass won't need permits before starting
construction and won't need Title V operating permits.  Posted. 


Air France to power planes with cooking oil.  In a giant nod to
the growing recycled fuel industry, Air France-KLM has announced
that it will start flying planes in September using a blend of
kerosene and used cooking oil. More than 200 flights between
Paris and Amsterdam will be the first to embrace the alternative
fuel.  "In November 2009 we demonstrated that it was technically
possible to fly on biokerosene," said KLM's managing director
Camiel Eurlings. "Now, a year and a half after our first
demonstration flight on Camelina, a new phase has been entered
around the world, that of certification. Authorisation will soon
be granted to operate commercial flights on biofuel."  Posted. 


UN calls for greener food production to feed world in 2050. 
GENEVA — World food production will have to increase by up to 100
percent by 2050 and focus on greener methods to sustain an
expected 9 billion population, the U.N. said Tuesday in its
annual survey of economic and social trends.  The U.N.’s annual
World Economic and Social Survey called for governments to invest
nearly $2 trillion (about 1.3 trillion euros) a year to help
small-scale farming and to reduce environmental harm.  Posted. 

India's Rural Poor Give Up On Power Grid, Go Solar.  Boommi Gowda
used to fear the night. Her vision fogged by glaucoma, she could
not see by just the dim glow of a kerosene lamp, so she avoided
going outside where king cobras slithered freely and tigers
carried off neighborhood dogs. Posted. 

Frances Arnold: Career path of a Caltech scientist.  Chemical
engineer and biochemist at Caltech in Pasadena. Frances Arnold,
54, specializes in the creation of new proteins, with a focus on
renewable energy. She is co-founder of Gevo Inc., a company that
develops liquid fuel from plants that can be used as a substitute
for gasoline and jet fuel.  Posted. 

Antelope Valley residents not fired up over green energy
projects.  Judy Watson watched as the California Poppy Reserve
was established in the 1970s just five miles from her home. She
was looking forward to cherishing its vistas forever.  But today
Watson is among area residents and nature lovers who fear that
the state park's annual blaze of orange blossoms will be
overshadowed by "green" — energy, that is, in the form of
sprawling solar panels and gigantic industrial-size wind
turbines.  Posted.


Electric cars are right for America.  Former Michigan governor
and clean/renewable energy missionary Jennifer Granholm stopped
by the Sun-Times the other day to tell the Editorial Board that
the cost of electric cars could be on par with the price of
gas-powered autos as soon as 2017. If that’s actually within the
realm of possibility, we are on the cusp of an energy revolution
that could advance the cause of energy security and deal a
significant blow to the political and economic clout of foreign
oil.  Posted. 

Dealers See Shift.  Automakers saw strong demand for
fuel-efficient vehicles in the first part of this year, but with
gas prices leveling off, some dealers are seeing a shift back to
trucks and other bigger vehicles. Ford saw its biggest month of
small-car sales in May since 2008, despite a 0.1 percent drop in
overall sales. But foot traffic for F-150s and other large
vehicles has increased in June, a San Bernardino dealer said.

First car2go electric vehicle rental scheme launched in Germany. 
The southern city of Ulm, Germany is the first to host a rental
electric vehicle fleet Daimler affiliate car2go partnered with
SWU Stadtwerke, their technology partners Mennekes and the group
of companies FG.de to deploy in its fleet five electrically
powered smart fortwos.  Vehicles rented in the mobility scheme
drive for about 135km between charges, covering the distance
between two car2go rentals. In case the battery is discharged
below a specific threshold, the vehicle is parked at one of the
charging stations and the drive is over.  Posted. 


Air quality expected to reach unhealthy range today.  The first
Spare the Air Day of the season is forecast for today for the
Sacramento region.  The region's air quality index is expected to
reach 151, which is just into the unhealthy range. People with
respiratory disease such as asthma should avoid long periods of
exertion outdoors. Everyone else should reduce outdoor prolonged
outdoor exertion.  Posted. 


Viewpoints: State can still lead on climate without cap-and-trade
farce.  A decision by a California Superior Court may provide the
state with a second chance to become a real leader in national
and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Last
month, a Superior Court judge directed the California Air
Resources Board to conduct an analysis of feasible alternatives
to the cap-and-trade program the air board adopted last year. 
The plan is the blueprint for achieving the ambitious goals of
the Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32 – to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Since California
is the world's ninth-largest emitter of these emissions, AB 32 is
rightly viewed as a pioneering effort to help the world address
the problem of global climate change.  Posted. 

EDITORIAL: Wasteful Energy.  Self-proclaimed environmentalists
dream of a future powered by wind and solar energy. The free
market, of course, knows this isn’t going to happen. Every
windmill and solar farm on the planet would go bankrupt if the
daily truckloads of taxpayer cash ever missed a delivery. Posted.


Global Warming And Political Intimidation : How Politicians
Cracked Down On Scientists As The Earth Heated Up.  Climatologist
Raymond Bradley   has come out fighting in his new short book
Global Warming and Political Intimidation: How Politicians
Cracked Down on Scientists as the Earth Heated Up. It’s a lively
albeit sobering narrative which recounts his and others’
experience of harassment, character assassination and unfounded
accusation from the politicians who serve fossil fuel interests
in the US Congress. Posted. 

Air Pollution Linked To Impaired Cognition.  Long term exposure
to fine airborne particulate matter, such as engine exhaust, may
alter neuronal morphology, mood, and impair cognition, according
to research in mice published online this week in Molecular
Psychiatry.  These results may shed light into how air pollution
exposure in major cities around the globe can alter or impair
mental functions. Posted. 

Ryder sees increasing demand for heavy-duty natural gas trucks;
expanding California program to other states.  Ryder System,
Inc., a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain
management solutions, has already secured lease agreements for 87
heavy-duty natural gas trucks from customers looking to take
advantage of the fuel cost savings and environmental benefits of
alternative fuel powered vehicles. Sixty-five of those vehicles
are part of Ryder’s natural gas fleet in Southern California,
made available through the Ryder/San Bernardino Associated
Governments (SANBAG) Natural Gas Vehicle project. (Earlier post.)

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