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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 20, 2011 Posted: 20 Jul 2011 13:23:20
California Air Resources Board News Clips for July 20, 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 Coalition Hits Tougher Air-Pollution Rules. Business Roundtable sees millions of jobs being lost under new ozone limits. An interactive map released Tuesday by a coalition of leading business groups details the potential economic destruction they say would result from the toughening of air pollution rules by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA Ozone Standard Map shows that 85 percent of the nation’s counties would fall out of compliance under the proposed EPA rules. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/19/business-groups-slam-epa-ozone-plans/ NASA Continuing Air Quality Flights Over Baltimore-Washington Region, 8th Flight To Be Wed. NASA is continuing low-level flights over the Baltimore-Washington traffic corridor to help improve satellites’ ability to measure air quality. NASA says it will conduct its eighth flight Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Satellites already monitor air pollution, but researchers say it is difficult to use measurements from space to detect pollution near the ground. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/nasa-continuing-air-quality-flights-over-baltimore-washington-region-8th-flight-to-be-wed/2011/07/20/gIQAfRuAPI_story.html Wrapped Up in Politics, Granddaddy of Cap-And-Trade Plans Has an Uncertain Future. In the eyes of health advocates and some policymakers, the nation's fleet of power plants has its share of decrepit clunkers, relics that are barely sticking around. But some people might apply a similar description to the cap-and-trade program that Congress created 20 years ago to cut air pollution from those power plants. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/07/19/19greenwire-wrapped-up-in-politics-granddaddy-of-cap-and-tr-2653.html?pagewanted=print Carbon Scrubbing Condensers Made On The Cheap. Chemists have cooked up some cheap carbon dioxide-capturing compounds, reports a study, a potential boon for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Added to smokestack scrubbers, such porous materials might limit emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, linked to global warming. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/07/carbon-scrubbing-condensers-made-on-the-cheap-/1?csp=34news Metra Will Clear The Air In Its Train Cars. Railroad to install high-efficiency filters to reduce soot after Tribune investigation. Metra appears to have found a way to dramatically clean up the air inside its stainless-steel cars, but spikes of lung- and heart-damaging diesel pollution will remain a lingering problem on the platforms at Chicago's major rail stations. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/health/ct-met-metra-diesel-testing-20110720,0,4546313,print.story Temecula Quarry Worries Neighbors In Spite Of Builder’s Promises. Yesterday officials in Riverside County heard hours of testimony on one of the most contentious projects ever proposed for the area—a large granite quarry. A company called Granite Construction wants to build an open pit quarry on 135 acres between Temecula and San Diego County. They say the project will bring in high-paying jobs and millions of tax dollars to the area and, oddly, improve air quality. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2011/07/19/19928/controversial-quarry CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Change Threatens Pine Tree, U.S. Says. Washington -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined Monday that whitebark pine, a tree found atop mountains across the American West, faces an "imminent" risk of extinction because of factors including climate change. The decision is significant because it marks the first time the federal government has identified climate change as one of the driving factors for why a broad-ranging tree species could disappear. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/20/MN2T1KC0P7.DTL&type=printable Green Exchange To Offer Trading Platform For Calif. Allowances. A carbon market trading platform that has found success in Europe will begin offering futures contracts in California's burgeoning emissions market starting in September, executives announced yesterday. The Green Exchange, launched in 2008 by the New York Mercantile Exchange, will support contracts for delivery in 2012, 2013 and 2014 in California's cap-and-trade market, which is set to officially begin in January 2013. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/19/6 All Students Should Learn About Climate Change, Report Says. Climate change and renewable energy are subjects that all students should learn about by the end of high school, according to a new document released yesterday that provided guidelines for science education in the United States. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/20/3 DIESEL EMISSIONS Truckers Protest Requirement They Buy New Trucks For Work At Port Of Oakland. Oakland -- To the accompaniment of big rig cabs driving through downtown and honking their horns Tuesday afternoon, a handful of protesters gathered outside City Hall to say truckers are being unfairly treated despite their progress in reducing emissions. New state rules that took effect Jan. 1 required truckers hauling at California ports to either install expensive filters (estimated by protesters at $15,000 to $25,000 per vehicle) or upgrade their trucks to models from 2004 or newer. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18510231 Sonoma County Garbage Hauler Pays $534,000 Fine. For the second time in four years, Sonoma County's dominant garbage hauler has been hit in the wallet by a state environmental regulator. The California Air Resources Board announced Tuesday that the Ratto Group of Companies had paid $534,000 in penalties to settle air quality violations. From 2007 to 2009, the company failed to test, measure, and properly record smoke emission levels from its heavy-duty diesel trucks, according to the settlement in the case. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110719/ARTICLES/110719436/1033/sitemaps04 FUELS Dairy Farms Churn Out Ghgs, But Higher Efficiency Might Make Up For It. The open lots that hold dairy cows in concentrated feeding operations are responsible for up to 80 percent of all farm emissions of nitrous oxide -- a greenhouse gas with 400 times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide -- according to a recent study. Methane from open lots, a greenhouse gas with about 30 times the power of CO2, accounted for up to three-quarters of farm emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/20/9 VEHICLES Roadshow: State May Approve $2,500 Tax Rebate For Buyers Of Electric Cars. Q Oh yippee! You ignored my previous Prius rant, but the Mercury's recent story on electric cars had me thrilled! I can buy a Tesla S for $64,000, but the poor saps who can't afford my socially relevant indicator of conspicuous wealth can pay more federal taxes so I can get a $7,500 federal tax credit. How great is that? Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow/ci_18508107?source=rss Who Will Ride An Alternative To 'Market-Driven Sprawl'? Sacramento, Calif. -- Where Highway 99 meets the state capital here, a motorist has choices. He can pivot toward the San Francisco Bay, veer inland to the Nevada border, or ride the flatlands south toward Los Angeles. It's an important junction for any California driver -- and, in a sense, a symbol of California's climate choices. The state already has plans to widen Highway 99 to deal with increased traffic in the coming decades. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/19/1 Nissan To Build Electric Car Motors At Tenn. Plant. Chattanooga, Tenn. -- Nissan said Wednesday it will build motors for its electric Leaf car at its engine plant in Decherd, Tenn. The company said production will start in 2013 and create up to 90 jobs. The project is being funded with a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to encourage advanced technology. The plant will be able to make up to 150,000 electric motors a year. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/20/v-print/3781922/nissan-to-build-electric-car-motors.html http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/19/9 Electric Cars Will Make Net Cut In Emissions, Utility Group Says. Electric cars would cut carbon emissions whether sales are weak, lukewarm or torrid, new research suggests. In a roundup of electric vehicle technology released yesterday, the Electric Power Research Institute looked at three scenarios for plug-in vehicle sales. They could make up 4 percent, 9 percent or 17 percent of cars in 2030, EPRI found. But in all cases, the cars would cut CO2 even after the emissions from their power generation were counted. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/20/6 GREEN ENERGY Energy Department To Install Fuel Cells At 8 Military Posts. Washington (Reuters) - The Energy Department said on Tuesday it would install 18 fuel cell backup power systems at eight U.S. military posts, as part of a partnership with the Defense Department to bolster energy security. "Projects like these fuel cell systems will help reduce fossil fuel use and improve energy reliability at military installations across the country," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said at the U.S. Army and Air Force Energy Forum. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTRE76I7AD20110720 UN Chief Says Sustainable Development Top Priority. Global development that reduces poverty but preserves the environment for future generations will be the top priority during Ban Ki-moon's second five-year term as U.N. secretary-general, he said Tuesday. Ban, whose second term at the helm of the United Nations starts Jan. 1, laid out his overarching theme for his next administration during a speech to the World Trade Organization. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18505353 ‘Solar Highways’ Transform Our Crumbling Infrastructure Into Something Useful. Okay, we know YOU ride your bike everywhere. But the country’s 4 million miles of roads, and 50,000 miles of interstate highway, probably aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Isn’t there anything productive we can do with this giant car playground? Well, we can cover it with solar photovoltaic panels, so it’s at least providing some energy. Oregon's already testing the idea, installing panel arrays along highway shoulders. Posted. http://www.grist.org/list/2011-07-20-solar-highways-transform-our-crumbling-infrastructure-into-somet Liberal Communities Join Libertarians In Firing At The Bullet Train. Palo Alto, Calif. -- When the commuter trains rumble toward San Francisco, they pass through some of the most liberal cities in one of the country's most liberal states. Yet these cities are also home to the most organized challenges to California's bullet train, a signature project in one of President Obama's signature initiatives. Why Californians are putting the brakes on a proposed high-speed train, despite worries about emissions and traffic jams. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/20/2 Some Experts Say U.S. Needs Clean Energy 'Industrial Policy' To Compete With China Why is the United States failing to build out its clean energy resources alongside China? To some, it's because America has no industrial policy, and China does. As leaders in Congress darted from meeting to meeting yesterday to try to avert an economic disaster ahead of the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline, financial experts and China specialists met in the bowels of the Capitol. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/20/7 Lawrence Livermore Lab Signs Up For Energy Partnership With China's Largest Utility. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is teaming up with a research institute formed by China's largest power company to work on carbon capture technology, oil and natural gas exploration, and power plant engineering. The California-based national lab announced yesterday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Clean Energy Research Institute created by Huaneng Power International Inc. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/20/8 When Will Europe Finally Have Standards For EV Charging? The Focus Group was created on 28 June 2010, and while it acknowledges that setting in place “appropriate standards at European level is a pre-requisite to mass-market take-up”, its report has only been advisory by raising questions about adaptation to European conditions of some of the standards already largely defined by both the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), of which CENELEC and CEN are the respective counterparts at European level. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/62420110719.php MISCELLANEOUS Study: Tobacco Money Sways California Politics. The tobacco industry spent $9.3 million over the past two years to fight cigarette taxes, support candidates and influence politics in California, an anti-smoking group said in a report issued Tuesday. The report by the American Lung Association in California said political spending by tobacco interests over the past decade totaled almost $100 million, with cigarette maker Philip Morris USA Inc. accounting for more than half the total. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/07/19/1688095/study-tobacco-money-sways-california.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/politics-government/ci_18509747?nclick_check=1 http://signonsandiego.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?expire=&title=Local+GOP+lawmakers+rake+in+tobacco+cash+-+SignOnSanDiego.com&urlID=456889642&action=cpt&partnerID=86541&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.signonsandiego.com%2Fnews%2F2011%2Fjul%2F19%2Flocal-gop-lawmakers-rake-in-tobacco-cash%2F Heat 'Dome' Traps Much Of US In Pressure Cooker. For millions of people enduring this week's extreme heat and humidity, it feels like they're living in a pressure cooker. And in a sense, they are. Much of the United States is trapped under a heat "dome" caused by a huge area of high pressure that's compressing hot, moist air beneath it, leading to miserable temperatures in the mid-90s to low 100s and heat-index levels well above 100 degrees. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/07/20/national/a023129D26.DTL&type=printable OPINIONS Gillard Accelerates Climate Effort; Coal Industry Counters With TV Blitz. The Australian government is pointing to the coal sector's $70 billion investment in new projects as proof that the powerful coal industry isn't as spooked by Prime Minister Julia Gillard's carbon tax as it claims. "I can assure coal miners that their industry has a bright future under a carbon price," said Climate Change Minister Greg Combet, who is Gillard's top deputy charged with shepherding a climate bill through Parliament and making the case to a wary public. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/07/19/19climatewire-gillard-accelerates-climate-effort-coal-indu-31638.html?pagewanted=print L.A.'S Ozone Fight: Why Can't We All Just Breathe Easy? Los Angeles survived Carmageddon. But Ozonegeddon may be a tougher nut to crack. As The Times reported Tuesday: Environmental and public health groups filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, saying the agency has failed to force officials to crack down on smog in the Los Angeles Basin. The suit contends the EPA missed a May deadline to, in effect, determine whether the ozone level in the region is hazardous to public health. Posted. http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/07/los-angeles-epa-lawsuit-ozone-pollution.html A Carbon Dioxide Escape Hatch. American Electric Power is tabling plans to complete a commercial-scale carbon capture system at a coal-fueled power plant in West Virginia. Among the more speculative of the proposed solutions to global warming is the notion of capturing the carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and pumping them underground. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-ccs-20110720,0,344961.story LETTERS: The Californian, July 20, 2011. To McIntosh: Take your own advice. In his Opinion piece, "Prove the climate science first," July 10, Andy McIntosh throws his own unproven belief systems at us and then challenges scientists to prove theirs ---- all without a seeming sense of irony, since the basis of all science is exactly to present what is proven. Indeed, anyone with the temerity to actually check the science finds it very well-proven indeed. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/letters/article_c2503af1-baba-5556-b508-e270e19193ff.html BLOGS The Perils of Polar Bears’ Longer Swims. In arguments over the impacts of climate change, some of the images commonly associated with those clashes have attracted skeptical critiques, perhaps none more so than those of polar bears forced to swim longer distances because their sea ice habitat is melting. Some skeptics point out that polar bears are born swimmers and that the worries of environmentalists are therefore overdone. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/the-perils-of-polar-bears-longer-swims/ PACE Green Home Retrofit Program Could Be Revived By Congress. A program that helped property owners install green upgrades before it ran into government roadblocks last year may be resuscitated by Congress. A group of legislators introduced a bill Wednesday to jump-start the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, known as PACE. The program used low-interest government financing to help fund installations of energy-efficient solar panels, insulation, water conservation systems and more. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/07/new-legislation-attempts-to-ressurect-pace-green-home-retrofit-program.html Shelton Group’s Research: The Green Tipping Point is Here. According to Shelton Group, “a tipping point in American consumer interest in green products has occurred with 70% of consumers in our surveys saying they are searching for green products where green is defined as more energy efficient, natural, sustainable, etc.” Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/07/shelton-group-green-tipping-point/ Tata Nano Electric. The Tata Motors from India has shown off its all electric version of their tata nano at the 2010 geneva motor show. The car will be built on the existing nano platform with an all electric drive train that promises a driving range of around 160 km on a single charge. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/tata-nano-electric/ MTI Report Finds Consumers Receptive To Alt-Fuel Vehicles, But Still Prefer Gasoline; Quantifying The Trade-Offs. A new survey of consumer preferences among four different types of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) by Hilary Nixon and Jean-Daniel Saphores of The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) finds that while consumers in general still prefer gasoline-fueled vehicles over AFVs, there is strong interest in AFVs. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/07/mti-20110720.html