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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 19, 2011.

Posted: 19 Aug 2011 11:22:17
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 19, 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 district funds give marine highway project boost. The Port of
Stockton's marine highway project got another shot of funding
Thursday, this time from San Joaquin Valley air cops, who hope to
reduce the number of diesel-belching big rigs traveling daily
over the Altamont Pass. The project would allow some cargo
containers to be shipped on barges rather than relying entirely
on trucks. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
approved another $750,000 in funding on top of a $13 million
federal grant already landed by the port. Posted.

Air District supports alerts, bus retrofits, lawn equipment. As
the first day of school approaches for many Kern County students,
the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is
preparing for its new "air alert" program. During a Thursday
meeting, district board members discussed air alerts, a program
that will notify valley residents before an ozone violation
likely will occur, in the hopes of changing their behaviors. In
previous years, ozone levels soared during the start of the
school year, when many parents drove their kids to and from
school and idled their cars in the parking lots. Posted.

Pollution officials testing air samples after mystery stink. San
Diego — One of two tests to determine the source of the strange
smell that permeated a wide swath of the region Wednesday was
inconclusive, officials with the county Air Pollution Control
District said. The test, which looked for 56 hydrocarbon
compounds, found levels that were within normal range as measured
at other sites where sampling is routine, said Mahmood Hossain,
the agency’s chief of monitoring and technical services. Posted.

Mecca odor audit finds 'disheartening' inaction. The director of
the state agency overseeing toxic waste disposal said Thursday
she is disheartened by an audit of how contaminated soil was
processed in Mecca for years with officials' knowledge, but no
permits. Debbie Raphael, director of the California Department of
Toxic Substance Control, said the almost seven years of inaction
was due not to “political intentionality,” but stymied
bureaucrats. Posted.

Toxics chief: State will do better regarding Mecca. The new head
of California's toxic substance control agency vowed Thursday to
win back the trust of a small Coachella Valley community after an
audit found that the state allowed hazardous materials to be
shipped there illegally for at least seven years. It took a
combination of children becoming ill, community outrage and
disclosures in the press before the Department of Toxic
Substances Control used its authority to stop shipments to a
soil-recycling plant that never had state authorization to
operate, agency director Debbie Raphael said. Posted. 

Air district funds give marine highway project boost. The Port of
Stockton's marine highway project got another shot of funding
Thursday, this time from San Joaquin Valley air cops, who hope to
reduce the number of diesel-belching big rigs traveling daily
over the Altamont Pass. The project would allow some cargo
containers to be shipped on barges rather than relying entirely
on trucks. Posted. 

2010 Saw Largest CO2 Rise for 22 Years. Energy-related carbon
dioxide emissions rebounded in 2010 but still remained six
percent below 2005 levels, according to an analysis by the Energy
Information Administration. Energy-related CO2 underwent a
historic decline in 2009. That year the economy as measured by
the real gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 3.5 percent
compared to the previous year, but emissions fell by over 7
percent. Last year, CO2 emissions saw their largest absolute and
percentage increase (213 million metric tons or 3.9 percent)
since 1988. Posted.


Critters moving away from global warming faster. Animals across
the world are fleeing global warming by heading north much faster
than they were less than a decade ago, a new study says. About
2,000 species examined are moving away from the equator at an
average rate of more than 15 feet per day, about a mile per year,
according to new research published Thursday in the journal
Science which analyzed previous studies. Posted.  

Finally, PolitiFact calls out GOP candidate on climate. At long
last, mainstream media begins to pay attention to the flat denial
of basic climate science being pushed by right-wing Republican
presidential candidates. Last year, my work on Climate Zombies --
climate-denying candidates running for Congress -- earned me a
snippet on a New York Times blog, but most mainstream media ran
stories presenting climate science as an issue with two sides.
Things have been changing as the media realize that people who
deny climate science also deny other scientific realities.


Clean Truck Cagematch: A Deep Fissure in the Industry is Exposed!
A band of Oakland port trucking bosses said they were for clean
air…before they were against it. And one another. First the West
State Alliance, a group hell-bent on fighting the Coalition for
Clean & Safe Ports, struck out in trying to persuade state
regulators at the California Air Resources Board to gut port
diesel truck standards to dramatically reduce toxic pollutants.
So they pleaded their case to the Alameda County Supervisors, who
recently held a public hearing to talk about it. Posted.


2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Hi, tech. Bye, performance. Cornwall,
N.Y. Overreaching is as much of a problem in automotive
engineering and design as it is in politics. Consider the 2011
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sedan, the subject of this week’s column.
The Sonata Hybrid is one of six new Sonata models, along with the
base GLS, the GLS PZEV (partial zero-emissions vehicle, designed
to meet tough California Air Resources Board clean-air
standards), the mid-level SE, the top-grade Limited and the
California top-grade Limited PZEV. Posted.

Charging stations move electric cars out of city. Charging
stations that can fill the batteries of an electric car in 30
minutes or less are moving from the city to the country. A $2
million federal stimulus grant will finance 22 fast-charging
stations in smaller cities in the northwestern corner of the
state, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced
Thursday. After they are installed next year, electric car owners
will be able to go on vacation to the coast or the mountains and
home again without having to stop overnight to charge up. Posted.

Japan plans new fuel economy norms for automakers, report says.
Japanese automakers would need to boost their fuel economy by
24.1 percent by fiscal 2020 to meet the new standards being drawn
up by the government, the Nikkei business daily reported today.
The tentative guidelines, which could take effect as early as
next spring and measures improvement from a base year of fiscal
2009, will apply to average fuel economy for an automaker's
entire vehicle lineup, the newspaper said. Posted. 

State phasing out vehicle-emission testing. New technology has
led the state to begin easing up and eventually phasing out the
state's emission-testing law. A car's computers can tell you
everything, such as how tightly your gas cap is fitting, what
your fuel efficiency is and even what your wheel speed is to
control the brakes. Now this new technology has an added bonus:
It's part of the reason behind the easing up and eventually
phasing out of the state's emission-testing law. Posted.


Google Pushes for Greener Buildings, Leads by Example. Google has
taken to its public blog this morning to talk about the company’s
focus on building greener, more sustainable workplaces for its
employees. The company is involved in several green initiatives,
including energy and water audits, the use of green building
materials, and competitive programs that pit teams against each
other to become the greener office. Posted. 

Green Jobs Predictions Proving a Pipe Dream. Clean tech isn't
turning out to be the economic engine politicians promised.
Flanked by a cadre of local political leaders, Mayor Chuck Reed
of San Jose used a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a solar power
company last week to talk up the promise of the green economy.
Reed called the opening of the new headquarters of SolFocus,
which produces large, free-standing solar panels, an “enormously
important” development for the city’s economy. Posted.

Pushing out more oil using solar power. There's an adage in the
oil industry: The best place to find oil is in an oil field. And
what better fields to find oil in than those that you already
own, that already have infrastructure, with wells already
drilled? That's the logic behind enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a
technique that helps produce oil that is usually left in an
underground reservoir. Posted.


Jon Huntsman turns to Twitter to criticize Perry. Salt Lake City
-- Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Thursday
turned to Twitter to attack a rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for
his positions on evolution and climate change. "To be clear. I
believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call
me crazy," Huntsman tweeted. Although Huntsman didn't mention
Perry by name, the tweet was sent within hours of a campaign stop
by Perry in New Hampshire where was asked by the crowd about both
topics. Posted.

Plastic bag lobby wins favorable revision for school textbooks.
Under pressure from the American Chemistry Council, a lobbying
group for the plastics industry, schools officials in California
edited a new environmental curriculum to include positive
messages about plastic shopping bags, interviews and documents
show. The rewritten textbooks and teachers' guides coincided with
a public relations and lobbying effort by the chemistry council
to fight proposed plastic bag bans throughout the country.

MECCA: Regulators allowed illegal hazmat shipments for years. An
executive with an Anaheim environmental cleanup company emailed
California officials in 2007 and asked why large volumes of
hazardous waste were being shipped to a plant in Riverside County
that had no state permit to accept such materials. "(State
officials are) aware of this, but continue to allow the
operation," wrote George Caamano of Remedy Environmental
Services, adding that the plant in Mecca had been accepting
hazardous waste for more than two years. Posted.


MILLOY & DUNN: Air-pollution scare debunked. EPA uses phony
statistics to justify costly air-quality rules. What if today’s
levels of air pollution didn’t kill anybody? That certainly would
be bad news for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
which has spent the past 15 years stubbornly defending its
extraordinarily expensive and ever-tightening air-quality
regulations. The EPA claims airborne fine particulate matter
kills tens of thousands annually and that the prevention of those
deaths will provide society $2 trillion annually in monetized
health benefits by 2020. Posted.


Jon Huntsman believes in evolution and global warming, so can he
win a Republican primary? Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman continues
to seek the moderate ground in the 2012 GOP presidential race,
tweeting Thursday that he believes in evolution and climate
change. “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists
on global warming,” read a tweet from his personal account. “Call
me crazy.” Posted.

Getting ready for a wave of coal-plant shutdowns. Over the next
18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a
flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power
plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake,
coal ash—it’s all getting regulated. And, not surprisingly, some
lawmakers are grumbling. Posted. 

Mapping Antarctic Ice In Motion. Put the arguments over how fast
Antarctic ice is melting to one side for the moment. The latest
study of the southern continent, by a group of scientists led by
Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, shows how
fast the ice rivers are moving and where they are going. The map
of ice in motion, which traces parts of the eastern Antarctic
region that have previously been hard to see, offers a new and
powerful tool for the study of the dynamics of ice melting into
the southern seas. Posted. 

Biofuels -- not a dirty word. Even before this year's fight over
ethanol subsidies, biofuels had an image problem. Once darlings
of the alternative-energy crowd, biofuels in recent years took
the blame for rising food prices. (Never mind that a 2009 study
from the Congressional Budget Office said higher oil prices had a
much bigger effect on food prices than corn-ethanol did.)These
days, electric cars get all the love. But biofuel research hasn't
died. Most biofuel startups now focus on using raw materials that
humans don't eat. And the federal government keeps funding them.

What Does CARB Regulation Mean for Californian Cap-and-Trade? In
my last blog entry on California’s proposed cap-and-trade
program, I mentioned the importance of offset credits in helping
businesses achieve their climate goals. Since then, the
California Air Resource Board (CARB) – California’s regulatory
agency responsible for addressing climate change, among other air
pollution issues – has issued an update to their proposed
cap-and-trade rules which, if left unchanged, would undermine
California’s offset market, making it significantly more
difficult and costly for businesses to meet their climate goals.

BMW looks to landfills for hydrogen power. Automaker BMW has
launched a pilot program to turn the methane gas emitted by
landfills into hydrogen.
Once the methane has been
converted to hydrogen, BMW hopes to use the energy source to
power hydrogen fuel-cell-driven equipment in its 1.2
million-square-foot Spartanburg, S.C., plant that produces the
company’s new X3 Sports Activity Vehicle.
Finding a cheap,
efficient source of hydrogen gas has always been a major issue in
the evolution of fuel-cell technology. Posted.

ARB What's New