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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 POLLUTION 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. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110819/A_NEWS/108190316 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. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x254541916/Air-District-supports-alerts-bus-retrofits-lawn-equipment 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. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/18/samples-or-strange-smelling-air-being-analysed/ 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. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110819/NEWS01/108190306/Mecca-odor-audit-finds-disheartening-inaction 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. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_mecca19a.3b91863.html 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. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110819/A_NEWS/108190316&cid=sitesearch 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. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/08/19/2010-saw-largest-co2-rise-for-22-years/ CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/08/18/2503688/critters-moving-away-from-global.html#storylink=misearch 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. Posted. http://www.grist.org/climate-skeptics/2011-08-18-finally-politifact-calls-out-gop-candidates-on-climate DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. http://www.cleanandsafeports.org/2011/08/clean-truck-cagematch-a-deep-fissure-in-the-industry-is-exposed/ VEHICLES 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2011/08/18/gIQAWh0uPJ_story.html 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/aug/18/charging-stations-move-electric-cars-out-of-city/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_64624c49-e42d-500d-80c6-377b6bdc0b84.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18708570?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com 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. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110818/OEM05/308189787/1186 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. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015951255_emission19m.html GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/google-pushes-for-greener-buildings-leads-by-example/2011/08/18/gIQASSlpMJ_story.html 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. http://www.baycitizen.org/jobs/story/green-jobs-predictions-proving-pipe/ 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. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/19/4 MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/18/3847191/jon-huntsman-turns-to-twitter.html 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. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/19/3847824/plastic-bag-lobby-wins-favorable.html#storylink=misearch 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. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_mecca18.399041b.html OPINIONS 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. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/18/air-pollution-scare-debunked/ BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/jon-huntsman-believes-in-evolution-and-global-warming-but-can-he-win-a-republican-primary/2011/08/18/gIQAIyuBOJ_blog.html 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/getting-ready-for-a-wave-of-coal-plant-shutdowns/2011/08/19/gIQAzkZ0PJ_blog.html 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/mapping-antarctic-ice-in-motion/?ref=earth 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/energy/detail?entry_id=95626 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. Posted. http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/paulraybould/53746/what-does-carb-regulation-mean-californian-cap-and-trade 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. http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/57985-bmw-looks-to-landfills-for-hydrogen-power