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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 25, 2011. Posted: 25 Aug 2011 13:56:38
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 25, 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 Crews to let burning propane tanker in N. Calif. town burn itself out, avoiding risky maneuver. Firefighters are letting a burning propane rail tanker burn itself out after determining the rail car held much less propane than previously thought, a fire official said late Wednesday. Firefighters had spent most of Wednesday preparing for a bold attempt to drain a burning propane rail tanker to head off a catastrophic explosion in a Northern California town, where thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/firefighters-work-to-keep-burning-rail-car-from-exploding-near-northern-calif-neighborhood/2011/08/24/gIQAedWcaJ_story.html CLIMATE CHANGE California panel reaffirms carbon trading program. The California Air Resources Board approves a revised analysis ordered by a judge. Opponents plan another challenge to the long-delayed program to trade emissions permits. The California Air Resources Board voted to reaffirm its cap-and-trade plan Wednesday, a decision that puts the nation's first-ever state carbon trading program back on track, for now. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-trade-20110825,0,1958108,print.story Air Resources Board Reapproves AB 32 Scoping Plan. California’s ambitious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is taking a big step forward. The California Air Resources Board has signed off on an updated plan to comply with the goals of AB 32. That's the state's landmark global warming law, which requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The plan is called a "scoping plan" - and it includes everything from the state's cap-and-trade program to low carbon fuel standards for vehicles. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2011/08/24/air-resources-board-reapproves-ab-32-scoping-plan State affirms cap and trade as climate policy of choice. Sacramento, Calif. -- State air regulators gave a green light yesterday -- for the second time -- to cap and trade as the way to reduce greenhouse emissions from industrial sectors under California's global warming law, A.B. 32. The Air Resources Board's action was somewhere between a technicality and a line in the sand. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/6 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Study links El Niño weather events with civil wars in tropical countries. El Niño weather conditions cause torrential downpours and crop-killing droughts in the United States, but a study released Wednesday theorizes that this hot-climate cycle can contribute to far deadlier outcomes in parts of the developing world. The study published in the journal Nature said the probability that new civil wars will break out in 90 tropical countries such as Burma and Colombia doubles in years when El Niño Southern Oscillation arms the climate, compared with cooler La Niña years. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/study-links-el-nino-weather-events-with-civil-wars-in-tropical-countries/2011/08/23/gIQAMq07bJ_story.html Researchers find changing climate pattern can double civil conflicts. El Niño, a global climate pattern that warms the central Pacific Ocean, doubles the risk of civil conflicts in tropical nations. That's the conclusion of research published today in the journal Nature that adds to a growing debate over the role climatic conditions play in triggering or exacerbating violence. Researchers from Princeton and Columbia universities say their analysis is the first to demonstrate that global climate shifts can help cause unrest. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/3 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA uses up to 4-year delay to protect sensitive data from emissions reporting. Responding to privacy concerns across various industrial sectors, U.S. EPA will defer the mandatory reporting of potentially sensitive data tied to greenhouse gas emissions for up to four years. Businesses prepare their greenhouse gas emissions numbers by plugging in certain values -- raw materials, fuel types and quantities, production volumes and other information -- into an equation. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/08/25/5 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Toyota expands Prius range with seven-seat variant. Toyota Motor Corp. plans to debut the Prius+, a seven-seat version of its Prius hybrid car, at the Frankfurt auto show next month, ahead of European sales beginning in the first half of 2012. Designed to extend the appeal of the Prius range to families and those needing more space, the Prius+ offers a three-row seating format. The car is 155mm longer, 30mm wider and 85mm taller than the third-generation Prius hatchback, from which it is derived. The wheelbase has been extended by 80mm. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110825/COPY01/308259906/1193 GM partners with battery supplier LG on electric vehicles. General Motors said today that it is partnering with its battery cell supplier, LG Group, to develop electric vehicles. The agreement, signed Wednesday by GM CEO Dan Akerson and LG President Juno Cho, will “help GM expand the number and types of electric vehicles it makes and sells,” the automaker said in a statement. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110825/OEM05/110829946/1186 EVI and UPS Announce the Purchase of 100 Zero-Emission, All-Electric, Delivery Vehicles. Stockton, Calif. -- Electric Vehicles International (EVI) announced that UPS is purchasing 100 fully electric commercial delivery vehicles for deployment in locations throughout California. This purchase marks the largest deployment of zero emission delivery vehicles in California, and one of the largest single deployments of commercial all-electric vehicles in the world. EVI and UPS have been working for over two years on this project, including a successful 90-day demonstration in the fall of 2010. Posted. http://www.sunherald.com/2011/08/25/3374342/evi-and-ups-announce-the-purchase.html Daimler builds hydrogen stations for upscale, fuel cell-powered electric cars. Germany will become the first country completely accessible to fuel cell vehicles in 2015, when carmaker Daimler and the Linde technology group will build 20 new hydrogen filling stations. The result will quadruple the number of public stations available and make it possible for a fuel cell vehicle to reach any location in the country. Daimler's plans to start mass-producing fuel cell vehicles next year were severely limited by the lack of public hydrogen filling stations in Germany. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/2 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY China considers revising electric vehicle goals. Proposed targets for electric vehicle production now seem far-fetched to the Chinese government, prompting a re-evaluation of its strategy to curb fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Beijing hoped to develop a technological advantage in electric vehicle technology over foreign competitors, but the time frame for development was seen as too narrow. An article in a Communist Party journal raised doubts about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's electric vehicle proposal. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/7 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Gov. Brown seeks to extend California energy surcharge. The levy on electric bills has been in effect since 1997 and raises $400 million a year for renewable energy and efficiency programs but is set to expire at the end of the year. Brown sees its reauthorization as a way to create more high-tech jobs. In a major effort to create more high-tech jobs, Gov. Jerry Brown is sponsoring legislation to extend a state program that collects about $400 million a year from utility customers and invests it in renewable energy and efficiency programs. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-fi-energy-surcharges-20110825,0,443927,print.story MISCELLANEOUS Toxic dump near Kettleman City agrees to pay penalties. The site operated by Waste Management Inc. will pay $400,000 in fines and spend $600,000 on upgrades to manage hazardous materials at the facility. The nearby community of mostly low-income farmworkers is plagued by birth defects. A toxic waste dump near a San Joaquin Valley community plagued by birth defects has agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and spend $600,000 on laboratory upgrades needed to properly manage hazardous materials at the facility, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-toxic-kettleman-20110825,0,5545429,print.story OPINIONS Opinion: When writing regulations, make sure to consider all pertinent data. It is all too familiar to hear criticism of California’s regulatory process, also known as promulgation (10 points if you can say that five times fast), so when Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and the recently appointed Jobs Czar Michael Rossi highlight regulatory reform as key to restoring California jobs the pronouncements garner the requisite ‘bravos’ and ‘hear, hears’. Is all regulation bad? Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?1=1&_c=zy3raccmsclm3g&xid=zy1qxpx6dkpj84&done=.zy2h6648z3o5jh&_credir=1314291856&_c=zy3raccmsclm3g China Eyes Competitive Edge in Renewable Energy. China’s State Council (the national cabinet) is currently reviewing a set of massive funding proposals for seven key “strategic emerging industries”: environmentally friendly and energy-efficient technologies, next-generation IT, biotechnology, high-end equipment manufacturing, alternative energy, alternative materials, and alternative-energy vehicles. Posted. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/china_energy_competitiveness.html BLOGS Gas Is Cheaper, but We’re Still Driving Less. Driving less? Perhaps stubbornly high gasoline prices are getting you down. All the bad economic news may be holding you back from shopping or eating out as much. Or maybe you don’t have a job to drive to in the morning. Obviously, you are not alone. MasterCard SpendingPulse put out its weekly gasoline report Tuesday, and demand for gasoline is going south fast. For the week ending Aug. 19, demand for gasoline at gas stations across the country was down by 4.2 percent compared to the same week a year ago. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/gas-is-cheaper-but-were-still-driving-less/?ref=earth Business Studies Become Environmentally Friendly. “Through the roof” is how Adam Zak, an executive recruiter, describes the demand for workers with sustainability-related job skills. “We estimate about a 40 percent increase over last year in the search assignments we are asked to conduct for these kinds of individuals,” said Mr. Zak, whose clients include companies like Coca-Cola, Andersen Windows and Del Monte. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/business-studies-become-environmentally-friendly/?ref=earth California's cap-and-trade program reaffirmed by board. California's carbon-trading program got back on track Wednesday, after the Air Resources Board voted to reaffirm its original plan to create a market for carbon emissions permits. The cap-and-trade program would be the first state-run market in the nation, creating the largest carbon market in the U.S. Wednesday's action is unlikely to forestall further court squabbling, which began in 2009 when environmental justice groups accused the Air Resources Board of failing to adequately consider alternatives. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/08/cap-and-trade-program-reaffirmed-by-california-board.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 Climate change: Drought, floods, tornadoes part of 'new normal'? Oklahoma has always been known for its bad weather. But this year has beat all others, in nearly every category. In a year in which the continental U.S. has experienced its most extreme weather on record, Oklahomans may well be the symbols of the "new normal" of unpredictable weather extremes caused by shifting climate due to a buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. The irony won't be lost on those who follow the political debate over climate change in Congress. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/08/climate-change-drought-floods-tornados-part-of-new-normal.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 California toxic waste case settled. A toxic waste dump near a San Joaquin Valley community plagued by birth defects will pay $400,000 in fines and spend $600,000 on laboratory upgrades needed to properly manage hazardous materials at the facility, federal authorities announced Wednesday. The settlement capped an 18-month joint investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control into the Chemical Waste Management landfill about 3 1⁄2 miles southwest of Kettleman City, a community of 1,500 mostly low-income Latino farmworkers. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/08/california-toxic-waste-case-settled.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 Melting ice will loose highly toxic chemicals. Some of the most dangerous pollutants we know, called persistent organic pollutants, have been frozen in the Arctic tundra and ices caps since they were banned in the U.S. in 1979 and internationally in 2001. But climate change is bringing the return of the repressed, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change. POP exposure causes a range of health effects, potentially affecting the endocrine, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. It causes cancer and can cause death outright. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=95969 Nature paper examines cosmic ray climate change hypothesis, gives support. From the journal Nature, a much-awaited paper examining the role of cosmic rays and ammonia in cloud formation, a phenomenon important to understanding global warming/climate change. Those looking for a clean answer of whether additional natural or human factors are vital to cloud formation won't find it here. Instead, there's more uncertainty about the process. Than first believed. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/business/scitech/article_dafc761e-ce6a-11e0-9c24-001cc4c03286.html Air Board Should Move Ahead with AB 32 Scoping Plan: California's Blueprint for Transitioning to a Clean Energy Economy. Moments ago the Air Resources Board voted 9-0 to re-adopt and move ahead with the AB32 Scoping Plan -- California’s blueprint for transitioning to a clean energy economy. The new analysis will supersede the original study that the San Francisco County Superior Court found lacking earlier this year. In today’s monthly Board meeting, the ARB considered the findings of its evaluation of alternatives to the Scoping Plan for achieving the goals of AB32. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kgrenfell/air_board_should_move_ahead_wi.html Activists to Air Board: Keep the Cap, Lose the Trade. Members of the “environmental justice” movement lost a major round to air officials on Wednesday, when the latter voted to keep California’s nascent cap-and-trade plan on track. The program is a key component of the state’s landmark strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Activists sued to stop the program, claiming it does little to curb toxic emissions from industrial facilities and farming operations. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/08/24/activists-to-air-board-keep-the-cap-lose-the-trade/ Down on the Farm: Nuts to Renewable Energy. California is just a few votes away from changing the rules to allow farmers to connect machines that create bioenergy to the electrical grid, a privilege that has thus far been reserved for farm-generated wind and solar energy. Passage of the bill — SB 489 — would mean they could use the byproduct of their crops as fuel to create electricity. Russ Lester, the owner of Dixon Ridge Farms, has been leading the charge to get the rules changed. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/08/24/another-renewable-energy-frontier-farm-biomass/ For business, California’s cap and trade law provides new opportunities. Gina DiCaro of CMTA implied in his piece, California's cap-and-trade needs to be well designed to protect manufacturers, that California’s landmark clean energy law, AB 32, threatens our state’s manufacturing industry. Manufacturing in California has faced a range of threats for some time as a result of larger economic trends – including heavy investment by the Chinese government to grow Chinese manufacturing companies in virtually every sector. Posted. http://foxandhoundsdaily.com/blog/david-hochschild/9354-for-business-california%E2%80%99s-cap-and-trade-law-provides-new-opportunities What will move the US towards Renewables? The Army's Need for Fuel? On 10 August Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced the creation of a new Energy Initiatives Office Task Force, whose purpose is to assist the Army face challenges arising from rising fuel costs. Army officials hope that Energy Initiatives Office Task Force will be fully operational by 15 September and assist in developing the large-scale renewable energy projects the Army is seeking in its quest to achieve energy security, The Army News Service reported. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/what-will-move-us-towards-renewables-armys-need-fu/