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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 30, 2011. Posted: 30 Aug 2011 11:58:56
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 30, 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 Pittsburgh-area coke shop fined $114K for smog. The Allegheny County Health Department has fined a Pittsburgh-area coke plant $114,000 for repeated air pollution violations. Officials with Shenango Inc. on Neville Island, just west of the city, did not immediately return calls Tuesday. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18787972 FUELS Exxon Wins Prized Access to Arctic With Russia Deal. The American oil company Exxon Mobil won a highly coveted prize in the global petroleum industry on Tuesday by striking an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian sector of the Arctic Ocean that is opening for drilling even as Alaskan waters remain mostly off limits. The agreement seemed to supersede a similar but now-defunct partnership that Russia’s state oil company, Rosneft, reached with BP earlier this year. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/business/global/exxon-and-rosneft-partner-in-russian-oil-deal.html?hp California Fuel Switchover Issues. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) created regulations for vessel emissions reductions for California waters as part of its continued mission to improve air quality around the state. The new requirements came into effect in July 2009, under California Code of Regulations (CCR), Section 2299.2, Fuel Sulfur and Other Operational Requirements for Ocean Going Vessels within California Waters and 24 Nautical Miles of the California Baseline. Posted. http://www.maritime-executive.com/pressrelease/california-fuel-switchover-issues VEHICLES Portland Plans for Transit All Powered by Electricity. To drivers passing by on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the structure rising above the parking lot is mostly unremarkable. But to the eco-elites who gathered in this green-leaning city in June for its unveiling, it represented a blueprint for the filling station of the future. The roof of the 12-foot-tall steel canopy, built by EV4 Oregon, is covered with solar cells that generate power for a pair of ECOtality Blink Level 2 electric-vehicle chargers at the base. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/automobiles/portland-plans-for-transit-all-powered-by-electricity.html?scp=9&sq=vehicles&st=cse Calif. Lawmakers Re-Calibrate Inflation Law. Re-calibrate. That's what California legislators did last week to their already controversial law that requires all automotive service providers to check customer tire inflation pressures. On Aug. 24, both houses of the California legislature unanimously passed a second bill that requires tire and auto service providers have and utilize tire gauges that are accurate within +/- 2 psi. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Aug. 25. Posted. http://www.tirereview.com/Article/91140/calif_lawmakers_recalibrate_inflation_law.aspx GREEN ENERGY In Seattle, work starts on 'greenest' office building. The Bullitt Center is billed as the first commercial building designed to carry its own environmental weight. It'll be six stories, but expectations are sky-high. These days, there are plenty of "green" buildings, with solar heating, insulated windows, self-generated electricity. But what would it take to construct an office building at competitive leasing rates that generated its own energy and processed its own waste — for 250 years? Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-green-building-20110830,0,7620689,print.story Ivanpah plant closer to completion. Ivanpah - A white crane towers over the Mojave Desert floor where hundreds of workers gather below and inside a hulking gray structure that is part of a multi-million dollar bet that solar energy will prove a reliable technology for powering California homes and businesses. Sitting on 3,600 acres of public land near the Nevada state line, the solar project - its formal name is the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station - has been under construction for nearly a year. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_18783438?source=rss MISCELLANEOUS New Director for Air Pollution Control District. Monday, August 22, the Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District Board announced the appointment of Louis David Van Mullem, Jr. as its new District Director and Air Pollution Control Officer. After his first day on the job, he said he predicted a bright future for him and his team. “It’s like drinking water out of a fire hose. I really had a good first day,” he said. “I met everybody, and what a fantastic team. It’s a great group. I’m going to have a lot of fun, and we’re going to have a lot of fun together.” Posted. http://www.independent.com/news/2011/aug/30/new-director-air-pollution-control-district/ OPINIONS Republicans Against Science. Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/opinion/republicans-against-science.html?src=me&ref=general Our View: High-speed rail needs leadership. Gov. Jerry Brown is stepping in to fill a void that has been hampering progress on the system. California's high-speed rail project once was the political darling of the state -- so much so that voters approved a $10 billion bond for the project. But as economic conditions deteriorated, and cost estimates increased, opponents began picking apart the project. It didn't help that the California High- Speed Rail Authority was politically tone deaf and didn't know how to respond to opponents. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/08/30/2022388/our-view-high-speed-rail-needs.html FACT CHECK: Bachmann energy claims oversimplified. America's energy future can't be unlocked as simply as Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann makes it sound when she depicts the nation as the "king daddy dogs" of energy. Even if environmentalists folded and Washington regulators got out of the way, much of the energy is too expensive for companies to develop. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_4dd88ae3-b4d3-5acb-8ab7-8275b2ce1a19.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/30/1836600/fact-check-bachmann-energy-claims.html Port-suit folly. Wasting public funds on pointless court battles will not unclog the traffic at Riverside railroad crossings. And the City Council should avoid tossing money into needless crusades driven by political posturing. The Riverside City Council last week dropped the city's lawsuits against the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach . The city sued the ports in 2009, charging that port expansion plans failed to address the effects of resulting train traffic on Riverside. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/opinion/editorials/stories/PE_OpEd_Opinion_D_op_30_ed_portsuit1.2d9af49.html BLOGS MIT researchers improve upon methods to model urban air pollution. Researchers at MIT have developed a new detailed air-quality model to simulate the effects of physical, chemical, and meteorological processing of highly reactive trace species in urban areas. The new metamodel is capable of efficiently simulating the urban concentration, surface deposition, and net export flux of these species that are important to human health and the global climate. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/mit-20110829.html Panda Poop Could be the Key to Cheap and Efficient Biofuel Production. Giant Pandas are well-loved for their distinctive appearance and sedentary nature. Now they will receive even greater adoration and attention for their bowel-based contribution to the development of a clean energy future. In a national meeting at the American Chemical Society, researchers presented a study identifying panda poop as a source of enzyme-producing bacteria that breaks down plant materials in a way that is useful for biofuel production. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/panda-poop-unlocks-the-possibility-of-cheap-and-efficient-biofuel-production/