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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 7, 2011 Posted: 07 Sep 2011 10:31:26
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 7, 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 5 Air Pollution Facts and Myths. Extreme heat across much of the U.S. this week is triggering potentially unhealthy levels of air pollution, at least for those especially sensitive to dirty air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When air pollution levels rise, people are wise to stay indoors, or at least avoid heavy exertion outdoors when ozone levels are highest (typically in the afternoon and evening on hot summer days). That message should be particularly heeded by the elderly, babies and young children, and those with asthma, emphysema or other lung and heart conditions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/06/hearstmaghealth5936703.DTL The 20 States with the Most Toxic Air. Coal- and oil-fired power plants produce almost half the toxic air pollution in the U.S., according to a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Physicians for Social Responsibility, which identifies the 20 states with the biggest polluters and the worst air quality. For those who follow these issues, the results are not at all shocking. Some states have big, old power plants that have been around since before the Clean Air Act was passed. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/06/hearstmaghealth6128852.DTL CLIMATE CHANGE Professor turns to law to protect climate work. A former University of Virginia professor who has drawn the ire of climate change skeptics is entering the legal fray over a conservative group’s pursuit of his emails and documents related to his work. Attorneys for Michael Mann, now a professor at Pennsylvania State University, have filed a motion to intervene in a case brought by the American Tradition Institute’s (ATI) Environmental Law Center and Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/6/professor-turns-to-law-to-protect-climate-work/ Climate change sparks concern over future of U.S. breadbasket. The United States' breadbasket has a seemingly unending supply of grain, meat, dairy, fruit, vegetable and other food resources. Those harvests feed many Americans and nations around the world, but scientists and agronomists are worried that climate change will hurt growing conditions and production in the Midwest. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/09/07/8 DIESEL EMISSIONS California lawmakers OK truck rule, CARB requirement. A couple of bills to advance through the California Legislature are intended to improve safety around certain large vehicles and to impose a rule on the state’s Air Resources Board. One bill to advance through the statehouse would require a construction vehicle in excess of 14,000 pounds that operates at, or transports construction or industrial materials to and from, a mine or construction site to be equipped with an automatic backup audible alarm. Dump trucks already are required to be equipped with backup alarms on construction and mine sites. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Sep11/090511/090611-02.shtml GREEN ENERGY State should extend energy levy. If you're a customer of an investor-owned utility such as Southern California Edison, among the line items on your monthly power bill is a 1.5% fee called the public goods charge. It will go away if it's not renewed by the Legislature this week — but that would be a mistake, because it is a vital tool to help the state achieve its ambitious goals to clean up its power supply and reduce its carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-powerfee-20110907,0,988873.story Solar industry undergoes more reshuffling. Solar equipment manufacturers are closing down or consolidating in the wake of falling prices for photovoltaic systems. This year so far, mergers and acquisitions are up 33 percent in the industry, totaling $3.3 billion according to Bloomberg. Much of this activity resulted from Chinese competition on the market, forcing photovoltaic cell prices to drop 42 percent. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/09/07/6 VEHICLES Big steps forward for fuel-efficient vehicles. The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Tuesday, Sept. 6: Americans are driving more fuel-efficient vehicles and reducing the demand for gasoline, new figures show. It's an encouraging development at a time when pump prices remain stubbornly high. Gasoline consumption fell by 2 percent from January to July of 2011 compared with the same months in 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Fuel efficiency accounted for half of the decline, while higher gas prices and consumers cutting back because of the uncertain economy caused the other half. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/07/1848499/big-steps-forward-for-fuel-efficient.html OPINION In the Land of Denial. The Republican presidential contenders regard global warming as a hoax or, at best, underplay its importance. The most vocal denier is Rick Perry, the Texas governor and longtime friend of the oil industry, who insists that climate change is an unproven theory created by “a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.” Never mind that nearly all the world’s scientists regard global warming as a serious threat to the planet, with human activities like the burning of fossil fuels a major cause. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/opinion/in-the-land-of-denial-on-climate-change.html?_r=2 Solar company's demise spotlights Obama's folly. Last year, President Barack Obama came to the Bay Area to tout "green jobs" at an event at solar panel manufacturer Solyndra's Fremont plant. Quoth the president: "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra." Last Wednesday, Solyndra announced it was shuttering its remaining Fremont factory, laying off 1,100 workers and filing for bankruptcy. It was a sorry day for the Bay Area. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110907/A_OPINION0619/109070304&cid=sitesearch Increasing CAFE standards is only the second-best solution to greener cars. Higher CAFE standards force manufacturers to build cars that get better mileage, or at least adjust the mix of vehicles they sell. In the decades since the first set of CAFE standards were imposed, we've gone from an average fuel economy of just 13.1 mpg to a less-awful 22.5 mpg. As time goes on, that value will increase, as the Obama administration recently set a target of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/07/cafe-standards-gas-tax/ BLOGS Have You Had Your Daily Moment of Climate Dread? Frequent visitors here know about my comparison of shifting concerns about human-driven climate change to water sloshing in a shallow pan — lots of motion but little real significance. Today The Onion took a bitingly amusing look at the (lack of) depth of climate worries in America in a piece titled, “We Need To Do More When It Comes To Having Brief, Panicked Thoughts About Climate Change.” Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/have-you-had-your-daily-moment-of-climate-dread/?scp=10&sq=climate%20change&st=cse Wind Industry Lobbies for Tax-Credit Extension. So far 2011 has been a good year f0or wind energy projects. Installations in the first six months of 2011 were almost double what they were in the comparable period in 2010 in terms of total megawatts (2,151 versus 1,250), according to the American Wind Energy Association. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/wind-industry-lobbies-for-tax-credit-extension/?ref=earth Policing Your Power-Hungry Appliances. Before they leave the house, my friends in England literally pull the plugs on many of their appliances.Perhaps it’s a vestigial reflex from the old days, when Victorian houses still had less-than-safe 220-volt lines tacked to the walls. But for whatever reason, when we’re off to the pub in Hertfordshire, the plugs to the television, electric teakettle and other power-hungry products are yanked before we go. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/policing-your-power-hungry-appliances/?ref=earth CarbFix: A Revolutionary Experiment To Trap Away CO2 Forever by Turning It Into Harmless Rock. Iceland is well know for its use of renewable energy, particularly geothermal energy, but soon the country could be combating climate change in a very different, but equally innovative way. Sometime this month, the group of American and Icelandic designers and researchers behind the CarbFix experiment will begin pumping “seltzer water” into a deep hole on the edge of a volcano to lock away carbon dioxide — forever. The carbonated liquid will react with the basalt rock that lies deep beneath the surface to form limestone, meaning that the CO2 will never be able to escape and warm our planet. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/carbfix-a-revolutionary-experiment-to-trap-away-co2-forever-by-turning-it-into-harmless-rock/