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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 8, 2011 Posted: 08 Sep 2011 11:29:59
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 8, 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 More heat, bad air expected in Central California through Thursday. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District said the valley air basin continues to be in an Air Alert through Thursday. This includes the counties of Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and portions of Kern. Pollution levels spiked on Tuesday at 119 ppb in the Fresno area. A reading of 125 ppb is considered a violation of the federal one-hour ozone standard. High temperature, ozone build-up and lack of atmospheric mixing brought about an extremely high risk for a possible exceedance on Wednesday. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/07/1849457/more-heat-bad-air-expected-in.html It's another bad-air day; take it easy. Athletes and people with asthma and heart disease should curb outdoor activity today because of poor air quality in Fresno and Kings counties, a Fresno allergist said, as near triple-digit temperatures continue in the Valley. Dr. A.M. Aminian warns that athletes and physical education students should avoid extended periods of outdoor exertion and that anyone with asthma and heart disease should not take part in outdoor activities. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/09/08/2529364/its-another-bad-air-day-take-it.html#storylink=misearch Lawyers plot next steps in legal battle over ozone rule. The Obama administration's scrapping of a proposed new rule that would toughen ozone standards has put lawyers involved in litigation over the existing regulations on alert. Litigation before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had been put on hold when President Obama took office in early 2009 and U.S. EPA considered whether to revise the rules first introduced the previous year, at the tail end of the George W. Bush administration. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2011/09/07/1 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE UN chief calls for urgent action on climate change. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that urgent action was needed on climate change, pointing to the famine in the Horn of Africa and devastating floods in northern Australia as examples of the suffering caused by global warming. Ban lashed out at climate change skeptics during a speech at the University of Sydney, arguing that science has proven climate change is real. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18847700 Will environmental regualtion hurt California job growth? Joel Fox has written an interesting piece about his hope that California will roll back some environmental regulations. He quotes a piece I wrote several years ago when I was asked to give my prospective views on the likely impacts of AB32. He is correct that I assumed that while California would be an environmental leader with respect to enacting carbon dioxide mitigation legislation that I thought that the rest of the country would be ramping up its regulations. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Green-Economics/2011/0907/Will-environmental-regualtion-hurt-California-job-growth GREEN ENERGY Shocker: Power demand from US homes is falling. American homes are more cluttered than ever with devices, and they all need power: Cellphones and iPads that have to be charged, DVRs that run all hours, TVs that light up in high definition. But something shocking is happening to demand for electricity in the Age of the Gadget: It’s leveling off. Over the next decade, experts expect residential power use to fall, reversing an upward trend that has been almost uninterrupted since Thomas Edison invented the modern light bulb. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hfT760VvUJ6z-T2-NJQLzJcbnQrg?docId=1f4c0b7e473f45738ef6da5376a93529 AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-government/despite-the-proliferation-of-electronic-gadgets-us-homeowners-are-using-less-power/2011/09/07/gIQAqBrg9J_story.html http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011109080303 DOE to offer loan guarantee for solar rooftop project. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a conditional guarantee to cover 80 percent of a $344 million loan for the biggest residential solar rooftop project ever in the United States. A company called SolarCity plans to install, own and operate up to 160,000 rooftop installations on as many as 124 military housing developments in 33 states over the next five years. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/doe-to-offer-loan-guarantee-for-solar-rooftop-project/2011/09/07/gIQAVvQbAK_story.html SolarCity plans 160,000 solar energy systems on military bases. SolarCity, one of the country's largest residential solar energy system providers, plans to double the amount of rooftop installations across the country by setting up sun-powered systems on 160,000 homes and other buildings on military bases. The five-year, $1-billion SolarStrong project targets rooftop solar installations at 124 military housing developments in 33 states. SolarCity has already lined up a conditional commitment for a $344-million loan guarantee from the federal government. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solarcity-20110908,0,2694911.story MISCELLANEOUS Program Retraining Workers for ‘Green’ Economy Graduates First 50 Students. As President Obama prepares to roll out a jobs program in a nationwide address tomorrow, the first 50 people to enroll in a six-month program to retrain workers for jobs in biofuels, sustainable biotechnology, and other cleantech industries are graduating today. The students began their technical training earlier this year with classes at UC San Diego Extension and Mira Costa College under a two-year, $4-million grant from the California Department of Labor. Posted. http://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2011/09/07/program-retraining-workers-for-green-economy-graduates-first-50-students/ OPINION Going Green but Getting Nowhere. YOU reduce, reuse and recycle. You turn down plastic and paper. You avoid out-of-season grapes. You do all the right things. Good. Just know that it won’t save the tuna, protect the rain forest or stop global warming. The changes necessary are so large and profound that they are beyond the reach of individual action. You refuse the plastic bag at the register, believing this one gesture somehow makes a difference, and then carry your takeout meal back to your car for a carbon-emitting trip home. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/08/opinion/going-green-but-getting-nowhere.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print Obama environmental policy buckles under pressure. The following editorial appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday, Sept. 7: President Barack Obama gutted his credibility on environmental issues Friday when he ordered Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to back away from new restrictions on ozone pollution. He cited the slow and sluggish economy and said his order shows he has "continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty." That sounds a lot like Gov. Rick Perry, who hopes to be the Republican seeking to unseat Democrat Obama in next year's presidential election. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/08/1850134/obama-environmental-policy-buckles.html In jobs speech, a test for the president on clean energy. President Obama's jobs speech tonight is seen by some as a symbol of his commitment to clean energy -- and a gauge of his willingness to defend the emerging industry against Republican ridicule. It comes as the White House is signaling a retooled emphasis on "old school" highway jobs, as one Republican strategist said approvingly, to caffeinate national employment and consumer spending. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/09/08/2 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY BLOGS Humboldt Residents Say Not In My Backyard To Wind Farm. A proposed wind power project in California’s Humboldt County ShellWind Energy, Inc. (SWE) is drawing some serious “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) responses. During a Ferndale City Council meeting on September 1, 2011, residents expressed concerns about construction noise, use of large trucks, the visual impact of the wind turbines, light pollution and the effect on property values, the Eureka Times Standard reports. Prior to the meeting, residents sent letters to the Ferndale City Council opposing the project. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/humboldt-residents-backyard-wind-farm/ SANDAG still has time to make meaningful change with its SB 375 plan. 60 years of government structures and polices that subsidize sprawl development have not been dismantled in nine short months by San Diego’s new regional plan! Like so many attention grabbing stories, Ethan Elkind’s blog post proclaiming California’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) a “dud” is a poorly informed piece that doesn’t do justice to the movement for sustainable, equitable communities. Yes, San Diego County’s draft SCS, compiled by its regional agency SANDAG, needs significant improvement. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aeaken/with_carbs_leadership_sandag_s.html Global Warming Concerns Decline in US and China. It probably won’t surprise Celsias readers to learn that concern about global warming has tapered off in the United States. That country, after all, just went through the sort of financial crisis that portends another Great Depression when it saw its credit rating downgraded for the first time in recorded history. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/global-warming-concerns-decline-us-and-china/ "In the denial of global warming, we are witnessing the most vicious and so far most successful attack on science in history." “…in the denial of global warming, we are witnessing the most vicious, and so far most successful, attack on science in history.” Those strong words are from James Lawrence Powell in his recent book The Inquisition of Climate Science. The book chronicles the campaign of denial which has resulted in the widespread failure of public understanding of climate science and the long delay in addressing what is now an urgent and pressing threat to the human future. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/denial-global-warming-we-are-witnessing-most-vicio/ Electric Vehicles: Breaking Track Records For 115 Years. On this date in 1896, an electric car won one of the first automobile races in the United States. Amidst jeers from the crowd to “get a horse!” the ur-EV built by the Riker Electric Motor Company slowly completed five laps around a horse racing track in Cranston, RI. It took 15 minutes for the car to go about five miles. One hundred and fifteen years later, Toyota Motorsport’s P001 (above) broke the lap record for EVs at the Nürburgring last week, becoming the first electric car to break the eight minute barrier on the 12.92 mile Nordschleife circuit. Posted. http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/09/electric-vehicles-breaking-track-records-for-115-years/ Australian Government releases discussion paper on mandatory CO2 standards for new light-duty vehicles beginning in 2015. The Australian Government has released a discussion paper outlining the issues involved in the setting of mandatory standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from passenger vehicles from 2015. The planned CO2 standards will complement the Government’s carbon price scheme and help to reduce carbon emissions from light vehicles. The paper does not set targets, but asks industry and the community to help shape the new standards by presenting possible approaches for consideration and debate. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/ozco2-20110907.html Is the EPA Letting the Chemical Industry Regulate Itself? The American Chemistry Council is trying to influence how the EPA prioritizes the chemicals it chooses to evaluate for safety. The ACC—a group that supported Obama's recent decision to drop the effort to tighten Bush-era ozone standards, and that spent $1.65 million lobbying government agencies, including the EPA, in the second quarter—says the EPA lacks a "consistent, transparent process" for evaluating which chemicals need further evaluation. Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/09/is-epa-letting-chemical-industry-regulate-itself.php