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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 10, 2011

Posted: 10 Oct 2011 12:00:24
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 10, 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.


A GOP assault on environmental regulations.  Republicans in the
House are best known for their inflexible opposition to tax hikes
and government spending, but that's nothing new for the GOP; what
marks this group as different is that it is perhaps the most
anti-environment Congress in history.  Posted. 

San Pedro residents revive debate about gas storage tanks'
safety.  Studies by a consultant and USC graduate student come to
more worrying conclusions than a company-funded report about the
potential for devastation in an emergency at a San Pedro butane
facility.  Melissa Palma never thought much about the huge gas
storage tanks perched on a hillside near the San Pedro home she
and her husband settled into 18 years ago.  Only recently she
learned that the domed, 40-year-old, circular, steel structures
contain up to 25 million gallons of highly flammable butane —
what some neighbors and public officials say are the makings of a
potential catastrophe.  Posted. 

Separating ozone fact from fiction.  Air pollution in the San
Joaquin Valley has suddenly become a $29 million a year problem. 
Of course, the real cost is much greater as businesses struggle
to comply with clean-air regulations, and those who suffer from
foul air seek medical treatment.  But just about all of us are
paying for the Valley's notorious pollution, through a new $12
DMV fee to cover a $29 million federal penalty for failing to
meet even an outdated ozone standard.  Posted. 

New Federal Fuel Efficiency Standards Cut Smog, Save Billions. 
It’s not news that California has some of the worst air quality
ratings in the country. Despite decades of work to clean up the
state’s air, health-threatening smog is nearly omnipresent.  One
of the key causes for this pollution is the cars and trucks
Californians drive. Mobile sources, which include our everyday
vehicles, are responsible for about two-thirds of the state’s air
pollution—even more in certain areas. The same sources also
contribute to more than a third of the state’s greenhouse gas
pollution.  Posted. 


California AB 32's Cap-And-Trade Program Developments.  This
article is the latest in a series chronicling the first
litigation challenge to AB 32 (the Global Warming Solutions Act)
and the cap-and-trade program in Association of Irritated
Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, Case No.
CPF-09-509562, ("Ass'n of Irritated Residents v. CARB ").  Though
environmental justice groups continue to object to cap-and-trade
as the primary vehicle to reduce greenhouse ("GHG") emissions to
1990 levels by 2020, the California Supreme Court recently
allowed California Air Resources Board's ("ARB") cap-and-trade
implementation to move forward, and agency rule development
continues.  Posted. 


Newton: L.A. needs this job generator.  If you've wondered why
people complain about the difficulty of doing business in Los
Angeles, consider the Southern California International Gateway
project. BNSF is prepared to invest $500 million to build the
gateway, a rail loading yard that would stimulate trade and
produce jobs. And yet, for more than seven years, the project has
bumped along without being either approved or rejected.  Posted. 


Pilots Fly the Last Frontier for Leaded Gas. Anchorage, Alaska --
The small, piston-engine airplanes at Merrill Field roar to full
throttle as they reach the main runway, many of them bound for
remote Arctic towns with people and precious supplies. Pilots rev
up their engines at the beginning of the airstrip to make sure
they'll have enough power to climb above the snow-frosted
mountains that ring Alaska's largest city. And that makes this
spot ground zero for an environmental challenge that most people
thought was resolved decades ago. Posted.

Denham faults ethanol subsidies behind closing of Fulton Valley
Farms. Washington, D.C. – Rep. Jeff Denham today issued the
following statement in response to a Central Valley business,
Fulton Valley Farms, announcing that it will close its doors due
to the high price of feed. The high cost of feed is a direct
result of the ethanol mandates and subsidies, and has forced many
job creators in California to shut down. “Fulton Valley Farms
will be forced to close its doors as a result of the high price
of feed for its chickens and 185 Californians will lose their
jobs as a result. Posted.


Bullet train's environmental benefits remain murky.  High-speed
rail could help cut air pollution in California – if the system
succeeds in getting enough people out of their cars.  Planners
with the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority expect that the
electric trains could reduce traffic on the state’s roadways by
2.5 percent by 2035.  Each vehicle-mile traveled creates
emissions that foul the air with greenhouse gases, smog-forming
chemicals and fine particles like soot and dust.  Posted. 


UN chief calls for universal access to electricity by 2030, clean
energy revolution.  The U.N. secretary-general called Monday for
universal access to electricity by 2030, saying a lack of energy
in parts of the world threatens economic growth and job creation.
 Ban Ki-moon also urged governments and the private sector to
pursue “a clean energy revolution,” so that the use of renewable
energy sources could be doubled in 20 years.  Posted. 

New machine recycles fridges the green way.  Recycling
refrigerators - especially those made more than 15 years ago - is
a tricky job. The coolant in old appliances (now banned from
newer versions) can cause serious trouble, warming the atmosphere
and depleting the ozone layer.  Regulations forbid the release of
liquid refrigerants during disposal. But what if the refrigerant
was not in the cooling system, but stored in the old foam used
for insulation? The insulation in older machines is full of a
gassy refrigerant that can waft away during dismantling and
continue to diffuse later when the foam is shredded and sitting
in a landfill.  Posted. 

East Bay vets find employment in green energy industry.  Michael
Ferreira and Ron Rodd were born 40 years apart, and served in
different branches of the military. Ferreira was a U.S. Marine
and Rodd served in the U.S. Navy. Rodd went to Vietnam in 1967
and Ferreira completed two deployments to Iraq, returning home
for the last time in 2008.  It's not likely that the two men
would have ever met, but they did, and in fact spent the last 14
weeks together in classrooms, learning about the growing solar
industry, where both plan to pursue careers.  Posted. 

Experts discuss battery performance at EV Battery Tech USA 2011. 
The EV Battery Tech USA gathered experts from leading vehicle
OEMs across the world between 27-28 September 2011 in Troy,
Michigan. cars21.com who was a media partner of the conference
brings you a second overview of presentations, this time focusing
on battery life and enhancement of battery performance.  The
parameters influencing battery life are well understood,
according to Jeff Kessen from A123 Systems, however, they are not
all under the control of battery manufacturers. These factors
include ambient temperature, power requirements, total energy
throughput or state of charge, which all have to be taken into
account when considering battery life performance.  Posted. 


Scant CO2 Benefit from China’s Coal-Powered Electric Cars.  Much
has been made of China’s big push to build and deploy 1 million
electric vehicles a year by 2015. The move will help cut smog and
oil imports. Less has been made of the scant impact this is
likely to have on the country’s emissions of carbon dioxide,
given its enduring reliance on coal for most of its electricity.
Here’s a “Your Dot” contribution describing the situation from
Lucia Green-Weiskel, who has worked in China for the Innovation
Center for Energy and Transportation and co-authored a report on
electric vehicles there for the United Nations.  Posted. 

The Amazon Dieback Scenario. In an article last weekend about
rising stress in the world’s forests, I briefly mentioned that
computer projections regarding the future of forests are still in
a primitive state. Scientists cannot really say whether trees
will continue to take up a big proportion of our carbon emissions
through the rest of this century, or whether they will instead
succumb to climate change on a large scale. You can find reports
in the scientific literature to support both outcomes, and every
prospect in between. Posted.

California's global-warming law under fire from one of its own.
California’s aggressive effort to attack global warming is coming
under scrutiny in Congress from a powerful regulatory-wary
Republican -- who also happens to be from the Golden State. Rep.
Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who chairs the House Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform, has launched an investigation
into the Obama administration’s actions to increase vehicle
fuel-economy standards, including its 2009 decision to grant
California’s request to impose tough restrictions on greenhouse
gas emissions from cars and trucks. Posted.

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