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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 11, 2011. Posted: 11 Oct 2011 12:33:48
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 11, 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 Environmental groups sue Obama saying decision to scrap stricter smog limit was illegal. Washington — Environmental groups sued the Obama administration Tuesday for scrapping a stricter limit for smog-forming pollution, saying the decision violated the law and put politics ahead of protecting public health. The lawsuit filed in the federal appeals court in Washington by four environmental and public health groups came after the White House last month said it would not support setting a new standard for ground-level ozone until 2013, outraging environmentalists. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/environmental-groups-sue-obama-saying-decision-to-scrap-stricter-smog-limit-was-illegal/2011/10/11/gIQAXGMbcL_story.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/10/11/2572666/groups-sue-obama-for-scrapping.html#storylink=misearch Lawsuits Pour in Before Deadline to Challenge EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The legal wrangling over new U.S. EPA rules meant to curb interstate air pollution from power plants turned into a full-blown melee late last week, with at least two dozen power companies, cities, states and industry groups joining the fray before Friday's deadline for court challenges. There are now more than 30 lawsuits asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to block the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which sets strict new limits on the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) that cause soot and smog. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/10/10/10greenwire-lawsuits-pour-in-before-deadline-to-challenge-67959.html?scp=2&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Is the valley's air quality getting better or worse? First came the good news from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District: August passed without a one-hour ozone violation, the first time since such records have been kept. District officials called the news "historic" and lauded residents for their role in improving the air. But not everyone was so quick to pop open the champagne. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x443091541/Is-the-valleys-air-getting-better-or-worse Report: Mercury levels mostly down in Great Lakes. A newly released report says mercury levels in the Great Lakes region generally have dropped over the past four decades, although concentrations in some fish and bird species have increased more recently. The report was being released Tuesday at a news conference in Detroit. It sums up the findings of 35 recently completed scientific papers. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/oct/11/report-mercury-levels-mostly-down-in-great-lakes/ Open burning ban lifts in areas. Effective 8 a.m. Wednesday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will lift the suspension of burning on private lands within the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit. This includes Calaveras, Tuolumne and those eastern portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties within the State Responsibility Area. It also applies to lands within the Direct Protection Area of the Stanislaus National Forest. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111011/A_NEWS02/111019982&cid=sitesearch Auburn open burning period begins. The city of Auburn is allowing open burning starting Wednesday. According to Auburn Fire Chief Mark D’Ambrogi, the burn period will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday and close May 31. Residents must have a valid burn permit and only burn on days designated by the California Air Resources Board and Placer County Air Pollution Control District. Posted. http://auburnjournal.com/detail/190159.html?content_source=&category_id=2&search_filter=&user_id=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&event_ts_to=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=1&sub_type=&town_id Homeowner response to the prenatal air pollution threat to preterm birth. Medical data continues to link maternal exposure to airborne polycyclie aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during pregnancy and harmful fetal effects. An earlier article in this column covered medical research linking maternal exposure to PAHs and subsequent childhood IQ. The study data was clear. The children exposed in the womb to high levels of PAHs had significantly lower IQ scores when they turned 5. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/environmental-health-in-sacramento/homeowner-response-to-the-prenatal-air-pollution-threat-to-preterm-birth Fighting Pollution to Slow Climate Change. Grant will allow assistant professor to study how black carbon affects air quality and public health. Riverside, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- A University of California, Riverside assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering has received a $450,000 grant to study the impact of air-polluting black carbon particles as a way to mitigate climate change. Posted. http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2748 CLIMATE CHANGE Bank of America Merrill Lynch and TerraPass Enter Into Agreement to Provide Carbon Offsets to California Emission Market. Bank of America Merrill Lynch today announced an innovative multi-million carbon offset agreement with TerraPass Inc., a U.S.-based company that brings to market verified carbon offsets and manages a portfolio of carbon reduction projects across the country. All of the offsets covered by the agreement are expected to be compliant with the California Air Resources Board's approved standards. Posted. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-america-merrill-lynch-and-terrapass-enter-into-agreement-to-provide-carbon-offsets-to-california-emission-market-2011-10-11 Global warming spurs debate over whether U.S. should build new icebreakers. Climate change is melting parts of the ice-locked Northwest Passage. China is building its first modern icebreaker in hopes of staking claims to Arctic waters. Frigid polar regions are opening up to increased shipping traffic, scientific exploration and tourism. Yet the United States is so short of icebreakers capable of navigating those still unpredictable waters that since 2007, it has made the annual supply run to McMurdo Station, the American research outpost in Antarctica, with a ship leased from Sweden. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/10/10/1898550/global-warming-spurs-debate-over.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Filter problems ground 17 Humboldt school buses. Humboldt education officials last week temporarily grounded 17 school buses that were equipped with a diesel particulate filter that the California Air Resources Board stated may experience a catastrophic system failure. The air resources board on Sept. 26 recommended districts statewide ground any school buses that were retrofitted with Cleaire Longmile filters, which capture the soot and other particulate matter created by the bus's diesel engine. Posted. http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_19086752 VEHICLES Booting hybrids from carpool lanes backfires. Berkeley -- Yanking the carpool privileges of solo hybrid drivers this summer backfired, adding congestion not only to regular freeway lanes but feeding a chain reaction that slowed carpooling motorists as well, UC Berkeley researchers said Monday. To all the frustrated commute jockeys who cheered when solo Prius drivers were demoted from the fast lane to the passed lane on July 1, the report by the Institute of Transportation Studies may seem counterintuitive, like punching the accelerator to slow down. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/11/MN7R1LFQN8.DTL&type=printable GREEN ENERGY Area solar industry grows despite Solyndra failure. Despite the high-profile collapse of Solyndra, the Bay Area's solar industry continues to grow. Case in point: SunEdison, a worldwide developer of large solar-power projects, is moving its headquarters from Maryland to Belmont. Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday joined the company at its new home, a formerly vacant office building that will hold more than 400 people when the move is complete. "We're the innovative state," Brown said at a news conference packed with local dignitaries. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/11/BURV1LFUHF.DTL&type=printable Top 6 High-Paying Environmental Jobs. There are two main types of green jobs: those that produce goods or services that improve the environment, and those that improve an existing business's environmentally unfriendly practices. Such jobs might focus on producing renewable energy, conserving resources, increasing energy efficiency, alleviating pollution or increasing awareness and compliance. Green jobs exist in hundreds of industries, from farming to mining and telecommunications to transportation. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/10/11/investopedia62635.DTL&type=printable China solar panel maker restarts after cleanup. Solar panel maker Jinko Solar Holding Co. has resumed production following a cleanup prompted by violent protests over pollution from one of its factories in eastern China. Jinko Solar stopped production at its factory in Haining city, west of Shanghai, on Sept. 17 after hundreds of villagers staged protests, some storming the facility and overturning vehicles. Authorities said the factory had failed to address earlier environmental complaints and that the protests followed mass fish deaths in late August due to runoff of flouride from heavy rains. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_SOLAR_POLLUTION_PROTEST?SITE=NYWNE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT AP Newsbreak: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/oct/11/china-solar-panel-maker-restarts-after-cleanup/ Brown supports solar business in wake of Solyndra. California Gov. Jerry Brown is vowing to continue investing in solar energy in the wake of the recent Solyndra bankruptcy. On Monday, Brown attended the opening of the new headquarters of SunEdison, which recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay area. It develops solar power plants as well as commercial and residential projects. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/10/10/1898548/brown-supports-solar-business.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/10/10/2571843/brown-supports-solar-business.html#storylink=misearch New Brentwood coalition stresses importance of being green. Jim Root recently noticed something obvious missing from Brentwood's downtown revitalization efforts and environmentally friendly Civic Center. The Brentwood marketing consultant and fellow members of the newly formed Green Living Coalition were surprised that the city had not placed recycling cans in downtown Brentwood. Getting recycling cans downtown quickly became the first priority for this group of about 20 far East County residents and business leaders who want to promote green living practices and sustainability throughout the area, including organic farming, emissions reductions, water management and home efficiency. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19084350 Palm Springs urges cycling as part of green efforts. Palm Springs is looking to make a dent in its greenhouse gas emissions by getting people out of their cars and onto bikes or other alternative transportation. The city will hold its annual Your Sustainable City celebration Wednesday, with bicycling advocate Dan Austin as keynote speaker. Austin is a filmmaker, author and founder of 88bikes, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that provides bicycles for children in developing countries.Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20111011/NEWS07/110110314/Palm-Springs-urges-cycling-part-green-efforts?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFrontpage%7Cp Calpine plans $700 million Geysers expansion. Would create 190 jobs and 98 megawatts of clean energy. The Geysers is the single largest geothermal operation in the world, producing up to 725 megawatts of green energy around the clock -- enough electricity to power the entire city of San Francisco. Sonoma County — Calpine Corporation, the nation’s largest renewable geothermal power producer, plans to build two new power plants adjacent to its existing Geysers steam field…Posted. http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/41748/calpine-plans-700-million-geysers-expansion/comment-page-1/ Solar PV rapidly becoming the cheapest option to generate electricity. For a long time, the holy grail of solar photovoltaics (PV) has been "grid parity," the point at which it would be as cheap to generate one's own solar electricity as it is to buy electricity from the grid. And that is indeed an important market milestone, being achieved now in many places around the world. But recently it has become clear that PV is set to go beyond grid parity and become the cheapest way to generate electricity. Posted. http://www.grist.org/solar-power/2011-10-11-solar-pv-rapidly-becoming-cheapest-option-generate-electricity OPINIONS Science and religion: A false divide. On most issues, there is very little conflict between religion and science. Rick Perry has generated a lot of ink lately — for trumpeting his religious faith and for his attacks on evolution and global warming. I have no magic insight into the mind of the candidate jockeying for the GOP nomination, and I'm not a member of the religious right. But, as a sociologist studying religion in the United States …Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-evans-protestants-20111010,0,5889194,print.story BLOGS Kicking hybrids from carpool lanes slows everyone down. If you're like many California motorists, you probably looked on with envy or perhaps some stronger emotion when those single-occupant hybrids zipped by in the carpool lane. Others who had gone to the trouble of coordinating schedules and establishing real carpool relationships probably weren't too happy with their solitary HOV brethren either. Surely, fairness was restored over the summer when the interlopers lost their HOV rights; the real carpoolers have seen their speeds increase, right? Wrong. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/10/kicking-hybrids-from-carpool-lanes-slows-everyone-down.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyCompany+%28Money+%26+Company%29 Get your EVs running: First National Plug In Day is Oct. 16. Electric-vehicle enthusiasts from New York to California will wheel into the streets en masse Sunday as part of National Plug In Day. Twenty-one cities, including Santa Monica, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Orange in California, will hold electric car parades and tailpipe-free tailgate parties to celebrate -- and test drive --currently available plug-ins from Nissan, General Motors, Tesla and SMART, and soon-to-be available models from Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford and Coda. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/10/national-plug-in-day-1.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 California's new B Corp law eyes social, environmental interplay. California businesses soon will be able to set up shop as so-called Benefit Corporations, or B Corps, under a new law signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. AB 361 enables businesses to pursue a "material positive impact on the environment and community in addition to maximizing profits," according to a statement from California Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), who authored the bill. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/10/california-benefit-corporation-law-signed.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 Conservatives scale up attack on green energy. Wasn’t that long ago that George W. Bush declared that the nation was “addicted to oil.” In his 2006 State of the Union address, Bush proposed a 22 percent increase in investment in basic research into clean energy, including wind and solar: “Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2011/10/11/conservatives-scale-up-attack-on-green-energy/?gta=commentlistpos#commentlistpos