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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 18, 2011. Posted: 18 Nov 2011 12:16:40
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 18, 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 FACT CHECK: GOP senator gasps for facts on asthma. It was a startling claim: Air pollution has no connection to asthma, Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said on the Senate floor. But Paul, and a chart he used to make his case against the health benefits of a new federal air pollution rule, relied on some creative sourcing and pseudoscience. Paul's chart was a graph showing air pollution declining in California as the number of people diagnosed with asthma rose. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-government/fact-check-despite-claims-air-pollution-has-been-shown-to-aggravate-and-cause-asthma/2011/11/18/gIQArgFBXN_story.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/11/18/2619081/fact-check-gop-senator-gasps-for.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19363746?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19363746?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/fact-check-gop-senator-gasps-for-facts-on-asthma/article_c10ba46f-9709-5864-9132-1711f9beadf6.html#ixzz1e4o26z9v http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/18/1952443/fact-check-gop-senator-gasps-for.html CLIMATE CHANGE Science panel: Get ready for extreme weather. Top international climate scientists and disaster experts meeting in Africa had a sharp message Friday for the world's political leaders: Get ready for more dangerous and "unprecedented extreme weather" caused by global warming. Making preparations, they say, will save lives and money. These experts fear that without preparedness, crazy weather extremes may overwhelm some locations, making some places unlivable. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/18/science-panel-get-ready-for-extreme-weather/ http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19364134?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/11/18/national/w024142S99.DTL&type=printable http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/18/1952492/science-panel-get-ready-for-extreme.html#ixzz1e4oYhyaQ Regional tensions limit Bhutan climate summit aims. Four Himalayan nations, faced with erratic weather and the threat of melting glaciers and catastrophic floods, are hashing out a plan for preserving the vast mountain range and helping millions living in the foothills cope with climate change. But as India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan set to work on a new 10-year management policy, three other major Himalayan nations will be conspicuously absent. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/11/18/2619360/regional-tensions-limit-bhutan.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19365155?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com VEHICLES House votes to kill funding for high-speed rail. Washington -- The House passed a spending bill on Thursday that kills high-speed rail funding for the current fiscal year. The Senate is expected to follow suit, which means California should not expect the billions of dollars in federal aid on which its futuristic plan for bullet trains depends. "By zeroing out high-speed intercity passenger rail funding, we are being given the unique opportunity to refocus and reform the high-speed rail program on the rail lines that will produce the most benefit for the least amount of cost," said Rep. Bill Schuster, R-Pa. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/18/MNUH1M0QPN.DTL&type=printable Are auto makers doing enough to improve fuel efficiency? The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public today through Thanksgiving weekend. KPCC asked people in our Public Insight network what they wanted to know about cars. Here are some of the answers. Dozens of people wrote in about fuel efficiency. What are car companies doing to improve it? Why aren’t they doing more? Chair of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols regulates the automakers. She says they are improving combustion engine efficiency, years after they suggested they could do little more. http://www.scpr.org/news/2011/11/18/29936/are-auto-makers-doing-enough-improve-fuel-efficien/ CODA Begins Production of Electric Cars in California. CODA Holdings, the U.S. electric vehicle and advanced battery developer, Wednesday started production of its first model, a zero emission electric mid-size sedan. "We are excited to announce that we have started production of our all-electric CODA sedan," said CODA chief executive Phil Murtaugh. Posted. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/nov2011/2011-11-17-092.html LA Auto Show 2011: EV offer is growing fast. The Los Angeles Auto Show opens 18-27 November 2011 with more than 50 World and North American premieres. This year's show is marked by a global trend towards more fuel-efficient vehicles, vehicle hybridisation and vehicles powered with alternative fuels including PHEVs and EVs. After the astonishing presentation of the BMW i3 and i8 at the IAA Frankfurt two months ago, BMW is again attracting a lot of interest with these vehicles, and despite the “Concept” tag attached to the i3, they have already programmed the production launch with their American dealers for 2013. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/69520111118.php What challenges do international electric car manufacturers face in China? Many international carmakers believe that China has the potential to be the world's largest new-energy vehicle market and are thus exploring the potential to introduce their electric cars in this market. Despite China’s efforts to support vehicle electrification, foreign automotive companies are still facing many challenges. China is the world's largest passenger car market with a 34% annual growth between 2001 and 2010. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/69620111118.php GREEN ENERGY Energy secretary defends Solyndra loan. Washington -- Under oath Thursday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu denied that the White House influenced his decision to guarantee a $528 million federal loan to Fremont solar firm Solyndra and refused to apologize for making the loan, although he said that in hindsight he would not have made it. "Certainly knowing what I know now, we'd say no," Chu said in his first extensive defense of the loan since the company filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 6. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/18/MN881M0IU6.DTL&type=printable Chu: Solyndra loan based on merits, not politics. An unapologetic Energy Secretary Steven Chu defended a half-billion-dollar federal loan to a solar-panel manufacturer that went belly up, even as he told a House committee Thursday he was unaware of dozens of key details that led to the debacle over Solyndra Inc. Under hours of hostile questioning from Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Chu declined several opportunities to say he was sorry, but acknowledged that in hindsight the deal was "extremely unfortunate" and "regrettable." Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/chu-solyndra-loan-based-on-merits-not-politics/article_65cf584e-16b5-56b8-8665-b115b763cc33.html Republicans grill Energy Secretary Chu about Solyndra loan. In a politically charged hearing Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives accused Energy Secretary Steven Chu of breaking the law in how he handled the restructuring of a loan for the California solar-energy company Solyndra. Chu said he did nothing illegal but instead made a tough decision that gave him the best shot at getting taxpayer money back that had been loaned to the company. Chu said his department's top lawyer said his plan was legal. The hearing was filled with political attacks through five hours of questioning. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/17/1951816/republicans-grill-energy-secretary.html#ixzz1e4qv4KaF MISCELLANEOUS Group seeks release of discussions of Keystone XL. The State Department withheld information on internal discussions about TransCanada Corp.'s proposed Keystone XL pipeline across six states, according to an environmental group. The department "heavily redacted" or withheld internal e-mails on discussions over the $7 billion project that were requested under the Freedom of Information Act, according to Friends of the Earth in Washington. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/18/MN231M0JNC.DTL&type=printable OPINIONS Politics and Clean Air. President Obama’s decision in September to scuttle stricter national standards for smog may well go down as the worst environmental decision of his administration — unless, of course, even more damaging retreats lie ahead. The decision was a setback for public health, a victory for industry, which had lobbied strongly against the standards, and a public embarrassment for the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, who had proposed them. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/opinion/presidential-politics-and-clean-air.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse California Beats Northeast With New Cap-and-Trade Strategy: View. One of the main complaints about the first cap-and-trade regime for greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S. was well answered in a study released this week. Critics had argued that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative -- which links New York, Connecticut and eight other Northeastern states -- would increase energy costs for consumers. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-18/california-beats-northeast-with-new-cap-and-trade-strategy-view.html BLOGS Climate Panel Charts Extreme Weather in a Warming World. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, convening in Kampala, Uganda, has produced a valuable summary of science on the influence of human-driven warming on extreme weather and strategies for limiting risks to societies in a changing climate. To my eye the summary accurately reflects the body of science aiming to find a signal of greenhouse-gas influence on climate extremes and disaster frequency and severity (the full report is still being finalized). Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/climate-panel-issues-report-on-extreme-weather-and-climate-change/?scp=1&sq=extreme%20weather&st=cse When should we blame climate change for natural disasters? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a new report out today concluding that global warming will make heat waves, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events much more common in the decades to come. (It’s less clear how climate change will affect hurricanes and tornadoes.) Already in 2010, the United States saw a record number of natural disasters costing $1 billion or more, and the IPCC is warning us not to be shocked if we see even more destructive weather as the Earth heats up. (Athit Perawongmetha/Getty) Yet many climate scientists have been trying to go a step further than the IPCC in recent years. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/when-can-we-blame-natural-disasters-on-global-warming/2011/11/18/gIQAfYxfYN_blog.html Congress cuts future funding for California's bullet train. The U.S. Senate approved a package of legislation Thursday night that eliminates future funding for high-speed rail projects, including the California bullet train. The vote, coming after a similar vote in the House of Representatives, leaves the future of the ambitious state project to create a new rail system from Southern California to the Bay Area uncertain. The state has less than 15% of the funds needed for the $98.5-billion project. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/11/us-senate-cuts-future-funding-for-californias-bullet-train-.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29 California Stakes Out New Ground with its Latest Fuel Standard. The White House proposes a strict new national fuel standard, but California still leads the way. On Wednesday, just as the Obama Administration proposed strict new fuel efficiency standards for 2017-2025-model cars and light trucks, the California Air Resources Board leapfrogged Washington with its own package of regulations designed to further reduce emissions from passenger vehicles. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/11/16/california-stakes-out-new-ground-with-its-latest-fuel-standard/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FClimateWatchBlog+%28KQED%27s+Climate+Watch+Blog%29 Did Texas improve air quality, lower emissions as much as Rick Perry claims? Perry claims Texas topped the charts in terms of air-quality improvements, and his remarks suggest that the state knows how to clean up just fine without oversight from the Environmental Protection Agency, thank you very much. We wondered where Perry found his data and how bad Texas was doing before he took office. We also wondered whether federal regulations really kill jobs — a subject the Post already covered this week. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/did-texas-improve-air-quality-lower-emissions-as-much-as-rick-perry-claims-fact-checker-biography/2011/11/18/gIQAjCVFYN_blog.html California’s Advanced Clean Cars program: transforming the light-duty fleet to zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicles with an eye on 2050. Prior to the full release of its proposed Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program in December (earlier post), the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has posted a detailed summary of the program’s package of light-duty vehicle regulations that combines control of greenhouse gases (GHG) and tailpipe criteria pollutants (LEV) for model years (MY) 2015 through 2025 with technology mandates via the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program to spur the development of advanced zero-emission vehicles over the same time period. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/11/acc-20111118.html Plug-in batteries could offer 10 times more range, 10 times faster charging in near future. What is perceived as the main barrier to seeing an electric vehicle (EV) in every driveway? Simple: a range that's too short and charging times that are too long. Now, what if a battery technology was developed that would allow you could drive for 500 miles straight and then recharge the battery in 10 minutes? Exactly. There would be a lot wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who just sank billions into tar sand projects and pipelines. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/11/18/plug-in-batteries-could-offer-10-times-more-range-10-times-fast/ Report Shows Success of Mandatory Cap and Trade Program. A report released earlier this week by The Analysis Group, entitled “The Economic Impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on Ten Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States,” tracked the dollars collected and spent by the program over RGGI’s first three years of existence. The report finds that the program, despite continuous criticism from conservatives as being burdensome and costly, added a net value of $1.6 billion to the ten member states, or roughly, $33 per person. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/11/report-shows-success-mandatory-cap-trade-program/