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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 30, 2011.

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 14:13:21
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 30, 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.


EPA Rules Won’t Cause Major Power-Grid Woes, Agency’s McCarthy
Says. Pending air-pollution rules from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency won’t create major risks for the nation’s
electric grid, an agency official said. “In the 40-year history
of the Clean Air Act, EPA rules have never caused the lights to
go out,” Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the Office of
Air and Radiation, said today at a Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission conference in Washington. FERC, which regulates the
interstate transport of electricity, is examining the effect of
planned EPA air- pollution rules on the reliability of the grid.

STUDY: Ozone pollution linked to lower productivity. Academic
researchers have found that ozone pollution, the lung-irritating
component of smog, results in significant reductions in work
productivity. When ozone levels drop by 10 parts per billion,
workers at a Central Valley farm were 4.2 percent more
productive, according to the study published by National Bureau
of Economic Research. Posted. 

Groups challenge 2nd Arctic drilling air permit.  Alaska Native
and conservation groups are again taking aim at a federal permit
needed by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell to drill for
petroleum in Arctic Ocean waters off Alaska's northern shore. 
Nine groups on Monday challenged an air permit granted to Shell
Offshore Inc. by the Environmental Protection Agency for the
drilling ship Kulluk, which Shell hopes to use next year in the
Beaufort Sea. The groups last month appealed an air permit for
the Discoverer and its support vessels, which Shell hopes to use
next year in the Chukchi Sea.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:


Johnson Controls: Shanghai plant not leaking lead. U.S. battery
maker Johnson Controls is at odds with Shanghai's environment
regulator over the credibility of tests that the company says
show it was not responsible for severe lead poisoning cases in
children discovered earlier this year. The Milwaukee,
Wisconsin-based company said Wednesday that an investigation by
the China Electric Equipment Industry Association found its
battery factory in Shanghai's eastern suburbs was not the cause
of elevated blood-lead levels among children in a nearby
community. Posted. 

Once more, from the top: Shutting down dirty coal plants won’t
cause blackouts.  Could Americans soon be forced to suffer
through rolling blackouts and power shortages because of a
heartless, hapless, tyrannical EPA, as conservatives and dirty
utilities are suggesting?  The short answer is, no. The long
answer is, no. But the long one requires a bit of explanation.  A
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conference on
electrical-system reliability, along with the release of a couple
new reports, has revived a simmering dispute over the effects of
upcoming EPA regulations.  Posted. 


Climate change battle framed in moral terms by environmental
coalition. A broad coalition of civic leaders, elected officials
and labor, environmental and social activists launched a new
campaign Wednesday aimed at persuading U.S. politicians that they
should curb greenhouse gas emissions for moral and ethical
reasons. Posted.

Countries at odds over raising, managing billions of dollars to
fight climate change. Durban, South Africa — International
climate negotiators were at odds Tuesday on how to raise billions
of dollars to help poor countries cope with global warming. A
major shipping group is willing to help, endorsing a proposal for
a carbon tax on vessels carrying the world’s trade. Details of
the tussle over the funding emerged as the U.N.’s weather agency
reported that 2011 was tied as the 10th hottest year since
records began in 1850. Posted.

Permafrost Thaw May Emit More Than Deforestation, Study Says.
Emissions from thawing permafrost may contribute more to global
warming than deforestation this century, according to a
commentary in the journal Nature. Arctic warming of 7.5 degrees
Celsius (13.5 degrees Fahrenheit) this century may unlock the
equivalent of 380 billion tons of carbon dioxide as soils thaw,
allowing carbon to escape as CO2 and methane, University of
Florida and University of Alaska biologists wrote today in
Nature. Two degrees of warming would release a third of that,
they said. Posted.

UN scientist: fighting climate change saves costs. The U.N.'s top
climate scientist cautioned climate negotiators Wednesday that
global warming is leading to human dangers and soaring financial
costs, but containing carbon emissions will have a host of
benefits. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, summarized a litany of
potential disasters at a U.N. climate conference in the South
African city of Durban. Although he gave no explicit deadlines,
the implication was that time is running out for greenhouse gas
emissions to level off and begin to decline. Posted. 

Report offers 'carbon neutral' road map for California. If
Californians are going to reach their goal of massive greenhouse
gas reductions in the next 40 years, they’ve got their work cut
out for them. But the goal is not impossible, according to a team
of researchers that has provided a blueprint to get there. In a
paper published last week in the online version of the journal
Science, the authors show it is possible for California to
achieve its state-mandated goal of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Posted.


Civic Natural Gas available to more consumers.  Thirteen years
after launching its natural gas-powered Civic as a low-emission,
low-fuel-price vehicle for public utilities and other business
fleets, Honda is expanding availability to more consumers than
ever.  For the first time, car shoppers in 30-plus states should
find natural gas-powered Civics sitting on lots at select Honda
dealerships.  Posted. 

House Republican wants answers from auto CEOs on fuel rules.  The
chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
wants the chief executives of 15 major automakers to answer
detailed questions about the government's 2017-2025 proposed fuel
economy regulations.  Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sent 11-page
letters late Monday to top executives at General Motors Co., Ford
Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor
Co., Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and eight other
automakers.  Posted. 

Green cars in spotlight at waning Japan auto show. Green cars
rolled into the spotlight at the Tokyo auto show as Japan's
automakers look to fuel efficient technology to reinvigorate
growth after tough times. The showcase for Japan's pillar auto
industry was holding its preview for media on Wednesday ahead of
opening to the public on Saturday. Plug-in hybrids and electric
cars are centerstage at the Tokyo Motor Show - reflecting both
how green cars are growing in popularity and the low profile of
foreign automakers at the event. Posted. 

GM's Volt battery fires threaten to knock 'moon shot' off target.
When General Motors Co. announced plans in June 2008 to build the
Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, executives called it a "moon shot"
intended to rocket past Toyota Motor Corp. in technology
leadership. Now the car is a flash-point for concern. The
automaker's image car is the subject of a U.S. probe following
fires that occurred in its lithium-ion batteries at least a week
after three crash tests. Posted. 


BofA to fund SolarCity's military housing project. A
billion-dollar project by SolarCity to stick solar panels on
military housing across the country will proceed solely with
private financing, after the federal government backed out in the
wake of Solyndra's bankruptcy. SolarCity, based in San Mateo,
will report today that it has reached an agreement with Bank of
America Merrill Lynch to fund the effort, which is expected to
cost more than $1 billion and take five years. SolarCity calls it
the largest residential solar project in history, potentially
providing electricity to 120,000 military housing units. Posted.

With help from chambers of commerce, local businesses go green.
Chambers of commerce have long been known for furthering the
interests of local businesses. Now, more consumers want an
economy that is steering toward sustainability, too, and that’s
made Merced’s own chamber a champion of green business practices.
The Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce launched a Green Team this
past summer. Posted. http://www.healthycal.org/archives/6281


Bullet train funding plan faulted. The Legislative Analyst's
Office says the financing plan does not fulfill key requirements
of the ballot measure voters approved to authorize the project.
The funding plan for the California bullet train does not comply
with key provisions of a ballot measure that voters approved to
authorize the project and $9 billion in state bonds to help
finance it, according to a report released Tuesday. Posted.

Global warming hates the Ohio State Buckeyes.  This Saturday's
Crankshaft cartoon took on global warming, noting that climate
change is threatening Ohio's iconic buckeye trees, the namesake
of the Ohio State Buckeyes. "Once it starts to affect football,
they'll get moving on climate change," one character says… As
greenhouse pollution from oil and coal continues to build, the
Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) is on its way out of the Buckeye
State.  Posted. 


EDITORIAL: A climate of fraud.  The latest release of 5,000
emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research
Unit (CRU) reconfirms what the 2009’s “Climategate” files
established: Global warming is more fiction than science.  The
basic problem with climate research is that it is at best soft
science, and this leaked correspondence demonstrate just how
unsettled it is.  Posted. 

LOIS HENRY: Air Board study in error? They don't seem to care.
You'd think I would cease to be amazed at the "damn the facts,
full speed ahead" MO exhibited by California's air pollution
cabal. And yet, here I sit, astounded once again. Not only did an
obscure but important committee in the bowels of the California
Air Resources Board recently ignore dozens of pages of serious
criticisms of a new pollution study, but at least one committee
member seems to have zero understanding of how such studies are
used to create regulations that affect all of us out here in real
people land. Posted.

RUCKER: Scary climate talks in Durban.  It’s that time of year
again. Another holiday season and another United Nations climate
conference is getting under way in some remote corner of the
world.  The good news for those of us skeptical of global warming
fear-mongering is that the chance of U.N. delegates now gathered
in Durban, South Africa, agreeing to a revamped global warming
treaty is slim. The bad news is that much remains at stake. 


Global warming forgotten in 2012 race. One interesting phenomenon
of the 2012 race has been the disappearance of global warming as
a campaign issue. Not surprising among the Republicans, but not
even President Obama is talking about it. When President Obama
was running during more flush economic times, he promised to
raise everyone’s power bill in order to save the planet. In an
interview with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board on
January 17, 2008, President Obama stated that, “Under my plan of
a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily
skyrocket.” Posted.

The Chevrolet Volt Fire in Perspective. It was probably only a
matter of time before we saw this story: An electric vehicle’s
battery pack catches fire, drawing into question the safety of
electric vehicles in general. Ever since lithium-ion batteries
were found to sometimes catch fire in laptops or cell phones,
sooner or later we’d most probably see the same thing happening
to a car battery – after all, EVs essentially use the same
battery chemistry. Posted. 

Darrell Issa asks 15 automakers if higher CAFE level might hurt
sales, safety. Darrell Issa is on a mission. The House Republican
from California is stepping up his quest to figure out if the new
CAFE standards are part of President Obama's "Green-Energy Agenda
is Killing Jobs" (Okay, technically, that's Issa's report about
Solyndra, but it shows where he's coming from) or potentially
affecting safety. Posted. 

Honda outlines technology for fuel efficiency push; engines,
transmissions, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains. 
In Tokyo, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. outlined its plans for
next-generation automotive technology—which it is labeling “Earth
Dreams Technology”—comprising a series of measures to improve the
efficiency of gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, hybrid
and plug-in hybrid systems and electric powertrains.  Posted. 

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