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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 6, 2011. Posted: 06 Dec 2011 11:52:45
California Air Resources Board News Clips for December 6, 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 Wood burning discouraged in next few days. San Francisco -- It may very well be a perfect night for a crackling fire, but the Bay Area Air Quality Management District would like you to resist the temptation. District officials are urging Bay Area residents to refrain from burning wood in fireplaces or woodstoves through Tuesday and possibly longer to prevent unhealthy conditions. Eric Stevenson, the director of technical services for the air district, said fire building is discouraged but not prohibited. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/06/BAKV1M8MPH.DTL&type=printable http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_19475922 http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_19475922?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19475922?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/dec/05/bay-area-calls-on-residents-not-to-burn-wood/ http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/05/1975470/bay-area-calls-on-residents-not.html S.J. loses voice on clean-air board. San Joaquin County's pull on a regional air-quality board will be cut in half come January, as Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston leaves the dais at the end of her three-year term on that board. County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas will be the only local representative left on the 15-member board. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111206/A_NEWS/112060319&cid=sitesearch EPA slams Pa.'s new Marcellus air pollution rules. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is criticizing new rules the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is using to determine how to regulate air pollution from Marcellus shale gas wells and development sites near one another. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( http://bit.ly/rCyqa2) reports Tuesday that the DEP isn't using federal guidelines to determine how close such sites need to be in order to be considered a single, major source of air pollution. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19479744?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19479744?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com CLIMATE CHANGE UN Says Climate Pact ‘Beyond Reach’ United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said a global warming treaty may be “beyond our reach” this week as India and China rejected pressure for developing nations to adopt mandatory pollution targets. “We must be realistic about the opportunity of a breakthrough in Durban,” Ban said at UN climate talks in the South African port city today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-06/un-says-climate-pact-beyond-our-reach-as-india-rejects-cuts.html Calif. Takes Big Step Toward Greenhouse Gas Limits. First of a two-part series on California's climate policies. California is about to try a radical experiment. A little over a year from now, the state will limit the greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants, and, eventually, emissions from vehicles. The U.S. Congress tried to pass a similar plan for the whole country but dropped the idea last year. Paying a price for emissions has many Californians worried about what they'll have to pay for electricity and fuel and everything that takes energy to make. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2011/12/06/142942778/calif-takes-big-step-toward-greenhouse-gas-limits UN chief doubts comprehensive climate deal likely. An all-encompassing climate deal "may be beyond our reach for now," the U.N. chief said Tuesday as China and India delivered a setback to European plans to negotiate a new treaty that would bind all parties to their pledges on greenhouse gas emissions. The European "road map" toward a new accord that would take effect after 2020 is a centerpiece of negotiations among 194 countries at a U.N. climate conference in the South African coastal city of Durban. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19479220?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/12/06/2639402/un-chief-doubts-comprehensive.html#storylink=misearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/dec/06/un-chief-to-open-ministers-level-at-climate/ http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/06/1976116/un-chief-doubts-comprehensive.html County considers plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is set to vote Tuesday on a long-term plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15 percent by 2020 — the first such sweeping policy in the county. The plan aims to comply with a 2007 settlement agreement with the Attorney General’s office, after the state sued the county for not meeting California Environmental Quality Act requirements in its general plan update. Posted. http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/bernardino-31704-plan-considers.html Natural wonder of roosting swallows disappoints _ is it climate change? Wetlands — critical for the health of South Africa’s coasts and river systems — already have been degraded or seriously altered by human activity, and experts fear global warming threatens them further. As talks to shore up the international response to global warming entered their second and crucial week in the South African coastal city of Durban, environmentalists led a tour of a wetlands area nearby. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AF_CLIMATE_WETLANDS?SITE=PAREA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/natural-wonder-of-roosting-swallows-disappoints-_-is-it-climate-change/2011/12/06/gIQAuV5lYO_story.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/wetlands-focus-on-climate-talks-sideline/article_34c9e030-7402-5002-9409-cd93fb797db1.html FUELS CARB responds to testy congressional inquiry over fuel mileage. Under fire from the leader of a major congressional committee, the California Air Resources Board has fired back with shots of its own. CARB Chairman Mary Nichols has responded to a congressional inquiry into this past year’s agreement between EPA, CARB and U.S. automakers, and questions of whether CARB overstepped its regulatory bounds in helping EPA and automakers craft national policy for new mpg standards earlier this year. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Nov11/112811/120211-02.shtml VEHICLES Toyota Hybrids Go From Strength to Strength as World No. 1: Cars. Toyota Motor Corp.'s new plug-in Prius threatens to cast a shadow over competitors' hybrids. A successful debut of the Prius PHV, which Toyota will begin selling in 2012, may help Toyota secure its place as the industry leader in gas-and-electric vehicles and undermine General Motors Co.'s prospects with its Chevrolet Volt. Though the Volt, introduced a year ago, was the first plug-in hybrid on the market, its sales are trailing the company's target. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/12/06/bloomberg_articlesLVRE156S9728.DTL Paris to launch electric car sharing program. Paris, in its latest bid to be an innovator of the City of Tomorrow, is launching an electric car-sharing program to cut air and noise pollution on the city's medieval cobblestone streets and beyond. Autolib', a project built on the success of the city's bike-rental scheme, makes its debut Monday and officials want the self-service e-cars to be as much a part of Paris life as the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19473034 http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/12/04/2637181/paris-to-launch-electric-car-sharing.html#storylink=misearch GREEN ENERGY Arnold Schwarzenegger urges candidates to champion green energy. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday urged Republicans running for president to do more to encourage investment in renewable energy, and pledged to be a "cheerleader" for the issue. The former California governor was honored in Washington on Monday night as the "renewable energy leader of the decade" by the American Council on Renewable Energy. Speaking at the group's 10th anniversary dinner, he said the United States had lost its way when it came to investing in developing new sources of energy. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-schwarzenegger-energy-20111205,0,587679.story Santa Cruz releases environmental action plan. Santa Cruz wants to increase the number of solar-powered homes, double bicycle ridership and slash energy use in city buildings under a plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 2020. The city on Monday released the final draft of a Climate Action Plan. It could be approved by March. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/06/1975971/santa-cruz-releases-environmental.html#ixzz1fmUOB9DM A visual representation of renewable energy growth in the U.S. The folks over at Black & Veatch sent me a couple of interesting graphics today. Here is a U.S. map showing installations of non-hydro renewable energy in 1970…A few things jump out. One, there weren't very many! Two, they weren't very big. And three, they were all biomass. In other words, in 1970, renewable energy in the U.S. was effectively nonexistent. Now, here's a U.S. map of non-hydro renewable energy installations built or planned today…Posted. http://www.grist.org/renewable-energy/2011-12-06-a-visual-representation-of-renewable-energy-growth-in-the-u.s MISCELLANEOUS Field Poll: Californians want a chance to vote 'no' on high-speed rail. For all the questions about its management and cost, this much is clear about high-speed rail: Californians who authorized the project three years ago want a do-over, according to a new Field Poll, and by a wide margin they want to vote "no." Opposition to the multibillion-dollar project crosses party lines and includes more than a third of voters who previously favored the state's plan to build a high-speed rail system. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/06/v-print/4102325/field-poll-californians-want-a.html OPINIONS Dan Walters: California's high-speed train losing public support. Has California's bullet train project – or pipe dream – finally run off the track? Voters think so. When the California High-Speed Rail Authority released a much-revised "business plan" for the project that doubled its cost, it won praise in many quarters, including this one, for moving from abject fantasy into at least semi-reality. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/06/v-print/4102223/dan-walters-californias-high-speed.html Eugene Robinson: Dealing with pollution will be key test for Chinese government. Hong Kong – China has to find a way to continue its rapid growth without choking to death. Literally. When I landed in Beijing last week, the sky was a brownish miasma through which distant landmarks were only faintly visible. The moment I stepped outside the city's vast international airport, I noticed an acrid hint of burning coal in the all-too-palpable air. The next day, when I went to see the Great Wall, China's most famous cultural treasure was wreathed in a gauzy shroud of pollution. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/06/v-print/4102145/dealing-with-pollution-will-be.html China faces a series of daunting internal challenges. China has to find a way to continue its rapid growth without choking to death. Literally. When I landed in Beijing last week, the sky was a brownish miasma through which distant landmarks were only faintly visible. The moment I stepped outside the city’s vast international airport, I noticed an acrid hint of burning coal in the all-too-palpable air. The next day, when I went to see the Great Wall, China’s most famous cultural treasure was wreathed in a gauzy shroud of pollution. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/china-faces-a-series-of-daunting-internal-challenges/2011/12/05/gIQAYx6qXO_story.html An unfair fight for renewable energies. More energy from the sun hits Earth in one hour than all the energy consumed on our planet in an entire year. In those terms, it is absurd that our federal government spends tens of billions of dollars annually subsidizing the oil industry, which pulls diminishing resources from underground, while the industry focused above ground on wind, solar and other renewable energies is derided in Washington. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-unfair-fight-for-renewable-energies/2011/12/02/gIQA9lWrTO_story.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/06/1975432/green-energy-deserves-fair-shot.html Editorial: U.S. should take lead on climate change. The U.N. Climate Summit opened over the weekend in Durban, South Africa, amid still more evidence of dangerous changes in extreme weather patterns. The drought in Texas and across the southern United States, along with record flooding in parts of Africa and Asia, are signs of an ominous trend supported by recent reports based on scientific data: -Thirteen of the world's hottest years on record have all occurred in the last 15 years. Posted. http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20111206/OPINION01/112060314/Editorial-U-S-should-take-lead-climate-change Arnold Schwarzenegger: Green energy deserves fair shot at federal aid. More energy from the sun hits Earth in one hour than all the energy consumed on our planet in an entire year. In those terms, it is absurd that our federal government spends tens of billions of dollars annually subsidizing the oil industry, which pulls diminishing resources from underground, while the industry focused above ground on wind, solar and other renewable energies is derided in Washington. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/12/06/2146516/arnold-schwarzenegger-green-energy.html BLOGS More on the ‘Sensitive’ Climate Question. Here are some fresh thoughts on the enduring and important questions surrounding “climate sensitivity” – how much warming will result from a substantial buildup of greenhouse gases. After my post on a much-discussed paper trying to clarify the extent of greenhouse-driven heating to expect in coming decades, I sought input from the lead author, Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University. (As I mentioned, another author, Nathan Urban of Princeton University, provided one valuable view in a long interview posted on the Planet 3.0 blog.) Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/more-on-the-sensitive-climate-question/ In U.S., Hydrogen Cars May Line Up With Few Places to Fill Up. Last week at the Tokyo auto show, Toyota unveiled its FCV-R concept. According to a Toyota spokesman, John Hanson, the vehicle was designed to give the public an impression of the hydrogen-powered fuel-cell sedan it expected to make available in 2015. With a projected range of more than 400 miles, a production version of the FCV-R would surely dodge the range-anxiety stigma that afflicts battery electric vehicles. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/in-u-s-hydrogen-cars-may-line-up-with-few-places-to-fill-up/ Severe Beijing smog -- or fog? -- leads to long airport delays. REPORTING FROM BEIJING -- Whether it was fog or smog, thousands of travelers have been delayed since Sunday evening by the almost opaque air around Beijing Capital Airport. The delays at one of the busiest airports in the world raise questions about whether air pollution in China has gotten bad enough to derail the country’s economic growth. Hundreds of flights were canceled and even the highway to the airport had to be closed. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/12/severe-beijing-smog-or-fog-leads-to-long-airport-delays-.html Biofuels win two, lose one. For the biofuels industry, the past week has been a case of two steps forward and one step back. The U.S. Navy announced Monday that it would buy 450,000 gallons of advanced biofuels from two companies, including Solazyme in South San Francisco. It’s the government’s largest biofuel purchase to date, and will allow the navy to test how well bio-based versions of jet fuel and marine distillate fuel perform in a variety of ships and air craft. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2011/12/ High-speed rail blames 'uncertain economy' for voter opposition. In response to a new poll finding widespread opposition to the state's high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority issued a statement late Monday blaming the "uncertain economy" for voters' mood. "To back pedal on this project means we reject billions in stimulus funds, lose 100,000 new jobs and, ultimately, pay tens of billions more for congested highways in the long run," the statement said. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/12/high-speed-rail-blames-uncertain-economy-for-voter-opposition.html#ixzz1fmIvIUhQ