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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 22, 2011.

Posted: 22 Dec 2011 12:27:22
California Air Resources Board Newsclips for December 22, 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 district asks public not to burn wood on Thursday and Friday.
 A Spare the Air alert hasn't yet been called, but Bay Area
residents are still being asked to forgo burning wood in their
fireplaces or stoves Thursday and Friday.  With one of the driest
Decembers on record, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District
is strongly discouraging burning to help preserve air quality.
Wood smoke is the largest source of wintertime air pollution in
the Bay Area, according to the district. And the dry weather is
trapping wood smoke pollution over most of Northern and Central
California and Reno, Nevada, according to the air district. 

Wood Burning Ban In Effect. Ban Could Affect Holiday Weekend.
Sacramento, Calif. - Air quality in the San Joaquin Valley this
week could affect a holiday tradition of lighting fireplaces. The
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District declared
Wednesday and Thursday a “no burn” day. If air quality does not
improve, the wood burning ban could be in effect once again
Saturday or Sunday -- Christmas Day. District officials typically
make the determination on a daily basis. Posted.

Clearing the Smokescreen: Toxic Air Pollution Standards.
Confusion is a popular tool in Washington. The opposition
campaign to the Environmental Protection Agency's new health
standards for toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants is
a clear example. Lately, there seems to be a new claim every day
about why some polluters can't or won't install modern pollution
controls on their smokestacks. Far too often, what's missing from
the discussion is the real and significant consequence of their
resistance -- …Posted.

EPA unveils 'historic' air pollution rules. Can power industry
cope? The EPA says its new rules to drastically reduce toxic air
pollution will improve national health at a minimal cost. But the
power industry says the rules could hurt the economy.
Environmentalists and health advocates received an early
Christmas present Wednesday when the US Environmental Protection
Agency announced new federal clean-air regulations that promise
to vastly reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants
from the nation's power plants. Posted.


Climate choice. Sacramento talks a good game on climate plan, but
will it follow through? The city’s Climate Action Plan certainly
has the potential to do good. The ambitious looking
proposal—expected to be adopted by the Sacramento City Council
next month—could cut Sacramento’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 15
percent by the end of this decade, with much deeper reductions in
carbon pollution thereafter. Posted.


Clean air deadline for state’s trucks and buses approaches. 
Owners of heavier diesel trucks and buses are being reminded by
the California Air Resources Board that new emission-reducing
regulations go into effect Jan. 1, 2012 and many businesses may
need to report compliance on-line.  The regulation, adopted in
2008 and later amended in 2010, applies to all privately owned
and federal government diesel trucks and buses that transport in
California.  Posted. 


As shale fracking booms, environmental protection lags. 
America's race for cheap natural gas and energy independence has
been outpacing the flow of state rules aimed at assuring people
that gas production won't harm their health. Today 24 states have
wells that use hydraulic fracturing: pumping water, sand and
chemicals into deep layers of rock at high pressure to release
oil and gas. Posted. 

Congress to CARB: Try answering mpg questions again.  Citing
“inconsistencies,” a “lack of candor” and a decision to not fully
cooperate with Congress’ top investigative committee, a powerful
congressman is demanding answers from the California Air
Resources Board regarding recent fuel mileage standards for cars
and heavy trucks.  In a letter dated Dec. 19, U.S. Rep. Darrell
Issa, R-CA, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform, fired the latest shot in a back and forth
between Issa and CARB Chairman Mary Nichols.  Posted.

California air board adopts changes to low carbon fuel standard. 
While some supporters of the biofuels industry have criticized
California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in the past for
failing to account for the increased carbon value associated with
the extraction of some crude oils used to produce petroleum-based
transportation fuels when the carbon value of biofuels are
considered on a full life-cycle basis, a recent move by the
state’s Air Resources Board (CARB) seems to take steps towards
rectifying that inequality.  Posted. 


California Calls for 1.4 Million Electric Vehicles by 2025. 
Earlier this month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB)
proposed a new package of tough clean vehicle standards, which
the agency calls the Advanced Clean Cars program. The program,
aimed at vehicles manufactured from 2015 to 2025, is a mash-up of
existing standards that currently are separately tracked. The
target to keep your eye on is CARB’s goal for electric vehicles.


Administration boosts drive for green energy.  The Obama
administration is boosting its drive to support renewable energy
projects on both coasts, officials said Tuesday, including
projects on public lands in the West and pushing for offshore
wind energy sites in the Atlantic Ocean.  Interior Secretary
Kenneth L. Salazar said his department has approved a
300-megawatt solar farm in Arizona and a 200-megawatt wind farm
in Southern California. The wind farm includes 186 megawatts that
would be produced on federal lands.  Posted. 

Solar licensing dispute emerges in California. In the final hours
of this year’s legislative session, lawmakers approved a move to
help several solar projects bypass local elected officials and
get licensed instead by the state. It was exactly the kind of
high-stakes deal that comes together frequently in the hubbub of
the Capitol, where negotiations that have moved along for months
reach a crescendo just hours before lawmakers adjourn. Posted.


ERIC MOORE: Enforcement of the air quality rules at Oceano Dunes
based on sound science. Lois Henry's Dec. 18 column, "A test of
science in a dune playground," is chock-full of faulty logic and
misinformation, which results in several erroneous conclusions.
Henry asserts that a government agency is now attempting to
regulate the wind when, in fact, it is only attempting to
regulate a stationary source of air pollution. There is no new
regulation here, only the Federal Clean Air Act and the
California Clean Air Act, both of which have existed for decades.

Some dam food for thought. Etna, Calif. — Aren’t we lucky to be
in this great state of California? “Uuuh ... maybe not!” you say!
There are some confusing things going on that are truly baffling.
First is the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as
AB 32. The thrust of this act is to roll greenhouse gas emissions
back to 1990 levels by the end of this decade. Along with
stricter tailpipe emissions standards, is the ambitious goal of
obtaining a third of the state’s electric supply by renewable
sources by 2020.

Issa Challenges Legality of California Greenhouse Gas Emission
Standards.  I keep coming back to this topic because fuel economy
zealots are trashing our constitutional system of separated
powers and democratic accountability. Only Congress can make them
stop. Leading the counter-offensive is House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who
has been watch-dogging the Obama administration’s fuel economy
agenda since 2009.  Posted. 


New Air Traffic Control System to Cut Millions of Tons of CO2. A
few weeks back we ran a piece about how UPS was using advanced
logistics to reduce energy consumption and emissions while
cutting costs at the same time. This is done by calculating
optimum routes and traveling the minimum distances. If this works
well with 10-ton delivery trucks that are rolling around on
wheels, imagine how much better it can work with 50-ton  jet
aircraft that are being lifted miles into the air. It is just
common sense. Posted. 

New Kia Ray is Korea's first production EV. Kia has unveiled the
automaker's very first production electric vehicle. The Kia Ray
EV will offer buyers a range of around 86 miles depending on
driving conditions and will include a fast-charge option that
should top off the cells in around 25 minutes. Otherwise, expect
the 16.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to take around six hours to
charge on a 220-volt circuit. A 50-kW electric motor provides
power to the front wheels, which is good enough to get the EV to
62 miles per hour in 15.9 seconds. Posted. 

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