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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 23, 2011. Posted: 23 Dec 2011 11:36:39
California Air Resources Board Newsclips for December 23, 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 China: Stricter Air Pollution Monitoring Standards to Start Next Year, With Results Made Public in 2016. China will introduce stricter air pollution standards next year to monitor tiny particles of pollution in Beijing and other cities, but it may not start releasing the results to the public until 2016, state news media reported Thursday. Chinese cities do not measure data on the smaller particles, 2.5 microns in diameter or less, from smokestacks and exhaust pipes that shroud many cities in acrid smog, and many Chinese have complained that official statistics vastly understate the problem. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/world/asia/china-stricter-air-pollution-monitoring-standards-to-start-next-year.html?_r=1 New EPA anti-pollution standards draw industry fire. Industry leaders condemned the rules for being costly and overly aggressive. US health campaigners Wednesday hailed the announcement of new anti-pollution standards for American manufacturers, but industry leaders condemned the rules for being costly and overly aggressive. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the first national standards to control power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution would prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks annually. Posted. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/epa-anti-pollution-standards-draw-industry-fire-article-1.995883 New EPA rule reins in power plants. Washington – The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new standards Wednesday sharply limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from the nation's coal- and oil-burning power plants. Unless blocked by Congress or the courts, the new rule will mark the first time the federal government has enforced limits on mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals emitted by the burning of fossil fuels. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/22/4139179/new-epa-rule-reins-in-power-plants.html EPA power plant rule has greens pro-Obama. Environmentalists rallied so hard for the Obama administration on Wednesday, you’d think power plants were shooting cotton candy from their smokestacks. It hasn’t been an easy year for the greens, who are usually considered in the bank for a Democratic president. In the summer, President Barack Obama pulled back an EPA attempt to tighten smog standards, dismaying a wide array of environmental allies. Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70790.html Board approves monitoring trailer purchase. The Lake County Board of Supervisors (BOS), sitting as the board of directors for the Lake County Air Quality Management District (LCAQMD), approved the purchase of a new air monitoring trailer to monitor emissions from the Geysers facilities. Doug Gearhart, air pollution control officer, said the department had been borrowing equipment belonging to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to monitor emissions in certain areas of Cobb and officials were asking when the equipment would be returned. Posted. http://www.record-bee.com/ci_19603257 FUELS Oil could hit a new record in 2012. Crude oil may rise for a fourth year to a record average price in 2012 as demand in emerging markets increases and the U.S. avoids a recession. West Texas Intermediate oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange will reach an average of $100 a barrel in 2012, based on the median of 27 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, topping the all-time high of $99.75 set in 2008. The U.S. benchmark is on course to average $95 a barrel this year. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-oil-2012-20111222,0,1547153.story Americans continue to buy less gasoline. U.S. fuel demand in November dropped, pulled lower by a decline in gasoline consumption, the American Petroleum Institute said. Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, declined 1.1% to 18.8 million barrels a day last month from a year earlier, the industry-funded group said today in a report. Year-to-date consumption has averaged 19 million barrels a day, down 0.7% from the same period in 2010. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fuel-demand-20111222,0,471269.story CARB releases 2011 LCFS review report. The California Air Resources Board has completed the first required formal review of the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a regulatory program that requires stakeholders to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of fuels sold within its borders each year until reaching a 10 percent reduction by 2020. Posted. http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/8441/carb-releases-2011-lcfs-review-report VEHICLES California high-speed rail vows to show real job figures. Backing off claims that the bullet train would create more than 1 million jobs, California's high-speed rail leaders acknowledged Thursday that their "short-handed" definition used to describe jobs has been "imprecise and potentially confusing." In a statement responding to an investigation by this newspaper, the California High-Speed Rail Authority clarified that the 1 million jobs figure does not refer to the number of workers. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19605262?source=rss At Prius Cup, slow and steady wins race. When racing a dowdy Toyota Prius around Fuji Speedway's demanding Formula One circuit, the cunning driver must employ some special strategies. Don't floor the accelerator. Don't slam on the brakes. Hit the gas when you're heading downhill. And coast for as long as possible when you're rolling up an incline. Clearly, this is no ordinary race. Indeed, the goal at the so-called Prius Cup is mpg, not mph. It's a race for hypermilers. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111222/OEM11/111229959/1186 US Department of Energy grants USD7 millions to reduce electric automobile charger prices. The US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded nearly $7 million (€5.36 million) to four projects aiming at slashing EV charger costs this December. Delta Products Corporation, Siemens Corporate Research, General Electric Global Research and Eaton Corporation are the four organisations to receive funds. Preference has been given to projects that provide efficient and reliable management to the grid. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/72220111223.php GREEN ENERGY Altex to hire 50 workers at its green-fleet plant in Dixon. Altec, a leading manufacturer of utility trucks, says it will hire more than 50 people at its new "green" fleet manufacturing plant in Dixon. The Birmingham, Ala.-based company said it plans to complete the 43,000- square-foot factory in April, roughly two months ahead of schedule. Additional jobs could be created as the demand for alternative-fuel utility vehicles grows, said company spokesman Mark Wegel. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/23/4141418/altex-to-hire-50-workers-at-its.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/23/1998339/altex-to-hire-50-workers-at-its.html MISCELLANEOUS French oil giant boosts stake in San Jose solar company. Paris-based Total SA, Europe's third-largest oil producer, agreed to pay $164 million to boost its stake in SunPower Corp. to 66% in a deal that included selling its Tenesol unit to the U.S. solar company. Total, which already owned 60% of the U.S.'s No. 2 solar-panel maker, will buy 18.6 million more shares of SunPower at $8.80 apiece, a 50% premium to Thursday's closing price, SunPower said today in a regulatory statement. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-sunpower-20111223,0,5327814.story How to kick-start new energy technologies. The world desperately needs innovation in energy technologies — but those innovations are unlikely to happen by themselves. A three-year study by a team of researchers based at MIT has now identified a suite of policy and investment strategies that could accelerate innovation in the United States, helping to meet our growing energy needs affordably and reliably, reducing carbon emissions and alleviating insecurity over energy supplies. Posted. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/energy-innovation-book-1222.html OPINIONS Clearing the air on mercury. The Obama administration's rules show that the country will no longer tolerate the health toll caused by emissions of mercury and other highly toxic pollutants from coal plants. Eight percent of women of child-bearing age in this country have mercury levels in their blood that could cause lower IQ in their children. That fact alone justifies the tough but achievable regulations issued this week by the Obama administration to control mercury pollution from coal-fired plants. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-adv-mercury-20111223,0,5740939,print.story Why So Many Spare the Air Alerts? Eight no-burn edicts issued in past two weeks, during one of the driest Decembers on record. Air quality regulators have banned wood-burning fires on eight of the past fifteen days. Last year, there were only four such "Winter Spare the Air" alerts all season. One reason for the increase? “We don’t have any rain,” said Jennifer Jones, a public information officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which issues the alerts. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/environmental-health/story/why-so-many-spare-air-alerts/ BLOGS Darrell Issa: California uncooperative in gas-mileage probe. Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House oversight committee, is accusing his home state of failing to fully cooperate with his probe of California's role in the Obama administration’s setting of tougher federal fuel-economy rules for vehicles. Issa, in a letter to California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, accused state officials of making statements that "frankly appear to be a deliberate attempt to mislead Congress and obstruct an official investigation." Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/12/house-chairman-turns-his-sights-on-californias-role-in-setting-mileage-rules.html Historic Mercury Regs from EPA a Boon for Health, the Environment and Jobs. A few small drops of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre lake and the fish that happen to reside there, thanks to coal-fired plant emissions. That’s a major reason why the EPA’s decision to regulate the emissions of mercury, lead and other toxic pollutants from coal- and oil-fired plants is a major victory for the health and environmental welfare of the nation. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/12/epas-mercury-regs-boon-health-environment-jobs/ Public Attitudes Toward Climate Change Across Countries. From the World Bank commissioned report in 2009: “Public attitudes toward climate change: findings from a multi-country poll”, comes this interesting look at country wide attitudes to climate change. So it's interesting to look at how these views affected country attitudes at Durban recently. It is pertinent to mention here that Asia has been worst hit by severe climate change. Pakistan is one of the countries that have been severely hit in the recent years by disastrous effects of climate change including flash floods and devastating earthquakes. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/public-attitudes-toward-climate-change-across-coun/ Nissan: batteries in the Leaf are tough, even after earthquake beating. Nissan representatives have long been proud of the durability of the air-cooled, 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that stores energy in the Leaf. Given the recent troubles that the liquid-cooled pack in the Chevy Volt has given GM, it's perhaps not surprising that Nissan wants to reassure – carefully – the public that it still believes the Leaf pack is safe. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/12/22/nissan-batteries-in-the-leaf-are-tough-even-after-earthquake-b/