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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 27, 2011 Posted: 27 Dec 2011 11:41:14
California Air Resources Board Newsclips for December 27, 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 Doctors, moms take on No. 1 polluter in Utah. When winter comes to Utah and atmospheric conditions trap a soup of pollutants close to the ground, doctors say it turns every resident in the Salt Lake basin into the equivalent of a cigarette smoker. For days or weeks at a time, an inversion layer in which high pressure systems can trap a roughly 1,300-foot-thick layer of cold air — and the pollutants that build up inside it — settles over the basin, leaving some people coughing and wheezing. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hglfe7gDKPiPWpG0TcAitzZkJWsw?docId=18390f42185643a7862f6c0e7081f13a AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/25/doctors-moms-take-on-no-1-polluter-in-utah/?page=all http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/12/25/national/a095650S85.DTL http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/12/25/2661032/doctors-moms-take-on-no-1-polluter.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/25/2000771/doctors-moms-take-on-no-1-polluter.html 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?scp=2&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Lingering smoke from holiday a Bay Area health hazard. Holiday wood-burning, coupled with stagnant air, filled Bay Area skies with smoke so unhealthy that it rivaled conditions seen after 2008's major wildfires, according to air quality officials. Despite several consecutive "Spare the Air" alerts, by Monday morning, all nine Bay Area counties sat under a dense and lingering blanket of smoke, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District reported. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19622560?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_19622559 District doles out millions to help clean the air. Valley air district officials often say it will be impossible to reach federal air quality standards without new technology, a so-called "black box" of tools yet to be invented. They're trying to prod that creation along with about $3 million in grants for a dozen technology projects that could help reduce the valley's emissions. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x4969357/District-doles-out-millions-to-help-clean-the-air CLIMATE CHANGE Good news climate stories of 2011. This past year saw several bright spots emerge in humanity’s ongoing battle to prevent climate chaos. Is the tide starting to turn? Maybe we are in for a happy new year after all. California is the world’s eighth largest economy with a GDP surpassing Canada’s by over 40%. Last year it adopted a cap and trade program for its major climate polluting industries. Along the way it beat back years of attempts by Big Fossil to delay and destroy this effort. Posted. http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/climatesnapshot/2011/12/27/good-news-climate-stories-2011 FUELS Natural gas fueling plans may spur vehicle growth. The United States has record supplies of natural gas and plenty of reasons to promote natural-gas powered cars, but so consumers, manufacturers and fuel suppliers haven't shown much interest. Now, a major natural gas developer's plans to vastly increase the number of truck stops that offer liquid natural gas could help boost its use in the vehicles that burn the most fuel, while promoting its availability to a wider market. Lots of natural gas is available, if U.S. drivers decide to use it. In just a few years, domestic natural gas supplies have increased by trillions of cubic feet through shale finds, boosting the supply to the point where plans are in place to export part of the overflow. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hvQ1-j7e06yK2DvXvw-gGv9nMwlQ?docId=6cac8cf03eb741e989b4604a1a49373c AP Newsbreak: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/27/4147485/natural-gas-fueling-plans-may.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19625463?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_19625463?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/natural-gas-fueling-plans-may-spur-vehicle-growth/article_f45b3423-946d-53a1-9c7f-307feac8fe1f.html#ixzz1hlGXMeq5 At gas pump, 2011 was the year of the big squeeze. It's been 30 years since gasoline took such a big bite out of the family budget. When the gifts from Grandma are unloaded and holiday travel is over, the typical American household will have spent $4,155 filling up this year, a record. That is 8.4 percent of what the median family takes in, the highest share since 1981. Gas averaged more than $3.50 a gallon this year, another unfortunate record. And next year isn't likely to bring relief. Posted. http://www.buffalonews.com/wire-feeds/24-hour-national-news/article678844.ece GREEN ENERGY A farm lives high – and clean – off the hog. Loyd Bryant used to pump manure from his 8,640 hogs into a fetid lagoon, where it raised an unholy stink and released methane and ammonia into the air. The tons of manure excreted daily couldn't be used as fertilizer because of high nitrogen content. The solution to Bryant's hog waste problem was right under his nose — in the manure itself. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hogs-waste-20111225,0,5938580.story ENERGY: Long awaited solar construction jobs are snapped up. Soon after he reported to work in the desert of northeast San Bernardino County, where he is helping to build a 370-megawatt solar power plant, Lee Russell mailed a postcard to his son and daughter at his family’s home in Beaumont. “I told them I am part of something big,” he said with pronounced pride. About two years ago, Russell, a former trucker, was struggling to find work and scrimping to make ends meet when he read about solar projects proposed in Inland Southern California’s Mojave Desert that would be the foundation for a burgeoning new industry for construction workers. Posted. http://www.pe.com/business/business-headlines/20111224-energy-long-awaited-solar-construction-jobs-are-snapped-up.ece Supervisors to vote on solar farm. The approval of a conditional-use permit for a $600 million solar project near Mount Signal will be decided in a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Less than two weeks ago the Planning Commission voted 5-4 to approve the Centinela Solar Energy project, but the ordinance says the commission needs a two-thirds majority to approve agenda items, otherwise actions are deemed denied. The final decision is now for the Board of Supervisors to make, according to the ordinance. Posted. http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/ivp-supervisors-to-vote-on-solar-farm-20111226,0,6012186.story IID briefs: Some on board bleak on future of solar. Talk over a solar project whose developers want to bypass the Imperial Irrigation District electrical system brought out concerns about the future of solar in some areas of the Imperial Valley on Friday. Directors Stella Mendoza and Jim Hanks expressed concern over one of the CSolar projects in south Imperial County that is set to send power to San Diego Gas & Electric. Mendoza specifically questioned the direction the IID was going if it were to work out a contract to allow the solar company to tie into the district’s substation and directly out to San Diego, bypassing much of the IID. Posted. http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/ivp-news-iid-briefs-some-on-board-bleak-on-future-of-solar-20111224,0,3458018.story VEHICLES In China, Power in Nascent Electric Car Industry. Three years ago, as part of its green-energy policy, the Chinese government set an ambitious goal: by the end of 2011, the nation would be able to produce at least 500,000 hybrid or all-electric cars and buses a year. With only about a week to go, it is clear China will fall far short of that target. Despite dozens of electric-vehicle demonstration projects around the country, analysts put China’s actual annual production capacity at only several thousand hybrid and all-electric cars and buses. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/business/global/chinas-push-for-electric-cars-flows-through-grid-operators.html Palo Alto plugs into a greener future. Electric vehicles look to factor heavily into Palo Alto's efforts to curb local greenhouse gas emissions. The city council last week green-lighted a slew of new guidelines for creating a public network of electric vehicle charging stations and promoting adoption of the emerging technology. "The city of Palo Alto recognizes (electric vehicles) as an important part of the solution for reaching its greenhouse gas emission reduction goal, and so has an interest in encouraging the use of (electric vehicles) throughout the community," Debra van Duynhoven, assistant to the city manager for sustainability, wrote in a report to council members. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19623337?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_19623337 California mandates 15% Zero Emission Vehicles by 2025. The California Air Resources Board has proposed major changes in regulating vehicle emissions in hopes of improving California’s air quality, which is the worst in the nation. The plan combines four sets of standards into the Advanced Clean Cars program. The changes would be sweeping and all-inclusive. By 2025, auto manufacturers doing business in California must have 15.4% Zero Emission Vehicles in their fleets, and there will be stringent new controls on all passenger car and light truck emissions. It will also increase the number of alt-fuel outlets in California, adding fueling stations for CNG, hydrogen, methanol, and ethanol. Posted. http://ivn.us/news/2011/12/19/california-mandates-15-zero-emission-vehicles-by-2025/ Car designers at Italy auto show asked to design low-emission, high-security popemobile. Pope Benedict XVI’s popemobile may be getting an ecological upgrade. Young car designers participating in an annual auto style competition are being asked to design a low-emission popemobile that meets the Vatican’s high security standards. The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano announced details of the competition Friday, saying the green popemobile will be one of the proposed projects of the 2012 edition of Autostyle International Design Competition. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/car-designers-at-italy-auto-show-asked-to-design-low-emission-high-security-popemobile/2011/12/23/gIQARiTrDP_story.html MISCELLANEOUS Former sailor develops green jobs program. Elizabeth Perez-Halperin vividly remembers Oct. 12, 2000, as “the day that changed my life forever.” That was when terrorists blew a hole in the U.S. destroyer Cole docked off Yemen, killing 17 sailors. One of those victims was her closest friend from Navy boot camp, Lakiba Nicole Palmer of San Diego. The attack, coupled with her growing belief that America’s demand for oil helps fund terrorists and their allies, has committed Perez-Halperin to new missions since she left the Navy in 2005. Posted. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/25/attack-on-cole-leads-former-sailor-to-develop/ OPINION Springtime for Toxics. Here’s what I wanted for Christmas: something that would make us both healthier and richer. And since I was just making a wish, why not ask that Americans get smarter, too? Surprise: I got my wish, in the form of new Environmental Protection Agency standards on mercury and air toxics for power plants. These rules are long overdue: we were supposed to start regulating mercury more than 20 years ago. But the rules are finally here, and will deliver huge benefits at only modest cost. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/opinion/krugman-springtime-for-toxics.html?_r=1&scp=10&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Thomas Heller: New climate talks need to be based on new world order. At Durban, South Africa, 194 parties agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that will have legal force. To be successful, however, these negotiations will require a different framework -- one that takes into account new global politics played out in new places and new economic challenges. The world has changed significantly since climate talks began two decades ago in Rio. It is no longer shaped by two rival superpowers. New economies -- China, India, Brazil, Korea, Indonesia -- have grown in size and standing. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/opinion/ci_19610999?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Clearing the air on mercury. The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Dec. 23: 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 last week by the Obama administration to control mercury pollution from coal-fired plants. Industry complaints shouldn't convince anyone otherwise. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/12/27/2662040/clearing-the-air-on-mercury.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/27/2002088/clearing-the-air-on-mercury.html BLOGS Bad math makes claim that each Volt cost taxpayers $250,000 go viral. Oh, how easy it is to go viral on the Internet. All you have to do is be really, really bad at math. Or have an agenda. Here's how to play the game: Start with a car that is already in the news and for some reason has turned into a political hot button. Something like, say, the Chevy Volt. Then, make up a completely bogus number about how much each one costs taxpayers and put it out there. Get Drudge involved. Sit back, relax and see your nonsense spread like wildfire. Posted. http://www.green.autoblog.com/2011/12/26/bad-math-makes-claim-that-each-volt-cost-taxpayers-250-000-go-v/ 30-year-old corn ethanol subsidy nixed by Washington. Corn-based ethanol is a controversial fuel in its own right, and a long-standing government subsidy for blending the biofuel with gasoline has been an additional source of consternation over the last 30 years. The United States Congress wrapped up its work for 2011 without extending the incentive, a move that's drawn praise from environmental groups and taxpayer advocates. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/12/27/30-year-old-corn-ethanol-subsidy-nixed-by-washington/ California ARB soliciting research suggestions for FY 2012-2013 plan; sustainable communities, behavior, pollutant exposure, air pollution science, GHG targets. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is soliciting research suggestions for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Annual Research Plan in the form of brief conceptual descriptions that address specified research gaps and support the Board’s ongoing regulatory and policy priorities. The deadline to submit research concepts is 31 January 2012. Proposed research should address policy-relevant knowledge gaps important to ARB’s mission and must clearly delineate potential benefits to the State of California. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/12/arb-20111225.html