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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 4, 2012.

Posted: 04 Jan 2012 14:46:30
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 4, 2012. 
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.


China, India Mount Opposition Against EU Imposing Carbon Curbs on
Airlines. The European Union faced increased pressure to scale
down its plan to impose carbon curbs on airlines after China’s
carriers said they won’t comply with the rules and India signaled
it may attempt to scupper the EU plan. Europe should either scrap
or delay its initiative to include flights to and from the
region’s airports in its emissions trading system as of this
year, according to the China Air Transport Association, or CATA.

Groups want pollution monitoring near CA freeways. Los
Angeles—Several groups said Tuesday that an air monitoring plan
approved by the Environmental Protection Agency doesn't do enough
to address the health concerns of Southern California residents
living near congested highways. Led by the Natural Resources
Defense Council, the groups contend the EPA violated the Clean
Air Act when it accepted a plan by the region's anti-smog agency
that detailed locations of pollution sensors in Los Angeles,
Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Posted.


Climate coverage down again in 2011.  Media coverage of climate
change continued to tumble in 2011, declining roughly 20 percent
from 2010's levels and nearly 42 percent from 2009's peak,
according to analysis of DailyClimate.org's archive of global
media.  The declining coverage came amid bouts of extreme weather
across the globe – historic wildfires in Arizona, drought in
Texas, famine in the Horn of Africa – and flashes of political
frenzy. Posted. 

Delta, Lufthansa to hike prices to cover emissions. Within days
of new European rules on carbon emissions produced by passenger
jets, two major airlines say they will raise fares. Delta Air
Lines Inc. began adding $6 per round trip to the price of tickets
sold in the U.S. for travel to Europe. And Deutsche Lufthansa AG
said it will raise prices but not right away. Under European
regulations that took effect this week, airlines flying in and
out of Europe must get certificates to pay for the carbon dioxide
emissions produced by their flights. Posted. 


California Curbs Diesel Truck and Bus Emissions. New regulations
for reducing emissions from heavy diesel trucks and buses took
effect in California on January 1. By requiring that trucks and
buses be equipped with diesel particulate matter filters, the
regulation will reduce emissions from the nearly one million
heavy-duty diesel trucks that operate in California. The
regulation is one of several emission control measures that
target diesel pollution, which is associated with a host of
health ailments including cancer. Posted.


California clean air regulations could “wipe out” Hydro’s export
California’s new carbon cap-and-trade regulations, which came
into effect Jan. 1, will require BC Hydro’s power exporting arm
to buy carbon credits on its energy exports starting in January,
2013, likely wiping out Hydro’s main export market and increasing
electricity costs to B.C. consumers, a B.C. energy economist said
Tuesday. California’s new carbon cap-and-trade regulations, which
came into effect Jan. 1, will require BC Hydro’s power exporting
arm to buy costly carbon credits on its energy exports beginning
in January, 2013, …Posted.

State review council to consider dropping California standards.
Ariz. looks to kill car emission rules. The Gov. Jan Brewer
administration's proposal to kill "clean-car" emission standards
for Arizona will be considered in the coming week by a state
regulatory review council. Tougher emission standards raise the
short-term cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle. But there
are debates among public officials and environmentalists if the
long-term improvement in air quality justifies that cost. Posted.

‘Fracking’ waste disposal tied to Ohio earthquakes.  The disposal
of wastewater used in the booming practice known as “fracking” is
responsible for a rash of recent earthquakes in Ohio, and critics
have latched on to the seismic events as evidence that the
popular natural gas extraction method is dangerous and should be
banned.  Ohio has experienced at least 11 tremors since March,
including a 4.0 temblor that shook Youngstown on New Year's Eve.

Heating Oil Gains on Speculation Europe Diesel Imports to Rise.
Heating oil jumped to a six-week high on speculation that Europe
will import more diesel from the U.S. after three regional
refineries close this month and on the prospect of a European ban
on Iranian oil. Futures rose as Petroplus Holdings AG, Europe’s
largest independent refiner by capacity, will temporarily shut
three of its five plants. Heating oil increased gains when Brent
crude surged on reports that European governments will ban
imports of Iranian oil. Posted.


GM’s Chevy Volt Misses 2011 U.S. Sales Goal as Safety Probed.
General Motors Co. (GM)’s Chevrolet Volt missed its U.S. sales
target of 10,000 cars in 2011, the company said. Chevy dealers
sold 1,529 of the plug-in hybrids last month, leaving the brand
2,329 shy of its goal. A slow production increase kept dealers in
short supply until December, and a federal investigation of three
fires that occurred after Volt crash tests lowered demand for the
car, according to Bandon, Oregon-based CNW Marketing Research
Inc. U.S. dealers sold a total of 7,671 Volts last year. Posted.

Review urges delay in borrowing billions for bullet train.
State-mandated panel concludes that the high-speed rail program
'is not financially feasible.' Gov. Jerry Brown's office signals
that he isn't likely to be swayed by the findings. In a scathing
critique that could further jeopardize political support for
California's proposed $98.5-billion bullet train, a key
independent review panel is recommending that state officials
postpone borrowing billions of dollars to start building the
first section of track this year. Posted.

SF transit officials want to reduce car use. San Francisco
transit officials want to decrease vehicle use in the city. The
Municipal Transportation Agency set a goal on Tuesday of making
public transit, walking or biking the mode of transportation for
half of all trips in the city within six years. They currently
account for 38 percent of those trips, with motorized vehicles
responsible for the rest. City transportation chief Ed Reiskin
told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/AfnDTB) the goal
is ambitious It would require drawing people away from their
cars. Posted. 

Americans bought more cars and trucks in 2011. Americans bought
more cars and trucks last year, inspired by easier credit, an
improved economy and the desire to replace aging vehicles that
got them through the Great Recession. Sales rose sharply for
Detroit's three carmakers and for Japan's Nissan in 2011, aided
by a surge in November and December. Analysts expect that
momentum to continue into 2012. Posted. 

EVs to obtain more attention from EU policy-makers in 2012.  A
number of initiatives relevant to clean vehicles such as
electrically powered cars are foreseen within the following 12
months in the European Union (EU). cars21.com brings an overview
of some EU-level policies that will be significant in bringing
electric vehicles (EVs) faster to the market.  On the basis of
its long-term low carbon strategy that aims to reduce CO2
emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, the EU will
aim to reduce its oil dependency and increase the share of clean
technology and renewable energy.  Posted. 

Electric Car Conversion Guides Reviewed At Electricity4Cars.com
Offer Insights About EV Projects.  Over the past couple of years,
the electric car has broken through the modern vehicle market,
mainly touting significant ecological benefits and fuel
efficiency. Notably, the United States, along with various
European countries, Japan, China and many others, have presented
plans regarding the introduction of electric vehicles. Fiscal
incentives have been brought and thorough researches going on to
push for electric vehicles.  Posted. 


Local architecture firm wins design award. Behr Browers
Architects Inc. recently received an Architectural Design Honor
Award from the American Institute of Architects, Ventura Chapter,
for the design of the Summit Retail Project in Calabasas,
California. The Summit was the first private commercial
development to be required to achieve LEED Silver equivalent
standards by the City of Calabasas. The project's distinctive
design reflects it's mission of incorporating and integrating
numerous energy and resource conservation strategies in order to
reduce the development's carbon footprint. Posted. 

China Sets New Record For Renewable Energy Storage.  BYD Co.,
which counts Warren Buffett as an investor, has completed the
world’s largest lithium-ion battery project to bottle wind and
solar electricity in China, which will likely see more large
energy storage projects as a result of its ambition to add lots
more renewable energy.  The Chinese electric car and battery
maker finished the 36 megawatt-hours storage farm in December for
the State Grid Corporation of China, …Posted. 

Scotland looks to build on a record year for renewable energy. 
Scotland's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has called on the
renewable energy industry to build on the successes of 2011.  Two
weeks after Department for Energy and Climate Change figures were
released which showed 2011 is on track to be the best year ever
for renewable energy in Scotland, with 94 per cent of 2010's
entire output generated in the first three quarters alone, Mr
Ewing said he was determined to make 2012 an even better year. 


2011 CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards application period now
open.  The California Air Resources Board is proud to announce
the application period for the 3rd CoolCalifornia Small Business
Awards is NOW OPEN. Applications will be accepted from January 3
to February 29, 2012. These awards recognize small businesses in
California that took action during 2011 to reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions, promote climate friendly practices, and
integrate the tools on CoolCalifornia.org into their business
operations.  Posted. 


High-tech cars -- and equally high-tech security issues. Remember
"Christine," the malevolent Plymouth Fury of book (Stephen King)
and movie fame? Guess what:  Her high-tech sister may be back,
sort of. Or maybe it's more "Car 54, Where Are You?" except this
time your car can tell you where it is, and a whole lot more.
Steve Johnson of the San Jose Mercury News reported on recent
studies by university researchers and security companies
concerning the possibility of cyber attacks on today's brainy
cars and trucks: Posted.

Welcome progress on U.S. fuel efficiency. The following editorial
appeared in the Kansas City Star on Monday, Jan. 2: Less than a
decade ago, oil cost less than $30 a barrel and drivers pumped
$1.50-a-gallon gasoline into their vehicles. While those good old
days aren't likely to return, several notable events in 2011
showed it's time for Americans to change at least some of their
old ways of thinking about oil. That was then: Any threats to
petroleum supplies from the Middle East will result in
immediately soaring prices. Posted.


A Conversation With: Air Pollution Expert Dr. Gunasekar. Saurabh
Das/Associated PressCyclists and vehicles ride through New
Delhi’s morning smog on January 3. Dr. Arunachalam Gunasekar is a
30-year veteran of the Indian armed forces, where he was a public
health professional and director of medical research. He joined
the World Health Organization in 2008, where he currently
specializes in environmental health issues including air
pollution and associated health problems. Posted.

Panel: High Speed Rail Plans Not Fully Cooked. A panel of
independent reviewers says that without more certainty on funding
and operations, any start to construction of a high speed rail
system "represents an immense financial risk to the state of
California." The new report is further proof that 2012 will be
the most important year yet in the debate over the ambitious but
costly bullet train system. Posted.

Volvo releases details about Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept.
Anyone in the U.S. who's been looking longingly at the Volvo's
diesel-electric V60 plug-in hybrid – which is only scheduled to
go on sale in Europe, starting sometime later this year – take
hope: the Swedish automaker has taken the digital wraps off of
the new XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept, and is dropping all sorts of
hints that it's coming to America. Posted.

New Air Pollution Rules Could Reduce US Electric-Sector CO2
Emissions By More Than 4 Percent.  Two new federal air pollution
regulations are expected to spur the closure of up to 67 aging,
inefficient, coal-fired power plants, reducing both harmful air
pollutants and emissions of the climate destabilizing greenhouse
gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), according to an AP survey of US power
plant operators and a preliminary Breakthrough Institute analysis
of the likely impacts on CO2 emissions.  Posted. 

Study finds increased air pollution can worsen both drought and
flooding.  Increases in air pollution and other particulate
matter in the atmosphere can strongly affect cloud development in
ways that reduce precipitation in cool and relatively dry
regions, but also can increase rain and the intensity of severe
storms in warm and moist regions or seasons, such as the eastern
half of the US during summer, according to a new study by
researchers in the US and Israel.  Posted. 

European Carbon Regulation for Airlines Takes Off. 2012 started
with some good news. On Sunday, the European Union began charging
all airlines flying into and out of Europe for their carbon
emissions. Covering a third of all global flights, this new
scheme is one of the widest-reaching measures adopted lately by
any country or regional bloc to regulate greenhouse gas
emissions. Given all the hurdles and protest it faced, the fact
that this scheme actually began is not just an incredible
accomplishment for the EU, but also a bit of a miracle. Posted. 


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