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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-04/india-china-mount-opposition-against-eu-imposing-carbon-curbs-on-airlines.html 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_19667249 http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/01/03/2669189/groups-want-pollution-monitoring.html#storylink=misearch http://www.nctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/groups-want-pollution-monitoring-near-ca-freeways/article_c9ce21b4-b31c-556b-8ee0-af49901825ed.html#ixzz1iW2GzBRx http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/03/2010256/groups-want-pollution-monitoring.html CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2012/01/climate-coverage-2011 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. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/04/2011227/delta-lufthansa-to-hike-prices.html DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2012/2012-01-02-092.html FUELS California clean air regulations could “wipe out” Hydro’s export revenues. 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. http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=5942081&sponsor= 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. http://azstarnet.com/news/science/environment/ariz-looks-to-kill-car-emission-rules/article_17bba802-267e-51db-b4af-3f28335fa701.html ‘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. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/3/fracking-waste-disposal-tied-to-ohio-earthquakes/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS 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. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-04/heating-oil-gains-on-speculation-europe-diesel-imports-to-rise.html VEHICLES 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-04/gm-s-chevy-volt-misses-2011-sales-target-as-safety-probe-goes-on.html http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-volt-20120104,0,6521148.story 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bullet-train-report-20120104,0,5203985,print.story http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/03/BAKF1MKFOG.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea http://www.contracostatimes.com/politics-government/ci_19668834?source=rss 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. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/04/2011049/sf-transit-officials-want-to-reduce.html 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. http://www.nctimes.com/business/americans-bought-more-cars-and-trucks-in/article_4bdddeaa-f587-580a-a455-b5c642bfe4f2.html#ixzz1iW3fdHw3 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. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/72520120104.php 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. http://www.theopenpress.com/index.php?a=press&id=127298 GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jan/03/local-architecture-firm-wins-design-award-4656/ 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2012/01/04/china-sets-new-record-for-renewable-energy-storage/ 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. Posted. http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/123000-scotland-looks-to-build-on-a-record-year-for-renewable-energy.html MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://yubanet.com/california/2011-CoolCalifornia-Small-Business-Awards-application-period-now-open.php OPINIONS 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. http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2012/01/cars-cyber-attack-risk.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpinionLa+%28L.A.+Times+-+Opinion+Blog%29 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/04/v-print/4161603/welcome-progress-on-us-fuel-efficiency.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/04/2010986/welcome-progress-on-us-fuel-efficiency.html BLOGS 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. http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/a-conversation-with-air-pollution-expert-dr-gunasekar/?pagemode=print 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. http://blogs.kqed.org/capitalnotes/2012/01/03/panel-high-speed-rail-plans-not-fully-cooked/ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/01/california-high-speed-rail-revote-legislature.html http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/01/california-high-speed-rail-peer-review-group.html 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/04/volvo-releases-details-about-volvo-xc60-plug-in-hybrid-concept/ 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. http://theenergycollective.com/breakthroughinstitut/73545/breakthrough-analysis-new-air-pollution-rules-could-reduce-us-electric-se 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/li-20120103.html 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. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/01/european-carbon-regulation-after-overcoming-worldwide-resistance/