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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 6, 2012.

Posted: 06 Jan 2012 14:56:07
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 6, 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.


Smoggy Beijing to reveal more pollution data.  A bureau in charge
of monitoring China's frequently smog-choked capital will release
more detailed reports, state media said Friday, following a
public outcry over the hazards of fine particle pollution. 
Beijing's decision to publish the data appeared aimed at
appeasing residents' anger over the pollution and a lack of
government transparency.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:

A Coal-Fired Plant That Is Eager for U.S. Rules.  As operators of
coal-fired power plants around the country welcome a
court-ordered delay on tighter pollution rules, the owner of a
retrofitted plant here says that the rules cannot come too soon. 
The company, Constellation Energy, says it is an issue of
fairness. A little more than two years ago, it completed an $885
million installation that has vastly reduced emissions from two
giant coal-burning units at its Brandon Shores plant here, within
view of the city’s downtown office towers.  Posted. 

Bay Area air quality worst in years this winter. The unusual
winter calm and gleaming sunshine that brightened up the holidays
is largely responsible for some of the worst air pollution seen
in the Bay Area in years, experts said this week. Winter Spare
the Air days have been called 12 times since Nov. 1 in the Bay
Area, which has exceeded federal health standards for fine
particle pollution seven times. Posted.


Corning in Long-Term Diesel Deals. Corning Inc. has entered into
long-term supply agreements with heavy-duty diesel engine, truck,
construction and agricultural equipment manufacturers. The terms
of these agreements were not disclosed, including the number of
companies involved. However, the company specified that the
agreements involved core customers and will ensure those
manufacturers have access to Corning products in the coming
years. Corning is a leading global supplier of cellular ceramic
substrates and diesel particulate filters. Posted.


Calif. appeals judge's low-carbon fuels ruling.  California
officials are appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocked
implementation of the state's mandate for low-carbon fuels. 
Stanley Young, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board,
said the appeal was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. The
appeal comes after Fresno-based U.S. District Court Judge
Lawrence O'Neill blocked California from implementing its
first-in-the-nation low-carbon fuel standard. The board will
request a stay of O'Neill's ruling next week.  Posted. 

CARB to appeal LCFS ruling, request enforcement through 2012.
Almost exactly two years after filing a lawsuit to challenge the
constitutionality of the California Air Resources Board’s Low
Carbon Fuel Standard, a California district court sided with a
coalition of ethanol and petroleum interests on Dec. 29, ruling
that the LCFS violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S.
Constitution by discriminating against Midwestern ethanol.

Natural gas, oil boom spurs sand mining in Midwest.  The rolling
hills and scenic bluffs of western Wisconsin and southeastern
Minnesota hide a valuable resource that has sparked what's been
called a modern-day gold rush.  The object of desire is not gold
but a soft sandstone needed by drilling companies to unlock
underground natural gas and oil supplies in a controversial
practice called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  Posted. 


China releases four EV charging standards.  Recently, China
issued four common standards regarding power charging of EVs that
will take effect on 1st March 2012. The standards include
requirements for DC/AC charge coupler inlets and the
communication protocol between the charging generator and battery
management system. How to implement the new standards and make
them uniform to existing local standards becomes the crucial task
now for China's EV industry.  Posted. 


2nd appeal filed - halts all building for the Cup. A local
environmentalist group filed a second appeal against the
America's Cup Wednesday. The San Francisco chapter of the Sierra
Club is citing concerns about water pollution impacts and other
criticisms of the project's final environmental impact report,
which the state requires before construction can begin. City
planners failed to analyze water pollution, air pollution and
possible diesel fuel leaks from the giant floating TV screen that
is slated to be installed in Aquatic Park, wrote Rebecca Evans,
chair of the San Francisco chapter, in the appeal. Posted.


MILLOY: EPA’s statistics not science, but nonsense.  The Chinese
city of Xi’an has some of the worst air quality in the world. Yet
its air is significantly safer than the air in U.S. cities,
according to a new study.  If you have trouble believing that,
then you ought to have trouble believing Obama Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) claims that U.S. ambient air quality is
killing tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people per year. 

Surprising safety and fuel efficiency innovations to watch out
for this year.  A host of new features you may never have heard
of - and certainly didn't expect to see in mainstream cars and
trucks - will be commonplace by the end of 2012.  New
technologies and safety and fuel economy concerns have
accelerated automakers' innovation into hyperdrive.  Here's some
of what to watch for in 2012 and at the North American
International Auto Show next week…Posted. 

Port of LA Shows You Can Be Pro-Jobs and Pro-Environment. I
recently returned from a trade mission to China, Japan, and South
Korea. Of the many conversations I had with business leaders and
government officials, one thing was clear: Los Angeles is the
premier destination for goods entering the United States from the
Pacific Rim. But the clock is ticking. We know the folks down in
Panama are working hard to widen their canal, and when the
widening is done, shippers will have more choice about the
destination for their cargo. Posted.

Is Global Warming A Bipolar Disorder? We now have a full
one-third of a century of satellite-measured lower atmospheric
temperatures, and what an interesting story the machines are
revealing!  I think it’s fair to say that they provide increasing
evidence in favor of the “lukewarm” view of climate change, or
the hypothesis of modest warming.  In climate change, “it’s not
the heat, it’s the sensitivity”, or the amount of warming that a
change in carbon dioxide causes, that is important. Posted.


Rethinking the Effects of Aerosols.  When you hear the word
aerosol, a can of hairspray, spray paint or whipped cream may
come to mind.  But technically an aerosol is any suspension of
liquid or solid particles in a gas. And both natural aerosols,
resulting from phenomena like erupting volcanoes or desert winds,
and manmade aerosols, like those from crop spraying or burning
coal, can have serious climate implications — far more serious
than whether your hair stays in place for 12 hours after that
squirt of hair spray.  Posted. 

Call to end $7,500 plug-in vehicle tax credit spreads to WaPo. 
First Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced legislation
calling for an end to the tax credit given to purchasers of
electric vehicles, now the Washington Post editorial board has
joined in the call.  The Post board applauds the expiration of
tax breaks for installing charging stations at home or commercial
locations, then complains that since electric vehicles are
expensive, providing tax breaks on their purchase amounts to a
give away to the "well-to-do." Posted. 

MIT: U.S. could have much better MPG, but our cars got fat. 
Americans have gained weight over the last thirty years, and not
just around the midsection. American garages and driveways have
also put on pounds as cars have become larger and more powerful.
A new study from MIT says that, if not for the increase in
vehicle weight, we could already be exceeding vehicle mileage
targets still years away. Since 1980, gas mileage is up by 15
percent, an improvement of only about half a percent a year.
However, the weight of vehicles has gone up by 26 percent at the
same time. Not only that, but horsepower over the period is up by
an astounding 107 percent. Posted. 

State launches 'green ribbon award' for schools.  State
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced
today that California schools may apply for the inaugural Green
Ribbon Award to receive federal recognition as some of the
nation's highest-performing green schools.  "California is proud
to participate in this new federal program to recognize schools
with environmentally sustainable learning spaces that have
boosted student performance," said Torlakson.  Posted. 

Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North. 
Nancy Lord   is a writer who has spent her adult life in Alaska.
In her new book, Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the
Climate-Changed North, she tells the stories of people and places
and natural environments on whom climate change is impacting in
her part of the world.  She is climate science savvy,
understanding why “in the north we live with disappearing sea
ice, melting glaciers, thawing permafrost, drying wetlands, dying
trees and changing landscapes, unusual animal sightings, and
strange weather events”.  Posted. 

Understanding the variability of GHG life cycle studies of oil
sands production.  a paper published in the ACS journal
Environmental Science & Technology, Stanford University assistant
professor Adam Brandt reviews a number of recent life cycle
assessment (LCA) studies calculating greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions from oil sands extraction, upgrading, and refining
pathways—the results of which vary considerably.  Posted. 

The Costs of Inaction: Cement Company Fined $1.7M for Clean Air
Act Violations. Cement manufacture accounts for 5% of greenhouse
gas emissions every year. Recently, Essroc Cement, the 8th
largest cement producer in the country, was found to be in
violation of the Clean Air Act and they have agreed to pay $1.7
million in penalty. In addition to this, the company has also
agreed to invest approximately $33 million in pollution control
technology. Posted.

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