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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 11, 2012. Posted: 11 Jan 2012 11:34:40
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 11, 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 Obama praises 'vital' work of EPA. President Barack Obama defended the work of the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, saying he would stand with the agency that has taken a beating from Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail for regulations that the GOP maintains will cripple the economy and kill jobs. Obama, making his first-ever visit to the EPA, took issue with those claims, saying he did not buy the notion that there is a choice between clean air and clean water and a growing economy. He said the mission of the agency was “vital.” Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hh7j6c8aKtAgYtr864Xa_C-9BluA?docId=67dd4fbbfa3d42e587131a46b58e5f11 AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-defends-epa-says-agency-work-vital-and-some-environmental-regulations-necessary/2012/01/10/gIQAq1SioP_story.html http://www.nctimes.com/entertainment/tv/obama-praises-vital-work-of-epa/article_9702b650-6bdb-538e-92cd-a11b6330dd55.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/10/2019731/obama-praises-vital-work-of-epa.html Hong Kong to Widen Pollutants Watch as Beijing Plans to Do More. Hong Kong, facing criticism over its air quality, will measure pollutants smaller than 2.5 micrometers at all its monitoring stations by March, a week after Beijing pledged to make publicly available similar data. Hong Kong is testing sampler monitors at nine stations, adding to the five that are already measuring the fine particulate pollutants, Environment Secretary Edward Yau said in a written reply to questions from lawmakers today. Yau didn’t say if the data would be released to the public. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-11/hong-kong-to-widen-pollutants-watch-as-beijing-plans-to-do-more.html Winter Spare the Air Alert called for Wednesday. Air quality authorities have called the 13th Spare the Air Alert of the winter season on Wednesday, banning the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs and any other solid wood for 24 hours. Cool, still weather patterns will continue through Wednesday, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. During these weather conditions, the earth cools the air close to the ground, which creates an inversion layer of warmer air above. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_19713407 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/11/BA4O1MNCSO.DTL&type=green http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_19713407?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19713407?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Stronger alerts will be issued even when Valley’s air pollution is low. In the midst of the nation’s worst soot problem this season, air authorities are issuing stronger warnings when pollution is at a much lower level than before — a new protective measure. The San Joaquin Valley has been caught in a seven-week dry spell that shows no sign of relief. The lack of cleansing storms has allowed a haze of tiny debris to build up and violate the federal health standard for 37 consecutive days. Posted. http://clovisindependent.com/2012/01/10/stronger-alerts-will-be-issued-even-when-valleys-air-pollution-is-low/ W. Pa. power plant getting $700M pollution upgrade. The owners of a coal-fired western Pennsylvania power plant identified by regulators as one of the nation's worst polluters plan to add $700 million in pollution control equipment there. A federal judge in Pittsburgh late last year dismissed a pollution lawsuit filed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection against the Homer City Generating Station, the state's second-largest coal plant. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19719119?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19719119?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/65385--w-pa-power-plant-getting-700m-pollution-upgrade Officials Say Bad Air Quality Reaching Historic Levels. Air pollution officials say our air quality is now reaching historically bad levels. They say the length of our current string of bad days has set a record. Local air officials say our warm mild winter is keeping the atmosphere from mixing leading to our bad air quality. It’s a problem you can see: pollution so thick it blocks out views of the mountains. But this is different than the ozone pollution problem we have in the summer. Posted. http://www.turnto23.com/central/30181820/detail.html CLIMATE CHANGE Gov. Brown's cap-and-trade spending plan angers businesses. He aims to spend $1 billion from the auction of greenhouse gas emission credits to help shrink the budget shortfall. Industry groups call that a back-door tax hike. Reporting from Sacramento— Gov. Jerry Brown has found a new pot of money to help him fill a $9-billion hole in his proposed budget: $1 billion from auctioning credits to allow California companies to emit greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-greenhouse-credits-20120111,0,6040921.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fbusiness+%28L.A.+Times+-+Business%29 State shift of carbon fee to deficit questioned. Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal includes nearly $500 million in spending from the proceeds of California's first-in-the-nation cap-and-trade program, but the plan is raising questions about whether the governor is using the new money to cut the budget deficit instead of promoting new greenhouse-gas-reducing programs. The controversial cap-andtrade program essentially puts a price on carbon emissions by limiting the amount of CO2 that can be produced by the state's largest polluters. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/10/BAAL1MNFM4.DTL&type=science DIESEL EMISSIONS CARB fines businesses $383,000 for air quality violations. The California Air Resources Board will collect $383,000 after settling 53 air quality violation cases stemming from late 2011. In a news release, CARB said most of the violations involved truck and bus fleets that didn’t conduct annual emission tests as required by law, though nearly half of the fine totals were tied to illegal motorcycles being sold or tampered with in California. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2012/Jan12/010912/011012-05.shtml Port generates $202 million in economic output, report says. The Oxnard Harbor Commission is beginning the year with new leadership, tough regulatory challenges and an economic impact report that indicates the Port of Hueneme generates about $202 million in economic output, pays $15.4 million in local taxes and supports 1,516 local jobs. The report was prepared by economists at California Lutheran University under a different method from the one used the last time such a study was undertaken, so a comparison is not possible. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jan/10/port-generates-202-million-in-economic-output FUELS Cool Planet BioFuels Announces Road Testing of Negative Carbon Gasoline Begins in California. Cool Planet BioFuels announced today it has received approval from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to begin fleet-testing its negative carbon gasoline. Cool Planet BioFuel's technology converts low-grade biomass -- such as grass and woodchips -- into high-grade fuel. This process also produces a byproduct, which can be used to sequester carbon and act as a soil conditioner. This makes the CoolPlanetBioFuels product a negative carbon fuel. Posted. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cool-planet-biofuels-announces-road-testing-of-negative-carbon-gasoline-begins-in-california-2012-01-11 VEHICLES Electric vehicle battery costs coming down: Chu. Industry and government are on track to bring down the cost of batteries to power hybrid and electric cars, which is crucial for improving commercial appeal of those vehicles, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Wednesday. Chu said at the Detroit Economic Club the Obama administration is not deterred by soft sales of plug-ins in their first full year in showrooms, nor does it worry about the potential for overcapacity in battery production. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/11/us-autoshow-batteries-idUSTRE80A1FA20120111 California getting majority of electric vehicle VC, study finds. A December report by the Next 10 public policy group showed that California brought in $840 million in venture capital invested in electric vehicle technology, 80 perent of the U.S. total. As the industry grows throughout the state, two electric vehicle companies in the North Bay said that they were also gaining momentum. Zap Jonway, a Santa Rosa-based manufacturer and developer of electric vehicles, and CODA Automotive, based in Santa Monica with an assembly plant in Benicia,…Posted. http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/46609/california-getting-majority-of-electric-vehicle-vc-study-finds/ Solution to higher mpg lies in conventional engines, panelists say. The U.S. auto industry may only have to look under the hood to find a solution for meeting increasingly stringent fuel economy regulations. Industry experts speaking during a panel on public-policy issues at the Automotive News World Congress today said that some of the greatest improvements in fuel efficiency will come by adding new gas-saving technologies to the internal combustion engine. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120110/OEM09/120119960/1186 Ghosn warns of disruptive shifts in auto industry. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, warned today that global paradigm shifts in energy and demographics threaten to disrupt the auto industry. Exploding populations in developing countries are spurring unprecedented demand for cars and the fossil fuels powering then, he said in a keynote address at the Automotive News World Congress. But instead of preparing, carmakers are passively reacting, he said. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120110/OEM09/120119975/1186 Hybrids, China’s second best choice to go green. China held a conference to discuss the development plan for energy-saving and new energy vehicles for 2011 to 2020 last week. In China’s future development plan, more support will now be given to hybrid and other new energy automobiles. The Chinese State Council held a conference on 6th January to discuss the development plan for energy-saving and new energy vehicles for 2011 to 2020. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/72920120111.php GREEN ENERGY A Return to the Good Old Days? Preliminary results show that cleantech investment returned to levels not seen in three years. And it gets better, as the Cleantech Group said that 2012 may be the best year ever. Global cleantech investments were a shade under $9 billion last year for clean technology venture and corporate investments, a 13 percent increase over 2010. Cleantech mergers and acquisitions reached record highs in 2011 with 391 deals and a dollar volume of $41.2 billion, a robust 153 percent growth over 2010. Posted. http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/12/01/return-good-old-days A Return to the Good Old Days? Clean energy VC at 2008 levels. Preliminary results show that cleantech investment returned to levels not seen in three years. And it gets better, as the Cleantech Group said that 2012 may be the best year ever. Global cleantech investments were a shade under $9 billion last year for clean technology venture and corporate investments, a 13 percent increase over 2010. Posted. http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/12/01/return-good-old-days MISCELLANEOUS Doomsday Clock Overview. The Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction--the figurative midnight--and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm. Posted. http://www.thebulletin.org/content/doomsday-clock/overview OPINIONS Alan Salzman: Global investors see the future in clean energy. Global investors controlling tens of trillions of dollars will gather Thursday at United Nations headquarters to showcase investments in clean energy and energy efficiency solutions. There's a powerful narrative here: Even in the face of paralysis among governments, many in the private sector are moving ahead on energy and climate change innovation. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_19714790?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19714790?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com EDITORIAL: Moderate winter plagues Valley air quality. It's hard to gripe about weather that allows you to wear shorts in January -- a fashion statement that many in California have been embracing. For people who like mild weather, the numerous sunny days of late have been a blessing, but the lack of wind and rain comes with some downsides. A big one is dirty air, which is a particular health threat for children and people with asthma and other respiratory diseases. On Tuesday, Fresno's air was among the dirtiest in the country. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/01/10/2678023/editorial-moderate-winter-plagues.html#storylink=misearch FORUM: Forum on fuel rules missed the point. The Community Forum appearing Monday, Jan. 2, by Eric Buechele totally misses the point with his unfair criticism of Congressman Darrell Issa. What Buechele and many others fail to understand is that the government's efforts to limit fuel availability, manage vehicle production, impose millage standards, and limit roadway construction are all built on a deliberate and calculated barrage of misinformation. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/forum-forum-on-fuel-rules-missed-the-point/article_18a65007-a244-5e0d-b672-09276703bf1a.html Letter: No air pollution from wind power. I like wind power because it does not cause air pollution, and further protects our air by preventing dirty coal and oil from being burned. Opponents who say that it spoils the view need to consider what will be included in their view without clean energy sources. Standing atop a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park and seeing the view shrouded in what looked like brownish haze from humidity baffled me in that super dry climate. Posted. http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20120111/OPINION03/120111008/Letter-No-air-pollution-from-wind-power BLOGS Obama Drops by the E.P.A. President Obama, who has been both applauded and jeered for his record on environmental issues, paid a brief visit to the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington on Tuesday to try to raise spirits at an agency that has been under siege for the past year. All the Republican presidential candidates and the House Republican majority have criticized the agency for what they cast as intrusive environmental regulations that cost jobs and harm the economy. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/obama-drops-by-the-e-p-a/ Can Better Communication of Climate Science Cut Climate Risks? Over the weekend I noticed a clever new effort to visualize how natural climate variability interacts with the heating effect from accumulating greenhouse gases – made by Ole Christoffer Haga for the Danish television program Siffa: The video, which has been making the rounds, reminded me of a conversation I videotaped a year and a half ago when I met up with Murray Gell-Mann, a physics Nobelist and dean of efforts to understand complex, consequential systems. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/can-better-communication-of-climate-science-cut-climate-risks/?src=twrhp Addressing Climate Change: Vote for Green, Not Junk Jobs, in 2012. The liquid golden light of winter floods our flowering yard, perfumed by blooming narcissus, cymbidium orchids, Andean lilies, and others. Tropical? No, we live in a temperate zone, but this year's unseasonable balmy to hot, dry weather persisted from the US southwest to the now-not-so-frozen Canadian north, as climate change melted away white Christmas hopes. Ah, warm, sunny winter weather -- an insidious, sinful delight of climate change. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-ellen-harte-and-john-harte/addressing-climate-change_9_b_1197929.html?ref=green Bay Area's Urban Planning Must Address Public Health, Study Says. For nearly four years, Cassandra Martin lived in West Oakland, a few blocks from two freeways and the city’s port. This has made her an accidental expert on air pollution. “I used to wonder what that black stuff was on the windowsill,” said Martin, who was diagnosed with asthma in 2009. “I would constantly wipe the walls and windowsills, but it would get so caked with soot. That’s a reason I was wondering about particulate matter.” Martin now works part time collecting air-quality data for a West Oakland environmental group. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/bay-area-urban-planning_n_1199549.html Doomsday Clock kicks off more conspiracy theories. The Doomsday Clock moved one minute closer to midnight Tuesday. It is now 11:55, five minutes before the hour in which humankind will face its fate. Have we all gone mad with apocalyptophobia? Since 1947, the Doomsday Clock has charted how near humanity is to its destruction. And we have always been prone to end-is-nigh hysteria. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/doomsday-clock-kicks-off-more-conspiracy-theories/2012/01/11/gIQA0k0nqP_blog.html NSF Early Career Award supports investigation of technique to measure temperature of low-temperature combustion reactions. David Rothamer, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently received a $405,000 National Science Foundation 2011 Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) to investigate a new technique using nanoparticle thermographic phosphors for measuring the temperature of a low-temperature combustion reaction through the entire process. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/career-20120111.html Fraccidents. We've all seen (or at least heard of) the movie "Erin Brockovich" in which a bold and fiercely determined mom takes on a chemical company for exposing a small town and the families and children that live there to toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer. It's Academy Award winning material. And it's happening again. In a small town in Colorado, 600 yards from three elementary schools and a childcare center, the natural gas industry is about to drill wells and expose hundreds of school children to chemicals that have never been proven safe. Posted. http://www.enviroblog.org/2012/01/fraccidents.html Coda will offer cheaper electric Sedan with less range, now starts at $37,250. Will electric-car buyers trade away 25 miles of driving range in exchange for $2,650? That's what Coda Automotive is betting on. Los Angeles-based electric-vehicle maker said this week that, in addition to offering its standard Coda Sedan battery-electric vehicle, which has a 150-mile range, for $39,900, it will also sell a cheaper version with a 125-mile range for a base price of $37,250. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/11/coda-will-offer-cheaper-electric-sedan-with-less-range-now-star/