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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 12, 2012. Posted: 18 Jan 2012 11:51:44
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 18, 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 Second lawsuit filed against the air quality district. A San Luis Obispo man filed a second lawsuit against the air quality district over its contentious Oceano Dunes dust rule, this one focusing on alleged procedural errors. The lawsuit, filed by Kevin Rice on Tuesday, charges the air quality district with failing to follow California laws when it passed a rule that requires state parks to reduce particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area or face fines of $1,000 per day. Posted. http://calcoastnews.com/2012/01/second-lawsuit-filed-against-the-air-quality-district/ Mecca: Tribe agrees to air quality rules. Polluting businesses on tribal land near Mecca could soon face air district regulations under what officials say is a landmark agreement with a sovereign tribe. The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians has agreed to 39 air qualities rules for its 600-plus acre industrial park area that’s normally outside the jurisdiction of South Coast Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20120117-mecca-tribe-agrees-to-air-quality-rules.ece CLIMATE CHANGE Cost of 30 percent EU carbon cut less than thought: draft. Raising the European Union's 2020 emission reduction target to 30 percent would be considerably less costly than originally thought and the effort could be shared fairly among EU governments, according to a draft EU document. The analysis by the European Commission could reignite the debate over whether the EU should boost its climate ambitions, after the economic downturn made emission cuts easier to achieve, but also reduced the ability of governments and companies to make the necessary investments. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/18/us-eu-climate-target-idUSTRE80H19220120118 San Diego Climatologist Identifies 14 Measures To Slow Global Warming. For many years, scientists concerned about global warming have pointed to Carbon Dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels as the major culprit. And Carbon Dioxide remains the biggest factor in global climate change. But recently, other sources of air pollution have been identified as significant problems. A San Diego climate scientist's research is at the heart of a NASA study on ways to control them. Posted. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/jan/17/sd-climate-scientists-14-measures-slow-global-warm/ China Sets Historic Limits on GHG Emissions from Select Regions. China is starting to get on board with the international push to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Last week, China's authoritarian government ordered five cities and two provinces to institute limits on GHG emissions. These areas will now have to submit proposals to the national government's National Development and Reform Commission on how they plan to achieve it. Posted. http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/43871 DIESEL EMISSIONS Cleaner Air In L.A. Ports Comes At A Cost To Truckers. The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest in the nation. They also have some of the dirtiest air, thanks to thousands of cargo trucks that pass through each day. But this month marks the beginning of a new era, as tighter emissions standards go into effect. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2012/01/18/145338359/cleaner-air-in-l-a-ports-comes-at-a-cost-to-truckers Diesel truck emissions in Oakland fall sharply. West Oakland’s 22,000 residents live beside three freeways, two rail yards, and the nation’s fifth busiest container port—a destination for thousands of diesel trucks hauling goods back and forth daily while spewing pollutants into the neighborhood around them. According to a 2008 health risk assessment by the California Air Resources Board, diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions from Oakland’s port operations, the rail yard, and the freeways result in 1,200 excess cancers per million for residents of West Oakland. Posted. http://its.berkeley.edu/btl/2012/winter/harley FUELS Refining Outlook Is ‘Dire’ on Excess Capacity, BP’s Ruehl Says. The outlook for oil refining in the next two decades is “dire” given excess capacity in the industry, BP Plc (BP/)’s Chief Economist Christof Ruehl said. “Demand growth is expected to be weighted toward middle distillates while fuel oil consumption declines,” Ruehl said today at the company’s Energy Outlook 2030 presentation today in London. “This will continue to put pressure on those refineries with limited upgrading capacity.” Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-18/refining-outlook-is-dire-on-excess-capacity-bp-s-ruehl-says.html Investing in Clean Fuels Benefits Everyone. The process to implement California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard has had an interesting month. In mid-December we achieved a great victory when California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously agreed to move forward with implementation of the low emission fuel standard. However, a couple weeks after the December 15th vote, a legal ruling was issued that might delay that progress. Posted. http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/comment/reply/9764 Major oil refinery to close in US Virgin Islands. The giant Hovensa oil refinery that has dominated the economy and part of the landscape of the island of St. Croix for decades will cease operations next month, the operator said Wednesday. Local officials said the closure will slam the economy of the small U.S. territory, though oil analysts said it was unlikely to have a major effect on the global oil market. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/major-oil-refinery-to-close-in-us-virgin-islands/article_0ccc3b10-6982-541e-a90c-90afea60bf3d.html#ixzz1jpeAIjrO VEHICLES New Gas Economy Rules Generate Wide Support. Writing new regulations that will require cars and trucks to have significantly higher fuel economy by 2025 prompted years of fighting among automakers, environmentalists, regulators and consumer groups. But now that the standards have been proposed, nearly everyone involved in the process is on board with the results, as a public hearing held Tuesday in Detroit showed. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/business/energy-environment/new-fuel-economy-rules-win-broad-support.html?scp=1&sq=fuel%20rules&st=cse New CAFE proposal would add $5,000 to sticker price, NADA says. An Obama administration proposal to nearly double today's fuel economy standards could end up tacking on $5,000 to the sticker price of a new vehicle, a top official with the National Automobile Dealers Association said today. The proposal, which seeks to raise the corporate average fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year, would force automakers to adopt costly fuel-saving technologies that could eventually price some buyers out of the new-car market, said Don Chalmers, chairman of NADA's government relations committee. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120117/OEM11/120119854/1186 EU standards – a prerequisite for EV infrastructure investments, experts say. The European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels has published its second report focusing on infrastructure for alternative fuels, including electricity. Recommendations on policy actions will serve as a basis for the European Commission proposals due to be published in the first quarter of 2012. The report lists five policy options that will serve as the basis for recommendations by the group. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/73420120118.php Meet The Microhybrid: A New Class Of Green Cars. Although cars such as the Chevy Volt aim to be the next new cars for consumers, a new class of hybrid vehicles is emerging that promises to be more fuel efficient than gasoline-run vehicles and cheaper than the Volt and other electric rides. They are call the microhybrids, or stop-start cars, which are so named because their combustion engines are turned off when the cars stop, say, at an intersection when the light turns red. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2012/01/17/a-new-class-of-hybrid-electric-car-emerges-to-woo-consumers/ GREEN ENERGY Renewable-Energy Growth to Outpace Oil, Gas Through 2030, BP Says. Wind power, solar electricity and biofuels consumption will grow at a faster pace than demand for fossil fuels in the next 20 years as nations seek to meet rising energy needs without adding to carbon emissions, BP Plc (BP/) said. Global renewables consumption will rise 8.2 percent a year through 2030, outstripping the annual 2.1 percent gain for natural gas, the fastest-growing fossil fuel, BP said today in its annual outlook. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-18/renewables-to-grow-more-than-8-a-year-through-2030-bp-says.html Keystone XL pipeline to be rejected by Obama administration. The State Department on Wednesday will reject the Keystone XL pipeline, multiple sources following the project told POLITICO. The formal announcement is expected at 3 p.m. from Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Although the permit would be rejected, TransCanada would still be allowed to continue to work on and pitch an alternative route through Nebraska. Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71598.html Maine college has biomass plant for heat, energy. While temperatures dropped below zero in Maine, Colby College fired up a new biomass plant that will offset the need for oil by burning wood chips, bark and treetops. The Waterville college says its $11 million biomass plant will replace about 1 million gallons of heating fuel with about 22,000 tons of locally produced wood annually. During peak usage, the college is expected to save $250,000 monthly at current market prices. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19766422?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19766422?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/18/2030597/maine-college-has-biomass-plant.html#storylink=cpy ENERGY: Protest planned for opening of SDG&E energy center. A homeowners group plans to protest the opening of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s new energy center on Wednesday at noon, protest organizers said Tuesday. The group is irate over SDG&E's proposal to regulators to unbundle electric rates in such a way that would add $20 to $30 a month to a solar power user's electric bills. The proposal attracted opposition from solar businesses, residential solar customers, and some government agencies. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/business/energy/energy-protest-planned-for-opening-of-sdg-e-energy-center/article_3e3732ec-f716-51d8-9b53-fab140ac8072.html#ixzz1jpeXD75j Green Business at Davos. What do green issues have to do with Davos? Many people assume that the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting will focus on the financial crisis still rippling through the world. This may be an important part of the program, but it's far from the whole story. A strong green thread runs right through the Meeting, demonstrating the fact that questions about economic growth and environmental sustainability are not separate, but tightly intertwined. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dominic-waughray/green-business-at-davos_b_1212885.html?ref=green OPINIONS A smoke-free UC goes too far. University system's plan for campuses to be smoke- and tobacco-free within two years has noble intent but goes too far. There's nothing to say in defense of cigarettes. Smoking is a detestable, dangerous habit — but it's also a legal one, and there is plenty to say in defense of allowing adults to make bad decisions if they're not breaking the law or harming others. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-smoke-20120118,0,880814.story Burning America's future. An energy policy outlined by the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in which we use all of the nation's coal, gas and oil is beyond dumb. At the turn of the last century, Time magazine published a list of what it considered to be the 100 worst ideas of the 20th century. It included Prohibition, leisure suits, the Titanic, cold fusion. You get the idea. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mckibben-a-spectacularly-bad-idea-for-energy-20120118,0,6051362.story Air Pollution. On Jan. 12, I attended a meeting in Tehachapi where the Eastern Air Pollution Control Board met to discuss a recommendation by the grand jury to combine the Eastern and Western Kern Air Pollution Control Boards. I believe the problem with this idea is obvious: By combining the control boards, businesses and residences in the Eastern Kern County area could soon be regulated by the stricter standards that are established for the Western County. Posted. http://www.kvsun.com/articles/2012/01/17/opinion/letters/doc4f1603a2c2a27145197633.txt LUFT: Market-based future for ethanol. For years, ethanol has been the fuel free marketers loved to hate. Much of this is for good reason. Ethanol represented what most Americans dislike about Washington: undue government intervention in the free market, abuse of taxpayer dollars and political favoritism. The result is that for many people, ethanol is identified with pork and corruption rather than with energy security. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/17/market-based-future-for-ethanol/ This electric car news isn’t as good as it sounds at first. Electric car enthusiasts – those who want someone else to subsidize their extravagances and then pretend that the electricity they use isn’t created with fossil fuel anyway – may at first find something to cheer about in this news from England. There are now more charging stations than electric vehicles on the road, reports the MailOnline. Posted. http://orangepunch.ocregister.com/2012/01/17/this-electric-car-news-isnt-as-good-as-it-sounds-at-first/66600/ BLOGS BP Does BHP a Favor. BP’s latest long-term energy outlook actually appears to offer better news for that other big London-listed commodity producer, BHP Billiton. Demand for BP’s main product, oil and other liquid fuels, is forecast to continue rising to 103.5 million barrels per day in 2030 (consumption this year is estimated to be just over 90 million bpd according to the latest International Energy Agency projection). But at just 0.8% per year between 2010 and 2030, oil is set to have the slowest growth of any major energy source by some way. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/overheard/2012/01/18/bp-does-bhp-a-favor/ 32,100 and Counting: New Yorkers Speak Out on Fracking. Officials with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation say they have counted 32,100 statements so far since the close of a public comment period on Wednesday on their proposal to allow hydrofracking in the state. The count continues, said Emily DeSantis, a spokeswoman for the department, and the tally may exceed 40,000 by the time all of the letters are accounted for. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/32100-and-counting-new-yorkers-speak-out-on-fracking/?scp=7&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Wind Turbines and Health Hazards. There is no conclusive evidence so far that wind turbines are responsible for health problems ranging from balance problems to diabetes, an independent panel of health experts reports.With turbine farms on the rise, complaints and lawsuits brought by communities where they have been placed have mushroomed. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/wind-turbines-and-health-hazards/?scp=4&sq=green%20energy&st=cse Air Pollution Monitors Could Come to L.A. Freeways. For Southern Californians living near freeways, in what we at LA Weekly call "Black Lung Lofts," breathing in dirty air has been a concern for years, and it's one that's been neglected by Los Angeles and federal officials. The highly publicized Children's Health Study, released by USC in 2004, confirmed that kids living within two blocks of any freeway in Southern California contract asthma at higher levels, and some suffer lifelong lung damage. Posted. http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/01/freeway_air_monitors_lawsuit.php Save Lives and Keep Extreme Weather in Check by Cutting Smog, Soot, and CO2 Pollution. An important study published in Science last week shows that targeted measures to curb methane, black carbon, and carbon dioxide emissions would yield huge public health and environmental benefits. Pollution reductions from this strategy would prevent 700,000 to 4.7 million premature deaths each year, increase crop yields, and greatly reduce the risk of extreme climate disruption that lies beyond global warming of 2 degrees Celsius. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlashof/save_lives_and_keep_extreme_we.html U.S. ethanol subsidy expiration may be driving up gas prices. Last month's expiration of ethanol subsidies from the U.S. federal government may already be driving up gas prices. Average gas prices as of Friday were $3.39 a gallon, up three cents from a week ago and up from $3.26 a month ago, according to AAA. Fuel prices for the three weeks ended January 6 rose 12 cents to $3.36 a gallon, marking the first three-week increase since late October, Bloomberg News reported earlier this week, citing Lundberg Survey Inc. Bloomberg said prices rose almost 28 cents from a year earlier. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/18/u-s-ethanol-subsidy-expiration-may-be-driving-up-gas-prices/ For low carbon ICT, don't throw it away. Slowing down the lifecycle of ICT equipment will help cut carbon emissions, so we all need to use less, re-use and recycle. More than half of the lifetime carbon emissions of ICT equipment can be generated during manufacture, so the longer a product remains in use, the more carbon efficient it is. It means that what happens to equipment when it's no longer needed is an important factor in low-carbon ICT. Unfortunately, IT departments have a habit of automatically replacing products after a set time. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/low-carbon-ict-recycle?newsfeed=true As Electric Vehicles Take Charge, Costs Power Down. Thanks to a cost-sharing project with the DOE, GM has been able to develop the capacity to build electric and hybrid motors internally. That capacity has made electric cars like the upcoming Chevy Spark electric car. The record number of electric vehicles on the floor of Detroit’s North American International Auto Show this week sends a clear message – the American auto industry is dedicated to driving innovation and delivering advanced electric cars to consumers here and around the world. Posted. http://www.evwind.es/noticias.php?id_not=15963 Two solar power/EV charging projects at California campuses. The Center for Environmental Research and Technology at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, has received a $2-million award for a two-year project to build solar arrays, advanced battery storage, vehicle charging stations, an electric trolley, and a grid management system to provide clean energy to clean vehicles efficiently. Separately, AECOM Technology Corporation and REC Solar unveiled a 1.16 MW installation at the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) campus. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/cali-20120117.html Why Mileage-Based Auto Insurance is Good for Drivers, Insurers and the Planet. In this election season, we’re hearing a lot about reducing the role of the federal government. Letting the states decide the issues. Turning national legislation like Roe v Wade back to the states. Even shuttering federal agencies like the EPA. The cry for smaller government runs through both Republican and Democratic campaigns. But then you run into something as sensible as mileage-based auto insurance, which has lingered for years in state legislatures while people who don’t drive much continue to pay up to 30 percent more than they should for insurance. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/01/mileage-based-auto-insurance-good-drivers-insurers-planet/