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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.


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.

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.


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.

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.
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


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.

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. 


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.

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. 

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. 


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.

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. 

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. 
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.


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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 


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.

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.

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. 
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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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