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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 24, 2012 Posted: 24 Jan 2012 13:45:21
ARB News Clips for January 24, 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 L.A. has a coal problem. When protesters were arrested at the management offices of a huge coal-fired power plant in Arizona in December, it highlighted a very untidy fact about electricity in green-conscious L.A.: about half of it comes from coal. The protests were at the Tempe offices of the Salt River Project, managing partners of the massive Navajo Generating Station, which is a coal-fired power plant. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-las-dirty-coal-problem-20120123,0,1168088.story?track=rss Weekend storm helps to clear Valley air. The light storm over the weekend in the Central Valley has reduced air pollution in Merced County and surrounding areas. But it's not clear how long favorable conditions will last. Air quality in Merced County has improved to "good" from "moderate" over the past few days, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's real-time air advisory network. "Was this a huge storm? No. But did it clear out the area? Yes," said Jaime Holt, spokeswoman with the regional air district. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/01/24/2202785/weekend-storm-helps-to-clear-valley.html Board to make decision today on America's Cup pollution report. Environmental groups are appealing the America’s Cup environmental impact report because of concerns about water pollution and air quality impacts. Air quality impacts and San Francisco Bay water pollution brought by the America’s Cup yacht race will be vetted today by the Board of Supervisors, which is set to decide on an appeal of plans for the regatta that is coming to The City. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/01/board-make-decision-today-americas-cup-pollution-report CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Science Education: It's Important. This week, an article came out in the LA Times describing climate change education as the new "evolution debate" in schools, reporting that some states are considering new policies that would require teachers to "teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position." ACE was founded to fill an enormous gap in our educational sciences curriculum around this very subject. Currently, there are no state or national science standards in public high schools that address teaching of the science of global warming…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-anderson/climate-science-education_b_1224904.html?ref=green Climate Change Threatens California Economy by Changing Ecosystems. Climate change is likely to harm California's economy by reducing the types of natural, non-irrigated vegetation available for livestock forage and the ability of forest ecosystems to store carbon dioxide, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal Climatic Change. The ability of ecosystems to store carbon dioxide is a key part of implementing the state's climate law, the Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as Assembly Bill 32 or AB 32. Posted. http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1050048&Itemid=99999999 DIESEL EMISSIONS UC Davis double-decker bus on way back to England. A double-decker bus purchased for UC Davis students more than four decades ago from a London transit company is on its way back to England. Old RTL 1014, purchased in 1968 for $3,500, was loaded on a flatbed truck for about an 18-hour journey to Long Beach. From there it would be shipped to back to the mother country. The journey to Long Beach, scheduled for Monday, was to take so long because the flatbed with its tall cargo had to skirt low freeway bridges. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/24/v-print/4210877/uc-davis-double-decker-bus-on.html EPA's valley visit signals hope, officials say. A top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official will travel to the Central Valley this week to discuss reducing diesel emissions as well as a strategic plan for meeting tough federal air goals. The visit by regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld coincides with news the valley will receive $5 million of $21 million the EPA is allocating statewide to fund cleaner locomotives, school buses, trucks, ships and agricultural irrigation pumps. " Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x1827696294/EPAs-valley-visit-signals-hope-officials-say CARB tells Navistar its engine pollution credits could soon run out. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued an executive order informing Navistar that its pollution credits allowing it to sell heavy-duty engines not in compliance with the most recent environmental standards are nearly used up. A CARB spokesman said future action by the board will depend on what Navistar’s plans for future engines are. Posted. http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2012/1/24/CARBtellsNavistaritsenginepollutioncreditscouldsoonrunout.aspx FUELS California agency says court ruling puts at risk biodiesel plant. A US District Court decision last month against California's low carbon fuel standard jeopardizes projects aimed at producing lower carbon fuels, the California Air Resources Board said in a motion asking the court for a stay against the standard. "In the absence of a stay, fuel producers that have invested in lower carbon fuels are unable to recoup those investments," CARB said in the motion, which was sent to reporters on Saturday. Posted. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Petrochemicals/6882108 Environmentalists challenge judge's decision on low carbon fuel standard. Environmentalists have gone to federal court to support California’s program requiring the use of low-carbon fuels as a means of cutting climate-changing greenhouse gases. On Friday, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a motion to block the court’s ruling last month that halted the California Air Resources Board’s decision to move ahead with the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program, or LCFS, which is intended to cut carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?_c=10b1953ds6jprll&1=1&xid=10ayj5n4bj19u65&done=.10aykdjd9be78ej&_credir=1327424008&_c=10b1953ds6jprll VEHICLES Volt electric car's 2011 sales below goal at 7,671. Number of the day 7,671That's how many Volt electric cars were sold by General Motors last year, below its target of 10,000 (and trailing the Nissan Leaf's sales of 9,674). GM is starting to improve the plug-in Volt's image after federal regulators last week closed their investigation into a battery fire, saying the sedan is no more prone to fires than other autos. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/24/BUQ61MT96J.DTL&type=business India: At least 7 million EVs on roads by 2020. According to a study commissioned by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers and the Ministry of Heavy Industry, India has the potential to reach sales of over 7 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020. The government’s incentives for EV manufacturers and consumers have sparked interest, however, challenges remain. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/73920120124.php GREEN ENERGY Solar storm sends charged particles toward Earth. The bombardment is expected to reach us Tuesday morning, but the threat to satellites and power grids appears to be low. A massive explosion on the sun's surface has triggered the largest solar radiation storm since 2005 and has unleashed a torrent of charged plasma particles toward Earth, though the threat to satellites, power grids and other high-tech hardware is believed to be manageable, scientists said. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-solar-flare-20120124,0,2353551.story http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/24/MNJJ1MTCTM.DTL&type=science MISCELLANEOUS Wood protection law creates splintering in guitar industry. While the National Assn. of Music Merchants and some guitar makers seek reform of the federal Lacey Act that protects certain exotic woods, others benefit from it. Veteran guitar repairman Bob Wirtz faced a wall of pricey custom-built electric guitars, and he had the ear of Gibson Guitar Corp.'s resident expert on the instruments. But what Wirtz wanted to talk about was international law. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-namm-gibson-20120124,0,7282435.story OPINIONS Heating Costs. To the Editor: Re “As Price of Oil Soars, Users Can Only Shiver and Cross Their Fingers” (news article, Jan. 22): As your article points out, when consumers switch from diesel oil to natural gas heating, unhealthful air pollution levels go down, and short-term heating costs do, too. But the article doesn’t mention the long-term solution to keeping heating costs down. By installing more efficient furnaces, consumers can keep costs low even when roller-coaster gas prices increase again, as they inevitably will. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/opinion/heating-costs.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print California's clean-car agenda. California pulled off a clean-air triple play last summer when it led other pollution-worried states, Detroit carmakers and Washington into agreeing to nearly double auto mileage in coming years. The result was a White House announcement, mandating an astonishing 54.4 miles per gallon rule for most cars and trucks by 2025. Now comes the tricky part: to design millions of vehicles to meet that deadline and even cleaner cars in the decades beyond. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/24/EDCK1MT98J.DTL Barnidge: On Spare the Air Days, only firewood dealers burn. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is not just another government agency with an unwieldy title and a lot of directors (22, at last count). It is the state-appointed body that regulates the "stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay." In the winter months, that means it's the fireplace police. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19800237 Bill McEwen: EPA's $21m won't fix Valley's toxic air. The Environmental Protection Agency this morning will announce that it's sending $21 million to help clean the air in the smoggy San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere in California. In addition, the federal agency will roll out its plan for protecting the health of Valley residents with an emphasis on air and water quality, enforcement of public health standards and environmental justice. Better late than never, I suppose. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/01/23/v-print/2694703/epas-21m-wont-fix-valleys-toxic.html INLAND: Clean-air equity. Clean-air regulations should apply to businesses on tribal land as well as those elsewhere. So a Coachella Valley tribe made a promising step in agreeing to impose air quality rules on private industries operating on its reservation. But the pact’s effectiveness depends on the tribal government, which needs to back those good intentions with real enforcement muscle. Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20120123-inland-clean-air-equity.ece Killing drilling with farcical ‘science’ The academic face of the anti-fracking movement — Cornell marine ecologist Robert Howarth — increasingly looks like he’s willing to turn science into farce. Last spring, the once-obscure professor became the go-to expert for anti-fracking journalists and lawmakers when he published a report claiming shale gas pollutes more than coal. Posted. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/killing_drilling_with_farcical_science_qxVUkyMRYQAwT8ovAYKAgJ BLOGS On Our Radar: Solar Kits for Haitians. Haiti’s president says he aims to double the number of rural households with electricity within two years by offering people loans to buy solar kits that can charge cellphones or computers. The $40 million program also calls for installing streetlights in the countryside and repairing power lines in the capital. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/on-our-radar-solar-kits-for-haitians/ Yes, someone has written a book about the history of snowmen. And it’s pretty interesting. To some snow evokes hazardous road conditions, school closings and schedule changes. But for kids and kids at heart (not to mention uninhibited snow lovers) snow is the raw ingredient for a favorite winter activity: making snowmen (is “snow people” more PC?). Who could not enjoy the thrill and fun of rolling snowballs; …Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/yes-someone-has-written-a-book-about-the-history-of-snowmen-and-its-pretty-interesting/2012/01/22/gIQAF0ocNQ_blog.html REGION: State attorney general joins lawsuit against regional transportation plan. California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Monday that she will join a lawsuit aimed at revamping the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan ---- the San Diego region's blueprint for freeway and mass-transit projects. Leaders of the San Diego Association of Governments, which developed and approved the $214 billion plan, said they will defend it vigorously. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/news/transportation/region-state-attorney-general-joins-lawsuit-against-regional-transportation-plan/article_0476d1ae-c1dc-558e-9e2b-74fa5c668f9d.html http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/01/23/state-joins-suit-against-san-diego-regional-transportation-plan/ California’s Rangeland Could Take a Hit from Climate Change. California’s ranchers could face a tougher economic future under climate change. The grasslands they depend on to feed their cattle could shrink by almost 40% by the end of the century, according to a study from Duke University and the Environmental Defense Fund. The researchers modeled two different climate futures for California: a warmer, wetter scenario and a warmer, drier one. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/01/23/californias-rangeland-could-take-a-hit-from-climate-change/ An Electric Vehicle for You? 2012 will see the introduction of a myriad of plug-in electric vehicles: sports cars, an SUV, compacts, hatchbacks, sub-compacts, and sedans. Over the next several years, up to 40 plug-in models will be introduced. Later this week, the California Air Resources Board will vote on improvements to strengthen the state’s Zero Emission Vehicle program that will provide automakers with the long-term certainty necessary to ensure this proliferation of vehicle choice continues. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mbaumhefner/an_electric_vehicle_for_you.html US District Court denies California Air Resources Board motion to stay injunction of enforcement of Low Carbon Fuel Standard; outcome relies on appeal. In an order issued 23 January, US District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill denied a motion filed by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to stay the injunction on the enforcement of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) he had ordered in the earlier decisions of 29 December 2011 while ARB appeals the rulings. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/lcfs-20120124.html