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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 25, 2012 Posted: 25 Jan 2012 13:31:45
ARB News Clips for January 25, 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 EPA gives millions to clean valley's air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced a $5 million investment in the San Joaquin Valley to try to solve some of the most pressing issues in what is one of the most polluted regions in the country. An additional $16 million in grants also was announced to help curb diesel emissions and to improve air quality and public health throughout California. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/24/v-print/2040169/epa-gives-millions-to-clean-valleys.html http://thebusinessjournal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11200:epa-announces-21m-to-fund-valley-clean-air-project&catid=15:energy-and-environment&Itemid=122 Environmental groups ask Kentucky lawmakers to consider coal's health impact. Kentucky's leaders should consider the health hazards of mining, moving and burning coal as they craft the state's energy policy, an environmental group said Tuesday. The Kentucky Environmental Foundation, based in Berea, released a 44-page "health-impact assessment" on coal and sent copies to Gov. Steve Beshear and the General Assembly. The statement cites published, peer-reviewed scientific studies from recent years that document health risks associated with coal. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/25/2040537/environmental-groups-ask-kentucky.html CLIMATE CHANGE Denmark to Stimulate Discussion on EU 2030 Climate Goal in March. Denmark, which holds the European Union rotating presidency, seeks to stimulate a debate on future greenhouse-gas reduction goals in March to prevent further declines in carbon prices after they dropped to a four-year low. The price of EU emission permits is lower than the bloc expected when the system was started in 2005 and governments’ support for a policy paper sketching out the most cost-efficient way to long-term climate goals. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/denmark-to-stimulate-discussion-on-eu-2030-climate-goal-in-march.html Guangdong Carbon Program to Be China’s Largest, New Energy Says. A program to curb the increase of greenhouse gas emissions in China’s Guangdong province will probably be the largest of the nation’s seven test climate- protection systems, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Guangdong is seeking to cut the amount of carbon emitted per unit of production in its economy by 19.5 percent in the five years through 2015, New Energy Finance said yesterday in an e-mailed research note. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/guangdong-carbon-program-to-be-china-s-largest-new-energy-says.html Signs of New Life as U.N. Searches for a Climate Accord. Critics and supporters alike agree that the U.N. forum for negotiating international climate change policies is an ungainly mess, its annual gatherings marked by discord, disarray and brinkmanship. Each year, exhausted delegates and observers return home thinking that there has to be a better way to address what they believe to be one of the defining challenges of our time: the relentless warming of the planet and its impact on the world’s inhabitants. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/business/global/signs-of-new-life-as-un-searches-for-a-climate-accord.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=climate%20change&st=cse DIESEL EMISSIONS Study: Old Port of Oakland trucks out, cleaner air in. The air quality in neighborhoods around the Port of Oakland is bad enough to cause health problems for residents three times the state average. But a new study shows that steps taken by state air regulators to rid the port of old polluting diesel trucks cut the most noxious exhaust emissions in half. main conduits to the Port of Oakland, the fifth busiest container port in the country. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19818462 Long Beach to study port-related effects. Long Beach — Long Beach city leaders on Tuesday green-lighted a study of port-connected air pollution effects on nearby neighborhoods. The City Council also gave a 10-year key tenant loan extension to the developers of Marina Pacifica, a mixed commercial-residential area near Alamitos Bay. Both pieces of legislation were approved unanimously. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_19813679 CARB extends registry deadline for Truck and Bus Rule. The California Air Resources Board has extended its deadline for truck owners to submit their information and possibly gain more compliance time for the Truck and Bus Rule. The Truck and Bus Rule registry is a database used by the California Air Resources Board to keep track of the hundreds of thousands of commercial vehicles that operate in California annually. The Truck and Bus Rule, also known as the “Retrofit Rule,” will require trucking fleets to either install diesel particulate filters or upgrade their trucks. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=22023 FUELS EPA's new mileage standards win carmakers' support. A parade of car manufacturers, environmentalists and consumer groups praised a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to drastically increase American fuel efficiency standards over the next 13 years. The proposed rules, which would require vehicles in the United States to get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, were laid out Tuesday during an EPA and U.S. Department of Transportation hearing in San Francisco. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/25/BA001MTTNP.DTL&type=printable Obama Pushes Natural-Gas Fracking to Create 600,000 U.S. Jobs. President Barack Obama pushed drilling for gas in shale rock and support for cleaner energy sources to boost the economy in his final State of the Union address before facing U.S. voters in November. Hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to free gas trapped in rock, could create more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, Obama said yesterday. The process, called fracking, is among a list of energy policies Obama said would fuel economic growth. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-25/obama-pushes-natural-gas-fracking-to-create-600-000-u-s-jobs.html California tries new court to move ahead on Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The California Air Resources Board has shifted to a new court in an attempt to win a stay of a decision halting its Low Carbon Fuel Standard, after being denied its motion by a judge Monday, a CARB spokesman said Tuesday. "ARB has already filed its appeal of the full decision with the 9th Circuit [in San Francisco]," CARB spokesman Dave Clegern said in an emailed statement. "The timetable on the motion to stay the injunction in the appellate court, and on the appeal itself, are still being developed by the court." Posted. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Oil/3908847 US: 'Serious' Questions On Pipeline Bill. A Republican bill that would strip President Barack Obama of his authority to decide on a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline raises serious legal questions, the State Department said Wednesday in objecting to the bill. Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones told Congress that the bill "imposes narrow time constraints and creates automatic mandates that prevent an informed decision" on the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline. Posted. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=145834242 Judge denies California attempt to reimplement LCFS. Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill denied the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) motion to stay the decision he issued on Dec. 29, 2011 that had halted the enforcement of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation because that regulation is unconstitutional. On Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, CARB filed papers asking the Court to reverse its decision and allow the state to continue implementing the LCFS in 2012. Judge O'Neill ruled that CARB "improperly seeks to relitigate issues this Court resolved in its order granting the preliminary injunction and orders on the summary judgment motions." Posted. http://westernfarmpress.com/government/judge-denies-california-attempt-reimplement-lcfs Ethanol industry responds to CARB quest for stay of LCFS preliminary injunction. Yesterday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) asked Judge Lawrence O'Neill of the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of California to stay the injunction he issued on December 29, 2011, that halted CARB's implementation and enforcement of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Judge O'Neill issued the injunction because he had determined that the LCFS violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Earlier this month, on January 5, CARB filed an appeal of Judge's O'Neill's decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Posted. http://www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/ethanol-industry-responds-to-carb-quest-for-stay-of-lcfs-preliminary-injunc/ VEHICLES California High-Speed Rail Project Relies on Risky Funding, Auditor Says. California (STOCA1)’s plan to build a high- speed train network relies on risky funding and oversight of the agency charged with building the rail lines remains weak, according to a state audit. While the California High-Speed Rail Authority names the U.S. government as its largest potential funding source for the $98.5 billion project, its business plan provides few details on how it will obtain the money, state Auditor Elaine Howle said today in a report. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-24/california-high-speed-rail-project-relies-on-risky-funding-auditor-says.html http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bullet-train-20120125,0,2642100.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Flocal+%28L.A.+Times+-+California+%7C+Local+News%29 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/01/24/state/n163400S73.DTL&type=business ‘Social Equity’ to Be Weighed in U.S. Transit Funding Rule. The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to give more weight to factors including affordable-housing policy in deciding which local mass-transit initiatives will get federal money. Its proposed rules, published in the Federal Register today, are part of a move over the past two years to alter the criteria that President George W. Bush’s administration used to award grants for light-rail, subway and rapid-bus systems. Posted. http://webfarm.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/-social-equity-to-be-weighed-in-transit-funding-under-u-s-rule.html Toyota global sales forecast rises on green demand. Toyota raised its global sales target for this year to 8.58 million vehicles, up 21 percent from the previous year, as incentives for ecological cars lift demand in Japan. Toyota Motor Corp., which struggled from production interruptions last year caused by Japan's tsunami and flooding in Thailand, raised its forecast for Japan sales Wednesday to 1.63 million vehicles from an earlier 1.53 million. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19816914?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com GM’s Chevy Volt Used as ‘Political Punching Bag,’ Akerson Says. The General Motors Co. Chevrolet Volt, the first mass-market electric vehicle sold by a U.S. automaker, has become a “political punching bag,” GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson said. Akerson, testifying before a U.S. House panel today, said the Volt, which the company is fixing after fires following crash tests, is engineered for safety. “Unfortunately, there is one thing we did not engineer,” Akerson told a House subcommittee led by Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-25/gm-s-chevy-volt-used-as-political-punching-bag-akerson-says.html Mitsubishi trying to make town into electric-car mecca. Mitsubishi Motors is slowly rolling out its new electric car, the i, and trying to burnish its ad campaign around the Illinois town where it has its U.S. factory. Mitsu is trying to how an all-American town like Normal, Ill., can become a shining example of electric transportation, so it just delivered six of its electric vehicles for use by the town. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/01/mitsubishi-i-electric-car-normal-bloomington-ill/1 Honda Fit electric vehicle enters US market, to be made available for lease in select cities. First models hit the roads in Torrance, California; more cities planned for summer 2012. Just two months after debuting at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Honda Fit electric vehicle has made its first entry into the U.S. market in the city of Torrance, California. Posted. http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/honda-fit-electric-vehicle-enters-market-made-lease-select-cities-article-1.1011583 New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming To Santa Monica. New, publicly-accessible EV charging stations at seven sites and numerous residences throughout Santa Monica will be installed by EV Connect, a leading provider of electric vehicle infrastructure solutions. The new publicly-accessible stations are in high traffic locations, including Santa Monica Place Mall, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Civic Center, and Santa Monica Airport. Posted. http://www.smmirror.com/#mode=single&view=33943 GREEN ENERGY Rooftop solar capacity soars in Sacramento, report shows. Rooftop solar power installations nearly tripled in Sacramento during the past two years, making it the fastest-growing solar city in the state. In a report released today, Environment California Research & Policy Center said local residents and businesses have installed nearly 16 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to power 12,000 homes. In 2009, Sacramento's rooftop solar capacity was about 5.5 megawatts. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/25/v-print/4212609/rooftop-solar-capacity-soars-in.html California's top solar city does not lie within the eco-conscious Bay Area. Instead, San Diego has more solar installations - generating more electricity - than any other city in the Golden State, according to a report issued Tuesday. The report, California's Solar Cities 2012, traces the spread of solar power across the state, showing which communities have installed the most panels. With 4,507 installations generating 37 megawatts of electricity, San Diego leads the pack, producing more solar power than all of Mexico. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/25/BUI01MTTOM.DTL From Brown to Green. It's a myth that environmental laws are job killers. In fact, the East Bay is home to many cleaned-up toxic sites that are now spurring the economy. During a Republican presidential primary debate last June, Michele Bachmann lit into the Environmental Protection Agency, recommending it be renamed the "job-killing organization of America. Posted. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/from-brown-to-green/Content?oid=3108815 Stockton: center of clean technology? Quietly, without many of its citizens perhaps noticing, the Central Valley city of Stockton is becoming a hub for clean technology, says Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was in Stockton Tuesday to help promote the EPA’s involvement in funding a clean energy upgrade to a locomotive at Central California Traction Company, a 107-year-old short line railroad based in Stockton. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=20253 MISCELLANEOUS SF supes ok environmental plan for America's Cup. The city's Board of Supervisors is upholding an environmental impact report for the America's Cup, overriding some environmental and community groups' concerns about the sailing event. The Sierra Club's San Francisco chapter challenged the report earlier this month, citing concerns about pollution and other aspects of America's Cup-related construction projects. Race organizers responded to the issues, and the board on Tuesday evening unanimously certified the environmental impact report. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/news/california/2012/01/sf-supes-ok-environmental-plan-americas-cup?category=18 http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_19815563 http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_19815424 Open houses on Cheyenne power plant scheduled. Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power is hosting two open house meetings on plans to build a natural-gas fired power plant just east of Cheyenne. The open houses will take place from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Both events will take place at the Cheyenne Holiday Inn. The utility is in the process of filing air pollution permits with the state Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/25/2040734/open-houses-on-cheyenne-power.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19817418?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19817418?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com OPINIONS A brighter energy future? A week after President Obama denied the application for the Keystone XL pipeline — which would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands deposits in Alberta to U.S. refineries along the Gulf of Mexico — it’s time for an energy reality check. What does the future hold? It may be better than you think. That’s one message from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest “Annual Energy Outlook,” which projects the supply and demand for fuels through 2035. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-brighter-energy-future/2012/01/25/gIQA8CcVQQ_story.html TRZUPEK: Age of environmental fear. Government regulators, environmental groups and the news media tell us that the air we breathe is polluted, the water we drink is tainted, our orange juice contains a fungicide, and evil corporations are hoping to make a profit at Mother Earth’s expense. They also remind us that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies are protecting us by fighting the greedy capitalists who seek our destruction. Don’t believe it. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/24/age-of-environmental-fear/ Our Voice: Cabazon Band takes the right step on air quality. The landmark agreement between the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and the South Coast Air Quality Management District holds great promise to protect the environment of the east valley. It is believed to be the first such agreement between an air quality district and a tribe. Cabazon Band Chairman David Roosevelt said, “This agreement is the demonstration of our commitment to the community and environmental stewardship on sovereign lands.” Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20120125/OPINION01/201240348/Our-Voice-Cabazon-Band-takes-right-step-air-quality?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Frontpage|p Speaking Out for Clean Cars. Seven years ago this month, while I was at Rainforest Action Network, we were working with several hundred California residents who were fighting to prevent their electric cars from being seized, crushed, and sold for scrap. These vehicles were fully functioning, economical and, because they were electric, didn't use a drop of gas. Yet they were being pulled off the roads by major automakers -- over the objections of the people who loved driving them. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-brune/speaking-out-for-clean-ca_b_1229469.html http://blog.sfgate.com/mbrune/2012/01/24/clean-cars/ California Must Continue Leading the Country on Clean Cars. The recent spate of high particle pollution days in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley regions is a stark reminder that California’s legacy of severe air pollution continues today. Over the past two months, stagnant air conditions have led to unhealthy pollution levels, especially troubling to those suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions. Cars, trucks and other vehicles, and the fossil fuels they burn, contribute to smog and particle pollution and to greenhouse gases that threaten our planet. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/01/california-must-continue-leading-the-country-on-clean-cars/ Jennifer M. Granholm: Former Michigan governor supports clean air standards. This month, federal agencies held three public hearings around the country, including one in San Francisco this week, on a proposed rule to increase corporate fuel efficiency (CAFÉ) standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. When finalized in the summer, this strong national standard will save families in California and across the country thousands of dollars at the pump over a vehicle's lifetime, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and help to significantly reduce harmful carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_19811871 BLOGS California’s Lead in Solar Is Slowly Eroding. The growth of California’s local solar-power systems, not only on rooftops but in parking lots, farmers’ fields and vineyard irrigation ponds, has kept the state well ahead of others in the total power generated from photovoltaic systems. In 2011, according to a new report by Environment California, California’s total capacity exceeded 1,000 megawatts — up from less than 10 megawatts in 2000. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/californias-lead-in-solar-is-slowly-eroding/ The State of the Union, With the Future in Mind. President Obama focused his State of the Union address on American policies and priorities that work for the long haul — which is one way to define sustainable human advancement anywhere. It would be impossible to talk about a durable path for the country without talking about pursuing educational excellence, nurturing a culture of innovation and collaboration and building an energy menu that can foster progress through this century without overloading the atmosphere with greenhouse gases. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/the-state-of-the-union-with-the-future-in-mind/ A Legal Defense Fund for Climate Scientists. For years, climate scientists have been assailed from many sides — through e-mail hacking, death threats, politician’s demands for documents, Freedom of Information requests (many having the strong smell of a fishing expedition). A Climate Science Legal Defense Fund set up last fall has taken on a formal affiliation with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an established nonprofit group offering aid and advice to government whistleblowers and scientists working on environmental issues. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/a-legal-defense-fund-for-climate-scientists/ Obama wants a “clean energy standard.” What does that mean? In his State of the Union address, President Obama noted that a climate bill can’t pass Congress: “The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now.” But he did ask lawmakers for “a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation.” Is that a close substitute? And could it pass? Various proposals for a clean energy standard (PDF) have been knocking around the Senate for years. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/obama-wants-a-clean-energy-standard-what-does-that-mean/2012/01/25/gIQAlUyFQQ_blog.html Tar sands battle continues in California courts. A high-stakes legal battle is underway in California over whether the state's clean air agency can enforce a first-ever rule to slash carbon emissions in transportation fuels. The fight is being closely watched because the rule could choke global market demand for Alberta's carbon-intensive oil sands at a very precarious time for the industry. On Wednesday, the Obama administration rejected a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which could have increased imports of the fuel into the U.S. by up to 830,000 barrels a day. Posted. http://www.hcn.org/hcn/blogs/range/tar-sands-battle-continues-in-california-courts SoCal Shines Brightest in Solar Rankings. The Bay Area likes to tout its clean, green reputation, but when it comes to installing solar, Southern California shines brightest. San Diego and Los Angeles lead the state in rooftop solar installations, according to a report released today by Environment California’s Research & Policy Center. San Jose comes in third with more than 2,700 rooftop installations, while San Francisco comes in fourth with more than 2,400 (though it’s fifth in terms of overall capacity). Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/01/24/socal-shines-brightest-in-solar-rankings/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FClimateWatchBlog+%28KQED%27s+Climate+Watch+Blog%29 Feds Likely to Catch Up to California on Fuel Economy Standards. The EPA is pushing new nationwide fuel economy standards that would bring the nation up to California’s strict standards. Consumer groups say the EPA's proposed fuel economy standard will mean you'll pay less at the pump. At a public hearing in San Francisco today a diverse group of stakeholders lined up to support the EPA’s proposal to increase the fuel efficiency standard for cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon. Posted. http://www.pbs.org/engage/node/61166 Obama blueprint for a US economy “built to last” includes “all-of-the-above” energy strategy; call for 80% of US electricity from clean sources by 2035. President Obama used his last State-of-the-Union (SOTU) address of his term to outline four main elements of a blueprint for an “economy that’s built to last: an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.”. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/sotu-20120125.html