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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 1, 2012

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 14:15:21
ARB News Clips for February 1, 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.


Battle intensifies over proposed Temecula rock quarry.
Conservative politicians rail against corporate arrogance and
environmental devastation, while union workers push the project
as a job creator. The issue is heading toward a vote before
Riverside County supervisors. A giant rock quarry proposed in the
hills above Temecula had politicians from one of the most
conservative corners of the Inland Empire railing Monday against
corporate arrogance and environmental devastation, while union
workers pushed the project as a job creator. Posted.


US EPA Prepared To Fine Navistar For Diesel-Engine Pollution. 
U.S. regulators are prepared to fine Navistar International Corp.
(NAV) as much as $2,000 for every heavy-duty truck engine it
sells in the U.S. that doesn't comply with the latest pollution
standards for diesel-engine exhaust.  The penalties would allow
the truck maker to continue selling engines without interruption
when it runs out of pollution credits. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board estimate
Navistar will use up its credits for heavy-duty engines by the
end of February. Posted. 
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120131-721839.html BY
California School Bus Retrofit Program Seeks Applications.  The
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) has
announced the opening of the Statewide School Bus Retrofit
Program. The purpose of this program is to provide assistance to
California school districts with early compliance of the Air
Resources Board’s (ARB or Board) Truck and Bus Regulation.  This
program will provide incentive funds to retrofit 1987 and newer
engine model year diesel-powered school buses with ARB-verified
Level 3 diesel emission control strategies (retrofits).  Posted. 


Study: More fuel-efficient cars on market. New light-duty
automobiles entering the U.S. market are more fuel-efficient and
give motorists up to 1.7 miles per gallon more on the road than
vehicles bought before 2008, a University of Michigan study
indicated. "Recent Fuel Economy Trends for New Vehicles in the
U.S." reported on gains made as a result of automobile design and
manufacture changes made in the past five years. Posted.

Chrysler, VW post sales gains of 44% or more. Detroit -- Chrysler
Group -- benefiting from stronger deliveries at the Jeep, Ram and
Chrysler brands -- posted a 44 percent increase in January car
and light truck sales. Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and
Volkswagen also posted sales gains last month, but General Motors
said deliveries dropped 6 percent. Posted. 

Tough Times for U.S. EV Battery Makers.  The U.S. government's
effort to create an electric-vehicle battery industry suffered a
setback last week when one of the companies it funded as part of
this effort saw its parent company file for bankruptcy
protection. Battery maker Enerdel had been awarded a $118.5
million grant to build a lithium-ion battery factory in Indiana
as part of a $2 billion grant program for electric-vehicle
component and battery manufacturing; its parent company is Ener1.
 Posted.  http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/39578/
China’s largest EV charging station up and running, sales of pure
EVs exceed hybrids - EV CHINA No4.  China’s largest EV charging
and battery swapping station went into operation on 29 January
2012. In 2011, the sale of pure electric vehicles has exceeded
the sale of hybrids. China’s EV market faces the problem of
regional barriers, local protectionism threatening to undermine a
cohesive national EV market.  On 29 January 2012, China’s largest
EV charging and battery swapping station Gaoantun opened its
doors. Posted. 


House GOP transportation bill at odds with Boxer's. Washington --
House Republicans rolled out a $270 billion transportation bill
Tuesday that would open the California coast to oil drilling and
eliminate most bicycle and pedestrian programs. And that's just
for starters. The bill stands in defiance of a bipartisan effort
produced by Sen. Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat who
chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Columbus Salame to pay millions for ammonia leaks. South San
Francisco meat-processing plant has agreed to pay millions of
dollars to overhaul its refrigeration system and implement safety
measures after two ammonia leaks sickened dozens of people,
according to a settlement agreement announced today by federal
investigators. The consent decree by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice means Columbus
Manufacturing Inc., a popular salami maker, must pay $685,446 in
penalties and make improvements to the plant amounting to about
$6 million, officials said. Posted.

Julianne Moore wants clean air for kids.  Did you guys know
Julianne Moore wrote a children’s book? This is apparently the
thing celebrities do when they’re over 25 (under 25, they start a
perfume line). It’s about the heartbreak of being a ginger, and
not about environmental stuff at all, but that isn’t stopping
Moore from plugging it in her video for the Moms Clean Air Force.
(It’s a little labored — something about polluters being
bullies.)  Posted. 


Should California bite the bullet on high-speed rail? Is the
state chasing a costly boondoggle, or making a large investment
in the future? Travelers are for, against and unsure about
devoting so much money to an expensive, futuristic project. If
and when California's high-speed train is built, how fast would
it have to go, and how much cheaper would a ticket have to cost,
for you to give up flying? Posted.

Editorial: Buyers will be key to state goal of cleaner cars. The
California Air Resources Board has pushed the envelope yet again.
The most aggressive clean air rule-making body in the country
unanimously approved new regulations last week that mandate car
manufacturers to cut smog emissions from new vehicles by 75
percent by 2025 and greenhouse gases by 34 percent. To produce
that level of emission reductions, CARB has set an ambitious
target. Posted.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown plans to cut back high-speed rail to
save it. Gov. Jerry Brown is scaling back the state's highly
controversial bullet train project to keep it alive. Just three
months ago, his administration unveiled – with great fanfare – a
revised "business plan" for building the north-south bullet train
system to answer the embryonic project's many critics. The
project would be slowed down and stretched out timewise with a
new and supposedly more realistic cost structure, officials
declared. Posted.

Valley air a priority? We'll see. Jared Blumenfeld, a regional
chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, whisked through
Stockton the other day, announcing a plan to clean Valley
pollution. "Four times more people die in the San Joaquin Valley
from air pollution than they do from traffic fatalities,"
Blumenfeld said. "If we had a tornado that swept through the
Valley and 200 people died, it would be a huge national crisis.
We have literally thousands of people dying from air pollution,
but it's invisible. You just don't see those people.” Excuse me.
We see those people. Posted. 

Chevy Volt And The Wrong-Headed Right.  The recent media coverage
of so-called “Chevrolet Volt fires,” especially by the
conservative talk shows and Fox News, has attracted my attention
and ire.  Let’s set out the facts (and feel free to check them
yourself): 1) Not one Chevrolet Volt has ever caught fire in
normal use or in accidents. Not a single one.  2) The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even after the highly
artificial crash test (placing the car on its back, even though
it did not roll over in the test) nevertheless awarded the Volt
NHTSA’s highest crash-safety rating: 5 stars. Posted. 

The Wall Street Journal’s willful climate lies.  It wasn’t
surprising that the Wall Street Journal published an
error-riddled op-ed about climate change last week, essentially
saying it was bunk and we shouldn’t “panic” about it. We’ve
gotten used to that. But what has really started to amaze me
about that newspaper’s editorial page and the far right is that
they now venture beyond delusion or misinformation. They lie, and
they know they are lying.  Posted. 

For the Electric Car, A Slow Road to Success. The big electric
car launches of 2011 failed to generate the consumer excitement
that some had predicted. But as new battery technologies emerge
and tougher mileage standards kick in, automakers and analysts
still believe that electric vehicles have a bright future. At the
Detroit Auto Show early this month, I sat down with some Nissan
executives who were celebrating the sale of the 10,000th Leaf
battery car in the U.S. (and 20,000th worldwide). Behind them on
the company’s stand was the eNV200, Posted.


The grassroots energy on the left.  Will Republicans again
benefit from a big “enthusiasm gap” in the 2012 elections, just
as they did in 2010? There are various ways of gauging the energy
level of the Democratic base — the metrics seem mixed — but
here’s one that perhaps suggests the left will be very energized
indeed this year.  The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is
set to announce some surprising fundraising numbers this morning
— and the key is that the group’s totals this cycle have already
surpassed its 2010 numbers, even though 2012 is just getting
started.  Posted. 

India’s Air the World’s Unhealthiest, Study Says. India’s has the
worst air pollution in the entire world, beating China, Pakistan,
Nepal and Bangladesh, according to a study released during this
year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. Of 132 countries whose
environments were surveyed, India ranks dead last in the ‘Air
(effects on human health)’ ranking. Posted. 
New York’s Solar Balance Sheet. Despite uncertainties in the
solar energy market, New York officials should support the
“steady and measured growth” of solar power in the state as part
of a balanced renewable energy strategy, a new report recommends.
The report, by the New York State Energy Research and Development
Authority, known as Nyserda, evaluated the costs and benefits of
pursuing the growth of solar to an installed capacity of 5,000
megawatts by the year 2025, from around 110 megawatts now.

Tesla shows off Model S in new promo video. Never a company to
hesitate when it comes to self-promotion, Tesla Motors has
released a new video touting the upcoming Model S. Just a few
minutes long, the video features Tesla's chief designer, Franz
Von Holzhausen, and George Blankenship, Tesla's VP of sales and
ownership experience (and former Apple retail strategist)
speaking no evil about the all-electric vehicle. Posted. 

Buick's smartphone games simulate fuel-efficient driving in app
form. Remember the car-racing video games you played as a kid?
Think of this as the opposite. General Motors is looking to raise
consumer awareness of the hybrid drivetrains on its Buick
LaCrosse and Regal by offering three Buick-branded smartphone
application games that reward players for "driving" in a more
fuel-efficient manner. Posted. 

MIT study concludes V2G-enabled electric commercial trucks could
offer lower total operating cost than conventional diesel fleet. 
A new study by researchers at MIT’s Center for Transportation and
Logistics (CTL), concludes that electric commercial vehicles can
cost 9 to 12% less to operate than trucks powered by diesel
engines when used to make deliveries on an everyday basis in big
cities and when V2G (vehicle-to-grid) revenue is incorporated. 
The CTL study was conducted using data collected by the
international office supplier Staples, as well as ISO New
England, the nonprofit firm that runs New England’s electric
power grid. Posted. 

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