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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-quarry-hearing-20120131,0,7989672.story DIESEL EMISSIONS 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 SUBSCRIPTION http://webfarm.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-01/navistar-faces-epa-fines-of-up-to-2-000-per-heavy-duty-engine.html 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. http://www.stnonline.com/home/press-releases/4079-2012-02-01-17-34-41 VEHICLES 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. http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/01/31/Study-More-fuel-efficient-cars-on-market/UPI-53731328045156/ 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. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120201/RETAIL01/120209995/chrysler-vw-post-sales-gains-of-44-or-more 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. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/74620120201.php MISCELLANEOUS 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/01/MNP11N107S.DTL&type=green 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/31/BAPS1N0KC0.DTL&type=science 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. http://grist.org/list/julieanne-moore-wants-clean-air-for-kids/ OPINIONS 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-0201-lopez-highspeedtrain-20120131,0,2549054.column?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SteveLopez+%28L.A.+Times+-+Points+West+%7C+Steve+Lopez%29 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/01/v-print/4229354/buyers-will-be-key-to-state-goal.html 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/01/v-print/4229661/dan-walters-jerry-brown-plans.html 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. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120201/A_NEWS0803/202010313&cid=sitesearch 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/01/30/chevy-volt-and-the-wrong-headed-right/ 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. http://grist.org/climate-skeptics/the-wall-street-journals-willful-climate-lies/ 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. http://e360.yale.edu/feature/for_the_electric_car_a_slow_road_to_success/2488/ BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-grassroots-energy-on-the-left/2012/02/01/gIQAfr0ihQ_blog.html 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. http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/indias-air-the-worlds-unhealthiest-study-says/?scp=3&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse 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. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/new-yorks-solar-balance-sheet/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/31/tesla-shows-of-model-s-in-new-promo-video/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/31/buicks-smartphone-games-simulate-fuel-efficient-driving-in-app/ 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/02/ctl-20120201.html