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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 2, 2012

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 11:27:08
ARB News Clips for February 2, 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.


Three States to Require Insurers to Disclose Climate-Change
Response Plans.  Insurance commissioners in California, New York
and Washington State will require that companies disclose how
they intend to respond to the risks their businesses and
customers face from increasingly severe storms and wildfires,
rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change,
California’s commissioner said Wednesday.  Up until this point,
those states required about a third of larger insurers to turn
over the information in a survey; for all others it was
voluntary.  Posted. 

Climate Change Is Putting Punxsutawney Phil Out of a Job.  With
the non-winter we've had here on the East Coast, this year,
Punxsutawney Phil could not have done his job right no matter
what the little guy predicted. "This is the most philosophically
perplexing Groundhog Day ever," noted CNBC's John Carney. This
year, our furry meteorologist "saw his shadow," meaning six more
weeks of winter. But, what does that mean when the winter hasn't
happened? We can't have six more weeks of something we haven't
had. Perhaps six more weeks of non-winter is ahead. "Six more
weeks of winter would imply there has been one in the first
place," adds @globeandmail. Groundhog Day has become a paradox.
Phil can't have the right answer, making his job basically
obsolete.   Posted. 


Navistar Faces EPA Fines of Up To $2,000 Per Heavy-Duty Engine. 
Navistar International Corp., the maker of International brand
trucks, faces fines of as much as $2,000 for each of its
heavy-duty engines because they don’t meet pollution standards,
according to a federal regulation.  The Environmental Protection
Agency issued an emergency rule yesterday on fines for
truck-engine makers that don’t meet federal nitrogen oxides
standards, without naming the company. Transport Topics reported
that the regulation applied to Navistar.  Posted. 

China quietly shelves new diesel emission standards.  It ought to
have been a centrepiece of China's efforts to reduce smog, but
the government has quietly postponed plans to clean the fumes
from truck and bus exhaust pipes.  The 18-month delay of new
diesel emission standards, which was announced this month, runs
contrary to the authorities' promises to tighten controls on air
pollution.  Environmental scientists say the move shows public
health concerns remain far less of a priority for China's leaders
than the economic interests of state-owned petrol companies,
PetroChina and Sinopec.  Posted. 

Stockton truck plant grows.  Electric Vehicles International is
expanding its Stockton assembly plant and has opened a Michigan
office to support national marketing and sales efforts, company
officials announced this week.  A visit to the plant on Army
Court north of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard revealed
computerized machine tools being installed and a
30,000-square-foot plant expansion being readied for an assembly
line where EVI will produce electric-powered, walk-in vans for
delivery giant UPS.  Posted. 


Woman takes Honda to small-claims, wins big.  A Southern
California woman took Honda to small-claims court and won in a
big way.  Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Douglas
Carnahan ruled Wednesday that the automaker misled Heather Peters
about the potential fuel economy of her hybrid car and awarded
her $9,867 — much more than the couple hundred dollars cash that
a proposed class-action settlement is offering.  “At a bare
minimum Honda was aware ... that by the time Peters bought her
car there were problems with its living up to its advertised
mileage,” Carnahan wrote in the judgment.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:


Support for Electric Vehicle Programs on the Increase in the
United States.  Last Friday, the California Air Resources Board
voted to support an Advanced Clean Cars regulatory program for
vehicles produced from 2018 through to 2025. The program, which
was launched three years ago, is designed to help build the
future market for lithium battery electric vehicles.  Among the
most interesting implications for the lithium industry are the
new standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved
through existing and new technologies and more efficient use of
lighter and stronger materials. A modified “Zero Emission
Vehicle” regulation requires a minimum number of lithium battery
electric vehicles to be sold within California.  Posted.  Posted.


Ventura's bright ideas earn it an energy award.  Ventura is
officially cool — at least according to Southern California
Edison, which lauded the city last month for its efforts to
combat climate change.  Since 2007, the city has curbed
greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent, the equivalent of taking
380 vehicles off the road, according to the Climate Registry,
which partners with Edison to help reduce electricity consumption
in the region.  "We've tied this to cost savings," said Joe
Yahner, the city's environmental services supervisor. "When you
reduce energy use, not only do you reduce the carbon emissions;
you also save money."  Posted. 


Cheap natural gas jumbles energy markets, stirs fears it could
inhibit renewables.  For the past three years, promoters of shale
gas and environmentalists opposed to coal-fired power plants have
hailed the sudden abundance of U.S. natural gas as a bridge to a
renewable-energy future.  But natural gas has become so cheap
that many energy experts and environmentalists now wonder whether
it will turn into a long, bumpy detour.  U.S. natural gas prices,
which hit more than $13 per thousand cubic feet in 2008, have
tumbled to about $2.50 per thousand cubic feet. Rapidly rising
production of shale gas and a warm winter have created a glut and
pushed supplies in storage to 21 percent above the average of the
past five years.  Posted. 

Editorial: Climate data chills global-warming alarmism.  The
Earth's temperature hasn't increased significantly in about 15
years, which wouldn't be big news except global warming
extremists had predicted temperatures would soar during that time
because of manmade greenhouse-gas emissions.  That forecast would
be just another failed hypothesis, except governments around the
world used the threatened overheating as an excuse to regulate,
tax and subsidize in order to curb greenhouse gases and, of
course, to save the Earth.  Posted. 

MILLOY: Clean-energy hostages.  “Let the fossil fuels go, or the
wind industry gets it in the wallet.” That’s the threat
congressional Republicans need to convey to their colleagues
across the aisle to stop the Obama war against fossil fuels. 
Despite President Obama’s effort in his State of the Union
address to position himself as favoring an “all of the above”
approach to domestic energy production, the reality of the past
three years has been quite to the contrary.  Posted. 


Two Nobelists Offer Views of Human-Driven Global Warming.  Given
the flurry of attention this week around what two batches of
scientists of various stripes think of evidence that humans are
exerting a growing and disruptive influence on climate, it’s
worth checking in with two Nobel laureates who’ve long been
focused on the atmosphere and climate.  As I’ve written before,
whatever your view of the science and policy choices related to
global warming, you can probably find a Nobelist with matching
views. But Mario Molina and Burton Richter deserve a prominent
place at this table given their sustained attention to relevant
issues.  Posted. 

‘Gasland’ Filmmaker Arrested at Capitol Hearing.  Josh Fox, whose
HBO documentary “Gasland” raised questions about the safety of
the natural gas drilling technique known as horizontal hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, was handcuffed and led away on Wednesday
as he tried to film a House Science Committee hearing on the
topic.  The Capitol Police said that Mr. Fox, whose film was
nominated for an Academy Award last year, was charged with
unlawful entry.  Mr. Fox brought a crew to film a hearing of the
energy and environment subcommittee that was looking into an
Environmental Protection Agency finding that fracking was
probably responsible for groundwater contamination in Pavillion,
Wyo.  Posted. 

The Earth's "Missing Energy".  Two years ago, scientists at the
National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.,
released a study claiming that inconsistencies between satellite
observations of Earth's heat and measurements of ocean heating
amounted to evidence of "missing energy" in the planet's system. 
Where was it going? Or, they wondered, was something wrong with
the way researchers tracked energy as it was absorbed from the
sun and emitted back into space?  An international team of
atmospheric scientists and oceanographers, led by Norman Loeb of
NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and including
Graeme Stephens of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
Calif., set out to investigate the mystery.  Posted. 

Call to Ground Aircraft Not Complying with EU's ETS.  An
influential committee of MPs is concerned Government policy for a
unilateral carbon floor price will devastate UK industry.  A
report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee the move
will 'artificially raise electricity prices' and have 'no overall
impact' on emissions.  The report also argues the UK could play a
'key role' in ensuring compliance with EU ETS on aviation. 

New study of emissions and health impacts from EVs in China,
including massive e-bike fleet.  A new study by researchers from
the University of Tennessee, University of Minnesota, and
Tsinghua University compares emissions (CO2, PM2.5, NOx, HC) and
environmental health impacts (primary PM2.5) from the use of
conventional vehicles (CVs) and electric vehicles (EVs)—incl
uding electric cars, bicycles and light scooters—in 34 major
cities in China. The study’s findings highlight the importance of
considering exposures—especially the proximity of emissions to
people—when evaluating environmental health impacts for EVs, the
team said.  Posted. 

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