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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 10, 2012 Posted: 10 Feb 2012 14:20:22
ARB Newsclips for February 10, 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 AEP Reduces Coal-Fired Plants It Will Shut Because of EPA Rules. American Electric Power Co. (AEP), the largest U.S. coal consumer, reduced by 13 percent the amount of coal-fired generation it will shut because of new environmental regulations, saying it may get state support to spend $940 million to keep a Kentucky unit operating. The company still plans to close power plants with about 5,138 megawatts of capacity, Chief Executive Officer Nick Akins said at an investor conference in New York today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-10/aep-reduces-coal-fired-plants-it-will-shut-because-of-epa-rules.html CLIMATE CHANGE California eyes dividends, deficit cuts from cap-and-trade. Revenue raised by California's greenhouse-gas emissions trading program could be distributed to state residents to offset higher fuel costs or used to reduce the state's projected deficits, a state budget watchdog agency said on Thursday. "Our analysis indicates that such revenues could be returned directly to Californians - …Posted. http://af.reuters.com/article/idAFL2E8DA0OC20120210 VEHICLES Safety regulators probe Camry fires; Nissan recalls Versa. Federal safety regulators have launched an investigation into the cause of fires in 2007 model year Toyota Camry sedans and RAV-4 sport-utility vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the probe after receiving six complaints of fires starting in the driver’s side door of the vehicles. The agency said that it appears that the fires are starting in the power window master switch on the door. The agency said it is looking at about 830,000 vehicles. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-camry-fire-versa-recall-20120210,0,5632693,print.story Obama administration reiterates support for California High-Speed Rail. Continuing his push for the California High-Speed Rail, Gov. Jerry Brown met Thursday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who said President Obama remains committed to the project. “High-Speed Rail is a key step in modernizing our transportation system and will create much needed and good paying jobs,” Brown said in a prepared statement released after the meeting. Posted. http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/2012/02/09/obama-administration-reiterates-support-for-california-high-speed-rail/148360/ Auto Recyclers Challenged on Potentially Toxic Waste. In Oakland and Redwood City, industrial shredders the size of department stores grind thousands of junked automobiles into fist-sized scraps, loading the lumps onto waiting ships to become fodder for a global recycling industry. But as the “green steel” goes out to sea, the leftovers — pulverized seat cushions, insulation and grime, collectively known in the shredding industry as “auto fluff” — are trucked to regional landfills. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/environmental-health/story/auto-recyclers-challenged-potentially/print/ GREEN ENERGY Wind Tower Makers in U.S. Hurt by China Imports, Panel Finds. U.S. makers of wind towers such as Broadwind Energy Inc. are being harmed by cheaper imports from China and Vietnam, a trade panel ruled in the first step toward imposing tariffs on the shipments. The U.S. International Trade Commission voted today in a preliminary ruling on a petition from the Wind Tower Trade Coalition asking the Obama administration to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties. Posted. http://sfgate.adc.bloomberg.wallst.com/SFChronicle/Story?docId=1376-LZ56CM0YHQ0Z01-72DS99TDM2RUHGPDSVUD71QFL0 APNewsBreak: White House report says green energy loans could cost government $3B. Washington — An independent review finds the government could lose about $3 billion on Energy Department loans for green energy programs — far less than the $10 billion Congress set aside for the high-risk program. The White House ordered the review after criticism of a $528 million loan to Solyndra Inc., a solar company that went bankrupt. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/apnewsbreak-white-house-report-says-green-energy-loans-could-cost-government-3b/2012/02/10/gIQARkxN4Q_story.html Merced Irrigation District questions state's green energy costs, requirements. State mandate has companies looking at timing of contracts. Worries that the state's evolving renewable energy requirements will translate into unbearable rate increases for consumers have been eased somewhat by recent government studies. The cost of buying renewable energy decreased 30 percent from 2009 to 2011, according to the most recent quarterly report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/02/10/v-print/2225082/merced-irrigtation-district-questions.html MISCELLANEOUS Inspectors find no asbestos at San Marcos school debris site. An inspector with the county Air Pollution Control District found no asbestos at a debris site that had parents at a San Marcos elementary school concerned for their children's safety. "That was very good news," said John Adams, the compliance chief with the district. Although the inspection found the site apparently safe, the head of the Air Pollution Control District said he wondered why the district decided to put the debris so near an elementary school. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/san-marcos/exclusive-inspectors-find-no-asbestos-at-san-marcos-school-debris/article_8958fbfe-a883-50bd-8ced-ef6c416b638b.html#ixzz1m0LDc18i California sets trends in health regulation. Beyond skateboards, Silicon Valley and hippies, California has a trendsetting streak of a different kind. The state has been first to pass major public health initiatives that have spread throughout the country. California was first to require smog checks for clean air, pass anti-tobacco initiatives and bike helmets laws. While these laws were met with skepticism and ridicule, they've often become standard practice in other states. Posted. http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/10/health/california-leads-health-laws/index.html . OPINIONS The green jobs debate: A boon or a bust for the economy? Jonah Goldberg took President Obama to task in an August column about green jobs. “[T]he windfall in green jobs,” he wrote, “has always been a con job.” The record in America has been no better, Obama's campaign stump speeches notwithstanding. The New York Times, which has been touting the green agenda in its news pages for years, admitted last week that "federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show." Posted. http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2012/02/green-jobs-debate.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpinionLa+%28L.A.+Times+-+Opinion+Blog%29 Four Things You Should Know about High-Speed Rail. If all goes according to plan, San Diegans will one day be able to board a bullet train and get to points north much more quickly than they can now by car or Amtrak. Los Angeles would be closer than 90 minutes away, while riders could reach the Bay Area within just a few hours. But that day won't be next year. Or five years from now. Or sometime in the 2020s. In fact, it'll be several decades before San Diegans get a piece of the high-speed action. Posted. http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/this_just_in/article_d854c3b4-5351-11e1-b7d2-0019bb2963f4.html Has the Earth's Missing Heat Been Found? NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen and colleagues weigh in on the missing heat issue. In 2009 Kevin Trenberth, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, raised the issue of missing heat in a paper (PDF) titled "An Imperative for Climate Change Planning: Tracking Earth's Global Energy." In principle, the excess heat trapped in the Earth as a result of greenhouse gases must show up somewhere on the Earth as heat; and, given its large heat capacity, we expect most of that heat to end up in the ocean. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-chameides/has-the-earths-missing-he_b_1268673.html?view=print&comm_ref=false This 'n that. Those who believe in global warming and its doomsday implications got a reality check Feb. 9. The science journal Nature offered the first comprehensive study of the world’s glaciers and ice caps, and one of its conclusions has shocked scientists (and, concurrently, global warmers). Using GRACE, a pair of orbiting satellites racing around the planet at an altitude of 300 miles, it has concluded that the Himalayas have barely melted at all in the past 10 years. Posted. http://www.vvdailypress.com/opinion/global-32816-check-science.html BLOGS A Carbon Allowance in Every Pot. Imagine carbon allowances as a playground commodity, like the marbles and baseball cards of earlier generations. That’s a subset of an idea from Ian Gough, a researcher at the London School of Economics. Citing the failure of international climate change policy to achieve results, he proposed a different approach in a recent article, arguing that the distribution and trade of personal carbon allowances —Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/a-carbon-allowance-in-every-pot/?pagemode=print Tesla Unveils Model X at Its Southern California Design Studios. On Thursday, Tesla Motors unveiled a prototype of its third vehicle, the Model X, here at the company’s design studios. Elon Musk, the chief executive of the electric-vehicle start-up, said the crossover-like car would enter production in late 2013. “This is kind of the killer app for families,” Mr. Musk said of the X in an interview after a preview for media. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/tesla-unveils-model-x-at-its-design-studios/ Nuclear Power vs. Natural Gas. When critics say nuclear power is risky, they often mean the risk of an accident. But people in the nuclear industry say that the bigger threat is natural gas. To look like a smart move, the $14 billion nuclear project undertaken by the Southern Company and its partners must meet several challenges, including actually completing the job for that figure, always a question in nuclear construction. But for the 104 nuclear reactors now running in this country, and for many of the ones that have retired, the big issue has always been the price of electricity from competing sources. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/natural-gas-vs-nuclear-power/ California cap-and-trade money should be spent carefully, analyst says. California's experiment in combating global warming by creating a cap-and-trade program could generate more than $12 billion a year in revenue, but officials can't rely on that windfall to fix the state's fiscal problems, according to a new report. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said the amount of money generated by auctions of credits allowing polluters to release greenhouse gases would vary wildly, from less than $1 billion to $14 billion in some years. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/02/california-cap-and-trade.html State Analyst: Cap & Trade Plan Good as Far as it Goes. A non-partisan analysis of California’s recently approved cap-and-trade program says state regulators at the Air Resources Board (CARB) did a decent job of balancing competing directives, but warns that legislators need to start thinking about what happens after the program runs its course, less than a decade from now. “The legislature and the Air Board need to provide some certainty of what the regulatory landscape will look like after 2020, Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/02/09/state-analyst-cap-trade-plan-good-as-far-as-it-goes/