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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 13, 2012 Posted: 13 Feb 2012 14:04:43
ARB News Clips for February 13, 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 Southern Californians at risk of death from air pollution, EPA says. Southern Californians are among those at highest risk of death due to air pollution, according to recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research published in the journal Risk Analysis. The study, published last month, was conducted to “provide insight to the size and location of public health risks associated with recent levels of fine particles and ozone, allowing decision-makers to better target air quality policies,” the federal agency said in a statement responding to California Watch inquiries. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/southern-californians-risk-death-air-pollution-epa-says-14843 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/13/southern-california-air-pollution_n_1273348.html CLIMATE CHANGE EU open to talks but won't scrap carbon tax. Europe is willing to discuss its new carbon emissions tax for airlines with disgruntled governments but has no plans to scrap the levy, top EU officials said Monday. Airlines and governments have complained the tax is too costly and was implemented without consultation. Industry leaders are warning the disagreement could spark a trade war between Europe and the rest of the world. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/02/13/financial/f032152S70.DTL http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/02/13/2720203/eu-open-to-talks-but-wont-scrap.html#storylink=misearch http://www.nctimes.com/business/eu-open-to-talks-but-won-t-scrap-carbon-tax/article_98260491-0715-5b26-9014-507200ffe9f6.html California’s Climate Change Laboratory: AB 32. “It is one of the happy accidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory, and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” (New State Ice Co. v. Liebman, 285 U.S. 262, 311 (1932) (dissent). California embodies Justice Brandeis’s famous metaphor of states as the laboratories of democracy, particularly when it comes to progressive environmental regulation. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/02/13/california%E2%80%99s-climate-change-laboratory-ab-32/ FUELS Calif asks for stay of low-carbon fuel ruling. California officials are asking a federal judge to allow work to resume on implementation of the state's first-in-the-nation mandate for low-carbon vehicle fuels. The California Air Resources Board on Friday filed a request for a stay in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the court to allow work to resume while it appeals a lower court decision to halt the program. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19940493 VEHICLES Caltrain plan would fast-track electric rail. The overhaul of California's high-speed rail project could bring the Bay Area $1 billion to electrify Caltrain and lay the path for bullet train service between San Francisco and San Jose sooner than anticipated. The Chronicle has learned that officials with Bay Area transportation agencies are in negotiations with each other, and with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, to craft an agreement that would fund an advanced train-control system…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/13/MNQJ1N64G0.DTL&type=printable Drivers frustrated by near-empty lanes. By 5:30 a.m, there are already enough cars filling southbound Highway 101 toward Petaluma to make Gus Kouninos grateful for the new third lane running over the Cotati Grade. But on his evening drive home, the Santa Rosa resident can only look at the new construction in frustration. The third lanes between Cotati and Petaluma are closed to solo drivers from 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m. during the commute crunch. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120211/COMMUNITY/120219915 Retrofitters plug into EV fleet niche. Automakers are having a hard time selling electric vehicles in volume. But retrofitters aiming for tiny niches are proliferating. With business models geared to selling small batches of electrified vehicles to utilities, governmental units and the like, you might say that retrofitters are playing small ball. But they see a steadily growing market of customers who are motivated to make their fleets green -- and who want to cut fuel costs for their fleets. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/article/20120213/OEM06/302139936#ixzz1mHl5ORlW GREEN ENERGY ENERGY: Uncertainty clouds Obama’s latest solar push. President Barack Obama wants to revive the renewable energy push that fostered a solar development boom in the first years of his administration, particularly across the sun-drenched deserts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. But clouding his effort is the expiration of federal programs meant to spur investment, a backlash against the White House’s policies in the wake of the Solyndra debacle, and unresolved questions about where large-scale plants can be built. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/politics/ben-goad-headlines/20120211-energy-uncertainty-clouds-obamas-latest-solar-push.ece How 1.6 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day afford renewables. If you’re not already connected to an electricity grid, renewable energy is a no-brainer, argues Michigan professor of history and “scholar of the Muslim world” Juan Cole. For the one-third of the world’s population that lives on less than a dollar a day, fossil fuels aren’t just environmentally unsustainable — they’re financially unsustainable too. For example: As cell phones have become ubiquitous throughout Africa and the developing world, the electricity to charge them has not. Posted. http://grist.org/list/how-1-6-billion-people-who-live-on-less-than-a-dollar-a-day-afford-renewables/ Phoenix rising: Can ‘the world’s least sustainable city’ go green? What was the most surprising thing that came out of Andrew Ross’s two-year research stint in Phoenix, Ariz.? For my money, it’s this: People who live there (weirdly) don’t expect their desert civilization to collapse around them at any moment. “One of New Yorkers’ favorite things is to imagine the destruction of their city. There’s a whole library of movies and novels that do this,” Ross said during a recent visit to the Grist offices. “There’s no equivalent in Phoenix.” Posted. http://grist.org/cities/phoenix-rising-can-the-worlds-least-sustainable-city-go-green/ Problems cast shadows of doubt on solar project. The unexpected deaths of kit foxes and discovery of ancient human settlements threaten to delay or even cancel a $1-billion, 250-megawatt installation on federal land in the desert near Blythe. Reporting from Blythe, Calif. -- One of California's showcase solar energy projects, under construction in the desert east of Los Angeles, is being threatened by a deadly outbreak of distemper among kit foxes and the discovery of a prehistoric human settlement on the work site. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-foxes-20120211,0,5232686,print.story MISCELLANEOUS Zipcar expands service to over 45 college campuses. Zipcar Inc. said Monday that it has launched its car sharing services at more than 45 college and university campuses since the beginning of the current school year. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company said that since December, it has has begun service at 10 new universities including Valparaiso University, University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. That came after Zipcar began services at 36 additional campuses around the start of the 2011-2012 school year, the company said. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19953560?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com&IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Petition drive for more bicycle safety in SCAG plan nears deadline. Rachel Morris, executive director of a Ventura County climate-change group dedicated to getting people out of cars and onto bicycles, isn't happy with the latest regional transportation draft plan by the Southern California Association of Governments. In Morris' estimation, the regional planning organization's 23-year, nearly $500 billion plan budgets too few funds for bicycle and pedestrian safety. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/feb/12/petition-drive-for-more-bicycle-safety-in-scag/#ixzz1mHhDwH8m OPINIONS New energy supplies may rock orthodox auto beliefs. New discoveries of natural gas threaten to overturn many assumptions about energy supplies and may also bring big changes in the way cars are powered. When the conventional wisdom had it that supplies of oil were going to run out sooner rather than later, it made sense for automobile manufacturers to embrace government campaigns to quickly ratchet up fuel consumption rules for cars and light trucks. Posted. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120208/OPINION03/202080332/1148/AUTO01/New-energy-supplies-may-rock-orthodox-auto-beliefs You and the Law: Air Resources Board puts California drivers at risk. Unless you live in a handful of California regions — generally over 4,000 feet elevation — there is something which your car certainly should have for safe winter driving, but which is currently almost impossible to purchase in other areas of the state. It’s winter windshield washer solution, the type that does not freeze, and which until recently, could legally be sold anywhere. Posted. http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/opinion/columnists/you-and-the-law-air-resources-board-puts-california-drivers/article_a0cc32fc-5440-11e1-8705-001871e3ce6c.html Editorial: California's cap-and-trade slush fund. We warned long ago that the state of California's war on global warming never really had much to do with the globe getting warmer. Rather, it's always been about control and money. Now the pretense should be obvious to all. The nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Analyst reported last week on Gov. Jerry Brown's intention to raise money from a carbon emission cap-and-trade scheme through the regulatory might of the California Air Resources Board, enabled by the arrogantly titled Global Warming Solutions Act, approved in 2006 as Assembly Bill 32. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/california-339832-warming-state.html BLOGS States Sue E.P.A. Over Delayed Soot Rules. The Obama administration, already contending with a lawsuit from health and environmental groups arguing that ozone pollution standards are inadequate, now faces another suit over soot. Eleven states, including New York and California, joined forces on Friday to sue the federal Environmental Protection Agency in Federal District Court in Manhattan over the agency’s delays in tightening air quality standards involving fine particulate matter, or soot, from diesel trucks, buses, power plants and other sources. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/states-sue-e-p-a-over-delayed-soot-rules/ Can Efficiency Counter a Loss of Nuclear Power? In an era when almost every energy technology is unpopular with somebody, the people who don’t want wind turbines, generating stations or new transmission lines installed in their neighborhoods often raise the idea of improving energy efficiency as an alternative. That argument is particularly common in New York State and in Vermont, where state governments are trying to close nuclear reactors within their borders. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/can-efficiency-counter-a-loss-of-nuclear-power/?scp=3&sq=green%20energy&st=cse The Coming Fight Over Cap-and-Trade Revenues. A new source of revenues is on the horizon. So is a big fight. Should average citizens get the new fees? In this era of perpetual budget cuts, the state faces a strange new problem on the horizon: a big new pool of revenues that is likely to produce a big fight. That pool of revenues is expected to result from the sale of allowances to produce greenhouse gases under Calfiornia so-called "cap and trade program." Cap and trade caps the amount of pollution available -- and then auctions off available rights to polluters. Posted. http://www.nbcsandiego.com/blogs/prop-zero/Climate-Change-Cap-Trade-Revenues-Allowances-139074354.html Next Tesla Roadster delayed until after mass-market EV launch. With the demise of the Lotus Elise in the United States, the Tesla Roadster's fate was sealed. With no chassis rolling out of Hethel, Tesla had to end production of the Roadster and shift its focus to the Model S and the just-revealed Model X. But some kind of Roadster successor has always been in the cards and as Tesla's SEC filings revealed two years ago, the new sports car was supposed to arrive next year. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/11/next-tesla-roadster-delayed-until-after-mass-market-ev-launch/ Auto industry about to go diesel crazy. Volkswagen is showing the Beetle TDI -- diesel -- at the Chicago auto show, another signal that automakers are moving faster into diesel power after years of hesitation and emphasis on hybrids and electrics. VW, which already has diesel options for its Golf, Jetta, Passat and Touareg models, will be joined by new entrants in the U.S. market for diesel, such as General Motors, Mazda and Chrysler Group. Other makers, such as Honda, still are holding back some of their best, newest advanced diesels from the U.S., unsure whether buyers here will embrace them. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/02/volkswagen-beetle-diesel/1