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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 21, 2012 Posted: 21 Feb 2012 11:01:26
ARB News Clips for February 21, 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 Scientists Find New Dangers in Tiny but Pervasive Particles in Air Pollution. Fine atmospheric particles — smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair — were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States. Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill an estimated 50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/science/earth/scientists-find-new-dangers-in-tiny-but-pervasive-particles-in-air-pollution.html?scp=4&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse L.A. Says $1.5 Billion Too Much For Dust Control. The City of Los Angeles claims that a demand for dust abatement at Owens Lake could cost California's taxpayers $1.5 billion. The city wants to test the validity of Great Basins Unified Air Pollution Control District's dust pollution control program under a section of the Health and Safety Code. It says the program could cost $1.5 billion, making it, "the most expensive dust control program in the entire nation, and likely the world." It asks the Superior Court to order the State Air Resources Board to conduct an independent hearing to review Great Basin's 2011 Supplemental Control Requirements Decision (SCRD). Posted. http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/02/17/44002.htm CLIMATE CHANGE Activist Says He Lied to Obtain Climate Papers. A prominent environmental researcher, activist and blogger from Oakland admitted Monday night that he had deceitfully obtained and distributed confidential internal materials from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian group based in Chicago devoted in part to questioning the reality of global warming. Peter Gleick, founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, wrote in a statement published on The Huffington Post that he had posed as someone else to get the materials, which include fundraising and strategy documents intended only for the board and top executives of the group. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/science/earth/activist-says-heartland-climate-papers-obtained-by-deceit.html?scp=2&sq=climate%20change&st=cse http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20007701?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20007701?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_20007701?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com The inside story of climate scientists under siege. It is almost possible to dismiss Michael Mann’s account of a vast conspiracy by the fossil fuel industry to harass scientists and befuddle the public. His story of that campaign, and his own journey from naive computer geek to battle-hardened climate ninja, seems overwrought, maybe even paranoid. But now comes the unauthorized release of documents showing how a libertarian think tank, the Heartland Institute, which has in the past been supported by Exxon, spent millions on lavish conferences attacking scientists and concocting projects to counter science teaching for kindergarteners. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-skeptics/the-inside-story-of-climate-scientists-under-siege/ Shasta County releases third environmental report on proposed power plant. Shasta County officials have issued a third draft of an environmental impact report for a proposed cogeneration plant in Anderson, once again changing their stance on greenhouse gases. The report says the proposed Sierra Pacific Industries' $40 million plant would not have a significant environmental impact, even though it will release about 330,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually from burning wood to generate electricity. Posted. http://www.redding.com/news/2012/feb/18/shasta-county-releases-third-environmental-on/ DIESEL EMISSIONS Clean-air regs cost Nevada companies big bucks. Nevada transportation companies that do business in California are finding it costly to comply with rules and regulations enacted to clean up California’s air. Beginning Jan. 1, new California Air Resources Board rules require privately owned diesel trucks to be retrofitted with exhaust filters to capture pollutants before they are emitted to the air. CARB regulations also stipulate replacement of older vehicles beginning in 2015 so that from 2020 to 2023 all older vehicles would be upgraded to meet 2010 exhaust emissions standards. Posted. http://www.nnbw.com/ArticleRead.aspx?storyID=18922 Truck Trailer Skirt Manufacturer TransFoil Systems Reports Spike in Demand for Aerodynamic Trailer Side Skirts. Georgia based manufacturer TransFoil Systems reports seeing a recent spike in demand for Aerodynamic Trailer Side Skirts. These side skirts, also called aerodynamic skirts, wind skirts, or belly fairings, are engineered to reduce the amount of wind turbulence underneath semi trailers, refrigerated trailers, and container chassis. The results have been so pronounced, says Lucas Stewart, president & CEO of TransFoil Systems, that even he has been surprised. "We have been receiving testimonials from TransFoil customers who report saving as much ten or eleven percent on their overall diesel fuel consumption. And these fleet operators are very sophisticated. Posted. http://www.timesunion.com/business/press-releases/article/Truck-Trailer-Skirt-Manufacturer-TransFoil-3341456.php Marine Diesel Engine Fuel Switch Problems Alleviated by New Technology. Diesel engine fuel switching from heavy oil to low sulfur content marine distillates as ships enter the 24-mile offshore Emission Control Area (ECA) of the California Air Resources Board has not always gone smoothly. Now comes an electronic control device, the Diesel Switch MK ll, culmination of ten years' R&D by Swedish manufacturers JOWA Technology, a tool designed to speed up the whole process while removing the wrinkles from a procedure that demands meticulous attention by ships' engineers. Earlier in the week the company, whose technology has been given a stamp of approval by classification society Germanischer Lloyd, reported orders for installation in ten ships of Norway’s Jo Tanker fleet, as well as in its newbuildings. Posted. http://articles.maritimepropulsion.com/article/Marine-Diesel-Engine-Fuel-Switch-Problems-Solved-by-Advanced-Technology-1955.aspx GREEN ENERGY Brown pins legacy to Calif. high-speed rail plans. Critics have called it the train to nowhere and a $98 billion boondoggle. As concerns mount over the practicality and affordability of California's plan to build a high-speed rail system, even many former supporters are beginning to sound skeptical. Not so Gov. Jerry Brown. He has emerged as the most vocal cheerleader of a project that is as risky as it is ambitious. Building a first-in-the-nation project would provide a lasting legacy for the 73-year-old Democratic governor as he moves into the twilight of a long political career. His father is revered for promoting the construction of California's comprehensive water system and expanding the state's higher education system into a national model. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hjqJ_AbX1mt0PE8VP-q3UpT3qgtw?docId=1d4bb70c08bb437d9ca7e7ec7767644a AP Newsbreak: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/02/18/2727238/brown-pins-legacy-to-calif-high.html#storylink=misearch www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/02/18/national/a080113S34.DTL http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/brown-pins-legacy-to-calif-high-speed-rail-plans/article_2e258ecf-ea58-5b6d-90e1-842b0507b726.html California leads nation in green-tech venture capital funding. When it comes to U.S. venture capital funding for the most promising new green technology firms, there's California and there's everybody else. California companies raked in $2.8 billion, or 57%, of the $4.9 billion in venture capital offered up in the so-called clean-tech category of funding nationwide last year, according to a recently released analysis from Ernst & Young. Massachusetts companies were a distant second with $465.1 million, followed by Colorado companies, which pulled in $363.3 million. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-green-tech-funding-20120221,0,4991139.story Why the Clean Tech Boom Went Bust. John Doerr was crying. The billionaire venture capitalist had come to the end of his now-famous March 8, 2007, TED talk on climate change and renewable energy, and his emotions were getting the better of him. Doerr had begun by describing how his teenage daughter told him that it was up to his generation to fix global warming, since they had caused it. After detailing how the public and private sectors had so far failed at this, Doerr, who made his fortune investing early in companies that became some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names—Netscape, Amazon.com, and Google, among others—exhorted the audience and his peers (largely one and the same) to band together and transform the nation’s energy supply. “I really, really hope we multiply all of our energy, all of our talent, and all of our influence to solve this problem,” he said, falling silent as he fought back tears. “Because if we do, I can look forward to the conversation I’m going to have with my daughter in 20 years.” Posted. http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ff_solyndra/all/1 VEHICLES Car Stickers Reveal More. Car shoppers have a new tool to compare the fuel efficiency and cost of new vehicles. All 2013 model vehicles, which are starting to come out as early as this month, are required to have a revised fuel-economy sticker, says Bo Saulsbury, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which developed and maintains the fueleconomy.gov site for the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204369404577209104117053234.html?KEYWORDS=clKEYWORDS%3Dclimate+change MISCELLANEOUS Air Resources Board chair to give Yale conference keynote. The chairman of the California Air Resources Board will give the keynote address at the Yale Environmental Law Association’s second annual conference on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Mary Nichols, a Yale Law School graduate and the board’s chairman since 2007, led the implementation of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, which will aggressively reduce the state’s emission of greenhouse gases over the next decade. She also has been responsible for efforts to curb diesel pollution at ports and to pass regulations aimed at providing cleaner air for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Daniel Esty, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will introduce her. Posted. http://news.yale.edu/2012/02/20/air-resources-board-chair-give-yale-conference-keynote-0 OPINION Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming. The interest generated by our Wall Street Journal op-ed of Jan. 27, "No Need to Panic about Global Warming," is gratifying but so extensive that we will limit our response to the letter to the editor the Journal published on Feb. 1, 2012 by Kevin Trenberth and 37 other signatories, and to the Feb. 6 letter by Robert Byer, President of the American Physical Society. (We, of course, thank the writers of supportive letters.) We agree with Mr. Trenberth et al. that expertise is important in medical care, as it is in any matter of importance to humans or our environment. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html?KEYWORDS=clKEYWORDS%3Dclimate+change Climate denial in the classroom. The culture wars have been fought in the classroom for decades, waged over such issues as school prayer, the teaching of evolution and whether the Pledge of Allegiance should include the phrase "under God." But the conflict usually pits backers of religious instruction against secularists. The latest skirmish, by contrast, is centered on a scientific issue that has nothing to do with religious teaching: climate change. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-climate-20120220,0,3564279.story http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/02/21/2730208/climate-denial-in-the-classroom.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2012/02/21/2078963/climate-denial-in-the-classroom.html Viewpoints: State should tap into 'biogas' as a clean energy source. References to "biogas" in the political arena are likely to elicit jokes about the seemingly endless speeches during this election year. But in 2012, I plan on leading California in establishing a more sensible policy toward the real thing. Biogas, also known as bio-methane, is natural gas produced by decomposing matter. In other words, it's a byproduct of many regular activities. Landfills, water treatment plants and dairy farms all generate biogas during the regular course of business. Biogas can be burned instead of natural gas in electricity-producing facilities, natural gas-powered vehicles and home appliances. It also generates just a quarter of the lifetime emissions of "regular" natural gas, a fossil fuel. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/21/4278134/state-should-tap-into-biogas-as.html Dan Walters: Big green needed to ‘go green'. California has made a full-blown commitment to reducing reliance on fossil-fuel energy and other limited resources. The state is mandating that automakers dramatically ramp up sales of battery-powered and other low-emission cars. It is imposing new cap-and-trade emission controls on business with hefty fees. Utilities are required to use solar, wind and geothermal sources for a third of their electricity supply by 2020, while owners of homes and businesses are being urged to install solar panels. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/california-341072-green-state.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/02/19/2077031/walters-going-green-has-its-costs.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/walters/walters-going-green-will-cost-lots-of-green/article_0967ef1a-7e1d-5828-828e-bd9222d6ae27.html Europe's Cap-and-Trade Lesson for California. In October of last year, a unanimous vote by the Golden State’s “Air Resources Board” gave California the nation’s first ever state-administered cap-and-trade program. According to the Los Angeles Times, the board’s plan—slated to go into effect this year—was inspired by European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme. The California program’s European roots may be an inspiration to some here in the states. But in light of recent reports regarding the current status of the EU’s cap-and-trade program, such connections should instill concern rather than confidence amongst many Americans. Posted. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/on-energy/2012/02/17/europes-cap-and-trade-lesson-for-california BLOGS The Quest for ‘Hydricity’. In the 1980s and ’90s, hydrogen fuel cell technology seemed like a strong candidate for use in cars and stationary applications, converting hydrogen to electricity with no emissions beyond a puff of antiseptic water vapor. Geoffrey Ballard, founder of Ballard Power Systems, coined a term to describe the new system, “hydricity,” a fusion of hydrogen and electricity. Surplus electricity could be used to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, with the hydrogen stored for reconversion into electricity. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/the-quest-for-hydricity/ Indirect Carbon Emissions and Why They Matter. According to our recent research, a combination of regulation and consumer demand means that 93% of multinational companies are now taking steps to address carbon emissions directly related to their business. More companies are recognising that lowering their carbon emissions leads to reputational and efficiency gains, which means savings to the bottom line and ultimately increased revenue. There is also an increasingly pressing need to address a bigger challenge – ‘scope 3’ or indirect emissions that are a consequence of the activities of the reporting company, but occur at sources owned or controlled by another organisation – including both upstream and downstream of companies along the value chain. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/02/indirect-carbon-emissions-matter/ EVs Charged Up for $10K Rebate. Those thinking about jumping into the EV market might have a nice new incentive in the form of a $10,000 rebate, which is part of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget plan. The proposal is a boost and a change in direction – buyers of electric vehicles currently are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit for the tax-filing year, while the new rebate program would allow consumers to slice $10,000 off the top of an EV at the time of purchase. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/02/evs-charged-10k-rebate/ Renewables Are a Reality: How We Can Ditch Fossil Fuels Without Any Help From Congress. Amory B. Lovins is fond of referring to the Rocky Mountain Institute, where he serves as chairman and chief scientist, as a “think and do” tank, and it’s clear that to Lovins the doing is every bit as important as the thinking. Hardly lacking in confidence or ambition, Lovins — in conjunction with his colleagues at the institute — has published Reinventing Fire, his step-by-step blueprint for how to transition to a renewable energy economy by mid-century. Posted. http://www.alternet.org/environment/154222/renewables_are_a_reality%3A_how_we_can_ditch_fossil_fuels_without_any_help_from_congress/?page=entire