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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 28, 2012

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 11:09:08
ARB Newsclips for February 28, 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.


Chico's indoor wood fire regulation period ends Wednesday. CHICO
— The first winter enforcement period when indoor wood fires were
banned in Chico on poor air quality days comes to an end
Wednesday, with no one fined by the city for repeat violations.
This winter, the Butte County Air Quality Management District
issued 25 of the "Check Before You Light" advisories that trigger
the city of Chico's mandatory ban. Federal air quality standards
were violated 23 times. Posted.

Energy Efficiency, Air Quality Remain Top Concerns Driving
Regional Green Industry. Many of those who work and live in the
Greater Long Beach area know that two of the top environmental
concerns for the region are air quality and energy efficiency. In
addition to addressing these concerns, going “green” may help
facilitate economic growth and job creation in the sustainability
sector. With its close proximity to the 710 and 405 freeways, and
to the neighboring twin port complex, Long Beach is impacted
daily by ozone and fine particulate matter pollution. Posted.


U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rebound 3.3 percent. Higher energy
consumption and warmer weather drove up total U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions 3.3 percent to 6.866 billion tonnes between 2009 and
2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in its
latest emissions inventory report released Monday. After
declining in both 2008 and 2009, greenhouse gas emissions from
fossil fuel consumption rose 3.6 percent in 2010, according to
the report. Posted.

Oil Drilling Finds Friends Among Greens Embracing Carbon Capture.
Oil drilling, long opposed by environmentalists worried about
climate change, gained a friend among green groups that say old
wells may offer a low-cost way to keep a gas linked to global
warming out of the atmosphere. At an event today in Washington,
Southern Co. (SO) and Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) will join their usual
green foes to push tax breaks for so- called enhanced oil
recovery, which advocates say will boost domestic production and
curb emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas scientists
blame for rising temperatures. Posted.

Caribbean to use loans to ready for climate change. International
lenders will give $65 million in concessionary loans to 18
Caribbean nations to help the islands defend their coasts and
fragile economies from the impact of climate change. The European
Investment Bank will channel its lending through the
Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank, which announced the
initiative Monday. The program will provide low-cost funds for
public and private sector projects that deal with climate change
adaptation or help reduce carbon emissions. Posted.

Conn. Shoreline task force holds first meeting. The newly formed
Climate Change and Shoreline Preservation task force is planning
how it can best investigate the ways Connecticut can adapt to
rising sea levels and guard against future storms. The task force
met for the first time Monday afternoon to discuss objectives to
guide their work.  
At the meeting some members said they would like to explore
legislation that can be adjusted based on an area's need and
other conditions. Posted.
Global warming, oceans, top green headlines in February. Global
warming is very real. Our oceans are changing and with them, our
way of life. Earth depends on a balanced Eco-system. Current news
illustrates how far out of balance things have become. Gas prices
are rising steadily. February's headlines brought us news of Lucy
Lawless fighting back against big oil. Rick Santorum continues to
refute global warming. According to Wired Science, Americans are
more likely to listen to politicians than scientists. Meanwhile,
BBC News tells us colder temperatures in the UK are the direct
result of melting ice caps. Posted.


RAILYARDS: Judge throws out contempt attempt.  Railroad officials
failed to have Southern California’s air quality chief Barry
Wallerstein and other air district officials declared in contempt
of court.  U.S. District Judge John F. Walter in Los Angeles
harshly admonished the railroads for seeking a contempt finding
in the first place.  Attorneys representing Union Pacific, BNSF
Railway and the American Railroad Association had wanted Walter
to find Wallerstein, his planning officer and top attorney in
violation of his 2007 court order for including rules that limit
locomotive idling in a recent regional air clean-up plan. 


Canadian firm to proceed with southern leg of Keystone pipeline.
Blocked for now in the northern U.S., TransCanada aims to start
on a stretch from Oklahoma to the Texas coast. Environmentalists
vow to fight. Reporting from Seattle— The Keystone XL battle
isn't over. The Canadian company behind the controversial
pipeline announced Monday that it would proceed immediately with
a shorter version of the project south of Oklahoma — even as it
seeks a new permit for the segment through the northern U.S.
Opponents immediately vowed to fight on both fronts. Posted.

Sacramento's Pacific Ethanol sees strong sales gains. Robust
year-over-year sales increases helped boost 2011 financial
results for Sacramento's Pacific Ethanol Inc. PEI, which spent
much of 2010 repairing its finances after a 2009 Chapter 11
bankruptcy filing by its production subsidiaries, on Monday
reported sales of $241.7 million in last year's fourth quarter,
up from $134.2 million in the same period of 2010. Sales for all
of 2011 totaled $901.1 million, up from $328.3 million in 2010.


Obama's Green-Car Plan Runs Into Alternative-Fuel Limits: Cars.
President Barack Obama's administration is buying fewer hybrid
and electric cars and more vehicles that can consume both ethanol
and gasoline to meet 2015 environmental goals, favoring older
technology over new. Obama gave speeches across the U.S. last
year touting his twin goals of buying only alternative-fuel
vehicles for the U.S. fleet by 2015 and getting 1 million
electric vehicles on the country's roads by that year. Posted.

Appeals court upholds plan for cleaner air in Utah. A federal
appeals court upheld an Environmental Protection Agency mandate
Friday for air pollution reductions along a wide area of northern
Utah. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled the
EPA can force Utah to crack down on industrial and car emissions
that blow into the Great Salt Lake basin from Tooele County on
the west and Box Elder County on the north. Officials for the
largely rural counties filed the lawsuit against the EPA,
asserting they shouldn't be forced to control or reduce emissions
that drift toward more populated areas along the 120-mile Wasatch
Front urban corridor. Posted.


Toxic chemical found under O.C. building. Levels of
tetrachloroethylene exceeding safety standards are found beneath
offices used by Orange County agencies, including the Sheriff's
Department and Social Services Agency. The building is already
the subject of two lawsuits. A toxic chemical used in dry
cleaning and for degreasing equipment has been found underneath
an Orange County building that is already the subject of two
lawsuits, officials said Monday. Posted.


How to Extract Gas Responsibly. Fracking isn’t going away. To put
it another way, the technique of hydraulic fracturing, used to
extract natural gas from once-impossible-to-get-at reservoirs
like the Marcellus Shale that lies beneath New York and
Pennsylvania, has more than proved its value. At this point,
shale gas, as it’s called, makes up more than 30 percent of the
country’s natural gas supply, up from 2 percent in 2001 — a
figure that is sure to keep rising. Fracking’s enemies can stamp
their feet all they want, but that gas is too important to leave
it in the ground. Posted.

Empty suggestions. Re "What to do about $4 gas," Editorial, Feb.
23. Who wrote this editorial? Not someone who lives in Upland but
works in Irvine. Not someone who is an outside sales
representative and needs to visits clients. Not someone who is
keeping his old car because he cannot afford a car payment. How
could someone live in Los Angeles and say that if you are not
able to afford an expensive electric car, you can ride public
transportation? Posted.

GOP drills for votes. Republicans claim to be the champions of
the free market. Yet they say that more domestic oil production
can lower gasoline prices. They purposely or naively ignore the
global nature of the oil market. U.S. domestic production is at
its highest level since 2003. But world demand is such that it is
impossible for us to produce enough oil to lower the world price.

To Newt, cheap gas is good. Newt Gingrich presented a stark
contrast between Republicans and Democrats on gasoline prices
Saturday at the California GOP convention in Burlingame. Gingrich
promised, if elected, to bring gasoline prices below $2.50 per
gallon. A day earlier, in a signature speech on energy, President
Obama told the University of Miami that there "are no silver
bullets short term when it comes to gas prices." Posted.

Other views: New clean air rule creates jobs. After 20 years of
delay and litigation by polluters, the Obama administration
approved in December one of the most important rules in the
history of the Clean Air Act. It will require power plants to
reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants by more
than 90 percent in the next five years and is expected to prevent
as many as 11,000 premature deaths annually from asthma, other
respiratory diseases and heart attacks. The technology to control
the pollutants is readily available. Posted.

Diane Harkey: The new California currency. The state's carbon
cap-and-trade scheme involves monetizing pollution. You can't
accuse California of not being creative. You know we have reached
the pinnacle in regulation when we cannot manufacture goods and
services, but can manufacture a "market" for pollution. Thanks to
all the unemployed investment bankers that fled Wall Street after
the housing bubble burst, landing in San Francisco to assist us
with our debt needs, we will be monetizing pollution. Posted.

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