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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 2, 2012. Posted: 02 Mar 2012 11:37:03
ARB Newsclips for March 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. AIR POLLUTION Two-thirds of China's cities fail on air standards. Two-thirds of China's cities currently fail to meet stricter air quality standards that the government wants to phase in over four years to combat notoriously smoggy skies, a senior Chinese environmental official said Friday. The State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday issued new limits on pollutants to go into effect nationwide by 2016. It also said major cities must launch programs this year to regularly monitor additional kinds of pollutants for the first time, including fine particles associated with health problems. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/official-two-thirds-of-chinese-cities-fail-to-comply-with-chinas-new-air-quality-standards/2012/03/02/gIQAldpxlR_story.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/02/two-thirds-of-chinas-cities-fail-on-air/#ixzz1nywAG92 http://www.modbee.com/2012/03/01/2093728/two-thirds-of-chinas-cities-fail.html http://www.dailynews.com/ci_20085394?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20085394?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20085394?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/01/2743489/two-thirds-of-chinas-cities-fail.html#storylink=misearch Funding down the road? Federal air pollution money might go to transportation projects. Oroville — Oroville's in line for federal money for a roundabout, two traffic signal projects and a park-and-ride lot, although that list might change. At the last meeting of the Butte County Association of Government, a list of recommended projects for federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding was presented, and it included those four. The money comes to Butte County because air pollution here violates federal standards several times each year. Posted. http://www.orovillemr.com/ci_20085825?source=most_viewed Sonoma County residents get 108 'Spare the Air' warnings. Sonoma County residents were slapped with 108 of the 346 warning letters issued during the Spare the Air season that ended Wednesday. That was the most of any jurisdiction in the nine-county Bay Area. When the Bay Area Air Quality Management District catches someone violating the rule, a warning letter is issued. A second instance will result in a notice of violation and a $400 fine. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120301/ARTICLES/120309941/1334/news?Title=County-residents-get-108-Spare-the-Air-warnings Assault on clean air, science. This week a federal court in Washington heard oral arguments on a historic case - a legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's science-based determination that heat-trapping greenhouse gas pollution is a threat to our health and well-being. The scientific foundation for this determination is both extensive and authoritative. Litigants asked the court to overturn that determination. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2012/03/01/1970289/assault-on-clean-air-science.html CLIMATE CHANGE Va. court halts quest for climate change emails. The Virginia Supreme Court halted Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli's demand for a former University of Virginia climate researcher's emails Friday, ruling that he lacked authority to subpoena the records. The ruling is a victory for the university, researcher Michael Mann and higher education officials and faculty who claimed Cuccinelli's "civil investigative demand" threatened to chill academic freedom and scientific research. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/va-court-rules-attorney-general-lacks-authority-to-demand-climate-researchers-records/2012/03/02/gIQAbtotmR_story.html http://www.dailynews.com/ci_20085325?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20085325?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20085325?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/02/2744006/va-court-halts-quest-for-climate.html#storylink=misearch TEDx video stream brings science events to Sacramento. In back-to-back addresses, two pivotal figures in the debate over global warming and energy policy took the stage to address an exclusive audience Wednesday at the TED 2012 event in Long Beach. "We have to get off oil purchased from the enemy," energy financier T. Boone Pickens, told the audience. What followed was a detailed case for America gaining its energy independence by adopting natural gas as a cleaner "bridge" fuel. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/01/v-print/4302128/hed-here.html Climate change skeptic's university course criticized. A group of scientists is raising alarm about "incorrect science" in a course at Ottawa's Carleton University that was taught for three years by a climate change skeptic. "We describe a case in which noted climate change deniers have gained access to the Canadian higher education system through a course taught at Carleton University," the Ottawa-based Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism said in a report this week. But the course instructor, Tom Harris, denies there are any problems with the science he taught. Posted. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/01/environment-climate-change-carleton-course.html Climate Leadership Award Winners Revealed. Twenty companies, including IBM, San Diego Gas & Electric, Port of Los Angeles, SAP and UPS, were named the winners of the inaugural Climate Leadership Awards by the EPA, the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) (formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change), and The Climate Registry (TCR).The awards, presented at the Climate Leadership Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recognize corporate, organizational, and individual leaders for their efforts to address climate change and reduce carbon pollution. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/03/02/climate-leadership-award-winners-revealed/ Linking Climate Policy to Fiscal and Environmental Reform. Both presidential candidates in 2008 campaigned for an economy-wide cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases as the centerpiece of climate policy. Senator John McCain was an early and frequent supporter of cap-and-trade, co-sponsoring a number of such bills, including the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 and the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007. He campaigned on a plan to enact an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Posted. http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2012/0302_climate_policy_gayer.aspx Report Details Federal Action to Address Climate Change Risks, Impact. While the need and best way to reduce carbon emissions is still (obtusely) being debated in Congress, the federal government has begun a widespread effort to detail and respond to the long-term risks posed to the U.S. by climate change. These findings are put forward by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) in an updated report, “Climate Change Adaptation: What Federal Agencies Are Doing.” Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/02/report-details-federal-action-to-address-climate-change-risks-impact/ FUELS Polish report: shale gas extraction not harmful. A scientific study in Poland has found that shale gas extraction at one site produced some toxic refuse but that the waste was reused and didn't harm the environment. The report was presented Friday by the Polish Geological Institute, which carried out its study last year when a company, Canadian Lane Energy, began test drilling near Lebien, in northern Poland. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/poland-expected-to-scale-down-us-estimates-of-its-shale-gas-deposits/2012/03/01/gIQAiLPZkR_story.html http://www.nctimes.com/business/polish-report-shale-gas-extraction-not-harmful/article_6ba27dbe-1886-522b-92d9-a0ddd260e490.html#ixzz1nyyNgVkj http://www.modbee.com/2012/03/02/2093952/polish-report-shale-gas-extraction.html http://www.dailynews.com/ci_20086132?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20086132?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20086132?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/02/2743681/polish-report-shale-gas-extraction.html#storylink=misearch Obama Seeks to End Subsidies for Oil and Gas Companies. With his re-election fate increasingly tied to the price Americans are paying at the gas pump, President Obama asked Congress on Thursday to end $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies and vowed to tackle the country’s long-term energy issues while shunning “phony election-year promises about lower gas prices.” Mr. Obama, in an appearance at Nashua Community College here, took a page out of his jobs strategy of last year, calling on Americans to contact their Congressional representatives and demand a vote on the oil subsidies in the next few weeks. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/us/politics/obama-calls-for-an-end-to-subsidies-for-oil-and-gas-companies.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=fuels&st=cse Big investor trims stake in Green Plains Renewable. Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. said Thursday that the Irish investment firm that has been its biggest shareholder is reducing its stake in the ethanol and corn oil producer. The Omaha-based company said that the shareholder, NTR PLC, plans to sell 3 million Green Plains shares in a public offering that has been priced at $10.41 per share. In addition, Green Plains said it will buy back another 3.7 million of its shares from NTR at the same price paid by the public offering's underwriter. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/01/big-investor-trims-stake-in-green-plains/#ixzz1nyxfzTFv VEHICLES Auto Sales Pick Up Pace Despite Rising Gas Prices. Auto sales jumped 16 percent last month to the highest level since before the recession, helped by declining unemployment and improving consumer confidence even as gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon in parts of the country. The seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate for new vehicles, a closely watched indication of the auto industry’s health, climbed to 15.1 million in February. It was the first time the rate reached that level since 2008. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/business/ford-and-chrysler-report-sales-gains-despite-gas-prices.html?scp=2&sq=vehicles&st=cse Robotic cars get boost from Alex Padilla's bill. Robotic cars may have just turned a corner in California. Several years after Google's autonomous vehicles began zipping up and down the state's highways, a legislator has introduced a bill that would potentially clear the way for everyday use. Sen. Alex Padilla's proposal affirms the legality of such automobiles and sets down a process for creating safety rules. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/02/MNQP1NEOK0.DTL&feed=rss.pageone Five questions with CARB: Why is California pushing for electric cars? Today, we kick off a new series of interview-driven posts focused the most influential people, companies, and organizations in the automotive industry by speaking with California Air Resources Board (aka CARB, a division of the California EPA). The aim with these periodic reports is to go behind the scenes to see what’s driving trends that could affect consumers and the cars they buy in coming years. Posted. http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/03/five-questions-with-carb-why-is-california-pushing-for-electric-cars.html Bright Automotive withdraws DOE loan request, closes shop. Electric-vehicle startup Bright Automotive is closing its operations after withdrawing its application for a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Bright, which was formed in 2008 to produce electric vans for sale to corporate fleets, announced Tuesday its plan to withdraw the application, blaming an overly rigorous and lengthy loan-approval process for the decision to close, according to The Wall Street Journal. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/article/20120301/OEM05/120309990#ixzz1nz7rXQfj MISCELLANEOUS Asbestos waste found in warehouse yard near Mountain View High School in El Monte. El Monte - State environmental agencies have secured between 600 and 800 bags of hazardous waste labeled as containing asbestos from an illegal waste transport facility located next door to Mountain View High School, agencies announced Thursday. Both the state Department of Toxic Substances Control and the South Coast Air Quality Management District are investigating numerous violations at Titan Environmental Inc., 12432 Valley Blvd. Posted. http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_20081707 Climate crisis science vs. denial. The Climate Reality Project will present a free seminar at 6:30 tonight at the Red Bluff Community and Senior Center, 1500 S. Jackson St. The climate crisis looms as the most serious threat to human civilization. Recent data indicate more rapid warming and accelerating greenhouse gas emissions than previously projected. As the political process addresses the issues, disinformation floods the public space, creating confusion and delay. Posted. http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/ci_20087363 OPINIONS Letter: High-speed rail, oil prices, air fares. Editor, I very much appreciated reading Gail Parker’s (of Alexandria, Va.) letter on Wednesday on high-speed rail. It was also very timely — flip the letter’s page and the AP article, “Facing costly fuel, airlines hike fares” appear. The sooner the San Francisco-Los Angeles train is built, the sooner travelers will have another high-speed travel option available at much lower cost than you’ll find leaving SFO by air. Posted. http://smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?type=opinions&title=Letter:%20%20High-speed%20rail,%20oil%20prices,%20air%20fares&id=229685 Analysis: In politics, emotion – not science – drives beliefs. Some of the biggest issues in the politics – including global warming and evolution – are far from being resolved by data and analysis. When Republicans head to the polls on Super Tuesday, they'll carry with them views on creationism and global warming that set them apart from Democrats – views shared in degrees by the four GOP presidential hopefuls. But few voters from either party honestly understand the science Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/percent-342714-global-warming.html Clean Energy Is Needed Now (Climate Scientists & Climate Economists Say). I posted David Roberts’ piece on a new climate and energy study by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold and climate scientist Ken Caldeira here on CleanTechnica the other day. I’ve run across more good quotes and a good graphic on the matter since then and just posted on these over on Planetsave. Additionally, I posted a related story on the difference in cost between taking strong climate action now versus continued climate inaction. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/02/clean-energy-is-needed-now-climate-scientists-climate-economists-say/ BLOGS Bill Clinton Points Fingers in Clean-Energy Speech. Bill Clinton, speaking at a Department of Energy conference this week, said that despite new ways of recovering oil and gas in the U.S.–and despite the efforts of climate change naysayers and other opponents–the country should still pursue cleaner energy sources and energy efficiency. Associated Press Shown here in a Thursday speech, Clinton spoke earlier in the week at a clean-technology conference. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2012/03/01/bill-clinton-points-fingers-in-climate-change-speech/ When It Rains, It Will Really Pour. Early last year I attended a conference in Sacramento where state and federal scientists warned emergency planners, insurance executives and others about the danger of a superstorm‘s riding into California from warmer Pacific waters on an “atmospheric river” and inundating everything in sight. Now comes a parallel prediction that throughout the Western states, the power of extreme winter storms will increase by more than 12 percent over the next 20 years, and more thereafter. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/when-it-rains-it-will-really-pour/?scp=2&sq=climate%20change&st=cse A CO2 Warning Etched in Stone and Sediment. A comprehensive new review of research on episodes of carbon-driven disruption of ocean and climate conditions over the last 300 million years shows the power of a big pulse of carbon dioxide to profoundly affect the environment. The review, which is being published in the journal Science on Friday, concludes that the human-driven buildup of carbon dioxide under way now appears to be far outpacing past natural events…Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/a-co2-warning-etched-in-stone-and-sedimen/?scp=4&sq=climate%20change&st=cse What Next for Gas Prices? As I write in Thursday’s Times, gasoline prices keep going higher and higher. And how high they are going to go is just about anyone’s guess. Those who track the supply and demand fundamentals say the price of oil should be about $80 a barrel and gasoline prices should be as much as 50 cents below where they are. But throw tensions with Iran into the mix, and you get scary prices. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/what-next-for-gas-prices/?scp=9&sq=climate%20change&st=cse A 1,400-Horsepower Tank, Batteries Included. Some hybrid vehicles are engineered to be as light as possible. This one is projected to weigh around 140,000 pounds, fully equipped. The Ground Combat Vehicle is being developed by the defense systems manufacturers BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman. Based on appearances, most civilians may call it a tank, although Mark Signorelli, the vice president of ground combat vehicles for BAE, said in a telephone interview that the vehicle’s platform and powertrain could be used in other military vehicle applications. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/a-1400-horsepower-tank-batteries-included/?scp=1&sq=vehicles&st=cse Flex-Fuel Amendment Makes for Strange Bedfellows. Faced with a bill that would require 80 percent of gasoline-burning cars and trucks to be compatible with ethanol and methanol by the 2018 model year, stakeholders who typically disagree on critical issues find themselves in a rare position. They agree. The legislation, known as the Open Fuels Standard Act of 2011 and introduced in the Senate last September by the Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell and Indiana Republican Richard G. Lugar, was proposed as an amendment to the pending Senate version of the contentious transportation bill. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/flex-fuel-amendment-makes-for-strange-bedfellows/?scp=3&sq=vehicles&st=cse Chevy Volt climbs up, Nissan Leaf falls down in February 2012 sales. Nissan's winter plug-in vehicle sales slump continues, with the Nissan Leaf dropping to just 478 units sold in February, down from 676 in January. This even though overall Nissan North America sales increased by 15.5 percent over last February's numbers. Perhaps, now that the all-electric car is going to be available in all 50 states, the tide will turn. For the Chevrolet Volt, things are already looking up, with 1,023 sales in February. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/01/chevy-volt-nissan-leaf-february-2012-sales/ New York Times Reversal: Cornell University Research Undermines Hysteria Contention that Shale Gas is "Dirty". There are new twists to in the ever-entertaining faux debate over the dangers of shale gas. The New York Times, which turned obscure Cornell University marine ecologist Robert Howarth into an anti-fracking rock star in its questionable spring series on shale gas, and got hammered for it by its own public editor—I‘ll take some of the credit—is finally getting on the science bandwagon. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2012/03/02/new-york-times-reversal-cornell-university-research-undermines-hysteria-contention-that-shale-gas-is-dirty/