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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 8, 2012. Posted: 08 Mar 2012 12:57:32
ARB Newsclips for March 8, 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 NY town gets grant to study industrial pollution. Tonawanda, N.Y. — The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $100,000 grant to help the town of Tonawanda address the health risks posed by the numerous air-polluting facilities in the area. The community near Buffalo has 53 industrial facilities, including a coke plant, two petroleum distribution terminals, multiple chemical storage terminals, and a coal-burning power plant. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/AP32503bb9b5c8433fbdc1a8a1acb5ff99.html BY SUBSCRIPTION CLIMATE CHANGE California Takes the Lead. With New Climate Initiatives. Long ahead of the rest of the U.S. on environmental policy, California is taking bold steps to tackle climate change — from committing to dramatic reductions in emissions, to establishing a cap-and-trade system, to mandating an increase in zero-emission vehicles. The bottom line, say state officials, is to foster an economy where sustainability is profitable. Posted. http://e360.yale.edu/feature/california_takes_the_lead_with_new_climate_initiatives/2504/ Soot a Culprit in Glacial Melt. New research confirms theories about how so-called black carbon contributes to climate change. Soot from fossil fuels is causing snow packs, glaciers and ice sheets to absorb heat and melt more quickly, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have confirmed. Soot, also called black carbon, is produced when fossil fuels are burned inefficiently. Major sources include coal power plants, cooking stoves and vehicles, particularly those powered by diesel. Forest fires also produce soot. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/climate-change/story/soot-major-suspect-melting-glaciers/ FUELS Oil giant BP sued over dirty gas sales shipped to Martinez. Tens of millions of gallons of gasoline that did not meet California's clean fuel specifications was delivered to Martinez and sold across the state by petroleum giant BP, state regulators said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The company submitted documents over a four-month period to regulators that said gasoline refined in Washington and shipped to Contra Costa County contained permissible levels of toxic and cancer-causing compounds, including benzene, when, in fact, the fuel failed to meet state standards, the lawsuit says. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20124820 http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/california-sues-oil-giant-bp-over-shipments/1ac47592e1350f0370d3990213a0cea4 http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/07/2681756/california-sues-oil-giant-bp-over.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/BP-sued-for-shipping-Dirty-Gas-To-Califonria-141900933.html http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/07/3475932/california-sues-oil-giant-bp-over.html Virdia Gets Funding to Turn Wood Into Sugars for Biofuel Makers. Virdia Inc., a closely held biotechnology company, is planning its first commercial plant in Mississippi to convert wood into sugars that can used to produce transportation fuel, nutritional products and specialty chemicals. The state agreed to provide a $75 million loan and $155 million in tax incentives, Redwood City, California-based Virdia said today in a statement. The company hasn’t decided on the location for the plant, which is expected to go into production in 2014. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-06/virdia-gets-funding-to-turn-wood-into-sugars-for-biofuel-makers.html EU Carbon Market Has Become ‘Residual’ in Power, IHS CERA Says. The European Union carbon market, the world’s biggest by traded volume, has become “residual” in power generation because of national renewable energy policies in the bloc, said IHS CERA, the energy adviser. “The emissions trading system has become a residual market for carbon abatement in the power sector,” Fabien Roques, director at the unit of Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-08/eu-carbon-market-has-become-residual-in-power-ihs-cera-says.html Green car fan Arnie urges stronger push for low emissions. Governments, carmakers and drivers must push for progress in green vehicle technology to help the environment, and global economic woes make it even more important to up the pressure, politician, actor and green car advocate Arnold Schwarzenegger said. But factors including "range-anxiety" for electric cars - the fear of running out of battery far from a charging point - and high price tags mean in some cases they are not yet selling in the high numbers manufacturers hoped for. Posted. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/yourmoney/sns-rt-us-autoshow-schwarzeneggerbre8270vi-20120308,0,4782503.story VEHICLES Honda wants dealers to have natural gas fuel stations. Honda, the only automaker selling compressed natural gas-powered cars in the U.S., wants some of its dealers to also install fueling station pumps to sell CNG. Honda has said it wants to double sales of its Civic Natural Gas sedans this year to 4,000, and greater CNG acceptance is going to require more public fueling stations, Steve Center, U.S. VP for environmental business development, said in an interview. Honda is negotiating with state regulators in California...Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/03/honda-wants-dealers-to-have-natural-gas-fuel-stations/1 City To Add Electric Vehicle Outlets to Local Lots. The Santa Barbara City Council voted Tuesday afternoon to install six modern electric vehicle charging stations in three downtown parking structures for vehicles including the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. Coulomb Technologies will provide the city with six “ChargePoint” stations located in downtown parking lots Six and Seven and the Helena Avenue Lot. Posted. http://www.dailynexus.com/2012-03-07/city-add-electric-vehicle-outlets-local-lots/ GREEN ENERGY Japan Shutting Down Its Nuclear Power Industry. OHI, Japan — All but two of Japan’s 54 commercial reactors have gone off line since the nuclear disaster a year ago, following the earthquake and tsunami, and it is not clear when they can be restarted. With the last operating reactor scheduled to be idled as soon as next month, Japan — once one of the world’s leaders in atomic energy — will have at least temporarily shut down an industry that once generated a third of its electricity. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/world/asia/japan-shutting-down-its-nuclear-power-industry.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print As gas prices soar, studies tout energy efficiency. As gasoline prices soar, two new studies today highlight the nation's financial and environmental savings from an often overlooked source in the energy sector: efficiency. Current efficiency standards for appliances, lighting and other equipment will save the United States the equivalent of two years of energy use or $1.1. trillion by 2035 and slash greenhouse gas emissions, concludes …Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2012/03/energy-efficiency-saves-us-trillions-cuts-pollution/1 Hello, sunshine: Palo Alto utility to pay locals for solar energy. Green energy may be losing momentum inside the Beltway. But officials in the heart of Silicon Valley are betting on the sun. This week, the Palo Alto City Council approved a plan to buy clean power from local utility customers who install solar panels on their roofs. That’s right. The power company will pay them, not the other way around. The arrangement – known by the clunky name “feed-in tariff” – is still a rarity in the United States. But Palo Alto officials want to help pioneer the effort. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-palo-alto-solar-program-20120307,0,1466033.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyCompany+%28Money+%26+Company%29 MISCELLANEOUS REXPO focuses on business, recycling in Stockton. Improving the regional environment - both in terms of cleaning the air and water as well as strengthening the economy and job market - is the aim of REXPO 8 Unplugged, the annual recycling, conservation and trade show planned for Wednesday in Stockton. There will also be two panel discussions. One will focus on efforts to increase recycled-content manufacturing in California, while the second seeks a balance between improving the environment while also creating new business opportunities. California EPA Secretary Matt Rodriquez will give the keynote luncheon talk, and state Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen, a Modesto Republican, is the day's opening speaker. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120308/A_BIZ/203080320&cid=sitesearch OPINIONS CARB misses the point with Harris solution. When an old, polluting diesel truck is replaced with a newer, cleaner truck, our air quality improves. Period. The California Air Resources Board needs to grasp that fact in its handling of truck replacement funds for a valley business. Instead, the board is refusing to honor an agreement to help replace seven old diesel trucks owned by Harris Ranch, a large-scale cattle operation 100 miles north of Bakersfield. The ranch had plans to replace the big rigs with new ones and get half the cost of each truck covered by a state air quality grant program. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/x2052758237/CARB-misses-the-point-with-Harris-solution Blowing dust prompts health advisory. Why were Bakersfield residents' respiratory issues acting up Tuesday? The answer -- as it has often been during this dry, dusty winter -- was blowing in the wind. Gusty conditions and flying particulate matter throughout the valley, including much of Kern County, prompted officials to issue a health cautionary statement Tuesday, advising people to avoid prolonged exposure to dust. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1498655306/Blowing-dust-prompts-health-advisory Obama in a Plaid Sportscoat: Have I Got A Deal For You! President Obama is still determined to put more electric cars on the road, even if most American consumers seem reluctant to buy one. So like any good car salesman, he’s putting more money on the hood. Obama wants Congress to increase the tax credit available for electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf from the current $7,500 to $10,000. And, instead of waiting until tax time to collect, he wants the rebate to kick in at the time of purchase. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2012/03/08/obama-in-a-plaid-sportscoat-have-i-got-a-deal-for-you/ Is This the Spark Green Vehicles Need? Don’t like electric cars? No problem, the White House plans to pony up big bucks to help you buy the (clean, green) vehicle of your choice. And it doesn’t have to be electric. President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled his new “All-of-the-Above Approach to American Energy.” The plan would raise the current $7,500 incentive for buying an electric car to $10,000 and — more important — extend it to any vehicle that runs on alternative fuels. Posted. http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=IVPL&Date=20120308&ID=14872418 BLOGS U.K., Ever Reliant on Gas, May Have Supply Strangled. The U.K. seems to be going down the road of greater dependence on natural gas, just as a key import source of the commodity dries up. This could leave the country, where industry is already struggling to remain competitive and households’ spending power is falling, facing 50% higher natural-gas prices next winter, analysts warned. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2012/03/08/u-k-ever-reliant-on-gas-may-have-supply-strangled/ Why cities can’t tackle global warming on their own. Whenever global warming drops off Congress’s radar, some environmentalists point out the real action is occurring locally, anyway. Some 500 U.S. mayors have signed pledges to reduce carbon emissions. Berkeley, for one, promises an 80 percent cut by 2050. But do these plans actually do anything? Not really, it turns out. Nate Berg points to an intriguing new paper in the Journal of Urban Economics by McGill’s Adam Millard-Ball that finds two things. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/can-americas-cities-tackle-global-warming-on-their-own/2012/03/08/gIQARZK7yR_blog.html What Makes Gasoline Prices Go Up? Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly. The United States exported more petroleum products than it imported last year. On the day after Super Tuesday, the federal Energy Information Administration came out with a striking fact: in 2011, the United States, for the first time since 1949, exported more petroleum products than it imported. On the big primary voting day, the same agency delivered news that might be even more relevant to current campaign oratory:.. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/what-makes-gasoline-prices-go-up/ With Energy Department’s Encouragement, Ford, G.M. and Ram Unveil Natural Gas Pickups. Speaking here this week at the Green Truck Summit, an event held in conjunction with the Work Truck Show, Steven Chu, the head of the Energy Department, called on commercial fleet owners to consider converting their vehicles to run on natural gas, which he characterized as a “no-brainer” alternative to gasoline and diesel. “We want to diversify our source of transportation energy,” Mr. Chu said. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/with-energy-departments-encouragement-ford-g-m-and-ram-unveil-natural-gas-pickups/ Postcard from a Solar Rooftop. Billy Parish is a longtime contact from the network of young activists working to build an energy menu for America that works for the long haul. I first encountered him at the climate treaty talks in Montreal in 2005 and included his views in a piece on climate rhetoric and reality in 2006. We disagree on some things, but agree on the unsustainable nature of business as usual. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/postcard-from-a-solar-rooftop/ Electronic Arts to bring SimCity back in 2013. The game franchise that first defined the city-building genre in 1989 will be re-released next year as a multi-player online computer game, developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts Inc. This time, however, SimCity has an environmental theme, a la “An Inconvenient Truth," the 2006 documentary about Al Gore's campaign to educate the public about global warming. In SimCity, a fetish for coal burning plants in one city can spread smog and sickness in adjacent cities run by other players, for example. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/03/electronic-arts-to-bring-simcity-back-in-2013.html Seven Teenagers Take the Federal Government to Court to Stop Climate Change. Seven teenagers set a new precedent for environmental action in May 2011 by suing the federal government for not taking measures against climate change. They claim that the government’s policies regarding climate change are squandering natural resources. The young plaintiffs, led by 17-year-old Alec Loorz, filed a total of 10 suits against the federal government and individual states under the public trust… Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/seven-teenagers-take-federal-government-court-stop/ Carbon Motors' $310 million DOE loan for police-car production rejected. Carbon Motors, maker of the purpose-built E7 police car, won't receive the $310 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loans under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program that it applied for almost three years ago, and said that it's a victim of politics. "We are outraged by the actions of the DOE and it is clear that this was a political decision in a highly-charged, election year environment," Carbon Motors William Santana Li said in a statement. The company added that it was "actively examining its strategic and financing alternatives." Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/08/carbon-motors-310-million-doe-loan-for-police-car-production-r/