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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 12, 2012. Posted: 12 Mar 2012 12:13:35
ARB Newsclips for March 12, 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 Lawmaker: Vehicle emission tests no longer needed. Every day, mechanics around the commonwealth check gas caps and look under hoods as part of annual vehicle emissions inspections. But one state lawmaker says residents should no longer have to take their cars in for— and pay for—the annual inspections. State Sen. John Wozniak, D-Westmont, tells the Centre Daily Times (http://bit.ly/AEuK9H ) that he thinks cleaner cars have made the inspections obsolete. "I think the test needs to be tested," said Wozniak, who introduced a resolution earlier this year asking the federal government to end the requirement. "Virtually all cars pass the test, and it's time to re-evaluate whether it's just a waste of money for consumers." Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20151307/lawmaker-vehicle-emission-tests-no-longer-needed?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com ARCO to pay $1 million to EPA at Superfund site. Atlantic Richfield Co. has agreed to pay $1 million to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for managing the Superfund site at the former Black Eagle smelter. "It really allows us to have a special account to do oversight of the responsible party's activities," said EPA spokesman Charlie Coleman. "Right now, with budgets the way they are, our abilities could be limited." Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/10/arco-to-pay-1-million-to-epa-at-superfund-site/ CARB: Regulatory Sell-Through Dates for Composite Panels. In June 2011, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced the delay in enforcement of two sell-through dates that affect distributors, importers, fabricators and retailers of finished goods made with Phase 1 hardwood plywood - veneer core and distributors of Phase 1 particleboard and MDF panels. The extension was granted in recognition of the economic recession and related problems for companies to sell off their inventories. Posted. http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/articles/red-book-woodworking-tools-best-practices/gluing-equipment-pressing/CARB-Regulatory-Sell-Through-Dates-for-Composite-Panels-142098243.html?ref=243 Study finds automobile tires are a potential source of carcinogenic dibenzopyrenes to the environment. A new study by researchers from Stockholm University concludes that automobile tires may be a potential previously unknown source of carcinogenic dibenzopyrenes—a type of high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)—to the environment. Their findings are published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/pah-20q2.html Fuel Tech Awarded Air Pollution Control Orders Totaling $2.2M. Warrenville, Ill. Fuel Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: FTEK), a world leader in advanced engineering solutions for combustion and emissions control systems for utility and industrial applications, today announced receipt of multiple air pollution control orders totaling $2.2 million. The larger of these orders, placed by a new domestic utility customer in the Midwest, was for combustion modifications and a Separated Over-Fire Air (SOFA) system for a small tangential coal-fired boiler. Posted. http://green.tmcnet.com/news/2012/03/12/6180396.htm CLIMATE CHANGE GM under a global warming cloud. Washington – General Motors, a company that has made strides to lower the carbon footprint of driving, is taking heat from 10,000 of its customers for a donation its charitable foundation made to an institute that casts doubt on climate science. GM vehicle buyers have posted online comments objecting to the GM Foundation's gifts of $30,000 in the past two years to the Heartland Institute, a free-market advocacy organization that publicizes its disagreement with prevailing scientific views about evidence of climate change. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/11/v-print/4326501/gm-under-a-global-warming-cloud.html Scientists say rising sea level threatens local beaches, Oceanside harbor. Sea-level increases projected by the middle of this century could wipe out sections of San Diego County's beaches, swell flood waters and deluge wetlands, according to maps generated by the Scripps Institution for Oceanography. The maps, prepared for the San Diego Foundation Regional Focus 2050 Study, combined projected sea level increases with wave measurements and high-resolution topographic images of the coastline to estimate high tide marks for 2050. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/region-scientists-say-rising-sea-level-threatens-local-beaches-oceanside/article_69f1178f-ece7-55cf-8433-33463b1138ef.html#ixzz1ov73FbkO DIESEL EMISSIONS Study says diesel emissions can increase risk of cancer three-fold. A landmark government health study released last week provides evidence that the diesel engine exhaust that pervades California highways could be causing cancer at a greater rate than previously known. The study says miners exposed to diesel engine exhaust are three times more likely to contract lung cancer and die, and that a similar increased risk applies to people from smoggy, urban areas such as Southern California who live near freeways or commute to work. Posted. http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/news/ci_20142367/study-says-diesel-emissions-can-increase-risk-cancer FUELS BP accused of selling "dirty gasoline" in California. Californian regulators allege BP sold gasoline between December 2008 and March 2009 that failed to comply with state limits on the amount of benzene and other potentially harmful chemicals it can contain. "BP could have complied with the applicable reported fuel property limits, BP intentionally chose not to do so and did not do so," the California Air Resources Board (CARB) claimed in a lawsuit filed in the Contra Costa Superior Court in California this week. Posted. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/9135145/BP-accused-of-selling-dirty-gasoline-in-California.html The Pentagon is a gas guzzler. The Pentagon spent $17.3 billion on oil in 2011, a 26 percent increase from 2010. This despite the Pentagon's public efforts to "go green." Late last month, Bloomberg reported that British Petroleum continues to experience substantial growth in the amount of money it receives from the Pentagon for its oil services. From 2010 to 2011, Pentagon contracts with BP increased by one-third from about 1 billion to 1.35 billion. Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Mises-Economics/2012/0312/The-Pentagon-is-a-gas-guzzler Ethanol Industry Pioneer Wants Higher Blends. The president of one of the world’s largest ethanol plant engineering and construction firms is pleased with the progress made by the industry in the last 30 years, but frustrated by the barriers to higher ethanol blends. At the recent National Ethanol Conference, where ICM, Inc. founder Dave Vander Griend was honored with the Renewable Fuels Association 2012 Membership Award, he talked about how ethanol could replace some of the additives currently found in gasoline – called aromatics – which are used to help boost octane in gas. Posted. http://domesticfuel.com/2012/03/11/ethanol-industry-pioneer-wants-higher-blends/ VEHICLES 6/average-new-vehicle-fuel-economy-rises-to-record-23-7-mpg-study-says. Proof That There’s Fun After 40 Miles Per Gallon. ASK the hipster waiting in line for a new iPad. Buyers and critics alike are easily seduced — sometimes too easily — by the new. It’s no different with cars. Last year, a rare battle of the welterweights broke out. Never before, it seemed, had so many new compact models swaggered into showrooms. The Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Chevy Cruze and Nissan Versa were all brand-new or completely redesigned. Which one would win the compact crown? Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/automobiles/autoreviews/mazda-3-theres-fun-after-40-miles-per-gallon.html?scp=4&sq=fuels&st=cse New carpool lane opens on Highway 50. A carpool lane on westbound Highway 50 between Rancho Cordova and Sacramento has opened. Caltrans said the project added 7.5 miles of new carpool lane in the westbound direction on Highway 50 between Sunrise Boulevard and Watt Avenue. With the added mileage, a continuous carpool lane of nearly 23 miles exists from on westbound Highway 50 from Watt Avenue in Sacramento County to Bass Lake Road in El Dorado County. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/12/v-print/4330791/new-carpool-lane-opens-on-highway.html Average new-vehicle fuel economy rises to record 23.7 mpg, study says. The average fuel economy for new vehicles purchased in the United States rose to 23.7 mpg in February, a new high, researchers at the University of Michigan said. The university’s Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich., has tracked the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold monthly since October 2007, when average fuel economy was 20.1 mpg. In January, the researchers said they expected average fuel economy for new vehicles purchased to keep rising. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120309/OEM05/120309839/118 Static electricity. Driving her brand-new car down Pacific Avenue, Catherine Kearney turned into a gas station. Only to remember - with a "whoops" and a laugh - that she would never need gas again. Kearney's Nissan Leaf is refueled each day while it sits in a parking spot near her desk at the San Joaquin County Office of Education, which recently installed five charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120312/A_NEWS/203120326&cid=sitesearch VW plans plug-in Golf for U.S. in '13. Volkswagen of America plans to bring a plug-in car to the United States late next year, its first foray into the electric-vehicle market. The 2014 model will be an all-electric version of its Golf, Jonathan Browning, VW of America's president, told Automotive News last week at the Geneva auto show. VW likely will start with a limited rollout targeting specific markets before making the electric Golf available nationwide, he said. The electric Golf also will go on sale in Europe around the same time. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120312/OEM06/303129928/1186/vw-plans-plug-in-golf-for-u-s-in-13 More hybrid, electric cars available to rent. Rental car companies and hotels are making it easier for travelers who want to help save the environment and not spend extra money on high gasoline prices. Major car rental companies are increasingly adding electric cars to their already growing hybrid car fleets. And hotels are installing electric charging stations or giving electric and hybrid car drivers breaks on pricey parking fees. Travelers have never had so many options for more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly cars. Posted. http://www.azcentral.com/business/consumer/articles/2012/03/12/20120312More-hybrid-electric-cars-available-to-rent.html Electric-vehicle innovation might be game-changer. As part of his plan to get 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, President Barack Obama wants Congress to give buyers a tax credit of up to $10,000 next year. Currently, the maximum is $7,500, and some Republicans scoff at the credit, calling it a subsidy for the wealthy, noting that the average yearly income of a Chevrolet Volt electric car is $170,000. Posted. http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120310/BIZ/203100303/-1/NEWSMAP 6000 new EV users in first 100 days. Since the launch of car2go in San Diego on 18 November 2011, more than 6,000 people have registered to join North America's first all-electric carsharing programme, and more than 25,000 trips have been taken in the smart fortwo electric drive vehicles. The car2go carsharing service will be available in Washington, D.C. beginning 24 March 2012 and in Portland as of 31 March. Prior to the launch of car2go in November 2011, there were reportedly 800 electric vehicles in San Diego. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/77020120312.php GREEN ENERGY First Solar to build new solar plant for NRG. First Solar Inc will build a 26-megawatt solar power plant for power producer NRG Energy Inc in Arizona under the latest deal between two of the biggest players in the U.S. renewable energy sector. NRG is the majority owner of the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente plant that First Solar is building near Yuma, Arizona, and the two companies previously teamed up on a 21-MW plant in Blythe, California, in 2009 and the 20-MW Road Runner plant in New Mexico last year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/12/us-nrgenergy-firstsolar-idUSBRE82B0N520120312?feedType=RSS&feedName=scienceNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=309301 Solyndra Is Blamed as Clean-Energy Loan Program Stalls. More than $16 billion in loans authorized five years ago by Congress to develop fuel-efficient vehicles has yet to be dispersed, with applicants for the money complaining that the Energy Department is crippling plans for greener cars and trucks at a time of rising gas prices. Some companies contend that the loans, administered by energy officials, have dried up because of a political firestorm that followed the bankruptcy last year of the solar-panel company Solyndra, which had received a federal loan from a related program. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/business/energy-environment/stalled-clean-energy-loan-program-feels-solyndras-chill.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print MISCELLANEOUS Nobel scientist who warned of thinning ozone dies. F. Sherwood Rowland, the Nobel prize-winning chemist who sounded the alarm on the thinning of the Earth's ozone layer and crusaded against the use of man-made chemicals that were harming earth's atmospheric blanket, has died. He was 84. Rowland died Saturday at his home in Corona del Mar of complications from Parkinson's disease, the dean of the University of California, Irvine's physical sciences department said Sunday. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20155129/nobel-scientist-who-warned-thinning-ozone-dies?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20155129/nobel-scientist-who-warned-thinning-ozone-dies?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0312/F.-Sherwood-Rowland-won-Nobel-Prize-for-ozone-destruction-research http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/11/nobel-scientist-who-warned-of-thinning-ozone/ http://www.modbee.com/2012/03/11/2108286/nobel-scientist-who-warned-of.html OPINIONS Analysis: Chevron is gambling with its reputation in South America. Rio de Janeiro -- George Buck, a slim, towering American who runs Chevron's operations in Brazil, is often flanked by lawyers these days. Since November, when the No. 2 U.S. oil company spilled at least 2,400 barrels of oil offshore Brazil, the local attorneys have helped Buck navigate the legal system, sometimes doubling as Portuguese translators and cultural consultants. The soft-spoken engineer, in the country since 2009, has good reason to measure his words. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20155526/analysis-chevron-is-gambling-its-reputation-south-america The Republican Party's gasoline alley. The Republicans are synthesizing a higher-octane blend in their bid to fuel Americans' anxiety about higher gas prices. The Republican National Committee sent out talking points instructing party faithful to take up the issue. House Speaker John Boehner urged his caucus to do the same. And, on Wednesday, the House energy committee obliged: The Republican majority called in a bunch of oilmen for a hearing dedicated largely to blaming President Obama for gas prices. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/x2052758503/The-Republican-Partys-gasoline-alley Just a little breeze of brightness but we'll take it. A couple of updates from the good news (sort of) department. Harris Ranch and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have reached an agreement on the now infamous seven trucks that were torched by criminals two months ago.. The agreement still calls for Harris to buy seven old, pollution belching trucks in order to get grant money to replace the trucks that were burned up. But the beef company won't have to actually operate the beater trucks. Sigh. I shall pause for the head-shaking to settle. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/columnist/henry/x2052758373/Just-a-little-breeze-of-brightness-but-well-take-it Cap and Trade Plan Touches Third Rail. In California, an odd team has hatched a plan. This most unlikely duo will create a polluter’s auction to siphon off $1 billion from state businesses to start construction on one of the state’s most mismanaged projects: high-speed rail. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has authority under California’s landmark 2006 climate law, Assembly Bill 32, to implement a “cap and trade” system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/03/cap-and-trade-plan-touches-third-rail/ GREEN GAZETTE: Long Beach Transit Looks For More Riders, Cuts Down Pollution. There are an average of 76,344 environmentally-friendly acts occurring every day in Long Beach. And those are only the people who are boarding a Long Beach Tranit bus. Long Beach Transit is the publicly-owned nonprofit agency that operates the city’s bus system, including the downtown Passports, Dial-A-Lift service and the water taxis and AquaLink boats that ply the city’s coast. Posted. http://www.gazettes.com/news/environment/green-gazette-long-beach-transit-looks-for-more-riders-cuts/article_da5cdda6-68a8-11e1-8412-0019bb2963f4.html BLOGS If Cutting Carbon Emissions Isn’t Working, What’s Next? What if it is too late to save the climate by cutting greenhouse gas emissions? What if the amount of carbon dioxide already added to the atmosphere by human activity is so great that it is going to produce big temperature changes no matter what, with big shifts in rainfall and in ocean chemistry? Options remain, according to a new book, “Suck It Up,” by Marc Gunther, a journalist, blogger and speaker who specializes in energy and climate issues. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/if-cutting-carbon-emissions-isnt-working-whats-next/?scp=2&sq=climate%20change&st=cse Obama's EV-Everywhere plan sets 2022 goals for U.S.-made electric vehicles. President Barack Obama on Thursday outlined his administration's EV Everywhere plan designed to cut gas-powered vehicle use over the next decade. Speaking at a Daimler truck plant in North Carolina, Obama set a 2022 goal of having the U.S. produce a five-passenger electric vehicle that would provide both a payback time – thanks to lower refueling costs – of less than five years and an ability to be recharged quickly enough to provide enough range for the typical American driver. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/11/obamas-ev-everywhere-plan-sets-2022-goals-for-u-s-made-electri/ Ford Focus Electric qualifies for HOV lane access, extra $2,500 off. Following in the footsteps of the Chevrolet Volt and the Honda Civic Natural Gas, the 105-MPGe 2012 Ford Focus Electric has been granted HOV lane access in California by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB not only gave the upcoming all-electric vehicle the ability to let people drive alone in the "high occupancy" vehicle lane but also qualified it to get an extra $2,500 off through the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP). Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/12/ford-focus-electric-qualifies-for-hov-lane-access-extra-2-500/