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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 19, 2012. Posted: 19 Mar 2012 12:13:14
ARB Newsclips for March 19, 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 With Gas Prices Rising, Smog Rules May Stall. The Obama administration, facing political heat over high gasoline prices, may delay new rules that would cut pollution from cars but also could bring higher prices at the pump, environmental and industry leaders said. The rules would require refiners to make cleaner-burning gasoline and auto makers to build cars that emit fewer smog-forming pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency was scheduled to roll out the rules before April, but it hasn't yet submitted them for White House review. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577289492012447990.html SUBSCRIPTION Fracking Wells’ Air Emissions Pose Health Risks, Study Finds. Chemicals released into the air when natural-gas producers complete hydraulically fractured wells may pose a health risk to those living nearby, the Colorado School of Public Health said. Researchers found potentially toxic chemicals in the air near wells in Garfield County, Colorado, during three years of monitoring…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-19/fracking-wells-air-emissions-pose-health-risks-study-finds.html Korea Set to Try Again on Carbon Trading, Climate Head Says. South Korea, the fastest-growing emitter among rich nations, will try again to pass a bill that sets up emissions trading in 2015 and allows lawmakers to work out details later this year, a top climate official said. The country, which delayed a decision on Feb. 27 about legislation to start cap-and-trade, is working to reschedule the vote, with a target of April or May, Nam Kwang Hee, director general of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, said in an interview. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-19/korea-set-to-fine-tune-co2-trading-after-vote-climate-head-says.html Vt. joins air pollution suit against power plants. Brattelboro, Vt. — Vermont has joined 11 other states in support of a Clean Air Act rule that would reduce air pollution from power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency recently promulgated rules that are meant to reduce toxic air pollution from coal and oil-fired power plants, known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The rules are meant to curb power plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants that are known to cause cancer, respiratory illness, and other serious health effects. Posted. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46784002 LAX air pollution study nears end. REGION: Monitoring of the area impact, the final phase, to be completed by 2013. The final phase of a landmark study is under way to determine how much air pollution in the region comes from Los Angeles International Airport, officials said Wednesday. Two initial phases of the study determined the best techniques and equipment for determining air quality levels and which pollutants can be linked to airport operations. Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_20174928/lax-air-pollution-study-is-readied?source=rss AIR POLLUTION: Smog elevates stroke risk. Teresa Flores-Lopez has spent more than a decade fighting air pollution and traffic problems in her west San Bernardino neighborhood. She successfully battled an Omitrans bus refueling station where natural gas leaks sent noxious odors into neighborhoods. She took on a railroad to reduce the diesel soot drifting into her community from locomotives, trucks and other machinery. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20120317-air-pollution-smog-elevates-stroke-risk.ece Redding council to revisit pollution board debate; medical pot, industrial lot also on agenda. Eight months ago, Redding resurrected for discussion its participation on an air pollution board as a way to deal with climate-change mandates. The topic returns Tuesday. The City Council is expected to confirm its interest in partnering with Anderson and Shasta Lake to seek city representation on the Shasta County Air Pollution Control Board. The five Shasta County supervisors sit on that board. Posted. http://www.redding.com/news/2012/mar/17/redding-looking-to-take-its-seat-at-climate/?print=1 CLIMATE CHANGE Study suggests cap and trade programs do not provide sufficient incentives for energy technology innovation; implications for climate policy. Policies incentivizing the private sector to push to develop innovative “clean” technologies are likely to play a key role in achieving climate stabilization. However, cap and trade programs (CTPs) to reduce emissions—currently the world’s most prominent climate policy instrument—do not inherently provide incentives to induce the private sector to develop innovative technologies, according to a new open access paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/taylor-20120319.html Air play: Could we capture carbon from the atmosphere? What if, in addition to curbing greenhouse gas emissions, we could capture them from the air? That’s the question that prompted Marc Gunther, an author and contributing editor at Fortune magazine, to write the e-book Suck It Up, a Kindle Single. Below is an excerpt from the book on the history of the start-up Kilimanjaro Energy, a private company that is seeking to solve the carbon extraction equation. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/air-play-could-we-capture-carbon-from-the-atmosphere/ DIESEL EMISSIONS State has up to $5 Million to help small businesses clean up their commercial boats. The California Air Resources Board has received $5 million in federal stimulus money to help clean up a variety of boats and vessels that operate in California’s ports and harbors. The funds are designed to reduce emissions from a variety of marine vessels that use diesel engines, such as charter fishing boats, commercial fishing boats, crew and supply vessels, ferry and excursion boats, pilot vessels, tow boats, tug-boats and work boats. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=20639 FUELS Another metric on energy efficiency. It's hardly a surprise that making energy efficiency improvements to buildings saves money and can benefit the environment in terms of reduced fossil fuel burning and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Study after study tells us that, and now here's another one. Environment America recently released a report, "Building a Better America," showing that if the lessons of high-efficiency homes and buildings were applied to all buildings, the nation could reduce energy 24 percent by 2030. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/19/4349129/another-metric-on-energy-efficiency.html As natural gas production grows, questions arise about methane leaks. Washington — As natural gas production in the United States hits an all-time high, a major unanswered question looms: What does growing hydraulic fracturing mean for climate change? The Obama administration lists natural gas as one of the "clean energy sources" it wants to expand. When burned, natural gas emits about half the heat-trapping carbon dioxide as coal. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/18/4347473/as-natural-gas-production-grows.html Startup Converts Plastic To Oil, And Finds A Niche. Only 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A startup company in Niagara Falls says it can increase that amount and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil at the same time. It all starts with a machine known as the Plastic-Eating Monster. Thousands of pounds of shredded milk jugs, water bottles and grocery bags tumble into a large tank, where they're melted together and vaporized. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2012/03/19/147506525/startup-converts-plastic-to-oil-and-finds-a-niche VEHICLES As Cars Are Kept Longer, 200,000 Is New 100,000. HOW far can a modern car really go? Given the increasing age of vehicles on American roads, we may be on the verge of finding out. As a stubborn recession made drivers wary of new purchases for several years, the average age of vehicles on the road in the United States stretched to a record 11.1 years in 2011, according to the research firm R. L. Polk, which tracks vehicle sales and registrations. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/automobiles/as-cars-are-kept-longer-200000-is-new-100000.html?scp=1&sq=vehicles&st=cse GM, Tesla fight politicization of electric cars. Washington -- After a year's success in casting bankrupt Fremont solar maker Solyndra as the prototype for President Obama's energy policies, Republicans now are targeting what they have dubbed "Obamacars." For some GOP members of Congress, the Chevy Volt, made by General Motors, is a fire hazard and a job loser, while Palo Alto's Tesla Motors is a crony capitalist purveyor of toy cars for Silicon Valley millionaires. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/19/MTJA1NL8OD.DTL&type=printable Wilmington auto parts dealer fined over catalytic converters. A Wilmington auto parts dealer was penalized for selling illegal catalytic converters, state air quality regulators said this week. Following an investigation from January 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011 by the Air Resources Board, Mike's Foreign Auto Parts on Anaheim Street was fined $50,000 for selling, offering for sale or advertising catalytic converters not meeting state rules, the agency said. Aftermarket catalytic converters for on- and off-road vehicles must be approved by the Air Resources Board. Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_20174925/wilmington-business-fined-advertising-selling-illegal-auto-parts?IADID=Search-www.dailybreeze.com-www.dailybreeze.com On Emissions Limits, California Goes its Own Way. Earlier this year, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) completely revamped its passenger vehicle emissions control regulations. The new Advanced Clean Cars program, which covers model years 2017—2025, combines several regulatory schemes into the new program: the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program, which governs tailpipe regulations for light duty vehicles; the Clean Fuels Outlet regulation…Posted. http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/44132 http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20120319/BIZ/203190319/Calif-mandate-triggers-ethanol-backlash?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CHome%7Cs MISCELLANEOUS West Coast Electric Highway Now Open for EV Bikes and Cars. Oregon is opening the longest stretch of electric highway in the nation with the help of AeroVironment and its electric charging stations. It is part of the West Coast Green Highway initiative. According to the Washington State DOT site called West Coast Green Highway: “The Electric Highways Project will encourage more people and businesses in Washington to buy and use plug-in electric vehicles. Increasing the market demand for electric vehicles will help reduce the transportation sector’s impact upon the environment and dependency on foreign oil. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2012/03/19/west-coast-electric-highway-now-open-for-ev-bikes-and-cars/ OPINIONS Obama Sets Gas Prices? Just Another G.O.P. Myth. Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate energy committee, complained the other day of “widespread misunderstanding” about rising oil prices. He was being senatorially polite.The issue of gas prices has not only been misunderstood but thoroughly distorted by relentless ideological spin from industry and its political allies, mainly Republican. Hardly a day goes by that some industry cheerleader somewhere —…Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/obama-sets-gas-prices-just-another-gop-myth.html?scp=6&sq=fuels&st=cse Transportation bill will get the country moving. With gas prices at record levels, we are once again hearing the chorus of "drill, baby, drill." But we need to broaden our focus. At this time of rising energy costs and increased demand for more transit options, we should be singing: "Build, baby, build." Build, as in lay new track and bore new tunnels for light-rail and subway lines. Build, as in improve highway safety and efficiency. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/19/EDDH1NM8H2.DTL Oakland Tribune editorial: State air board suit against BP should prod oil firm to obey gasoline regulations. There was a time when BP prided itself as a "green" energy company, even adopting the slogan "Beyond Petroleum." After a huge refinery explosion in Texas in 2005 and the Deepwater Horizon explosion and massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, a more appropriate BP moniker would be Big Polluter. With all of the negative news about the Gulf incident, which has cost BP billions of dollars and a tarnished image, one would think the British oil firm would be particularly careful about obeying environmental regulations. Unfortunately, it has not been. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_20189914/oakland-tribune-editorial-state-air-board-suit-against http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20184056/contra-costa-times-editorial-state-air-board-suit How an oil-and-gas boom is interrupting greening of America. Anecdotes are no substitute for hard data. But when they start to reach a critical mass and they all tell the same story, you know something big is going on. A longtime car salesman relocates to south Texas to capitalize on the soaring demand for truckers to haul sand to hydraulic fracturing sites across the Eagle Ford shale formation. Nearby, the Corpus Christie School District can’t find bus drivers, who are getting paid a lot more to cart sand. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120317/WIRE/120319638 PD Editorial: Locals want affordable, reliable power. Are Sonoma County residents and businesses ready to have their county government go into the power business? The answer to that question may be in the eye of the beholder. Rather, it depends on how one looks at the results of recent polls that sought to answer that very question. We fear that view may be less rosy than some community leaders contend. Yes, as the county has reported, the surveys show that 79 percent of residents support the idea of having the county's electricity portfolio — i.e. where we get our power from — locally controlled. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120318/OPINION/120319665 The Brilliant Economics of Green Buildings. Say what you will about the benefits of clean energy or the costs of pollution, the jury has returned an ambiguous verdict on the greening of the commercial real-estate market. The niche has become mainstream. Anyone who says green buildings, which are certified by third-party verifiers as demonstrating superior environmental performance and resource efficiency, are “boutique” has not been paying attention. The commercial buildings sector boasts the most explosive growth in green building. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2012/03/18/the-brilliant-economics-of-green-buildings/ When Will Obama Issue Greenhouse-Gas Rules? President Obama is going to issue controversial rules on greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants only after the November presidential election, a narrow plurality of National Journal’s Energy and Environment Insiders predict. The rules, which would limit greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, have been pending since last November, when the Environmental Protection Agency sent them over to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for review. Posted. http://news.yahoo.com/obama-issue-greenhouse-gas-rules-120003934.html