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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.


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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.


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. 

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. 


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. 


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.

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.

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.


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. 

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.

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.

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.


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.


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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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