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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 21, 2012 Posted: 21 Mar 2012 12:39:22
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 21, 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 Study: 'Fracking' may increase air pollution health risks. Air pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing, a controversial oil and gas drilling method, may contribute to “acute and chronic health problems for those living near natural gas drilling sites,” according to a new study from the Colorado School of Public Health. The study, based on three years of monitoring at Colorado sites, found a number of “potentially toxic petroleum hydrocarbons in the air near the wells including benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene.” The Environmental Protection Agency has identified benzene as a known carcinogen. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-fracking-increases-air-pollution-health-risks-to-residents-20120320,0,7159850.story http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/03/19/bloomberg_articlesM14RQV6JTSEC01-M153F.DTL Officials: Pittsburgh air quality improving. Allegheny County officials say local air quality is better than it's been for over 100 years. A release issued Tuesday says air quality improved at every monitoring site in the county in 2011, and is now in compliance with levels for fine particulate matter, which can cause asthma and other health problems. Jim Thompson, an Air Quality Program Manager, says the improvements are due to recent pollution controls put in at nearby and out-of-state industrial plants. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20213585/officials-pittsburgh-air-quality-improving?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Controversial strawberry pesticide pulled from US. A controversial strawberry pesticide is being pulled from the U.S. market by its Tokyo manufacturer. Arysta LifeScience Inc. announced late Tuesday that it's immediately suspending the sale of all formulations of the fumigant Midas, or methyl iodide. It says the decision is based on its economic viability in the United States. The fumigant is used by growers of strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and other crops. Methyl iodide was seen as a replacement for another fumigant, methyl bromide, which is being phased out under international treaty because it depletes the Earth's ozone. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/21/4355024/manufacturer-pulling-fumigant.html DIESEL EMISSIONS March 30 deadline approaching for CARB on-road registry. Truck owners whose trucks drive in California are up against a pressing deadline if they want more compliance time for CARB’s most expensive truck rule. The Truck and Bus Rule registry is a database used by the California Air Resources Board to keep track of the hundreds of thousands of commercial vehicles that operate in California annually. The Truck and Bus Rule, also known as the “Retrofit Rule,” will require trucking fleets to either install diesel particulate filters or upgrade their trucks. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=23384 FUELS As natural gas production grows, questions arise about methane leaks. 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. Yet natural gas production can result in releases of methane into the atmosphere. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/21/2769402/as-natural-gas-production-grows.html#storylink=misearch http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/21/4354837/as-natural-gas-production-grows.html#storylink=misearch Obama's day: Heading west over gas prices. Good morning from The Oval, on a day when President Obama turns his attention to what may be his biggest current political problem: Gas prices. Obama starts a two-day, four-state trip designed to promote his "all-of-the-above" energy strategy, as reported by USA TODAY's Aamer Madhani, The president plans to promote production of a variety of energy sources to help stabilize prices at the pump. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/03/obamas-day-heading-west-over-gas-prices/1#.T2sTDtlkiso Biofuels get a bounce. Community Fuels' biodiesel plant at the Port of Stockton served as the centerpiece Tuesday for U.S. Department of Agricultural officials highlighting gains in rural and farm-related energy projects under the 2008 Farm Bill. "We wanted to bring some attention to this particular program, because everything about it is just phenomenal," said Phil Brown, energy coordinator for the USDA's Rural Development office in California. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120321/A_BIZ/203210313&cid=sitesearch 7 states join opposition to Calif. low-carbon fuel rule. Seven Midwestern states are joining ethanol and petroleum producers in opposing enforcement of California's low-carbon fuel standard. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) filed a brief March 12 in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against California's request to continue enforcing its regulation. It was co-signed by the attorneys general of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/03/21/6 VEHICLES Electric vehicles: Higher gas prices won't charge sales. Will higher gas prices help lift sales of electric vehicles? Lacey Plache, the chief economist for Edmunds.com, says the hurdles are still too high for widespread adoption of electric vehicles. In an analysis for automotive research firm R.L. Polk & Co., Plache notes that one problem is that there still isn’t a lot of choice when it comes to electrics and plug-in hybrids. While at least nine electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are expected to become available in 2012, only the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are widely available. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-electric-vehicles-20120321,0,5459128.story Nissan bringing back the Datsun. Nissan is bringing back the Datsun three decades after shelving the brand that helped build its U.S. business. This time, Nissan hopes the name synonymous with affordable and reliable small cars will power its growth in emerging markets. Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn made the announcement Tuesday while in Indonesia, one of three markets, besides India and Russia, where the Datsun will go on sale in 2014. Posted. http://www.pe.com/business/business-headlines/20120320-nissan-bringing-back-the-datsun.ece http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120321/WIRE/203211032 Nissan not planning Datsun for developed markets. Nissan's revival of the Datsun won't include developed markets, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday, outlining a strategy to target the revamped brand at emerging nations where the biggest growth is expected for affordable stylish vehicles. The offerings will be tailored for each market, including price and engine size, targeting the burgeoning market of first-time car buyers in countries such as India, Indonesia and Russia, where Datsun will be introduced from 2014, he said. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/03/20/2122444/nissan-not-planning-datsun-for.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DOE to award up to $10M to promote zero emission cargo transport (ZECT) vehicles. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced up to $10 million is available (DE-FOA-0000669) this year to demonstrate and deploy electric transportation technologies for cargo vehicles, such as trucks, locomotives and forklifts. DOE is seeking applicants for this funding to demonstrate cost-effective zero emission cargo transport (ZECT) systems and collect detailed performance and cost data to analyze the benefits and viability of this approach to freight transportation. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is focused on accelerating the introduction and penetration of ZECT technologies. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/zect-20120321.html GREEN ENERGY A Measured Rebuttal to China Over Solar Panels. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that it would impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after concluding that the Chinese government provided illegal export subsidies to manufacturers there. The tariffs were smaller, at 2.9 to 4.73 percent, than some American industry executives had expected. At that size, their effect on the market could be limited. But additional tariffs could be imposed in May, when the Commerce Department is scheduled to decide whether China is “dumping” solar panels into the United States at prices below their actual cost. A finding of dumping would result in additional tariffs that could be far larger than these. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/business/energy-environment/us-to-place-tariffs-on-chinese-solar-panels.html?ref=global-home U.S. to impose tariffs on solar panels from China. Ratcheting up the battle over a vital energy industry, the U.S. Commerce Department decided to impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after concluding that manufacturers there received illegal government subsidies. The Commerce Department, in its preliminary finding over illegal subsidies, said solar panels imported from China — now dominating the U.S. market — would face a duty of 2.9% to 4.73%. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-china-solar-tariffs-20120321,0,2176573.story http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20215000/us-govt-sets-new-tariffs-china-solar-panels?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/03/20/bloomberg_articlesM171A66S972D01-M179U.DTL http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012203200354 NYC has solar, wind power plans for old dump site. A New York City site once known for the size of its garbage heaps would be home to alternative energy sources that could generate 20 megawatts of renewable power, now that the city is soliciting bids to build and operate a wind farm and solar power plant there. City officials put out a request for proposals on Tuesday to build solar and wind power facilities at Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill. With 75 acres available for lease, city officials say the project at the closed landfill could generate enough energy to power 6,000 homes and would double the city's renewable energy capacity. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/nyc-has-solar-wind-power-plans-for-old-dump-site/article_cd201e4a-9bf9-5c82-8447-d6bce147e411.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/03/20/2121783/nyc-has-solar-wind-power-plans.html Can the tensions between trade policy and the emerging 'green' economy be resolved? As governments and consumers begin to grapple with the costs of carbon emissions and tightening resource margins, markets all over the world are moving toward cleaner, more sustainable business models. As they do, the webs of international trade laws that connect the world's markets are evolving, as well. Managed correctly, these laws could play a prominent role in encouraging green growth and fostering new innovation, according to a panel of experts hosted by the Brookings Institution yesterday. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/03/21/5 BLOGS New York Maps Viable Offshore Wind Power. A new study mapping out habitats in and around the waters off New York was released on Tuesday, bringing the state a step closer to determining the potential for wind energy projects offshore. The study is the product of a two-year joint effort by New York’s Department of State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to identify critical bird and fish habitats to ensure that they are not harmed by future wind farms. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/for-new-york-a-map-of-viable-offshore-wind-power/ P.Wm. climate change case takes center stage. Now that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation into climate research has been tossed out of court, a similar case in Prince William County targeting the same ex-University of Virginia scientist moves into the spotlight. And this case, seeking some 12,000 emails sent and received by scientist Michael E. Mann, using the Freedom of Information Act, appears to have a far greater chance of success. That’s because U.Va. apparently has already given the 12,000 e-mails to Mann himself, though he left Charlottesville years ago. The American Tradition Institute, the conservative group hoping to show that climate change scientists like Mann manipulated their data, argues that U.Va. can’t give the e-mails to one person and not another. By giving the emails to Mann, the university has waived any exemptions they’re claiming to the state Freedom of Information Act, ATI says. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/pwm-climate-change-case-takes-center-stage/2012/03/19/gIQA1vLGQS_blog.html Who benefits from a solar trade war with China? U.S. solar-panel makers have long complained that their Chinese rivals are unfairly subsidized by the government. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department said it would impose modest tariffs on Chinese solar cells. Further penalties could be on the way. So who benefits from a solar trade war? It’s a mixed bag, really. There’s little question that some U.S. manufacturers like SolarWorld have been trampled by China’s rhino-style charge into the world solar market. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-ups-and-downs-of-a-solar-trade-war-with-china/2012/03/21/gIQAJyrmRS_blog.html Class-action settlement over Honda Civic Hybrid mileage claims approved. A class-action lawsuit between American Honda Motor Co. and plaintiffs who claimed the Japanese automaker overstated fuel-economy figures on Honda Civic Hybrids has been approved by a San Diego Superior Court Judge. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the lawsuit involves about 460,000 people who either owned or leased 2003 to 2009 Civic Hybrids. The settlement grants the plaintiffs $100 in cash and a credit towards a new Honda of between $500 and $1,000. Honda may end up paying out more than $460 million, including legal fees of more than $8.1 million, the newspaper said. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/21/class-action-settlement-over-honda-civic-hybrid-mileage-claims-a/ Indonesia: From fuel subsidies to electric cars? As the Indonesian government rolls out its plans for cutting fuel subsidies for private cars and the demand for vehicles is set to rise steeply, the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Dahlan Iskan sees electric vehicles (EVs) as one of the best solutions to problems associated with increasing fuel prices. “Let’s have a war against fuel,” said Dahlan Iskan, Indonesian Minister of State-Owned Enterprises during his talk to an audience of around 500 students of the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia. “There are no alternatives, [the increasing prices] are inevitable,” he added. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/77720120321.php