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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 26, 2012. Posted: 26 Mar 2012 15:08:23
ARB Newsclips for March 26, 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. CLIMATE CHANGE Heat Waves, Rains Probably Linked to Warming, Scientists Say. Heat waves and extreme rainfall in the past decade are probably linked to global warming, according to a study by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “For some types of extreme, notably heat waves but also precipitation extremes, there is now strong evidence linking specific events or an increase in their number to the human influence on climate,” the scientists wrote in a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Posted. http://webfarm.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-26/heat-waves-rains-probably-linked-to-warming-scientists-say.html Ventura County ozone levels continue to decline. The major air-quality issue facing Ventura County is ozone, commonly referred to as smog. In the upper atmosphere (stratosphere), ozone provides a protective layer shielding life from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Ground-level ozone in the troposphere (the layer of air up to about 6 miles above Earth), however, can trigger a variety of health problems. The health problems include chest pain, coughing and throat irritation. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/24/ventura-county-ozone-levels-continue-to-decline/ DIESEL EMISSIONS New Diesel Emissions Rules To Be Enforced. California will start enforcing new diesel emissions rules for some trucks and buses this week (March 30). The regulations are intended to reduce smog and to decrease the amount of cancer-causing soot emitted by burning diesel fuel. Trucks and buses with engines from model years 1996-1999 are currently affected. Most are required to install new filters. But Bruce Tuter with the Air Resources Board says some owners - for example those with small fleets - may qualify for an extension: Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2012/03/26/new-diesel-emissions-rules-to-be-enforced VEHICLES After failing to reach goals, California attempts to jump-start its 'Hydrogen Highway'. Eight years ago, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger drove a hydrogen-powered Toyota Highlander to UC Davis and, with TV cameras running, promised to build a "hydrogen highway" to help usher in a green revolution in California. Schwarzenegger signed a plan to build 50 to 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2010 with state funds and money from oil companies. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_20255219/after-failing-reach-goals-california-attempts-jump-start?source=rss http://www.contracostatimes.com/science/ci_20255219/after-failing-reach-goals-california-attempts-jump-start?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20255219/after-failing-reach-goals-california-attempts-jump-start?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Electric car makers looking to seize opportunity. To drivers, the high price of gasoline is a scourge. To the electric car industry, it could be a game-changer. Nissan's electric Leaf and the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid both hit dealer showrooms in late 2010, riding a wave of carefully cultivated hype. But first-year sales were lackluster at best, as consumers balked at the high sticker prices and unfamiliar engineering. This year's gas-price spike could change that. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/25/BU771NOQ0U.DTL&type=tech NRG settlement to fund car-charging stations. A company accused of gouging California during the energy crisis has agreed to a $120 million settlement that will fund a statewide network of electric car charging stations, putting the state at the forefront of a growing clean emissions movement. Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday that NRG Energy Inc. will pay for 200 public fast-charging stations and an additional 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations in the Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/24/BALP1NPILK.DTL&type=science http://www.dailynews.com/ci_20242510/l-san-diego-get-thousands-electric-car-charging AP Enterprise: Vegas rail: a gamble or good thing? On a dusty, rock-strewn expanse at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a company linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to build a bullet train that would rocket tourists from the middle of nowhere to the gambling palaces of Las Vegas. Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama administration to build the 150 mph train, which could be a lifeline for a region devastated by the housing crash or a crap shoot for taxpayers weary of Washington spending. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/03/25/national/a094636D22.DTL&type=printable http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/desertxpress-las-vegas-train_n_1379822.html $1.5 billion Caltrain deal packs some big extras. That just-announced pact to plow $1.5 billion in high-speed rail money into electrifying Caltrain comes with some mighty major side deals - including a pledge by Bay Area leaders to build a 1.2-mile tunnel through downtown San Francisco to connect the line to the new Transbay Terminal. In the spirit of providing something for everybody, local transportation officials also agreed to go after another $1 billion in federal funds to complete the BART extension to San Jose. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/26/BAVG1NPJFJ.DTL Nuclear power undermines electric cars' green image. Electric car owners, who wear their environmental consciousness as a badge of honor, are running into a new image problem in Japan: the country's dependence on nuclear plants for power. The government is trying to restart dozens of nuclear power plants for the first time since the Fukushimi disaster last year that resulted from the March earthquake and tsunami. Nuclear power now has a terrible image problem because of the fire and radiation leaks at the plant. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/03/nissan-leaf-japan-electric-cars-nuclear-power-nukes/1 OPINIONS Electric Cars Do Reduce Oil Demand. As an electric-car owner, I was disappointed to see William T. McCormick Jr.'s letter (March 16) suggesting that electricity cannot reduce oil consumption. Almost all electrical utilities have long since gotten off oil, switching to cheaper, more rational fuels such as natural gas. Electric cars also allow our nation to switch off oil. My per-mile fuel costs are literally 10 times cheaper than for the driver of a gas car and 20 times cheaper than running a large SUV. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577285911883763748.html BY SUBSCRIPTION The Electric Car, Unplugged. THE future would appear bright for the electric car. Gasoline prices are high. The government is spending billions on battery technology. Auto companies are preparing to roll out a dozen new electrified models. Concern is growing about the climate impacts of burning oil. And tough new fuel economy standards are looming. Yet the state of the electric car is dismal, the victim of hyped expectations, technological flops, high costs and a hostile political climate. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/sunday-review/the-electric-car-unplugged.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print Rising concern on climate change. RISING SEA levels threaten to inundate low-lying roads in Louisiana, costing billions in port activity, The Post’s Juliet Eilperin reports. Northrop Grumman sees potential damage to billions in shoreline defense infrastructure, such as the imperiled drydock in Hampton Roads built to construct the next generation of aircraft carriers. Other factors are also at work in these examples of rapid coastline loss. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rising-concern-on-climate-change/2012/03/20/gIQAC73UYS_story.html New State Energy Tax is Illegal and Unwise. Billions of dollars in new taxes may soon flow into California state government to be spent on new programs. The taxes are harmful to the economy, they’re probably illegal, and they’re not even needed for the program’s success. And don’t even imagine that they’re getting Legislative or voter approval. I’m not talking about new income taxes or sales taxes for education. Not new taxes to balance the state’s budget. Not new taxes to sew up the tattered safety net or rescue California’s once-vaunted higher education system. Posted. http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/03/new-state-energy-tax-is-illegal-and-unwise/ Editorial: Natural gas production boom alters energy outlook. Thanks to new technologies, most notably horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking"), the United States finds itself in a position unimaginable a few years ago: swimming in new domestic energy supplies. The most noticeable impact has been an increase of nearly 1 million barrels per day in domestic oil production since 2007. That's a 20% surge in just five years, with projections that growth will continue. Even more far reaching are prospects for natural gas. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2012-03-25/natural-gas-cheap-energy/53775968/1 Can This Upstart Car Company Upend The Electric Vehicle Market? It’s become a ritual for startup electric car companies: The ritual exchange of keys, as the very first customer takes possession. For Coda Automotive, it happened March 16 in Los Angeles, and the new owners are an eco-conscious advertising executive named Carmen and one of the company’s investors, Daniel Weiss. In northern California, Randy, a Redwood City pilot with a technology jones, drove off in a Coda. Three cars. It’s a start. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/eco-nomics/2012/03/26/can-this-upstart-car-company-upend-the-electric-vehicle-market/ Are record weather events caused by global warming? Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany concluded that weather extremes are not necessarily caused by global warming but in the sum of the events the link to climate change becomes clear in an article published in Nature Climate Change on March 25, 2012. Basic physics, statistical analysis and computer simulations form the arsenal of weapons scientists presently have at their disposal to make judgments and predictions about extreme weather events and a relationship to global warming. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/paeleontology-in-national/are-record-weather-events-caused-by-global-warming BLOGS Can polar bears put climate change back on the agenda? For various reasons, the climate crisis has disappeared from the political dialogue. This is unlikely to change in 2012, unless polar bears put it back on the agenda. Polar bears are running out of places to live due to climate change, which is warming their habitat in the Arctic — as it is in the other cold region where they don't live: the Antarctic. In fact, this warming is occurring even more dramatically than even some of the most dire projections, and now there is a discussion about whether we can even preserve the species. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-insiders/post/can-polar-bears-put-climate-change-back-on-the-agenda/2012/03/25/gIQAc8GkbS_blog.html VIDEO: Dan Walters Daily: Green jobs aren’t California’s salvation. “The latest data from the Federal Government shows that California’s recovery from recession is going to be a long hard slog.” Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/03/dan-walters-daily-green-jobs-arent-californias-salvation.html Jerry Brown pushes zero-emissions cars, defends oil policy. Goleta Jerry Brown said today that he will push the state to put zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025 reducing transportation-related greenhouse emissions by 80 percent over 1990s levels. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/03/jerry-brown-pushes-zero-emission-cars-defends-oil-policy.html Feds will provide $14.2 million for lightweighting efforts. Volumes have been written about how much obesity costs the U.S. in terms of healthcare costs. Now, the government is looking for ways for cars to shed some pounds as well. The U.S. Department of Energy will provide $14.2 million in funding towards projects that develop materials to cut vehicle weight, which can help boost overall fuel economy and cut greenhouse-gas emissions. President Barack Obama said Thursday that the government is looking to speed up the development of materials such as carbon-fiber composites…Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/25/feds-will-provide-14-2-million-for-lightweighting-efforts/