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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 27, 2012

Posted: 27 Mar 2012 11:31:14
ARB Newsclips for March 27, 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.


UPDATE 2-US proposes first carbon limits on power plants. The
Obama administration proposed on Tuesday the first ever standards
to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants, a move
likely to be hotly contested by Republicans and industry in an
election year. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the
long-delayed rules that limit emissions from all new U.S. power
stations, which would effectively bar the building of any new
coal plants.

California Moving Forward on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Law. Some
concerned over delays from poor economy, legal battles. Through
vigorous regulations on fuel standards, vehicles, and
communities, California’s sweeping Global Warming Solutions Act
is seen as a broad solution that will attempt to significantly
reduce emissions and improve air-quality levels over the next
decade and beyond. Posted.


For Pennsylvania’s doctors, a gag order on fracking chemicals. 
Under a new law, doctors in Pennsylvania can access information
about chemicals used in natural gas extraction—but they won’t be
able to share it with their patients. A provision buried in a law
passed last month is drawing scrutiny from the public health and
environmental community, who argue that it will “gag” doctors who
want to raise concerns related to oil and gas extraction with the
people they treat and the general public.  Pennsylvania is at the
forefront in the debate over “fracking,” the process by which a
high-pressure mixture of chemicals, sand, and water are blasted
into rock to tap into the gas.  Posted. 


San Mateo-based SolarCity to offer a 'Home Energy Loan'
SolarCity. a leading installer of residential solar systems and a
pioneer of solar leases, on Wednesday will unveil a financing
program aimed at reducing or eliminating the upfront costs of
energy-efficiency upgrades. Many homeowners waste electricity --
and money -- on homes with inadequate insulation, poor air
sealing and outdated and uneven heating and cooling systems.
Under its new Home Energy Loan program, the San Mateo-based
company hopes to do for energy efficiency what it did for solar
installation: make it accessible and affordable. Posted.


More green measures planned for new Sutter hospital.  The list of
environmental requirements that Sutter Health must meet to open
its $284 million hospital north of Santa Rosa is set to grow
longer — again.  The additions are to include a free shuttle
linking the 82-bed hospital, under construction next to the Wells
Fargo Center for the Arts, to the nearest SMART train station. 
Sutter also will be required to provide incentives to employees
who carpool or use alternative transportation.  Posted. 


Intemperate climate-change skeptics. Irvine, Chuck Feeney: I
guess the Register felt that it was important to have a noted
climate scientist, Michael Mann, discounted by several
unscientific readers with strong opinions against global warming
[“Temperatures rise over Mann-made data,” Letters, March 25]. It
was obvious when reading the backlash that these letter-writers
made no attempt to do independent checking into the real issues
of climate change through Wikipedia, factcheck.org or scientific
journals. Posted.


Why EPA’s new carbon rules may not have much impact — for now. On
Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its
first-ever rules on carbon-dioxide emissions from new power
plants. These rules are part of the EPA’s program to tackle
global-warming pollution. But what sort of impact will they
actually have? Not a whole lot — at least for the foreseeable
future. Don’t expect any more of these. First, a quick refresher:

New Limits on Carbon Pollution Will Help Usher in a Clean,
Healthier Future. The Environmental Protection Agency has just
proposed the first-ever national standards to limit dangerous
carbon pollution from new power plants. These historic safeguards
are critical to ensuring a cleaner future for American
communities: no longer will new electric plants be able to
endanger our health with unchecked carbon pollution and the
climate change it causes. Posted.

A Smaller Route to Solar Success. There are at least a dozen
major ways to turn sunlight into electricity, but one of the more
interesting is using a field of mirrors to focus the sun’s energy
on a “power tower” where the heat is captured and used later to
spin a turbine and turn a generator. As I have previously
written, two companies are now planning to build such systems in
the desert Southwest with hardware that will store the heat for a
rainy day or for the period right after sunset when power demand
is still high. Posted.

Treasure Department: traffic jams waste 1.9 billion gallons of
gas in U.S. each year.  A car that is sitting still with the
engine running is getting zero miles per gallon, no matter how
efficient the aerodynamics or how great the hybrid powertrain is.
Spread out over the entire U.S., all those zero mile per gallon
situations – i.e. traffic jams – means Americans are wasting 1.9
billion gallons of gasoline a year, according to a new Treasury
Department report. Another way to look at that is that congested
roads cost Americans over $100 billion a year (calculated both as
wasted fuel and time). Posted. 

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