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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 29, 2012. Posted: 29 Mar 2012 13:02:26
ARB Newsclips for March 29, 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 Local air pollution board OKs limits on greenhouse gases. One-year program sets thresholds requiring largest developments to cut back emissions. A sharply divided air pollution control board Wednesday narrowly approved limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from new development in San Luis Obispo County. In a 6 to 5 vote, the county Air Pollution Control District board established a one-year test program that sets thresholds requiring large developments to reduce their emissions. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2012/03/28/2009062/air-pollution-board-greenhouse.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Korea researchers propose energy-efficient oxidative desulfurization process for ultra-low sulfur diesel. A team from the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) has developed a new three-step continuous separation process to produce ultra-low sulfur diesel using an energy-efficient oxidative desulfurization (ODS) technology. A report on their work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels. Governments worldwide are mandating lower caps on sulfur content in fuels for environmental reasons. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/korea-researchers-propose-energy-efficient-oxidative-desulfurization-process-for-ultra-low-sulfur-di.html FUELS Is it cheaper to switch to lower-grade gas? With fuel prices on the rise, some drivers are pumping less-expensive regular-grade gasoline into cars for which premium fuel is recommended. Although that might save money initially, auto experts are divided on the wisdom of such a strategy, which some say could end up costing you more. What you save at the pump can be lost on the road as the electronics in the engine ratchet down performance to deal with the lower-grade fuel, experts say. Using the cheaper gas might also damage the vehicle over a long period. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-gas-grade-20120329,0,6475433.story http://investing.businessweek.com/research/markets/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201203290941KRTRIB__BUSNEWS_50872_52434-1¶ms=timestamp||03/29/2012%209:41%20AM%20ET||headline||Is%20it%20cheaper%20to%20switch%20to%20lower-grade%20gas%3F%20%5BLos%20Angeles%20Times%5D||docSource||Knight%20Ridder/Tribune||provider||ACQUIREMEDIA Activists worry over North Sea platform gas leak. Environmental groups warned Thursday they fear an oil spill could be triggered at a North Sea offshore platform that has been leaking highly pressurized gas since the weekend. A flame is still burning in the stack above the Elgin platform, which stands about 150 miles (240 kilometers) off the coast of Aberdeen, eastern Scotland, after a leak of flammable gas Sunday_ prompting all 238 staff to be evacuated on Monday. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/activists-worry-over-north-sea-platform-gas-leak/article_797fd396-5104-51e6-8fb6-f9f4cc411812.html VEHICLES Brown administration, bullet train board seek to ease environmental reviews of the project. Environmental groups that have joined discussions on relaxing reviews say they'll support small-scale concessions but not wholesale exemptions. California's bullet train authority and representatives of the Brown administration are exploring ways to relax environmental review procedures on the massive project to help meet a tight construction schedule, The Times has learned. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0328-bullet-exemption-20120329,0,882981.story EVs make sense in cities already today. Electric cars and electric bikes have a great potential to make cities cleaner, with B2B fleets having the crucial role of leading their market adoption in the short to medium term. This was among the main messages emerging from EV Forums, which brought more than 200 experts together on 21-22 March 2012 in Barcelona. cars21.com, as lead media partner, reports on the event. EVs make sense in cities already today. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/78320120329.php GREEN ENERGY San Onofre nuclear power plant prohibited from restarting. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission lays out steps that Southern California Edison must take before the troubled San Onofre plant will be allowed to come back on line. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, citing serious concerns about equipment failures at the San Onofre nuclear power plant, has prohibited Southern California Edison from restarting the plant until the problems are thoroughly understood and fixed. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0328-san-onofre-20120328,0,1692312.story MISCELLANEOUS L.A. can't explain $7 million in fuel bills. Controller's audit finds that millions of gallons of taxpayer-funded city fuel was pumped in recent years with no record of where it went. Despite a concerted effort at Los Angeles City Hall to track the use of taxpayer-purchased fuel, more than $7 million in gasoline and other fuel has gone missing in recent years, according to an audit to be released Thursday. At dozens of city fueling sites, millions of gallons of fuel was pumped without any record of where it went, the audit showed. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0329-missing-fuel-20120329,0,3862066,print.story OPINIONS New Rules for New Power Plants. Power plants account for about 40 percent of America’s global warming emissions — with the bulk of that coming from coal-fired plants. On Tuesday, the Obama administration took another important step for public health and the environment, proposing the first nationwide limits on carbon dioxide from new power plants. If approved, the new limits will accelerate the shift from coal to natural gas and cleaner alternative fuels. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/opinion/new-rules-for-new-power-plants.html?scp=4&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse A small step forward for Earth. In an election year, any progress on environmental regulation is cause for celebration. So when the Obama administration on Tuesday released its long-delayed proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, there was reason for anyone concerned about public health or the looming climate menace to cheer — even though it won't shut down a single existing coal-fired plant. Power plants are the nation's biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-epa-emissions-power-plants-20120328,0,2045399.story http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/29/4375212/a-small-step-forward-for-earth.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/29/2779902/a-small-step-forward-for-earth.html#storylink=misearch REGION: Scary link between smog and women’s strokes. Did you see the story last week by my colleague David Danelski about two recent studies showing that older women in areas with high air pollution levels have a greater risk of suffering a stroke? If you are a woman of a certain age in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, you had to be dismayed by more bad news about what smog is doing to our health. You can’t help but wonder, “Why am I living here?” Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/columns/cassie-macduff-headlines/20120328-region-scary-link-between-smog-and-womens-strokes.ece BLOGS Coastal California Fog Carries Toxic Mercury, Study Finds. Fog blankets the coast of central California each summer, hydrating the region’s majestic redwood trees and chilling beachgoers. New research out of the University of California, Santa Cruz shows that the moist air also carries methylmercury, an especially toxic form of the heavy metal mercury. “Is it dangerous to breathe the fog? Of course not — we’re talking very low levels,” said Peter Weiss-Penzias, a chemist and the lead author of the study, published in the latest issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/coastal-california-fog-carries-toxic-mercury-study-finds/ Zipcar launches Chevy Volt-sharing service in Chicago. Longtime Saturday Night Live fans will fondly recall a number of skits in which a group of Chicago sports fans referred to their hometown football team as "Da Bears." Now, they'll have "Da Volt." U.S. car-sharing leader Zipcar will start making Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrids available to Windy City customers as part of a program with the city of Chicago that will involve the installment of "hundreds" of electric-vehicle chargers throughout the city. Zipcar, which will charge $10 an hour for the cars… Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/29/zipcar-launches-chevy-volt-sharing-service-in-chicago/ EPA Takes a Key Step towards a Cleaner, Healthier Future. The Obama Administration and EPA announcement that it will establish the first national limits on carbon pollution from new power plants is great news for anyone that cares about clean air. No longer will new power plants be able to endanger our health with unchecked carbon pollution and the climate change it causes. It's also good news for Latinos. Carbon pollution fuels global warming which causes more severe heat waves and worsens smog pollution …Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adrianna-quintero/epa-takes-a-key-step-towa_b_1386119.html ‘Absolute Black’ Solar Panels Absorb Almost All Sunlight. Solar power is one of those technologies that have been promised to be just a few years from profitability for 30 years. Solar panels are an environmentalist’s dream — limitless electricity from the sun with no air pollution or carbon dioxide emissions — but they’ve had a hard time competing with coal, natural gas, oil and other sources of energy. Posted. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/03/absolute-black-solar-panels-absorb-almost-all-sunlight/