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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 2, 2012 Posted: 02 Apr 2012 12:28:04
ARB Newsclips for April 2, 2012 This is a service of the California Air Resources Boardís Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. AIR POLLUTION Fires cost Forward Landfill $4M. The operators of privately owned Forward Landfill east of Stockton have agreed to pay $4 million after multiple fires smoldered in recent years, officials announced this week. Most of that money will be used to improve the landfill's methane-gas collection system and to replace diesel trucks with cleaner vehicles. But the legal settlement also includes a $200,000 civil penalty, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120331/A_NEWS/203310315&cid=sitesearch UC Riverside creates portable pollution gauge. UC Riverside engineers showcased new technology that allows researchers, regulators and vehicle designers to obtain real-time data on how much pollution a vehicle emits while on the road. Called PEMS, for portable emissions measurement systems, the technology allows researchers to install an onboard computer to essentially any vehicle, vessel or aircraft and measure how much pollution ends up in the air. Unlike existing technology that requires vehicles and engines to be tested in laboratory simulations, PEMS make it possible for testers to obtain pollution data that accounts for road grades, weather and other real- world factors, such as how aggressive a driver can be while on the road. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_20293434/uc-riverside-demonstrates-new-tech-monitor-air-pollution?IADID=Search-www.dailybulletin.com-www.dailybulletin.com CLIMATE CHANGE REGION: Build communities that require exercise. If doctors were in charge of planning our cities, our cities would look different. Why? The answer is simple: The epidemic of air pollution and chronic disease in the Inland Empire is fundamentally linked to our built environment and dependence on vehicles. As doctors in Riverside County, we spend most of our time treating illnesses such as asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. These are illnesses that are caused in part by the double whammy of air pollution and a lack of physical activity. We see too many children struggling to breathe from asthma and too many patients die prematurely from these chronic illnesses. Changing the way we plan our cities can help reduce this burden of disease. Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/local-views-headlines/20120401-region-build-communities-that-require-exercise.ece World landmarks dimmed for Earth Hour. Hundreds of world landmarks from Berlin's Brandenburg Gate to the Great Wall of China went dark Saturday, part of a global effort to highlight climate change. Earth Hour, held on the last Saturday of March every year, began as a Sydney-only event in 2007. The city's iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House were dimmed again this year. Australia is among the first countries to flick off the light switches each year; in New Zealand, Sky Tower in Auckland and the parliament buildings in Wellington switched off two hours earlier; Tokyo Tower was also dimmed and in Hong Kong, buildings along Victoria Harbour also went dark. All the events take place at 8:30 p.m. local time. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/AP0d93b89d2dfb46478506c32d37c94a01.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/31/sydney-opera-house-in-the-dark-over-earth-hour/ http://www.modbee.com/2012/03/31/2137458/sydney-opera-house-in-the-dark.html Feds: 'Meterological March madness' mostly random. Freak chance was mostly to blame for the record warm March weather that gripped two-thirds of the country, with man-made global warming getting only a tiny assist, a quick federal analysis shows. For much of March, record temperatures hit as high as 35 degrees above normal and averaged about 18 degrees warmer than usual. The United States broke or tied at least 7,733 daily high temperature records in March, which is far more than the number of records broken in last summer's heat wave or in a blistering July 1995 heat wave, according to federal records. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_20307735/feds-meterological-march-madness-mostly-random?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/02/2784967/feds-meterological-march-madness.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/2/noaa-meteorological-march-madness-mostly-random/ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/04/02/national/w093509D03.DTL FUELS Health impact assessments gain a foothold in oil, gas, mining permit process; with challenges. While New York regulators have spent four years mulling the environmental impacts of shale gas development, the potential human health impacts have been given short shrift, according to health advocates. Whether gas drilling impacts health has led to heated debates. Environmentalists and people living near drilling sites say the risks include contaminated water wells and air pollution. The industry says those fears are exaggerated and that the process been used safely on tens of thousands of wells. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/health-impact-assessments-gain-a-foothold-in-oil-gas-mining-permit-process-with-challenges/2012/03/31/gIQANKrNnS_story.html Obama, Calderon, Harper talk trade, energy. President Barack Obama began a summit with leaders from Mexico and Canada on Monday that aims to boost a fragile recovery and grapple with thorny energy issues against a backdrop of painfully high gas prices. The session at the White House is a make-good for a planned meeting last November in Hawaii on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific summit. Obama ended up meeting just with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper when Mexican President Felipe Calderon's top deputy was killed in a helicopter crash. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577319521338466132.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/02/2784495/obama-calderon-harper-talk-trade.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/2/obama-mexicos-calderon-and-canadas-harper-talk-tra/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS VEHICLES Brighter Skies and a Flying Car, Too. THE New York auto show opens for press previews on Wednesday with spring in the air ó and not just because of the weather. The North American automobile market is experiencing a springlike rebirth this year, with sales up significantly in the first quarter at Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota. The renewed optimism will be evident at the show: more high-profile vehicles will be introduced in New York than in recent memory. These include important sedans like the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, the upgraded 2013 Lincoln MKZ, a redesigned Nissan Altima, an all-new Toyota Avalon and a revamped Lexus ES. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/automobiles/autoshow/auto-show-brighter-skies-and-a-flying-car-too.html?scp=8&sq=vehicles&st=cse GM says sales of fuel-efficient cars jumped in March. Look to General Motors' March sales numbers to see how Americans are adjusting to higher gas prices. The once truck-centric Detroit automaker says that combined sales of its 12 vehicles that achieve an Environmental Protection Agency estimated 30 mpg or better on the highway topped 100,000 last month, the highest total in company history. That would represent about 40% of GMís sales for the month, according to auto price information company TrueCar.com. GM will release more data Tuesday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-gm-fuel-economy-20120402,0,5333758.story India's March Auto Sales Rise. India's top car makers posted higher March auto sales as customers bought in anticipation of this month's price increases and as demand for diesel vehicles continued to grow. Several auto makers have recently increased vehicle prices after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on March 16 raised the base excise tax on most Indian-made goods, including automobiles, to 12% from 10%. Sales at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. gained for a third straight month, touching 125,952 vehicles, up 3% from a year earlier. Local sales for India's biggest car maker by sales increased 2% to 112,724 units and exports jumped 15% to 13,228 vehicles. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577319152950129124.html?KEYWORDS=vehicles GM adds week to Volt plant's usual summer closure. General Motors Co. will suspend production of the Chevrolet Volt for an extra week this summer as it tries to control the electric car's inventory. But the company says sales picked up in March to a record of more than 2,000, and it may cancel the extra week if sales stay strong. Most auto factories close for two weeks starting in early July to get updated for the new model year. GM added a third week at the Volt factory that straddles the border between Detroit and the small enclave of Hamtramck. The plant was already closed from March 19 through April 23, as the supply of Volts grew on dealer lots. About 1,300 workers at the factory have been idled. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/02/2784902/gm-adds-week-to-volt-plants-usual.html#storylink=misearch Green subsidies boost Japan car sales in March. New vehicle sales surged 78 percent in Japan in March, supported by government subsidies for energy efficient cars, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday. Sales of new autos totaled 497,959 vehicles in March, up from 279,389 vehicles in the same month a year earlier, the industry group said. The increase was exaggerated by the sharp drop in sales after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, 2011, devastating much of coastal northeastern Japan and killing about 19,000 people. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/02/japan-auto-sales-jump-78-pct-in-march/ GREEN ENERGY Word on the Street: Lawn-care company goes green. Doug Ambrose's new lawn-care company prides itself on being good for the environment. And he isn't just talking about getting rid of the weeds in your yard. Ambrose created Healthy Air Lawn Care, a company that uses only battery-powered equipment. Nothing Ambrose operates to mow a lawn or blow leaves spews harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide. Although Ambrose knows he is competing against a legion of gardeners, he hopes to attract customers who are concerned about the Valley's poor air quality. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/01/2784452/word-on-the-street-lawn-care-company.html#storylink=misearch Wind turnine to be dedicated in Rancho Cucamonga. The Inland Empire Utilities Agency this morning dedicated the wind turbine on Sixth Street in Rancho Cucamonga. After the dedication ceremony, officials gave a tour of wind turbine generator. The towering wind turbine, measured approximately 265 feet from base to tip of the blade, will generate 20 percent of the energy needed to run the wastewater treatment plant on Sixth Street. The Regional Water Recycling Plant #4 uses a significant amount of energy to treat an average flow of 5 million gallons every day. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_20307634/wind-turnine-be-dedicated-rancho-cucamonga?IADID=Search-www.dailybulletin.com-www.dailybulletin.com&IADID=Search-www.dailybulletin.com-www.dailybulletin.com Santander Proves Greenest as No. 2 Bank of America Becomes Solar. A $1 billion plan to put solar panels on 160,000 U.S. military-base homes was collapsing in September after a $344 million U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee fell through. Bank of America Corp. stepped up to finance the effort headed by SolarCity Corp. of San Mateo, California. Now, the SolarStrong project is en route to becoming the country's largest residential solar-energy installation. SolarStrong was Bank of America's second big bet on sun power in 2011. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender in June provided a $1.4 billion loan to San Francisco's Prologis Inc. for solar systems on warehouse roofs. The Energy Department guaranteed 80 percent of the loan. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/03/30/bloomberg_articlesM1K3W00D9L3801-M1NH6.DTL#ixzz1quNIoEXi OPINIONS Why Gas Prices Are Out of Any Presidentís Control. EVERYONE knows itís dangerous to ingest gasoline or to inhale its fumes. But I am starting to believe that merely thinking about the price of gasoline can damage cognitive processing. Thus I may be risking some of my precious few remaining brain cells by writing about that topic. Here is a one-item test to see whether you are guilty of cloudy thinking about gas prices: Do you believe that they are something a president can control? Many Americans believe that the answer is yes, but any respectable economist will tell you that the answer is no. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/business/gas-prices-are-out-of-any-presidents-control.html?scp=2&sq=fuels&st=cse Obama still favored in states with high gas prices. There is a curious relationship between a state's gas prices and presidential politics: The higher the price of gasoline, the higher President Obama's prospects of winning that state. Obama's electoral map to victory bares a remarkable resemblance to a map of the country's highest gas prices. California, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and New York -- all solidly Democratic -- are among the costliest for gas. Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma and Utah -- where Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to win the presidential vote -- are among the cheapest. An analysis by the California News Service shows that 20 of the 22 states that voted against Obama in 2008 have gas prices that fall below the national average. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/politics/local/x1538235123/Obama-still-favored-in-states-with-high-gas-prices?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tbc619+%28The+Bakersfield+Californian+--+Latest+News%29&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner