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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 6, 2012 Posted: 06 Apr 2012 11:58:00
ARB Newsclips for April 6, 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 Marathon agrees to cap flared gas volumes-EPA. Marathon Petroleum Co has agreed to cap the flaring of excess natural gas and implement efficiency controls on combustion devices to settle an emissions dispute with the Obama administration. The Ohio-based company reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice in response to allegations that Marathon had violated the Clean Air Act, according to an EPA statement on Thursday. Some oil companies burn off excess gas that cannot be reused or transported. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/05/usa-marathon-epa-idUSL2E8F56D520120405 CLIMATE CHANGE California at top in climate-change preparedness. Scarce water supplies and coastal flooding may be part of California's future, but the Golden State is as ready as any state to tackle those and other problems caused by climate change, according to a national study released Thursday. California is one of only nine states that have developed comprehensive strategies and implemented policies to deal with water shortages, droughts, a shrinking snowpack and other water-related problems that are expected to occur if global temperatures increase this century as predicted by scientists, the Natural Resources Defense Council report said. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/06/MN9U1NV5FK.DTL&type=printable Climate change vs. Easter bunnies. Easter is still a great day for worship, candy in baskets, pagan equinox rituals and running around the yard finding eggs, but every year it gets quite a bit worse for bunnies. And no, not because the kids like to pull their ears. The culprit is climate change, and the folks at Climate Nexus found that rising temperatures are having adverse effects on at least five species of rabbit in the U.S. Take the Lower Keys Marsh rabbit, for instance. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-climate-change-vs-easter-bunnies-20120405,0,2110592.story?track=rss Hilton awards film about fight against climate change. Hilton Worldwide has awarded its first ever LightStay Sustainability feature film award to The Island President, a film about ousted Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed's crusade to save his nation and get the world to rally against climate change. The Island Nation, which received the award at the Sundance Film Festival in January, opened in New York theaters last week and is scheduled to open in Washington, D.C., on April 20. Posted. http://travel.usatoday.com/hotels/post/2012/04/hilton-rewards-film-about-fight-against-climate-change/666427/1 FUELS Ford researchers suggest using higher ethanol blends to boost the minimum octane number of regular-grade gasoline. Using higher volume blends of ethanol to leverage the alcohol’s inherent high octane rating to produce ethanol-gasoline blends with higher octane numbers could yield “substantial societal benefits”, according to a team of researchers from Ford Motor Company. Currently, ethanol is blended into a gasoline blendstock formulated with lower octane rating such that the net octane rating of the resulting final blend is unchanged from historical levels. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/04/jea-20120406.html Algae Biofuel Thrives in the Heart of Oil Country. As the U.S. transitions out of a petroleum economy, oil-rich Texas is emerging as something of a surprise leader in biofuel research. If the country’s quintessential oil state sees promise in biofuels, that stands as a powerful indicator that the national market is ready, too, even in the case of algae biofuel, which has been greeted with derision in some circles. One main driver of Texas’s vanguard position in the biofuel field has been Texas A&M University, the premier public education and research institution. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/texas-algae-biofuel-thrives-heart-oil-country/ VEHICLES Clean coal nonsense: New industry ad claims ‘real environmental progress’. “The clock is ticking, America. It’s time we focused on reality instead of rhetoric.” Finally, a national ad about the threat of climate change? Nope. It’s another piece of spin from the coal industry. Under threat from cheap natural gas, savvy activist groups working overtime to shut down plants, and the declining cost of renewable energy, the coal industry has rolled out a new ad trying desperately to paint itself as “clean.” Posted. http://grist.org/coal/clean-coal-nonsense-new-industry-ad-claims-real-environmental-progress/ GREEN ENERGY Environmentalists feeling burned by rush to build solar projects. Local activists say national groups, focused on renewable energy, ignore projects' threat to the Mojave. Amargosa Valley, Calif. — April Sall gazed out at the Mojave Desert flashing past the car window and unreeled a story of frustration and backroom dealings. Her small California group, the Wildlands Conservancy, wanted to preserve 600,000 acres of the Mojave. The group raised $45 million, bought the land and deeded it to the federal government. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-green-20120406,0,6552376.story Reducing Waste: Reusable bags save resources, protect environment. The state of California estimates that retailers in our state distribute more than 20 billion disposable plastic and paper bags each year. That's a lot of resources that are being used once or twice and then tossed out. Disposable plastic grocery bags are made from oil, a nonrenewable resource. Billions of plastic bags become litter and find their way into creeks, rivers and oceans where they can strangle and starve wildlife and degrade water quality. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20333265/reducing-waste-reusable-bags-save-resources-protect-environment?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20333265/reducing-waste-reusable-bags-save-resources-protect-environment?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com New round of U.S. green energy loans? The U.S. Energy Department said it is preparing to approve more federal loan guarantees for green energy projects. The development comes amid controversy over the Obama administration's clean energy investments, after California solar-panel firm Solyndra, recipient of a $535 million U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee, went bankrupt last year. Posted. http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/04/06/New-round-of-US-green-energy-loans/UPI-88471333713716/ MISCELLANEOUS APCD Hearing Board meeting next week, businesses seeking relief from air laws. The Southern Region Hearing Board of the San Joaquin Valley APCD will meet next week to determine whether eight local businesses should be given permission to violate air pollution regulations. The hearing will be held at the APCD's offices in Bakersfield on Wednesday, April 11 at 10 AM. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/environmental-news-in-bakersfield/apcd-hearing-board-meeting-next-week-businesses-seeking-relief-from-air-laws 2 new ethanol blender pumps operating in Nebraska. Two new gas pumps in Broken Bow and Aurora will make it easier for Nebraska drivers to find fuels with more than 10 percent ethanol. The Nebraska Ethanol Board says the new pumps will offer several different fuel blends up to E85, which is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gas. Drivers need to have a flex fuel vehicle in order to use E85. Nebraska now has about 60 of these so-called blender pumps that allow gas station owners to choose what blend of fuel to sell. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/06/2-new-ethanol-blender-pumps-operating-in/ Black With Asthma. You know how sometimes a talking head can make you so agitated that you want to yell at the screen? I felt that way listening to the recent testimony of Harry C. Alford, the President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, during a Senate committee hearing. "Stop playing politics with our children!" Mr. Alford was testifying on the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards; he is against them. His position is that ending mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants will harm black businesses. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dominique-browning/black-with-asthma_b_1382602.html