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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.


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.


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.

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.

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. 


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. 

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. 


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. 


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.

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. 

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. 


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.

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. 

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.

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