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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 23, 2012. Posted: 23 Apr 2012 12:54:13
ARB Newsclips for April 23, 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 Ventura County air is cleanest it's been in almost four decades, officials say. Ventura County's efforts to clean up its air have paid off, according to a report released this week by the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association. The county's air is cleaner than it has been in almost four decades, partly because of new emissions-reduction programs and controls, a mild summer, high gas prices and a weak economy, officials said. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/20/ventura-county-air-is-cleanest-its-been-in-four/#ixzz1ssbBVzRD ARB, APCD to hold PM2.5 air modeling symposium this week. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) will hold a technical symposium this Friday, April 27. The topic is the scientific modeling being done to support the 2012 San Joaquin Valley PM2.5 Plan. (The new plan itself will be discussed at a separate workshop on Monday, April 30.) PM2.5 refers to particulate matter air pollution whose diameter is 2.5 microns or smaller. A micron, or micrometer, is equal to one millionth of a meter. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/arb-apcd-to-hold-pm2-5-air-modeling-symposium-this-week Health scare worsening in Kettleman. Just as the birth-defect scare appears to have calmed down, activists say a new kind of health scare is now haunting this small town — cancer. A 17-month-old baby has been diagnosed with leukemia, and a 6-year-old boy and two teenage girls have been diagnosed with brain tumors. Three people between the ages of 40 and 50 have also died of cancer. Posted. http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/health-scare-worsening-in-kettleman/article_d53f923c-8b17-11e1-ac02-0019bb2963f4.html CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Change to Affect Corn Prices, Study Says. Researchers have found that climate change is likely to have far greater influence on the volatility of corn prices over the next three decades than factors that recently have been blamed for price swings — like oil prices, trade policies and government biofuel mandates. The new study, published on Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that unless farmers develop more heat-tolerant corn varieties or gradually move corn production from the United States into Canada, frequent heat waves will cause sharp price spikes. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/business/climate-change-effect-seen-for-corn-prices.html U.S. suggests no emissions limits to protect polar bears. Polar bears are skating on thin ice in Alaska these days: Warming temperatures have resulted in dramatic shrinkage of sea ice, leaving the bears with fewer ice floes on which to rest and hunt seals. But at least for the moment, the Endangered Species Act won’t be used to control the greenhouse gas emissions that conservationists say are contributing to climate change and posing one of the biggest threats to the bears’ survival. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-polar-bears-greenhouse-gases-20120417,0,794274.story FUELS EU delays vote on labeling oil sands oil dirty. The European Commission will delay asking members to approve a measure that would label oil from oil sands as worse for climate change than crude oil - a temporary victory for Canada, where such oil is produced. The Commission will ask the EU's 27 environment ministers to vote on the measure early in 2013 rather than this June, Isaac Valero-Ladron, a spokesman for EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, said Friday. In the interim, the Commission, the EU's executive arm, will study the proposed fuel quality law's impact on business and markets, as some EU countries had requested. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/04/20/v-print/2166454/eu-delays-vote-on-labeling-oil.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Cool news about 'hot fuel'. The fight over "hot fuel" has gone on for years, but now there's welcome news: Three major gasoline retailers have agreed to settle lawsuits accusing them of selling fuel that hasn't been adjusted for temperature. As Judy Dugan of Consumer Watchdog in California put it, "The wall of resistance is crumbling." Adjusting fuel for temperature is important because fuel expands as it gets warm, while the volume of a standard gallon stays the same. Hence, a standard gallon of warmer fuel has less energy, even though you pay the same price. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/04/23/v-print/2169742/cool-news-about-hot-fuel.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar cells fuel debate about green jobs. Some domestic solar manufacturers praised the recent import levy as a victory for job creation, but an analysis of the industry suggests the duty may actually be a job killer. A simmering trade dispute is highlighting a debate about the kinds of jobs America can sustain in a greening economy. The Obama administration's recent decision to slap import tariffs on Chinese solar cells was hailed by some domestic solar manufacturers as a victory for job creation…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-jobs-20120423,0,3951568.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fbusiness+%28L.A.+Times+-+Business%29 Solar power producers hesitate to embrace new DWP program. A DWP pilot program will let solar power producers reduce their bills and sell excess energy, but some say they're worried the new system will be plagued by the same problems as an older system. Storm clouds hovered over the San Fernando Valley, but businessman Jack Engel was smiling as he pointed to a row of solar inverters at one of two commercial warehouses he owns in Sun Valley. Power was being generated despite the weather, no problem. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dwp-solar-20120423,0,7332999.story Sierra Club targets Puget Sound Energy in Beyond Coal campaign. The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, working in concert with a number of environmental and energy activists and researchers in Washington and Montana, announced Thursday a new push to get Puget Sound Energy to stop buying power from coal-fired Colstrip Generating Station in Montana. According to EPA rankings, the facility is the eighth most egregious emitter of greenhouse gases among power plants in the U.S. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-another-west-coast-utility-asked-to-dump-coal-20120420,0,1758047.story?track=rss Lawsuit says wind energy industry hurts condors. Environmentalists are hoping a court will curb Southern California's growing wind energy industry, which they believe poses a threat to the endangered condor. Three environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit this month against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to stop the proposed 100-turbine North Sky River wind project in Kern County's Tehachapi region, the Ventura County Star reported Saturday. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20457235/lawsuit-says-wind-energy-industry-hurts-condors?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/science/ci_20457235/lawsuit-says-wind-energy-industry-hurts-condors?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Farmers turn to alternative energy despite money, time, risks and obstacles. Farmers, the self-described new green pioneers, are increasingly turning to alternative energy to lower costs, solve problems, boost efficiency and shrink their environmental footprint. Fuel cells, biogas, cogeneration and solar arrays are some of the newer energy generators growers are using, despite the risk and significant time and money commitments. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/21/farmers-turn-to-alternative-energy-despite-money/#ixzz1ssbkZ8kM MISCELLANEOUS Stocktonians get down to Earth. The 24th annual Earth Day Festival at Victory Park combined old ecological favorites like solar power with new green products such as ... Tupperware? "We have a lot of different products that protect the environment," Tupperware manager Rene Acosta said. The Tupperware water pitcher replaces disposable water bottles, she said. Reusable containers substitute for disposable plastic lunch baggies. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120423/A_NEWS/204230307&cid=sitesearch Eye on the environment: Earth awareness doesn't end with Earth Day. Today, on the 42nd annual Earth Day, people worldwide are reminded of how much we depend on the Earth for resources, and how it depends on us for protection. One event scheduled to coincide with today's celebration is the grand opening of Habitat for Humanity's new ReStore in Simi Valley. Like Habitat's ReStore in Oxnard, it will sell mostly used and surplus home improvement items, saving resources and preventing waste. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/21/earth-awareness-doesnt-end-with-earth-day/#ixzz1sscBikMw OPINIONS Voters deserve a do-over on bullet train vote. Republican lawmakers, citing changes to the deal, want to put the brakes on the project. Sacramento — The car salesman offers you a sleek new luxury model for $33,000. Go for it, you think. Time for an upgrade. Sold. Oops, the sales guy says later. Those numbers won't pencil. We'll need $98,000. You're stunned and outraged. Tell you what, the dealer counters. We'll let ya have it for $68,000 and take off some options. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-train-20120423,0,5820140,print.column Decas: Greening of the Port of Hueneme. The Port of Hueneme joins the world today in celebrating the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. Connecting international businesses with local communities, the port sits in a unique position as a global partner to advance vital environmental policies and practices. The port is uniting with the community, businesses and government to map out and implement sound environmental strategy that also keeps churning the economic engine of trade, commerce and progress. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/21/dacas-greening-of-the-port-of-hueneme/ OP-ED: Agriculture’s climate protection solutions. When we think about ways to slow down climate change and avert the worst impacts of rising temperatures, what usually comes to mind are things like electric cars, weatherizing homes and putting up solar panels. But there are other significant climate solutions to be realized from one of the most important economic sectors in California — agriculture. Farms and ranches offer unique opportunities to store, or “sequester” carbon dioxide in soil, trees and other woody plants. Posted. http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=232860&title=OP-ED:%20Agriculture%E2%80%99s%20climate%20protection%20solutions BLOGS My home demolition: Building it green. While I wait for an estimate from DeConstruction Services to do the tear-down of the house in an environmentally sensitive way, my architect, Peter VanderPoel, suggested we spend a Tuesday afternoon at Amicus Green, a building supply center dedicated to green products, in Kensington. I thought we were going to a mall for eco-friendly supplies. I had no idea. On the way to Kensington, Peter began to tell me about LEED certification. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/where-we-live/post/my-home-demolition-building-it-green/2012/04/22/gIQAftNvbT_blog.html The Cookstove Conundrum. Cooking the family meal can be a dangerous business for poor people in developing countries. According to a study by the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution from “primitive household cooking fires” is the leading environmental cause of death in the world. In most rural homes, which lack electricity, a stove can be an open fire and the fuel as basic as wood, dried animal dung or agricultural residue, together known as “biomass” fuels. Posted. http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/the-cookstove-conundrum/?ref=world Climate Change ‘Swing Voters’ Affected by Weather, Not Denialists, Says Analyst. Just a quick note on an engaging video that can give you a glimpse of the new science on the jet stream… following a brief thought on public opinion and the worsening wild weather around the planet. Recent reports say public opinion is beginning to swing back up to a larger majority who “believe in global warming.” A New York Times headline says, “In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change.” Actually, that link appears to be old news. Posted. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/04/climate-change-swing-voters-affected-by-weather-not-denialists-says-analyst/