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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 26, 2012 Posted: 26 Apr 2012 13:59:11
ARB Newsclips for April 26, 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 Bay Area no longer among 25 most-polluted regions. The San Francisco metropolitan area has dropped off the list of the top 25 most polluted regions in the nation, the American Lung Association said in a report Wednesday. The State of the Air report ranked regions across the United States on particle and ozone pollution, finding that three of the nine least smoggy counties in California are located in the Bay Area and that, with a few exceptions, the air in Northern California is safe to inhale. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/26/MNPC1O906Q.DTL&type=printable http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/04/san-francisco-drops-off-top-25-list-for-worst-smog-pollution/1 Study: Inland Empire air quality improving; High Desert healthier. An air quality report released for the first time as a companion to the American Lung Association's annual report shows the same steady decline in pollution, but more accurately reflects differences between regions, say those in charge of regulating air quality locally. The report by the California Air Pollution Control Officers' Association, released last week, compares fine particulate matter and ozone pollution among the state's 35 air quality management districts. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_20481971?source=rss CLIMATE CHANGE Study: Antarctic ice melting from warm water below. WASHINGTON -- Antarctica's massive ice shelves are shrinking because they are being eaten away from below by warm water, a new study finds. That suggests that future sea levels could rise faster than many scientists have been predicting. The western chunk of Antarctica is losing 23 feet of its floating ice sheet each year. Until now, scientists weren't exactly sure how it was happening and whether or how man-made global warming might be a factor. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/25/4442124/study-antarctic-ice-melting-from.html http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/26/MNHO1O90UK.DTL Activists urge Discovery to acknowledge climate change science. Forecast the Facts, the activist group that first confronted GM about its support of climate change doubters the Heartland Institute, now plans to muster a public campaign targeting the Discovery Channel. The purpose: to get Discovery to acknowledge the scientific consensus on man-made climate change in its programming. The flap follows the recent airing of the final episode of Discovery’s lush exploration of the polar regions, “Frozen Planet.” http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-activist-pressure-discovery-to-acknowledge-climate-change-science-20120425,0,5096515.story?track=rss Lawmakers To Wrangle Over How To Spend California's Cap-and-Trade Billions. Barring last-minute lawsuits or administrative delays, California’s cap-and-trade program launches on January 1, 2013. The state’s carbon market will be the world’s second largest, after the European Emissions Trading System, and is tasked with supplying 20% of the emissions reductions mandated under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB 32. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/04/25/lawmakers-to-wrangle-over-how-to-spend-californias-cap-and-trade-billions/ DIESEL EMISSIONS "California-Only" Diesel Will Come at High Cost for State, Study Says. Significant job losses will be directly attributable to California Air Resources Board's fuel policies, says a new study by the California Trucking Association. Goods movement and agriculture sectors will be especially hard hit if the policies are allowed to go into effect as currently designed. The report, titled "The Impact of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Cap-and-Trade Programs on California Retail Diesel Prices" demonstrates the effect that CARB's regulatory actions will have on the state's retail diesel future leading to a $6.69 per gallon price tag. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=76750 San Joaquin Railroad getting four low-emission locomotives. Progress Rail Services Corporation, of Albertville, Ala., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), has reached an agreement with the San Joaquin Valley Railroad, a RailAmerica subsidiary in the Centrl Valley, to supply four repowered, low-emissions PR30B locomotives. Progress Rail will repower the 4-axle, GP-type locomotives with Caterpillar 3516C-HD engines rated at 2,995 bhp and equipped with exhaust aftertreatment technology verified by the California Air Resources Board to achieve the equivalent of U.S. EPA Tier 4 line-haul emissions levels. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=20921 VEHICLES Automotive Technology Programs Changing With the Times: Build Electric Cars. The EV (electric vehicle) Challenge is a program for high school students to replace traditional automotive technology programs with a new idea: Take a donated (or even abandoned) gasoline-powered car or truck and convert it into an all-electric vehicle. Students learn about design, engineering, electronics, math, and science. They make hard decisions and learn about tradeoffs (larger voltage batteries have higher acceleration capability, but won’t last as long in endurance runs, for example). Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2012/04/24/automotive-technology-programs-changing-with-the-times-build-electric-cars/ GREEN ENERGY Sacramento Catholic girls' school completes huge installation of solar panels. A Sacramento Catholic girls' school has completed the installation of a huge array of solar panels. Next week the students of St. Francis High School in east Sacramento will wear flip flops and sunglasses during the dedication of the new photovoltaic system. Solar power generation from 1,316 panels on the rooftops of 7 campus buildings is expected to produce about 30 percent of the school's current electrical demands - and save the school $1 million over the next 25 years. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/26/4444726/sacramento-catholic-girls-school.html Dixon firm will make PG&E 'green' trucks. Birmingham, Ala.-based Altec Industries plans to begin production of about 300 environmentally friendly Pacific Gas and Electric Co. service trucks at its new facility in Dixon in May. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held Tuesday, and production is expected to last through 2014. The project is expected to produce more than 150 jobs. The Dixon facility, which exceeds Title 24 energy/lighting codes, was built through an Altec-PG&E partnership. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/26/4443634/dixon-firm-will-make-pge-green.html Public split over elimination of U.S. energy subsidies, poll finds. The American public is divided about whether to eliminate federal subsidies for any form of energy and is giving less support to nuclear power and U.S. funding of renewable energy, a new poll has found. Fifty-four percent of respondents opposed doing away with subsidies for oil, gas, coal, nuclear or renewable energy, while 47 percent favored the idea. Support for building more nuclear power plants has fallen dramatically, to 42 percent from 61 percent in 2008. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/26/4443503/public-split-over-elimination.html http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-enviro-poll-20120426,0,5490023.story DOE to award up to $2.5M to deploy fuel-cell-powered baggage tow tractors at commercial airports. The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $2.5 million this year to demonstrate and to deploy fuel-cell-electric baggage tow tractors (BTT) at major US commercial airports. DOE plans to select up to three projects under the terms of a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000701), which will also leverage more than $2.5 million in additional funding from private and other sources. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/04/btt-20120426.html OPINIONS Viewpoints: Potential of low carbon fuel will drive California forward. For the first time since the 1950s the United States is exporting more gasoline and diesel than it imports. To become energy secure, we need to invest in homegrown fuels, but also develop fuel-efficient vehicles that go farther on a gallon of gas, while producing as little pollution as possible. That's where California's low carbon fuel standard comes in. The low carbon fuel standard, the first of its kind in the world, was enacted in 2009 and incentivizes all producers of motor fuels, including gasoline and corn ethanol, to reduce by 10 percent the carbon content of motor fuels sold in California. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/25/4439739/potential-of-low-carbon-fuel-will.html Op-Ed: The Truth about SB375 and the One Bay Area Plan. The stated goal of Senate Bill 375, which was signed into law in 2008, is “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) 15 percent by 2035.” Its premise is that building high density development with an affordable component, close to public transportation, will decrease GHGs and thereby have a positive effect on global warming. The rationale is as follows: Section 1(a) of SB375 states: “The transportation sector contributes over 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in California. Automobiles and light trucks alone contribute almost 30 percent. Posted. http://larkspurcortemadera.patch.com/articles/op-ed-the-truth-about-sb375-and-the-one-bay-area-plan-c3aafac9 Well, Duh: L.A. Has Some of the Dirtiest Air in America. For yet another year, Los Angeles has been named by the American Lung Association as one of the cities with some of the dirtiest air in America. The just-released annual State of the Air report indicates that Californians are still waiting to exhale: More than 90 percent of Californians still live in counties plagued with unhealthy air, particularly in the Central Valley, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Sacramento, and San Diego. That means more people are at risk for asthma attacks, heart attacks, and premature death. Posted. http://laist.com/2012/04/26/los_angeles_has_some_of_the_dirties.php BLOGS Low Prices a Problem? Making Sense of Misleading Talk about Cap-and-Trade in Europe and the United States. Some press accounts and various advocates have labeled the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as near “the brink of failure” because of the recent trend of very low auction prices. Likewise, commentators have recently characterized the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) as possibly “sinking into oblivion” because of low allowance prices. Since when are low prices (which in this case reflect low marginal abatement costs) considered to be a problem? Posted. http://www.robertstavinsblog.org/2012/04/25/low-prices-a-problem-making-sense-of-misleading-talk-about-cap-and-trade-in-europe-and-the-usa/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Belfer%2FAnEconomicViewOfTheEnvironment+%28Harvard+University+-+Belfer+Center+for+Science+and+International+Affairs+-+An+Economic+View+of+the+Environment%29 California's Lungs Need a Passing Grade. The American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air report today. Not surprisingly, California continues to dominate the list of most polluted cities for both particulate and ozone pollution with many counties in the State receiving an “F” grade. Most of the poorest grades on air quality were focused in areas like Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and many portions of the San Joaquin Valley. Overall, the report reflects a continued need for robust and strong advocacy to curb harmful air pollution that makes it unhealthy for millions of Californians. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/amartinez/californias_lungs_need_a_passi.html 10 Green Lessons from the Sustainable Operations Summit. Last week I attended the Sustainable Operations Summit in New York, where I had the chance to hear many interesting and smart people, from President Bill Clinton to Amory Lovins, talk about the green economy. The summit, which got some attention due to its refusal to let Dogwood Alliance participate because the organizers were afraid it will lead to a confrontation with YUM! Brands’ representative, provided some very interesting insights about business and sustainability. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/10-green-lessons-bill-clinton-amory-lovins-other-participants-sustainable-operations-summit/