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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 30, 2012 Posted: 30 Apr 2012 13:31:26
ARB Newsclips for April 30, 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 Combating Allergy with Air Purifier. Due to the rising cases of air pollution in urban cities, many families are now taking steps to purify air inside their home. Dirty air can enter a home if the atmosphere gets too polluted outside. A Hepa Air purifier can help families breathe in clean air that won’t damage their health. Your body can be attacked by free radicals that are brought about by pollution. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/combating-allergy-with-air-purifier AEP disputes study linking plants to 3,200 deaths. Energy giant American Electric Power is disputing an environmental group's study that finds air pollution from the company's 26 coal-fired plants caused as many as 3,200 deaths and more than 20,000 asthma attacks last year. The analysis done for the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council also estimates that the pollution emitted by AEP plants, two of which are in Oklahoma, led to more than 1 million lost work days and lists the economic toll as high as $24 billion in 2011. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/28/aep-disputes-study-linking-plants-to-3200-deaths/ Company plugs blown Wyoming oil well leaking gas. Workers at a blown oil well in eastern Wyoming took advantage of changing winds Friday to plug the well with mud and end a powerful, three-day eruption of potentially explosive natural gas. The operation to stem the air pollution - not to mention the risk of an explosion at a multimillion-dollar drilling rig - began at about 9:30 a.m. By 11 a.m. the flow of gas had stopped, according to Tom Doll, supervisor of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/27/company-plugs-blown-wyoming-oil-well-leaking-gas/ DIESEL EMISSIONS EPA faces crucial climate decision on diesel made from palm oil. Quick quiz: Which country is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the United States and China? The answer, at least in recent years, has been Indonesia. That’s surprising. It’s not the world’s third-largest economy. It’s not an industrial powerhouse. But Indonesia has been clearing its vast rain forests of late, releasing huge stores of carbon into the air. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/epa-faces-crucial-climate-decision-on-diesel-made-from-palm-oil/2012/04/27/gIQAD1THmT_story.html FUELS Cheap natural gas drives down coal industry. Is coal doomed? The dirty yet abundant energy source has had some rough patches before, but nothing like this. In 1985, coal accounted for 57 percent of all power generated in the United States. Last year, it was 42 percent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates it will fall to 40 percent this year. Prices for Appalachian coal are down 24 percent over the past 12 months; for coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, they're down 45 percent. "With the prices you're looking at now, no one can make money," says Lucas Pipes, an analyst at Brean Murray, Carret. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/30/BUTO1O9PM3.DTL US DOE to award up to $3M for coal-biomass-to-liquid projects. The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to a total of $3 million to projects (1) to develop and to test novel technologies for the economical and environmentally-sustainable conversion of coal-biomass feedstocks to liquid transportation fuels (CBTL) and (2) to assess concepts and evaluate the feasibility of building and operating a commercial scale CBTL production facility. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/04/cbtl-20120429.html VEHICLES Green side of Bay Area car buying. Sonoma County and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area are No. 1 in the nation when shopping for cars that get more than 40 mpg, according to Cars.com, the vehicle shopping website. Five of the top 10 most "eco-friendly" car shopping areas are in California, based on searches for vehicles getting 40-plus mpg. In the SF-Oakland-Santa Rosa area, 12.36 percent of searches used the high-fuel efficiency criteria, the website said. Monterey-Salinas was third on the list at 11.74 percent, followed by San Diego (5th at 11.09 percent), Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo (7th at 11.04 percent), Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto (8th at 10.97 percent) and Chico-Redding (9th at 10.93 percent). Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120430/ARTICLES/204301026 GREEN ENERGY SolarCity makes IPO plans. SolarCity Corp., a Bay Area solar panel developer and installer whose chairman heads Tesla Motors Inc., is planning an IPO. The San Mateo company’s intention to go public come as other alternative energy firms are backing away from similar growth plans, even after the industry reported record growth last year. First Solar Inc. said this month that it would close down some of its factories and trim 2,000 positions. Oakland’s BrightSource Energy Inc. scrapped its IPO plans a few weeks ago. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-solarcity-ipo-20120430,0,1016443.story Protests over Valley solar projects called a ploy. A statewide labor group accused of fighting power plants on environmental grounds just to win job contracts has set its sights on the Valley's young solar industry. California Unions for Reliable Energy is scrutinizing dozens of solar-project proposals between Bakersfield and Fresno and, in partnership with a handful of local residents, recently submitted challenges to three ventures in Fresno County. The group claims that the Fresno County projects don't live up to state environmental standards, potentially ruining wildlife habitat and bringing traffic and air pollution. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/29/2818166/protests-over-valley-solar-projects.html#storylink=misearch Smart Meter options. How odd it was that this “Amazing Smart Meter News” was not announced in our Ventura County Star Newspaper. On April 19, 2012, a historic decision was voted on by the California Public Utilities Commission. You are now able to permanently opt out of having any Smart Meter. The decision also was made that you can even have a Smart Meter replaced with the old reliable noninvasive analog meter. This is great news and it should now - while Smart Meters are being installed all over Ventura County - be broadcast loud and clear by word of mouth. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/27/smart-meter-options/ MISCELLANEOUS Why green-certified products may not always be the best choice. If you want to build a really green house, how much time should you spend looking for products that carry a green certification? Not a lot, advised builders and architects known for their “greenness.” Though green attributes such as recycled content were very important and might lead them to consider a particular product, the presence or absence of a green certification rarely influenced their selections. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/why-green-certified-products-may-not-always-be-the-best-choice/2012/04/26/gIQAwATgrT_story.html Protesters call for shutdown of San Onofre nuclear plant. "Shut down San Onofre!" was the rallying cry of about 200 protesters at San Onofre State Park on Sunday. They listened to a dozen speakers, marched and carried anti-nuclear-power signs to raise awareness of perceived safety issues at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The protesters also called for the permanent decommissioning of the plant that sits just south of San Clemente. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/nuclear-351601-plant-san.html OPINIONS Arbor Day and the history of living green. The early adopters of green living lived earth love rather than proclaimed it. In the Louisiana parish that was home to generations of my family, people lived hard lives as field hands or sharecroppers, laboring from "can see in the morning" to "can't see at night." They hoed and picked cotton, corn, peas and other crops; they understood the planting cycle; they ate locally grown fruits and vegetables without ever visiting a supermarket. Long before the terms "eco-friendly" and "environmentalism" came into vogue, generations of Americans embraced the principles of recycle, reuse, reduce without ever naming them. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stewart-arbor-day-trees-20120427,0,5499189,print.story Lois Henry: FAIL: the Lung Association's air quality ratings. To all you people out there with your hair on fire because the American Lung Association ahhhgain gave our air an "F," please, douse yourselves and think for a minute. The truth is the nation's air quality overall has improved vastly in the years since the ALA began looking at air pollution data more than 13 years ago. So if Bakersfield has the worst air in the nation, yet we've all improved dramatically, what does this grade really mean? On it's face -- nothing. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/health/x1088758653/Lois-Henry-FAIL-the-Lung-Associations-air-quality-ratings Opinion: The prescription for better breathing is cleaner air. As a doctor and allergist, I deal primarily with respiratory illness in children and adults. I see firsthand the direct correlation between air pollution and increased sickness, particularly with those suffering from asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – the two most common lung diseases. Higher pollution means more symptoms and more hospitalizations. Our clean air standards need to be tightened and modernized to reflect our population’s increased vulnerability to escalating pollutants in the air we breathe. Posted. http://www.nj.com/times-opinion/index.ssf/2012/04/opinion_the_prescription_for_b.html BLOGS No Easy Scapegoat for Hong Kong Pollution. Hong Kong has long preferred to blame its smoggy skies on polluting factories just over the border in mainland China. But new analysis suggests that the blame for much of the city’s pollution rests squarely on Hong Kong’s shoulders. According to just-released data from a regional government report, air quality in the Pearl River Delta area has continuously improved over the past year, thanks to initiatives to encourage better energy efficiency and cleaner industrial production. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/04/30/no-easy-scapegoat-for-hong-kong-pollution/ Will Oil Extraction Harm Western Parks? As the public comment period ends this week on a proposal to develop oil shale and oil sands in vast areas of the Rocky Mountain West, conservationists are making a stand on behalf of the area’s national parks. The National Parks Conservation Association, a 90-year-old organization, is concerned that eight national parks and monuments are at risk from energy development of this type and scale. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/will-oil-extraction-imperil-western-parks/?ref=science China getting ready for 5m plug-in vehicles by 2020. Imagine all of the cars and light-duty trucks in Washington and Oregon combined. Then imagine them all being either battery-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. That's what Chinese leaders have in mind by the end of the decade. The China State Council is pushing for a combination of automotive industry production and public acceptance to allow for as many as five million plug-in vehicles to be on the roads in China by 2020, Green Car Congress reports. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/04/27/china-getting-ready-for-five-million-plug-in-vehicles-by-2020/