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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 7, 2012.

Posted: 07 May 2012 12:29:38
ARB Newsclips for May 7, 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.


Recycled soil at Cabazon site found not to pose serious health
threat. However, California regulators find that the operator did
not meet state hazardous waste standards 'in a number of
significant areas.' Odors at the site had been blamed for
sickening children and teachers at a nearby school. State
regulators found inadequate environmental safeguards at a
Coachella Valley soil recycling company blamed for noxious odors
that sickened children at a nearby school but said the mountains
of contaminated soil do not pose a serious health threat. Posted.

Group's lawsuit targets coal-fired power plant. An environmental
group has filed a federal lawsuit claiming a Texas coal-fired
power plant violates the Clean Air Act. The suit filed Tuesday in
Waco federal court claims Luminant's Big Brown coal-fired plant
exposes the public to harmful air pollution. The suit says the
company's own data shows the power plant near Fairfield violated
its particulate matter limits at least 370 times in the past 3
1-2 years. Asthma and other respiratory ailments are associated
with particulate matter, commonly known as dirt and soot. Posted.


Flooding, climate concerns spur demonstrations in Sacramento
area. Concerns that area rivers will flow high in winter and that
extreme weather events will result in floods were on the minds of
50 people who gathered Saturday morning at the Yolo Bypass
Wildlife Area levee as part of a worldwide demonstration. That
event dovetailed with the recent release of a report that
predicts that, locally, climate change will result in more
rainfall earlier in the winter and less snowpack runoff later in
the season, causing rivers to remain fuller for a longer period
of time. Posted. 

Aspen Ski Area rallies to highlight climate change. Aspen Ski
Area hosted a ski race without snow Saturday to highlight the
effect climate change has on the outdoor recreation industry.
Auden Schendler, Aspen Skiing Company's vice president of
sustainability, says "climate change is already pounding
businesses and communities, whether you're a ski resort, an
insurance agency or a raft business." Posted. 


Coal Fights Obama with NASCAR, YouTube Campaigns. From NASCAR and
YouTube to campaign donations and Washington lobbyists, coal
supporters are embracing an all-of-the-above strategy to defend
the industry against what they consider regulatory overreach in
Washington. While President Barack Obama has said he supports
energy development of all kinds, he didn’t mention coal during
his State of the Union address or during a four-state, two-day
tour promoting his policies, an omission the industry took as a
slight. Worse still in the eyes of coal backers are a series of
regulations related to air pollution and mountaintop mining.

Refinery closures end streak of gas price declines in California.
California's streak of seven straight weeks of gasoline price
declines has ended, victimized by widespread refinery maintenance
shutdowns that have reduced fuel supplies by nearly a third
compared with a year ago, according to state statistics. Four of
the 13 refineries in California that produce the state's
expensive blend of gasoline have been in temporary shutdown,
mostly for maintenance, according to state petroleum statistics.


Pointing the Way to Where E.V. Drivers Can Plug In. IN the effort
to establish standards that will encourage the acceptance of
electric vehicles, there has been much wrangling over the
development of a universal design for the plugs that connect
battery chargers to cars. That is not the only E.V. debate under
way, however. A less contentious, but still important, issue —
the look of the road signs that tell drivers where they can top
off a waning battery — has yet to be resolved. Posted. 


Remote Solar Plants Come with Added Costs. New transmission lines
will be needed to carry power from the desert to the Bay Area. On
a desolate stretch of the Mojave Desert, twenty miles northeast
of Barstow, construction workers recently began laying the
foundation for a 2.8 square mile solar power plant. By 2014,
electricity will flow from the facility into nearby power lines
to homes and businesses throughout Northern California. The plant
will help PG&E meet a state mandate requiring utilities to
provide 33 percent of their power from renewable resources by
2020. Posted.

Sacramento firm provides power in south state. Sacramento-based
Greenleaf Power, which owns and operates green energy facilities,
has begun delivering power to the Imperial Irrigation District in
Southern California. Greenleaf's Desert View Power plant, in the
northern end of the IID's service area, agreed to provide 45
megawatts of power over the next decade – enough to meet the
needs of 45,000 households. Posted. 


Space weather expert has ominous forecast. Mike Hapgood, who
studies solar events, says the world isn't prepared for a truly
damaging storm. And one could happen soon. A stream of highly
charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth,
threatening to plunge cities around the world into darkness and
bring the global economy screeching to a halt. This isn't the
premise of the latest doomsday thriller. Massive solar storms
have happened before —…Posted.

San Jose Mercury News, Calif., Mr. Roadshow column.  Q I am about
to buy a new Prius plug-in. I spoke to DMV to find out if they
still have plenty of carpool stickers left, and they said they
couldn't release that information. The state Air Resources Board
said they didn't know. Why is this secret? Should I buy the car? 
A If getting stickers to drive solo in the carpool lane is one of
your main reasons to purchase the plug-in Prius, you're in luck.
This Prius and models of the Chevy Volt (with E, F, G or H in the
fifth position of the vehicle identification number) qualify for
green stickers that will allow solo drivers in carpool lanes
through 2014. Posted.  


Dan Morain: Big tobacco's unlikeliest ally. Wearing a lab coat
and speaking from an exam room, La Donna Porter looks every bit
the wise physician, even as she does the bidding of the tobacco
industry, which contributes to the deaths of 443,000 Americans
every year. Porter is the star of tobacco-funded radio and
television commercials intended to snuff out Proposition 29, the
initiative on the June 5 ballot that would raise taxes by $1 per
pack on cigarettes. Posted.

Malzacher: New technologies making oil, gas and coal
environmentally safe. President Barack Obama is the loudest
social engineer politician. Let's give him some help. Green steel
technology is a process that mixes plastic and rubber waste. This
process reduces the reliance on coke, which is a refined version
of fossil fuel. This process reduces carbon emissions, uses less
electricity and greatly reduces rubber and plastics in landfills.
The renewable green job success story is met by skeptical
Americans. Renewable energy does not and will not meet our energy
needs. Posted. 

SAE Congress: GE charges up Nissan's EV plans. Nissan and GE
shared a booth at the SAE World Congress in Detroit recently to
emphasize the way the two companies want to connects your car and
various appliances to the emerging smart grid. The common piece
of equipment is the new WattStation, which is an electric vehicle
charging station that – along with the companion piece of
software called WattStation Connect – gives plug-in vehicle
drivers "the ability to manage and set customer pricing for EV
charging, provide access control at their facilities, generate
valuable reports and engage with customers in new ways." Posted. 

The Short Hot Life of Heartland’s Hateful Climate Billboard. The
online spin cycle on global warming has become so fast and toxic
that an electronic billboard in Chicago can flash an
ultra-offensive message designed to draw attention to a
conference of climate contrarians, then generate a global burst
of Web traffic and then be withdrawn 24 hours later as “a
necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who
otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate” (the
statement this afternoon from the Heartland Institute, the group
that paid for the messages). Hopefully that necessary price will
include Heartland losing a few more of its shrinking pool of
corporate contributors. (The group issued a longer statement
tonight on its “realist” message.) Posted. 

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