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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 15, 2012.

Posted: 15 May 2012 12:26:31
ARB Newsclips for May 15, 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.


EPA critic seeks investigation of human testing on soot exposure.
A vocal climate change skeptic has asked U.S. EPA's internal
watchdog to study whether the agency broke rules against testing
on human subjects when it exposed people to elevated levels of
the fine particles found in soot and smoke. Steve Milloy, author
of the blog Junk Science, wrote a letter yesterday to EPA
Inspector General Arthur Elkins accusing the agency of violating
federal law with a series of tests conducted at the National
Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in North
Carolina from January 2010 until June 2011. Posted.


World living beyond its resources, summit off-track: WWF.
Biodiversity has decreased by an average of 28 percent globally
since 1970 and the world would have to be 50 percent bigger to
have enough land and forests to provide for current levels of
consumption and carbon emissions, conservation group WWF said on
Tuesday. Unless the world addresses the problem, by 2030 even two
planet Earths would not be enough to sustain human activity, WWF
said, launching its "Living Planet Report 2012", a biennial audit
of the world's environment and biodiversity - the number of plant
and animal species. Posted.

Running from climate change may trip up some species, study says.
Seattle -- As climate change transforms their habitat, some
animals are already on the move. But a new analysis from the
University of Washington warns that many species won't be able to
run fast enough to survive a warming world.  On average, about 9
percent of the Western Hemisphere's mammals migrate too slowly to
keep pace with the rapid climate shifts expected over the next
century, says the study published Monday in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences. Posted.

How Wood Is Used Largely Determines Emissions From Logging –
Study. The degree to which deforestation contributes to
greenhouse gas emissions depends on how the cut wood is used and
where it comes from, according to a new study from researchers at
the University of California, Davis. The researchers analyzed how
169 countries used cut timber and how those uses would release
carbon over a 30-year period. Their model showed that if the wood
is made into products like framing boards for housing -- as much
of the timber in the United States…Posted. 
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/05/15/11 BY

US WCoast Products -Gasoline weakens on BP restart. Gasoline
weakened in West Coast spot markets on Monday as BP Plc was
restarting its 225,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Cherry Point,
Washington, refinery, traders said. May-delivery CARBOB gasoline
was down 3.5 cents in the Los Angeles spot market at 51.5 cents a
gallon over June NYMEX RBOB gasoline. June CARBOB, mandated by
California's Air Resources Board, fell 4 cents to sell at 30
cents a gallon over July NYMEX RBOB. In the Portland, Oregon,
market, May gasoline was down 4 cents at 68 cents over June NYMEX
RBOB. Posted.

Alternate fuel expo gets rolling with emphasis on
electrification. North America's largest alternative
transportation exposition is plugging into a growing trend and
paying special attention to the electrification of transportation
at this year's conference. "There's a tremendous amount of
electric transportation momentum building in the market, with
almost all of the light-duty manufacturers offering a product,
whether it's a plug-in extended range or a hybrid," said Erik
Neandross, CEO of consulting firm Gladstein, Neandross and
Associates, which holds the annual Alternative Clean
Transportation Expo. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/15/6  BY

Next round of CAFE standards due this summer -- Obama adviser.
The next round of fuel economy rules for passenger vehicles will
be released this summer, a senior White House adviser said today.
The standards, which would set a fleetwide target of 54.5 miles
per gallon by 2025, were proposed in November, and U.S. EPA and
the Department of Transportation have been reviewing comments
submitted in February. That process should wrap up within the
next two to three months, at which time a final rule would be
published, said Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president
for energy and climate change. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/05/15/6 BY

Study says EPA mercury rule may strain coal-fired plants and
power grid. Electric utilities will struggle to meet new U.S. EPA
regulations governing mercury emissions from coal-fired plants, a
new study has found, noting that surging demand for the equipment
needed to retrofit or replace old boilers will lead to project
backlogs and drive up compliance costs. The assessment was done
by the Brattle Group for the Midwest Independent System Operator
(MISO), which monitors the nation's high-voltage transmission
system throughout the Midwest. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/15/3  BY


Wind Power in Mexico Could Double in Three Years. Mexico’s wind
energy is surging. In 2005, it had just three megawatts (MW), but
by the end of this year that total will have increased to two
gigawatts (2,000 MW). In three years, it will double. And, from
that total of 4 GW, it will triple by 2020. The planned ramp-up
will make Mexico the fastest growing wind power nation this year,
of the top 20 economic national powers. Posted.

Lots of solar power may reduce, not increase, electricity prices.
 Whether German feed-in tariffs or U.S. tax incentives, opponents
of solar rail at its perceived high cost. But a story making
rounds this week, “why power generators are terrified of solar,”
presents a powerful image that may flip this conventional wisdom
on its head. Building lots of solar power can actually reduce
electricity prices, to the dismay of utilities.  Posted. 


High-speed rail authority takes criticism seriously.  Re
"Bullet-train conflicts need study” (Dan Walters, May 13): Though
Dan Walters admits that the authors of a recent report on the
High-Speed Rail Authority's operations and maintenance cost
projections are determined to end the project, he also accuses
members of the authority board of dismissing criticisms
out-of-hand. This is simply not true. In fact, we have met with
virtually all of our critics, including the authors of the
referenced study, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, supervisors
in Kings County and many others. Often times, their criticisms
have led us to revise our plans. Posted.


U.S. Consulate in Shanghai Starts Monitoring The Air. Unhealthy,
unhealthy, unhealthy. That’s the unfortunate message gleaned from
the first hours of air quality monitoring by the U.S. Consulate
in Shanghai, now broadcast hourly via Twitter. And so far, like a
four-year-old air-quality monitoring program in Beijing and one
in Guangzhou, the U.S.’s Shanghai reading of the situation is
worse than what is reported by local authorities. In an online
statement that also links to updates of the air quality report,
the consulate explained its reasoning and methodology: Posted.

Pondering That Green Label.  When it comes to labels assuring
consumers that they’re buying green products, buyer beware. In
theory such labels are intended to help shoppers make responsible
choices. But many of these labeling and certification programs
are overseen by the industry they are supposedly policing.  That
is the case made against the Sustainable Forestry Initiative,
which has been in the cross hairs of the environmental group
ForestEthics for two years. Posted. 

Climate change and the redistribution of carbon-sourced wealth.
For a multitude of reasons – climate change, air quality,
national security, etc. – a large reduction in the burning of
carbon-based fuels is a good idea. Since higher prices are known
to reduce consumption, one way to achieve this is to simply put a
tax on fuel at the pump. It's been proposed by GM's Dan Akerson,
Bill Ford and others, but the idea can be difficult politically
and economically. Posted.

Scientists: more Calif. heat waves by 2020.  Strings of days when
temperatures spike over 100 degrees should become more frequent
in California by 2020, and commonplace 50 years after that,
according to recent computer modeling results from scientists at
the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Several computer
models, including some with finer-grained climate data than in
years past, show that global warming expected in coming decades
will translate into a greater chance of potentially deadly heat
waves — not unlike a 2006 California heat wave that killed an
estimated 400 to 600 people.  Posted. 

Clean energy as culture war.  Not that long ago, some folks were
arguing that clean energy — unlike climate change, which had been
irredeemably stained by partisanship (eww!) — would bring people
together across ideological lines. Persuaded by the irrefutable
wisdom of wonks, we would join hands across the aisle to promote
common-sense solutions. It wouldn’t be partisan, it would be …
post-partisan.  Some day, I will stop mocking the people who said
that. But not today. The error is an important one and it is
still made regularly, especially by hyper-educated U.S. elites.
They think clean energy is different from climate change, that it
won’t get sucked into the same culture war. They are wrong. 
Posted.  http://grist.org/politics/clean-energy-as-culture-war/

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