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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 14, 2012.

Posted: 14 Jun 2012 13:14:48
ARB Newsclips for June 14, 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.


How clean is your air?  Nine of the 10 U.S. cities with the worst
air pollution are in California, including the most polluted area
in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Riverside, ranked No. 1 for poor
ozone quality. Six of the 10 cities with the worst short term
particle pollution are also in the state, with Bakersfield-Delano
ranked as No. 1.  The numbers come from a recent report by the
American Lung Association, which publishes the rankings to
highlight the connection between air quality and health.  “We are
trying to remind the public that this remains a serious problem,”
said Bonnie Holmes-Gen, executive director for Air Quality for
the Lung Association.  Posted. 

New study backs up EPA assertions on low cost of tailpipe
standards. U.S. EPA's forthcoming new standards for the amount of
sulfur in gasoline will not boost the price at the pump for
consumers as industry has claimed, according to an economic study
to be released today. At issue are so-called Tier 3 air pollution
standards for tailpipes that the agency is expected to propose
this year and finalize in 2013 at the earliest. The agency is
expected to lower the sulfur limit in gasoline from 30 parts per
million to 10 ppm, a move that will bring it in line with Japan
and the European Union and, the agency says, lead to significant
health benefits. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/14/2  BY


Americans prefer climate regulations over market-based measures.
Economists commonly favor market-based methods of curbing
greenhouse gas emissions, such as taxes and emissions trading
schemes, but a new survey shows that the American public does
not. Rather than putting a price on carbon, Americans tend to
support regulatory programs on clean energy development,
industrial emission controls and vehicle mileage standards,
according to the spring 2012 National Survey of American Public
Opinion on Climate Change (NSAPOCC). Posted.
http://eenews.net/climatewire/2012/06/13/6  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY

In California, No Taboos Over Coastal Climate Threats.
California's coastal resource managers are including sea-level
science in their planning, but lawmakers in N. Carolina and
Virginia forbid open debate. In California, officials in coastal
cities are becoming increasingly aware of the potential impacts
of climate change, and they're preparing to deal with them. Not
so in Virginia, where even the words "sea level rise" and
"climate change" are verboten. Posted.


Cuomo Plan Would Limit Gas Drilling to a Few Counties in New
York.  Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration is pursuing a plan
to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic
fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties
along the border with Pennsylvania, and to permit it only in
communities that express support for the technology.  The plan,
described by a senior official at the State Department of
Environmental Conservation and others with knowledge of the
administration’s strategy…Posted. 

Idea of limited NY fracking divides energy camps. Landowners
along New York's southern border who support natural gas drilling
are cheered by reports that the Cuomo administration is
considering allowing hydraulic fracturing on a limited basis in
towns that want it, though opponents call the idea "shameful."
The administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial
shale gas drilling technology to portions of Broome, Chenango,
Steuben and Tioga counties, The New York Times quoted a senior
official at the state Department of Environmental Conservation as
saying, along with others with knowledge of the situation.


American drivers turn to smaller, better engines.  Back when gas
was cheap, Americans bought cars with V-8 engines like the Big
Block, Cobra Jet and Ramcharger. Acceleration was all that
mattered, even in family cars that never made it to full
throttle.  The 427-cubic inch Chevrolet Tri-Power was the siren
song of the gearhead, sending Corvettes roaring down the highway
at about 140 mph.  But now, thanks to government regulation and
gas-price gyrations, the motors that move the nation's cars and
trucks are shrinking.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:




Jerry Brown administration to support disputed trash-burning
plant. Gov. Jerry Brown's administration says it will support a
Canadian company's effort to vaporize garbage and turn it into
electricity in Monterey County, despite concerns raised by
environmentalists. Plasco Energy Group's $175 million project is
at the center of a regulatory dispute over gasification, an
emerging technology in which garbage, under intense heat, is
converted into a synthetic fuel used to generate electricity. At
issue is whether the Plasco project qualifies as a renewable
energy project under state law. Posted.

Crowdsourced solar gets a nod — and a check — from the Department
of Energy.  I was once in a meeting with a guy who sold and
installed solar panels. When he asked a woman sitting next to him
if she’d thought about putting solar panels on her house, she
replied that she’d love to, but she couldn’t afford it. His
response came with the casual immediacy of the salesman: “That’s
what you think.”  The challenge to broad adoption of solar used
to be a lack of awareness.  Posted. 

State's biggest power user to cut ties to coal, use renewables.
The biggest electricity consumer in California will stop buying
power from a coal-fired plant and use more green energy in order
to shrink its impact on the climate. The California Department of
Water Resources (DWR) said yesterday that it is taking these
steps and several others as it aims to cut its greenhouse gas
emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels within the next seven
years. The move comes as the state's climate law, A.B. 32, rolls
out a number of rules affecting most energy users. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/14/2  BY

China promises money, manufacturing help for clean cookstove
alliance. China is expected to make a "significant financial
commitment" to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the
partnership's executive director said yesterday. Radha Muthiah
said China, which agreed last month to join the alliance, also
will be offering a range of technical and manufacturing
assistance to the program. Having spearheaded the world's largest
clean cookstove efforts in the 1980s and '90s, she and an
official from the Chinese embassy said yesterday, the country is
well-positioned to offer a range of expertise. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/06/14/4  BY SUBSCRIPTION

DOE announces new competition to make solar competitive with
fossil fuels. Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday announced a
new competition for distributed solar energy and plans to fund
nine startups in solar power systems. Speaking yesterday at the
SunShot Grand Challenge Summit in Denver, Colo., Chu explained
that the "America's Most Affordable Rooftop Solar" contest pits
American companies against each other to install 5,000 rooftop
photovoltaic systems at an average cost of $2 per watt. The top
three teams will share $10 million. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/14/5  BY


US wildfires fuel urgency for forest restoration. As firefighters
battle blazes in New Mexico and Colorado that have forced
evacuations and destroyed hundreds of structures, the U.S. Forest
Service chief is renewing his call to restore forests to a more
natural state, where fire was a part of the landscape. Experts
say a combination of decades of vigorous fire suppression and the
waning of the timber industry over environmental concerns has
left many forests a tangled, overgrown mess…Posted. 

MORENO VALLEY: Residents question consultant’s objectivity.
Moreno Valley residents say the consultant selected to review the
environmental impact report for a proposed
41.6-million-square-foot distribution center has publicly
embraced the project, further indication that city officials
already have decided to approve the project. Timothy Krantz, a
University of Redlands environmental studies professor with 35
years of land use experience…Posted. 

ACLJ Files Suit Against UCLA After Professor Is Fired For Blowing
Whistle On Junk Science. The American Center for Law and Justice
(ACLJ) has filed suit on behalf of Dr. James E. Enstrom, a UCLA
research professor who was terminated after he blew the whistle
on junk environmental science and scientific misconduct at the
University of California (UC).  "The facts of this case are
astounding," said David French, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. "


Drilling in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s preliminary blueprint
for hydraulic fracturing in New York State strikes a sensible
balance between the need for economic development and the need to
protect the environment and human health. Many important issues
must still be addressed — and tough, detailed regulations issued
— before Mr. Cuomo can think of greenlighting drilling. But he
appears to be on the right track. As reported in The Times on
Wednesday, the plan would restrict hydraulic fracturing to
economically depressed counties along the Pennsylvania


La Nina exits, global temperature spikes: May second warmest on
record.  La Nina - the pattern associated with cool waters in the
tropical Pacific that lowers the global temperature - has died.
The Earth’s temperature is now strongly rebounding in response.
Today, NOAA reports May was second warmest on record globally. 
The May temperature was 1.19°F above the 20th century average. It
marked the 36th consecutive May and 327th consecutive month with
above average global temperatures.  Posted. 

N.Y. Finances a Switch to Cleaner Heating Oils. Building owners
in New York City that use the dirtiest heating oils and are now
required by law to phase it out will have access to more than
$100 million in special financing to help cover their upfront
costs, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Wednesday. The
financial incentives are meant to prod buildings to convert to
less polluting heating oil or to natural gas as soon as possible
and help the city meet its goal of reducing soot pollution by 50
percent over the next two years. About 10,000 buildings are
affected by the phase-out. Posted. 

Los Angeles City Council members push fracking ban. The fight
over fracking has come to Los Angeles. On Wednesday, three
members of the Los Angeles City Council introduced a resolution
that urges Gov. Jerry Brown and California regulators to impose a
moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until the state determines
that the controversial oil extraction procedure is "safe for
public health, for the Los Angeles water supply and for the
environment." The measure, authored by councilmen Paul

Intel Reduces GHG Emissions by 60% Under 2007 Baseline. Intel, a
world leader in computing innovation, has provided public reports
on its environmental, health and safety performance since 1994
and produced an annual Corporate Responsibility Report since
2001. 2012 is no exception. This year’s report focuses on three
main factors – environmental, governance and social – and records
the company’s success in achieving goals set in previous years.
“At Intel, corporate responsibility is a crucial component to the
overall growth of our business,” said Michael Jacobson, Intel’s
director of corporate responsibility. Posted. 

Toyota Prius Plug-in in vehicle-to-home tests in Japan. Pull
electricity from a Toyota Prius Plug-in to a McMansion, and the
lights may go out within a matter of a couple of hours. For a
typical Japanese house, though, you'd be taken care of for the
better part of a week. Toyota said it will start testing a
vehicle-to-home (V2H) system with the Prius Plug-in in Japan by
the end of the year. The trial will involve a two-way
power-supply system in which the car could supply the home with
power in the event of a black-out. About 10 Toyota City homes
will be involved in the testing. Posted. 

State Supreme Court tosses anti-RGGI lawsuit.  Acting State
Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamera has dismissed a lawsuit
brought against the state last summer seeking to yank New York
out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the multi-state
cap and trade program that auctions off carbon credits to
polluters. The suit’s lead plaintiff Lisa Thrun, a Buffalo leader
of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action
group supported by oilmen David and Charles Koch that is linked
to the tea party movement. Posted.

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