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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 26, 2012. Posted: 26 Jun 2012 12:43:28
ARB Newsclips for June 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 Court says pollution controls can be based on future technologies. Ruling comes in a suit brought by paint manufacturers against the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which regulates pollution from sources other than vehicles. Southern California air pollution authorities may require pollution controls based on technologies that do not exist but may be reasonably anticipated, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-aqmd-paint-20120626,0,6464959.story http://www.modbee.com/2012/06/26/2257825/calif-supreme-court-oks-future.html#storylink=misearch http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/26/2887800/calif-supreme-court-oks-future.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20940104/calif-supreme-court-oks-future-technology-rules?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20940104/calif-supreme-court-oks-future-technology-rules?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/26/calif-supreme-court-oks-future-technology-rules/#ixzz1yuwkm8nh Federal agency to examine Sinclair SO2 emissions. A federal agency is preparing to examine sulfur dioxide emissions from a refinery in south-central Wyoming. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry plans to look at three years of data on air pollution from the Sinclair Refinery. The agency is part of the Centers for Disease Control. The Casper Star-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/OpJiqT) that the Wyoming Outdoor Council environmental group sought a broader public health assessment of the refinery. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Federal-agency-to-examine-Sinclair-SO2-emissions-3663783.php http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20940104/calif-supreme-court-oks-future-technology-rules Court upholds state pollution rules on offshore ships. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a shipping industry challenge Monday to California's air pollution rules requiring ocean-going vessels to use low-sulfur fuel within 24 miles of the coast, standards that the state said would save thousands of lives. The state Air Resources Board adopted the restrictions in July 2009 for ships that cross the 24-mile threshold while bound for California ports. The rules expire in 2015 when federal regulations take effect that will impose similar standards within 200 miles of the nation's shorelines. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Court-upholds-state-pollution-rules-on-offshore-3661264.php EPA study explains link between smog, heart problems. Smog has been linked to heart problems and even death, and new research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begins to explain why. Researchers found that healthy young adults who have been exposed to ozone pollution – which is a major component of smog – experience physiological changes that could be linked to heart ailments in vulnerable populations, such as elderly people with cardiovascular disease. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/environmental-health/story/epa-study-explains-link-between-smog/ http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/24/2887039/epa-study-explains-link-between.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/epa-study-explains-link-between-smog-heart-problems/article_1ee956f1-250c-53b6-8a3b-a0fc2c55b8f5.html Winds stir up dust in west San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District warned that the northern and western parts of the San Joaquin Valley would experience blowing dust until about 11 p.m. Thursday. Because of that, the district issued a cautionary health statement for those areas, noting that people with heart or lung disease should avoid the dust. The western part of the San Joaquin Valley was expected to see winds gusting up to 45 mph. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/breaking-news/x1076260275/Winds-stir-up-dust-in-west-San-Joaquin-Valley DWP tells state board it’s ‘done’ at Owens Lake. State air quality watchdogs have a little less than two weeks to decide whether the City of Los Angeles is required to continue dust mitigation efforts on the Owens Dry Lake – despite city attorneys’ adamant assertions that L.A. is “done” with any such obligations. The California Air Resources Board met last Friday to hear arguments from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District regarding a disagreement between the two entities over mandated mitigation measures. Posted. http://www.inyoregister.com/node/2803 CLIMATE CHANGE Federal court upholds EPA's global warming rules. A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming. The rules, which were challenged by industry groups and various states, will reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from large industrial facilities such as factories and power plants, as well as from automobile tailpipes. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EPA_GREENHOUSE_GASES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Other AP Stories http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/court-rules-agency-is-unambiguously-correct-in-using-law-to-curb-global-warming-gases/2012/06/26/gJQAlrsM4V_story.html http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Federal-court-upholds-EPA-s-global-warming-rules-3663669.php http://www.modbee.com/2012/06/26/2257979/federal-court-upholds-epas-greenhouse.html#storylink=misearch SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/26bn/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Researchers Observe Climate Change, First-Hand. As the climate changes, scientists are documenting measurable shifts in the natural world — from a tremendous loss in Arctic sea ice and an increase in extreme weather like drought, floods and heatwaves, to the migration of plants and animals to new latitudes. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2012/06/25/155717377/researchers-offer-first-hand-views-on-climate-change Cap ‘n Trade: There’s a lot to learn from what’s happening out West. Agencies across the United States are watching California’s implementation of a state- wide cap and trade. Companies are waiting to see how that program will impact business, and clean technology industries are hoping that the expected revenues spur innovation and new industries. Cap and Trade is a fairly simple concept: ‘Cap’ is a legal limit on the quantity of greenhouse gases that a region can emit each year, and ‘trade’ means that companies can swap among themselves the permission – or permits – to emit anything above that cap. Posted. http://www.thegreeneconomy.com/cap-n-trade-theres-a-lot-to-learn-from-whats-happening-out-west/ FUELS SFO official concerned about 'catastrophic' hydrogen explosion at proposed fueling station. A project to build a long-planned hydrogen vehicle fueling station at San Francisco International Airport is likely headed for the scrap heap due to squabbles over liability and fears of a "catastrophic" gas explosion. Now that negotiations have broken off with the would-be operator of the station at the southwest corner of SFO, the Airport Commission is slated to vote Tuesday on whether to kill the project. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20935895/sfo-official-concerned-about-catastrophic-hydrogen-explosion-at?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20935895/sfo-official-concerned-about-catastrophic-hydrogen-explosion-at?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Coal plants are the VHS tapes of the energy production flea market. When the Clean Air Act was updated in 1977, existing power plants got a free pass: They didn’t have to meet new standards until the next time their owners invested in them. So a number of pre-1977 plants simply never upgraded. (This is always a good thing to keep in mind during discussions of coal power.) (You do have discussions about coal power, don’t you? At family reunions and the like?) Some of these grandfathered coal plants have simply been shut down. But coal power has traditionally been so profitable that massive, expensive upgrades to old plants are worth the investment. Posted. http://grist.org/news/coal-plants-are-the-vhs-tapes-of-the-energy-production-flea-market/ VEHICLES AABC Europe 2012: Better batteries with same chemistry. The third European Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) took place 18-22 June 2012 in Mainz, Germany. Chaired by Bertrand Largy, Renault, Session 4 of AABTAM focused on battery pack engineering in automotive applications, aiming at making batteries safer, more reliable and better performing through better design, innovative cell-to-cell connection and modular approach. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4729 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Global visions of bullet trains. In the international race to build bullet trains, California is not only getting crushed by the likes of France and Japan, but also Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. Dozens of powerful nations and even far-flung countries on every continent except Antarctica are asking the Golden State what's taking so long to join the bullet train club. The answer could come as soon as this week, when the state Legislature votes whether to start building the $69 billion rail line. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/politics-government/ci_20927265/global-visions-bullet-trains?source=rss GREEN ENERGY Bill that reforms RGGI becomes law. State still enrolled in energy program. Gov. John Lynch let a bill become law over the weekend that reforms New Hampshire's involvement in a regional cap-and-trade program, a move that disappointed environmental activists who say it halves energy efficiency funding generated by the multi-state compact. "Keeping New Hampshire in RGGI has been a priority for the governor, and this bill does that," Colin Manning, spokesman for the Democratic governor, said in a statement. Posted. http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/338194/bill-that-reforms-rggi-becomes-law?CSAuthResp=1340734025%3A5fh1d4pgahefm9hsl53hqa1kp6%3ACSUserId%7CCSGroupId%3Aapproved%3A9AE88FB3AC3F86659108D36CBC2AE888&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1 Trade threat lurks as U.S. levies new tariff on Chinese solar panels. The waves of a budding worldwide solar energy trade dispute are washing over three continents this week as the U.S. government called for new tariffs on Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers and China's Ministry of Commerce fired a warning shot at European officials who are contemplating a move similar to their American counterparts'. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/26/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Chemicals in furniture target of Calif. Lawmakers. Judy Levin's couch may not actively be trying to kill her, but it's far from a benevolent presence in her home. Levin, of Oakland, had her 20-year-old couch tested for toxic chemicals and was upset to learn it contains two flame retardants - V6 and TCEP, tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine. TCEP has since been listed by the state as a carcinogen under Proposition 65. But possibly more upsetting to Levin is the realization that there's not much she can do about it. The foam in furniture sold in California has to meet flammability standards set by state regulators in 1975. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Chemicals-in-furniture-target-of-Calif-lawmakers-3661414.php OPINIONS Letters: High-speed rail vs. reality. Re "Bullet train faces 'a tight vote,'" June 24 When voters in 2008 approved the bonds to start high-speed rail construction, we were told the cost would be about $35 billion. Now the figure is nearly $100 billion. We were also told private enterprise would step up to help provide financing, but that hasn't happened. The first segment of the bullet train is to be built in the Central Valley. If you are going to build a bridge across a river, you don't start in the middle. Nobody there wants it, and several groups are threatening to sue if it is built. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0626-tuesday-bullet-train-20120626,0,1656699.story Andy Ball and David Cush: California can't afford not to build high-speed rail. In the midst of the debate surrounding high-speed rail, the project remains a top priority to a diverse set of business, labor, civic, transportation and community organizations throughout California. High-speed rail development is an essential component of a forward-looking economic agenda that will immediately bolster California's job outlook and improve our economy in the long-term. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_20935693/andy-ball-and-david-cush-california-cant-afford?source=rss Gas prices continue slide, but for how long? Enjoy it while it lasts. Gas prices continue their surprising summer slide, with the average in many Bay Area cities now under $4 a gallon. But with July Fourth around the corner, some experts are already predicting that they will resume their climb as motorists take to the road for holiday excursions. On Monday, however, motorists were savoring the $3.69 a gallon they were paying for regular unleaded at Gas of America in AntiochPosted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20936567/gas-prices-continue-slide-but-how-long The Climate Post: Rising Oil, Gasoline Prices Push Politicians and Reporters to Utter "Nonsense" In a major speech on energy at the University of Miami, President Obama said rising gasoline prices are a "painful reminder" of the need for alternatives. He was on the offensive, trying to counter criticisms of the GOP presidential candidates -- including Newt Gingrich, who promised he'd get gasoline down to $2.50 a gallon. Countering calls to "drill, baby, drill," Obama called the GOP candidates' ideas "bumper sticker" strategies, "not a plan." Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mason-inman/the-climate-post-rising-o_b_1314800.html Murdock: A winning route along the pipeline. With his recent swing-state bus tour behind him, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney should plan his next road trip. Romney should ride along the envisioned route of the Keystone XL pipeline. Along the way, he should invoke, meet and even appear with Democrats and labor leaders who agree with him on Keystone and are frustrated with President Barack Obama's obstructionism on this vital, job-rich energy venture. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/25/murdock-a-winning-route-along-the-pipeline/#ixzz1yuxeqKhC “Don’t write off cap-and-trade” It’s time to stop the hand-wringing over carbon markets, writes Robert Stavins. Low permit prices in Europe and America point to changing circumstances and fixable flaws – not the failure of an idea. Various journalists and advocates have, of late, described America’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as being near “the brink of failure” thanks to the trend of very low prices of permits to emit carbon dioxide. Posted. http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5010 BLOGS Could ‘Green’ Bonds Help Tackle Climate Change? Delegates from across the world poured into Rio de Janeiro to attend the UN’s sustainable development summit to discuss how to tackle climate change. One item on the agenda: Could the issuance of “green bonds” be part of the answer? Investor interest for green bonds exists, but potential purchasers of such products are not being offered appropriate investments on a big enough scale. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2012/06/26/could-green-bonds-help-tackle-climate-change/ Can U.S. carbon emissions keep dropping? That depends on Congress. Here’s a green trend that more people should know about: Since 2007, the United States has managed to curtail its global-warming pollution by quite a bit — energy-related carbon emissions have fallen roughly 6 percent over the past five years. Some of that, it’s true, has been due to the recession. Less economic activity means less demand for energy. But not all of it. The drop has also come as cheap natural gas has forced power companies to shutter their coal plants. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/06/26/can-u-s-carbon-emissions-keep-dropping-that-depends-on-congress/ U.S. Grants a Keystone Pipeline Permit. The Obama administration, moving swiftly on the president’s promise to expedite the southernmost portion of the disputed Keystone XL pipeline, has granted construction permits for part of the route passing through Texas, officials said on Tuesday. The Army Corps of Engineers on Monday told TransCanada, which wants to build a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry heavy crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, that it could begin construction on the portion of the proposed pipeline that would end at the gulf port of Nederland, Tex. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/u-s-grants-a-keystone-pipeline-permit/ Seeking a Profitable Place to Put Captured Carbon. Two major oil companies joined by a chemical company and an investment group have invested $9 million in a commercial carbon capture project in Texas that will treat the flue gases from a coal-fired cement kiln and turn them into marketable chemicals.T he $125 million project, to be built in San Antonio with the aid of federal grants totaling $28 million, is intended to turn a profit through sales of sodium bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/seeking-a-profitable-place-to-put-captured-carbon/ A New Satellite Tool Tracks Deforestation. An international team of researchers presented a new tool at the Rio+20 sustainability conference last week: the first satellite system for monitoring deforestation across Latin America in nearly real time. While such programs have existed in Brazil for several years, the program, called Terra-I, fills a much-needed gap for some smaller Latin countries that are losing forests at an equal or higher rate. “Everyone more or less understands maps,” said Mark Mulligan, a geographer at King’s College London and one of the project’s designers. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/a-new-satellite-tool-tracks-deforestation/ A Fresh Look at Oil’s Long Goodbye. My bedtime reading tonight is “Oil: The Next Revolution – The unprecedented upsurge of oil production capacity and what it means for the world.” This mind-bending report points to a prolonged period of rising oil production, particularly in the United States (for reasons laid out below), and a potential collapse in oil prices, with all kinds of implications for security, international politics, the economy and, without doubt, climate. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/a-fresh-look-at-oils-new-boom-time/ A Tragicomic Take on Cape Wind. When the energy entrepreneur Jim Gordon first proposed building the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, he assumed the project would be a slam dunk. Liberal Massachusetts communities would surely embrace a clean energy initiative, he figured. More than 10 years later, the offshore project is still not up and running, although it has passed some regulatory hurdles and survived a few legal challenges from locals who oppose the project. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/a-tragicomic-take-on-cape-wind/ Mark Landsbaum: OC Register's Resident Climate Science Denier. The Orange County Register's stance on climate change and efforts to contain greenhouse gases that contribute to the current warming trends isn't exactly in line with widely accepted scientific data. This is due in part to the presence of climate change contrarian Mark Landsbaum on its editorial board. Landsbaum, who had a previous stint at the Los Angeles Times before joining the Register, has penned numerous columns for the Register attacking climate science and cap-and-trade initiatives going as far back as 2008. Posted. http://mediamatters.org/blog/201206260003