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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 28, 2012. Posted: 28 Jun 2012 13:00:43
ARB Newsclips for June 28, 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 LA council votes to strictly enforce Clean Air Act. Los Angeles officials have voted unanimously to approve stricter enforcement of the federal Clean Air Act, including a provision that requires coal-fired plants to reduce mercury and other toxic air pollution. City News Service reports the city council voted 10-0 on Wednesday to regulate the city's coal-fired power plants, which provide about 39 percent of the city's electricity. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has vowed to comply with the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards and eventually eliminate coal as an energy source. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/27/la-council-votes-to-strictly-enforce-clean-air/#ixzz1z6WPzbAA http://www.modbee.com/2012/06/27/2260655/la-council-votes-to-strictly-enforce.html#storylink=misearch CLIMATE CHANGE California Lawmakers Pass Measure Limiting Cap-And-Trade Links. California lawmakers passed a bill that may stall plans for a link of the state’s cap-and-trade system with Quebec that would allow companies to exchange carbon permits across the borders. The measure, approved as part of the legislature’s $95.1 billion budget package, requires the state’s air resources board to gain approval from the governor before linking cap-and-trade systems with other jurisdictions. The board was expected to decide tomorrow on a link with Quebec that would allow companies to use carbon offsets and permits issued by the province to meet California’s greenhouse-gas emissions targets. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-28/california-lawmakers-pass-measure-limiting-cap-and-trade-links.html Court ruling to shift greenhouse gas fight back to Congress. An appeals court decision to uphold proposed federal greenhouse gas rules may shift the fight over regulating the heat-trapping emissions back to Congress, where lawmakers may step up efforts to diminish the EPA's power or renew efforts to set a price on carbon, experts said. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Monday unanimously ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) finding that carbon dioxide is a public danger and the decision to set limits for emissions from cars and light trucks were legal. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/28/us-emissions-court-idUSBRE85R0C120120628 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20960957/federal-court-upholds-epas-greenhouse-gas-rules?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20960957/federal-court-upholds-epas-greenhouse-gas-rules?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com NASA cancels climate study project in Thailand. The United States says it will not be able to carry out a major climate study this year because Thailand has delayed a decision on whether to grant the U.S. space agency permission to use a key naval air base. NASA's request to use Thailand's U-Tapao air base as the project's operations center has faced opposition from critics who say it could be a cover for military purposes. The base is located in Chonburi province, 190 kilometers (118 miles) southeast of Bangkok. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/NASA-cancels-climate-study-project-in-Thailand-3668701.php Heat wave: 1,000+ records fall in US in a week. Feeling hot? It's not a mirage. Across the United States, hundreds of heat records have fallen in the past week. From the wildfire-consumed Rocky Mountains to the bacon-fried sidewalks of Oklahoma, the temperatures are creating consequences ranging from catastrophic to comical. In the past week, 1,011 records have been broken around the country, including 251 new daily high temperature records on Tuesday. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/27/heat-wave-1000-records-fall-in-us-in-a-week/#ixzz1z6YFIuoU FUELS Enviros: Gas industry got inside info from NY DEC. An environmental group has released documents showing the natural gas industry had exclusive access to proposed drilling regulations at least six weeks before they were made public by New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation. The Environmental Working Group alleged Thursday that a prominent industry lawyer used this access to try to weaken rules restricting discharges of radioactive wastewater. The national group is seeking a moratorium on shale gas drilling until all health and environmental concerns are resolved. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Enviros-Gas-industry-got-inside-info-from-NY-DEC-3669899.php HIGH-SPEED RAIL Some senators push for shift in bullet train plan. Three months ago, Gov. Jerry Brown hit the reset button on the California bullet train, slashing $30 billion from its $98 billion budget and promising to reorder the controversial project's priorities. Now, some Democrats in the state Senate want to hit the reset button again. They have proposed dramatically shifting the high-speed rail project's focus by cutting back on planned construction in the Central Valley and instead spending billions on immediate rail improvements in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/rail-361008-project-train.html GREEN ENERGY Screens used to lower electricity bills. Tokyo -- Screens and shades placed on the outside of windows have been gaining popularity as people expect they will reduce indoor heat and help push down their electricity bills for the summer. Made of polyester or other thin materials, the screens and shades are not eyesores because many can be rolled up when not in use. In early June, Mineko Akiba, a 70-year-old housewife in Chiba, Japan, had a roll-up shade installed at her house outside a living room window that is 1.7 meters wide and 2 meters high. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/28/4595503/screens-used-to-lower-electricity.html San Jose teams up with SolarCity. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has installed solar panels on his own home and has made renewable energy a key platform of his "Green Vision" for the city. Now the city is working with San Mateo-based SolarCity to install rooftop solar panels on 16 municipal buildings, with 14 additional sites under consideration. Four of the projects, including installations at Kelley Park and the Police Activities League Sports Center, are already complete. Twelve others are under way, including libraries in Alum Rock and Almaden, the Tully Road ball field and three downtown parking garages. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20954178/san-jose-teams-up-solarcity?source=rss MISCELLANEOUS L.A. metal recyclers charged in mishandling of toxic waste. Los Angeles city attorney's office accuses the owners of three metal recycling businesses of posing 'a significant threat to human health and the environment.' Los Angeles city prosecutors Wednesday took the unusual step of filing criminal charges against the owners of three metal recycling businesses, accusing them of illegally handling hazardous waste and allowing toxic chemicals to be released into storm water. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-metal-recycle-20120628,0,5369342.story Gas mowers to be exchanged for electric ones Saturday at Big A. Annual lawnmower exchange is in 10th year and has taken more than 43,000 carbon-belchers out of circulation. Anaheim – Air-quality officials are coming to Angel Stadium on Saturday, armed with hundreds of electric lawn mowers they hope professional landscapers and weekend gardeners will pick up in exchange for old, carbon-belching models. This is the 10th anniversary of the Southern California Air Quality Management District's popular Lawnmower Exchange Program. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/mowers-361130-program-electric.html Worth noting: Finalists picked for film-making contest, more. Finalists have been chosen in the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's annual amateur film-making contest. Sophia Breedlove of Fresno won in the K-8 category, Andrew Beard of Bakersfield won in the high school category and Antonio Garcia of Bakersfield won in the college and teachers category. Participants created 30-second videos illustrating how to change things in daily life that would improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley, according to Valley Air District spokesman Anthony Presto. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1408651535/Worth-noting-Finalists-picked-for-film-making-contest-more OPINIONS A Court Rules for the Planet. A federal court decision on Tuesday upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark rulings to control greenhouse gases was a decisive victory for the Obama administration and a devastating blow to polluters. It vindicated the administration’s strategy of controlling emissions through regulation and showed good sense at a time when both the agency and the science of global warming are under relentless Congressional attack. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/opinion/a-court-rules-for-the-planet.html?_r=1 Letters: When the oceans rise. Re "State sea levels expected to rise," June 25. Climate change news over the last several weeks, like The Times' article on California's sea levels rising by up to five feet, has been troubling. The country's most esteemed scientists continue to forecast a major sea level rise, as in the recent National Research Council report, while high-level government institutions decline to take meaningful action to forestall or even confront it. Local governments and communities will bear the brunt of this intransigence, but they are also empowered to take independent action. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0628-thursday-oceans-rise-20120628,0,5493464,print.story Is your sofa safe? A California agency is set to study furniture flammability rules, which largely serve as the standard nationwide. The California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation might just be the most important state agency that no one's ever heard of. It is about to revamp the state's flammability standards for furniture, a mundane-sounding subject that will have significant ramifications not just in California but nationally as well. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-flame-retardant-california-20120628,0,5527976.story Dan Walters: Fate of California's bullet train iffy in state Senate. The state Assembly would surely vote for Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to begin building a north-south bullet train in the San Joaquin Valley – but the Senate, where party discipline is much weaker, is proving to be a tougher political nut to crack. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has publicly pledged to approve construction funds and wants a vote next week. Just weeks ago, Senate approval appeared certain, but with Republicans solidly opposed, Steinberg needs support from 20 of the 24 other Democratic senators. At the moment, the votes aren't there. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/28/v-print/4594851/dan-walters-fate-of-californias.html Weather underground: How TV weathercasters can help in the climate fight. We humans are warming our climate — mostly by burning up fossil fuels. And we’re seeing a range of serious impacts in our own backyards and across the globe, including the increased frequency and magnitude of some types of extreme weather. Americans seem to get it. Polling from 2011 shows that a majority of us now link an unnaturally warming climate to droughts, floods, and other extremes. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-change/weather-underground-how-tv-weathercasters-can-help-in-the-climate-fight/ BLOGS Cutting the Electric Bill with a Giant Battery. A giant battery bank installed by the side of the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s subway tracks a little over a month ago is saving about nine megawatt-hours of power a week, its manufacturer says, which is more electricity than the typical apartment-dweller uses in a year. The battery system, which I wrote about last year, is allowing the trains to run a bit like Prius hybrids. When they slow down at a station, their motors turn into generators, converting torque into current. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/cutting-the-electric-bill-with-a-giant-battery/?ref=energy-environment In New Jersey, Brewing an Alternative to Petroleum. Walking into the research facility of Primus Green Energy is not unlike wandering onto the set of “Dr. Who.” Everywhere you look, there is plumbing, usually covered in multiple layers of shiny aluminum foil. The foil is hot, it’s festooned with hundreds of wires and it reeks of solvents. Robert A. Heinlein, the writer of science fiction, once said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/in-new-jersey-brewing-an-alternative-to-petroleum/ Tides Canada Stands Up to Government Critics. A charitable foundation devoted to environmental causes that has been vilified by politicians in Canada’s governing Conservative Party has struck back, outlining its finances and accusing the politicians of trying to silence dissent. On Wednesday, the group, Tides Canada, released an unusually detailed accounting of both its grants and its international donors to counter the charges. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/tides-canada-stands-up-to-government-critics/ CAFE standards upheld by U.S. appeals court. No dice, partner. Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for 2012-16 were upheld this week by a U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., quashing efforts by certain industries and a number of states to overturn the mandate, The Detroit News reports. The standards, which have been backed by the Obama Administration, require fleetwide fuel economy to reach 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016. The mandate, made in part to address evidence of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions, has been backed by most major automakers, including Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/28/cafe-standards-upheld-by-u-s-appeals-court/ Climate Smack-Down: Court Upholds EPA's Carbon Pollution Standards In Triumph of Science and Law. On Tuesday the federal appeals court in Washington delivered a resounding victory for science, the rule of law, and common sense by upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark actions to start curbing the dangerous carbon pollution driving climate change. Ruling unanimously in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, the appeals court rejected each and every attack from the coal companies, power companies…Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ddoniger/climate_smack-down_court_uphol.html