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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 2, 2012 Posted: 02 Jul 2012 14:07:27
ARB Newsclips for July 2, 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 NOx emissions exceeded limits in 12 European countries in 2010. Air pollution emitted from sources such as traffic, industry and households is still above internationally agreed limits in 12 European countries, according to newly published data. The accompanying report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) confirms an initial assessment published earlier this year, showing 12 EU Member States exceeded limits under the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive in 2010. (Earlier post.) Under the NEC Directive, countries were obliged, by 2010, to meet ceilings for four important air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ammonia (NH3). These pollutants are harmful to both people and the environment, causing respiratory illnesses, acidifying soil and surface water, and damaging vegetation. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/07/eea-20120702.html CLIMATE CHANGE Report on costs of California's greenhouse gas law debated. Business and health groups sparred again this week over whether state-mandated greenhouse gas reductions will eliminate jobs and halt investment in the state, or create jobs, cut health care costs and fuel the economy. The California Manufacturers and Technology Association released a report Thursday saying that California families would pay $2,500 annually and lose $900 in earnings per year by 2020 as a result of the state Global Warming Solutions Act. The act, also known as Assembly Bill 32, will also cause billions of dollars in losses to employers and the state economy, the report found. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/30/4600984/report-on-costs-of-californias.html California Regulators Set Cap-and-Trade Implementation Schedule, Delay Links to Quebec, and Agree to Next Set of Offset Protocols. ARB approves reg changes, will open tracking system. Rice and coalmine methane offset protocols move ahead. Gov. Brown must approve Quebec linkages. Yesterday, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved regulatory changes to the State’s cap-and-trade program. Board passage of the amendments set in place a schedule for implementation of the program, which includes an opening in July of the program’s carbon allowance and offset credit tracking system. ARB also indicated they would open a public process for the acceptance of new offset protocols. Plans to link the California cap-and-trade program to a similar scheme in Quebec, however, were put on hold. Posted. http://new.evomarkets.com/desks/carbon_ca/post/421/ FUELS Keystone XL pipeline expansion driven by oil-rich tar sands in Alberta. Repairman Shawn Flett stood 30 feet above the ground on the deck of a truck the size of a house. He had just waved it gingerly into the repair shop as if guiding an airplane into a hangar. This is a beast of a machine, with 14-foot tires and weighing in at more than a million pounds. The truck burns 50 gallons of diesel an hour as it rumbles with 400-ton loads across the giant open-pit mines that have transformed a swath of Alberta’s vast northern forest into unsightly but lucrative sources of oil. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/keystone-xl-pipeline-expansion-driven-by-oil-rich-tar-sands-in-alberta/2012/06/30/gJQAVe4ZEW_story.html Gas under graveyards raises moral, money questions. Loved ones aren't the only thing buried in the 122-year-old Lowellville Cemetery in eastern Ohio. Deep underground, locked in ancient shale formations, are lucrative quantities of natural gas. Whether to drill for that gas is causing soul-searching as cemeteries - including veterans' final resting places in Colorado and Mississippi - join parks, playgrounds, churches and residential backyards among the ranks of places targeted in the nation's shale drilling boom. Opponents say cemeteries are hallowed ground that shouldn't be sullied by drilling activity they worry will be noisy, smelly and unsightly. Defenders say the drilling is so deep that it doesn't disturb the cemetery and can generate revenue to enhance the roads and grounds. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jyPeKQg2dDKuOwGCByLcPkLrSTYg?docId=eada8a33ab544b14913e9ad74d77f09c AP Newsbreak: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/07/01/2895539/gas-under-cemeteries-raises-money.html#storylink=misearch http://www.centredaily.com/2012/06/30/3247613/gas-under-graveyards-raises-moral.html http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-30/gas-drilling-cemeteries/55945368/1 White rot, the fungus that stopped coal, might start commercial biofuels. The evolutionary rise of a common fungus -- white rot -- is responsible for the end of underground coal formation 60 million years ago, scientists say in a paper published last week in Science. Ironically, that same fungus could now be a key element to help the world move away from fossil fuels by helping to create cheaper renewable fuels. White rot is probably most familiar to homeowners in humid climates because it decomposes wood by breaking down the lignin -- the latticelike material that makes wood and other plant material rigid. BY SUBSCRIPTION. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/07/02/3 VEHICLES This Summer, Electric Cars Are Merging Into California's Traffic. IT doesn't sound as sexy as the 1967 Summer of Love, but for Californians with a passion for plug-ins, the warm months of 2012 are turning into the season of the electric car. Some four years after the $100,000-plus Tesla Roadster became the nation's only new electric vehicle capable of highway speeds, a wave of more affordable plug-in cars are coming to market. And California, the state with the nation's largest auto market, the worst air quality and the most stringent emissions rules, is the first to catch the tide. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/automobiles/evs-are-merging-into-californias-traffic.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/auto-news/this-summer-electric-cars-are-merging-into-californias-traffic-642685/ California's electric car rebate program gets $27 million boost in funding. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, the source of the $2500 of additional incentives for electric car purchases, which was running low on funding, received new funding from the Air Resources Board. California and its concern for air pollution has been at the forefront of pushing for clean vehicle technology. One of that states programs, the Air Quality Improvement Program, provides funds under the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project for the $2500 rebate California offers for electric car purchases on top of the $7500 federal tax credit. The funds in that program, which had shrunk to $3,368,013, just received a massive infusion of over $27 million in new funding from the Air Resources Board and $5 million from the California Energy Commission. Posted. http://www.torquenews.com/1075/californias-electric-car-rebate-program-gets-27-million-boost-funding A Bare-Bones Electric Car That Goes the Extra Miles. THE driving distance for electric vehicles priced near the heart of the new-car market — starting around $35,000, before federal tax credits and other incentives — is defined by cars like the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric. Each of those models, when keeping pace with a typical mix of traffic conditions, will drive about 70 to 80 miles on a fully charged battery. So the introduction of a similarly priced electric sedan that delivers a consistent 100-mile range represents something of an industry milestone. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/automobiles/autoreviews/a-bare-bones-electric-car-that-goes-the-extra-mile.html?_r=1 Nissan providing residual battery power forecast and use information services to LEAF owners. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. introduced two services through the Nissan LEAF owners’ website and smartphone applications: one that precisely forecasts the LEAF’s remaining battery capacity when it arrives at a destination; and the other called “Minna no Syouhi Denryoku (Energy Usage Database)” (available in Japan and North America). A dedicated website for Nissan LEAF owners already supplies a route search function which alerts a driver to information on charging spots, time required to drive a given travel route, and driving directions. Recently, owners have requested information regarding energy consumption based on additional variables, such as when a Nissan LEAF travels in areas with a large elevation change, such as up mountains. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/07/nissan-providing-residual-battery-power-forecast-and-use-information-services-to-leaf-owners.html Focus on choice — gas or electric. Big Valley Ford in Stockton is among the first 67 dealers in the nation certified to offer Ford Motor Co.'s first all-electric car, the 2012 Focus Electric. To earn that standing, the dealership had to agree to install charging stations and train service technicians and sales personnel on all the ins and outs of these electric vehicles. But it's not all that unusual for the dealership, which previously made a major commitment to offering natural gas-fueled commercial trucks in this region. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120702/A_BIZ/207010307&cid=sitesearch MISCELLANEOUS How about laser's red glare? Like Francis Scott Key's Fort McHenry, the venerable tradition of Independence Day fireworks shows is under attack. From one flank, red ink from municipal budgets has fireworks fuses fizzling. Without enough bucks for their bang, California cities that once bankrolled fireworks shows for the Fourth of July have canceled them – though in the immediate Sacramento region, most of the shows go on. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/02/4604026/how-about-lasers-red-glare.html#storylink=misearch New app provides air quality readings. Worried about breathing polluted air? A new app shows users the air quality in their area and lets them know when it might be best to stay indoors. State of the Air, a free app released by the American Lung Association, provides real-time updates on levels of ozone and particulate pollution in the atmosphere -- the two most widespread air pollutants, and among the most dangerous, in the United States. Posted. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/02/app-air-idINL2E8I22H520120702 OPINION ANOTHER VIEW: We can't afford debt from 'visionary' high-speed rail. In his June 22 Community Voices piece, "Despite naysayers, high-speed rail on track to be a game changer," Howard Silver wrote about California's "doers" and "optimistic, visionary people" who built the Golden Gate Bridge, highways and the aqueduct. Those were different days. People and businesses were flocking to the Golden State in search of a better life. Today's movers, shakers and crony capitalists have a different vision of California -- where the unions rule. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/hot-topics/x1330930563/We-cant-afford-debt-from-visionary-high-speed-rail Global warming in our backyard. It's not just about the polar bears anymore. There was a time when the conversation about global warming was dominated by news about the Arctic, where its effects are the most easily visible to the lay public. The narrative involved shrinking glaciers and the ferocious white bears that live part of their lives on drifting ice floes that now are melting. But polar bears are far away and ice is just, well, ice. So it would be a good idea for the public — and especially Southern Californians — to pay rapt attention to several reports published within the last couple of weeks that bring the reality of climate change from the polar ice caps to our backyard. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-adv-global-warming-20120702,0,4512793.story Climate-warming deniers are zealous in their convictions. Several of the regular readers of this column have told me that since I've been brave enough to tell the truth about evolution, I should do the same for climate change and expose it as a hoax. It's an interesting attitude and speaks to some key differences in the way creationists and climate change skeptics approach science. Climate change skeptics are much more scattered in their views than are creationists, but they are better organized and together speak with a louder, and angrier voice. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/02/4604606/climate-warming-deniers-are-zealous.html#storylink=misearch Tighter pollution rules seconded. I'd like to thank The Californian very much for its June 21 editorial, "Time to adopt tighter rules on air pollution," which recognizes the human toll of air pollution in the Central Valley and the need for the Environmental Protection Agency to set more health-protective standards for fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, one of the deadliest and most dangerous forms of air pollution. Under the Clean Air Act, air quality standards must be set at levels that protect public health, including the most sensitive individuals. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/letters/x1330930861/Tighter-pollution-rules-seconded?utm_source=widget_60&utm_medium=summary_entries_teaser_widget&utm_campaign=synapse LOIS HENRY: When it comes to fireworks, I'm still a hater. Well here we are again, just a hop, skip away from another 4th of July celebration. And after all these years of being ignored in my quest to have personal fireworks banned, I've decided...I'M STILL RIGHT! We absolutely must ban personal fireworks. What? You thought I'd gone soft in my old age? Pshaw! Personal fireworks, and the absolute insanity they engender, have created a hazard that is so out of control they need to be banned. Potential fire damage is just one issue. (Considering our tinder dry conditions this year, though, that is a huge issue.) They also cause injuries, terrorize animals and push our pollution levels into the stratosphere. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/columnists/lois-henry/x1330930768/LOIS-HENRY-Fireworks-still-not-worth-the-risk BLOGS Reviewing the Coda. In Sunday’s Automobiles section, Bradley Berman reviews the 2012 Coda, a purely electric, no-frills compact sedan that is priced within range of the more luxurious Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf. The Coda regularly returned 100 miles of range on a single charge in Mr. Berman’s week with the car, roughly 20-30 miles more than the estimated ranges of the Leaf and Focus. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/reviewing-the-coda/