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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 3, 2012

Posted: 03 Jul 2012 12:18:10
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.

EPA grants stay in NM emissions case. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency on Monday gave New Mexico officials, the
state's largest electricity provider and others more time to sort
out a solution for curbing haze-causing pollution at a coal-fired
power plant in northwestern New Mexico. EPA Administrator Lisa
Jackson signed a 90-day stay so parties can evaluate alternatives
for the San Juan Generating Station. Posted. 


EPA proposing to approve Ariz.'s air quality plan.  The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to approve Arizona's
plan to control sulfur dioxide and soot at three power plants in
the state.  EPA officials also are proposing additional pollution
controls for nitrogen oxide at those plants in an effort to
improve visibility at 18 national parks and wilderness areas in
Arizona.  Posted. 


This US summer is 'what global warming looks like'.  If you want
a glimpse of some of the worst of global warming, scientists
suggest taking a look at U.S. weather in recent weeks. 
Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating
droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind
storm called a derecho.  These are the kinds of extremes climate
scientists have predicted will come with climate change, although
it's far too early to say that is the cause. Nor will they say
global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high temperature records
were set in the month of June.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:




Australian PM defends carbon tax. Australian Prime Minister Julia
Gillard has launched a radio and television campaign promoting
her widely unpopular carbon tax on the country's biggest
polluters. "People will have the opportunity to judge for
themselves," she told Australian television. "And what people are
going to see is tax cuts," Gillard said, addressing the nation
yesterday. Posted. 

EPA keeps threshold in place for greenhouse gas emissions. U.S.
EPA reaffirmed today that it would not regulate smaller sources
of greenhouse gas emissions in the near future. The Clean Air Act
required EPA to consider the feasibility of reducing its
threshold for regulation of greenhouse gases, but its final "step
three" of the so-called tailoring rule confirmed that the agency
will regulate only new sources that emit at least 100,000 tons
per year of carbon dioxide equivalent, or existing sources that
meet the same threshold when they expand to increase their
emissions by at least 75,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide
equivalent. Posted. 

'Global warming' disappears from flood legislation. The words
"global warming" were stripped from legislation reauthorizing the
nation's flood insurance program before Congress passed it
Friday. But the bill is still expected to expand the program's
consideration of climate change, experts say. Although the
measure doesn't explicitly task the Federal Emergency Management
Agency with diagnosing the impacts of greenhouse gases on
flooding nationwide, it requires officials to ascertain the
effects of sea level rise, intensifying rainfall and
hurricane-driven ocean surges on its 5.6 million policyholders.
Posted.  http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/07/03/2

After the Earth Summit, young people push for real change.  There
are two ways to respond when you watch the world’s leaders
attempt to solve the planet’s most pressing problems and fail:
You can despair or you can raise hell.  After watching the 2009
climate talks in Copenhagen collapse, many bright-eyed young
people despaired, suffering through months of what can only be
described as a “Hopenhagen” hangover. More recently, when the
diplomats at the Rio+20 Earth Summit produced a policy document
with all the weight of a fluffy pink cloud, we watched the cloud
pass and decided to get down to business.  Posted. 


Navistar Alters Course.  Navistar International Corp. NAV +7.16%
is expected to disclose soon that it is backing away from the
pollution-reduction technology for its engines that has weighed
on the U.S. truck maker's sales and brought it into conflict with
federal regulators, said people familiar with the company's
plans.  The company plans to adopt the same process for treating
diesel-engine emissions used by its rivals in an attempt to
reverse falling truck sales and regulatory uncertainty that has
caused its stock price to collapse and made the company the
subject of takeover speculation.  Posted. 


Sunoco refinery to stay open in Philadelphia. The oldest and
largest refinery on the East Coast will stay open thanks to a
deal between Sunoco and the private equity firm The Carlyle
Group, with the groups announcing Monday that they have agreed to
terms on a joint venture at the facility. The new venture also
will make a substantial investment in the facility to help it
import lower-cost oil from North Dakota's Bakken formation, shift
to refining a higher proportion of ultra-low-sulfur diesel and
use natural gas from the booming Marcellus Shale formation that
lies below much of Pennsylvania, Carlyle officials said. Posted. 


U.S. Car Sales Climbed in June. General Motors and Chrysler
reported double-digit sales of new vehicles in June as the auto
industry was helped by lower gas prices and steady demand. G.M.
said Tuesday that its sales in the United States increased 15.5
percent during the month to 248,000 vehicles, which the company
said was its best monthly performance in nearly four years.
Chrysler reported a 20 percent increase over the previous year,
marking its best June sales since 2007. Posted. 


Imperial Irrigation District offers free energy-efficiency
upgrades to small businesses. Small businesses in the Imperial
Irrigation District service area are eligible for free
energy-efficiency surveys and upgrades under the district’s Open
for Business program. The program sends energy experts to
qualifying small businesses to conduct an audit of its facilities
and install energy efficiency equipment — such as efficient light
bulbs, occupancy sensors and LED exit signs — free of charge.  In
2011, more than 900 small businesses in IID's service area
participated, saving more than 2.9 million kilowatt hours of
energy — the equivalent cutting the carbon emissions of 185 homes
a year. Posted. 

Wind credit with bipartisan backing gets lost in election-year
fray. The ongoing campaign to extend a tax break vital to the
wind industry is experiencing something of an identity crisis. On
the one hand, the credit has broad bipartisan support and efforts
to extend it have been championed even by some freshman
Republican lawmakers swept into office on the tea party-backed
wave two years ago. On the other, congressional Democrats and the
Obama administration are increasingly pointing to inaction on the
credit to attack their political rivals and draw contrasts aimed
at highlighting GOP support for the oil industry. Posted. 


Midwest ranchers, lawmakers protest EPA flyovers. Midwest
ranchers have never been enamored with environmental regulators,
but they really began to complain after learning that federal
inspectors were flying over their land to look for problems. The
Environmental Protection Agency flies over power plants and other
facilities nationwide to identify potential air, water and land
pollution. It began using aerial surveillance in the Midwest in
2010 to check farms for violations of federal clean water
regulations. Posted. 


More Views on the Gas Rush and Hydraulic Fracturing. Here are a
couple of reactions to my exchange with “Gasland” filmmaker Josh
Fox after signals emerged that New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is
poised to end a state moratorium on gas drilling using hydraulic
fracturing. (In a related development, North Carolina Gov. Bev
Perdue, a Democrat who does not flatly oppose hydraulic
fracturing, on Sunday vetoed a bill championed by state
Republicans that she said was insufficiently protective of water
supplies and landowners.) Posted. 

Beyond Maize in Malawi. Jordan Schermerhorn, a recent graduate of
Rice University, is the 2012 “Win A Trip” winner. She is
currently traveling with Nick through parts of southern Africa.
In her third post she writes about how farmers in Malawi are
adapting to agricultural changes that threaten their livelihoods.
 The first president of Malawi imposed a strict dress code,
banning women from wearing pants until the mid-1990s. Today the
remnants of this policy can be seen in a wariness of pants that
persists rural villages, so I purchased a chitenje – a type of
wrap skirt – for our trip to observe drought resilience projects
outside of Balaka. Posted. 

The Tricky Business of Counting Rain. The number of
water-monitoring stations around the world has declined steadily
over the last quarter-century, and economic doldrums and a lack
of resolve on the policy-making front could cause the trend to
hold for years to come, researchers warn. This could deprive
scientists and practitioners of data essential to immediate and
long-term water resource management decisions, many argue. From
1989 to 2006, the number of stations across Europe fell by nearly
half, from 10,000 to less than 6,000, according to a study
published this month in the Journal of Hydrometeorology. (Half of
the 6,000 are in Germany.) Posted. 

For Compact E.V.’s, Divergent Approaches in Quest for
Performance. The purely electric Coda compact sedan, reviewed by
Bradley Berman in Sunday’s Automobile section, can travel farther
than other cars in its class. The Environmental Protection Agency
estimates the car’s range at 88 miles on a full charge, but Mr.
Berman repeatedly found the car capable of exceeding that number,
yielding more miles than the Ford Focus Electric or Nissan Leaf.
Rather than accomplishing that feat with finesse, Coda does it
with a big hammer — more specifically, a bigger battery, the
rough analogue of having a larger fuel tank on a gasoline-burning
vehicle. Posted. 

Author Claims Electric Vehicles Are a Green Illusion.  To hear
automakers and environmentalists tell it, electric vehicles (EVs)
are the greenest and cleanest solution to personal mobility. But
in his book Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy
and the Future of Environmentalism, author Ozzie Zehner argues
that EVs are more symbolism and marketing than environmental and
fossil-fuel saviors. And in many cases, EVs are actually worse
for the environment than traditional gas-powered vehicles.  To
prove this, Zehner, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, points to
what he views as the fuel-inefficient process of manufacturing
EVs, and claims that they don’t make a big difference in
greenhouse-gas emissions.  Posted. 

Tata works with French company on sub-$20,000 EV. Yes, the car
will still cost less than $20,000. No, we still don't know when
it's coming out. India-based Tata Motors is working with
France-based Dassualt Systems at developing more technology for
the eMO ("electric mobility") electric vehicle that's so far only
appeared in concept form, the Hindu Business Line reported. The
two companies are working on design touches that will keep both
the cost and weight of the vehicle as low as possible in order to
reach the goal of selling a vehicle with a 100-mile single-charge
range for less than $20,000, according to the publication. But
there's still no word on how much Tata's investing or when a
production model will see the light of day. Posted. 

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