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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 19, 2012

Posted: 19 Jul 2012 15:26:10
ARB News Clips for July 19, 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 to hold hearing on soot regulations today in Sacramento.  A
national fight over clean air standards is coming to Sacramento
today. The federal Environmental Protection Agency will hold a
hearing today in Sacramento – one of two in the nation – on
proposed revisions to its air quality rules.  "The question in
front of the EPA is what level of air pollution makes people
sick," said Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national
policy and advocacy for the American Lung Association in
Washington, D.C.  Posted. 

Indiana to appeal EPA ruling on Lake, Porter air. Indiana
officials say they will appeal the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's decision to find Lake and Porter counties out of
compliance with air quality standards because of their location
near Chicago. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and Attorney General
Greg Zoeller say every Indiana county meets the standards under
the Clean Air Act for the first time but that Lake and Porter are
being punished because one monitoring station in Illinois fell
short. Posted.

Chevron settles air pollution allegations.  New Jersey Attorney
General Jeffrey Chiesa announced on Wednesday that Chevron USA
Inc. will pay a civil penalty of $231,875 following a joint
state-federal settlement over alleged air pollution control law
violations.  Chevron, in a joint complaint filed by the
Department of Environmental protection and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, allegedly violated state and federal air
quality laws at its asphalt refinery in Perth Amboy. 
Additionally, Chevron allegedly violated rules pertaining to leak
detection and repair requirements for hazardous air pollutants at
the Perth Amboy plant and violated conditions of the plant's
Title V air operating permit.  Posted. 

COACHELLA VALLEY: Air district urged to release pollution cleanup
proposals. Elected officials are pressuring regional air quality
officials to release details about proposals on how to spend $53
million designated to offset pollution in the Coachella Valley
from a new power plant. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, in a
letter to South Coast Air Quality Management District, has urged
the agency’s chief to make the proposals public. Posted. 


US forecast: Hot, dry weather to linger into fall. Federal
weather forecasters predict the unusually hot dry weather that
has gripped much of the nation will linger into fall, especially
for the parched heartland. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's outlook for August through October shows that
nearly every state likely will have hotter than normal
temperatures. Much of the Midwest is likely to be drier than
normal, too. Posted.

Glacier in north Greenland breaks off huge iceberg. An iceberg
twice the size of Manhattan tore off one of Greenland's largest
glaciers, illustrating another dramatic change to the warming
island. For several years, scientists had been watching a long
crack near the tip of the northerly Petermann Glacier. On Monday,
NASA satellites showed it had broken completely, freeing an
iceberg measuring 46 square miles. A massive ice sheet covers
about four-fifths of Greenland. Petermann Glacier is mostly on
land, but a segment sticks out over water like a frozen tongue,
and that's where the break occurred. Posted.

UK police close 'Climategate' investigation. British police have
closed their three-year investigation into the theft of hundreds
of climate science emails published to the Web, saying Wednesday
there was no hope of finding any suspects behind the breach. The
theft, dubbed "Climategate" by some, caught researchers at the
University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit discussing
ways to dodge right-to-know requests, keep opponents' research
out of peer-reviewed journals, and destroy data. Posted.

CO2 is buried at sea with the help of iron sulfate. Seeding the
ocean with iron can bury carbon for centuries, aiding the fight
against climate change, a new study suggests. The influx of iron
encourages the growth of phytoplankton blooms that consume carbon
dioxide. When the tiny organisms die, they sink into the deep
ocean, effectively trapping the CO2 there for centuries. The idea
is decades old. But the findings reported yesterday in the
journal Nature are the first evidence that fertilizing the oceans
with iron could be a viable method of burying CO2 that would
otherwise help warm the planet. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/07/19/3  BY


Driving on borrowed time: Nonprofits deal with new emission
standards. New Beginnings Christian Church's 1979 Peterbilt only
has a couple of years to live. Whether it will be sold for parts
or left to rot in a junkyard isn't yet known, but one thing is
certain: In 2015, the big shiny semi won't be on the road
anymore. Most people don't think twice about the trucks used to
haul goods, but nonprofit organizations in Bakersfield are coming
to terms with the fact that come 2015, they may no longer be able
to use the vehicles they have depended on for years. Posted. 


Navy Chief urges Congress to support biofuels. (VIDEO) The Navy's
top official says he thinks federal lawmakers will come around on
the branch's ambitions to ease its use of foreign oil once they
understand it's not an environmental move--it's a defense
strategy. Posted.

Navy's "Great Green Fleet" debuts in Pacific. The U.S. Navy's
"Great Green Fleet," a group of warships and fighter jets burning
an expensive blend of biofuels and petroleum, made its
operational debut on Wednesday as the Senate prepared for a
political fight over the program's cost. Dozens of F/A-18 Super
Hornets and other aircraft powered by conventional jet fuel mixed
with recycled cooking grease and algae oil screamed off the
flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz during
international military exercises in the central Pacific Posted.

Navy Shows off new biofuel Great Green Fleet. The Secretary of
the Navy called it a 'Historic day for America.' Just 100
nautical miles north of Oahu, the Navy for the first time used
biofuel blends for a carrier strike group on the U.S.S. Nimitz.
It's being called the Great Green Fleet. With each takeoff of a
jet, refueling of a ship, or tanker, the U.S. Navy wants to
decrease its reliance on foreign oil as prices continue to rise.
"We can make big strides toward energy independence.  We can
reduce our vulnerability that we currently have," said Secretary
of the Navy Ray Mabus. Posted.

Neb. agency hits TransCanada with host of questions about new
route. The Nebraska environmental agency accused by Keystone XL
opponents of preparing to rubber-stamp a new route for the $5.3
billion pipeline yesterday sought a lengthy list of politically
volatile data from its operator, including the identity of
chemicals used to dilute the heavy Canadian oil sands crude that
it would carry to the Gulf Coast. The Cornhusker State's
Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in April began
reviewing a new path for Keystone XL that aims to avoid the
permeable soil and high water tables of the Sand Hills region.
Posted.  http://eenews.net/public/energywire/2012/07/18/1  BY

Studies: Fuel will be cheaper, cleaner with low-carbon standard.
Scientists from six of the nation’s leading research
institutions, including the University of California Davis, have
found that fuels will be cleaner and cheaper in the future if the
U.S. adopts a national low-carbon fuel standard. This finding and
others will be detailed in a series of studies released Thursday
at a bipartisan briefing on Capitol Hill. The scientists will be
joined at the briefing by representatives of the automobile,
electric utility and biofuels industries. A low-carbon fuel
standard is designed to reduce the carbon footprint of
transportation fuels. Posted.

How to Fix America's Fuel Future. Everyone across the political
spectrum talks about the need to wean the US from foreign oil.
But when it comes to the details-how to actually make America
more energy independent-the political posturing begins. Recently,
a Congressional dust-up dogged the national Renewable Fuel
Standard. The year has also seen fights over the Keystone XL
pipeline and the Pentagon's renewable fuels efforts. And despite
widespread support from Americans-and strong support from the
auto industry itself-some still object to the 54.5 mpg by 2025
standard expected out later this summer. There is another way.

National Low Carbon Fuel Standard study releases major Technical
Analysis and Policy Design reports; providing a scientific basis
for policy decisions.  The National Low Carbon Fuel Standard
(LCFS) Project has released two major reports that synthesize its
findings from the past several years of work: a Technical
Analysis Report (TAR) and Policy Design Recommendations.  The
primary objectives of the National Low Carbon Fuel Standard
(LCFS) Study were to (1) compare an LCFS with other policy
instruments, including the existing Renewable Fuel Standard
(RFS2) and a potential carbon tax, that have the potential to
significantly reduce transportation greenhouse gas…Posted. 

U.S. researchers push a low-carbon fuel standard. The United
States needs to make a rapid transition off petroleum fuels, and
a national low-carbon fuel standard is the way to get there,
according to two new studies by scientists at six top U.S.
research institutions. "Overall, the low-carbon fuel standard is
harnessing market forces, using performance standards and has the
potential to be a very robust policy," said Daniel Sperling,
director of the Institute for Transportation Studies at the
University of California, Davis, and one of 22 researchers who
worked on the reports. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/07/19/6  BY

'Very doable' low-carbon standard could boost economy,
environment – researchers. A low-carbon fuel standard that would
expand the mix of non-petroleum transportation fuels could build
on the existing renewable fuels standard to advance clean fuels
development, according to researchers behind a series of new
reports on the policy. By requiring companies to meet a goal for
the carbon intensity of transportation fuels, a LCFS could not
only diversify the mix of fuels on the market but could address
some problems that have dogged the RFS, researchers said. The
LCFS would encourage a broader suite of fuels and have a larger
effect on the economy and environment than the existing RFS
program, they said. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/07/19/4 BY

Researchers: LCFS Would Help America. During a bipartisan
briefing on Capitol Hill, researchers from six institutions
advocated that adopting a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard
(LCFS) would be a positive step for America. Renewable fuels,
they said, will be cleaner, cheaper and “Made in America”. This
consensus by the group of researchers was met after conducting an
extensive series of peer-reviewed LCFS studies. The research will
be published in The Energy Policy Journal’s special issue on Low
Carbon Fuel Policy over the next several months. Posted. 

Researchers say U.S. should adopt low-carbon fuel standard.
Scientists from six of the nation’s leading research
institutions, including the University of California Davis, have
found that fuels will be cleaner and cheaper in the future if the
U.S. adopts a national low-carbon fuel standard. This finding and
others will be detailed in a series of studies released Thursday
at a bipartisan briefing on Capitol Hill. The scientists will be
joined at the briefing by representatives of the automobile,
electric utility and biofuels industries. A low-carbon fuel
standard is designed to reduce the carbon footprint of
transportation fuels. Posted. 


Jerry Brown signs rail bill, avoids Central Valley opponents. San
Francisco – It took the promise of nearly $2 billion in rail
upgrades in the Bay Area and Los Angeles for Gov. Jerry Brown to
secure the Legislature's support for high-speed rail, so it was
there that the Democratic governor celebrated on Wednesday.
Discontent with the project and legal challenges, however, linger
in the Central Valley – the site of the first track actually
designed for high-speed trains. Had Brown come there, one
opponent said, he might have had tomatoes lobbed at him. Posted.

California moves forward on $68 billion high-speed rail project.
California moved full steam ahead on Wednesday with a $68 billion
high speed rail project, a move that comes as the state slashes
spending to close a nearly $16 billion budget deficit and as a
string of its cities mull bankruptcy. At a ceremony in Los
Angeles, Governor Jerry Brown signed an initial funding bill for
the train project, clearing the way for construction of a
130-mile section of track through the state's agricultural
heartland. Brown says a bullet train network will boost job
creation and provide an alternative to car and plane travel in
the country's most populous state. Posted. 

California Gov. Brown signs high-speed rail bill. It took the
promise of nearly $2 billion in rail upgrades in the San
Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles for California Gov. Jerry
Brown to secure the Legislature's support for high-speed rail, so
it was there that the Democratic governor celebrated on
Wednesday.  Discontent with the project and legal challenges,
however, linger in the Central Valley - the site of the first
track actually designed for high-speed trains. Had Brown come
there, one opponent said, he might have had tomatoes lobbed at
him. Posted. 


Small U.S. Solar Businesses Suffering from Tariffs on Imported
Chinese Panels. Marco Mangelsdorf thought he made a smart move
early this year when he bought nearly 300 solar panels from a
manufacturer in China rather than from the United States. The
modest $54,000 purchase was expected to help his customers save
50 percent on their solar systems. Mangelsdorf's company
ProVision Solar engineers and installs rooftop solar on homes and
businesses in Hawaii. "I'm beating myself up," he says now.

Nation's largest wood-fired power plant opens in east Texas. East
Texas, with its relatively still air, may have missed out on the
state's wind boom, but it does have something its western
neighbors lack: trees. Now, as the nation's largest biomass power
plant revs up its boiler there, the region is making its own
contribution to the state's renewable energy portfolio. Southern
Co., which operates the Nacogdoches Generating Facility under its
subsidiary Southern Power, announced yesterday that the
100-megawatt plant is now sending electrons to the grid. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2012/07/19/22  BY SUBSCRIPTION


California lifts rules that curbed anti-mosquito ground
treatments. After months of intense lobbying, California's local
mosquito control districts have won a key battle against new
federal regulations that districts contended slowed them in their
fight against West Nile virus. The victory came late last week as
the State Water Resources Control Board lifted monitoring
requirements that districts said hindered ground treatment of
mosquitoes in the larval stage. While the new rules aimed to curb
pesticide use on the ground…Posted.

GM to let some owners rent out cars. Own a GM vehicle? Start your
own car rental business. That's the latest pitch from General
Motors Co., which on Tuesday was scheduled to team with a small
San Francisco company to kick off a nationwide program that would
allow owners of GM vehicles equipped with the OnStar system to
rent them out. Under the venture, which was announced in October,
subscribers to GM's OnStar service can list their vehicle for
rent through a program operated by RelayRides. Posted. 

The Bicycle Revolution in Paris, Five Years Later. In July 2007,
many Parisians laughed at their mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, when he
announced the creation of a public bicycle sharing system aimed
at reducing traffic in the French capital. The system was called
Vélib’, a combination of “vélo”, which means bicycle in
colloquial French, and “liberté”, or freedom. During its first
few months of operation, the skeptics appeared to be right. While
most Parisians snubbed the heavy public bicycles (weighing 23
kg), others destroyed or stole them. Posted. 


Viewpoints: Join fight for cleaner air in EPA proposal. My
daughter was 8 when she was hospitalized because of a severe
asthma attack. Air pollution had long been a professional concern
for me, but this experience elevated the issue to a highly
personal and very frightening level. Although the quality of the
air we breathe has improved significantly since 1970, when a
bipartisan Congress passed the Clean Air Act, millions of
Americans are still experiencing for themselves variations of my
family's story – and not always with a happy ending. Fortunately,
there's something that we can do. Posted.

Earth Log: Bad ozone day renews debate about warnings. The air
turned scary corrosive for two hours in Fresno last Thursday.
Even in the San Joaquin Valley, where breathing bad air is a way
of life, this was dangerous. The ozone overload on a steamy,
windless day was the highest in nearly two years. And it
triggered a now-familiar debate. How are we supposed to know when
ozone is that high? Ozone is not like dust or smoke, which you
can see and smell. By comparison, ozone is odorless and
invisible. Posted.

Powerful California State Agency Plans Gasoline Price Increases. 
The state of California is planning to hike the price of gasoline
by at least a dollar a gallon. But you won’t see more roads or
public transportation or actually anything of value for the
money. Instead, this is part of the direct cost of regulation
that California motorists will shoulder from “climate change”
rules passed during the past several years. Officials with the
Air Resources Board (ARB), the powerful state agency charged with
implementing AB 32 and other climate control measures…Posted. 

Hot out? Guess that means that everyone believes in climate
change again.  Yesterday, we celebrated the 110th birthday of the
air conditioner. (Happy day-after-your-birthday, air
conditioner!)  We illustrated that post with one of the oldest
photos of an air-conditioning system we could find, a unit
installed in the Capitol in 1938. It’s a huge thing, all pipes
and bolts and such.  And installing it was obviously a major,
major mistake.  You see, yet again, it turns out that more people
believe in climate change when they feel hot.  Posted. 

Global Warming's Terrifying New Math. Three simple numbers that
add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real
enemy is…If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado
haven't convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer,
here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or
tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States.
That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern
Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature
of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average…Posted.


California Dreaming? Selling Congress on Low-Carbon Fuel.
Proponents of California’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) hope
problems with the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) could
spell an opportunity to promote the state’s groundbreaking
alternative approach at the national level.Scientists from six
research institutions—including UC Davis—are attending a
bipartisan briefing on Capitol Hill this week to present the
results of a new study touting the potential benefits of a
national low-carbon standard. Posted. 

RelayRides and OnStar Inaugurate Car-Sharing Program. As of
Tuesday, owners of vehicles equipped with an active OnStar
subscription can rent their cars through RelayRides, the
peer-to-peer car-sharing start-up. The connectivity service,
wholly owned by General Motors, should make the car-sharing
experience easier, as well as more appealing and secure,
according to Vijay Iyer, a spokesman for OnStar. As with any
rental through RelayRides, registered users reserve the
OnStar-equipped vehicles online. Posted. 

An E15 Update. In the week since Scott Zaremba has been selling
e15 for ordinary cars at his gas station in Lawrence, Kan., the
oil industry has issued a national warning not to buy his product
because of the possibility of engine damage, and the ethanol
lobby has replied that oil companies might just as well tell
people to buy nothing. In May, the auto and oil industries
reported that in a test they commissioned of E15, which is 15
percent ethanol and 85 percent unleaded gasoline, some models
failed. Posted. 

New emissions rules expected to improve West Oakland air quality.
West Oaklanders will breathe easier—literally—in the coming
months as they start to feel the effects of recently implemented
emissions regulations for trucks at the Port of Oakland. The
first phase went into effect in 2010, and tougher rules are on
the horizon for early 2014. The regulations are applauded by
health experts, who link diesel exhaust to high rates of asthma,
but others say these strict rules could put thousands of truck
drivers out of work. Posted. 

AM Alert: U.S. Navy highlights California clean-tech
partnerships. VIDEO: Dan Walters wonders, in today's report,
whether Gov. Jerry Brown signed a "death warrant" for his
November tax measure while signing legislation to fund
construction on California's high-speed rail project. The U.S.
Navy comes to the Capitol today. Rear Admiral Dixon Smith, the
commander of Navy Region Southwest, joins Senate President Pro
Tem Darrell Steinberg, Sen. Fran Pavley and California Energy
Commission Chairman Robert B. Weisenmiller to highlight
clean-tech partnerships at California's naval installations.

This is What the Beginning of the End of the Planet Feels Like. 
This summer 34,500 people were forced to evacuate their homes in
my home state of Colorado. I watched as a dozen wildfires raged
through the state with some contained in days or weeks, while
others are still not extinguished.  The extremely hot weather,
dry climate and dramatically reduced water supply that all led to
the wildfires are part of a pattern that has been unfolding for
more than a decade. In fact, the past 10 years have been
unequivocally the hottest on record in the history of weather
record keeping.  Posted. 

Congress: Expedite Renewable Energy.  In 2009 it seemed as though
Congress was finally going to pass legislation that would
transition our country to a renewable energy future. The American
Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as the
Waxman-Markey Bill, would have created a cap and trade system on
greenhouse gases, required electric utilities through a renewable
electricity standard (RES) to meet 20 percent of their
electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy
efficiency by 2020, subsidized renewable energy and energy
efficiency technologies, and financed modernization of the
electrical grid, among many other provisions.  Posted. 

Algal Blooms Could Have Caused Last Ice Age.  At various points
in Earth’s history, dust fell into the ocean and fed algae, which
gobbled up carbon dioxide and sank to the bottom of the sea,
taking greenhouse gas with them and cooling the world. That’s a
key conclusion scientists are drawing from an unusual 2004
experiment in which they grew a massive algae bloom in the
Southern Ocean. Data from the experiment may also tell
researchers whether seeding the seas with iron is a good way to
curb global warming.  Posted. 

Dumping iron at sea can bury carbon for centuries, study shows.
Iron fertilisation creates algae blooms that later die off and
sink, taking the absorbed carbon deep towards the ocean floor.
Dumping iron into the sea can bury carbon dioxide for centuries,
potentially helping reduce the impact of climate change,
according to a major new study. The work shows for the first time
that much of the algae that blooms when iron filings are added
dies and falls into the deep ocean. Posted.

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