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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 5, 2012

Posted: 05 Sep 2012 14:27:43
ARB Newsclips for September 5, 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.


Council candidates to discuss Santa Monica Airport issues.  Air
pollution and noise at the Santa Monica Airport will be among the
issues discussed Sept. 13 at a Santa Monica City Council
candidates forum.  Fifteen council candidates, including two
incumbents, vying for four open seats have been invited to
participate, according to Martin Rubin, an airport opponent who
will moderate the event. The health and safety effects of flight
school operations and jet traffic will be among the topics. 

EPA OKs air pollution permits for Shell's Arctic Ocean drilling. 
The Obama administration on Friday said that it would grant Royal
Dutch Shell a one-year air pollution permit for an Arctic
drilling rig, further bolstering the possibility that over the
next two months Shell will start its controversial project to
drill for oil off the Alaska coast. The Environmental Protection
Agency granted the permit in response to a Shell request for a
waiver from current air pollution regulations for the Noble
Discoverer, an offshore drilling ship.  Posted. 

Caltech-led team creates device to weigh molecules.  Scientists
have created a tiny measuring scale 300 times smaller than the
width of a human hair that can weigh a single molecule at a time.
The device may one day help doctors diagnose disease and
illuminate the complex inner machinery of cells, its makers say. 
An international team led by Caltech researchers built the device
to measure the mass of large molecules that are difficult to
analyze through conventional mass spectrometry methods. The scale
features a long, bridge-like structure that vibrates at a
specific frequency.  Posted. 

Pollution left in wake of Isaac.  Weathered oil in the form of
tar has washed up on some Louisiana beaches from Gulf waters
churned by Hurricane Isaac, prompting restrictions of fishing in
some waters and tests to determine whether the source is
submerged oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.  "I'd say
there's a smoking gun," said Garret Graves, Gov. Bobby Jindal's
top adviser on coastal issues. He said tests were being done to
verify the source of the oil.  Posted. 

Shell to Construct World's First Oil Sands Carbon Capture and
Storage (CCS) Project. Shell today announced that it will go
ahead with the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project for
an oil sands operation in Canada. The Quest project will be built
on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture owners
(Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil[1]) and with support from the
Governments of Canada and Alberta.  Posted. 

Canadian firm proposes new Neb. oil pipeline route.  The company
that wants to build a pipeline to transport crude oil from Canada
to Gulf Coast refineries said Wednesday it has revised its
proposed new route through Nebraska to avoid environmentally
sensitive areas.  The latest proposed Keystone XL pipeline route
is TransCanada's second attempt to satisfy state environmental
regulators. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality said
in July that the initial revised route crossed land that could
erode easily and passed near unconfined aquifers that supply
drinking water to residents and livestock.  Posted. 


Carbon trading becoming global reality.  Australia and the EU
have agreed to fully integrate their respective cap and trade
schemes by 2018 even as California’s scheme moves closer to
reality with the State having held a trial auction on August 30
in anticipation of the first real auction for the purchase and
sale of carbon permits on November 14.  Andrew Sullivan of
Stikeman Elliott, writing in the firm’s Canadian Energy Law blog,
has more on both the Australian and the California developments. 


Democratic Party Platform: Climate Change Challenges And Other
Environmental Issues Addressed.  As the final weeks of the 2012
presidential campaign unfold, one of the starkest contrasts
between the recently released Democratic and Republican party
platforms is in climate change policy.  While the 2012 Republican
platform mentions the term "climate change" once (while
downplaying the issue's severity), the 2012 Democratic platform
uses the term "climate change" 18 times. "Our opponents have
moved so far to the right as to doubt the science of climate
change," it declares… Posted. 

Turning off Energy, Not Climate Change, Is Biggest Threat,
Doctors Say.  Thousands of accused witches were burned at the
stake in medieval times in an effort to protect their communities
from bad weather, stated Jane Orient, M.D., president of
Physicians for Civil Defense. It didn't work then, of course, as
Europe continued to suffer greatly during the Little Ice Age. And
human beings still do not have the power to control the climate,
she said.  Posted. 

Global warming ballot battle comes to Oakland.  About 50
protestors converged upon a Valero gas station in Oakland’s
Uptown section this morning to call attention to a proposed
ballot measure backed by oil companies to roll back California’s
landmark greenhouse gas emissions law.  Activists from CREDO
Action, the Courage Campaign, the Ella Baker Center for Human
Rights, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Resources
Defense Council and the Sierra Club were among the crowd, bearing
signs with slogans such as “Texas oil $ go home,” “Don’t mess
with California, Texas,” “Stop killing the solution to
pollution,” and “Clean air now.”  Posted. 

Obama's 2nd-term agenda: Global warming, immigration, taxes. 
President Barack Obama says his Republican challenger has the
"wrong vision" for the country. So what is his?  Some of his
agenda for a second term is a continuation of the first. He'd
raise taxes on annual family incomes above $250,000. He'd
continue to spend on education and green energy. He'd implement
the health care law and financial regulations already enacted.
And he'd continue to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan
with a goal of getting them all out by the end of 2014.  Posted.

How Democrats have shifted on climate, energy since 2008. Four
years ago, the backdrop for energy and environmental debates in
the United States was quite different than it is today. Oil
prices had just hit $140 per barrel, a spectacular new record.
Climate change was a pressing concern for both parties. The
resurgence of domestic oil and gas drilling, in places like North
Dakota, had yet to reveal itself fully.   Since then, however,
things have changed.  Posted. 

Is Romney warming up to global warming?  One of the very best
days to bury real news is on the first day of a political
convention, when the entire class of political reporters and
commentators is collected in a single room and sealed off from
the rest of the world. Yesterday’s news concerned global warming
— an issue that neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama seems
anxious to highlight.  Obama apparently believes it is among the
most urgent and dangerous problems in the world — but not so
urgent or dangerous to do much about it.  Posted.  


Air Resources Board Recognizes FEV, Inc. as Independent Emission
Test Laboratory.  FEV, Inc., (FEV) a leading developer of
advanced powertrain and vehicle technologies, announced today
that California's Air Resources Board (ARB) has recognized FEV,
Inc. as an independent laboratory properly equipped to perform
various emissions testing in accordance with applicable federal
and California regulations for heavy-duty diesel engines for
on-road applications. Gary Rogers, president and CEO of FEV,
Inc., made the announcement.  Posted. 


California’s Quiet but Crucial Role in Shaping Fuel Economy
Standards.  When the Obama administration completed the Corporate
Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards for 2017 to 2025 last
month, it was a milestone in a long and frequently contentious
process, but not the last word.  California, alone among the
states with the power to set its own emissions policy, was at the
negotiating table throughout the process and reserved the right
to certify the results through its own legislative channels. The
state consequently retains the authority to throw a monkey wrench
into the agreement, which calls for automakers’ fleets to reach
an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, but environmental
advocates and industry leaders alike expect an easy approval. 

Democrats promote benefits of natural gas.  In the party platform
they unveiled Tuesday, Democrats draw a distinction between "Big
Oil" and "cheap, abundant natural gas" they tout as "helping to
bring jobs and industry back to the United States."  At the same
time, the Democratic platform tones down its assessment of the
severity of global warming and what the United States should be
doing to arrest it -- a big turnaround from four years ago, when
the party warned that "the epochal, man-made threat to the
planet" of climate change had to be halted.  Posted. 

California’s Quiet but Crucial Role in Shaping Fuel Economy
Standards.  When the Obama administration completed the Corporate
Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards for 2017 to 2025 last
month, it was a milestone in a long and frequently contentious
process, but not the last word.  California, alone among the
states with the power to set its own emissions policy, was at the
negotiating table throughout the process and reserved the right
to certify the results through its own legislative channels. 


Dominion asks Va. regs to convert power plant.  Dominion Virginia
Power said Wednesday it is asking Virginia regulators for
permission to convert its oldest coal-fired power station in
Fluvanna County to natural gas as part of previously announced
plans to close or convert some of its power stations and open new
ones to meet growing energy demands in the state.The Richmond,
Va.-based energy provider said it has filed an application with
the Virginia State Corporation Commission for the conversion of
its Bremo Power Station, a 227-megawatt, two-unit plant on the
James River.  Posted. 

Jurupa Unified School District to Save More Than $34 Million with
Solar and Energy Upgrades.  Jurupa Unified School District and
Chevron Energy Solutions today announced the completion of a 2.7
megawatt solar and energy efficiency program expected to reduce
energy costs at 27 school sites and save the District more than
$34 million. The project added solar photovoltaic panels mounted
on parking and shade structures at nine campuses; replaced 400
air conditioning units, most of them more than 20 years old; and
upgraded more than 21,000 lighting fixtures. Posted.

Democrats and the energy industry ... it's complicated. 
Delegates and lawmakers attending the Democratic National
Convention here could spend time this week perusing a 32-page
publication promoting the Queen City's energy industry while
riding natural-gas-industry-sponsored vehicles on their way to
one of a dozen events sponsored by Duke Energy Corp. and other
industry groups.  Posted. 

Smart City San Diego & San Diego Zoo Unveil Solar To Electric
Vehicle Charging Project. Smart City San Diego and the San Diego
Zoo today announced they will install a solar photovoltaic canopy
that will charge electric vehicles (EV) in the Zoo parking lot.
Smart City San Diego is a collaboration that combines the
resources of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), City of San Diego,
GE, UC San Diego and CleanTECH San Diego to drive projects
forward that improve the region's energy independence, reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and assert San Diego as a clean energy
leader. Posted.

Nissan Brings Ideas to Life by Kick-Starting Next Great
Innovation.  Computers, the electric car, music — some of the
world's best ideas have been born in garages. To celebrate
"everyday ideas" and inspire the creation of the next great
innovation, Nissan is launching "Nissan Innovation Garage," a
social movement that offers everyone an opportunity to showcase
their best ideas.  Beginning today, aspiring innovators will be
asked "Wouldn't it be cool if____?" and Nissan could help bring
their ideas to life. Each idea submitted online at
www.NissanInnovationGarage.com will be reviewed and voted on by a
panel of judges that will include established engineers from a
variety of fields. Posted. 

Pope goes green with electric car.  Pope Benedict XVI is now a
bit greener.  The 85-year-old pontiff was presented with his
first electric car Wednesday, a customized white Renault Kangoo
for jaunts around the gardens of the papal summer residence at
Castel Gandolfo.  Benedict has been dubbed the "green pope" for
his environmental concerns, which have been a hallmark of his
papacy. He has written of the need to protect God's creation in
his encyclicals, and raised the issue on his foreign trips and in
his annual peace messages.  Posted. 

VW launches lighter, more fuel-efficient Golf.  Volkswagen is
rolling out the latest version of its mainstay Golf hatchback in
a key test of its ability to widen its lead over other mass
market carmakers in Europe, lower manufacturing costs and
overtake Toyota as the world's biggest carmaker. The new Golf
looks much like the old one, but the key differences are on the
inside. The car has been completely redesigned, based on a new
common mechanical structure for the chassis, engine and other
basic parts.  Posted. 


IQAir's New Edition Redefines High-Performance Air Purification. 
 - IQAir (www.iqair.com), the technology leader in
high-performance air purification, today introduced its New
Edition room air purifiers. This is IQAir's most significant
upgrade yet to its line of residential high-performance air
purifiers. The New Edition offers three advancements:  Up to 25
percent more clean air, Up to 38 percent longer filter life, And
32% quieter – a new level of quietness never before achieved in
high-performance home air purification.  Posted. 

Few environmental bills make it out of the California
Legislature.  Environmental groups and their supporters hoping
for a new wave of green laws from the Legislature this year ended
up with barely a ripple. From a statewide effort to ban plastic
bags, to limits on foam food packaging, most of the top
environmental bills of the 2012 session died.  Environmental
groups did score a few wins. They beat back an effort by industry
to rewrite the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, the
landmark law that requires environmental studies of major
projects. And lawmakers passed a bill over the furious objections
of hunters to ban the use of dogs in bear and bobcat hunting. 

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