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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 29, 2012. Posted: 29 Nov 2012 13:38:27
ARB Newsclips for November 29, 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 Mild storms expected this weekend. Windy conditions Wednesday prompted a warning from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District regarding potentially unhealthy concentrations of blowing dust, but mild rainfall a short while later seemed to clear up the atmosphere somewhat. The warning was in effect until late Wednesday afternoon, but rainfall that had been expected later in the day hit Kern County about noon instead and lasted for about a half hour in downtown Bakersfield before dissipating. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1801510106/Warning-issued-regarding-windy-conditions?utm_source=widget_63&utm_medium=latest_entries_widget&utm_campaign=synapse Majority of voters support tighter soot standard -- Lung Association poll. More than six in 10 registered voters support a U.S. EPA proposal to tighten air standards on small particles that come from power plants, boilers and car tailpipes, according to a new poll from the American Lung Association. The group found broad bipartisan support tightening the national ambient air quality standard, or NAAQS, for fine particles, commonly referred to as PM 2.5 or soot. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/11/29/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Arctic sea ice larger than US melted this year. An area of Arctic sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, according the U.N. weather agency, which said the dramatic decline illustrates that climate change is happening "before our eyes." In a report released at U.N. climate talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, the World Meteorological Organization said the Arctic ice melt was one of a myriad of extreme and record-breaking weather events to hit the planet in 2012. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/arctic-sea-ice-larger-than-us-melted-this-year/article_2019e754-dd50-5c3c-8849-207daca1e943.html Think tank to sue EPA to force cap-and-trade rules. A think tank is preparing to sue the Environmental Protection Agency to demand that the agency set up a cap-and-trade system for the transportation sector to rein in greenhouse gas emissions from fuels. “We think the agency’s powers are super clear,” said Michael Livermore, executive director at the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law, which notified EPA of its lawsuit plans Wednesday. Posted. http://www.politico.com/story/2012/11/84346.html Emissions trading: Cap and trade finds new energy. Fifteen years ago, the Kyoto Protocol presented a blueprint for a way to curb the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One key measure, put forward by the administration of Bill Clinton, the US president at the time, was an enticing extension of free-market logic: establish emissions quotas to limit pollution, and trade them internationally. Let the market find the lowest-cost way to deliver the goal. Cap and trade is one of two ways to put a price on pollution — taxation is the other. Posted. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7426/full/491666a.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Culver City’s Sony Pictures Studios Launches Clean Truck Fleet. The studio takes early action ahead of the 2023 deadline, replacing over a third of its fleet with new clean diesel and gasoline trucks. Thinking clean and green, Culver City’s Sony Pictures Studios has upgraded its fleet of diesel, generator and camera trucks to achieve compliance with California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations. Posted. http://culvercity.patch.com/articles/culver-city-s-sony-pictures-studios-launches-clean-truck-fleet FUELS Senators push Obama to propose clean gasoline rules. A group of Democratic senators on Thursday will urge the Obama administration to propose rules to cut smog-forming emissions from gasoline, regulations opposed by many Republicans. The lawmakers, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, want the Environmental Protection Agency to propose rules that would slash the sulfur content in gasoline this year and to finalize them next year. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/29/us-usa-senators-diesel-idUSBRE8AS0FM20121129 Snyder plan favors natural gas, renewables study. Gov. Rick Snyder released an energy and environmental policy blueprint Wednesday that calls for increasing production of natural gas in Michigan while making no further commitment to requiring the state to rely more on renewable power sources in the coming years. The Republican governor gave natural gas a central role in an energy policy that seeks greater efficiency and improvements to infrastructure such as pipelines and the electric transmission grid. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/28/snyder-plan-favors-natural-gas-renewables-study/#ixzz2DdC57Ud2 Defense funds for advanced fuels will provide long-term benefits, say supporters. The biofuels industry enjoyed its second victory in a week yesterday as senators voted to repeal a section of the National Defense Authorization Act that would have hindered military investment in advanced fuels. Led by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and supporter of renewable energy…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/11/29/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Chevy Volt again ranked by Consumer Reports as most-loved car. The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid landed atop Consumer Reports' annual owner-satisfaction ranking for the second straight year. Ninety-two percent of responding Volt owners in a poll of the magazine's subscribers said they definitely would buy a Volt again, tops among 240 models, the magazine said today. Several other fuel-efficient models also scored highly, including Toyota's Camry Hybrid, Prius, and Prius C as well as Nissan's Leaf electric car. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121129/OEM/121129874#ixzz2DbuluYtF HIGH-SPEED RAIL Small businesses prepare for High Speed Rail jobs. With High Speed Rail back on track to start ground breaking next summer, minority businesses are preparing to get in on some of lucrative contracts with the statewide project. "We want to make sure that our community gets their share of the jobs," said Ali Morris, president of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Small-businesses-prepare-for-HIgh-Speed-Rail-jobs-181129931.html GREEN ENERGY 'Green' program set for western NY GM plant. General Motors executives will give the media a tour of one of the company's western New York plants to unveil a new environmental program. The GM Components Holdings executives are holding a news conference Thursday morning at the plant in Lockport in Niagara County to make the announcement. They'll be joined by the president of Local 686 of the United Auto Workers union. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/nov/29/green-program-set-for-western-ny-gm-plant/#ixzz2DdCkehT4 Senate gives green light to Pentagon green energy. The Senate on Wednesday gave the green light to the Pentagon's investment in green energy. By a vote of 62-37 on Wednesday, the Senate backed an amendment that would delete a provision in the defense bill prohibiting the military from spending money on alternative fuels if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. The Pentagon has opposed the provision that a sharply divided Senate Armed Services Committee added in May. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/11/28/2473409/senate-gives-green-light-to-pentagon.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Senate gives green light to Pentagon green energy. The Senate on Wednesday gave the green light to the Pentagon's investment in green energy. By a vote of 62-37 on Wednesday, the Senate backed an amendment that would delete a provision in the defense bill prohibiting the military from spending money on alternative fuels if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. The Pentagon has opposed the provision that a sharply divided Senate Armed Services Committee added in May. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-11-29/senate-gives-green-light-to-pentagon-green-energy http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/11/28/3081896/senate-gives-green-light-to-pentagon.html#storylink=misearch OPINIONS Head to head: Is cap-and-trade auction a step forward? The Issue: California held its first cap-and-trade auction Nov. 14 as part of the state's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. More than 70 companies submitted bids for more than three times the 23million credits available for 2013. For the first time, the state has a market price on carbon of $10.09 per metric ton. Pia Lopez: Yes, it's progress. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/29/5017275/is-cap-and-trade-auction-a-step.html#storylink=cpy Put The Brakes On High-Speed Rail Project. California's High-Speed Rail has really become a train to nowhere. We recently reviewed some court documents that revealed top managers of California's high-speed rail project were concerned about project delays. Delays that could threaten federal funding of the project and put taxpayers at risk for having to pay the money back. One manager feared construction might not truly begin until 2014, putting it about a year and a half behind schedule. Posted. http://www.myfoxla.com/story/20211875/put-the-breaks-on-high-speed-rail-project BLOGS Delhi and Shanghai Aim to Reduce Plastic Trash. Two recent items of news from Asia appear to show that the region’s nations are starting to take seriously the ever-growing amounts of plastic trash they produce. In India, plastic bags, sheets, films and the like were banned in Delhi beginning last week. The city is attempting to rein in the 250,000 tons of plastic waste it generates every year. My colleagues on the India Ink blog have written about the development here. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/plastics-bans-in-the-works-for-delhi-and-shanghai/?ref=earth A Climate Scientist Braves the Wilds of YouTube. Earlier this year, the Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh became an early adopter of Google+ Hangouts on Air — open video chats with invited participants and, when they drop in, members of the public. Last night I invited Diffenbaugh to use the same portal to “meet” the students in my Blogging a Better Planet course at Pace University. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/a-climate-scientist-braves-the-wilds-of-youtube/?ref=earth A Certified Path to Environmental Progress. The Rainforest Alliance was a pioneer in testing the idea that businesses can prosper by adhering to transparent and science-based environmental standards for the products they grow or make. I became familiar with their work when I first plunged into rain forest reporting in a big way to write my 1990 book on the fight for the soul of the Amazon River basin. They’re still at it, developing projects in sustainable agriculture, forestry, tourism and education. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/a-certified-path-to-environmental-progress/?ref=earth 2014 Acura RLX: Once More, With All-Wheel Steering. Introduced on Wednesday: 2014 Acura RLX. What it is: The latest attempt at enlivening Acura’s biggest and slowest-selling sedan. What it isn’t: The RLX still isn’t quite the pinnacle of luxury Acura wishes it were. The addition of a cornucopia of electronic aids, including all-wheel steering, at least gives it a more complex personality. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/2014-acura-rlx-once-more-with-all-wheel-steering/ Another Step to Smaller Reactors. Babcock & Wilcox, the nuclear technology company, moving fast after a promise of help from the Energy Department, said Wednesday that it had lined up a supplier for the towering metal shell for its mPower small modular reactor. The Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation, of Bethlehem, Pa., said it would seek to be accredited as a supplier for nuclear parts, and would expand its plant as Babcock & Wilcox moved forward with its business. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/another-step-to-smaller-reactors/ Outdated Soot Standards Pose Serious Public Health Threat. I often meet people with chronic lung diseases like asthma, COPD and lung cancer who struggle to breathe day in and day out. Some must rely on oxygen and carry heavy tanks around because of the toll the disease has taken on their lungs. Endless exposure to particle pollution, or soot, only exacerbates this struggle: millions in the Northeast alone are living with some form of lung disease. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-seyler/soot-pollution_b_2212216.html Solar panels are getting cheaper — time to make the rest of solar power cheap, too. The installed cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) power continues its precipitous decline, mostly due to falling prices for PV panels. Pushing solar forward in coming years will involve driving down the other costs — the non-panel costs. Those are a couple of the insights to be found in the fifth annual report on solar PV [PDF] from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), which digs into “project-level data for more than 150,000 individual residential…Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/solar-panels-are-getting-cheaper-time-to-make-the-rest-of-solar-power-cheap-too/