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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 28, 2012

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 13:24:50
ARB Newsclips for December 28, 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.


American Lung Association Report Outlines Critical Next Steps for
Healthy Air.  The American Lung Association's new report "Protect
the Air We Breathe: The Healthy Air Agenda" identifies the
progress made in the United States on improving air quality,
despite repeated interference from Big Polluters and members of
Congress, and highlights the extensive work still necessary to
protect the Clean Air Act and the health of millions of people
across the country.  Air pollution remains a pervasive public
health threat in the US, with more than 124 million Americans
still living in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution. 


Eight Truckstops Join Network of Electric Plug-in Power
Pedestals.  Shorepower Technologies has announced eight more
truckstops added electric plug-in power pedestals to their
locations. Connections providing 480-volt power for hybrid
refrigerated trailers are also being installed at four of the
eight truckstops.  Below is a full list of the eight truckstops
now offering shorepower for trucks and 480-volt power for hybrid
refrigerated trailers…Posted. 


U.S. natural gas futures edge higher as cold sets in.  U.S.
natural gas futures edged higher early Friday, backed by
forecasts for cold weather over the next 10 days that should
force homeowners and businesses to turn up their heaters. While
traders expect strong heating demand to underpin prices in the
near term, they noted that 11- to 15-day forecasts were still
calling for a warm-up, particularly for the eastern half of the
country.  Posted. 

After Jackson, EPA faces big decisions on U.S. fracking boom. 
Following Lisa Jackson's resignation on Wednesday, her successor
will inherit the tricky task of regulating a drilling boom that
has revolutionized the energy industry but raised fears over the
possible contamination of water supplies.  The controversial
technique at the center of the boom, hydraulic fracturing,
involves injecting millions of gallons of water laced with
chemicals deep into shale rocks to extract oil and gas.  Posted. 

Signs of optimism on fuel.  Because lists and predictions are in
vogue and because "our memories are poor that only work backward"
(Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass"), I have put
together a brief list of some positive transportation fuel news
in 2012 and used my crystal ball to predict what's likely to
occur in 2013.  Posted. 


California Air Resources Board says car meets low smog level. 
The California Air Resources Board has approved the first car for
sale in California that meets ARB's most stringent smog-emission
standard to date.  ARB said the 2014 Honda Plug-In Hybrid Accord
produces only 20 milligrams of combined smog-forming emissions
per mile, making it the first gasoline-powered car in California
to meet what is known as the SULEV20 standard.  Posted. 

Other related articles:



California Air Resources Board approves 2014 Honda Plug-in Hybrid
Accord as first LEV3/SULEV20 vehicle on sale.  The California Air
Resources Board has approved the 2014 Honda Plug-in Hybrid Accord
as the first car for sale in California that meets ARB’s
LEV3/SULEV20 standard—the most stringent smog-emission standard
to date. (Earlier post.)  The 2014 Honda Plug-In Hybrid Accord
produces only 20 milligrams of NMOG+NOx emissions per mile. In
addition, this Honda model has lower greenhouse gas emissions
than the fleet average standard required by all cars in 2025, the
equivalent of a 50% reduction from current required levels. 

Nissan to offer improved battery warranty for Leaf EVs in US. 
Nissan Motor Co Ltd said it will offer to replace some poorly
performing batteries on its Leaf electric car and improve
warranty coverage for the battery systems for its almost 20,000
U.S. owners.  The move comes as the Japanese automaker closes a
year marked by disappointing sales and complaints by some U.S.
customers about the Leaf's battery capacity.  Posted. 


Kerry's climate change credentials.  Sen. John Kerry, President
Obama's nominee for secretary of State, may not be able to bring
peace to the Middle East, end enduring trade and currency
disputes with China or mend fences with all the anti-American
leaders in Latin America. But he may be capable of redirecting
the debate over an issue of equal or greater importance: climate
change.  Kerry is among the most forward-thinking members of the
U.S. Senate when it comes to understanding both the threats of
and the practical responses to global warming. He's struggled to
bring along the Senate, which rejected his attempt to win passage
of a cap-and-trade bill in 2010, but Kerry's new post should give
him expanded opportunities to lead.  Posted. 

Editorial: Blow off wind tax credits.  After 20 years of taxpayer
subsidies and unrealized benefits, Congress should allow tax
credits for wind energy to expire Dec. 31. The credits, created
in 1992, were supposed to jump-start a nascent wind industry, but
have only propped up an uneconomical, inefficient sector at great
cost by diverting taxes to subsidize jobs that wouldn't exist
otherwise. Congress can save $12 billion next year alone by
defeating efforts to extend the tax credits.  This doesn't even
consider the annual 440,000 shredding deaths from spinning
windmill blades of eagles, hawks, geese, bats and other birds,
many protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty.  Posted. 


Ethanol Makers Diversify Away From Auto Fuel.  Someday soon, your
breakfast muffin might include fiber from the same company that
makes ethanol fuel for your car.  U.S. ethanol producers are
finding creative ways to earn more money as demand for their
flagship product stagnates. These companies are using corn not
only to make ethanol but also ingredients for products ranging
from baked goods and nutrition bars to industrial coatings to
fish food.  Posted. 

An Industry’s Future, Blowing in the Wind.  As I note in Friday’s
paper, construction of new wind farms is going to grind to a halt
with the end, at least temporarily, of the wind production tax
credit. What’s next?  The credit is worth 2.2 cents per
killowatt-hour generated, beyond whatever the electricity can be
sold for on the regional market. At some hours of the day, most
or all of the revenue will come from the tax credit.  Posted. 

The Great Smog of China.  My mornings in my home in Beijing
always follow the same routine. Wake up. Make coffee. Check Air
Quality Index online. Feel faintly depressed. The AQI is tweeted
by the U.S. embassy hourly. The rating ranges from “good” to
“hazardous” to off the charts, and it determines my day: whether
I bike or take public transport to work, whether I go for a run
outside, and in the summer, whether I eat dinner in my balmy
courtyard or huddle indoors with the windows shut and the air
filter on.  Posted. 

Electric, Hybrid Badges Growing To Warn First Responders? 
Electric vehicles are as different when crashed as they are when
moving, and that difference has led to changes in procedure for
first responders to accident scenes.  Police, fire and other
services now receive training in order to deal with high-voltage
systems in crashed electric and hybrid vehicles--but with more on
the roads, the new challenge is knowing which vehicle is which. 

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