What's New List Serve Post Display

What's New List Serve Post Display

Below is the List Serve Post you selected to display.
newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 18, 2013.

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 12:32:29
ARB Newsclips for March 18, 2013. 

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.


California EPA puts West Fresno atop cities with high health
risks. From the Hyde Park mound in West Fresno, you can see the
city landscape quickly go from residential to industrial park.
You can smell it, too. Across the street, there is an animal
rendering plant, a poultry facility, a meat distributor and a
PG&E substation. The Hyde Park mound itself is a converted
garbage landfill. But there is more: high asthma rates,
widespread poverty and low birth weights that scientists link to
dirty air, chemical exposures and a host of other problems.


Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District fights particulate
pollution.  There is an adversary that floats through the air
without much detection. This enemy is about 1/30th the width of a
human hair, so small it can bypass the body's natural defenses
and get embedded in the lungs and bloodstream, causing lung and
heart problems.  This pest is called particulate pollution -- a
mixture of tiny particles and liquid droplets. 


Study: Plankton's absorption of CO2 higher than assumed. A study
into the chemical composition of marine plankton is challenging a
long-held assumption on how much carbon dioxide the organisms
consume. The study, published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience,
calls into question the textbook ratio of carbon, nitrogen and
phosphorous contained in all plankton. This so-called "Redfield
ratio," named for oceanographer Alfred Redfield, holds that those
compounds are fixed at 106:16:1 units respectively. Posted.

S.F. protest urges action on climate change. Environmentalists
are protesting in San Francisco as they urge President Barack
Obama to take action on climate change and reject a pipeline that
would carry oil from Canada to Texas. Organizers say the members
of 65 San Francisco Bay area groups including the Sierra Club,
Greenpeace and 350.org are taking part in the rally, which
coincides with a demonstration in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators
are holding the protest outside of a U.S. Department of State


Valero restarts Ohio ethanol plant as margins improve. Leading
ethanol maker Valero Energy Corp has restarted its ethanol plant
in Ohio and will resume operations at their only remaining
offline facility in Indiana in the coming weeks, a company
spokesman said on Monday. "Margins have improved where the plants
can be operated at a profitable level," Valero's spokesman Bill
Day said. Corn futures have plunged 16 percent from a record-high
of $8.49 per bushel in August at the Chicago Board of Trade. The
punishing costs reduced demand for the main feedstock for ethanol
produced in the United States…Posted.

UPDATE 2-Dow Chemical to build specialty plants on U.S. Gulf
Coast. Dow Chemical Co said it plans to build several plants on
the U.S. Gulf Coast to take advantage of cheap shale-derived
natural gas to produce plastics used in areas such as
transportation and telecommunications. The U.S.
plastics-producing industry is increasingly shifting away from
oil-derived naphtha, the key feedstock for the petrochemical
industry. It is also investing billions in plants that run on
ethane, made from shale gas. Posted.

U.S. Northern Plains sees corn boom, aided by ethanol, climate. A
combination of a long-term warming trends, improved seeds and
soaring profits has sparked a "corn boom" in the Northern Plains
that might one day turn North and South Dakota into the new Iowa,
analysts say. "All you need to do is look on a research footprint
map of the United States and Canada, and compare where we are
today to where we were 10 years ago, and you would see the
movement from the north to the west," said Paul Schickler,
president of DuPont's Pioneer Hi-Bred unit, known also as DuPont
Pioneer. Posted.

U.S. vehicle fuel economy rose to 23.8 mpg in 2012 –EPA. Model
year 2012 passenger vehicles sold in the United States had an
average fuel economy rating of 23.8 miles per gallon, the highest
on record, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on
Friday. Last year's models showed a 1.4 mpg improvement over
2011, the biggest annual improvement since the EPA began keeping
records on fuel economy. Improving fuel economy is a key
component of the Obama administration's effort to cut U.S. oil
consumption and polluting greenhouse gases…Posted.

California Fracking Fight Has $25 Billion Taxes at Stake.
California (CROMCA)’s reputation for environmental protection may
be jeopardized by the lure of a $25 billion tax windfall that
depends on how the state permits oil companies to take advantage
of vast deposits lying two miles beneath its golden hills. The
Monterey Shale formation running through the center of the state
may hold 15.4 billion barrels of oil -- equivalent to five years
of U.S. petroleum imports, according to a state report. Posted.

Ethanol Surplus May Lift Gas Prices. A glut of ethanol in the
gasoline supply is threatening to push up prices at the pump and
may have exacerbated the growing cost gap between regular
gasoline and premium, some oil experts say. Refiners have been
trading so-called ethanol credits furiously in an effort to meet
federal environmental mandates, helping to significantly push up
the cost of those credits — a jump to more than $1 from a few
pennies in the last several days, and drivers are feeling the
effects, experts say. Posted.

Days of Promise Fade for Ethanol. Five years ago, rural America
was giddy for ethanol. Backed by government subsidies and
mandates, hundreds of ethanol plants rose among the golden fields
of the Corn Belt, bringing jobs and business to small towns,
providing farmers with a new market for their crops and
generating billions of dollars in revenue for the producers of
this corn-based fuel blend. Those days of promise and prosperity
are vanishing. Posted.

EPA threatens to sue fuel-storage facility in San Pedro. The
40-year-old tank farm holds up to 25 million gallons of flammable
butane. The EPA says it wants to make sure the facility is
following a federal safety law. The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency has notified the owners of a 40-year-old San Pedro tank
farm, which has up to 25 million gallons of highly flammable
butane that it is prepared to sue to ensure compliance with
federal law. Posted.

EPA may delay greenhouse gas rules for new power plants. The
Obama administration is leaning toward revising its landmark
proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power
plants, according to several individuals briefed on the matter, a
move that would delay tougher restrictions and anger many
The discussions center on the first-ever greenhouse gas limits
for power plants, which were proposed by the Environmental
Protection Agency nearly a year ago. Posted.

EPA annual report on CO2, fuel economy and technology trends
finds 2012 heading for all-time best; rapid adoption of new
technologies.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
released its annual report summarizing key trends in carbon
dioxide emissions, fuel economy, and CO2- and fuel
economy-related technology for gasoline- and diesel-fueled
personal vehicles sold in the United States, from model years
(MY) 1975 through 2012.  Data for MY 2011 are final; data for MY
2012 are preliminary and based on projected vehicle production
values provided to EPA by manufacturers. The report finds that
CO2 emissions rates and fuel economy values reflect a very
favorable multi-year trend beginning in MY 2005.  Posted. 


Renault chief Ghosn clings to China for electric car boost. China
will save the electric car, Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn
predicts - and with it the vision of battery-powered motoring on
which he has staked his credibility. Ghosn, who has ploughed a
bigger share of his companies' cash into the technology than any
other mass-market carmaker, struck a determinedly optimistic note
as he released Renault's Zoe into a European market notable for
its scarcity of electric car chargers and customers. Posted.

Obama Seeks to Use Oil and Gas Money to Develop Alternative Fuel
Cars. Warning that the United States risks falling behind in the
international race to develop alternative energy, President Obama
on Friday proposed diverting $2 billion in revenue from federal
oil and gas royalties over the next decade to pay for research on
advanced vehicles. Mr. Obama toured a vehicle research facility
at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago and then spoke to
employees about his plan…Posted.



High-speed rail board teleports meeting to Fresno.  Leaders of
California's high-speed rail efforts will take another swing
Monday at approving an agreement to electrify a Bay Area train
system as a step toward creating a statewide rail network.  The
special meeting of the California High-Speed Rail Authority
illustrates the political sausage-grinding involved in the
high-speed train project. Board members who barely mustered a
quorum a little over a week ago for a meeting in Redwood City
will teleconference from three different locations across the
state to make sure they have the votes to OK the deal.  Posted. 


UAE opens first big solar energy plan.  The United Arab Emirates
(UAE) on Sunday officially opened its first big solar energy
plant, the three companies behind the project said in a
statement. The 100-megawatt (MW) Shams 1 concentrated solar plant
(CSP) took the UAE's Masdar, France's Total and Spain's Abengoa
three years to build at a cost of around $600 million. Shams 1 is
one of the largest CSP projects in the world and by far the
largest solar plant in a fossil fuel reliant region that lags far
behind much of Europe, the Americas and Asia in renewable energy.

Green energy more important for climate than Keystone-White
House.  A White House spokesman said on Friday that new
investments in green energy technology are more important for
easing the effects of climate change than whether or not the
controversial Keystone pipeline gets built. Asked by reporters
whether the construction of the pipeline was less important to
slowing climate change than supporting projects such as the
Argonne National Laboratory that President Barack Obama is
visiting on Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it
was. Posted.

Obama turns focus to research in first energy speech of second
term. U.S. President Barack Obama will try to turn the page on
bitterly partisan fights over energy policy on Friday, focusing
his first energy speech of his second term on proposing a modest
new fund to support research. Obama will tour the Argonne
National Laboratory outside of Chicago known for its
groundbreaking research into advanced batteries used in electric
cars, and will talk about the need to find more ways to wean cars
and trucks off oil, White House officials said. Posted.

New power plant rule running late, with major changes possible.
It's looking increasingly likely that U.S. EPA will miss its
April 13 deadline to finalize its carbon dioxide rule for new
power. For one thing, the agency has yet to sign off on the rule
internally and send it to the Office of Management and Budget to
begin a review process that would typically take 90 days or
longer to complete. And the administration might hold off on
issuing the rule until Obama's pick for EPA, Gina McCarthy, makes
it safely through the Senate confirmation process. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/03/18/2 BY


Cleaning up house after years of smoking. Q: My husband and I
have owned a two-bedroom, one-bath rental house in San Leandro
for 20 years. Despite the market's ups and downs it's been a good
investment. We have been even more fortunate to have the same
quiet, responsible tenant for the past 15 years. But last month
our tenant, who is in her late '70s, decided she needed some help
and moved into an assisted living home. We're going to miss her.
What we won't miss is that she was a dedicated two-pack-a-day
smoker. We want to get the place back on the market but it reeks
of tobacco. Posted.

Cross-country car trip used only solar, hydrogen.  A Tennessee
college professor is celebrating his coast-to-coast trip using no
petroleum fuel.  Middle Tennessee State University fuels
researcher Dr. Cliff Ricketts drove into Long Beach, Calif.,
having used only solar power and hydrogen to power his car.
Ricketts and backup driver Terry Young of Woodbury finished their
six-day journey Thursday afternoon.  Posted. 



Oil Sands Emissions. Contrary to “No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy,”
by Thomas L. Friedman (column, March 10), Keystone XL will have
no impact on global greenhouse gas emissions because oil sands
crude will replace current American imports of similar heavy oil
from Venezuela and Mexico. Oil sands operations account for just
0.16 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If all
operations shut down tomorrow, the impact on greenhouse gas
emissions would be infinitesimal. Posted.

A Real Carbon Solution. Sometime this summer, in Odessa, Tex.,
the Summit Power Group plans to break ground on a $2.5 billion
coal gasification power plant. Summit has named this the Texas
Clean Energy Project. With good reason. Part of the promise of
this power plant is its use of gasified coal; because the
gasification process doesn’t burn the coal, it makes for far
cleaner energy than a traditional coal-fired plant. Posted.

Letters: Categorizing climate deniers. Re "Reform the carbon
calculation," Opinion, March 14. Bill McKibben overstates things
with his suggestion that white voters are responsible for climate
denial on Capitol Hill. It's more accurate to say that
ultraconservative voters of all races are responsible for voting
climate deniers back into Congress. That said, voters of all
races should use their power to urge lawmakers to lead on climate
and to enact a consumer-friendly, revenue-neutral carbon fee and
dividend program. Posted.

Dan Walters: Capitol battle over environmental law comes down to
What's in a word? Apparently a lot, when it comes to overhauling
the California Environmental Quality Act. Two months ago, Gov.
Jerry Brown, in plugging CEQA reform, told legislators, "Our
approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that
provide greater certainty and cut needless delays." The key word
was "standards," which has been a byword of business and
local-government groups seeking to bring more certainty to
environmental reviews of private and public projects…Posted.

Editorial: Renters deserve relief from smoking. Fewer than 14
percent of Californians smoke cigarettes or other tobacco
products. While they have the right to choose the risks of
smoking for themselves, they do not have the right to impose
their smoke involuntarily on others. That is why California has
statewide laws that ban smoking in workplaces, restaurants and
bars. Now legislators are considering taking the next step –
apartments and condominiums. With shared walls, floors, ceilings
or ventilation systems, the drift of smoke is palpable in
neighboring units. Posted.

Dan Morain: Hazards of life in a 'green' state. Magdalena Romero
sat at a picnic table in this dusty town's one park, remembering
the baby she named America. Romero's little girl came into this
world with a cleft palate, Down syndrome, a heart murmur and a
fatal abnormality called trisomy 13. She left five months later
in 2008. Romero, 36, has five living children. The youngest is 4
and also is named America. Romero lifted America's shirt and
showed me a scabby rash on her back. Posted.

SHANNON GROVE: Don't keep Californians in dark on cap and trade.
This week is national Sunshine Week, an annual occasion dedicated
to the pursuit of open and transparent government. California
implemented its own "sunshine" law several decades ago. The
Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act mandates that state agencies
conduct their business in a manner that promotes transparency and
accountability in government activities. The purpose of the act
was to give the public a seat at the table in the policy
decision-making process. Posted.

Warmest Temperatures In 4,000 Years? Not So Fast, Global Warming
Alarmists. The mainstream media are reporting in breathless
fashion about a new paper claiming current temperatures are their
warmest in 4,000 years. Already, however, objective scientists
are reporting serious flaws in the paper. The media may wish to
paint a picture of runaway global warming, but the science tells
a completely different story.

California's Clash: Shale Oil or Green Energy. California’s
economic predicament and environmental progression have met head
on. But the state’s leaders are saying that the two dynamics can
be reconciled, all to potentially capture the nation’s richest
“tight oil” deposits. At issue now is the Monterey Shale, a
formation holding more shale oil than anywhere else in the
country. It could be a potential gold mine if developers could
find a way to extract it and if regulators could appease the
environmental community there. Posted.

Ten reasons why fracking for dirty oil in California is a stupid
idea.  The latest target of the unconventional oil craze is
California, specifically the Monterey Shale in southern
California (see map). Will California become the next North
Dakota? Let us ponder.  Oil in California is nothing new — it’s
the third highest oil-producing state in the U.S. (after Texas
and North Dakota, which recently displaced Alaska for the No. 2
spot). The Monterey area has been drilled for years, profitably,
though production has been steadily declining since its peak in
the mid ’80s.  Posted. 
Testing and treating to reduce city's toxic vapor problem. Like
toxic vapors coming out of the ground, health concerns about TCE
are lingering in northeastern Mountain View. In a meeting in City
Hall for the MEW Superfund site's Community Advisory Board
Tuesday evening, Allison Nelson of Sherland Avenue said she had
been speaking with her neighbors and noticed that many of them
suffer from similar health problems, including cerebral palsy and
migraine headaches. Posted.


Environmental Woes Could Reverse Global Development. Climate
change and other environmental disasters could put 3.1 billion
people into extreme poverty by 2050, if no significant steps are
taken, says an annual United Nations report on the state of
global development. “While environmental threats such as climate
change, deforestation, air and water pollution, and natural
disasters affect everyone, they hurt poor countries and poor
communities most,” noted the report’s authors. Though the world
has become fairer overall…Posted.

AIR QUALITY: A navel victory in Riverside. I was analyzing air
pollution data recently for an in-depth reporting project on air
quality and health, and I came across a small victory in Southern
California’s war against smog. Fine-particle pollution — tiny
pieces of soot, dust, chemical compounds and other microscopic
airborne gook — has declined to healthful levels in Riverside in
the spot where a plaque marks the first plantings of the
Washington navel orange tree at Magnolia and Arlington avenues.

Butch, Sundance & BPA. You remember the final scene: Butch and
Sundance, hopelessly cornered and surrounded by the Bolivian
army, are stubbornly confident that they'll escape to make their
way to sanctuary in Australia. It came to mind when I heard about
the lawsuit filed by the chemical industry in a last-ditch effort
to keep the notorious plastics and packaging chemical Bisphenol
A, or BPA, off California's official list of chemicals considered
hazardous to human health. Posted. 

Choose Your Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change.  Today's
post marks What on Earth's final appearance. The experience over
these past few years of producing over 200 comic strips (and
blogs) has been a fulfilling one. Part of that fulfillment comes
from knowing I found a way to use my lifelong love of cartooning
to help the fight against climate change. At least a little bit. 
We've all heard that if you find a job you love you'll never work
a day in your life. The same can be said of environmental
activism Posted. 

ARB What's New