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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 30, 2013.

Posted: 30 Apr 2013 12:25:30
ARB Newsclips for April 30, 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.


Beach bonfire supporters gather in support of O.C. fire rings.
Supporters of the fire rings that line the Orange County
shoreline gathered Sunday at Huntington State Beach to send a
political smoke signal to air quality regulators who want to
snuff out the decades-old tradition in the name of health.
Proponents of beach fires cooked hot dogs, roasted marshmallows
and told supporters why they believe the South Coast Air Quality
Management District is wrong in its proposal to ban fire rings in
Orange and Los Angeles counties. Posted.

China career boost can come with health risks. Whitney Foard
Small loved China and her job as a regional director of
communications for a top automaker. But after air pollution led
to several stays in hospital and finally a written warning from
her doctor telling her she needed to leave, Small packed up and
left for Thailand. In doing so, the Ford Motor Co. executive
became another expatriate to leave China because of the country's
notoriously bad air. Posted.

States scramble as EPA shifts research monitors into regulatory
mode. A little-noticed change in U.S. EPA air policy has turned a
national pollution-monitoring network that has been providing
data to researchers for 22 years into a regulatory tool, leaving
states scrambling to figure out the implications. At issue are 90
air monitors in the Clean Air Status and Trends Network, or
CASTNET, launched in 1991 by the landmark Clean Air Act
amendments to track long-term trends in acid rain pollutants as
well as rural ozone, a component of smog. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/04/30/1 BY


COLUMN-U.S. pragmatic approach leads climate talks: Wynn.  A U.S.
submission to U.N.-backed negotiations shows how a scaled-down
global climate deal which falls short of a full treaty can be
agreed in 2015. Much will depend on the United States, as the
world's second biggest carbon emitter whose present
administration will be in place beyond the deadline for agreement
on a new deal. Posted.


EPA: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act helped retrofit more than
50,000 engines.  Between 2008 and 2010, more than 50,000
diesel-powered engines were upgraded or replaced using Diesel
Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding.  The upgrades helped
reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 203,000 tons, particulate
matter by 12,500 tons and carbons dioxide emissions by 2.3
million tons, according to a recent U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency report to CongressPosted. 


California Proposal for Fracking Moratorium Clears Panel. A
California Assembly panel approved a moratorium on hydraulic
fracturing by oil and natural-gas producers until the most
populous U.S. state assesses health and environmental concerns. 
The bill by Adrin Nazarian, a Los Angeles Democrat, is opposed by
the oil industry through the Western States Petroleum
Association, which says hydraulic fracturing has been used safely
for more than 60 years. Democrats on the Natural Resources
Committee approved the measure 5-3 on a party-line vote late
yesterday. Posted.

Ready (or Not?) for a Great Coming Shale Boom. About a year ago,
talk began circulating in this West Texas town about a huge
oil-producing formation called the Cline Shale, east of the
traditional drilling areas around Midland. Then the oilmen and
their rigs arrived. Now homes and hotels are sprouting, “help
wanted” signs have multiplied, and a major drilling company has
cleared land to build an office and equipment yard. Posted.

Vast majority of Americans support fuel economy standards –
report. New federal fuel economy standards are putting more
fuel-efficient cars on the road and getting widespread praise
from the public, according to a progress report by the Consumer
Federation of America. The survey released yesterday found that
85 percent of respondents "support" federal requirements to
increase the fuel economy of new light-duty vehicles to an
average of 35 mpg by 2017 and to 54.5 mpg by 2025. More than half
-- 54 percent -- "strongly support" these standards. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/30/3  BY

Climate body has surprise findings amid Europe-wide debates on
fracking. It may seem an odd position by Britain's premier
watchdog on climate policies: Fracking for gas may not be so bad
after all. In terms of the carbon footprint, it is less damaging
than importing gas. That's not the only surprise delivered last
week by the Committee on Climate Change, an elite panel of
government advisers. Britons are mistaken if they believe their
windmills, solar panels, energy-saving regulations and nascent
bicycle culture are resolving the nation's carbon problems, the
panel said. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2013/04/30/1  BY

Enzyme Research Could Lead to Less Expensive Biofuels.  Five NREL
scientists and one scientist from the Weizmann Institute of
Israel conducted research that could lead to enzymes helping
create less expensive biofuel. Their paper, “Fungal Cellulases
and Complexed Cellulosomal Enzymes Exhibit Synergistic Mechanisms
in Cellulose Deconstruction”, has been published in Energy and
Environmental SciencePosted. 


Enterprise hangs 'for rent' sign on electrics. The Enterprise
Rent-a-Car on Ocean Street is turning over a new Leaf. A couple,
in fact. Last week the branch became one of a handful from the
company in Northern California to offer all-electric Nissan Leafs
for rent, giving customers who are thinking about ditching
gas-guzzlers a chance to take an extended test drive in an
emissions-free ride. Posted.

Riverside McDonald’s gets fast electric car charger. Don’t be
surprised if you hear electric car drivers pulling into the
McDonald’s at 2242 University Ave. in Riverside say: “I’ll have
burgers and fries with my direct current.” The restaurant has
installed its Blink Direct Current Fast Charger for electric
vehicles, making it the first and only one in Riverside and San
Bernardino counties, according to Scott Watkins, a spokesperson
for ECOtality, Blink’s provider. Posted.


California bullet train groundbreaking faces new obstacles.
Challenges are coming from a private railroad, a legislative
committee and a powerful federal agency asserting authority over
the project. California's bullet train agency is facing a series
of new regulatory and political problems that could jeopardize
its July construction kickoff, which already has been delayed
more than six months. The new challenges are coming from a
private railroad that controls a key right of way…Posted.


A City That Turns Garbage Into Energy Copes With a Shortage. This
is a city that imports garbage. Some comes from England, some
from Ireland. Some is from neighboring Sweden. It even has
designs on the American market. “I’d like to take some from the
United States,” said Pal Mikkelsen, in his office at a huge plant
on the edge of town that turns garbage into heat and electricity.
“Sea transport is cheap.” Oslo, a recycling-friendly place where
roughly half the city and most of its schools are heated by
burning garbage…Posted.

California officials split on how to divvy up $500 million in
clean-energy funds. The fight over Proposition 39 didn't end at
the ballot box. Six months after voters overwhelmingly approved a
change in the corporate tax code that's expected to net the state
an additional $1 billion in revenue for five years, lawmakers are
wrangling over how to spend an estimated $500 million a year the
measure earmarks for energy efficiency projects. Posted.

Navajo Nation forms company to run NM coal mine. The Navajo
Nation is moving closer to getting into the coal mining business.
Tribal lawmakers voted Monday to form a limited liability company
that would run the Navajo Mine near Farmington, N.M. The tribe
said it will decide by July 1 whether to purchase the mine from
Australia-based BHP Billiton for about $85 million. Navajo
President Ben Shelly also must sign off on the creation of the
Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC. Posted.

Construction Starts on Warren Buffett's Solar Project.
Construction has launched on a solar project its developers are
calling the world's largest, on more than 3,200 acres straddling
the Kern-Los Angeles county line west of the Antelope Valley town
of Rosamond. Antelope Valley Solar I and II are being built for
MidAmerican Solar, a Phoenix-based energy development company
indirectly owned by financier Warren Buffett. Posted.


Edward Frieman dies at 87; leading figure in American science.
With wide-ranging interests, Edward Frieman led the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, advised the U.S. on defense and
energy and was a friend of Albert Einstein. Edward A. Frieman, a
leading figure in American science for decades as a researcher
with wide-ranging interests, a top-level governmental advisor on
defense and energy issues, and director of the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, has died. He was 87.

Students passionate about banning bags. Ella Whitney's family has
been using fabric bags to haul groceries from the store to the
house for several years now. So have Cosimo Satalino's family and
Katie Horton's family. "We always have our bags in the car," Ella
said. "We even have a little sign, a post-it note, on the
dashboard, to remind us." The practice has become more popular in
recent years as cities, in particular those in coastal areas,
have banned the use of disposable plastic grocery bags due to the
hazard they pose to the marine life. Posted.

Earth Month Puts Focus on ‘Green' Jobs.  As Earth Month 2013
nears its conclusion, it is a good time to look at “green” jobs,
which over the last decade have become a major topic among such
agencies and organizations as the U.S. Department of Labor, the
California Employment Development Department, and, more locally,
the Orange County Workforce Investment Board.  A U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics survey indicated that about 2.6 percent of
national employment was considered green in 2011…Posted. 


Natural Gas, Not Diesel. Americans are learning that climate
change is real. Truck fleets burning liquefied natural gas cut
greenhouse gases by 25 percent. Further, they are poised to use
an even better gas fuel that cuts greenhouse gases 88 to 100
percent: a renewable form of natural gas, known as R.N.G., made
from organic wastes flowing from communities, businesses and
agricultural operations nationwide. Posted.

Carbon tax is better for consumers than cap and trade. Re
"California, Quebec join to take lead on climate policy"
(Viewpoints, April 26): Gray Davis and Jean Charest are right
that we need a price on carbon, and that improving energy
efficiency and developing new energy technologies will cause our
economy to grow. These liberal leaders back a cap-and-trade
approach to pricing carbon. However, conservatives and
environmentalists prefer a revenue-neutral carbon tax because the
tax will be paid by fuel producers and be rebated to American
households. Posted.

Clash of business and health. Some big-rig and heavy truck
drivers got a surprise last week when they were pulled over in
Santa Maria. The operation was the work of the state’s Air
Resources Board and California Highway Patrol, and its purpose
was to give heavy polluters an ultimatum — clean up tailpipe
emissions or park your truck. Who hasn’t been behind a big-rig or
other large, diesel-powered vehicle at a stoplight, and when the
light goes green, heavy, black smoke boils out of the exhaust
pipe. Posted.

Imperial County: Toxic Capital of the California Desert. The
Imperial County town of Brawley is one of the most polluted
places in California, according to a new environmental justice
mapping tool released last week by the State of California. In
fact, ZIP Code 92227 surrounding Brawley ranks in the dirtiest
five percent in the state, earning especially bad marks when it
comes to pesticide pollution, hazardous waste, and impaired
bodies of water. Posted.


Billions of Cellphones Polluting the World. Once considered a
status symbol, cellphones have become ubiquitous. There are now
6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, 800 million more than
at the end of 2011. But mobile technology poses serious
environmental challenges, both because of the raw materials
needed to produce the hardware and the pollution associated with
disposal. Posted.

Electric Cars Rally on Connecticut’s Back Roads. If the event had
been a straightforward race, it would likely have seen a victory
by one of the dozen Teslas that participated. But it was the
odometer and not the speedometer that mattered, as drivers
followed a set of sometimes arcane directional clues and tried to
stay on a circuitous route. Each car had a driver and a
navigator. My original plan was to gather color for the article
by riding in the back of a Chevrolet Volt driven by Leo Karl

Clean Air Benefits and Fuel Savings of Diesel Emissions Reduction
Program. More than 50,000 older diesel powered engines were
upgraded or replaced between 2008 to 2010 because of Diesel
Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funding which resulted in major
clean air benefits and fuel savings, according a new report
issued today – the "Second Report to Congress: Highlights of the
Diesel Emissions Reduction Program" by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency. Posted.

Riverside County passes on $700,000 renewable energy development
grant.  It’s rare for any county in California to turn down the
opportunity to score $700,000 in state grant money to help update
its general plan or other renewable energy permitting
regulations, but that appears to be what Riverside County has
done.  A request for proposals issued March 11 announced up to $7
million in state money available to counties “to fund plans for
the development or revisions of rules and policies that
facilitate the development of eligible renewable energy
resources, and their associated electric transmission facilities,
and the processing of permits for eligible renewable energy
resources.”  Posted. 

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