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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 7, 2011. Posted: 07 Jan 2011 11:43:18
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 7, 2011. 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 Wood-Burning Advisory In Effect. Chico — The Butte County Air Quality Management District is asking Chico residents to voluntarily refrain from using woodstoves and fireplaces today and tonight. The agency issued the request — in effect until midnight tonight — because air quality is forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. The advisory is part of the district's "Check Before You Light" program. Officials and health professionals have identified smoke from home wood stoves and fireplaces as a major source of wintertime air pollution in the county. Posted. http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_17032986 California Ports First to Scrub Ship's Emissions with Seawater. A new technology that uses seawater to remove pollutants from the exhaust of ships' auxiliary engines and boilers will be tested for the first time on a container vessel visiting Southern California in a three-year project starting this coming spring. Co-sponsored by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the $3.4 million project is expected to reduce the ship's sulfur oxide emissions by up to 99.9 percent and particulate matter by as much as 85 percent. Posted. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2011/2011-01-06-092.html CLIMATE CHANGE Boxer Promises GOP A Fight On Climate Change. Washington -- Sen. Barbara Boxer had this to say Thursday to newly empowered Republicans aiming to block federal regulators from cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions: Not so fast. The California Democrat, head of the Environment and Public Works Committee, vowed to "use every tool" to beat back any effort to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate carbon as an air pollutant. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_17027203?source=rss http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2011%2F01%2F06%2FMNMT1H5B7F.DTL http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576066210314489834.html?mod=googlenews_wsj http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47155.html http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20110107/NEWS06/101070323/1002/NEWS01/Boxer+takes+swing+at+GOP+climate+plans 2 Environment Rules Halted in New Mexico. Acting on a campaign promise, New Mexico’s new Republican governor, Susana Martinez, has scuttled a state regulation requiring annual 3 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. A second environmental rule intended to control the discharge of waste from dairies in southern New Mexico was also dropped before publication. A different state rule that caps greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants remains in effect for the time being. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/us/07emit.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print Congressional Review Act Might Not Be an Option to Fight EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regs. Asked last weekend in a televised interview how he planned to stop U.S. EPA regulation of carbon -- rules he says have the potential to inflict serious harm on the economy -- House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton mentioned only one specific strategy: using the Congressional Review Act. What the Michigan Republican did not mention is that the core EPA findings and rules related to carbon mitigation were published more than 60 continuous legislative days ago, making it impossible to nullify them through a resolution of disapproval under that act. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/01/06/06climatewire-congressional-review-act-might-not-be-an-opti-3674.html Sierra Nevada, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Listed As Top Areas Under Duress. California's Sierra Nevada mountain range and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in the Bay Area have been identified as two of the most threatened ecosystems in the United States, especially as climate change threatens to undermine the state's water supply and cause more wildfires. The interconnected regions were listed on a "top 10" list this week on areas where wildlife, fish and plants are potentially nearing extinction. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/07/6 Climate Shifts Are Changing New Weather 'Normals'. As the new decade opens up, researchers are gathering data that will redefine weather pattern averages for the nation. The "new normals" will update the averages for temperatures, rainfall and snow. A climate normal bases itself on the weather patterns of a particular region over a 30-year period. Every decade, in accordance with international agreements, the National Climate Data Center releases new temperature and rain and snowfall normals for 10,000 regions across the country. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/07/1 DIESEL EMISSIONS Diesel Technology Forum Endorses DERA Reauthorization. Executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), Allen Schaeffer, has issued a statement praising President Obama’s reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) earlier this week. “While the reauthorization of DERA isn’t receiving the publicity that some other legislative issues attracted, it will be a significant and important accomplishment for the 111th Congress,” Schaeffer said. “Because of the national importance of modernizing older diesel engines to reduce emissions, DERA is one of the most important clean air initiatives passed by Congress in recent years,” he continued. Posted. http://fleetowner.com/green/archive/diesel-technology-forum-dera-reauthorization-0107/ FUELS Ethanol In Gasoline Bad For Engines And Emissions. The Obama Administration has directed the EPA at the behest of corn growing states to allow 15 percent ethanol in gasoline. The EPA staff is disturbed by this but have no choice but to carry out Obama’s bad policy for the environment. Count on you car lasting half as long as it would without the rule. Alcohol fuel, ethanol and methanol, is highly corrosive to metal, which is what all engines are made. Ethanol in gasoline engines requires the manufacture to coat the engine parts with a thin layer of plastic. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/environmental-policy-in-national/ethanol-gasoline-bad-for-engines-and-emissions Uranium Mill in Colorado Gets License. Denver — Colorado regulators on Wednesday approved a license for the first new rock-crushing uranium mill to be built in the United States in more than 25 years to make fuel for nuclear power plants. The plan still has many hurdles to overcome, including transportation and air emissions permits, and opponents said they would keep up their fight as well. But the approval of a license to handle radioactive materials is still a big step forward for a plan to bring back a storied, deeply controversial industry that boomed across many corners of the West before crashing in the 1980s. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/us/06uranium.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=print GREEN ENERGY Capital Firm Solar Power To Sell 70% Share To Chinese Company. A Chinese solar manufacturer has agreed to acquire 70 percent of Solar Power Inc. for $33 million, news that sent shares in the Roseville-based company soaring by more than 29 percent. LDK Solar Co., one of the world's largest makers of solar wafers, will pay about 64 cents per share for its stake in Solar Power, bringing much-needed cash to the struggling local company. In the deal, LDK will take over the operations of Solar Power's manufacturing plant in China, which employs about 150 people. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/07/v-print/3305955/capital-firm-solar-power-to-sell.html California Solar Firms Lured To Other States. Just as Gov. Jerry Brown begins his term – after a pledge to create 500,000 green jobs – financial incentives are luring some California solar panel manufacturers to expand in other states. This week, two Silicon Valley solar panel manufacturers announced they would build factories in southern states that offered business-friendly conditions and strong clean energy markets. Stion, based in San Jose, will invest $500 million to build its new production facility in Hattiesburg, Miss., after the state agreed to a $75 million loan, and tax and training incentives. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/california-solar-firms-lured-other-states-7893 2011's Green Homes To Be Cheaper, Smarter, Tighter. What will be the top 2011 trends in green building? A non-profit research group expects green homes will become increasingly affordable, smart and energy efficient -- all trends that Green House agrees are likely. "We believe it's going to be a promising year for the green building industry," writes Tom Breunig of the Earth Advantage Institute, a Portland, Ore.-based group that has has certified more than 11,000 eco-friendly homes. A recent report by McGraw-Hill Construction also gives a rosy forecast. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/01/2011-green-buillding-trends/1 Kaiser Permanente Installs Panels At First Of 15 Facilities. Health care giant Kaiser Permanente has made good on its plan to deploy solar power at its California facilities with the installation of 1 megawatt at a hospital in Santa Clara. The panels, built by Recurrent Energy, are the first of 15 MW total to be deployed on 15 Kaiser facilities in California. The Santa Clara panels are spread over two parking garages and are coming online in segments, according to Kaiser Permanente spokesman Karl Sonkin. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/07/8 VEHICLES Toyota Aims to Remain King of the Hybrids. Tokyo — As Toyota heads to the Detroit auto show that opens Monday, the company aims to burnish its reputation as a leader in environmental technology — an image increasingly under threat from resurgent rivals. Both Nissan and General Motors have been promoting their new electric-powered vehicles, which began reaching consumers last month. And Ford, which will start selling an all-electric version of its popular Focus compact later this year, will use the Detroit show to promote its green credentials. As Toyota works at the Detroit show, it will be trying to convince customers that there is still mileage in the gas-electric hybrid technology it pioneered more than a decade ago with its Prius. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/business/global/07toyota.html?src=busln&pagewanted=print Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf Make Electric Inland Debut. Riverside resident Mark Sterner is an electric-car owner from way back, so he wasn't surprised when Chevrolet dealers told him his new Volt might attract some attention on the road. Sterner, who made his first electric car himself when he converted a Mazda Miata in the early 1990s, became Riverside's first Volt owner Thursday when he took delivery of the vehicle at Singh Chevrolet in the city's auto center. The much-anticipated Chevy Volt, which runs on electric for 40 or so miles and has a gas-powered motor to provide extended driving range …Posted. http://www.pe.com/business/local/stories/PE_Biz_D_volt07.1a8d3f.html GM Plans For Wireless Car Chargers. General Motors Co. today announced a deal that aims to equip electric cars with units that can charge electric gadgets like smart phones and digital music players. The deal allows GM to take a $5 million stake in Powermat, a company that sells cordless charging units. And under the surface, the deal may have bigger implications. It allows for the possibility of recharging electric cars without plugging them in. This would be done by parking an electric car on a charging mat that could be placed anywhere. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/07/12 Ford To Release Charging App With Electric Vehicle. Drivers of the battery-powered Ford Focus Electric will be able to use their smartphones to control recharging, thanks to an application unveiled by the automaker at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. MyFord Mobile will display the Focus' charging status, allow owners to start or stop charging, locate the nearest charging station and check the overall health of the battery. It is part of Ford's attempt to give drivers as much control over their energy use as possible. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/01/07/15 OPINION Editorial: Back To The Future With Many Of Brown's Picks. Some days ago, we questioned why Gov.-elect Jerry Brown was taking so long in announcing his appointments. Now that he's seated and making a few, we wonder if he should have taken a bit more time. Brown made an excellent choice in appointing former Assemblyman John Laird as natural resources secretary. Laird's deep knowledge of coastal issues – and his strong advocacy of water conservation while in the Legislature – will serve the state well. So will his expertise on all state programs, having chaired the Assembly Budget Committee from 2004 to 2008. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/07/v-print/3305660/back-to-the-future-with-many-of.html Greenhouse Gases. Erlich suggests we pretend that we knew the sun was going to get hotter and threaten our planet. If so, wouldn't we try to reduce the greenhouse gasses. Therefore, even if this wasn't true, shouldn't we reduce greenhouse gases anyway to be sure our planet would be safe. This makes no sense. The main and most powerful greenhouse gas is water vapor, which makes up about 1 percent of the atmosphere. Removing water vapor would cause crop failures. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, makes up less than .04 percent of the atmosphere. There has been no correlation between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and climate. Removing carbon dioxide slows plant growth. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jan/07/greenhouse-gases/#ixzz1AN2oQHAL Should State Air Board Impose “Truth Rule”. As California’s smog-fighting Air Resources Board (ARB) gets set to impose America’s first cap-and-trade rules for fighting the greenhouse gases most scientists believe are helping cause global warming and climate change, it is also considering imposing a “truth” rule on everyone who testifies in its hearings or submits reports to it. For some, that appears a bit ironic right now, as the board has just scaled back diesel particulate pollution regulations based on a report whose lead author turned out to have falsified his academic credentials. Posted. http://www.smmirror.com/?ajax#mode=single&view=31582 BLOGS Hold That Megawatt! “Frequency regulation,” an esoteric but increasingly important element of the electric system, is getting a new competitor. Frequency regulation is as critical as voltage control or generating capacity but is not something that most customers notice, at least until it goes catastrophically wrong. It means fine-tuning the system to keep supply and demand in balance. The problem is that the North American electric grid is supposed to run at 60 cycles, meaning that the electrons change direction 60 times each second. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/hold-that-megawatt/?partner=rss&emc=rss House Republicans Seek To Limit EPA Climate Rules. The 112th Congress has just begun, and so have the attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases. Three Republican House members -- Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.) and Ted Poe (Tex.) have each introduced separate bills aimed at blocking EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Posted. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/post-carbon/2011/01/house_republicans_seek_to_limi.html Who is Standing Against Polluters and For Clean Air? Yesterday I noted that several polluter-supported members of Congress are introducing legislation to “throttle” the Environmental Protection Agency, which would sacrifice much-needed safeguards by putting the profits of corporate polluters at the top of their agenda. Fortunately, some members of Congress are just as determined to make sure the EPA can keep doing the job it has for the last forty years - protecting the health of all Americans by cracking down on corporate polluters and the life-threatening air pollution they recklessly dump. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/paltman/who_is_standing_against_pollut.html E.P.A. Faces First Volley From the House. The newly empowered Republicans in the House aren’t wasting any time making good on their pledge to throttle the Environmental Protection Agency. On the first full day of legislative business, House Republicans introduced measures on Wednesday to block the environmental agency’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gases and new rules limiting toxic air emissions from cement factories. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/e-p-a-faces-first-volley-from-the-house/?src=mv A Steady Dose of Atmospheric Detergent. To start the new year on a hopeful note, here is a piece of good news about the environment. A new study suggests that the level of a substance that acts as a kind of detergent in the atmosphere is a lot steadier than previously believed. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is: it means that future pollution levels can be predicted with some confidence from current and projected emissions, and that the study therefore provides a firmer scientific basis for regulations and other efforts aimed at controlling those emissions. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/a-steady-dose-of-atmospheric-detergent/?partner=rss&emc=rss California Cap-and-Trade Rules: Still Flawed. There has been a lot of cheering over the Dec. 16 decision by the California Air Resources Board to adopt rules setting up the nation’s first cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon emissions. While the regulations represent an important first step and contain several positive elements, their flaws are serious and shouldn’t be ignored. As the regulations now stand, their ultimate result could be a massive giveaway to the state’s biggest polluters. Instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the proposed rules could result in billions of dollars in windfall profits to polluting industries at the expense of California’s most vulnerable communities. Posted. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/california-cap-and-trade-rules-still-flawed