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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 20, 2011.

Posted: 20 Jan 2011 12:55:03
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 20, 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.


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Sends 7 To Hospital. Sacramento, CA --
Some midtown Sacramento residents were taken to the hospital
Thursday morning after feeling nauseous as a result of carbon
monoxide poisoning. They live in a 16-unit stucco apartment
building near 24th and Capitol Avenue. Fire crews believe a
carbon monoxide leak made them sick. "I knocked on the door and
had to get my neighbor to help me,” said John Hayden, after being
released from the hospital. Hayden passed out around midnight and
was unconscious when firefighters arrived at his apartment.

Activists Dismayed By Manchin's Plan To Curb EPA. “Environmental
activists who have fought mountaintop removal for years praised
the decision as vindication of their battle. They said Thursday
that Manchin should be putting people harmed by air and water
pollution ahead of corporate profits.” Posted.


California Air Board Works On Cap-And-Trade Risk. The ghost of
California's electricity crisis haunts cap and trade. State
regulators creating a market to cap greenhouse gas emissions know
that someone somewhere will probably try to manipulate the
system, just as Enron gamed the state's electricity market 10
years ago. They are determined to make manipulation as difficult
as possible. Fraud could undermine the market, raise energy
prices for Californians, hinder the state's fight against global
warming and wreck the chances of one day creating a national
cap-and-trade system - a key goal of many environmentalists.

Oversight Sufficient For US Carbon Derivatives Market: Report.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission can rely on its
enhanced authority contained in the Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act to oversee the country's derivatives
market for carbon dioxide allowances and offsets in an effective
manner, an interagency report concluded. "The current legal
framework for oversight of derivative markets, as enhanced by the
Dodd-Frank Act when it becomes effective in July 2011, will
provide for robust and effective oversight of carbon derivatives
markets and closely linked derivative markets, such as those
based on energy commodities," the study said. Posted.

UN Weather Agency: 2010 Tied With 1998 And 2005 For Warmest Year
On Record. Geneva (AP) - The warmest year on record is a
three-way tie: 2010, 2005 and 1998. So says the U.N. weather
agency, providing further evidence Thursday that the planet is
slowly but surely heating up. Average temperatures globally last
year were 0.95 degrees Fahrenheit (0.53 Celsius) higher than the
1961-90 mean that is used for comparison purposes, according to
World Meteorological Organization. Posted.

European Commission Halts Transfers of Carbon Emissions
Allowances Until Thefts Are Sorted Out. The European Commission
has suspended transfers of carbon dioxide emissions allowances
for at least a week while it investigates some computer-aided
thievery, including the loss of 475,000 of them from a registry
in the Czech Republic. The move allows most of the trading in the
world's largest carbon emissions trading system to continue
because the bulk of the market's activity is in forward or
futures trades. Posted.

GOP Staff, Energy Lobby In Closed-Door Talks. Top staff members
for key House and Senate Republicans met in a closed-door session
Tuesday with energy industry interests to work on strategy to
handcuff the Obama administration’s climate change agenda. With
the backing of GOP caucus leaders, aides for House Energy and
Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) are
seeking unwavering support from a host of industries for an
all-out push to block federal and state climate rules. Posted.

Shrinking Snow and Ice Cover Intensify Global Warming. New
research shows that the decreases in Earth's snow and ice cover
over the past 30 years have exacerbated global warming more than
models predict they should have, on average. ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The
decreases in Earth's snow and ice cover over the past 30 years
have exacerbated global warming more than models predict they
should have, on average, new research from the University of
Michigan shows. Posted.


Shippers Examine Advantages of Fuel Change. “The push for
shipping companies to reduce emissions and improve the energy
efficiency of their fleets is coming in part from stricter
environmental regulations, at both the national and international


Mayor Johnson Sees Green Economy In Sacramento's Future. In his
State of the City address today, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
will propose creating a regional clean-tech authority to pump
$100 million into school retrofits and recommend building a
series of biofuel plants that would manufacture fuel from waste.
He'll also outline how to double the number of green technology
jobs in the region and urge that 20 percent of the area's food be
purchased from local farms and ranches. The State of the City
address will be held today at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Growth Of Sacramento's Green Sector Flat In 2009, Study Says.
After doubling over the past 15 years, job growth in Sacramento's
green sector was flat in 2009, according to a new study. But San
Francisco-based Next 10, which released the report, said the
local region continues to be a leader in the state's rapidly
expanding green economy and is well-positioned for further
growth. "The (Sacramento) region has a tremendous foundation for
the future," said F. Noel Perry, Next 10's founder. Posted.

Obama Brings U.S. Clean Energy Trade Issues To Table In
U.S.-China Talks. Echoing concerns expressed by U.S. businesses,
President Obama yesterday pressed Chinese President Hu Jintao to
pry open his nation's doors to foreign competitors, including
U.S. technology companies hoping to tap into China's effort to
control its greenhouse gas emissions. "I welcomed his commitment
that American companies will not be discriminated against when
they compete for Chinese government procurement contracts," Obama
said after White House talks with Hu. "And I appreciate his
willingness to take new steps to combat the theft of intellectual
property." Posted.

New Reactor Harnesses Sun's Energy Like Plants. Researchers have
unveiled a prototype reactor which mimics plant life, turning the
Sun’s energy to make hydrocarbon fuel. Developed by a team of
scientists from the United States and Switzerland, The solar
device uses the Sun’s rays and the metal ceria, or cerium oxide,
to break down water or carbon dioxide into energy which can be
stored and transported. Harnessing the power of the sun has been
but a pipe dream as conventional solar panels must use the power
they generate in situ. With the ceria fueled reactor, this issue
is solved. Posted.


Clean Tech Arrives, With Limited Payoff. Fremont's Economic Base
Shifts After Auto Industry's Retreat, but Boost From New
Companies Has Been Modest So Far. Fremont - A few years after
finishing high school in 1994, Steve Andersen found work building
auto hoods and fenders in a loud, gritty auto plant in his
hometown here. Today, he has a new job in town: supervising
technicians in smocks and hairnets who create material for solar
panels in a white-floored laboratory. Posted.

Commute Times Improve In Sacramento Thanks To Recession. If you
find yourself grumbling less during your commute these days,
there's good reason. For many Sacramento commuters, the route to
work is not nearly as crowded as a few years ago. While
Sacramento commuters spend on average 24 hours a year stuck in
traffic, that's better than in most urban areas, and it's a
smoother commute than drivers here have had since 1993, a new
report shows. The main reason, however, isn't a happy one.

State Approves $14.2M, Clearing The Way For Santa Cruz County To
Purchase UP Rail Line. Sacramento --- The California
Transportation Commission voted 10-1 on Wednesday to grant the
county $14.2 million to acquire 32 miles of rail line from
Watsonville to Davenport after a commissioner cut a surprising,
last-minute deal for Union Pacific to drop its price. The panel
approved the county Regional Transportation Commissions plans for
the project in late June, but needed to take a separate vote
Wednesday to allocate state transportation funds. Posted.

EPA, Chrysler Work On Hybrid Engines For Minivans. Ann Arbor,
Mich. -- Chrysler and the Environmental Protection Agency are
trying to adapt an engine technology invented by the EPA to
improve gas mileage in minivans. The company and the government
agency said Wednesday they're working to fit the EPA's hydraulic
hybrid system into Chrysler minivans. If it works, the system
could boost minivan mileage 35 percent to around 27 miles per
gallon. Currently the top Chrysler minivan gets 20 mpg in
combined city and highway driving. Posted.


Real Hunters Get The Lead Out. It is time for those of us who
hunt to quit using outdated lead bullets and start moving toward
high-tech copper bullets – even if they are more expensive. Lead
bullets are bad for everyone: They contaminate the meat we bring
home as well as the gut piles we leave behind, and they also
poison any scavengers that consume the contaminated meat.
Moreover, the evidence against lead bullets is now solid. In a
North Dakota study of 738 people whose blood was tested, those
who ate a lot of wild game had higher lead levels than those who
ate little or none. Posted.


Everything's Bigger in Texas. Texans are proud of a lot of
things, but the state's air quality isn't one of them. That makes
it doubly bizarre that Governor Rick Perry is so determined to
stop the EPA from requiring big polluters to conform to the Clean
Air Act. Texas industries produce more toxic mercury pollution,
more smog, and more greenhouse gases than any other state. And
although Texas is a very big state, it's not so big that its air
pollution doesn't affect its neighbors. Just ask the folks across
the Red River in Oklahoma how they feel about Texas coal plants.

Tough Climate Math in the Face of CO2 and Energy Forecasts. It’s
hard to find projections for both global energy demand and
emissions of carbon dioxide from fuel burning that don’t have a
sustained upward trajectory for decades to come. The latest such
forecasts were issued on Wednesday by Exxon Mobil, at the World
Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, and by BP. I’ll focus more on
the BP report because it’s posted online, while Exxon’s is still
awaiting publication. Posted.

Clean Air Act: Wrong Tool for Controlling Global Warming.
Regulatory agencies are created to write laws that Congress deems
too technically complex, cumbersome or politically difficult to
pass on a case-by-case basis. If you're a liberal, these agencies
represent a delegation of authority. For conservatives, Congress
is abdicating authority. Nowhere are these philosophies more
apparent and the resulting turmoil greater than at the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Environment, for some, is
a religion with the same level of vitriolic exchange that one
might expect between Darwinians and Creationists. Posted.

Severe Smog Linked to Deaths in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s most
striking feature — the skyline of skyscrapers silhouetted against
Victoria Peak — is getting harder and harder to see. Over the
last few decades, as the city’s economy and that of neighboring
mainland China has expanded, visibility in the region has
plummeted as air pollution has worsened. This is not just a
concern for tourists who are worried about how their photos will
turn out. Posted.

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