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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. Posted. http://www.news10.net/news/story.aspx?storyid=118663&catid=2 http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2011/01/midtown-apartme.html http://www.kcra.com/news/26557105/detail.html 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jan/20/manchins-1st-bill-will-seek-to-curb-power-of-epa/ CLIMATE CHANGE 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/17/MNCS1H5E1C.DTL&type=printable 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. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/8429015 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/wire/sns-ap-un-un-warmest-year,0,2424213,print.story 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. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/01/20/20climatewire-european-commission-halts-transfers-of-carbo-22394.html?pagewanted=print 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. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47867.html#ixzz1BbEPEM00 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. http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2011/01/20/shrinking-snow-and-ice-cover-intensify-global-warming_print.html DIESEL EMISSIONS 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 levels.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/business/global/20iht-rbogship.html?ref=airpollution GREEN ENERGY 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. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/20/v-print/3337345/mayor-johnson-sees-green-economy.html 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/19/v-print/3334293/growth-of-sacramentos-green-sector.html http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/19/BUH81HAU94.DTL&type=printable http://www.mercurynews.com/hotjobs/ci_17132711 http://economy.ocregister.com/2011/01/19/o-c-green-jobs-grow-67/47682/ 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. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/20/2 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. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/01/20/new-reactor-harnesses-suns-energy-like-plants/ VEHICLES 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703954004576090043961924776.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_News_SanFranciscoBayArea68_2 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. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/20/v-print/3337370/commute-times-improve-in-sacramento.html 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/central-coast/ci_17141272?nclick_check=1 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/green-energy/ci_17138206 MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jan/20/real-hunters-get-the-lead-out/ BLOGS 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. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/mbrune/detail?entry_id=81375#ixzz1BbQxVdmI 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. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/tough-climate-math-in-the-face-of-co2-and-energy-forecasts/?pagemode=print 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-liberson/clean-air-act-wrong-for-f_b_808553.html 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/severe-smog-linked-to-deaths-in-hong-kong/?scp=3&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse