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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 14, 2011. Posted: 14 Feb 2011 15:04:01
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 14, 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 Environmental Enforcement: Cement Maker to Pay $1.4 Million Penalty. Cemex, Inc., one of the largest cement producers in the United States, has agreed to pay a $1.4 million penalty for Clean Air Act violations at its cement plant in Fairborn, Ohio, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday. In addition to the penalty, Houston-based Cemex agreed to spend an estimated $2 million on pollution controls that will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), pollutants that can contribute to childhood asthma, acid rain, and smog. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/02/14/environmental-enforcement-cement-maker-to-pay-1-4-million-penalty/ EPA Says New Plan Would Cut Smog And Save Jobs. Federal officials unveiled a plan Friday to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at a coal-fired power plant in New Mexico where the Arizona Public Service four months ago proposed installing strict pollution-control measures. Under the Environmental Protection Agency's latest proposal, smog-causing nitrogen oxides at the Four Corners Power Plant would be reduced from 45,000 tons per year to 5,800 tons per year, a reduction of 3,200 fewer tons from the federal agency's initial plan. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/11/epa-says-new-plan-would-cut-smog-and-save-jobs/ JOSHUA TREE: Smog Continues To Plague National Park. More than 1,200 square miles of open space, six mountain ranges, vast valleys, striking pink granite boulders and its namesake desert plant life make Joshua Tree National Park a paradise for visitors escaping suburbia. However, visitors often find they haven't escaped entirely. Every summer, smog cooked up in industrial zones and freeways 100 miles away blow into the park on sea breezes, sullying the air, ruining the views and encouraging the growth of fire-prone weeds. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_parkpollution14.2429e44.html CLIMATE CHANGE E.U. Climate Chief Has Work Cut Out for Her. Brussels — Connie Hedegaard embodies the way the European Commission would like to be perceived in the 21st century. Ms. Hedegaard, 50, leads the commission’s efforts on climate change, an issue with global resonance, and she is a confident and telegenic communicator, helping dislodge the commission’s image as a haven for graying politicians who settle fights over fish quotas. She sums up her job as keeping the European Union “in the front-running position when it comes to being the most energy-efficient, climate-friendly region in the world.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/business/energy-environment/14green.html?_r=1&src=busln&pagewanted=print Republicans Gut EPA Climate Rules, Slash Deeply Into Climate Research, Aid and Technology Programs. House Republicans introduced spending legislation Friday that would strip U.S. EPA of its ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, gut the State Department's climate aid programs and slash funding for energy and climate research across the federal government. The continuing resolution (CR), which would fund government operations through Sept. 30, seeks to trim $100 billion from the fiscal 2011 budget President Obama proposed last year. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/02/14/14climatewire-republicans-gut-epa-climate-rules-slash-deep-87716.html?pagewanted=print Making Climate Change Real At Oakland High School. The 200 engrossed students at Oakland Unity High School kept their eyes glued to the projector screen and hardly uttered a sound during the 45-minute presentation - the most striking exception coming at the part of the special school assembly that featured cow farts. It turns out bovine flatulence contributes to greenhouse gases. That was just one of several topics covered in the assembly, which was offered by the Alliance for Climate Education, an Oakland nonprofit that is trying to educate students about climate change one school at a time. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/14/BAB91HM37Q.DTL&type=printable House Republicans Open A Major Budget Battle, Proposing Deep Cuts Into Energy, Environment And Climate Spending. House Republicans are hurtling toward a collision with Obama Democrats as they prepare to launch a major defunding offensive tomorrow on energy programs, U.S. EPA and mass transportation projects -- cornerstones of the president's agenda. The effort to cut $100 billion from the budget for the remaining fiscal year marks the Republicans' first test at leading a majority energized by freshman conservatives elected, in many cases, after attacking climate policies and runaway government spending last year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/14/1 Budget Proposal Focuses On Air And Climate Rules, Cuts Water Grants. U.S. EPA would take a 12.6 percent funding cut under President Obama's budget request for fiscal 2012, which would shrink the amount of grants for state and local water projects while keeping money flowing toward enforcement and the new air pollution regulations that House Republicans are trying to starve of funding. The president's budget would include $9 billion for EPA, down from the fiscal 2010 funding level of $10.3 billion that has remained in place for the first five months of fiscal 2011. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/02/14/2 FUELS Valley Truckers Hit Hard By Rising Diesel Prices. Ten weeks of rising diesel fuel prices are the latest blow to the trucking industry, which has struggled to overcome a series of economic challenges recently. For trucking companies, the average $3.74 a gallon fuel -- a 70-cent increase from last year -- comes at a time when they would otherwise be gearing up for an economic turnaround. In addition, many still are recovering from pricey expenditures to meet clean-air rules. Many Valley companies pass on costs to customers with fuel surcharges, but for others that's not an optionPosted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/13/v-print/2271489/valley-truckers-hit-hard-by-rising.html Gas For $4 A Gallon? Are you ready for $4-a-gallon gas again? For the first time in three years, pump prices this year may reach the psychologically frightening $4 threshold, which is sure to change some drivers’ habits. Gas prices are already the highest they've been since 2008, and a growing number of energy analysts think they will keep rising until the current $3.45 a gallon in the South Bay seems cheap. "Gasoline prices will breach $4 a gallon in San Jose at some point in April or May," predicted Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at gasbuddy.comPosted. http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_17379847?nclick_check=1 MIT Grad's Invention Turns Brewery Waste To Fuel. Before he started "saving the earth, one beer at a time," all inventor Eric Fitch knew about home brewing was that it could make quite a mess. Once, he accidentally backed up the plumbing in his apartment building by dumping into his garbage disposal the spent grain left over from his India Pale Ale home brew. The oatmeal-looking gunk choked the pipes in his Cambridge, Mass., building, flooding the basement. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/13/mit-grads-invention-turns-brewery-waste-to-fuel/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_fe9348f3-daf0-5ea0-bb98-1b9660e22694.html GREEN ENERGY In Holland, Land Of Windmills, Flap Over Wind Farm. Netherlands (AP) --On an outcrop near this town's lighthouse, a woman in stone perpetually scans the horizon for the fishing fleet returning home. To the dismay of townspeople, her view may soon be obscured by some of the world's tallest wind turbines. In this eco-friendly nation where windmills are embedded in the culture, it may seem strange that a spat over wind power threatens to land in the country's highest court. But these turbines are a far cry from the squat four-bladed mills used for centuries to drain the swamps and create new land from the sea. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/02/14/international/i023619S81.DTL&type=printable http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/14/1555914/in-holland-land-of-windmills-flap.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/article_3e62a2ef-5866-5811-9c36-98d19b49d0e7.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/14/2271605/in-holland-land-of-windmills-flap.html#storylink=misearch ENERGY: With Government Help, Solar's Cost Approaches Fossil Fuels'. Solar electricity costs slightly more than fossil fuel generation, but only because of built-in government subsidies, analysts and utility officials said. Federal and California public policies promote solar, wind and other renewable power sources because they release no carbon dioxide into the air, reducing the state's contribution to global warming. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_77c152d2-4a09-5efb-aac9-b2ffba913f47.html KB Home To Lure Buyers With Energy Bill Savings. Homebuilders say one of the biggest advantages of buying a newly built home is energy efficiency. However, some of the ways that builders make homes burn less cash might not be as recognizable to buyers as say, kitchen appliances, generous closets and bathroom amenities. So now some builders are boiling energy efficiency down to something every buyer understands: money. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/14/1555959/kb-home-to-lure-buyers-with-energy.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/14/kb-home-to-lure-buyers-with-energy-bill-savings/ http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_9e1d1c81-0b67-57da-b3e6-3411f768a04f.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/14/2271668/kb-home-to-lure-buyers-with-energy.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/14/AR2011021401054.html http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110214/WIRE/110219765 Alternative Energy Investors Not Seeing Green Yet. President Barack Obama laid out an ambitious goal in his latest State of the Union address: By 2035, America will get 80 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources. Achievable? Maybe, if you consider that Obama's expansive definition of clean energy includes nuclear and emerging clean coal technologies, which many environmentalists don't embrace as ways to combat greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.pe.com/business/local/stories/PE_Biz_D_mutual13.f82fee.html RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Supervisors Begin Renewable Energy Lobbying Push. Riverside County supervisors want to begin flexing their muscles in the ongoing renewable energy rush. The county is proving to be a hotbed for solar, wind and geothermal energy, and supervisors don't want to disproportionately bear the cost of its production. They don't want to see transmission lines, for instance, crisscrossing the county to carry power to other population centers without seeing any financial benefit for local residents. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/politics/stories/PE_News_Local_D_energy11.1139331.html Eye On The Environment: Green Business Certification Provides Validation. Any business can claim to be "green," giving it marketing advantages and attracting customers, but the claim may not actually reflect exemplary environmental practices. Green business certification programs offer third-party validation — a neutral body, generally either a nonprofit organization or government agency, checks whether a business deserves certification using a list of minimum criteria. Certification programs exist for organic farming, sustainable architecture, low-energy appliances and other commercial ventures. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/12/green-business-certification-provides-validation/ Ontario Shuts Down All Offshore Wind Projects. In a surprise move Friday, Ontario halted all pending and proposed offshore wind projects. The action comes at a sensitive time for the offshore wind industry on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. There are no operational offshore wind farms in North America, and the Canadian industry had been looking to Ontario as a potential first mover because of its access to the northern Great Lakes. The decision nullifies a contract for an offshore wind project awarded by the Ontario Power Authority and blocks approval and consideration of all other applications for offshore wind farms. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/02/14/5/ Obama Proposal Promotes Clean Tech, Slashes Fossil Energy. The White House continued efforts today to beef up investment in nuclear and renewable energy technologies in its $29.5 billion fiscal 2012 spending request for the Department of Energy. The clean-tech increases would come at the expense of fossil energy spending, including the perennial request to eliminate billions in tax incentives for the oil and gas industry. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/02/14/3 VEHICLES Emmerson Measure Would Slash Tire Pressure Fines. Sacramento - Car repair shops cited for failing to verify customers' tire pressure would face much smaller penalties under an Inland Southern California lawmaker's legislation introduced this week. The California Air Resources Board approved tire inflation rules in 2009 as a way to improve motorists' mileage and eliminate an estimated 700,000 tons of heat-trapping emissions linked to global warming. The regulations took effect last September. Violators face stiff penalties -- jail time and up to a $1,000 fine. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/politics/stories/PE_News_Local_D_tires12.2942d3f.html http://www.tirereview.com/Article/84231/calif_senator_wants_inflation_law_neutered.aspx What Will The Cars Of The Future Look Like? A vehicle big enough to comfortably carry six adults and get better than 40 miles per gallon? It’ll be on the road before 2020, predicted Henry Hansel, president of the Hansel Auto Group and a 38-year auto industry veteran. “I’m absolutely confident of that,” Hansel said. With $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon — some analysts say later this year in California — the demand for powerful, economic cars and trucks is inescapable. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110213/BUSINESS/110219824 MISCELLANEOUS Read Me Green: Eco Book Awards. Mallory, a popular children's fiction heroine, has decided to make her home and school more eco-friendly. She wants to get her friends to join in, but can she convince them? Read all about it in "Mallory Goes Green" by Laurie B. Friedman, illustrated by Jennifer Kalis. The book, published by Darby Creek/Lerner Publishing Group, was just named one of the 2011 Green Earth Award Book Winners by the Newton Marasco Foundation. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/14/1556009/read-me-green-eco-book-awards.html Students' Solar-Energy Showcase Is Kicked Off Mall. At a coffee shop in Los Angeles, Elisabeth Neigert listened to some of the most memorable words in President Obama's State of the Union address. "Win the future," Obama said of the quest to develop alternative energy and wean the nation off fossil fuels. "This is our generation's Sputnik moment." Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/12/AR2011021203215.html OPINION The Global Food Crisis and Climate Change. To the Editor: Re “Droughts, Floods and Food” (column, Feb. 7): Paul Krugman makes a great point in connecting the global food crisis to the effects of climate change. The 2007 Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that this problem will only worsen: yields from rain-fed agriculture in some African countries may decrease by 50 percent by 2020 because of climate change. So what will we do? President Obama and other G-8 leaders have committed to mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/opinion/lweb14krugman.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print Don't Weaken EPA. The following editorial appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday, Feb. 11: Temperatures in Wisconsin are expected to rise by midcentury by an annual average of 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists and others in state government. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record based on global surface temperature. It was also the wettest year on record worldwide, the NOAA reported. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/14/1556031/dont-weaken-epa.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/14/2271760/dont-weaken-epa.html#storylink=misearch EDITORIAL: Windmill Power: We'll Need More Than 13,000. California law requires that by 2020, a third of our energy production should come from clean sources such as wind. We seem to be well on our way: California already has some 13,000 commercial wind turbines. But if that sounds like a lot, consider that a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab researcher recently told Climate Watch he believes we'll need 5,000 more to hit that goal. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/editorials/x563852538/EDITORIAL-Windmill-power-Well-need-more-than-13-000 BLOGS Gingrich’s Energy Policies Rile Conservative Critics. In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual gathering of conservative activists, Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, called last week for a radical shift in national energy and environmental policy, including the total dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency, the relaxation of coal mining regulations and quick approval for offshore drilling projects in the Arctic. The reaction from some conservative commentators was swift and harsh. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/gingrichs-energy-policies-rile-conservative-critics/?pagemode=print Vanishing Cap And Trade In Obama's 2012 Budget. In President Obama's new budget plan, the idea of comprehensive climate legislation appears to have disappeared into thin air. The phrase cap and trade -- the touchstone of the climate legislation battles over the past two years -- does not appear in the 216-page budget summary. Nor is there any mention of climate legislation or its impact. In fiscal year 2011, the administration included a line in its revenue projections for climate change legislation, …Posted. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/post-carbon/2011/02/vanishing_cap_and_trade_in_oba.html Circular Reasoning. Just a difference of opinion, except for the dying part. People don't like being called stupid, but let's face it. One side or the other is sometimes being stupid. Let's see if we can decide which. On the climate change side we have: Plausible theory: -Carbon Dioxide, a long-acknowledged heat-trapping gas, is increasing in the atmosphere due to human activity. -Scientists measure this, and do their best with imperfect data to model and predict consequences. -The measuring of CO2 levels throughout history and the effect on climate is tabulated. Posted. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tomtoles/2011/02/circular_reasoning.html Climate Change Challenge Update #5 Earl Honsteder wrote, "Climate Change has done to LAZY COPY AND PASTE JOURNALITS AND NEWS EDITORS what abusive priests did for the Catholic Church. Meanwhile you threatend our children with DEATH BY CO2, caused needless and costly panic and wasted 25 years on climate control, instead of POPULATION control. I'm calling my D.A. You media fear mongers should be brought to court for this." Thanks for your post Earl! But again the challenge is to find some scientific support for your claims here. Posted. http://blogs.redding.com/dcraig/archives/2011/02/climate-change-6.html