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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 11, 2011

Posted: 11 Mar 2011 12:06:46
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 11, 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.


Smog Eating Tiles Combat Valley's Poor Air Quality. Bakersfield,
Calif. — Just look out, or look up, and you'll see one of the
biggest problems for the San Joaquin Valley: poor air quality.
"We have consistently ranked behind Los Angeles for ozone. (It's)
our summertime problem, and particulate matter, which is our
wintertime problem," said Brenda Turner with the San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution District. Turner said one of the biggest
pollution problems is smog that is made up of oxygen, volatile
organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen oxides. There have been
efforts to reduce smog, but it's easier said than done. Posted.

San Jose Puts Support Behind California Air Resource Board. The
City of San Jose put forth a resolution expressing support to the
California Air Resources Board in promoting clean and energy
efficient motor vehicles, energy independence, zero emission
technology for improved quality of life. A resolution states that
over 90-percent of Californians are faced with public health
risks due to particulate matter, pollution and areas that exceed
federal health-based ozone levels. Hundreds of thousands of
asthma attacks, hospitalizations and pre mature deaths due to
heart and lung disease are attributed to these conditions.

Why Particulate Matter Matters To Mesa Residents. Welcome to On
the Air, an occasional column to keep readers updated on an issue
facing Mesa residents: our air quality. Some years ago, the
county Air Pollution Control District determined that the air we
breathe does not meet state standards too often throughout the
year. This first column lays the foundation; future columns will
keep readers abreast of actions being taken and what they can do
to protect themselves. Most of us who live on the Nipomo Mesa now
know that the air we breathe frequently fails to meet state
air-quality standards. Posted.


Global Warming 'Destroying Relics' Climate change is damaging
archaeological treasures which have been frozen for thousands of
years, scientists have warned. Remains in some of the coldest
places on earth are becoming exposed as warmer temperatures cause
ice and hardened ground to thaw, according to research by experts
at the University of Edinburgh's Business School. Ancient relics
at risk include tombs, artifacts and human remains. The
scientists, who studied cases of damage at three sites across the
world, are calling for a global organization to be set up to
maintain a record of vulnerable sites and to co-ordinate efforts
to conserve items that are at risk, particularly indigenous
remains. Dr. Dave Reay, who supervised the study, said: Posted.

Climate Change Poses a Major Challenge for the U.S. Navy in the
Arctic. Climate change will pose major new hurdles for U.S. naval
forces, forcing the military to grapple with an emerging Arctic
frontier, increasing demand for humanitarian aid and creating
rising seas that could threaten low-lying bases, the National
Academy of Sciences said yesterday. "Even the most moderate
current trends in climate, if continued, will present new
national security challenges for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and
Coast Guard," concludes a new academy report. Posted.






House Panel Votes to Strip E.P.A. of Power to Regulate Greenhouse
Gases.  Washington — A House subcommittee voted on Thursday to
strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to
regulate greenhouse gases, chipping away at a central pillar of
the Obama administration’s evolving climate and energy strategy. 
Sacramento County Limits On Development Criticized. Developers
and some Sacramento County supervisors on Wednesday criticized as
too restrictive rules proposed for the county general plan to
limit suburban sprawl. They said rules proposed by county
planners could hurt the economy and make development too
expensive. They made their arguments against the backdrop of a
subtle threat from the state attorney general's office that
roughly translated to: Weaken the proposed rules and we'll sue. 
These "recommendations or some variation on them should be viewed
as a minimum," said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Trankley,
addressing the board Wednesday afternoon. Posted.

'Carbon Nation' Offers Odd, Upbeat Take On Global Warming.
Real-life solutions: Texas wind farmer Cliff Etheredge is among
those featured in the uneven “Carbon Nation” who are providing
clean energy and working to curtail global warming. Piecing
together a patchwork in which resourceful rustics and high-rise
sophisticates alike take action to create clean energy, “Carbon
Nation” might be the most upbeat documentary ever to navigate the
generally bleak terrain of global warming. Posted.

Gas Prices Change Energy Politics. Democratic leaders insist that
voters won’t punish their party for high gas prices — but the
pain at the pump could make it even harder for them to pass the
president’s energy agenda. Republicans have shown no fear in
tying the oil price spikes to anything on the Democratic energy
agenda, from President Barack Obama’s stance on offshore drilling
permits to long dead cap-and-trade legislation and pending
climate change rules for power plants. The GOP attacks may have
no basis in fact when it comes to changing short-term prices at
the pump. Posted.


Central Valley Air District Program Tries To Improve Emissions
From Diesel Trucks. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District is accepting applications for $60 million in heavy-duty
diesel truck funds. The money is an incentive to replace, repower
and retrofit heavy-duty, diesel-powered trucks to reduce air
pollution from freight movement through the San Joaquin Valley,
according to a news release. More truck owners are eligible for
the money, and the district is holding free regional workshops to
assist owners in completing their applications. Spanish-language
translators will be available. Posted.


Propel Continues CA E85 Build-Out, Awaits USDA Blender Pump Plan.
 California-based Propel Fuels, a renewable fuels retailer that
owns and operates approximately 21 E85 and biodiesel-blend
filling stations in California and Washington, is moving ahead
with plans to build out an additional 75 stations in California
this year and expand its retail offerings to include other West
Coast states.  Posted. 

Why Is Gas So Expensive On The Central Coast? Gas prices continue
to climb and people on the Central Coast are taking some of the
biggest hits to their budgets. The latest numbers from AAA show
the national average for unleaded gas is $3.52 a gallon.
California's average is 40 cents higher, at $3.92. Compare that
with $3.97 in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. So why
do people on the Central Coast pay some of the highest prices in
the state and country? Experts say there are a variety of
reasons. Patrick DeHaan is a senior petroleum analyst with
GasBuddy.com. He says the prices are higher here because the cost
of doing business is higher, so gas station owners pass the cost
onto their customers. Posted.


UPDATE 2-Sempra Unit To Build Solar Plant In California.  -
Regulated utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a unit of
Sempra Energy , signed a contract with renewable energy company
Tenaska Solar Ventures for a 150-megawatt solar power plant in
southern California.  Posted. 

Interest In Renewable Energy May Stick As Oil Prices Surge.  The
latest surge in oil prices may help the renewable energy industry
reach a turning point after years of boom-and-bust cycles long
dictated by the rise and fall in gas prices.  Posted. 

Clean-Coal Debate Focuses On Gasification Plant.  A bill now on
Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk to build a plant on the far Southeast Side
that would supply Chicago customers with substitute natural gas
made from Illinois coal has turned up the heat on the “clean
coal” debate.  Posted. 

Green Groups See Red Over Brown's Proposals. The governor says he
would consider altering some key environmental laws to please
business groups. A coalition of environmental groups is asking
state lawmakers not to weaken California's landmark environmental
laws during closed-door meetings on the state budget. "The
legislature and the governor should listen to the voters: get
together to and solve the deficit," Bill Magavern, director of
Sierra Club California said in a morning conference call with
reporters. Posted.


Let There Be More Efficient Light.  LAST week Michele Bachmann, a
Republican representative from Minnesota, introduced a bill to
roll back efficiency standards for light bulbs, which include a
phasing out of incandescent bulbs in favor of more
energy-efficient bulbs.  Posted. 

Cooler Heads Needed In Debate As Global Warming Takes Hold.
Modesto -- What do the following topics have in common:
Incivility. Global warming as fraud. Carbon dioxide as a
beneficial "life-sustaining system." The global-warming
conspiracy. All have appeared in The Bee recently in letters to
the editor and an editorial about the need for civility in social
discourse. Of all the heated debates on the Opinions pages, it
seems global warming elicits the most vehement responses, locally
and nationally. Posted.

Columnist's Source Undermines Public Health.  Once again, I'm
dumbfounded and, I admit, angered by a Lois Henry column.  Henry
continues to make a case against the science that clearly
illustrates the negative impacts of particulate matter pollution
on the health of valley residents ("Politics, air rules make for
a smelly situation," Feb. 20). She makes her arguments by holding
up Pacific Legal Foundation as a truth-speaking entity. That is
either extreme naivete or blatant dishonesty.  Posted. 

Report: "Stalled" Energy Projects Costing Us. Business group says
delays are costing thousands of jobs, billions in lost economic
benefits. The US Chamber of Commerce says it's taking too long to
green-light energy projects -- not just in California but across
the US -- and that it's putting a drag on economic recovery. The
pro-business group issued a report that attempts to quantify the
opportunity cost of projects that were in permitting or
litigation limbo during March of 2010. Posted.

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