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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 21, 2011. Posted: 21 Mar 2011 13:08:17
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 21, 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 At Radiation Sensor In Anaheim, It's Business As Usual. In the face of rising concern over the possibility of radiation from Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors reaching the West coast, air quality officials Friday visited a radiation sensor site to show the public that there is currently no such threat — and there’s not likely to be. In Anaheim, Philip Fine, atmospheric measurements manager for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, checked his watch by a truck-sized shipping container surrounded by instruments the district uses to test the air. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-anaheim-radiation-20110319,0,7363162,print.story EPA Deploys More Radiation Monitors To The West Coast. As public concern grows about radiation from Japan possibly drifting to the West Coast of the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced that it will deploy more electronic monitors that measure radiation levels in the air. The monitors, which detect gamma radiation and radioactive particles, will be set up in "parts of the Western U.S. and U.S. territories," the agency said in a statement. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/21/3491797/epa-deploys-more-radiation-monitors.html Federal Agency Says Testing Finds No Health Threat From Radioactivity Along West Coast Of US. San Francisco — Minuscule amounts of radiation from Japan’s stricken nuclear plant have reached the west coast but federal and state officials say it poses no health risk. They said Friday that the doses of radiation that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, and the sun are 100,000 times the dose rates detected at a monitoring station in California and another in Washington State. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/federal-agency-says-testing-finds-no-health-threat-from-radioactivity-along-west-coast-of-us/2011/03/19/ABBNfCu_story.html http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110319/WIRE/110319415 SAN BERNARDINO: Grant Will Boost Clean-Air Efforts. Regional air quality officials on Saturday will distribute 500 electric lawn mowers to San Bernardino residents, the first of several initiatives to reduce air pollution in the city. In the coming months, the South Coast Air Quality Management District will offer city residents natural-gas-burning "logs" for their fireplaces at big discounts. Subsidies for quieter, lower-emission leaf blowers also will be available. District spokesman Sam Atwood said the lawn mowers sold out fast, because the agency charged as little as $40 for a machine that retails for about $300. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_berdooair18.2140579.html What Affect Does Smog Really Have On Your Children? Ever wonder what affect the smog in Los Angeles has on your children's health? Or the impact of San Pedro's oil refineries? Or the Port of Long Beach? Well, the National Children's Study is launching a pilot program to research the impact of these and other environmental factors in children, through 37 study centers across the United States. One of those hubs is the Los Angeles-Ventura Study Center, which is looking for residents of 14 Los Angeles County neighborhoods to participate in the pilot study. Posted. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_17652702 CLIMATE CHANGE China, India, Brazil Pledge Emission Limits to United Nations Climate Body. China, India and Brazil pledged to limit their greenhouse gas emissions in documents submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, formalizing commitments made in Copenhagen in December 2009. China said it will try to lower carbon-dioxide emissions per dollar of economic output at least 40 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, according to a document dated March 18 and e-mailed today by the UN body, which stewards global climate treaty talks. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-21/china-india-brazil-pledge-emission-limits-to-united-nations-climate-body.html USDA Funds Research On Crops And Climate Change. The federal government is investing $60 million in three major studies on the effects of climate change on crops and forests to help ensure farmers and foresters can continue producing food and timber while trying to limit the impact of a changing environment. The three studies take a new approach to crop and climate research by bringing together researchers from a wide variety of fields and encouraging them to find solutions appropriate to specific geographic areas. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/03/21/state/n002442D25.DTL&type=printable http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/21/3491422/usda-funds-research-on-crops-and.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/21/1608746/usda-funds-research-on-crops-and.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_d456d6dd-7910-5f70-95d1-74e7e47a3980.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/21/2318310/usda-funds-research-on-crops-and.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/usda-invests-60m-in-3-new-research-projects-on-effects-of-climate-change-on-crops-and-forests/2011/03/21/ABszW04_story.html http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_17662861 Experience In Floods Makes More Climate Change Believers – Study. People who have directly experienced flooding are more likely to be worried about climate change and willing to adopt energy-saving behavior, according to a new study. Researchers at two British universities based their findings on a 2010 survey of 1,822 individuals across the United Kingdom. "We show that those who report experience of flooding express more concern over climate change, see it as less uncertain and feel more confident that their actions will have an effect on climate change," the authors write. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/21/5 FUELS Ethanol Creates Schism Within Agriculture. The drive to fill the gas tanks of America's cars with corn-based ethanol is creating a division within the ranks of the country's agricultural producers. The most recent acceleration of the trend has been the approval to nudge the percentage of ethanol at the gas pump from 10 to 15 percent. Livestock and dairy producers rely heavily on corn for the rations they feed beef and dairy animals, hogs and poultry. The increased demand on the automotive side is causing prices for corn to increase beyond the level that animal feeders can pay. Posted. http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/corn-104982-ethanol-country.html GREEN ENERGY Ofgem Pushes for Competition in Energy Market . London—The U.K.'s six biggest gas and electricity suppliers will be required to auction up to 20% of their electricity-generation output under new proposals to increase competition in the energy market, Britain's energy regulator Ofgem said Monday. The energy companies have eight weeks to "engage constructively" with Ofgem's proposed changes to the market or risk being referred to the U.K.'s Competition Commission, the regulator said in a statement. Ofgem said a review of the retail energy market found that competition is being stifled by complex tariffs, poor supplier behavior and a lack of transparency. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703858404576214321215335098.html Whatever Nuclear Power’s Threat, No Easy Alternatives. The three-pronged disaster in Japan — earthquake, tsunami and radiation leakage — has stirred a global outpouring of sympathy and good will. But the nuclear catastrophe is what really has the world on edge. People as far afield as Texas, fearing that a noxious plume will come their way, are raiding drugstores for potassium iodide to protect against radiation, despite experts’ assurances that the plumes will disperse over the Pacific Ocean. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/business/energy-environment/21green.html?scp=3&sq=green%20energy&st=cse Solar Industry Has A Strong Year. A recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association found that 2010 was a banner year for solar in the United States. The total size of the U.S. solar market - which includes rooftop installations, hot water heating and utility scale projects - grew from $3.6 billion in 2009 to $6 billion, a 67 percent increase. "Solar is growing quickly across the U.S. at the residential, commercial, and utility scale levels. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/21/3492169/solar-industry-has-a-strong-year.html E.U. Climate Chief Says Wind Power Will Be Cheaper Than Nuclear. Producing energy from wind turbines at sea would be a cheaper alternative to building new nuclear power plants, said Europe's climate chief. "Some people tend to believe that nuclear is very, very cheap, but offshore wind is cheaper than nuclear," said Connie Hedegaard, the E.U. climate change commissioner. "People should believe that this is very, very cheap." Although offshore wind energy has long been looked at as costly, the expense is likely to come down, according to an analysis by the European commission. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/21/10 ENERGY: Electric Car Owners Prone To Going Solar. Electric car buyers said they're purchasing solar panels to support their new, electricity-intensive driving habits. The first in the most recent wave of plug-in electric cars rolled out last year in San Diego County, an all-electric vehicle from Nissan, followed a month later by Chevy's mostly electric Volt. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_8789b5a2-83d2-513c-86c5-9663330e2a4e.html MISCELLANEOUS Do Your Part: Are Plastics Polluting Your Home? It's virtually impossible to go through a day without coming into contact with plastic. Take a second to think about everything plastic you touch each day. It could be your toothbrush, remote control, food containers, toys, pens, debit card, cell phone, laptop and I could go on and on. While we all enjoy the benefits of plastic, some plastics are a whole lot safer than others. And, there's one type that actually releases harmful chemicals that accumulate in our bodies, homes, and the environment. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/21/v-print/3491796/do-your-part-are-plastics-polluting.html Group Seeks Forest Restoration To Cleanse Planet. Copemish, Mich. -- Redwoods and sequoias towering majestically over California's northern coast. Oaks up to 1,000 years old nestled in a secluded corner of Ireland. The legendary cedars of Lebanon. They are among the most iconic trees on Earth, remnants of once-vast populations decimated by logging, development, pollution and disease. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/science/article_b7d0a545-5ef9-5538-b899-cb64a07f4435.html New Highgrove Library Opens Its Doors. Riverside County unveiled its latest library on Saturday with a grand opening of the new Highgrove branch, a 7,500-square-foot, environmentally efficient building. The new facility replaced a 1,600-square-foot library nearby and was funded by Redevelopment dollars from the County of Riverside Redevelopment Agency, according to officials. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_wlibrary20.27602cd.html Charity Auction Pledges To Benefit Environment. New York ---- A day with former president Bill Clinton, flying with Harrison Ford on his private aircraft and sailing off the coast of Maine with the Rockefellers are just a few of the celebrity and luxury items being offered at an auction to benefit four leading environmental organizations. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_b9d524d9-f2dd-5268-b395-e7f66484b114.html OPINION EPA Is Following the Supreme Court. Your March 15 editorial "Carbon and Democracy" accuses the Environmental Protection Agency of ignoring democratic principles and the rule of law in its efforts to protect the public from the harm caused by changes in our climate. Let's review the facts. It was the Supreme Court, not the EPA, that decided in 2007 that carbon dioxide meets the definition of pollutant under the Clean Air Act—a law enacted by a democratically elected Congress and signed by a democratically elected President, George H.W. Bush. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704164204576203011908468304.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change The Truth Abouth AB 32. As executive officer of the agency charged with enforcing AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act, I wish to assure The Californian's readers that the claims made in an article by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove are completely groundless and bear no relationship to any requirements of this legislation ("Roll back greenhouse gas law," Local, March 13). The article states that an unnamed local company "is required to track the daily use of 400 pieces of its equipment, from diesel engines to weed-eaters. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/letters/x233129009/The-truth-abouth-AB-32 Gregory Rodriguez: Getting The Upper Hand On Nature. Maybe we need to stop trying to protect nature from humans, and focus on taming it to protect humans from nature. Maybe John Muir was a fool. Muir, the godfather of contemporary environmentalism, was among the first activists to proclaim the "oneness" of humans and the natural world and to insist that we seek to live in harmony with our surroundings. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rodriguez-engineers-20110321,0,2874499,print.column Another View: California Has Made Clear-Cutting A Model Of Sustainability. Re "Clear-cutting forests is wrong way for state to lead on climate policy" (Viewpoints, March 10): Does anyone really believe California's forests are being wiped out by clear-cutting? Or that the state with the toughest environmental laws in the nation would make deforestation legal? Clear-cutting is by definition a regenerative technique; any college textbook on the subject will tell you that. In California, clear-cutting creates small openings in forests that support abundant biodiversity. In California, clear-cuts may be no larger than 20 acres, a size that mimics natural disturbances such as wind, fire and insect attacks. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/20/3487144/california-has-made-clear-cutting.html Viewpoints: Japan Crisis Reminds Us Plutonium, CO2 Not The Only Choices. The energy policy debate in America was woefully incomplete until the nuclear disaster occurred in Japan. The public wasn't informed that nuclear power plants hold awesome radioactive threats that cause cancer, threats that are here and now, and very real. The federal government and the nuclear lobby are advancing these radioactive factories as a clean and safe solution to climate change. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/20/3487158/viewpoints-japan-crisis-reminds.html EPA Rules Disrupt The Economy. Not satisfied with its efforts to regulate carbon, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is beginning a two-month comment period on new proposed rules that would tighten emissions restrictions on power plants that burn coal and oil. If adopted, these new rules will raise power production costs, perhaps forcing the closure of the oldest plants, and making new ones more expensive. The proposed rules would affect power plants’ emissions of “heavy metals,” including mercury, arsenic, chromium, and nickel, as well as acid gases like hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/print/opinion/op-eds/2011/03/epa-rules-disrupt-economy Commentary: Vehicle For Change. It's a complicated premise: establishing a public-private partnership by which insurance companies bid on tax credits to generate a $100 million investment in start-up and early stage companies -- but one with incredible promise. For Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), InvestMaryland's goal is simple -- it's about the continued cultivation of biotech, clean/green tech, cybersecurity, life sciences and information technology jobs for long-term economic gain. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/capital_business/2011/03/18/ABq4I7r_story.html Long-Delayed Rules for Cleaner Air. After 20 years of delays and interminable litigation, the Obama administration has proposed a new rule requiring power plants to reduce emissions of mercury and other airborne toxics by 91 percent within the next five years. Some environmental groups saw the rule as the most important step forward for healthier air since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990. It is unquestionably a victory for the public: when fully effective, the rule could save as many as 17,000 lives a year. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/opinion/21mon2.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse ELIAS: Is California Getting The Wrong Kind Of Solar? Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his way to a remote desert location last October, not far from the stretch of Interstate 15 that runs between Southern California and Las Vegas. So did U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and bunches of utility executives. All pronounced themselves thrilled to mark what they called a landmark advance in energy, the start of work on a huge solar power farm that will help meet the state's goal of producing one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/elias/article_75279ef8-1052-55f4-8adc-390426283757.html BLOGS Senate Ally Defends Obama on Gas Prices. In recent weeks, President Obama’s foes in Congress and industry have sought to pin the blame for rising gasoline prices — now averaging above $3.50 a gallon — on his administration’s energy policies. Associated Press Senator Jeff Bingaman. Specifically, his adversaries’ claim that the administration’s move to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, combined with the slow pace of permitting deep-sea drilling in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, are responsible for Americans’ pain at the pumpPosted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/senate-ally-defends-obama-on-gas-prices/ Do You Trust Corporate Emission Reduction Claims? No One in Britain Does. The pace of publicity for corporate carbon emission reductions may have slowed in the past year but that doesn't mean people believe the hype any more, at least in the UK. Based on a survey by Carbon Trust, a mere 7% of people there believe the claims made by companies that they are taking tough action to do their part to blunt the impact of climate change. Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/03/do-you-trust-corporate-emission-reduction-claims.php