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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 23, 2011

Posted: 23 Mar 2011 13:30:03
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 23, 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.


Philadelphia is America’s Most Toxic City. Recently, Forbes
looked at the 80 largest metropolitan areas in the country and
ranked them based on their toxicity.  And the city with the WORST
air and water quality is…  Philadelphia.  Philadelphia claimed
the top spot because it has more than 50 former industrial sites
that contain hazardous waste. But even though Philly took top
“honors”, the real winner, er, loser here is California. 
California metro areas claimed four of the 10 spots on the list,
mostly due to their smog problem. Posted.

U.K. Sets Minimum Carbon Costs for 2013 at 16 Pounds a Ton. U.K.
power generators will have to pay at least 16 pounds ($26) for
every metric ton of carbon dioxide they emit starting in 2013
under a government plan to discourage fossil fuels and raise
revenue. “Today we become the first country in the world to
introduce a carbon-price floor for the power sector,” Chancellor
of the Exchequer George Osborne said today in his annual budget
presentation in London. Posted.

Kettleman Group To Appeal Landfill Court Ruling. The legal battle
over a controversial landfill project near Kettleman City, a
community marked by a spike in birth defects, looks set to
continue for months. Community advocates and environmental
justice activists say they are appealing the lower court's
unfavorable ruling in a lawsuit over Kings County's approval of
Waste Management's toxic-waste facility expansion. Posted.

Court Sets Schedule For Litigation Over EPA Emission Rules. A
federal appeals court has set the briefing schedule for the three
cases it is handling concerning the legality of U.S. EPA's
greenhouse gas regulations. There are four rules under the legal
microscope before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia, but two have been consolidated into one
case (Greenwire, Dec. 14, 2010). In all three cases, no arguments
have been scheduled yet. The briefing, with opening briefs due in
May and June, will go on until the end of this year. Posted.


California's Bid To Curb Global Warming Could Soon Get Back On
Track. California air regulators must conduct a new environmental
review before a judge will green-light its cap-and-trade
pollution program, attorneys say. A final order is expected in
about a week. California's effort to curb global warming, which
was put on hold by a court decision, will be able to proceed on
schedule once officials conduct a new environmental review,
according to attorneys analyzing the case. Posted.

Calif.'s Plan To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Halted.
California's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by giving
incentives to the state's largest polluters has been temporarily
halted by a court ruling. San Francisco Superior Court Judge
Ernest Goldsmith ruled Friday that the state violated its own
environmental law by failing to consider alternatives to its
so-called cap-and-trade program. Posted.

EU Goal Of Global Carbon Market 'Stalled By US Failure'. EU hopes
of establishing a global emissions trading system have been
dashed because of a lack of progress in the US, Jos Delbeke,
director general of the Climate Action division of the European
Commission, said Tuesday. "The development of an OECD-wide global
carbon market has stalled due the failure of climate legislation
in the US," he said at a parliamentary briefing on the ETS in
Brussels. Posted.

Judge Orders Review Of Calif. Air Law. San Francisco -- A judge
has ordered a review of the impact of California's air pollution
law before the state's cap-and-trade system takes effect Jan. 1.
The law was challenged by Communities for a Better Environment, a
group based in Oakland, and other environmental organizations,
the San Jose Mercury News reported. Posted.

California Judge Rules Against California Cap-And-Trade Program.
California's cap-and-trade initiative, scheduled to be
implemented next year by the state's Air Resources Board (ARB) as
part of the state's A.B.32 climate-change law, has encountered a
legal obstacle. Judge Ernest Goldsmith of the San Francisco
Superior Court has ruled that the ARB must first consider
alternatives to the program. This ruling does not necessarily
mean that the ARB must delay or cancel its rollout of the
program, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Posted.

California's Global Warming Law Halts Temporarily. Air Regulators
Need To Consider Alternatives. Shafter, Calif. -- On Thursday,
San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled
that the California Air Resources Board must spend more time
looking at alternatives to a cap-and-trade program in its plan to
implement AB 32. AB 32 greenhouse gases to be reduced to 1990
levels by 2020. Posted.

As Climate Changes, Coffee Farmers Struggle To Protect Crops.
Shifting weather patterns have led to lower bean yields and
higher prices at coffee shops. A mile above this rural mountain
town, coffee trees have produced some of the world's best arabica
beans for more than a century. Now, farmers are planting even
higher — at nearly 7,000 feet — thanks to warmer temperatures.


Corona Alternative-Fuel Rebate Program A Success. John Sinacore
is the conservation-minded type of resident that Corona officials
like seeing come through their doors at City Hall. Sinacore, a
retired insurance company manager, installed an
electricity-saving pump for his swimming pool, switched to
energy-saving windows and, when he turned in his 17-mpg SUV for a
50-mpg Toyota Prius hybrid, became the first person to take
advantage of the city's alternative-fuel vehicle rebate program.
Sinacore received $2,000 for buying from a Corona dealer, Quality
Toyota. Posted.

Neb. Ethanol Labeling Bill Clears First Vote.  Lincoln, Neb. —
Nebraska gas pumps that dispense less than 1 percent ethanol
would need to say so under a proposal unveiled Tuesday as a
compromise to the state's current labeling law.  Lawmakers
granted first-round approval to a measure (LB698) that would lift
sticker requirements on gas that contains less than 11 percent
ethanol.  Posted. 

Small-Engine Groups Ask EPA To Continue Sales Of 10% Fuel Blends.
Several trade groups representing nonroad engines and foreign
automakers are petitioning U.S. EPA to require the continued sale
of gasoline with no more than 10 percent ethanol content, in a
parry of new regulations that would allow blends of up to 15
percent ethanol (E15) for some vehicles. Posted.


Big BMW Sedan Adds Hybrid.  Gasoline-electric hybrid versions of
BMW's big, 2011 BMW 7-Series sedans come with the federal
government's lowest fuel economy rating of all regular-production
hybrids.  But the 750i and 750iL ActiveHybrids are the quickest
hybrid luxury sedans in showrooms, jetting from 0 to 60 miles an
hour in a sports car-like 4.7 seconds.  Posted. 


A Nuclear Renaissance In U.S. Was Unlikely Even Before Japan
Disaster. Economics, not fears of a meltdown or radiation
poisoning, prevented a resurgence in nuclear energy. Natural gas
power plants are much cheaper to build and operate. To all those
who may be concerned that the catastrophic events at Japan's
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will derail the heralded
renaissance of nuclear power in the U.S., you can relax. The
reason is simple: There is no renaissance. Posted.

O’Malley Proposes Amendments To Revive Offshore Wind Bill. 
Annapolis, Md. — Gov. Martin O’Malley will propose amendments to
revive a bill to develop offshore wind energy in Maryland. 
O’Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec told The Associated Press on
Wednesday that the governor will propose a threshold test in
which state regulators would kick out proposals projected to
raise an average family’s electricity bill by more than $2 a
month in the first year.  Posted. 

Energy Economists Looking For Signs That Americans Have Cut Back
On Fuel Purchases.  New York - Oil prices are higher as investors
anticipate a government report on U.S. petroleum demand. 
Benchmark crude added 73 cents at $105.70 per barrel Wednesday
morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  After a sharp
increase recently in oil and gasoline prices, economists are
looking for signs that Americans are pushing back. A drop in
consumption would suggest that motorists are starting to drive
less.  Posted. 


UC Merced Connect: Hall Of Fame For Going Green. UC Merced will
be the host for the inaugural International Green Industry Hall
of Fame induction ceremony and conference Friday. The all-day
event will be highlighted by the announcement of the first six
inductees to the new Hall of Fame, which is designed to recognize
individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements in the
green industry and provide an educational forum for the
international public. Posted.

Mass. Officials Pick Route For New Commuter Line.  Boston - State
transportation officials hoping to build a new commuter rail line
have decided on a preferred route to connect Boston to New
Bedford and Fall River.  Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan
said Monday that a route that would take trains through Stoughton
is the best option to meet the state's transportation, economic
and environmental goals.  Posted. 


Everyone Into The Carpool Lane. Re "If freeways aren't free,"
Editorial, March 18.Are you serious? Have you tried a carpool
lane at peak time? It sometimes is as busy as all the other
lanes. Where are the rich people who pay to use them at those
times going to go? When are we going to see that we just have too
many cars using the freeways at the same time? When are we going
to try something else, like alternating work schedules or making
deliveries at night to minimize trucks? Posted.

Mercury News Editorial: Lawsuit Must Not Derail California's
Global Warming Law. California's first-in-the-nation global
warming law, AB32, is in jeopardy following a San Francisco
Superior Court ruling last week. The setback can't be allowed to
derail the legislation aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions
to 1990 levels by 2020 and making California more energy
efficient. Judge Ernest Goldsmith told the California Air
Resources Board to more thoroughly analyze alternatives to the
cap-and-trade program it adopted last year to reach the goals of
AB32. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_17675867

LISA JACKSON: Addressing State's Environmental Concerns. On my
visit to California this week, many people have offered thoughts
and prayers for Japan and the earthquake and tsunami victims now
facing threats from radiation. Many have also voiced concerns
about radiation reaching the United States. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and our federal partners are
closely monitoring radiation levels and ensuring that all steps
are taken to safeguard health, and we will continue to work
closely with state and local officials and regularly update the
public. Posted.

ED DUGGAN: Clean Energy A Powerful Job Generator. Like
Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, I, too, share a deep commitment for
creating jobs and removing roadblocks to economic recovery, all
while protecting the unique natural resources that exist here in
Kern County. Ms. Grove, in her March 13 article "Roll back
greenhouse gas law," is absolutely right on one count: We can
have both a clean environment and a strong economy. The two do
not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, my company is a
perfect example of this. Posted.

Is Cap-and-Trade Kaput? What's in a name? Everything when it
comes to a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade programme in the US.
Energy industry prognosticators saw US adoption as almost
inevitable just two years ago following the election of President
Obama. Then opponents dubbed the initiative 'cap-and-tax', a
moniker that became a death knell in a political climate wary of
raising taxes. Cap-and-trade legislation died with neither a bang
nor a whimper; but with a slammed door. Posted.

Let The EPA Do Its Job. The House of Representatives recently
passed legislation that could severely cripple the Environmental
Protection Agency’s ability to protect people’s health and the
environment. The EPA is doing its job, and a story in the CDT on
Thursday proposed stronger protections against mercury and
arsenic pollution. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that can
harm the nervous systems of people and animals. Posted.


California Judge Calls Time Out for Climate Change Law. Steam
rising from a refinery in Wilmington, Calif. In analyzing how to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, state regulators examined the
potential impact on this industrial suburb of Los Angeles. Irony
usually speaks for itself, so I’ll tread lightly here. But what
is one to make of a climate-change law that withstands a $35
million campaign supported by conservative oil interests only to
be thrown off course by a legal challenge from the leftier edges
of the environmental movement, particularly its environmental
justice wing? Posted.

California's Climate Bill Remains on Track. Last Friday, the San
Francisco County Superior Court issued its decision in a lawsuit
challenging the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of the
AB 32 Scoping Plan (the Scoping Plan is the state’s comprehensive
blueprint for achieving AB 32’s goal of reducing global warming
pollution statewide).  Environmental justice groups contended
that CARB did not comply with the mandatory statutory
requirements of AB 32 and the procedural requirements set out in
the California Environmental Quality Act. Posted.

The Politics Of Healthier Power Plants. A new EPA proposal
attempts to limit toxic emissions of air pollutants from coal and
oil-fired power plants. Nuclear power plant safety has dominated
the headlines in the past week for obvious reasons. But there has
also been plenty of talk about the more conventional types of
power plants in the United States. This means coal, oil and
natural gas. Posted.

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