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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 27, 2011. Posted: 27 Apr 2011 14:21:03
California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 27, 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 L.A., Bakersfield Remain Among U.S.'S Most Polluted Cities, Report Says.American Lung Assn. says smog and soot levels dropped significantly in Southern California over the last decade, but the L.A. area remains the worst region in the nation for ozone pollution. Smog and soot levels have dropped significantly in Southern California over the last decade, but the Los Angeles region still has the highest levels of ozone nationwide, violating federal health standards an average of 137 days a year. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-california-air-20110427,0,4423301,print.story Lung Group Rates Ozone Here As 5th Worst In U.S. In its annual "State of the Air" report released today, the American Lung Association ranks Sacramento as the fifth-worst metropolitan area in the country for ozone pollution during the 2007-09 period. The area is tied for 11th worst for short-term particle pollution during the same three-year span. Bonnie Holmes-Gen, senior policy director of the American Lung Association in California, noted the local region is improving due to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and wood burned in fireplaces. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/04/27/v-print/3581570/lung-group-rates-ozone-here-as.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/04/27/1662356/lung-group-rates-ozone-here-as.html Air Quality: Several Bay Area Counties Fail Survey. Periodic spikes in ozone levels and the choke-inducing fine particle pollution from diesel engines and smokestacks earned several Bay Area jurisdictions poor marks in air quality, according to a nationwide report card released today. A county-by-county analysis by the American Lung Association in California gave failing marks to Santa Clara, Solano and Contra Costa counties. But the Bay Area lapses pale in comparison with the persistent, noxious air in places like Los Angeles, Visalia and Bakersfield, which earned the association's title for worst air in the nation. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/27/BADE1J7SUK.DTL&type=printable Area Gets F For Air Pollution. Long Beach - Despite decades of progress, air in the Long Beach-Los Angeles area remains among the nation's most polluted and potentially dangerous, according to a new report. The region received an F for the number of days where smog-producing ozone reaches unhealthy levels, averaging 91 days, according to a detailed study by the American Lung Association released Tuesday. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_17936596?nclick_check=1 U.S. Metro Areas With Dirtiest Air Get Cleaner. Most U.S. cities with the dirtiest air are getting cleaner, but about half of Americans still live in areas where it's often difficult to breathe, the American Lung Association reports today. The group's 12th annual "State of the Air" report comes amid congressional efforts to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. "We're very pleased to report great progress," American Lung Association President Charles Connor said in announcing the findings, based on the most recently available EPA data. Yet he cautioned, "Air pollution remains a very real health threat." Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2011-04-27-city-smog-epa-dirty-air_n.htm?csp=34news Inland Empire's Air Some Of Worst In Nation. Riverside County residents continue to breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation, a report released today shows. Riverside County received an “F” for its air quality in the nationwide American Lung Association “State of the Air” report —a grade it's received every year since the report began in 1999. The county ranked fourth in the nation for the most polluted by particulates, such as dust and factory smoke, in a 24-hour period. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110427/NEWS07/104270308/Inland-Empire-s-air-some-worst-nation?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage REGION: Lung Association Gives Region 'F' On Air Quality. Despite recent improvements in air quality, the American Lung Association has flunked San Diego and Riverside counties on air pollution standards in its annual State of the Air report. The association gave both counties an F. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/article_6dfb9efe-04c0-5591-ad66-0003151c951f.html QUARRY: Hearing Fuels Cheers And Jeers. Six years of debate and emotion over a proposed open-pit mine just south of Temecula fueled applause, cheers, boos and sarcastic laughter that annoyed Riverside County planning commissioners during seven hours of testimony in a public hearing Wednesday that drew more than 1,000 people. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/temecula/stories/PE_News_Local_D_quarry27.2c2131061.html Bakersfield Again No. 1 For Particle Pollution. Bakersfield has in recent years seen some of the lowest levels of smog-producing ozone ever measured in the southern San Joaquin Valley, along with significant improvements in particle pollution. But that progress didn't save Bakersfield from being ranked the most polluted city in the nation by the American Lung Association's 12th annual "State of the Air" report released today. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x16510738/Bakersfield-again-No-1-for-particle-pollution Grants Aim To Reduce Air Pollution In Placer County. Auburn, Calif., -- The Placer County Air Pollution Control District recently announced that it is awarding $1 million in 2011 Clean Air Grant funds to 15 projects that will reduce air pollution in Placer County. “The Clean Air Grant program directly supports our primary goal of improving Placer County’s air quality,” said Tom Christofk, Placer County Air Pollution Control Officer. “It’s important that we support proactive approaches to reduce harmful emissions in the County. Posted. http://www.rocklintoday.com/news/templates/community_news.asp?articleid=9884&zoneid=4 CLIMATE CHANGE Do Americans Care About Climate Change Anymore? Talk of global warming has given way to green jobs and energy security. Earth Day, for some, is a yearly excuse to throw on a tie-dyed T-shirt, spend some time in the sun, and get some grass between the toes. In years past, it had also marked an opportunity for liberal policymakers and environmentalists to band together to warn about the effects of climate change. But today, climate change has taken a back seat to talk of clean technologies and energy security. Posted. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/04/27/do-americans-care-about-climate-change-anymore_print.html All Roads Lead To Home. Housing and transportation—the yin and yang of county planning. When the state Legislature passed two bills aimed at improving the environment, it seemed a laudable goal but a bit abstract for many. Well, the abstract is becoming reality as Marin and the rest of the state look at how those goals influence long-range planning. The first key piece of legislation, AB 32, became law in 2006. It mandates a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020—a 30 percent decrease. Posted. http://pacificsun.com/news/story_print.php?story_id=3043 VEHICLES Green Claims Of Diesel Cars Disputed. London (Reuters) - Modern diesel cars may not be as clean as previously thought, say some experts as regulators try to roll out industry standards to satisfy "green" consumers. Filter technologies have cleaned up diesel cars traditionally viewed as far more polluting than gasoline rivals, but their soot emissions are now underestimated, say some analysts. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/27/uk-autos-emissions-idUSLNE73Q02H20110427 Hybrid, Battery Car Demand Limited by Cost, Utility, J.D. Power Study Says. Demand for hybrid and rechargeable cars may stay below 10 percent of U.S. sales through at least 2016, even as fuel prices rise, because of consumer concerns about their expense and utility, J.D. Power & Associates said. Hybrids’ higher cost compared with gasoline-powered autos and the limited driving range per charge of all-electric and plug-in cars limits their appeal, J.D. Power said in its U.S. Green Automotive Study released today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-04-27/hybrid-battery-car-demand-limited-by-cost-utility-study-says.html Queen Of The Road: COMMUTER: I Am Thinking Of Converting My 2005 Prius To A Plug-In Electric. Will I be able to get a white sticker to drive solo in the carpool lane on Jan. 1? Darryl in Martinez. QUEEN: Darryl, the Queen is so glad you wrote in about this. Owners of hybrids such as the Prius soon will be getting notifications from the DMV that their carpool privileges expire on July 1. Hence, your question is most timely. How can conscientious, gasoline-conserving drivers continue to enjoy driving in the carpool lane with only one passenger? Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/columns/ci_17926589 Mitsubishi I To Debut In Hawaii First, Then West Coast States. Mitsubishi's entry into the electric car market will begin in Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington by the end of the year. The car is set to roll out nationwide in 2012, the company revealed last week. Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc., plans to market its Mitsubishi i on the low end of the EV market, with a sticker price of $27,990 for its base model. That cost could be lowered further still by state rebates and a federal tax credit of $7,500. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/04/27/5 GREEN ENERGY Santa Clara Solar Startup Miasolé Announces Consulting Deal With Intel. MiaSolé, a Santa Clara solar startup that makes thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, announced Tuesday a unique consulting agreement with chip manufacturing powerhouse Intel (INTC) to help it ramp up production. Under the yearlong contract, a dozen employees from Intel's Technical Manufacturing Services will work at MiaSolé, providing everything from employee training and strategic consulting to operational knowledge. Under the contract, Intel gets paid only as MiaSolé achieves a set of agreed-upon manufacturing milestones. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_17933557?nclick_check=1 MOJAVE DESERT: Solar Project Would Disturb Thousands Of Tortoises. More than 3,000 desert tortoises would be disturbed by a solar project in northeast San Bernardino County and as many as 700 young ones would be killed during three years of building, says a federal assessment issued Tuesday. The document, made public by the U.S. Bureau of Land of Management, was released about a week after federal officials ordered developer BrightSource Energy Co. to halt construction activity on two-thirds of the project area near Primm, Nev. Biologists hired by the company …Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_tortoises27.22ec228.html CSUSB To Offer 'Green Technology' Summer Courses. Cal State San Bernardino's College of Education and College of Extended Learning will jointly offer a new course this summer, "Exploration into Green Technology." The introductory course takes a look at some of the most popular green technology available today. "Exploration into Green Technology" will meet for five Wednesday evenings from June 29-July 27 from 6-9:50 p.m. at Cal State San Bernardino. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_N_ngreen27.22ee605.html Government Works To Push Down Price Of Solar. Santa Barbara — Much like the moonshot 50 years ago, the government is turning to the heavens to inspire a generation of scientists and innovators to help America reach its next big challenge. Only this time, it's the sun, not the moon, that is the object of desire. And instead of space travel, the focus is finding better ways to power the earth through the energy from the sun. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/apr/26/government-works-to-push-down-price-of-solar/ Livermore Lab Launches Research On 'Wakes' Every time a wind turbine spins and generates power, it also generates "wakes," or invisible ripples caused by air hitting the blade. At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, researchers are set to kick off a study on these wakes, with the aim to improve wind turbine efficiency. Jeff Mirocha, an atmospheric scientist at Livermore, said he hopes the research will lead to wind turbines "that will last longer and be more robust." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/04/27/7 Experts Call Marine Power Promising, Lacking Funding. In the past seven to eight years, several European nations spent a combined $500 to $600 million on marine hydrokinetic energy, the use of ocean waves, currents and heat to generate electricity. The United Kingdom alone invested $370 million. In contrast, the United States has invested just $150 million in the past 10 years in the technology, said Sean O'Neill, president of the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, a national trade association representing the emerging marine and hydrokinetic energy industry. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/04/27/8 OPINION Energy Deja Vu: Obama Must Break With Failed U.S. Policies. Despite soaring rhetoric and some promising proposals, President Obama is repeating the same mistakes that have doomed U.S. energy policy to failure for 40 years. Until Obama and Congress finally put a true price on the fossil fuels America consumes, the U.S. will continue its addiction to foreign oil and domestic coal. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/26/idUS125741760020110426 Greenhouse Gases: Too Hot For The Courts. A lawsuit filed by six states over greenhouse gases seems headed for defeat, but the EPA can still act. Despite the rants of some conservative politicians and fringe scientists, it's a fact that greenhouse gases produced by human activity contribute to global warming. Last week the Supreme Court considered one way that such emissions might be controlled: through a huge and unwieldy lawsuit brought by California and five other states against five power companies and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-warming-20110427,0,698112,print.story BLOGS The Many Shapes of Climate Knowledge. After I gave a talk at Pennsylvania State University not long ago, a professor there asked if I could share the slide I use to describe one source of confusion and disputes when people are yelling about “global warming” or “climate change.” Here’s an improved version of the slide, which I hope helps reveal that the issue can’t be meaningfully discussed without getting into some more specifics: The Many Shapes of Climate Knowledge. Confusion and division over “global warming” often grows out of the meaninglessness of the phrase on its own. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/the-many-shapes-of-climate-knowledge/?pagemode=print When Refrigerators Warm the Planet. The kitchen refrigerator is an obvious contributor to global warming because it usually sucks in electricity that was made by burning fossil fuels. But it turns out that the refrigerator does harm to the environment before it is even plugged in because the insulating foam in its innards is made with a gas that is more than 1,000 times worse, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide. General Electric GE’s first HFC-free model. Now, however, manufacturers are seizing on a single change can reduce both warming mechanisms at once. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/when-refrigerators-warm-the-planet/?pagemode=print U.S. Department Of Ed Unveils 'Green Ribbon Schools' Competition. The U.S. Department of Education announced today the creation of the Green Ribbon Schools program to recognize schools that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching environmental literacy. The new awards program will be run by the Education Department with the support of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/blogs/thegrade/x592175859/U-S-Department-of-Ed-unveils-green-ribbon-schools-competition A Second Life for the Electric Car Battery. As I wrote in a recent Times article on electric car batteries, scientists are expecting big breakthroughs in battery technology over the next five years that will increase the range of electric cars while reducing their cost. But even with these advances, researchers acknowledge that any rechargeable battery will gradually lose its capacity to store energy after repeated cycles of charging and discharging. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/a-second-life-for-the-electric-car-battery/?gwh=100EBD7B5EEB85B92BBF042FCB3C2175 J.D. Power: Fuel-Pump Savings, Not Environmental Benefits, Inform Most Alternative-Powertrain Purchases. For most car shoppers, a green vehicle’s ability to save an owner money at the pump is a greater motivator for purchase than its lower environmental impact. That is one of the primary findings of the inaugural 2011 U.S. Green Automotive Study by J. D. Power and Associates, released Wednesday. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/j-d-power-fuel-pump-savings-not-environmental-benefits-inform-most-alternative-powertrain-purchases/?scp=1&sq=green%20vehicles&st=cse&gwh=DF1B97C4AE3A615F4A623B91A71CB20C Speed Bump for Big SoCal Solar Project. It had been a good month for BrightSource Energy, the Oakland-based company that's building the massive Ivanpah solar farm in the Mojave Desert. Google announced it would invest $168 million in the project. The Department of Energy announced $1.6 billion loan guarantee. And on Friday, the company announced it plans to go public with a $250 million initial public offering. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/04/26/speed-bump-for-big-socal-solar-project/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FClimateWatchBlog+%28KQED%27s+Climate+Watch+Blog%29&utm_content=Google+Reader What Are CO2e And Global Warming Potential (GWP)? This question and answer is part of the Guardian's ultimate climate change FAQ. CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints. The idea is to express the impact of each different greenhouse gas in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming. That way, a carbon footprint consisting of lots of different greenhouse gases can be expressed as a single number. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/27/co2e-global-warming-potential/print