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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 4, 2011.

Posted: 04 May 2011 15:32:02
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 4, 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.


Asthma Rate Rises Sharply in U.S., Government Says. Americans are
suffering from asthma in record numbers, according to a study
released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Nearly one in 10 children and almost one in 12
Americans of all ages now has asthma, government researchers
said. Posted.

Region’s Air Is Cleaner, Report Says. The Sacramento region has
made big cuts in air pollution over the past 20 years despite a
40 percent increase in population, according to a new air quality
progress report released Tuesday by the Cleaner Air Partnership.
The report found the region still needs to do more to reduce
health effects of poor air quality. The rate of asthma
hospitalizations, for example, has declined — but there were
still 2,233 hospitalizations in 2009. Still, efforts to curb
pollution have paid off, the report concludes. Posted.

House Bill Would Require Regular Economic Analysis of EPS Regs.
Two members of Congress will introduce a bill today that would
require agencies to conduct periodic analyses of the effect of a
range of air quality rules on the U.S. economy, the reliability
of the power supply, employment and international
competitiveness. Posted.


Climate Activists Target States With Lawsuits. Billings, Mont.  A
group of attorneys using children and young adults as plaintiffs
plans to file legal actions in every state and the District of
Columbia on Wednesday in an effort to force government
intervention on climate change. The courtroom ploy is backed by
high-profile activists looking for a legal soft spot to advance a
cause that has stumbled in the face of stiff congressional
opposition and a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court. Posted.



New Alarm On Melting Ice: 5-Foot Sea Level Spike. Stockholm --
The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster
than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much
as 5 feet this century, dramatically higher than earlier
projections, an authoritative international assessment says. The
findings "emphasize the need for greater urgency" in combatting
global warming, says the report of the Arctic Monitoring and
Assessment Programme (AMAP), the scientific arm of the
eight-nation Arctic Council. Posted.

Climate Change: Report Offers Strategies To Adapt. The Bay Area
must start prepping for the whens, not the ifs, of climate change
- like building cooling centers for use during heat waves,
propping up homes on stilts in flood-prone areas and even
abandoning roadways vulnerable to sea-level rise, according to an
influential urban policy organization. Posted.

Rwanda Gets $30 Million World Bank Grant For Skills Development. 
Rwanda received $36.5 million of grants to develop skills and a
strategic plan for the environment, the Finance and Economic
Planning Ministry said. The East African will receive $30 million
from the World Bank for skills development and $6.5 million from
Sweden to implement its climate-change plan, the Kigali-based
ministry said on its website today. Posted.

Central Valley Small Businesses Recognized For Climate-Smart
Efforts. Six small businesses in the Central Valley or foothills
are among 23 statewide that have been singled out by the
California Air Resources Board for their “climate-smart” actions.
The CARB program recognizes California small businesses that
demonstrate leadership and made notable, voluntary achievements
toward reducing their climate impact. “These California small
business owners demonstrate passion and conviction for reducing
their impact on the environment,” says CARB Chairman Mary
Nichols. Posted.

Richardson: Climate Right for Change. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill
Richardson hopes that Osama bin Laden's death will spur President
Barack Obama to promote climate change legislation. “My hope is
that from this success in the foreign policy arena two days ago,
that he will be emboldened to take once again to the Congress
legislation — not just to increase a renewable energy standard —
but climate change legislation that this country and the world
need,” …Posted.


Economic Studies of Biofuels Paint Opposing Pictures in Gas Price
Wars. Both sides in the debate over government biofuels support
are looking to bolster their arguments with numbers, as new,
warring economic studies present differing figures on the role
that ethanol production plays in gasoline pricing. A paper by two
economists published by the Center for Agricultural and Rural
Development (CARD) at Iowa State University argues that ethanol
production has reduced wholesale gasoline prices by 25 cents per
gallon on average over the past 10 years, with recent price
impacts in certain markets reducing the cost by as much as $1.37
per gallon. Posted.

Grassley Plans Bill to Tie Ethanol Tax Break to Oil, Group Says.
U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, plans to
introduce legislation that would tie an ethanol tax break to the
price of oil, said Matt Hartwig, a spokesman for the Renewable
Fuels Association in Washington. The measure, which Grassley may
offer today, would convert the 45-cent credit into a “variable
tax credit that would adjust based on the price of oil,” Hartwig
said in an e-mail. Posted.

Senators Introduce Bipartisan bill Scuttling Subsidy, Import
Tariff. A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation
yesterday that would immediately end a federal ethanol tax break
and a tariff on ethanol imports. Sens. Dianne Feinstein
(D-Calif.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are spearheading the measure,
which also lists as co-sponsors Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Richard
Burr (R-N.C.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and
James Risch (R-Idaho). Feinstein filed a similar measure in
March, and Coburn has long been critical of ethanol use … Posted.

“Exploding Lake’ Could Power Economic ‘Revolution’. Spanning the
borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the
serene waters of Lake Kivu hide a deadly secret. Beneath its
tranquil surface, the 1,000-square mile expanse of water is one
of the continent's "exploding lakes," thanks to the rich supplies
of methane gas that are lying in its depths. Because of the
area's volcanoes and anaerobic bacteria in the water, there is an
estimated 60 billion cubic meters of methane gas and carbon
dioxide trapped in the deep-water lake. Posted.


Queen of the Road: Right Turns On Red and Plug-In Hybrids. QUEEN:
Her Majesty recently ran a letter from a reader asking about
converting his hybrid car, a Prius, to a plug-in. In her
response, she quoted a spokesman for a public agency about kits
for conversion and their cost, and here's what a reader said:
COMMUTER: I love the doublespeak of John Swanton, the "smog
expert" from the California Air Resources Board. I have some
specific questions for him. Steve, Antioch. QUEEN: Steve then
went on with questions for Swanton. Posted.

Small Cars Boosting Sales For Carmakers As Consumers Look To
Fuel-Efficient Models. Higher gas prices meant more small cars
were sold last month. Several automakers reported better than
expected sales in April as buyers turned to smaller, more
fuel-efficient models to counter the rising cost of gas that's
now near $4 a gallon.
The trend was welcome news for the U.S. auto industry, which
posted sales of more than 13 million vehicles for the third
straight month - the first time that's happened since the summer
of 2008. Posted.

Congress Might Charge Up the Electric Car Industry. A bill to set
up a pilot project that could give a boost to electric cars has
begun its meandering through Congress. Co-authored by Central
Valley Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, it would establish 10
“deployment communities” around the country to serve as hubs for
increasing the use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.


Turning His Near-Ghost Town Into A Clean-Tech Boomtown. Gerald
Freeman saw the tiny outpost of Nipton, Calif., as 'a little
place to make a home' and maybe some money. He bought it in the
1980s and has moved toward creating a sustainable wonderland.
Gerald Freeman was prospecting for gold in the Mojave Desert when
he stumbled on Nipton. In 1984, it had become a virtual ghost
town. Posted.

NJ Company to Build $18M Solar Energy Project. A New Jersey
company says it will invest $18 million to install a solar power
system capable of producing 3.6 megawatts of electricity, or
enough to power 450 homes every year. The clean energy division
of New Jersey Resources is leasing 13 acres in Manalapan to build
a "solar field" of ground-mounted, crystalline panels. The energy
generated will be fed into the power grid through the wholesale
market. Posted.

Wary of Cheaper Gas, E.U. Climate Chief Wants to Raise Renewable
Energy Target. E.U. climate Chief Connie Hedegaard is pushing to
stretch Europe's renewable energy targets to 2030, in an effort
to boost the industry amidst attacks from the gas sector.
Hedegaard wants to extend mandatory targets for renewable energy
beyond 2020. After then, the current commitment to generate 20
percent of energy from renewables will expire. The natural gas
industry has been lobbying intensely to brand gas as a cheaper
alternative to renewables, holding a series of meetings with
high-ranking E.U. officials. Posted.


A Remote Town In Hawaii Has the Most Expensive Gas In The U.S. In
Hana on the island of Maui, a gallon of regular costs $6.03, more
than $2 above the national average. Among the cheapest places was
a convenience store in Casper, Wyo., where regular was selling
for $3.36 a gallon. If you're fed up with high gasoline prices,
you might want to avoid the roads less traveled. Posted.

A Fresh Cabin Air Filter Creates ‘Breathing Room’ Inside Your
Vehicle. BROADVIEW, Ill.- Let's say you are about to take a long
road trip. It's one thing to have to clean out your car ahead of
time to create enough space for you and your family to be
comfortable inside. But did you know that you could also help
them breathe more comfortably — especially if some of them suffer
from seasonal allergies or asthma? Posted.


Commentary: Could High Gas Prices Be A Good Thing? Are high gas
prices a good thing? That is not as dumb a question as it sounds.
Examine a few revealing past remarks from President Obama and the
Cabinet officials who are now in charge of the nation's energy
use and oil leases on federal lands. Then decide whether the
current soaring gas prices are supposed to be good or bad.

Is That A Nose On Your Chin? Along with my trusty Schwinn, the
buses of Orange County have been my primary source of
transportation for the past couple of years. 
I’m not an environmentalist or anything like that — trying to do
my part to cut down on emissions — I am though what you might
call fiscally challenged.  Therefore I don’t have a vehicle that
runs. Posted.


Electronic Health Records: Green of Polluter?  This is the year
that billions of dollars in government incentive payments are set
to begin flowing to the nation’s doctors and hospitals to
encourage them to adopt computerized patient records. The goal,
of course, is to help improve the quality of care and curb costs.
But what about the environmental impact? That was the question
asked by researchers at Kaiser Permanente, a giant health-care
group, which covers 8.7 million people in nine states and the
District of Columbia. Posted.

Are Rising Seas Returning to the West Coast? Researchers say sea
levels haven't been rising along the West Coast of North America
for decades, but that could be about to change, according to a
new study. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography say
they've observed changing wind patterns that, if persistent,
could soon speed up sea level rise along California's shores.

CAFO Air Pollution Crackdown? I'm traveling in New Mexico this
week, learning about its dairy industry, and thinking a fair bit
about how we raise animals -- for milk and meat -- in the United
States. Many of the people I've met so far on this trip live very
near large dairies. Some of the people I hope to meet later run
large dairies, or consult with them to help them be more
efficient or environmentally-benign. Posted.

Pioneering Wind Energy Study Looks 30-50 Years Ahead for Global
Warming. "First ever analysis of long-term stability of wind over
the U.S." This week's Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences (often just known by its acronym: PNAS) contains the
first ever analysis of long-term wind stability in the United
States. The goal was to see if global warming will have a big
impact on wind patterns and, potentially, disrupt wind power
production, compounding the problems caused by climate change.
The results are very interesting... Posted.

Wakening the Kraken: Methane and Warming Oceans. Methane (CH4) is
a very potent greenhouse gas, 20-30 times more powerful than
carbon dioxide (CO2) on a century timescale. Fortunately, it only
occurs in very low concentrations in the atmosphere - about 0.3
to 0.4 parts per million during ice ages and 0.6 to 0.7ppm during
warmer periods. Posted.

Evs Help Out In Japan Crisis And New I-Miev And Leaf To Store
Energy - In the area in Eastern Japan that was hit hardest by the
earthquake and tsunami in March, electric vehicle sales are
soaring. Terra Motors, a manufacturer of e-bikes and e-scooters
reports that while the company has sold 300 units in 2010, they
have sold 200 units in the weeks after the earthquake alone. As
gasoline is scarce in the affected areas, the electric
two-wheelers are often the only means of transport.  Posted. 
Guidelines For The Safe Conversion Of Electric Cars.  The
Japanese Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles
(APEV) has published guidelines for conversion of gasoline cars
to electric vehicles. The need arose as over the last years more
and more businesses as well as private people started to convert
cars to EVs which can bear some risks if not done properly. 
Posted.  http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/57320110503.php

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