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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 13, 2011. Posted: 13 May 2011 12:02:30
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 13, 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 Alaska Offshore Oil Bill May Boost State Air Pollution, EPA Says. A Republican proposal in the House aimed at speeding up oil production in Alaska may expose the state’s population to significant air pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in opposing the measure. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-05-12/alaska-oil-drilling-legislation-may-boost-pollution-epa-official-says.html Neighbors Oppose Strawberry Farms' Fumigant Use. When Annette Danzer and her husband moved into a house surrounded by brush and strawberry fields on California's Central Coast, they were drawn by the rural feel and closeness to nature. Three years later, the couple fears the fields near Salinas could become a health threat due to potential use of the pesticide methyl iodide. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/05/13/2386725/neighbors-oppose-strawberry-farms.html#storylink=misearch http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18055926?nclick_check=1 http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_f6a45e64-127c-5b5e-b281-339269ea506b.html CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Treaty Is Possible, UN Envoy Says, Rejecting U.S. View. The United Nations diplomat leading talks on a binding treaty to curb global warming today rejected the U.S. position that the negotiations are based on unrealistic expectations. “What is not doable is not to address climate change and not to do it in a timely fashion and at the level which it merits and with the urgency it needs to be done,” Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change told reporters in New York. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-05-12/climate-treaty-is-possible-un-envoy-says-rejecting-u-s-view.html Research Panel Says Climate Change Doubts Slow Urgent Action. Public misconceptions of climate change have thwarted urgently needed U.S. efforts to reduce emissions blamed for global warming, according to a report from the National Research Council of the National Academies. The media sometimes present aspects of climate change that are well-established as if they were “matters of serious debate,” according to the report released today in Washington. Groups opposed to policies limiting carbon-dioxide emissions…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-05-12/public-doubts-on-climate-change-delay-urgent-action-report-says.html Scientists’ Report Stresses Urgency of Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The nation’s scientific establishment issued a stark warning to the American public on Thursday: Not only is global warming real, but the effects are already becoming serious and the need has become “pressing” for a strong national policy to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/science/earth/13climate.html?_r=1 As Clinton Works Against Global Warming In Greenland, Some There Don’t Mind It. Nuuk, Greenland — Few places on Earth have seen starker changes in weather than this icebound island straddling the Arctic Circle. With that in mind, America’s top diplomat arrived here this week intent on calling attention to the perils of climate change. The problem was that Greenlanders aren’t exactly complaining. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/as-clinton-works-against-global-warming-in-greenland-some-there-dont-mind-it/2011/05/12/AF5d4O1G_print.html Sierra Club Wants Landmark Climate Law Altered. California's quest to create the world's first clean energy economy was again under fire this week when the Sierra Club urged Gov. Jerry Brown to drastically alter key elements of the much criticized climate protection law. The state's largest environmental group urged the governor in a May 9 letter to re-evaluate and revise proposed "cap-and-trade" business incentives, particularly the rules that would allow companies to offset their pollution by purchasing credits from clean businesses outside the state and country. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/13/BAJL1JF37G.DTL&type=printable UN Climate Chief Predicts US Turnaround On Warming. New York -- Washington's inaction on climate legislation is a "very serious hand brake" on world efforts to combat global warming, the U.N. climate chief said Thursday. But Christiana Figueres said she believes the U.S. will eventually join the rest of the industrialized world in mandatory reductions of greenhouse gases. "I don't think it's a permanent state of affairs that the world will be able to live with," she said of the failure of the U.S. Congress to cap emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/12/3622712/un-climate-chief-predicts-us-turnaround.html Report: Strong U.S. Action Needed On Warming. The United States should lead a strong national and worldwide response to the threat of global warming, including placing a price tag on greenhouse gas emissions and assisting other nations in dealing with climate effects, according to a new report from the National Academy of Sciences. "The message in a nutshell is that this committee reaffirms that climate change is occurring, and that it's very likely caused primarily by human activity," said Albert Carnesale…Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/report-300243-climate-says.html Huntsman On Cap And Trade: 'It Hasn't Worked'. Jon Huntsman is backing away from his support for a cap-and-trade system for Western states that he once championed as Utah governor. "It hasn't worked," the potential GOP presidential candidate told Time Magazine in his first extended interview since leaving his post as U.S. ambassador to China. "And our economy's in a different place than five years ago." Until the economy recovers, Huntsman added, "this isn't the moment" to implement it. Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54890.html U.S. Looks To Germany For Landfill Lessons. In 2005, a landfill ban on untreated household waste in Germany forced the country to stare its trash problems in the eye, and pushed it to become one of the most efficient waste managers in the world. Now, American waste management stakeholders are turning to German policymakers for examples of how to better deal with garbage, especially when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/05/13/9 U.S. Climate Action Urgent – Report. Climate change poses "significant risks" to society, the National Academy of Sciences said yesterday, warning that delaying cuts in greenhouse gas emissions will make dealing with the problem harder in the future. "Each additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted commits us to further change and greater risks," an academy panel said in a new report, which calls for the federal government to take a lead role in combating climate change at home and abroad. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/05/13/7 Africa: The Hype Versus the Reality of Carbon Markets. The launch of an Africa Carbon Exchange is unlikely to meet the goals of curbing carbon emissions and financing adaptation needs, writes Shefali Sharma. The Africa Carbon Exchange (ACX) was launched in Nairobi on March 24; yet only two days before, Bloomberg headlines announced: 'Global Carbon Credits Die as Smart Money Backs Indian RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates). Posted. http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/201105130703.html RGGI NEWS COVERAGE New Hampshire Senate Votes to Amend Involvement in Carbon Market. The New Hampshire Senate voted to amend, rather than repeal, the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The state’s House of Representatives approved in March a bill to exit the 10-state program. Under the amended bill approved today by a vote of 16 to eight, the state’s would replace an emission reduction fund with an energy efficiency fund and would increase energy-efficiency rebates. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-05-11/new-hampshire-senate-votes-to-amend-involvement-in-carbon-market.html Delaware Bill To Quit Regional Climate Pact Stalls. Members of the House Energy Committee voted Wednesday to keep a bill in committee that would seek to end Delaware's participation in a regional program aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. After a hearing lasting nearly two hours, committee members voted to table the measure, meaning they would not release it for discussion by the full House. The proposal seeks an end to Delaware's participation in the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known as RGGI, or "Reggie." Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9N5UG701.htm Environment Maine Hails Panel’s Decision to Keep Maine in RGGI Program. Augusta, Maine—The Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee today rejected a bill, LD 793, which would have withdrawn Maine from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Instead, it reaffirmed an existing condition for Maine’s participation in the RGGI program. “The RGGI program is a win-win for Maine’s environment and economy. It’s cutting pollution, reducing energy costs, and creating jobs. Posted. http://www.environmentmaine.org/news-releases/global-warming/global-warming/environment-maine-hails-panels-decision-to-keep-maine-in-rggi-program?noCache=497:1305203949 FUELS Obama Administration Set To Raise Fuel Efficiency Standards, But By How Much? As the first Toyota Priuses took to U.S. roads more than a decade ago and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz touted their virtues, enthusiasts predicted that hybrid cars would quickly become mainstream. But there was a problem: They cost too much, and consumers spurned them. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/obama-administration-set-to-raise-fuel-efficiency-standards-but-by-how-much/2011/05/09/AFQsJ00G_story.html China Suspends Exports Of Diesel Fuel To Counter Energy Shortages During Peak Summer Season. SHANGHAI — China is suspending exports of diesel fuel to help counter shortages likely to worsen during the peak summer months. The National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s planning agency, on Friday urged oil companies to help “maintain social stability and promote economic development” by increasing refinery output and stepping up new projects to ensure stable supplies. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/china-suspends-exports-of-diesel-fuel-to-counter-energy-shortages-during-peak-summer-season/2011/05/12/AFByHf1G_print.html Carmakers Urge Obama Admin To Move Slowly On Fuel-Economy Standards. The nation's largest automakers are urging the Obama administration to go slowly on setting fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles in the wake of a recent call by a bipartisan group of senators for a 62-mile-per-gallon standard. In a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said it would be "inappropriate" to promote a fuel economy target before the proper analysis was completed. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/05/13/17 Making a Great Fuel Even Better. How replacing natural gas with biomass as feedstock for methanol production can improve biodiesel's already good environmental footing. The vast majority of methanol produced today is sourced from natural gas, but this has not always been the case. A biobased version of the alcohol was produced for centuries before the industry moved to fossil-based feedstock. Posted. http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/7792/making-a-great-fuel-even-better GREEN ENERGY Solar Plane Takes Off For 1st International Flight. Geneva -- A team of Swiss adventurers took their solar-powered plane on its first international flight Friday, a 370-mile (600-kilometer) leap from a small airfield in Switzerland to Brussels airport in Belgium. The Solar Impulse HB-SIA single-seater prototype took off from Payerne airfield in Switzerland at 8:40 a.m. (0640 GMT) after a three-hour delay due to strong winds. It is expected to reach Brussels by nightfall. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/05/12/1686512/solar-plane-takes-off-for-1st.html MISCELLANEOUS Coastal Fireworks In South O.C. And San Diego County Now Need Pollution Permits. The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board adopts new rules — the first in the nation— for displays over water. Operators will pay a $1,500 fee, minimize the discharge of pollutants into the water and clean up shells, fuses and other debris. Water regulators have voted to require pollution permits for coastal fireworks displays in southern Orange County and San Diego County, in what they said was the first such regulation in the nation. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0513-coast-fireworks-20110513,0,5828132.story Wide Disparities In Public Transit Access Keep Residents From Jobs, Brookings Study Says. Washington -- Seven in 10 working-age metropolitan residents live within three-quarters of a mile of a transit stop. But a new study from the Brookings Institution found that these commuters can reach only 30 percent of the jobs in their area in under 90 minutes. The report, "Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America,” revealed access to jobs varied widely across metro areas: Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/12/wide-disparities-in-public-transit-access-jobs-brookings_n_861336.html?view=print OPINION It's Time To End Ethanol Subsidies. America's ethanol subsidies and tariffs are outdated, expensive and damaging. There's no good reason we should continue offering them, and a bipartisan pair of U.S. senators have sponsored an amendment to abolish them. There are three subsidies and tax credits for ethanol. One of them is a 45-cent-per-gallon blender's tax credit. That subsidy alone costs taxpayers about $6 billion a year. Another is a 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, which is less expensive than the domestic product. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/13/EDLD1JES31.DTL&type=printable At A Disadvantage. I was glad to see a Reporter editorial addressing the seeming inconsistencies between our local Vacaville general plan and the regional Association of Bay Area Governments-Metropolitan Transportation Commission's "Plan Bay Area" ("Regional vs. Local Control," May 8.) The editorial referred to it as a tug of war and, indeed, it is just that. There are a couple of issues, though, that give the regional planners a longer, stronger rope with which to tug: * Sustainable Community Strategy: The Vacaville general plan update is subject to 2008 state legislation governing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming (SB 375 and AB 32). Posted. http://www.thereporter.com/opinion/ci_18056022 Some Common Sense About Global Warming. Can we lay folk agree on some uncommon common sense about this controversy over global warming? Here are some of my musings about it. Without human help, our globe - once it solidified and held an atmosphere - has had a changing climate. We cannot know all its changes over several billion years, but we know that, during recent millennia, terrestrial, solar and maybe even cosmic forces have influenced the overall coldness and warmth of the globe. Again, without human help. Posted. http://www.ledger-dispatch.com/printer/article.asp?c=277680 BLOGS Oakland Airport Builds E.V. Chargers and Awaits the E.V.’s. If every electric car in the United States suddenly descended on Oakland International Airport, only 15 of them would be able to charge their batteries. But for E.V. drivers in the Bay Area, that is plenty of capacity, for now. As it makes preparations to accommodate E.V.-driving travelers, Oakland Airport officials will formally inaugurate 15 charging stations next week. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/oakland-airport-builds-e-v-chargers-and-awaits-the-e-v-s/ Greenland Benefits From Global Warming. “Rather than questioning global warming, many of this island’s 60,000 inhabitants seem to be racing to cash in. The tiny capital of Nuuk is bracing for record numbers of visitors this year; the retreating sea ice means a longer tourist season and more cruise ships from the United States. Hunters are boasting of more and bigger caribou, and the annual cod migration is starting earlier and lasting longer. Posted. http://washingtonexaminer.com/print/blogs/opinion-zone/2011/05/greenland-benefits-global-warming High Marks but Few Takers on California Transit. A new study from the Brookings Institution finds that compared with the rest of the nation, the Bay Area offers pretty good public transportation options. Among 100 major metropolitan areas, San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont ranks 16th, and San Jose-Santa Clara-Sunnyvale ranks second. Areas were ranked according to how accessible transit is to riders, how long it takes to get to work on transit and how often the systems run during rush hours. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/05/12/high-marks-but-few-takers-on-california-transit/ Jon Huntsman, Once A Climate Hawk, Now Disses Cap-And-Trade Like All The Other Republicans. A couple of months ago, I asked, "Is Jon Huntsman the greenest GOP presidential hopeful?" In 2007, as Utah governor, he brought his state into the Western Climate Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade program. And up through 2009, when he took the post of ambassador to China, he called repeatedly for climate action. Posted. http://www.grist.org/election-2012/2011-05-12-jon-huntsman-now-disses-cap-and-trade-like-other-republicans