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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 15, 2011.

Posted: 15 Jun 2011 14:26:18
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 15, 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.


Study Looks At Air Quality Of West LB Rail Yard. Researchers are
wrapping up work on a detailed two-year study of health impacts
from pollutants emitted by trains, trucks and cranes at a massive
rail yard bordering West Long Beach. The Intermodal Container
Transfer Facility, or ICTF, moves about 750,000 containers
annually through a roughly 150-acre facility on Willow Street
just west of the city’s border. Posted.

Air Quality Exec's Compensation: Nearly $400,000.  You might want
to take a deep breath before reading this.  The executive officer
at the South Coast Air Quality Management District – the air
pollution control agency for Orange County and the urban parts of
Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, which happen
to be one of the smoggiest in America – had $386,423 in total
compensation in 2009, according to figures from the state
controller’s office.  Posted. 

AEP's Shutdown Claims Are 'Misleading At Best' – Jackson. EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson had harsh words for American Electric
Power Co. Inc. this morning, a week after the utility shook up
the debate over new emissions rules by announcing it would shut
down 6,000 megawatts of coal-fired plants in the next few years.
The Columbus, Ohio-based company's claims were "misleading at
best, scare tactics at worst," Jackson said after a Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the Clean Air
Act. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/06/15/3


A Green Solution, or the Dark Side to Cleaner Coal? The six
massive silos standing beside this industrial port in
northeastern China hold seemingly contradictory promises: They
could help improve the quality of China’s polluted air, but they
might also contribute to faster global warming.  The silos, which
are scheduled to start operation in July, are designed to blend
cleaner-burning imported coal with China’s own high-polluting
domestic coal, which is contaminated with sulfur and dust.

Doctors Prepare Their Professions to Explain and Treat
Climate-Related Symptoms. Dr. Anthony Szema is used to seeing
patients with red eyes and runny noses. But in the past couple of
years, the New York-based allergist has been faced with an
onslaught of patients complaining their symptoms are starting
earlier and hitting harder than ever before. Szema believes
climate change is a culprit in the extended severe allergy
seasons. And he is one of a small number of physicians who are
beginning to talk to their patients about it. Posted.

Climate Change Link to Fires Ignites Senate Committee. Climate
change crept into the discussion of fire management at a Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing yesterday,
despite Republicans' tiptoeing around the issue. As fires like
the voracious Wallow Fire spread throughout the Southwest, the
U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior are being
pressed to offer solutions. Posted.

UN: Tackling Smog Key To Limiting Global Warming. Tackling smog
and soot could provide a cheap and effective way of slowing
global warming in the short term as well as benefiting
agriculture and respiratory health, according to a new UN report.
Combating ground-level ozone and limiting so-called 'black
carbon' particles from vehicles, cooking stoves and inefficient
biomass burning could cut as much as 0.5 degrees Celsius off the
projected two degrees Celsius rise by 2050, the study says,
echoing a UN paper published in February. Posted.


Obama Hydrogen Fuel Failure Conceded by Chu Paring Budget: Cars. 
Bloomberg June 14 --Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose mandate
includes getting more fuel-efficient cars on U.S. roads, is
disregarding advisers in his own department and seeking to cut
almost half the federal funding for hydrogen-powered autos.   A
Nobel Prize-winning physicist who also researched advanced
biofuels, Chu says hydrogen fuel-cell technology developed by
carmakers such as General Motors Co., Daimler AG and Toyota Motor
Corp. isn’t yet practical. Auto companies and members of a
government panel say he’s wrong and that they will be ready to
market such cars by 2015.  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. (Bloomberg)  

Effort to End Tax Credit for Ethanol Fails in Senate.  The Senate
beat back a challenge to ethanol fuel subsidies on Tuesday in a
demonstration of how the drive to cut the federal deficit can run
headlong into a favored interest on Capitol Hill. At the same
time, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. expressed confidence
about bipartisan talks aimed at producing a budget deal that
would clear the way this summer for an increase in the federal
debt ceiling. Posted. 

Ethanol Subsidy Faces More Senate Tests.  On Tuesday afternoon
after the Senate failed to back an amendment that would have put
an abrupt end to $6 billion a year of subsidies for corn ethanol,
the president of the Renewable Fuels Association, Bob Dinneen,
savored the moment.  “Sometimes your opponents give you a gift,”
he said, referring to the strategy of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.),
who introduced the amendment and unsuccessfully pressed for an
end to debate on the matter. “The way Coburn went about this
didn’t help his cause,” Dinneen said.  Posted. 

Biodiesel Sets Sail. A high percentage of biodiesel is used by
consumers on land, and marine operators are trying to match that
same level of usage by sea. Encountering red tape isn’t new for
alternative fuels such as biodiesel on their journey to
acceptance as viable, on-road fuel. The same could be said for
its off-road applications, specifically in maritime use. Posted.

DTE Energy’s Coal-To-Biomass Conversion Approved. DTE Energy has
received approval from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution
Control District in California to convert a coal-fired power
plant to biomass fuel. In July 2010, DTE bought the plant, which
was closed in April 2009 after operating for 20 years. It is
located at the Port of Stockton, a major deepwater port in
Stockton, Calif., that is situated on the San Joaquin River.


Electric Vehicle Batteries As Energy Storage Devices.  In some
years, lithium-ion batteries may become determinant to supply
energy to households during energy peak consumption periods.
Presently, utilities and distributors recur to generators that
are activated during peak consumption to compensate for load
fluctuations. Frequency regulation, as the practice is known, is
a market valued at $1bn. (€700 m.) and could benefit from the
introduction of electric vehicles as smart grid energy
components.  Posted. 

First Customers are Key to EV Sales Success, Execs Say. Word of
mouth is a key element to generating buyers for electric and
plug-in hybrid vehicles. Today, it's the early adapters,
tech-savvy buyers who are embracing the technology and buying the
plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt and the battery-powered Nissan
Leaf. But for these vehicles and similar models to go mainstream,
anxiety about the technology needs to be eliminated. Posted. 

GM Investing In Electric Bus Company. General Motors Co.
announced a partnership Monday with Proterra Inc., a company that
makes zero-emission electric buses and the automated bus
recharging stations that service them. Proterra, based in Golden,
Colo., has already shipped a fleet of its buses to Pomona,
Calif., last September, and San Antonio and Tallahassee, Fla.,
have already placed orders, with deliveries set for later this
year. Posted.

GM Expresses Optimism For Volt Sales Despite Slow Start. Next
year, Chevrolet will make its extended-range electric Volt
available in all 50 states and lower the sticker price to
$39,995, but whether the changes can overcome a sluggish start to
its sales remains to be seen. General Motors Co. reported 481
Volts sold last month, down from 493 in April and 608 in March --
a total of 2,184 sales in three months. By contrast, the company
reported 22,711 sales in May of the Chevy Cruze, a fuel-efficient
compact. Posted.


Comments Sought On Solar Farm.  The public can comment Thursday
evening on the solar electricity system proposed for 160 acres
just north of Modesto.  The Modesto Irrigation District will take
comment on the draft environmental impact report for the project.
 Although solar is seen as an alternative to more polluting power
sources, the planners have to document the project's effects on
the environment. They include the loss of farmland and the
aesthetics of the solar panels.  Posted. 

Calif. Energy Efficiency Guru To Spread The Word In Russia. When
Arthur Rosenfeld joined the California Energy Commission in 2000,
the state electric power system was teetering on the verge of an
energy crisis. "It was clear we were going to crash," Rosenfeld
explains. "Utilities didn't know how to predict future demand.
There hadn't been enough power plants built." Rosenfeld, an
85-year-old scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory, is considered the godfather of energy efficiency in
California. Posted.

2 More DOE Loan Guarantees Awarded To Calif. Projects. Two more
concentrated solar power projects yesterday won big-money loans
from the U.S. Energy Department. Energy Secretary Steven Chu
announced conditional offers of nearly $2 billion to NextEra
Energy Resources LLC and Abengoa Solar Inc. for plants to be
built in an arid, open section of Southern California that has
become a target for large-scale solar development. Posted.


Mary Nichols.  Mary D. Nichols is Chairman of the California Air
Resources Board, a post she has held since 2007.  Nichols has
devoted her entire career in public and private, not-for-profit
service to advocating for the environment and public health. In
addition to her work at the Air Board, she has held a number of
positions, including: assistant administrator for the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under
the Clinton Administration, Secretary for California's Resources
Agency from 1999 to 2003, and Director of the University of
California, Los Angeles Institute of the Environment.  Posted. 


California Redoes Its Greenhouse Gas Analysis. California Air
Resources Board A summary of how various approaches to
controlling emissions are expected to meet 20 objectives set by
California air regulators. Nothing focuses the mind like being
told by a thesis adviser (or a judge) that your analysis is
inadequate and that your degree (or your carefully constructed
policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions) will be on hold
until you provide a better one. Posted.

Environmentalists Unhappy With Latest CARB Revision. The first
article in this series questioned whether environmentalists will
stand in the way as California gears up to meet the requirements
of Assembly Bill 32, more commonly known as the Global Warming
Solutions Act.  With some research, it would appear that answer
is “yes.” The first round of reductions mandated by AB 32 are
scheduled to be in place in slightly over six months.  Posted.

Fast Action On Black Carbon, Ozone And Methane Could Help Limit
Global Temperature Rise To 2 Degrees C.  Fast action on
pollutants such as black carbon, ground-level ozone and methane
may help limit near term global temperature rise and
significantly increase the chances of keeping temperature rise
below 2 °C (3.6 °F)—and perhaps even 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), according
to a new assessment released today in Bonn, Germany, during a
meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC).  Posted. 
Science Connects Climate Change And Wildfires. Why Won’t The
Media?  One of the least controversial impacts of the climate
crisis is more frequent, severe, and damaging wildfires in
America's West. Why won't reporters say so?  It's been a scary
spring for wildfires in places like Arizona, New Mexico, and
Texas. Global warming caused by human-made carbon pollution is
fueling perfect conditions, with longer fire seasons, drier
conditions, and more lightning strikes.  Posted. 

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