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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 23, 2011. Posted: 23 Jun 2011 11:47:28
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 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. AIR POLLUTION Oil Drilling Approvals by EPA Expedited Under House-Passed Bill. The Environmental Protection Agency would have to issue or deny air permits for offshore oil drilling within six months under legislation passed by the U.S. House. As oil prices climbed 23 percent over the past year, Republicans have pushed legislation that would expand drilling off the Alaska coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill to tighten environmental deadlines passed the Republican-led House yesterday on a vote of 253 to 166. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-23/oil-drilling-approvals-by-epa-expedited-under-house-passed-bill.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18332548 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18332548 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jun/22/house-votes-to-ease-rules-for-offshore-drilling/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_a6ac56db-64f8-5df2-b768-ff13a10fab45.html INLAND AREA: Hot Weather Kick-Starts Smog Season. People who have been feeling a bit fatigued and headachy may be suffering from the unhealthful levels of air pollution reported in the past week. With the warm weather, smog season 2011 has kicked into gear. Air quality officials expect most of the remaining summer days to be smoggy ones, making life more difficult for people already coping with cardiac ailments, asthma or other respiratory conditions. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_ozone23.3f87bcc.html Heat, Pollution Pose Dangers To Sensitive Groups. Heat and pollution combined Wednesday to give Bakersfield residents an exhausting day, as the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District posted its air pollution index to "unhealthy for sensitive groups" and temperatures reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The air district forecasts Thursday's air to be moderate. The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 100 for Thursday and 95 for Friday. County health officials stressed that while the general public is not likely to be affected by the poor air quality, "sensitive groups," which can include children, the elderly, and those who suffer from pulmonary diseases, should limit their outdoor exposure. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x468147586/Heat-pollution-pose-dangers-to-sensitive-groups Fresno Just Shy Of Record Heat; Air Quality Unhealthy. It wasn't just hot in the Valley on Wednesday – it was unhealthy. Fresno's air quality may have been the worst in the state Wednesday, air officials estimated, as a stagnant weather pattern allowed pollution to build up and cook. The level of ozone – which forms best in hot, sunny weather – prompted air officials to estimate Fresno's air-quality index at 159, a figure considered unhealthy for everyone. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/06/22/2437277/fresno-could-be-headed-for-heat.html#storylink=misearch TEMECULA: Experts Weigh In On Quarry Report. Experts hired by interests opposed to Liberty Quarry spent all day Wednesday attacking, point by technical point, a massive study of the open-pit mine proposed for the hills just outside of Temecula. Their testimony came during the Riverside County Planning Commission's third public hearing on the quarry, proposed for a site between Temecula and San Diego County. Posted. http://www.pe.com/reports/2011/quarry/stories/websquarry.3e73c0c5e.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/temecula/article_da1ab82b-a4bb-5d20-af7f-4cbffb00757a.html More Evidence Air Pollution May Trigger Heart Attacks. Day-to-day spikes in air pollution seem to be followed by an uptick in hospital admissions for heart attacks, a new study in Italy finds. The findings, reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, add to evidence that high-pollution days may trigger heart attacks in some people. And, like other studies, the new one suggests that the elderly and people with existing heart or lung disease are most vulnerable. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/06/23/more-evidence-air-pollution-may-trigger-heart-attacks/#ixzz1Q7NLXhvV Head of County Air Pollution Control District to Retire. Terry Dressler, who has worked for the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) since 1987, the last seven years as the department’s head, is retiring. Dressler, who came to Santa Barbara from the San Luis Obispo County APCD, was in charge of implementing strategies to control air quality throughout the county. Posted. http://www.independent.com/news/2011/jun/23/head-county-air-pollution-control-district-retire/ CLIMATE CHANGE A Region With Big Climate Vulnerability and Bigger Distractions. The third in a series. Click here to read the first story and here for the second in the series. Climate change may be the last thing that leaders of revolution-riddled countries in the Middle East want to deal with now. But before long, experts say, the problems caused by rising global temperatures could disfigure the land they are fighting over. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/06/23/23climatewire-a-region-with-big-climate-vulnerability-and-32441.html?pagewanted=print California Cap-and-Trade Wars. The California legislature passed AB 32 and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Global Warming Solution Act of 2006, which aims to reduce current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The law requires the Scoping Plan, which was approved on Dec. 12, 2008, and provides a road map and timeline for actions to reduce GHGs in California via regulations, market mechanisms and other actions. Posted. http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/5607/california-cap-and-trade-wars/ House Science Panel Chairman Asserts NOAA Climate Service Move Is Illegal. House Republicans yesterday assailed the Obama administration's plan to reorganize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's climate change portfolio, accusing the agency of disobeying an appropriations rider that prevents NOAA from spending any money this year to make the changes. NOAA proposed creating a new "climate service" last year, to handle what agency officials said was an overwhelming increase in requests for data and forecasts to help communities and businesses adapt to climate change. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/23/5 FUELS Group Of Moderate Republicans Backs Tough Fuel Efficiency Targets. A group of more than a dozen moderate Republicans, including four former Environmental Protection Agency administrators, urged President Obama in a letter Wednesday to set tough new standards to curb carbon emissions from cars and light trucks. The letter comes as the administration is debating what sort of greenhouse gas emission limits it should impose on vehicles that will be sold in the United States for the model years 2017 to 2025. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/group-of-moderate-republicans-backs-tough-fuel-efficiency-targets/2011/06/22/AGADGJgH_story.html Study: Biodegradable Plastics Can Release Methane. Raleigh, N.C. -- New plastics designed to break down naturally have been hailed as environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastics. Instead of taking decades or even centuries to decompose, they vanish in a few years. But new research at North Carolina State University suggests they may not be so green after all. The study, led by NCSU doctoral student James Levis, found that biodegradable plastics can release large amounts of methane gas when they break down in landfills. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/23/v-print/3721845/study-biodegradable-plastics-can.html VEHICLES California's Green Car Rebate Program Runs Out Of Gas. California runs out of rebate money for state residents who have purchased a new green car, such as the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. If you're in California and shopping for an environmentally-friendly car, there's a bit of bad news. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said on its website that the $11.1 million in state funding for its Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) "has been completely distributed." Posted. http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2011/06/california-green-car-rebate-program-out-of-cash.html EUROPE: Consumer Groups Voice Concerns About EV Labeling. In May of this year, the US government took a decisive step to overhaul its federal fuel economy labelling system, forcing all new passenger cars to display energy use and cost comparisons between vehicles that use electricity and conventional fuels. The new labels – which must now be affixed by adhesive onto the windows of all new cars and trucks for sale – have given Europeans pause for thought. Posted. http://analysis.evupdate.com/industry-insight/europe-consumer-groups-voice-concerns-about-ev-labelling-0?utm_source=http%3a%2f%2fcommunicator.evupdate.com%2flz% GREEN ENERGY States On Track To Meet Efficiency Goals, But Challenges Remain. The majority of U.S. states with efficiency standards are on track to meet their goals, but looming "barriers" could pose challenges for the programs in years ahead, according to two new reports from an efficiency group. In a sweeping analysis, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) examined the 19 states that have had energy efficiency resource standards in place for more than two years. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/23/4 U.N. Conference Studies How To Broaden Reach Of Low-Carbon Power. International leaders meeting in Austria this week are calling for universal energy access and work between the public and private sectors to help end energy poverty. The Vienna Energy Forum -- where former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) gave his first public speech since the scandal over his affair and love child with a household maid erupted -- has brought together more than 1,000 heads of state, ministers and energy experts. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/23/6 MISCELLANEOUS Los Angeles Official Opposes Easing Environmental Rules For Downtown Stadium. Los Angeles' top policy advocate supports a resolution to fight legislation that would subvert state law for developer of proposed facility. Los Angeles' top policy advocate has recommended that the City Council oppose any attempts to bend state environmental rules for a football stadium proposed next to the Convention Center downtown. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-stadium-20110623,0,1653420,print.story Benicia Seeks Professional Opinions On Climate Website. Benicia -- The city is seeking ideas from professional web designers to revive Benicia's dormant environmental action website by Thanksgiving. City officials formally issued the request last week, asking qualified individuals and firms to respond by July 1 with proposals that don't exceed $12,000. The city says it plans to interview project applicants in July, hire one in August and complete the website within 12 weeks of the start date. Posted. http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_18336302 OPINION Long-Range Forecast Is For Relentless Heat. The second day of summer seems about right for musing on what kind of weather we can expect this season around the Moremstead in the Valley of the Bears. I’ll go out on a limb and forecast that we’ll have morning fog, burning off by late morning to partly sunny skies with highs in the upper 60s to mid-70s and afternoon northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. (Whew, I should be charging for such oracular insights.) As I’ve noted previously, I like weather, real weather. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/06/22/v-print/1654045/long-range-forecast-is-for-relentless.html BLOGS Bill To Reveal What Chemicals Used In "Fracking" Process. A bill forcing oil and gas companies to reveal what chemicals they use when using hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to extract natural gas in California passed the California Senate Natural Resources Committee earlier this month and is set to go before the Environmental Quality Committee next week. Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting rock formations with high-pressure water, sand and a combination of chemicals, to release tightly-packed hydrocarbons. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/06/fracking-hyraulic-fracturing-california-oil-natural-gas-shale-wieckowski.html California Tells Ships To Stop Bypassing Clean Fuel Zone. California’s Air Resources Board meets tomorrow to close a major loophole undermining clean shipping fuel requirements adopted two years ago. NRDC has been to court to defend these important rules several times (here and here), and the court agrees that California has the right to protect its coastal residents from major health hazards associated with ocean going vessels burning toxics-laden bunker fuel. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbailey/california_tells_ships_to_stop.html What Should Ford’s New Focus EV Sound Like. Ford will now roll out its new Focus EV, and the silent electric sedan will be available in 14 selected markets. Before the car makes it that far, however, Ford could be changing the “silent” part. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/ Life Cycle Assessment Proves Electric Vehicles are a Cleaner Choice. A report released earlier this month took into account the entire life cycle of hybrid, electric and gas powered cars — analyzing everything from gathering resources to disposing of used vehicles — and revealed definitively that hybrid and electric vehicles are greener from a whole systems approach. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/life-cycle-assessment-proves-electric-vehicles-are-a-cleaner-choice/ Globally Renewable Energy is Outstripping Coal and Nuclear. It's lovely to read of sanity in a world of chaos so a new analysis of the global power plant market launched today by Greenpeace International is well worth sharing. It shows that since the 1990s, installations of wind and solar grew faster than any other power plant technology . In addition, renewable energy expanded rapidly, to reach its biggest market share in 2010 and providing enough capacity to supply electricity to the equivalent of one third of Europe. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/globally-renewable-energy-coal-and-nuclear/ Which Cities Can Best Adapt To Climate Change? Earlier this month, 35 mayors from major cities around the world convened for the Resilient Cities 2011 Conference and released a declaration [PDF] that highlighted the recent rise in natural disasters and the imperative for cities to increase their resiliency and ability to adapt to climate change. But what does it mean for a city to be "resilient" to climate change? Which cities are most resilient -- and what makes a city vulnerable? Posted. http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-06-23-which-cities-adapt-most-resilient-to-global-warming Siemens And Partners Build First Aircraft With Series Hybrid Electric Drive. Siemens, Diamond Aircraft and EADS have built an aircraft equipped with a series hybrid electric drive system. The partners are presenting the two-seater motor glider DA36 E-Star at the Paris Air Show Le Bourget 2011 (until 26 June) in daily flight shows. The aircraft was built to test the hybrid electric drive concept. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/06/siemens-20110622.html