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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 18, 2011. Posted: 18 Jul 2011 15:48:13
California Air Resources Board News Clips for July 18, 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 New Pollution Standards Are In The Air. Key air pollution standards may be raised in California and the nation, which could result in more stringent regulations and requirements for the production and sale of zero-emission cars, federal and local officials said. Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved a plan for ridding the skies of microscopic soot particles that lodge deep in the lungs and cause asthma, cancer and even premature death - a move that could save the lives of 3,000 Southlanders. Posted. http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_18495492 TEMECULA: Air-Quality Study Finds Quarry Won't Affect Wineries. The dust and emissions that would be generated by Granite Construction's proposed Liberty Quarry project wouldn't affect the vitality of Riverside County's Wine Country, according to a study by The Kleinfelder Group that was paid for by Granite. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/temecula/article_0d000a30-3d5f-57c9-8e37-b3112963e392.html EPA Backs Away From Dust Testing Renovation Proposal. U.S. EPA announced Friday that it decided against a proposed rule that would have required contractors to test dust to prove the absence of lead following renovations. The announcement was immediately criticized by public health advocates but applauded by Senate Republicans, who said the requirement -- while well intended -- would have put an undue economic burden on contractors. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/07/18/3 CLIMATE CHANGE Green Exchange to Start California Carbon Futures in September. Green Exchange LLC, the second- biggest emission exchange by open interest in European permits, will offer futures contracts for Californian carbon allowances starting Sept. 11. The New York-based exchange will list California futures contracts for delivery in December in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the exchange said today in an e-mailed statement. Green Exchange is owned by a group that includes CME Group Inc. (CME), which oversees the New York Mercantile Exchange. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-18/green-exchange-to-start-california-carbon-futures-in-september.html http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/07/17/bloomberg1376-LOJCUW1A74E901-2TRCCMM699IA7DD3QH123BAU53.DTL EPA Ozone Proposal Draws Fire. Manufacturers are fighting to stop a new Environmental Protection Agency plan to curb ozone that they say would deliver a devastating blow to the economy and job growth by creating tougher pollution laws. The EPA wants to cut the national ambient air-quality standard to between 60 and 70 parts per billion, which would push thousands of communities over the current limit of 75 ppb. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/17/epa-ozone-proposal-draws-fire/ Study: Earth Losing Its Climate Change Defenses. Like your body, the planet can heal itself a little bit. Some places, like forests and oceans, are carbon sinks -- they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, slowing down the rate at which everything goes to hell. But climate change is no papercut, and as it gets worse, it’s actually breaking the planet’s immune system. Posted. http://www.grist.org/list/2011-07-18-study-the-planet-is-losing-its-ability-to-recover-from-climate-c Poorer Countries Lead Global Movement Toward Low-Carbon Power – Study. Poor countries have spent just as much as rich ones -- and in the case of China, more -- to develop low-carbon energy, according to a study coming out this week. Its conclusions could turn the conventional wisdom about the differences among nations over mitigation efforts on its head. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/18/2 FUELS Michigan Industry Defends 'Fracking' Process. Michigan environmental regulators and the oil and gas industry hope to fend off a political brawl over a method of extracting natural gas that has stirred furious debate around the nation. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," involves pumping huge volumes of water laced with chemicals and sand at high pressure into wells that can extend a mile or more underground. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jul/16/michigan-industry-defends-fracking-process/ Wood-To-Energy Road Map Emphasizes Sustainability, Long-Term Viability. Woody biomass like mill residues and forest thinnings can play an important role in the future of energy, but the patchwork of incentives and regulations surrounding its use should be steered toward sustainability and the long-term use of public and private forestlands, according to a new stakeholder "road map." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/07/18/6 VEHICLES G.M. Said to Consider Diesel Cruze. General Motors is said to have plans to attract more buyers to Chevrolet showrooms by introducing a diesel-powered version of the Cruze, the compact sedan that was the country’s best-selling car in June. According to an Associated Press report last week, based on unidentified sources, United States sales of a diesel Cruze, a model already offered in other countries, are two years away. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/automobiles/gm-said-to-consider-diesel-cruze.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=diesel%20emissions&st=cse Industry, Calif. Clash Over ZEV Plan. Automakers and California regulators are locking horns over the state's plan to increase sales of alternative-fuel vehicles, making it one of the most contentious issues in talks on 2017-25 federal fuel economy standards. Since May, the two sides have privately debated whether California's pending zero emission vehicle plan should be superseded by the U.S. corporate average fuel economy program. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110718/OEM06/307189980/1429 In State's High-Speed Rail Plan, Ambitions Collide With Financial Realities. Sacramento, Calif. -- In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama spoke of an America that "does big things," one that delivers on grand ambitions and leaves the world in awe. Among those "big things" was this goal: giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail in the next 25 years. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/18/1 Geeks, 'Early Adopters' Turn Calif. Into Test Track For Plug-Ins. Del Mar, Calif. -- Malcolm Hebert backs his red Nissan Leaf out of the driveway of his home and heads down a hill toward the Pacific Ocean. Navigating streets in his beach neighborhood, Hebert passes gasoline stations where premium fuel costs $4.49 a gallon. Hebert calculates his savings driving the Leaf. His wife commutes in a Volvo that uses top-grade gas and gets about 20 miles per gallon. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/07/18/1 GREEN ENERGY Power Grid Building Gets Top Green Rating. The California Independent System Operator Corp.'s new Folsom headquarters – a $150 million power grid control center completed in January this year – has received the highest possible certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for green buildings. The "platinum" certification means the building meets LEED's most stringent environmental standards for construction and operation. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/16/v-print/3773274/power-grid-building-gets-top-green.html Wrapping The Cost Of Energy Improvements Into A Mortgage. Stuck with soaring utility bills in a home that's a glutton for energy? Buying a home that has a lot to be desired in terms of energy-efficient features? There's hope. An under-the-radar program that has been around since 1995 can help buyers save on their utility bills by letting them fold the cost of energy improvements into their mortgage. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18486421 Lawmakers Target Capitol Power Plant To Reduce Their Own Emissions. Since Republicans took over the House in January, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "Green the Capitol" campaign has faded into the background: Gone are the corn-based forks and spoons from the cafeteria and the posters urging member offices to become energy-efficient. But the Capitol Power Plant is still a concern to both sides of the aisle. The plant is a century old, originally built to provide electricity for the Capitol using coal. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/07/18/2 EU Researchers Develop New Type Of Polymer Battery. A European Union (EU)-funded research project will this month start developing a prototype polymer-zinc car battery, significantly lighter, safer and more environment-friendly than existing batteries. Their lead acid, lithium and nickel bases have waste disposal, weight and chemical stability problems. They can also be slow to charge and sometimes unsafe. Posted. http://www.prw.com/subscriber/headlines2.html?cat=1&id=1310382687 MISCELLANEOUS Sacred Heart Embarks On Next Phase Of Campus Improvements. Atherton -- Another phase in Sacred Heart Schools' $95 million, long-range capital campaign will reconstruct the learning environment of elementary and middle school students. Sacred Heart is now constructing four buildings with state-of-the-art classrooms for those children, having already built a new science center and renovated the space for high school students. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18496820 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18496820 OPINIONS Don't Pull The Plug On New Light Bulbs. The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Thursday, July 14: Four years ago President George W. Bush offered excellent reasons for endorsing the congressionally approved Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. "The legislation I'm about to sign should say to the American people that we can find common ground on critical issues," the Republican president said that day. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/07/15/2465421/dont-pull-the-plug-on-new-light.html#storylink=misearch BLOGS Lighting the Hopes of the Grid-less. From Lenin to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 20th-century political leaders made the provision of universal electricity a centerpiece of their programs and oratory. “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country,” one slogan went. Or, in the case of F.D.R.’s Tennessee Valley Authority, “T.V.A.: Electricity For All.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/if-everyone-lighted-one-little-led/?ref=earth As ‘Sinks’ for Carbon, Forests Are Even Mightier Than Assumed. The world’s forests are magnificent palaces of biodiversity, teeming with wacky and wonderful creatures and plants that seem otherworldly. But they’re also something far more mundane although useful: they’re giant sponges, soaking up vast amounts of carbon dioxide. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/as-carbon-sinks-forests-are-even-mightier-than-assumed/?ref=earth New Australian Carbon Tax Offers Comprehensive Model for All. Last Sunday the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced a new a plan to tax carbon emissions from the country’s 500 worst polluters. Starting next year, these companies will pay for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted, first through a fixed carbon tax and from 2015 via a carbon trading scheme. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/07/new-australian-carbon-tax/ Turning Off The Light on the Environment. On June 12, U.S. House Republicans failed to revoke the lighting efficiency restrictions mandated by the 2007 law, The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, or HR 6. This law would phase out incandescent bulbs, and is one that Republicans themselves sponsored. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/turning-off-light-environment/ IMO Environment Meeting Adopts Mandatory Energy Efficiency Measures For International Shipping; First Mandatory Global GHG Reduction Regime For An International Industry Sector. Mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping were adopted by Parties to MARPOL Annex VI represented in the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), when it met for its 62nd session from 11 to 15 July 2011 at IMO Headquarters in London. These measures constitute the first mandatory global greenhouse gas reduction regime for an international industry sector. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/07/eedi-20110716.html