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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 20, 2011

Posted: 20 Jul 2011 13:23:20
California Air Resources Board News Clips for July 20, 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.


Coalition Hits Tougher Air-Pollution Rules. Business Roundtable
sees millions of jobs being lost under new ozone limits. An
interactive map released Tuesday by a coalition of leading
business groups details the potential economic destruction they
say would result from the toughening of air pollution rules by
the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA Ozone Standard Map
shows that 85 percent of the nation’s counties would fall out of
compliance under the proposed EPA rules. Posted.

NASA Continuing Air Quality Flights Over Baltimore-Washington
Region, 8th Flight To Be Wed.  NASA is continuing low-level
flights over the Baltimore-Washington traffic corridor to help
improve satellites’ ability to measure air quality.  NASA says it
will conduct its eighth flight Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Satellites already monitor air pollution, but researchers say it
is difficult to use measurements from space to detect pollution
near the ground. Posted. 

Wrapped Up in Politics, Granddaddy of Cap-And-Trade Plans Has an
Uncertain Future. In the eyes of health advocates and some
policymakers, the nation's fleet of power plants has its share of
decrepit clunkers, relics that are barely sticking around. But
some people might apply a similar description to the
cap-and-trade program that Congress created 20 years ago to cut
air pollution from those power plants. Posted.

Carbon Scrubbing Condensers Made On The Cheap. Chemists have
cooked up some cheap carbon dioxide-capturing compounds, reports
a study, a potential boon for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Added to smokestack scrubbers, such porous materials might limit
emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, linked to global
warming. Posted.

Metra Will Clear The Air In Its Train Cars. Railroad to install
high-efficiency filters to reduce soot after Tribune
investigation. Metra appears to have found a way to dramatically
clean up the air inside its stainless-steel cars, but spikes of
lung- and heart-damaging diesel pollution will remain a lingering
problem on the platforms at Chicago's major rail stations.

Temecula Quarry Worries Neighbors In Spite Of Builder’s Promises.
Yesterday officials in Riverside County heard hours of testimony
on one of the most contentious projects ever proposed for the
area—a large granite quarry. A company called Granite
Construction wants to build an open pit quarry on 135 acres
between Temecula and San Diego County. They say the project will
bring in high-paying jobs and millions of tax dollars to the area
and, oddly, improve air quality. Posted.


Climate Change Threatens Pine Tree, U.S. Says. Washington -- The
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined Monday that whitebark
pine, a tree found atop mountains across the American West, faces
an "imminent" risk of extinction because of factors including
climate change. The decision is significant because it marks the
first time the federal government has identified climate change
as one of the driving factors for why a broad-ranging tree
species could disappear. Posted.

Green Exchange To Offer Trading Platform For Calif. Allowances. A
carbon market trading platform that has found success in Europe
will begin offering futures contracts in California's burgeoning
emissions market starting in September, executives announced
yesterday. The Green Exchange, launched in 2008 by the New York
Mercantile Exchange, will support contracts for delivery in 2012,
2013 and 2014 in California's cap-and-trade market, which is set
to officially begin in January 2013. Posted.

All Students Should Learn About Climate Change, Report Says.
Climate change and renewable energy are subjects that all
students should learn about by the end of high school, according
to a new document released yesterday that provided guidelines for
science education in the United States. Posted.


Truckers Protest Requirement They Buy New Trucks For Work At Port
Of Oakland. Oakland -- To the accompaniment of big rig cabs
driving through downtown and honking their horns Tuesday
afternoon, a handful of protesters gathered outside City Hall to
say truckers are being unfairly treated despite their progress in
reducing emissions. New state rules that took effect Jan. 1
required truckers hauling at California ports to either install
expensive filters (estimated by protesters at $15,000 to $25,000
per vehicle) or upgrade their trucks to models from 2004 or
newer. Posted.

Sonoma County Garbage Hauler Pays $534,000 Fine. For the second
time in four years, Sonoma County's dominant garbage hauler has
been hit in the wallet by a state environmental regulator. The
California Air Resources Board announced Tuesday that the Ratto
Group of Companies had paid $534,000 in penalties to settle air
quality violations. From 2007 to 2009, the company failed to
test, measure, and properly record smoke emission levels from its
heavy-duty diesel trucks, according to the settlement in the
case. Posted.


Dairy Farms Churn Out Ghgs, But Higher Efficiency Might Make Up
For It. The open lots that hold dairy cows in concentrated
feeding operations are responsible for up to 80 percent of all
farm emissions of nitrous oxide -- a greenhouse gas with 400
times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide -- according
to a recent study. Methane from open lots, a greenhouse gas with
about 30 times the power of CO2, accounted for up to
three-quarters of farm emissions. Posted.


Roadshow: State May Approve $2,500 Tax Rebate For Buyers Of
Electric Cars. Q Oh yippee! You ignored my previous Prius rant,
but the Mercury's recent story on electric cars had me thrilled!
I can buy a Tesla S for $64,000, but the poor saps who can't
afford my socially relevant indicator of conspicuous wealth can
pay more federal taxes so I can get a $7,500 federal tax credit.
How great is that? Posted.

Who Will Ride An Alternative To 'Market-Driven Sprawl'?
Sacramento, Calif. -- Where Highway 99 meets the state capital
here, a motorist has choices. He can pivot toward the San
Francisco Bay, veer inland to the Nevada border, or ride the
flatlands south toward Los Angeles. It's an important junction
for any California driver -- and, in a sense, a symbol of
California's climate choices. The state already has plans to
widen Highway 99 to deal with increased traffic in the coming
decades. Posted.

Nissan To Build Electric Car Motors At Tenn. Plant. Chattanooga,
Tenn. -- Nissan said Wednesday it will build motors for its
electric Leaf car at its engine plant in Decherd, Tenn. The
company said production will start in 2013 and create up to 90
jobs. The project is being funded with a loan from the U.S.
Department of Energy to encourage advanced technology. The plant
will be able to make up to 150,000 electric motors a year.

Electric Cars Will Make Net Cut In Emissions, Utility Group Says.
Electric cars would cut carbon emissions whether sales are weak,
lukewarm or torrid, new research suggests. In a roundup of
electric vehicle technology released yesterday, the Electric
Power Research Institute looked at three scenarios for plug-in
vehicle sales. They could make up 4 percent, 9 percent or 17
percent of cars in 2030, EPRI found. But in all cases, the cars
would cut CO2 even after the emissions from their power
generation were counted. Posted.


Energy Department To Install Fuel Cells At 8 Military Posts.
Washington (Reuters) - The Energy Department said on Tuesday it
would install 18 fuel cell backup power systems at eight U.S.
military posts, as part of a partnership with the Defense
Department to bolster energy security. "Projects like these fuel
cell systems will help reduce fossil fuel use and improve energy
reliability at military installations across the country," Energy
Secretary Steven Chu said at the U.S. Army and Air Force Energy
Forum. Posted.

UN Chief Says Sustainable Development Top Priority.  Global
development that reduces poverty but preserves the environment
for future generations will be the top priority during Ban
Ki-moon's second five-year term as U.N. secretary-general, he
said Tuesday.  Ban, whose second term at the helm of the United
Nations starts Jan. 1, laid out his overarching theme for his
next administration during a speech to the World Trade
Organization.  Posted.  http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18505353

‘Solar Highways’ Transform Our Crumbling Infrastructure Into
Something Useful.  Okay, we know YOU ride your bike everywhere.
But the country’s 4 million miles of roads, and 50,000 miles of
interstate highway, probably aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
Isn’t there anything productive we can do with this giant car
playground? Well, we can cover it with solar photovoltaic panels,
so it’s at least providing some energy.  Oregon's already testing
the idea, installing panel arrays along highway shoulders.

Liberal Communities Join Libertarians In Firing At The Bullet
Train. Palo Alto, Calif. -- When the commuter trains rumble
toward San Francisco, they pass through some of the most liberal
cities in one of the country's most liberal states. Yet these
cities are also home to the most organized challenges to
California's bullet train, a signature project in one of
President Obama's signature initiatives. Why Californians are
putting the brakes on a proposed high-speed train, despite
worries about emissions and traffic jams. Posted.

Some Experts Say U.S. Needs Clean Energy 'Industrial Policy' To
Compete With China Why is the United States failing to build out
its clean energy resources alongside China? To some, it's because
America has no industrial policy, and China does. As leaders in
Congress darted from meeting to meeting yesterday to try to avert
an economic disaster ahead of the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline,
financial experts and China specialists met in the bowels of the
Capitol. Posted.

Lawrence Livermore Lab Signs Up For Energy Partnership With
China's Largest Utility. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
is teaming up with a research institute formed by China's largest
power company to work on carbon capture technology, oil and
natural gas exploration, and power plant engineering. The
California-based national lab announced yesterday that it had
signed a memorandum of understanding with the Clean Energy
Research Institute created by Huaneng Power International Inc.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/20/8

When Will Europe Finally Have Standards For EV Charging?  The
Focus Group was created on 28 June 2010, and while it
acknowledges that setting in place “appropriate standards at
European level is a pre-requisite to mass-market take-up”, its
report has only been advisory by raising questions about
adaptation to European conditions of some of the standards
already largely defined by both the International
Electro-Technical Commission (IEC) and the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO), of which CENELEC and CEN
are the respective counterparts at European level.  Posted. 


Study: Tobacco Money Sways California Politics. The tobacco
industry spent $9.3 million over the past two years to fight
cigarette taxes, support candidates and influence politics in
California, an anti-smoking group said in a report issued
Tuesday. The report by the American Lung Association in
California said political spending by tobacco interests over the
past decade totaled almost $100 million, with cigarette maker
Philip Morris USA Inc. accounting for more than half the total.

Heat 'Dome' Traps Much Of US In Pressure Cooker. For millions of
people enduring this week's extreme heat and humidity, it feels
like they're living in a pressure cooker. And in a sense, they
are. Much of the United States is trapped under a heat "dome"
caused by a huge area of high pressure that's compressing hot,
moist air beneath it, leading to miserable temperatures in the
mid-90s to low 100s and heat-index levels well above 100 degrees.


Gillard Accelerates Climate Effort; Coal Industry Counters With
TV Blitz. The Australian government is pointing to the coal
sector's $70 billion investment in new projects as proof that the
powerful coal industry isn't as spooked by Prime Minister Julia
Gillard's carbon tax as it claims. "I can assure coal miners that
their industry has a bright future under a carbon price," said
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet, who is Gillard's top deputy
charged with shepherding a climate bill through Parliament and
making the case to a wary public. Posted.

L.A.'S Ozone Fight: Why Can't We All Just Breathe Easy? Los
Angeles survived Carmageddon.  But Ozonegeddon may be a tougher
nut to crack. As The Times reported Tuesday: Environmental and
public health groups filed suit against the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency on Monday, saying the agency has failed to
force officials to crack down on smog in the Los Angeles Basin.
The suit contends the EPA missed a May deadline to, in effect,
determine whether the ozone level in the region is hazardous to
public health. Posted.

A Carbon Dioxide Escape Hatch. American Electric Power is tabling
plans to complete a commercial-scale carbon capture system at a
coal-fueled power plant in West Virginia. Among the more
speculative of the proposed solutions to global warming is the
notion of capturing the carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired
power plants and pumping them underground. Posted.

LETTERS: The Californian, July 20, 2011. To McIntosh: Take your
own advice. In his Opinion piece, "Prove the climate science
first," July 10, Andy McIntosh throws his own unproven belief
systems at us and then challenges scientists to prove theirs ----
all without a seeming sense of irony, since the basis of all
science is exactly to present what is proven. Indeed, anyone with
the temerity to actually check the science finds it very
well-proven indeed. Posted.


The Perils of Polar Bears’ Longer Swims. In arguments over the
impacts of climate change, some of the images commonly associated
with those clashes have attracted skeptical critiques, perhaps
none more so than those of polar bears forced to swim longer
distances because their sea ice habitat is melting. Some skeptics
point out that polar bears are born swimmers and that the worries
of environmentalists are therefore overdone. Posted.

PACE Green Home Retrofit Program Could Be Revived By Congress. A
program that helped property owners install green upgrades before
it ran into government roadblocks last year may be resuscitated
by Congress. A group of legislators introduced a bill Wednesday
to jump-start the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, known
as PACE. The program used low-interest government financing to
help fund installations of energy-efficient solar panels,
insulation, water conservation systems and more. Posted.

Shelton Group’s Research: The Green Tipping Point is Here.
According to Shelton Group, “a tipping point in American consumer
interest in green products has occurred with 70% of consumers in
our surveys saying they are searching for green products where
green is defined as more energy efficient, natural, sustainable,
etc.” Posted. 

Tata Nano Electric. The Tata Motors from India has shown off its
all electric version of their tata nano at the 2010 geneva motor
show. The car will be built on the existing nano platform with an
all electric drive train that promises a driving range of around
160 km on a single charge. Posted. 

MTI Report Finds Consumers Receptive To Alt-Fuel Vehicles, But
Still Prefer Gasoline; Quantifying The Trade-Offs.  A new survey
of consumer preferences among four different types of alternative
fuel vehicles (AFVs) by Hilary Nixon and Jean-Daniel Saphores of
The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) finds that while
consumers in general still prefer gasoline-fueled vehicles over
AFVs, there is strong interest in AFVs.  Posted. 

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