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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 12, 2011.

Posted: 12 Aug 2011 12:34:33
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 12, 2011. 
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 12, 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.


Report details 2,000 unhealthy air alerts in 2011. You may have
thought bad air pollution was on the way out, but not so. A
report from the Natural Resources Defense Council counts more
than 2,000 code orange alerts in U.S. communities and national
parks from Jan. 1 to early August. Code orange means the air's
too unhealthy for people with lung disease, older adults and
children. NRDC, a pro-environmental advocacy group, is hoping the
Environmental Protection Agency will consider this as they
prepare to release new clean air standards. Posted.

Obama, EPA hearing from both sides on ozone rule. The Obama
administration once again may be poised to delay action on a
tougher ozone standard as it tries to do no harm to the fragile
economy. Buffeted by industry on one side and environmental
groups on the others, the administration has missed several
deadlines to change the standard for smog from the level set by
the Bush administration in 2008. Posted.

New Rules and Old Plants May Strain Summer Energy Supplies.
Washington — As 58 million people across 13 states sweated
through the third day of a heat wave last month, power demand in
North America’s largest regional grid jurisdiction hit a record
high. And yet there was no shortage, no rolling blackout and no
brownout in an area that stretches from Maryland to Chicago. But
that may not be the case in the future as stricter air quality
rules are put in place. Posted.

Air quality, fire officials to team up; guidelines designed to
help manage smoke from wildfires. In an effort to try to keep
sooty air out of residents' lungs, local air quality managers
will now have a direct role in determining how a fire will be
fought if it erupts on federal land in California. Earlier this
month, the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and the
California Air Resources Board released a set of guidelines that
encourage fire managers and air quality officials to work
together to plan how to manage fires once they ignite. Posted.

Report: Valley air thick with smog. Ozone pollution days rank
sixth in U.S. so far this year. The Coachella Valley is the
sixth-worst out of 250 areas across the United States for high
ozone pollution days so far this year, according to a report
released Thursday. Joshua Tree National Park ranked fifth. The
valley had 36 days of “Code Orange” ozone levels that exceeded
the federal standard, according to the Washington-based Natural
Resources Defense Council. Posted.

Pollution at the moderate level, not many changes in weather
forecast. Moderate ozone air pollution is forecast today and
Saturday in both the foothills and on the valley floor by the
Butte County Air Quality Control District. When there is moderate
air pollution, unusually sensitive people, including those with
respiratory ailments and children, should consider reducing
prolonged or heavy exertion. Ozone is a summertime pollutant that
forms when certain gases — in this area largely from vehicle
exhaust — are heated by sunlight. Posted.

Airlines fight EU rules on air quality. The European Union is
starting to look like an environmental bully in the friendly
skies — and the behavior could end up pushing global carriers out
of its airspace. Airlines that fly into and out of EU nations are
fighting to overturn a new rule that could cost them billions of
dollars for their carbon dioxide emissions — including emissions
generated beyond European airspace during international flights.


Cap and Trade Becomes a Bludgeon in Republican Primary Brawl. Cap
and trade is back. The controversial system to reduce carbon
dioxide emissions that was used potently against Democrats last
year is being turned into ammunition against Republican
candidates for president. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
repeatedly tore into former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty last
night for his past support of a cap-and-trade program during an
Iowa debate featuring eight Republicans seeking their party's
nomination.  Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/12/1 BY PAID


Car exhaust system maker fined $560,000 by California. •  State
says it sold non-California certified catalytic converters • 
Results from industry-wide probe The California Air Resources
Board has fined Car Sound Exhaust Inc., a Rancho Santa Margarita
maker of catalytic converters a total of $560,000 for air quality
violations. “There are instances where companies are not aware of
ARB’s requirements,” said CARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden.

Ford announces plan to sell rooftop solar panels with electric
vehicles.  Auto companies with electric vehicle offerings are
increasingly taking the opportunity to build links between their
vehicles and renewable energy. Perhaps in response to those who
say (incorrectly) that EVs do nothing to help mitigate carbon
emissions – due to a prevalence of coal-fired electricity
generation – manufacturers are forging strategic partnerships
with solar companies to shore up the environmental case for the
electric car. Posted. 

GM awards A123 contract for battery packs. A123 Systems Inc., a
growing U.S. lithium-ion battery company, says it has received a
contract to provide battery packs for a General Motors global
vehicle program. Jason Forcier, vice president for A123's
Automotive Solutions Group, said that A123 will be supplying
"thousands to tens of thousands" of battery packs to GM. Posted. 

Clean car sites are the go-to stump for Obama's jobs message.
President Obama yesterday used an appearance at a Michigan
vehicle battery plant to repeat a talking point familiar to
voters and observers by now: Clean cars mean more jobs, less
pollution and a big boost for a failing industry. "Every day,
hundreds of people are going to work on the technologies that are
helping us to fight our way out of this recession," Obama said.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/12/3 BY


In Frederick, aiming to build ‘green homes’ that don’t break the
bank. Anyone paying attention to the “green building” market
knows that most of the eco-friendly abodes that have proliferated
across the country in recent years have been million-dollar
trophy homes. But the developers of the new North Pointe
neighborhood in Frederick are taking things in the other
direction: They’re building energy-efficient townhouses and
duplexes geared toward middle-class buyers. Posted. 

Castro Valley library's solar project has it saving green. The
county's newest library isn't just going green -- but saving a
lot of it, too. The Castro Valley Library's rooftop solar project
-- which included the installation of 880 solar panels --
recently was completed. The $1.6 million, 277-kilowatt system
went online in May, after six months of construction. Danielle
Kirchner, the library's circulation supervisor, said during the
solar project's first month of operation, the library's energy
bill dropped from nearly $6,000 in May 2010 to a credit of more
than $3,800 in May 2011. Posted. 

IKEA to go 100 percent renewable, starting with $6.5 billion in
solar panels. Lots of companies talk about going green, but the
scale of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA's ambition is
breathtaking. In its quest to get 100 percent renewable, the firm
skipped right over the usual, intermediate step of buying
renewable power from a third party. Posted. 


Ray Anderson, ‘greenest CEO in America,’ dies at 77. Ray
Anderson, 77, often called the “greenest CEO in America” for his
crusade to turn his billion-dollar carpet company into an
environmentally sustainable enterprise, died Aug. 8 at his home
in Atlanta. He had liver cancer. Mr. Anderson was the founder of
Interface, the largest producer of commercial carpet tiles. For
20 years, he ran the business in compliance with government
regulations but never thought much about the environment. Posted.

Transit ridership surges throughout Bay Area. When John Leyba
boarded Caltrain on Tuesday morning at the Diridon Station in
downtown San Jose, he found it "insanely crowded" -- standing
room only most of the way to San Francisco, where he works for
PG&E as a business analyst. And when he transferred onto a Muni
bus at 4th and King streets, he barely made it inside the door.

Nanoparticles in sunscreen may be unsafe, scientists say.
Although summer may be coming to a close, the debate on sunscreen
safety rages on. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration declined to put warning labels on sunscreens that
contain nanomaterials, while requiring other labeling
information. Sunscreen manufacturers increasingly are producing
sunblocks with nanoscale ingredients, such as titanium dioxide
and zinc oxide, because they rub on clearly without leaving a
white film or paste. Posted.

Proposition 84’s $7 Million Grant to Pave Way for Powerhouse
Science Center Groundbreaking. Sacramento’s Premier Science
Learning Center Breaks Ground This Fall. Sacramento, CA. – A
large, colorful banner was unfurled for the first time Thursday,
Aug. 11, draped over an aging building that was once a power
station but now displays a new placard in the name of education.
A banner ceremony took place at the historic PG&E Power Station
B, the planned location of the Powerhouse Science Center, which
is situated in the River District at 400 Jibboom Street in
Sacramento. Posted. http://my.rosevillept.com/detail/185286.html


STEWARD: Global warming is melting Al Gore’s brain. Former veep’s
only defense of his bogus climate theory is potty language. Al
Gore, the world’s foremost pseudo- scientist, is blasting
skeptical scientists for their adherence to the centuries-old
scientific method. Having tested the man-made global warming
hypothesis with empirical observations, many scientists have come
to different conclusions, causing Mr. Gore to become the Lenny
Bruce of the environmental extremist gang. Posted.

Viewpoints: We need all the solar energy we can get – so remove
barriers now. Recent articles in The Bee have highlighted a hot
debate: Where should California best develop new solar energy?
Some say we should build big plants in the desert; others argue
for solar on our homes, where the land has already been
drastically altered. In all this talk, we sometimes seem to
forget how urgent it is to transition from fossil fuels. Posted.

Our View: New data cast doubt on global warming. A scientific
poll shows that 69 percent of Americans believe it is at least
"somewhat likely" that scientists falsify data to support their
beliefs, of which 40 percent believe it is "very likely." Only 6
percent believe it's "not likely at all." New hard-science global
warming data from NASA may back up the cynics. If tornadoes
ravage the Great Plains, we are told it's more evidence of global
warming. Posted.


Ahead of deadline, groups express concern over release of
climate-change documents. Four groups have written a letter to
University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan expressing
concern that UVa. may turn over protected records to a
conservative group seeking documents related to climatologist
Michael Mann. The university had agreed to turn over documents
requested by the American Tradition Institute Environmental Law
Center in January as part of a Prince William County circuit
court judge's ruling in May. Posted.

A Magnate’s Green Epiphany. Ray C. Anderson, a leading green
business advocate and founder of Interface, one of the world’s
largest carpet manufacturers, died this week. He’d spent the last
17 years promoting the benefits of sustainable business
practices, not only for protecting the environment but for
boosting the bottom line. Posted. 

Once-Scorned Light Bulbs Are Advancing. In my Pragmatist column
in Thursday’s Home section, I describe the latest advancements in
energy-efficient light bulbs in response to the Energy
Independence and Security Act of 2007, part of which takes effect
next January. Much of that discussion focuses on so-called
C.F.L.’s, or compact fluorescent light bulbs. While they have
improved in recent years, the technology continues to be hampered
by worries about its environmental impact in landfills because
C.F.L.’s contain mercury. Posted. 

As Ecosystems, Cities Yield Some Surprises. In Boston, scientists
measuring the city’s greenhouse gas emissions have found what
they call a “weekend effect,” a clear drop-off in the amount of
carbon dioxide entering the city’s atmosphere on Saturdays and
Sundays. In Fresno, researchers have discovered that backyard
water use increases with wealth, as does backyard biodiversity.

Fountain Valley hydrogen station fills 'er up with sewer gas. As
General Motors, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and other major automobile
manufacturers prepare to bring hydrogen cars to market by 2015,
the availability and sustainability of the hydrogen fuel to power
them remains an issue. Later this month, what is believed to be
the world's first sewage-powered hydrogen fuel station will open
in Fountain Valley, offering a renewable-energy solution to one
piece of the sustainability puzzle. Posted.

Bachmann knocks Pawlenty on cap-and-trade at Iowa debate. Rep.
Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) wants to tether former Minnesota Gov.
Tim Pawlenty to his past support for cap-and-trade policies to
curb climate change, even though Pawlenty has fled from the
position during the GOP presidential campaign. The two
Minnesotans traded blows at Thursday night’s GOP debate in Iowa
ahead of that state’s critical straw poll on Saturday. (The
Hill’s Cameron Joseph has much more from the Iowa debate here).

Opposing Clean Air Protections, Industry Lobbyists Misrepresent
When Updated Standards Must Be Met. Industry lobbyists are
cynically exploiting anxieties over current economic conditions
to oppose Americans’ right to be protected against unhealthy smog
pollution. Because they don’t have the facts or science or law on
their side, these lobbyists have been reduced to misrepresenting
the way the Clean Air Act works and its extended timelines for
reducing pollution. Posted.

Scientists Isolate Plant Gene That Could Lead to Cheaper, More
Efficient Ethanol Production. A research team at the Department
of Energy’s (DOE) BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) has isolated
the gene that controls the amount of ethanol production a
microorganism is capable of. Isolating the gene, which is called
clostridium thermocellum, could allow scientists to experiment
with altering a part of the microorganism’s DNA to make it
produce more ethanol from a single plant. Posted. 

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