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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 8, 2011

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 11:29:59
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 8, 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.


More heat, bad air expected in Central California through
Thursday. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District said the
valley air basin continues to be in an Air Alert through
Thursday. This includes the counties of Merced, San Joaquin,
Stanislaus, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and portions of Kern.
Pollution levels spiked on Tuesday at 119 ppb in the Fresno area.
A reading of 125 ppb is considered a violation of the federal
one-hour ozone standard. High temperature, ozone build-up and
lack of atmospheric mixing brought about an extremely high risk
for a possible exceedance on Wednesday. Posted. 

It's another bad-air day; take it easy.  Athletes and people with
asthma and heart disease should curb outdoor activity today
because of poor air quality in Fresno and Kings counties, a
Fresno allergist said, as near triple-digit temperatures continue
in the Valley.  Dr. A.M. Aminian warns that athletes and physical
education students should avoid extended periods of outdoor
exertion and that anyone with asthma and heart disease should not
take part in outdoor activities.  Posted. 

Lawyers plot next steps in legal battle over ozone rule. The
Obama administration's scrapping of a proposed new rule that
would toughen ozone standards has put lawyers involved in
litigation over the existing regulations on alert. Litigation
before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia had been put on hold when President Obama took office in
early 2009 and U.S. EPA considered whether to revise the rules
first introduced the previous year, at the tail end of the George
W. Bush administration. Posted. 


UN chief calls for urgent action on climate change.  United
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that urgent
action was needed on climate change, pointing to the famine in
the Horn of Africa and devastating floods in northern Australia
as examples of the suffering caused by global warming.  Ban
lashed out at climate change skeptics during a speech at the
University of Sydney, arguing that science has proven climate
change is real.  Posted. 

Will environmental regualtion hurt California job growth?  Joel
Fox has written an interesting piece about his hope that
California will roll back some environmental regulations. He
quotes a piece I wrote several years ago when I was asked to give
my prospective views on the likely impacts of AB32. He is correct
that I assumed that while California would be an environmental
leader with respect to enacting carbon dioxide mitigation
legislation that I thought that the rest of the country would be
ramping up its regulations.  Posted. 


Shocker: Power demand from US homes is falling.  American homes
are more cluttered than ever with devices, and they all need
power: Cellphones and iPads that have to be charged, DVRs that
run all hours, TVs that light up in high definition.  But
something shocking is happening to demand for electricity in the
Age of the Gadget: It’s leveling off.  Over the next decade,
experts expect residential power use to fall, reversing an upward
trend that has been almost uninterrupted since Thomas Edison
invented the modern light bulb.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:


DOE to offer loan guarantee for solar rooftop project.  Energy
Secretary Steven Chu announced a conditional guarantee to cover
80 percent of a $344 million loan for the biggest residential
solar rooftop project ever in the United States.  A company
called SolarCity plans to install, own and operate up to 160,000
rooftop installations on as many as 124 military housing
developments in 33 states over the next five years.  Posted. 

SolarCity plans 160,000 solar energy systems on military bases. 
SolarCity, one of the country's largest residential solar energy
system providers, plans to double the amount of rooftop
installations across the country by setting up sun-powered
systems on 160,000 homes and other buildings on military bases. 
The five-year, $1-billion SolarStrong project targets rooftop
solar installations at 124 military housing developments in 33
states. SolarCity has already lined up a conditional commitment
for a $344-million loan guarantee from the federal government. 


Program Retraining Workers for ‘Green’ Economy Graduates First 50
Students.  As President Obama prepares to roll out a jobs program
in a nationwide address tomorrow, the first 50 people to enroll
in a six-month program to retrain workers for jobs in biofuels,
sustainable biotechnology, and other cleantech industries are
graduating today.  The students began their technical training
earlier this year with classes at UC San Diego Extension and Mira
Costa College under a two-year, $4-million grant from the
California Department of Labor.  Posted. 


Going Green but Getting Nowhere.  YOU reduce, reuse and recycle.
You turn down plastic and paper. You avoid out-of-season grapes.
You do all the right things.  Good.  Just know that it won’t save
the tuna, protect the rain forest or stop global warming. The
changes necessary are so large and profound that they are beyond
the reach of individual action.  You refuse the plastic bag at
the register, believing this one gesture somehow makes a
difference, and then carry your takeout meal back to your car for
a carbon-emitting trip home.  Posted. 

Obama environmental policy buckles under pressure. The following
editorial appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday,
Sept. 7: President Barack Obama gutted his credibility on
environmental issues Friday when he ordered Environmental
Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to back away from
new restrictions on ozone pollution. He cited the slow and
sluggish economy and said his order shows he has "continued to
underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and
regulatory uncertainty." That sounds a lot like Gov. Rick Perry,
who hopes to be the Republican seeking to unseat Democrat Obama
in next year's presidential election. Posted. 

In jobs speech, a test for the president on clean energy.
President Obama's jobs speech tonight is seen by some as a symbol
of his commitment to clean energy -- and a gauge of his
willingness to defend the emerging industry against Republican
ridicule. It comes as the White House is signaling a retooled
emphasis on "old school" highway jobs, as one Republican
strategist said approvingly, to caffeinate national employment
and consumer spending. Posted. 


Humboldt Residents Say Not In My Backyard To Wind Farm. A
proposed wind power project in California’s Humboldt County
ShellWind Energy, Inc. (SWE) is drawing some serious “not in my
backyard” (NIMBY) responses. During a Ferndale City Council
meeting on September 1, 2011, residents expressed concerns about
construction noise, use of large trucks, the visual impact of the
wind turbines, light pollution and the effect on property values,
the Eureka Times Standard reports. Prior to the meeting,
residents sent letters to the Ferndale City Council opposing the
project. Posted. 

SANDAG still has time to make meaningful change with its SB 375
plan.  60 years of government structures and polices that
subsidize sprawl development have not been dismantled in nine
short months by San Diego’s new regional plan!  Like so many
attention grabbing stories, Ethan Elkind’s blog post proclaiming
California’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) a “dud”
is a poorly informed piece that doesn’t do justice to the
movement for sustainable, equitable communities.  Yes, San Diego
County’s draft SCS, compiled by its regional agency SANDAG, needs
significant improvement.  Posted. 

Global Warming Concerns Decline in US and China. It probably
won’t surprise Celsias readers to learn that concern about global
warming   has tapered off in the United States. That country,
after all, just went through the sort of financial crisis that
portends another Great Depression when it saw its credit rating
downgraded for the first time in recorded history. Posted. 

"In the denial of global warming, we are witnessing the most
vicious and so far most successful attack on science in history."
“…in the denial of global warming, we are witnessing the most
vicious, and so far most successful, attack on science in
history.” Those strong words are from James Lawrence Powell   in
his recent book The Inquisition of Climate Science. The book
chronicles the campaign of denial which has resulted in the
widespread failure of public understanding of climate science and
the long delay in addressing what is now an urgent and pressing
threat to the human future. Posted. 

Electric Vehicles: Breaking Track Records For 115 Years.  On this
date in 1896, an electric car won one of the first automobile
races in the United States. Amidst jeers from the crowd to “get a
horse!” the ur-EV built by the Riker Electric Motor Company
slowly completed five laps around a horse racing track in
Cranston, RI. It took 15 minutes for the car to go about five
miles.  One hundred and fifteen years later, Toyota Motorsport’s
P001 (above) broke the lap record for EVs at the Nürburgring last
week, becoming the first electric car to break the eight minute
barrier on the 12.92 mile Nordschleife circuit.  Posted. 

Australian Government releases discussion paper on mandatory CO2
standards for new light-duty vehicles beginning in 2015.  The
Australian Government has released a discussion paper outlining
the issues involved in the setting of mandatory standards to
reduce carbon dioxide emissions from passenger vehicles from
2015. The planned CO2 standards will complement the Government’s
carbon price scheme and help to reduce carbon emissions from
light vehicles.  The paper does not set targets, but asks
industry and the community to help shape the new standards by
presenting possible approaches for consideration and debate. 

Is the EPA Letting the Chemical Industry Regulate Itself?  The
American Chemistry Council is trying to influence how the EPA
prioritizes the chemicals it chooses to evaluate for safety. The
ACC—a group that supported Obama's recent decision to drop the
effort to tighten Bush-era ozone standards, and that spent $1.65
million lobbying government agencies, including the EPA, in the
second quarter—says the EPA lacks a "consistent, transparent
process" for evaluating which chemicals need further evaluation.

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