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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 22, 2011. Posted: 22 Sep 2011 12:17:35
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 22, 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 EPA’s Jackson Says She Respects Obama’s Decision on Ozone. Lisa Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said she respects President Barack Obama’s decision to quash proposed new smog limits and said the agency will enforce a 2008 rule. States will be notified within days that they must comply with an ozone standard of 75 parts per billion, set under President George W. Bush’s administration, that had been on hold while the EPA moved to tighten it, she said today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-22/epa-s-jackson-says-she-respects-obama-s-decision-on-ozone-1-.html http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903791504576586752657473350.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Boxer opposes House GOP move to stall EPA rules. Washington -- California Sen. Barbara Boxer declared war Wednesday on an effort by House Republicans to roll back environmental regulations, warning that blocking the plan in the Democratic-controlled Senate is no sure thing. The House is set to vote Friday on legislation that would delay an Environmental Protection Agency rule to require 27 states that rely heavily on coal-fired electricity generation to reduce power-plant emissions that drift into other states, and another rule that would limit mercury and other pollution from coal-fired plants. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/22/MNJV1L7JM4.DTL Sacramento temperatures soar, but air quality not yet 'unhealthy' It definitely is hot in the Sacramento region today, as temperatures have soared to triple digits, but air quality has not yet reached the "unhealthy" levels predicted. A combination of unseasonably hot weather, low winds and a high pressure ridge prompted the concerns about air quality for today and Thursday, said Jamie Arno, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/21/3926169/today-expected-to-be-a-spare-the.html Attorney general rips San Diego pollution-reduction plan. The state attorney general issued strong criticism of the San Diego region’s draft transportation plan for the next several decades because it “sets too low a bar” in reducing pollution and contains “significant legal problems.” The target of Kamala Harris’ critique is the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and its companion piece, the Sustainable Communities Strategy, as well as the underlying draft environmental impact report. Posted. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/21/state-ag-critical-regional-plan-pollution-reductio/ House GOP bill would roll back air-pollution rules. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on a bill that has mushroomed recently into a plan to block the Obama administration's two main rules to clean up air pollution from power plants and change the way the Clean Air Act has worked for 40 years. House Republicans who crafted the bill say environmental regulations harm economic competitiveness. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/21/1870813/house-gop-bill-would-roll-back.html San Joaquin Valley records first ozone violation. Air pollution officials are saying that excessive heat, stagnant air and vehicle exhaust combined Wednesday to push the San Joaquin Valley over the federal smog limit for the first time this year. The Fresno Bee ( http://bit.ly/pojwIY) is reporting that recording stations in Fresno and Parlier violated the one-hour limit for ozone, which can cause asthma and lung problems. The region was fined $29 million annually last year for failing to meet the limits set by the Clean Air Act. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/09/21/2547997/san-joaquin-valley-records-first.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/21/1870911/san-joaquin-valley-records-first.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/21/san-joaquin-valley-records-first-ozone-violation/ http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18948435 Parks pollution on the rise. Sequoia and Kings Canyon in California record worst in the country. Air pollution in national parks is at a three-year high, and two adjacent California parks have recorded the worst readings, according to a report by the National Parks Conservation Association. Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency standard for ozone pollution 68 days so far this year, the most of any of the national parks that monitor air quality. Joshua Tree National Park came in second, with 49 days. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_ozone22.408cc28.html http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/air-pollution-rising-national-parks-12712 Study: High levels of traffic pollution can trigger heart attacks. Exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollution appears to temporarily boost the risk for experiencing a heart attack, new British research suggests. However, the apparent elevation in risk is short-lived, the study team noted, lasting for only one to six hours following exposure and dissipating entirely thereafter. What's more, air pollution exposure may not bump up overall cardiac risk as much as fast-track it, increasing the chances that an individual already facing a probable heart attack threat will experience it slightly sooner than otherwise. Posted. http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/heartdisease/story/2011-09-21/Study-High-levels-of-traffic-pollution-can-trigger-heart-attacks-/50495770/1 U.S. Chamber asks House to pass 'TRAIN Act' The House should vote tomorrow to make economic considerations a bigger part of U.S. EPA's Clean Air Act regulatory process, the nation's largest business group said today. In a letter to House members, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged support for a bill that would set up a new Cabinet-level commission to study the economic effect of EPA rules and delay two new sets of air pollution limits for the power sector. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/22/9 BY PAID SIBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Global warming's CO2 culprit jumps 45% since 1990. Global emissions of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, jumped 45% between 1990 and 2010, and reached an all-time high of 33 billion tons last year, the European Commission reports. The emission cuts in some industrialized countries that are relying more on energy efficiency and renewable power are not enough to offset the escalating demand for energy, especially in developing countries, according to the new report by the EC's Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/09/global-warming-culprit-jumps-45-since-1990/1 US urges faster progress on carbon dioxide storage. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says all countries need to embrace technologies for capturing and burying carbon dioxide pollution to counter climate change and increase energy production. The U.S. is strongly committed to the process, known as carbon sequestration, and plans to have 10 commercial demonstration projects online by 2016 storing 16-17 million tons of carbon per year, Chu said Thursday following talks on the issue in Beijing. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/22/us-urges-faster-progress-on-carbon-dioxide/ EIA predicts a grim future for carbon emissions. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued its "International Energy Outlook" this week. For anyone concerned about the uncontrolled rise in carbon emissions -- the primary heat-trapping gas fueling dangerous global warming -- it paints a very grim future. Under a climate science deniers' fantasy scenario, the EIA projects that global carbon dioxide emissions will rise some 40 percent from 2008 to 2035. Posted. http://www.grist.org/fossil-fuels/2011-09-22-eia-predicts-a-grim-future-for-carbon-emissions Carbon Capture Speeds Up. While the urgency to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has diminished somewhat in the United States for now due to the current political climate, many other regions of the world have strong reduction mandates in place. At the same time, some states are moving forward with their own initiatives. The bottom line is that a handful of pilot programs in the United States continue to evaluate technologies and the business issues of carbon capture and sequestration. And international efforts are picking up steam. Posted. http://www.energybiz.com/magazine/article/234781/carbon-capture-speeds Removing CO2 from factory emissions has major potential – analysis. Carbon capture systems attached to industrial facilities such as gas processing plants could make a significant dent in global carbon dioxide emissions by midcentury, according to a new study. In a new analysis, the International Energy Agency and the U.N. Industrial Development Organization concludes that capture equipment installed on factories outside the electricity sector -- such as ammonia production plants -- could reduce CO2 levels by 4 metric gigatons, or about one-tenth of the level required to halve global emissions from the energy sector by 2050. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/22/6 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Carbon extraction may be necessary if emissions continue to increase. If greenhouse gas emissions keep rising after 2020, new research suggests humans may have to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere on a massive scale. The research, a series of articles to be published in the journal Climatic Change in November, will form the backbone of the next U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports in 2013 and 2014. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/22/9 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Using natural gas the only ‘good news story’. The path to a national energy policy based largely on natural gas is becoming clearer as economic turmoil and rising oil prices cause lawmakers to take a second look at the clean-burning fuel trapped in underground rock, American Gas Association President and CEO Dave McCurdy said Tuesday. In a wide-ranging interview, the one-time Democratic congressman from Oklahoma argued that the nation needs an “all-in” approach to break its addiction to foreign oil. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/20/using-natural-gas-the-only-good-news-story/?page=all VEHICLES Freedom of Choice In Energy Sources (VIDEO). While there’s concern about coal powered electric power plants and their CO2 emissions, renewables and smart grid integration will play an important role in charging electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.automotivedigest.com/video/video.aspx?nid=16&videoIndex=2401 GREEN ENERGY Republicans Attack on Handling of Stimulus Money and Green Jobs. The battle over Solyndra, the California solar equipment manufacturer that took $528 million in government loans and then declared bankruptcy, moved on to a second House committee on Thursday as Republicans broadened their attack on the Obama administration’s management of stimulus money and its pursuit of alternative energy as a way to spur employment. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/science/earth/23energy.html Kind of a big deal: $1.6 billion coming for energy efficiency projects. Two separate initiatives formed this week that could unlock more than $1.6 billion in private investment for energy efficiency projects around the U.S. Yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative, two of the largest U.S. pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTERS, announced that they would invest $1 billion toward energy efficiency projects. This follows a June announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative, where the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers announced a similar goal that has already resulted in over $150 million in investment. Posted. http://www.grist.org/energy-efficiency/2011-09-21-kind-of-a-big-deal-1.6-billion-coming-for-energy-efficiency-proj Walmart Installs Solar Panels in 60 Additional California Locations. Once the 60 additional Walmart stores receive solar panels, the company's solar portfolio will total over 75 percent of its stores in California. Walmart is taking part in the adoption of greener technologies throughout California by installing solar panels on its stores. It announced today that it will install solar panels on 60 more California stores. Posted. http://www.dailytech.com/Walmart+Installs+Solar+Panels+in+60+Additional+California+Locations/article22809.htm MISCELLANEOUS FDA phases out inhaler due to environmental impact. Washington -- Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government's latest attempt to protect the Earth's atmosphere. The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday patients who use the epinephrine inhalers will need to switch by Dec. 31 to other types that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons, an aerosol substance once found in a variety of spray products. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_18952963 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Solyndra dragnet widens. The Solyndra dragnet continues to widen. With top executives from the Fremont solar energy company expected to appear -- but refuse to testify -- Friday before a congressional panel seeking answers about Solyndra's sudden bankruptcy despite $535 million in federal loan guarantees, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday sent letters to the company's two biggest investors asking for a raft of new information." Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18948942 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Dan Morain: Biogas would stink less if it bred jobs here. I'll refrain from making too many wisecracks about cow emissions. This is, after all, a family newspaper and I do have standards. The California Energy Commission stepped into the issue the other day, filling a room with 100 energy entrepreneurs, developers, lobbyists and utility executives, plus a smattering of consumer advocates and environmentalists. The discussion focused on regulations governing gas used to fire generators, but not just any gas. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/22/3928980/biogas-would-stink-less-if-it.html Solyndra default casts shadow over clean-energy effort. The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, Sept. 21: Obama administration defenders argue that high-tech "green energy" companies are inherently risky and need a boost from government subsidies. In principle, that's not inaccurate. We have long supported America's evolving toward cleaner energy sources - like wind, solar and nuclear - and away from higher-polluting oil and coal. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/22/1871604/solyndra-default-casts-shadow.html BLOGS Poll Finds Support Among Small Businesses for Tougher Fuel Economy Standards. Findings from a new poll contradict the prevailing wisdom that small-business owners are focused on the twin burdens of regulation and high taxes. Owners are instead more concerned about economic uncertainty and higher costs, including expensive fuel. According to the online poll of 1,257 small-business owners, commissioned by the Small Business Majority, an advocacy organization that is financed by foundation grants but not composed of dues-paying members, 87 percent of respondents support federal action to increase car and truck fuel efficiency. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/poll-finds-support-among-small-businesses-for-tougher-fuel-economy-standards/?scp=2&sq=green%20vehicles&st=cse 10 ways colleges encourage students to ditch their cars. Today is World Car-Free Day, and environmentalists are encouraging everyone to walk, bike or take public transit to work or class instead of driving. It’s the same message that many college administrators give to students at the beginning of every year. The prime motivations are often logistical (not enough parking), but it’s a cause that many students are backing for green reasons. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/campus-overload/post/10-ways-colleges-encourage-students-to-ditch-their-cars/2011/09/22/gIQAQLPynK_blog.html Survey: Calif. firms take energy-saving steps. California small-business owners are taking steps to save energy costs and cut waste, according to a survey for Small Business Majority, an advocacy group based in Sausalito. According to the Internet survey of 1,257 owners nationwide, 197 of them in California, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, California business owners: 75% have installed energy-saving light bulbs, appliances, windows and insulation, 86% recycle, 19% have bought hybrid, electric, or alternative fuel vehicles. Posted. http://jan.ocregister.com/2011/09/21/survey-calif-firms-take-energy-saving-steps/64018/ Is Climate Change Already Causing Violent Conflict? For years, the Pentagon has been saying that climate change is perhaps the biggest threat to American security of all. Back in 2004, a report commissioned by Pentagon defense adviser Andrew Marshall, the man behind the restructuring of the US military under Donald Rumsfeld, predicted that “abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.” Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/climate-change-already-causing-violent-conflict/ Why We Need to Look at Oil the Way We View Salt. To kick off the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo, R. James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA, talked briefly about politics. In the 1970s, during the OPEC oil embargo and the resulting energy crisis, the Carter Administration pushed policies away from oil as a source of energy. 97% of transportation worldwide is still run by oil, but thanks to Carter’s energy policies, only 1% of our power is generated this way. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/turning-oil-salt/ New Study Says L.A.'s Smog Pollution Is 'Worse Than We Thought' Environment California just released a new report, Danger in the Air: Unhealthy Air Days in 2010 and 2011. Guess what, L.A. The top five smoggiest metropolitan areas in the country in 2010 were in California. Ground-level ozone, smog's main component, is one of the most harmful and prevalent air pollutants, exacerbating respiratory illness and causing premature death. Though air quality has improved greatly over the last decade thanks to state and federal policies, the road to clean, healthy air stretches on for miles. Posted. http://laist.com/2011/09/21/new_study_says_las_smog_pollution.php Zero Emission Cargo Equipment: CARB Could Help Make It Happen. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) considers amendments to its measure cleaning up diesel cargo handling equipment at ports and railyards tomorrow. Along with the many minor amendments proposed, CARB has the opportunity to greatly advance Zero Emission Container Movement Systems that are much cleaner and more efficient than their diesel predecessors. The Cargo handling equipment regulation provides much needed relief from air pollution in some of the most heavily impacted communities. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbailey/zero_emission_cargo_equipment.html Obama Issues Veto Threat to Defend Clean Air Act. This week a House vote is being taken on another anti-EPA bill. The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, a Republican bill that would create a multi-million dollar multi-agency committee to analyze the economic cost of 10 EPA rules on smog-causing and heat-trapping gases, fine particulates, mercury, ozone, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide will likely pass the Republican-held House. The bill is redundant. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2011/09/22/obama-issues-veto-threat-to-defend-clean-air-act/