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newsclips -- Newclips for September 29, 2011. Posted: 29 Sep 2011 14:54:08
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 29, 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 Texas Air Pollution Compared to Other States. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas points to the state’s improved air quality as evidence that his policies work. But E.P.A. officials and independent analysts say improvements are largely caused by federal laws. The charts below show how Texas compares among the states on some pollution measurements. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/09/29/us/politics/texas-air-pollution-compared-to-other-states.html Short rail line serving L.A. and Long Beach ports gets greener. Pacific Harbor Line, known as one of the least polluting U.S. railroads, will reduce pollution further by equipping part of its train fleet with advanced engines and special exhaust filters. Pacific Harbor Line Inc. is one of the shortest railroads in the nation, operating only 18 route miles entirely inside the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. But the tiny railway is out to smoke its bigger competition when it comes to environmental friendliness. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-fi-clean-railroad-20110929,0,7624135,print.story CSULB creating ship pollution filter. Long Beach - Cal State Long Beach engineering students and professors are working with Rolls Royce to develop an exhaust filter expected to cut toxic diesel air pollutants by 85 percent from freight ships calling at San Pedro Bay. With $1.8 million in grant money from the Port of Los Angeles, the pilot program seeks to create and test a device known as a seawater scrubber for large container ships and other vessels. Posted. http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_18999348 Board seeks rule to cut Dunes dust. A rule setting allowable levels of airborne dust from the Oceano Dunes — and a timeline for the State Parks Department to meet those levels — could be adopted in November by the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District. On a 9-3 vote Wednesday, district board members directed the staff to prepare a rule based on an initially proposed framework, with modifications, and bring it back for a public hearing at the Nov. 16 meeting. Posted. http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/board-seeks-rule-to-cut-dunes-dust/article_7a209484-ea61-11e0-9020-001cc4c03286.html Federal fuel efficiency rules delayed. The federal government plans to delay until mid-November new rules to implement a set of fuel efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks, administration officials said Tuesday. In late July, President Obama announced a deal that called for cars and light trucks to achieve a fleet-wide average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, nearly double the 2011 model year average of 27.8 mpg. The new standard would be phased in beginning in 2017. Posted. http://mobile.latimes.com/p.p?a=rp&m=b&postId=912909&curAbsIndex=8&resultsUrl=DID%3D6%26DFCL%3D1000%26DSB%3Drank%2523desc%26DBFQ%3DuserId%253A7%26DL.w%3D%26DL.d%3D10%26DQ%3DsectionId%253A5219%26DPS%3D0%26DPL%3D10 San Joaquin air officials post another alert. For the fourth time this year, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued an air alert. The alert is effective through today. Conditions are expected to ease Friday, but if they don't, it will be extended, officials said. Air alerts are called when conditions may lead to ozone formation that results in exceeding health-based ozone standards of 125 parts per billion and triggering substantial federal penalties. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/28/1881917/san-joaquin-air-officials-post.html#ixzz1ZMcdKE7x PAID SUBSCRIPTION http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/09/28/2061728/air-alert-called-for-eight-counties.html#ixzz1ZMll99vh 5 Smoggiest Cities in the U.S. The top five smoggiest metropolitan areas in the U.S. in 2010 were all in California, according to a new report by Environment California. The top area, Riverside-San Bernardino, had 110 smog days, which means that the area had unhealthy air on one out of three days last year. Across California, there were 135 days in 2010 when at least part of the state had smog levels exceeding the health standard. The top five smoggiest metropolitan areas in the U.S. in 2010, in order, were: Posted. http://www.care2.com/causes/5-smoggiest-cities-in-the-u-s.html CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change to cost Canada billions: panel. Climate change will cause damage in Canada equivalent to around 1 percent of GDP in 2050 as rising temperatures kill off forests, flood low-lying areas and cause more illnesses, an official panel said on Thursday. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy said Canada's Conservative government - strongly criticized by green activists for not doing enough to fight global warming - should take measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, blamed on greenhouse gas emissions. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/29/us-climate-idUSTRE78S1SV20110929 Cap and trade wins California Supreme Court ruling. Over some environmentalists' objections, the state Supreme Court voted Wednesday to let California air-quality regulators go ahead with a market-oriented cap-and-trade system of pollution credits to combat global warming while appealing a judge's order to look harder at alternatives. The order came in a case that has divided mainstream environmental groups, which support cap and trade, and antipoverty "environmental justice" organizations, which argue that the market approach exposes poor and minority communities to more pollution. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/29/BARF1LAT96.DTL&type=printable EPA cut corners on climate finding, watchdog says. The Obama administration cut corners before concluding that climate-change pollution can endanger human health, a key finding underpinning costly new regulations, an internal government watchdog said Wednesday. Regulators and the White House disagreed with the finding, and the report itself did not question the science behind the administration's conclusions. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/29/MN3V1LAT8R.DTL&type=printable Two new climate change studies. New reports find challenges to meeting targets in state’s new global warming law. Don’t get distracted by Solyndra. A new study commissioned by SunRun, a San Francisco-based solar company, blames local government red tape for hampering progress of residential and commercial solar installations. Green Days is on the lookout for innovative sustainable projects throughout the Sacramento region. Posted. http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/PrintFriendly?oid=3904027 Obama’s climate-change hypocrisy. This summer a hearing on Capitol Hill saw such strange political bedfellows as the Obama administration, House Republicans, the aviation industry, and labor groups all joined in opposition to cap-and-trade. At issue was the European Union’s decision to extend its emissions-trading program to foreign airlines operating in Europe, requiring them either to reduce pollution or pay a charge. U.S. air carriers denounced the move as an illegal tax and filed suit with the European Court of Justice. Posted. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/27/obama-s-climate-change-hypocrisy-in-emissions-fight-with-europe-california.print.html China’s per capita emissions could rival U.S.’s by 2017, report predicts. The carbon footprint for the average Chinese individual is quickly approaching levels common in the world’s industrialized nations and, if current trends continue, could match or exceed U.S. levels by 2017, a new report says. Since 1990, CO2 emissions in China have increased from 2.2 tons per capita to 6.8 tons, roughly equal to those in Italy and greater than in France, according to a report conducted by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and sponsored by the European Commission. Posted. http://e360.yale.edu/digest/chinas_per_capita_emissions_could_rival_us_by_2017_report_predicts/3141/ Plants are more powerful carbon eaters than previously thought. Plants, trees and soil are pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere about 25 percent faster than scientists thought, according to a new study. The research, published today in the journal Nature, estimates that the world's plant life pulls between 150 billion and 175 billion metric tons of CO2 from the air each year, an increase of 25 to 45 percent over the previous estimate of 120 billion metric tons per year. But the new paper's authors say the climate impact of their work isn't clear. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/29/2 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Diesel has key role in U.S. economy, industry says. Washington -- The diesel engine industry will play a vital role in helping the U.S. economy grow and recover from its slowdown, an industry group predicted Wednesday. Diesel-fuel refiners, servicers and engine and technology manufacturers contributed $480 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009 and supported 1.25 million jobs, an industry report contended. Those numbers will grow as tougher U.S. fuel standards lead manufacturers to make more vehicles … Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-clean-railroad-20110929,0,4697883.story http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/28/BUNE1LATII.DTL Stricter tailpipe emission standards drive major upgrades for produce haulers. Pass through the Salinas Valley on a fall afternoon, and you’ll see signs of a healthy ag economy: harvest crews traversing lettuce fields, fumigators prepping with tarps, and refrigerated produce rigs barreling down the roads. Despite some 5,000 trucks operating in the region on any given day, the air quality is generally good, thanks in large part to Monterey Bay breezes. And the refrigerated trailers that haul perishables don’t tend to idle overnight. Posted. http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/news/2011/sep/29/trucking-greens/ FUELS Ethanol firms see new field. U.S. ethanol producers faced with slowing growth in demand are turning to a fledgling market for corn oil to help boost revenues. Several of the nation's largest ethanol companies, including Green Plains Renewable Energy and Valero Energy Corp., have invested in equipment to produce the oil. Extracted during the production of ethanol, corn oil is mainly used to make animal feed and biodiesel, but it also can be produced for cooking. A Missouri farmer unloads corn for ethanol production. The industry is looking at corn oil for new revenues. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204226204576599143918175966.html?_nocache=1317316093208 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION UCD on board for project to see if trees can be turned into biofuel. UC Davis will take part in a project to explore the possibility of making biofuels from trees, university officials said in a news release. The university will receive about $3 million from a $40 million grant that the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week. The five-year project will be led by researchers at the University of Washington. So far, the biofuels movement has focused on ethanol made from Midwest-grown corn. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/29/1882069/ucd-on-board-for-project-to-see.html Biofuels facility set in Golden Triangle area. Gov. Haley Barbour is scheduled to tour the Golden Triangle Regional Landfill on Thursday where local officials will be building an operation to capture methane gas to produce electricity. GE Energy, which is installing the engines to run the facility, says a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the facility has been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 11. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/29/biofuels-facility-set-in-golden-triangle-02/ VEHICLES Recharging the European electric vehicle market. On 6 October 2011 in Brussels, Public Policy Exchange will hold a symposium about infrastructure and standardization challenges of the European EV market. The symposium will encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate, providing input and recommendations to the decision makers at EU level. The event will include presentations of speakers from the European Commission, ACEA, and key stakeholders companies. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/66520110929.php 2025 CAFE rules plan release delayed. This week’s planned release of proposed rules for implementing a 54.5 miles-per-gallon corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standard for U.S. passenger cars and trucks by 2025 has been delayed until mid-November. The proposal -- expected to run more than 700 pages -- was to have been released Friday. Citing difficulties coordinating all the players, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said late Tuesday that additional time is needed. Posted. http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/09/2025-cafe-rules-plan-release-delayed.html Analysis says electric vehicles sales not affected by incentives. According to JATO, demand for electric vehicles (EV) increased ten-fold to 5,220 across Europe in the first half of this year compared to the 500 registered in the same period last year. Germany, where incentives amount to around €380 (£330) per vehicle, is the leading EV market with January–June registrations of around 1,000. Posted. http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sectors/automotive/news/analysis-says-electric-vehicles-sales-not-affected-by-incentives/1010422.article#ixzz1ZGLw1Avn GREEN ENERGY Start-Up in California plans to capture lithium, and market share. A start-up company will announce on Wednesday that it is beginning commercial operations at a factory in Southern California to capture lithium from existing geothermal energy plants, a technology it says has the potential to turn the United States into a major lithium exporter. The plant, built by Simbol Materials near the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley, will also capture manganese and zinc. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/business/energy-environment/simbol-materials-plans-to-extract-lithium-from-geothermal-plants.html?_r=2 The green-jobs fallacy. Think we could use 5 million new jobs right about now? That's what President Obama promised he'd create by "investing" taxpayer money in so-called green jobs. And not just any jobs, he said on the campaign trail in 2008, but ones that "pay well, and can never be outsourced." Jump ahead three years, and the only "green" you find is the billions being poured into the coffers of renewable-energy companies lucky to even stay in business, let alone create a high number of jobs. Don't assume what happened to the solar-panel company Solyndra is unique. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/29/v-print/3947508/the-green-jobs-fallacy.html Forest Service promotes wood as green product. The U.S. Forest Service wants people to start thinking of wood as the new green building material. A report issued Thursday cites scientific studies that wood is more energy-efficient and results in lower emissions of greenhouse gases than other building materials, such as steel and concrete. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement wood should take a larger role in construction, because it has significant environmental benefits, promotes healthier forests, and provides jobs in rural areas. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/09/29/2558108/forest-service-promotes-wood-as.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19003723?nclick_check=1 Wind turbines: annoying, sure, but probably not actually unhealthy. There's no denying that wind turbines make noise. A giant rotor blade the size of an aircraft wing swooshing through the air is going to make a noticeable sound, particularly in a quiet, rural setting. And it's an often-repeated claim of wind farm opponents that this noise can lead to a whole host of health issues, including headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Posted. http://www.grist.org/wind-power/2011-09-29-wind-turbines-annoying-but-probably-not-unhealthy Economic development boards spur renewable energy development in Hawaii. Every municipality has one, but most people don’t know what economic development boards do. At the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, I attended a talk with a panel of leaders from economic development boards in the four main counties of the state of Hawaii to find out more about how these small business engines are helping the state go green. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/roles-economic-development-boards-renewable-energy-transformation-hawaii/ DOE ready to shift more money to plug-in vehicles in search of jobs. Three billion dollars. That's the amount of cash the U.S. Department of Energy could devote to its research budget to get more plug-in vehicles on the road. On Tuesday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu revealed a strategy designed to reduce oil imports and slash pollution, one that could shift billions of research dollars towards plug-in vehicles and modernizing our grid. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/29/doe-ready-to-shift-more-money-to-plug-in-vehicles-in-search-of-j/ CPT developing 48-volt electric supercharger for micro-mild hybrids. Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) is developing a 48-volt version of its 12 volt electric supercharger based on its variable torque enhancement system known as VTES. (Earlier post.) The higher-voltage variant will support moves by European vehicle manufacturers announced earlier this year to introduce 48 volt passenger vehicle power networks to help meet the requirement for lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/cpt-20110929.html The secret to the success of clean energy investment. Clean energy investment has seen incredible growth since the middle of the last decade, from just over US$50 billion in 2004 to nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2010. Few, if any, sectors can point to such a robust and broadly-based growth during a tumultuous time in the world economy. Look at the numbers: Clean energy has not had a down year since the creation of major market support programmes in Germany, which began in 2004. Posted. http://www.siew.sg/energy-perspectives/energy-trading-finance/secret-success-clean-energy-investment MISCELLANEOUS New balance creates sneaker from recycled plastic bottles. The entire upper of New Balance’s new sneaker, called newSky, is made from a fiber called Eco-fi, which is 95 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. It takes about eight plastic bottles to make one pair of the sneakers, which will be available in October. Eco-fi is made by Foss Manufacturing which chops the bottles into flakes, heats the flakes and molds them into fiber. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/new-balance-newsky-sneaker-recycled-plastic-bottles/ OPINIONS Buses should cut their air pollution. San Joaquin smog: What about the school bus fumes? There is no cooling system on the buses. The windows are lowered for air to come in, but the fumes come in also. My 9-year-old granddaughter comes home with a headache every day. With all the buses in the Valley, school and state buses, don't you think more bus fumes are worse than cars? Then there are certain cars that don't have to be smogged. What's that all about? You can stop behind an old car or truck and nearly choke from fumes. Posted. http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/article/20110929/OPINION03/109290314 BLOGS Climate equation: Coal + Ice = ? We like to think of awe-inspiring landscapes as timeless. Certainly that was the way I regarded the Rongbuk Glacier when I first visited it in the fall of 2001. I was backpacking through Tibet for five weeks and had decided to stop overnight at the north base camp of Mount Everest, which was a short side trip from the road to Nepal. There, red-robed monks at a Tibetan monastery welcomed visitors. Past the monastery, one could walk along the Rongbuk Glacier toward the upper base camps, passing large needles of ice en route. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/climate-equation-coal-ice/ 'MythBusters' asks: Are motorcycles greener than cars? A trend is afoot, according to "MythBusters" television host Adam Savage: "People are trading in their cars and driving motorcycles instead because they believe that's the more environmentally friendly choice," Savage said in Wednesday's season opener of the popular Discovery Channel show. "The logic is because motorcycles are generally more fuel-efficient than cars, they burn less gas and thus they must be better for the environment." Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/09/mythbusters-motorcycle-emissions.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 EPA scolded on greenhouse gas report review process. Opponents of the federal government's efforts to rein in planet-warming greenhouse gases were trumpeting victory Wednesday over a report by the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general that chided the agency for its peer-review process on a scientific document. At issue is how the agency subjected a "technical support document" to scrutiny before finding that greenhouse gases posed a danger to the public and therefore merited regulation. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/09/epa-scolded-on-greenhouse-gas-review-process.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29