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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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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


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 …

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.


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.

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. 

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. 


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. 

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. 

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. 


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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 


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. 


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.


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. 

'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.

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.

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