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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 5, 2011.

Posted: 05 Oct 2011 13:41:47
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 5, 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.


Voters reject air quality ballot initiative.  Fairbanks voters
have soundly rejected a ballot initiative aimed at improving air
quality.  If passed in Tuesday's election, the initiative would
have banned outdoor wood-fired boilers and coal-fired devices, as
well as creating emissions standards for all wood burners.  The
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner ( http://bit.ly/ou2CiR) reported
Wednesday that Proposition 2 was rejected 60.3 percent to 39.7
percent.  Posted.  http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19045572

S.J. joins effort to ease tough Valley ozone rules. San Joaquin
County officials voted Tuesday to support federal legislation
that would ease regulations on ozone levels in the San Joaquin
Valley and eliminate a $29 million fine Valley drivers have
started paying through higher licensing fees. The county Board of
Supervisors unanimously approved a letter supporting the
legislation that describes penalties for not meeting requirements
for ozone levels as "unfair and unjustified." Posted. 

California’s new air regulations impact 1 million vehicles.  The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is approving California's
air quality plans for fine particles -- known as PM2.5 -- in the
South Coast and San Joaquin Valley. These plans will reduce
pollution to the level required by the health based 1997 PM2.5
standard by 2015.  Posted. 


Contra Costa County supervisors furious with solar company that
cut down 100 trees.  Contra Costa's Board of Supervisors is
furious with the company hired to install solar panels on and
near county buildings after the green energy firm ignited a
public uproar by cutting down 100 eucalyptus trees near the
entrance of a popular regional park near Pinole.  "It's
outlandish!" said Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, of Discovery
Bay. Posted.  http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19039208


Ships Face Tougher Environmental Rules in California Ports. Some
of the most polluted places in the world are ports, resulting in
health problems that some experts say can lead not only to
respiratory problems, but cancer. In the United States, the
western state of California has the nation's toughest
environmental regulations when it comes to air quality at the
ports.  Its actions will impact ships from around the world.


Conservationists sue to block TransCanada pipeline. U.S.
officials illegally allowed a Canadian company to begin preparing
the route for its proposed 1,700-mile-long oil pipeline from
western Canada to Texas even though the project hasn't gained
final government approval, three conservationist groups contend
in a lawsuit. The lawsuit, which the groups planned to file
Wednesday in federal court in Omaha, seeks a halt work on
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude from
the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.


Paris Tests Short-Term Rentals of Electric Cars. If Parisians can
share bicycles, why not cars, too?  Bertrand Delanoë, the
Socialist mayor of Paris, and the billionaire investor Vincent
Bolloré think they will. To that end they have begun an ambitious
new electric-vehicle partnership called Autolib, extending the
city’s effort to reimagine urban mobility and improve air quality
with alternatives to exhaust-spewing cars. Posted. 

High-speed rail authority delays release of business plan. It was
due Oct. 14, but two recent appointees want the delay and are
doing a comprehensive review of the project. Completion of the
business is necessary to begin construction in 2012. With
California's bullet train project facing new opposition in the
Central Valley, including from the operator of the nation's
largest farm, J.G. Boswell Co., the state agency in charge of the
project has announced a two-week delay in the release of a key
business plan. Posted.

Unrealistic consumer expectations dog EVs, study says. Consumer
expectations of electric vehicles are so unrealistic that
automakers are unlikely to satisfy them anytime soon, a study
released today by consulting firm Deloitte concludes. Craig
Giffi, leader of Deloitte's U.S. automotive practice, said the
so-called pure battery electric vehicle can't meet the desires of
mass-market consumers in terms of price, range and charging time.

Decoding Secrets in San Diego's Transportation Future.  In the
next four years, San Diego planning officials hope to break
ground on several major transportation projects: A trolley line
from Old Town to University City, carpool lanes along the
southern portion of Interstate 805 and a widening of State Routes
94 and 76.  They're among the $200 billion in projects the San
Diego Association of Governments has planned through 2050. There
are dozens of others, including wider highways, longer trolley
lines and faster bus routes.  Posted. 


Solyndra crash puts heat on energy secretary. Washington --
Republicans are using the Solyndra debacle to take aim at Energy
Secretary Steven Chu, arguing that the Nobel laureate and UC
Berkeley physicist's enthusiasm for green energy led him to
ignore warning signs that the Fremont solar-power firm was about
to default on more than half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer-backed
loans. Posted.

Richmond Offers Free Solar — but Will Residents Bite? The city is
trying to give away $400,000 in stimulus funds, but only eight
people have signed up. Since July, the city has been trying to
use more than $400,000 in federal stimulus funds to provide
discounted and free solar panels for Richmond homeowners. The
initial goal of the R3 program was to install the panels on a
hundred homes, but so far only eight people have signed up.


FAA's new air traffic system hits turbulence. Washington -- The
government's program to modernize the nation's air traffic
control system has run into serious problems that threaten to
increase its cost and delay its completion, a government watchdog
said. The Federal Aviation Administration's program to replace
the current air traffic control system with a system based on
satellite technology is being held back by software problems that
have delayed full deployment of a critical flight tracking
system, Transportation Department inspector general Calvin Scovel
told a House hearing Wednesday. Posted.


No to the Keystone XL pipeline. The jobs crisis is not an excuse
for bad policy. When you have a job, it's hard to remember what
life is like without one. There are the obvious troubles that
come with lack of income, of course, but there's also a kind of
deep uncertainty, the sense that you might never find work again.
In a country with a threadbare safety net, that sense is doubly
hard to shake. Which is why the promise of jobs is so politically
powerful, and why it's so abhorrent when the promise of job
creation is used as a cynical trick for the powerful to get what
they want. Posted.

Federal biofuel mandate flawed, report finds. A National Research
Council report Tuesday said a federal requirement to add some 16
billion gallons of cellulose-based ethanol to the nation's fuel
supply by 2022 won't be met unless innovative technologies are
developed or policies changed. The report also calls into
question the ecologic and economic calculations behind Congress'
backing of commodity-crop ethanol (mainly corn), particularly if
production involves clearing land to grow crops dedicated to
fuel. Posted.

A Trek for Cleaner Cookstoves. A woman cooking in her home in
Kohlua, India. To seize attention, a group will march in
California, imitating the treks that women make to gather wood
for fires and stoves. The United Nations estimates that nearly
half the world’s population, some three billion people in
developing countries, cook over open wood fires or primitive
stoves. The practice leads to persistent health problems and
accounts for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas
emissions. But, as Elisabeth Rosenthal reported in The Times in
2009, many in the developed world are unaware of this problem and
the benefits that would accrue from addressing it. Posted.

A Medical Metaphor for Climate Risk, Including the Risk of
Overreaction. Paul C. Stern, the director of the National
Research Council committee on the human dimensions of global
change, has been involved in a decades-long string of studies of
behavior, climate change and energy choices. This is an arena
that is often attacked by foes of cuts in greenhouse gases, who
see signs of mind control and propaganda. Stern says that has
nothing to do with his approach, as he made clear in
“Contributions of Psychology to Limiting Climate Change,”…

Propane Powers Patrol Cars in North Carolina. Thanks in part to
confiscated drug money, criminals in Iredell County, N.C., may
catch a ride in a patrol car powered by liquid propane. According
to Mike Phillips, captain of the enforcement division for the
county, the conversion project began last year with a grant
through the state university’s North Carolina Solar Center. The
grant helped to convert 13 of the office’s 150 Ford Crown
Victoria cruisers to the same form of propane used in gas
grilles, which contains butane and is also known as liquefied
petroleum gas or autogas. Posted. 

Few willing to make sacrifices to buy today's electric vehicles.
EV drivers may or may not be proud, but those looking to drive
one of today's electric vehicles certainly do appear to be few.
At least, that's the result of a new survey by Deloitte Touche
Tohmatsu Limited. In a survey of more than 13,000 drivers in 17
countries, only 2 to 4 percent (!) would have their expectations
met by the current generation of electric vehicles. The good news
is that the EV market is not as gloomy as those numbers may
suggest. Posted. 

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