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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111005/A_NEWS/110050318&cid=sitesearch 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. http://westernfarmpress.com/government/california-s-new-air-regulations-impact-1-million-vehicles CLIMATE CHANGE 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 http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_19039208 DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. Posted. http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Ships-Face-Tougher-Environmental-Rules-in-California-Ports-131053073.html http://www.elp.com/index/from-the-wires/wire_news_display/1513708295.html FUELS 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. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_d21ec175-815a-5167-80fa-7c29d4634fbd.html VEHICLES 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/business/global/paris-tests-short-term-rentals-of-electric-cars.html?scp=2&sq=vehicles&st=cse 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/me-bullet-train-20111005,0,1777424.story 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. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111004/OEM05/111009963/1186 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. http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/survival/article_486cf10c-eeef-11e0-b4f5-001cc4c03286.html GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/05/MNR81LD85L.DTL&type=printable 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. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/environment/story/richmond-offers-free-solar-will-bite/ MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/10/05/3961064/faas-new-air-traffic-system-hits.html#ixzz1ZvtimTWQ OPINIONS 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mckibben-tarsands-pipeline-20111005,0,3502113.story BLOGS 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. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/10/federal-corn-ethanol-mandate-questioned.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29#start 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/a-trek-for-cleaner-cookstoves/ 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,”… Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/a-medical-metaphor-for-climate-risk-including-the-risk-of-overreaction/?scp=10&sq=climate%20change&st=cse 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. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/propane-powers-patrol-cars-in-north-carolina/?scp=6&sq=vehicles&st=cse 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/10/05/survey-few-willing-to-make-sacrifices-to-buy-ev/