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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 17, 2011.

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 14:36:05
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 17, 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.


Re-election Strategy Is Tied to a Shift on Smog. Washington - The
summons from the president came without warning the Thursday
before Labor Day. As she was driven the four blocks to the White
House, Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency, suspected that the news would not be good.
What she did not see coming was a rare public rebuke the
president was about to deliver by rejecting her proposal to
tighten the national standard for smog. Posted.

AIR POLLUTION: Tougher standards would save lives, groups say. 
Imposing tougher national health standards for diesel soot and
other microscopic particles would prevent as many 1,360 early
deaths in the Riverside-San Bernardino area and as many as 4,230
in urban Southern California, according to a report released
Wednesday by the American Lung Association and other
organizations.  Posted. 

Air pollution control board approves Oceano dunes rule. The San
Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District voted 7-4 with
one abstention to approve a new regulation that requires state
parks to reduce particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes
State Vehicular Recreation Area or face fines of $1,000 per day.
The APCD contends evidence from a scientific study it produced
show that off-road vehicles at the dunes are causing an increase
in particulate matter downwind on the Nipomo Mesa. Posted.

Smog Pollutant May Be Tied to Stroke Risk. People who live in
areas with high levels of traffic-related air pollution might
have a slightly increased risk of dying from stroke, Danish
researchers suggest in a new study. They found people living in
urban zones with high estimated concentrations of nitrogen
dioxide were 22 percent more likely to suffer a fatal stroke than
people in less-polluted neighborhoods. Posted.

Beijing’s EPA: The Air Quality is Just Fine. As Beijing’s air
continues to grow darker and more polluted, the region’s
Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau regularly reports a
clean outlook based on its official interpretation of the data.
While China does acknowledge that it doesn’t measure “fine”
particulates below 2.5 micrometers in diameter (the size that is
generally believed to pose some of the greatest health risks to
human lungs and organs), the country’s official measurements seem
to be in direct conflict with the U.S. Embassy’s data …Posted.

Study: Apartments Pose High Secondhand Smoke Hazards. Research
shows that smoke can spread through cracks in fixtures, pipes,
shared ventilation systems and windows. The Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that multi-unit
housing can expose hazardous secondhand smoke to non-smokers
living adjacent to those who do smoke. Since 2006, secondhand
smoke has been classified by the California Air Resources Board
as a "toxic air contaminant" that can lead to death, serious
illnesses, and a overall health hazards. Posted.


Regional Cap-and-Trade Scheme Creates Economic Growth, Study
Says. A regional cap-and-trade program launched in the
northeastern U.S. three years ago has saved customers nearly $1.1
billion on electricity bills, helped create 16,000 jobs, and has
retained more than $765 million in local economies by reducing
the demand for fossil fuels, according to a new analysis. While
the future of the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
(RGGI) remains in jeopardy - with New Jersey planning to drop out
and other states also considering leaving…Posted.

Scientists: NY must prepare for climate change now. Albany, N.Y.
— A team of scientists says New Yorkers should start preparing
for radical climate changes that will bring much hotter summers,
snowier winters, devastating floods, and a broad range of other
impacts to the environment, communities and human health. The
600-page report called ClimAID (CLIME'-aid), authored by more
than 50 scientists from Cornell, Columbia University and the City
University of New York, is being released Wednesday at a
conference in Albany. 

Global Temps `Virtually Certain' to Rise: UN. The UN
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whirrs into action this
week with a significant assessment of extreme events and
disasters. The final report is due on Nov. 18. A draft summary
for policymakers obtained by Bloomberg shows the caution and
rigor with which scientists approach attributing observed trends
to man-made climate change. The panel says it's “virtually
certain” that warm daily temperature extremes will increase in
this century. Posted.

Arizona withdraws from Western Climate Initiative. Phoenix --
Arizona is formally withdrawing from the Western Climate
Initiative, a regional collaboration to establish a cap-and-trade
program to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Arizona became a
WCI member under Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano. She resigned
in 2009 and was replaced by Republican Jan Brewer. Brewer kept
Arizona in the WCI, but ordered that the state not implement the
cap-and-trade program. The Arizona Department of Environmental
Quality now says the state is going further by withdrawing
formally from WCI. Environmental Quality Director Henry Darwin
says Arizona is joining a new multistate collaborative effort to
explore customized use of other approaches such as use of biomass
fuels. Posted.

Climate change: Sea rise could kill vital marshes. The critical
tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay - habitat for tens of
thousands of birds and other animals - will virtually disappear
within a century if the sea rises as high as some scientists
predict it will as a result of global warming. The sea would
inundate the coastline and eliminate 93 percent of the bay's
tidal wetlands if carbon emissions continue unchecked and the
ocean rises 5.4 feet, as predicted by scientists under a
worst-case scenario, according to a new study by PRBO
Conservation Science. Posted.

Global warming speaker gets cool reception at energy summit. A
professor who served on a panel that won a Nobel Peace Prize for
its work on climate change got a polite but skeptical reception
at the fifth annual Kern County Energy Summit Wednesday. The
summit put on by the Kern Economic Development Corp. featured a
range of speakers from the energy sector, including oil and gas,
wind, solar, utilities, investment banking and government. The
keynote speaker was Mark Jaccard, who teaches in the School of
Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University
in Vancouver. Posted.

Agriculture: Valley farmers need to think about climate change. 
This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will
release a new report that will give us a global view of how
prepared we are to withstand extreme weather events.  The report
has been long in the making, but couldn't come at a more
appropriate time. Globally, 2011 has brought us record-breaking
floods, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and temperature extremes
— and the United States has received a heavy dose of every one of
these devastating events.  Posted. 

Cap-and-trade program fuels economic growth in Northeast.  A new
report finds that America's first mandatory, market-based carbon
cap-and-trade system added $1.6 billion in value to the economies
of participating states, set the stage for $1.1 billion in
ratepayer savings, and created 16,000 jobs in its first three
years of implementation. Says Susan Tierney, managing principal
at the Analysis Group, which produced the report: We tracked the
dollars spent, and RGGI [the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative]
generates greater economic growth in every one of the 10 states
that participate in RGGI than would occur without a carbon price.
The states' auction of the CO2 allowances was important for
generating those public benefits.  Posted. 


U.S. seeks to double average gas mileage by 2025. The Obama
administration's proposed rules would increase average gas
mileage for each automaker's passenger vehicle fleet to 54.5 mpg
from the 2011 model-year average of 27.8 mpg. The Obama
administration has proposed landmark fuel economy standards that
would almost double the average gas mileage for each automaker's
passenger vehicle fleet to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The
rules proposed Wednesday mark the latest step in a lengthy
campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption.

Environmental concerns over Canada's oil exporting. New York --
Canada needs to do more to address environmental concerns over
Alberta's heavy oil to win approval of pipeline projects to
export the crude to the United States and Asia, according to the
province's premier. The country "must be more proactive on those
issues," Alberta Premier Alison Redford said in. The State
Department said on Nov. 10 that it would delay a decision on
TransCanada Corp.'s proposed Keystone XL pipeline until early
2013 to consider alternate routes. Posted.

Navy launches its largest biofuel test for ship.  The U.S. Navy
launched its largest alternative fuel test to date on Wednesday,
pumping 20,000 gallons of algae-based fuel into a destroyer ship
that will embark on a 20-hour trip along the California coast. 
The success of the Paul H. Foster ship's overnight trip Wednesday
from San Diego to Port Hueneme is vital to the Navy's plan to
unveil next year a small carrier strike group of small ships,
destroyers, cruisers, aircraft, submarines and a carrier run on
alternative fuels, including nuclear power.  Posted. 

HyperSolar to Use Solar to Make Natural Gas. HyperSolar has filed
a patent application for its technology to produce natural gas
using solar power. According to the company, the natural gas is a
carbon neutral methane gas that can be used as a replacement for
fossil-fuel based natural gas. “The sun is our greatest source of
energy and a method to use this energy to make clean, renewable
fuel is a very significant discovery,” said Tim Young, CEO of
HyperSolar. Posted.

Clinton opens energy bureau as geopolitics shift to gas issues.
U.S. electric utilities are gradually adding more gas-burning
turbines to their domestic fleets. But major multinational oil
producers such as Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and Chevron
are also getting deeper into the gas game, and on a global scale.
The State Department announced yesterday that it has created a
Bureau of Energy Resources. Posted.


All-electric Sedan coming soon from Coda. New model will retail
for $39,900 and is currently available for preorder online. Coda
has announced the start of production of its all-electric Sedan
at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Customers can now preorder the
Sedan online, Coda said November 16, with a base price of $39,900
for the 2012 model year vehicle. As expected, the Sedan will
offer a slightly better battery system than rivals such as the
Nissan Leaf, with a 150-mile (240 km) range and a charge time
which Coda says is capable of a full charge in six hours, twice
as fast as its competitors. Posted.

California outlines plans to put more zero-emission cars on the
road. California has released details of its proposals to set new
emission standards for cars and light trucks, while boosting the
numbers of zero-emission cars on the road. The California Air
Resources Board’s package of measures cover model years 2015-2025
and aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 47% on current levels,
cut smog-forming emissions 75% and ensure that one in seven new
cars (over 15%) sold in 2025 will be zero-emission or plug-in
hybrid vehicles. Posted.

U.S. 54.5 MPG Fuel-Economy Standard May Cost $157 Billion.  A
proposed U.S. rule requiring automakers to double average fuel
economy of vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 may cost
$157 billion, two agencies said in a draft.  The standard would
add an average of $2,000 to the price of each new passenger
vehicle sold by 2025, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration and Environmental Protection Agency said in a
proposed rule posted today on NHTSA's website. Benefits of $419
billion to $515 billion in fuel savings would offset the costs,
the highway agency wrote.  Posted. 

Electric vehicles industry in China: promising but lack of a
clear road map.  China's electric car industry is rapidly
growing. Both domestic and international carmakers have already
anticipated the great business opportunities in the world's
largest passenger car market. Although the Chinese government
strongly encourages development of new-energy vehicles through
subsidies, until now there is still no clear roadmap to guide
China's EV industry.  Posted. 

Honda Civic GX Natural Gas Wins “2012 Green Car of the Year”
Award. The Civic beat out the Ford Focus Electric, the Mitsubishi
i, the Toyota Prius v and the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. The car
is rated at 27-mpg city, 38-mpg highway and a 31-mph average.
Honda claims the cost to operate the car is roughly 30 percent
less than a conventional gasoline engine. While fueling stations
for such cars are rate, they’re likely to become much more
popular – especially in Southern California. The reason is that
the Civic GX is allowed to operate in the high occupancy vehicle
(HOV) lanes – something the Prius is no longer able to boast.

TRANSPORTATION: EPA makes room for pickup truck transition in new
fuel economy rules. Pickup trucks may get special consideration
in new fuel economy standards, as the White House attempts to
slash oil use without removing a favorite vehicle from American
roads. A proposed rule issued yesterday by the Department of
Transportation and U.S. EPA would cover vehicles sold from 2017
to 2025. It would require trucks to improve their fuel economy at
a slower rate than smaller cars have to. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/11/17/2 BY


S. Korea to Invest $31 Billion by 2020 in Green-Energy
Technology. South Korea, the world’s ninth- largest greenhouse
gas emitter, plans to spend 35.5 trillion won ($31 billion) by
2020 to develop technology for renewable and nuclear energy and
carbon emissions reduction. The investment is part of the
nation’s road map to grab a 10 percent share of the world’s
clean-energy market and have one of the world’s top five energy
industries by 2020, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in an
e-mailed statement. Posted.

SMUD boosting wind power with new turbines at plant near Rio
Vista. SMUD is more than doubling its wind power plant in the
Montezuma Hills near Rio Vista. A total of 55 new wind turbines
are being constructed with a large crane. SMUD expects it will
take 464 truckloads to deliver the components, including tower
pieces and turbine blades, to the site. The turbines will provide
128 megawatts of electricity when they go online early next year
for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The current
generating capacity is 102 megawatts of power. Posted.

Sustainable energy. With the recent events surrounding the
Keystone XL pipeline and the collapse of Solyndra, the energy
debate is as heated as ever in this country. Conservatives tend
to oppose subsidies on clean energy and green technologies,
supporting their arguments with failed examples like Solyndra. In
these arguments, they claim these industries are a dead end and
too much public money already has been spent on them. Meanwhile,
they continue to push for more spending on big oil and increased
domestic drilling, saying it's our only chance of weaning
ourselves off foreign oil. Posted.


Ford unveils redesigned Escape SUV at L.A. Auto Show. The Escape,
the fifth-best-selling vehicle in the U.S., has been transformed
from a five-passenger SUV into a sloping crossover with just a
hint of minivan. The Ford Escape, an aging vehicle that looks
much like the model that first debuted in 2000, has quietly
become one of the biggest success stories at Ford Motor Co. The
automaker has sold more than 200,000 of the small sport utility
vehicles this year, making it the fifth-best-selling vehicle in
America and the top SUV. Posted.

Study is detailed look at Valley health hazards. Stockton -
Almost one-third of the San Joaquin Valley's 4 million residents
lives at high risk for shortened life spans and health problems
due to environmental and social hazards. Now they have a tool
they can use to measure and illustrate those problems for
planning purposes or to improve their communities. University of
California, Davis, researchers this week released a report that
examines the 300-mile-long Valley's environmental hazards, social
vulnerabilities and key health indicators to create the
Cumulative Environmental Vulnerability Assessment, or CEVA.


California in flux: Politically, culturally, ethnically, the
Golden State undergoes a sea change. The weather seems the same,
the same climate that lured millions of people to California
after World War II. Hollywood is still here. San Francisco still
has its cable cars, Golden Gate Bridge and fabulous restaurants.
Sacramento still has its trees, Fresno its Bulldogs, San Diego
its zoo and Death Valley its spring wildflowers. But California
is undergoing profound changes. Posted.


Without a price on carbon, oil will find a way. Last week,
environmentalists and Nebraska activists won a huge victory when
the White House delayed the Keystone XL pipeline, which would
have transported oil from the tar sands in Alberta down to
Cushing, Okla., and on through to Texas refineries on the Gulf
Coast. Yet as it turns out, blocking Keystone alone won’t stop
the flow of oil from Alberta and elsewhere. Yesterday, the world
got yet another reminder of how hard it is to prevent oil from
coming to market (or tamping down on emissions) without taxing or
capping carbon. Posted.

LA’s Solar Power, Green Jobs Potential Largely Untapped.  World
Bank financing has help put solar power systems on more than
300,000 homes and small businesses in Bangladesh. Working with
its local partners, the World Bank’s International Development
Association IDA’s Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy
Project (RERED), is aiming to boost that to more than 1 million
with an additional $172 million credit facility.  Posted. 

Agriculture Industry and Solar Developers Battle In California’s
San Joaquin Valley.  During the last part of the 19th century
cattle ranchers and farmers battled for supremacy in California’s
San Joaquin Valley. Farmers won the battle, and farming has been
entrenched in the Valley’s fertile soil ever since. Today another
battle is being waged, and this time it is between farmers and
those who want to develop solar power. The San Joaquin Valley is
considered by many to be the agricultural center of the world.

Eindhoven University of Technology to make biofuels from its own
wood waste; cyclic oxygenate CyclOx and ethanol.  Researchers at
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) are developing a
small-scale demonstration reactor that will process 40 tons of
wood waste per year from the university into replacements for
diesel fuel and gasoline. TU/e aims with this project to
demonstrate the viability of small-scale, environment-friendly
fuel production from its own waste material at competitive
prices.  Posted. 

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