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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 30, 2011. Posted: 30 Nov 2011 14:13:21
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 30, 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 EPA Rules Won’t Cause Major Power-Grid Woes, Agency’s McCarthy Says. Pending air-pollution rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won’t create major risks for the nation’s electric grid, an agency official said. “In the 40-year history of the Clean Air Act, EPA rules have never caused the lights to go out,” Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said today at a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conference in Washington. FERC, which regulates the interstate transport of electricity, is examining the effect of planned EPA air- pollution rules on the reliability of the grid. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-30/epa-rules-won-t-cause-major-power-grid-woes-agency-s-mccarthy-says.html http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-30/epa-rules-won-t-cause-major-power-grid-woes-mccarthy-says.html STUDY: Ozone pollution linked to lower productivity. Academic researchers have found that ozone pollution, the lung-irritating component of smog, results in significant reductions in work productivity. When ozone levels drop by 10 parts per billion, workers at a Central Valley farm were 4.2 percent more productive, according to the study published by National Bureau of Economic Research. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20111129-study-ozone-pollution-linked-to-lower-productivity.ece Groups challenge 2nd Arctic drilling air permit. Alaska Native and conservation groups are again taking aim at a federal permit needed by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell to drill for petroleum in Arctic Ocean waters off Alaska's northern shore. Nine groups on Monday challenged an air permit granted to Shell Offshore Inc. by the Environmental Protection Agency for the drilling ship Kulluk, which Shell hopes to use next year in the Beaufort Sea. The groups last month appealed an air permit for the Discoverer and its support vessels, which Shell hopes to use next year in the Chukchi Sea. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gSwXtzCEtBTQ0iLaCRxw_R76TxiQ?docId=c792fd413d634537bc78a87486572c7d AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/alaska-native-conservation-groups-appeal-2nd-air-permit-to-shell-for-arctic-offshore-drilling/2011/11/29/gIQAPCSz9N_story.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/11/29/2631761/groups-challenge-2nd-arctic-drilling.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19434281?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19434281?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/nov/29/groups-challenge-second-arctic-drilling-air/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/groups-challenge-nd-arctic-drilling-air-permit/article_0ead3682-b8db-5f27-ba96-b3a4e5dfb94d.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/29/1967268/groups-challenge-2nd-arctic-drilling.html Johnson Controls: Shanghai plant not leaking lead. U.S. battery maker Johnson Controls is at odds with Shanghai's environment regulator over the credibility of tests that the company says show it was not responsible for severe lead poisoning cases in children discovered earlier this year. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company said Wednesday that an investigation by the China Electric Equipment Industry Association found its battery factory in Shanghai's eastern suburbs was not the cause of elevated blood-lead levels among children in a nearby community. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/nov/29/johnson-controls-shanghai-plant-not-leaking-lead/ http://www.nctimes.com/business/johnson-controls-shanghai-plant-not-leaking-lead/article_d1258cb0-ff50-5825-8fc2-4af773247f5f.html Once more, from the top: Shutting down dirty coal plants won’t cause blackouts. Could Americans soon be forced to suffer through rolling blackouts and power shortages because of a heartless, hapless, tyrannical EPA, as conservatives and dirty utilities are suggesting? The short answer is, no. The long answer is, no. But the long one requires a bit of explanation. A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conference on electrical-system reliability, along with the release of a couple new reports, has revived a simmering dispute over the effects of upcoming EPA regulations. Posted. http://www.grist.org/coal/2011-11-29-shutting-down-dirty-coal-plants-wont-cause-blackouts CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change battle framed in moral terms by environmental coalition. A broad coalition of civic leaders, elected officials and labor, environmental and social activists launched a new campaign Wednesday aimed at persuading U.S. politicians that they should curb greenhouse gas emissions for moral and ethical reasons. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/climate-change-battle-framed-in-moral-terms-by-environmental-coalition/2011/11/30/gIQA4NhADO_blog.html Countries at odds over raising, managing billions of dollars to fight climate change. Durban, South Africa — International climate negotiators were at odds Tuesday on how to raise billions of dollars to help poor countries cope with global warming. A major shipping group is willing to help, endorsing a proposal for a carbon tax on vessels carrying the world’s trade. Details of the tussle over the funding emerged as the U.N.’s weather agency reported that 2011 was tied as the 10th hottest year since records began in 1850. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/un-weather-office-affirms-earths-longterm-warming-trend-arctic-ice-shrinks-to-record-lows/2011/11/29/gIQAdlyi7N_story.html Permafrost Thaw May Emit More Than Deforestation, Study Says. Emissions from thawing permafrost may contribute more to global warming than deforestation this century, according to a commentary in the journal Nature. Arctic warming of 7.5 degrees Celsius (13.5 degrees Fahrenheit) this century may unlock the equivalent of 380 billion tons of carbon dioxide as soils thaw, allowing carbon to escape as CO2 and methane, University of Florida and University of Alaska biologists wrote today in Nature. Two degrees of warming would release a third of that, they said. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-30/permafrost-thaw-may-emit-more-than-deforestation-study-says.html http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45494959# UN scientist: fighting climate change saves costs. The U.N.'s top climate scientist cautioned climate negotiators Wednesday that global warming is leading to human dangers and soaring financial costs, but containing carbon emissions will have a host of benefits. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, summarized a litany of potential disasters at a U.N. climate conference in the South African city of Durban. Although he gave no explicit deadlines, the implication was that time is running out for greenhouse gas emissions to level off and begin to decline. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/nov/30/un-scientist-fighting-climate-change-saves-costs/ http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19438829?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19438829?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/un-scientist-fighting-climate-change-saves-costs/article_7a8e51b6-8767-5aab-bd19-be83c9e8674f.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/29/1966823/financing-battle-emerges-at-climate.html Report offers 'carbon neutral' road map for California. If Californians are going to reach their goal of massive greenhouse gas reductions in the next 40 years, they’ve got their work cut out for them. But the goal is not impossible, according to a team of researchers that has provided a blueprint to get there. In a paper published last week in the online version of the journal Science, the authors show it is possible for California to achieve its state-mandated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/report-offers-carbon-neutral-road-map-california-13786 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/california-greenhouse-gas_n_1120912.html VEHICLES Civic Natural Gas available to more consumers. Thirteen years after launching its natural gas-powered Civic as a low-emission, low-fuel-price vehicle for public utilities and other business fleets, Honda is expanding availability to more consumers than ever. For the first time, car shoppers in 30-plus states should find natural gas-powered Civics sitting on lots at select Honda dealerships. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/11/30/2632629/civic-natural-gas-available-to.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19439711?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19439711?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com House Republican wants answers from auto CEOs on fuel rules. The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants the chief executives of 15 major automakers to answer detailed questions about the government's 2017-2025 proposed fuel economy regulations. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sent 11-page letters late Monday to top executives at General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and eight other automakers. Posted. http://www.detnews.com/article/20111129/AUTO01/111290423/1361/House-Republican-wants-answers-from-auto-CEOs-on-fuel-rules Green cars in spotlight at waning Japan auto show. Green cars rolled into the spotlight at the Tokyo auto show as Japan's automakers look to fuel efficient technology to reinvigorate growth after tough times. The showcase for Japan's pillar auto industry was holding its preview for media on Wednesday ahead of opening to the public on Saturday. Plug-in hybrids and electric cars are centerstage at the Tokyo Motor Show - reflecting both how green cars are growing in popularity and the low profile of foreign automakers at the event. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/29/1967612/green-cars-in-spotlight-at-waning.html#ixzz1fDBQdrzX GM's Volt battery fires threaten to knock 'moon shot' off target. When General Motors Co. announced plans in June 2008 to build the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, executives called it a "moon shot" intended to rocket past Toyota Motor Corp. in technology leadership. Now the car is a flash-point for concern. The automaker's image car is the subject of a U.S. probe following fires that occurred in its lithium-ion batteries at least a week after three crash tests. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111129/OEM05/311299835/1186 GREEN ENERGY BofA to fund SolarCity's military housing project. A billion-dollar project by SolarCity to stick solar panels on military housing across the country will proceed solely with private financing, after the federal government backed out in the wake of Solyndra's bankruptcy. SolarCity, based in San Mateo, will report today that it has reached an agreement with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to fund the effort, which is expected to cost more than $1 billion and take five years. SolarCity calls it the largest residential solar project in history, potentially providing electricity to 120,000 military housing units. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/30/BUAG1M5MBP.DTL&type=printable With help from chambers of commerce, local businesses go green. Chambers of commerce have long been known for furthering the interests of local businesses. Now, more consumers want an economy that is steering toward sustainability, too, and that’s made Merced’s own chamber a champion of green business practices. The Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce launched a Green Team this past summer. Posted. http://www.healthycal.org/archives/6281 MISCELLANEOUS Bullet train funding plan faulted. The Legislative Analyst's Office says the financing plan does not fulfill key requirements of the ballot measure voters approved to authorize the project. The funding plan for the California bullet train does not comply with key provisions of a ballot measure that voters approved to authorize the project and $9 billion in state bonds to help finance it, according to a report released Tuesday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rail-report-20111130,0,977227.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Flocal+%28L.A.+Times+-+California+%7C+Local+News%29 http://www.mercurynews.com/california-high-speed-rail/ci_19436537 Global warming hates the Ohio State Buckeyes. This Saturday's Crankshaft cartoon took on global warming, noting that climate change is threatening Ohio's iconic buckeye trees, the namesake of the Ohio State Buckeyes. "Once it starts to affect football, they'll get moving on climate change," one character says… As greenhouse pollution from oil and coal continues to build, the Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) is on its way out of the Buckeye State. Posted. http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-11-29-global-warming-hates-the-ohio-state-buckeyes OPINIONS EDITORIAL: A climate of fraud. The latest release of 5,000 emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) reconfirms what the 2009’s “Climategate” files established: Global warming is more fiction than science. The basic problem with climate research is that it is at best soft science, and this leaked correspondence demonstrate just how unsettled it is. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/29/a-climate-of-fraud/ LOIS HENRY: Air Board study in error? They don't seem to care. You'd think I would cease to be amazed at the "damn the facts, full speed ahead" MO exhibited by California's air pollution cabal. And yet, here I sit, astounded once again. Not only did an obscure but important committee in the bowels of the California Air Resources Board recently ignore dozens of pages of serious criticisms of a new pollution study, but at least one committee member seems to have zero understanding of how such studies are used to create regulations that affect all of us out here in real people land. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/columnist/henry/x1347873497/LOIS-HENRY-Air-Board-study-in-error-They-dont-seem-to-care RUCKER: Scary climate talks in Durban. It’s that time of year again. Another holiday season and another United Nations climate conference is getting under way in some remote corner of the world. The good news for those of us skeptical of global warming fear-mongering is that the chance of U.N. delegates now gathered in Durban, South Africa, agreeing to a revamped global warming treaty is slim. The bad news is that much remains at stake. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/29/scary-climate-talks-in-durban// BLOGS Global warming forgotten in 2012 race. One interesting phenomenon of the 2012 race has been the disappearance of global warming as a campaign issue. Not surprising among the Republicans, but not even President Obama is talking about it. When President Obama was running during more flush economic times, he promised to raise everyone’s power bill in order to save the planet. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board on January 17, 2008, President Obama stated that, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-insiders/post/global-warming-forgotten-in-2012-race/2011/11/30/gIQA29CBDO_blog.html The Chevrolet Volt Fire in Perspective. It was probably only a matter of time before we saw this story: An electric vehicle’s battery pack catches fire, drawing into question the safety of electric vehicles in general. Ever since lithium-ion batteries were found to sometimes catch fire in laptops or cell phones, sooner or later we’d most probably see the same thing happening to a car battery – after all, EVs essentially use the same battery chemistry. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/11/chevrolet-volt-fire-lets-put-perspective/ Darrell Issa asks 15 automakers if higher CAFE level might hurt sales, safety. Darrell Issa is on a mission. The House Republican from California is stepping up his quest to figure out if the new CAFE standards are part of President Obama's "Green-Energy Agenda is Killing Jobs" (Okay, technically, that's Issa's report about Solyndra, but it shows where he's coming from) or potentially affecting safety. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/11/29/darrell-issa-asks-15-automakers-if-higher-cafe-level-might-hurt/ Honda outlines technology for fuel efficiency push; engines, transmissions, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains. In Tokyo, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. outlined its plans for next-generation automotive technology—which it is labeling “Earth Dreams Technology”—comprising a series of measures to improve the efficiency of gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems and electric powertrains. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/11/honda-20111130.html