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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 23, 2011.

Posted: 23 Dec 2011 11:36:39
California Air Resources Board Newsclips for December 23, 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.


China: Stricter Air Pollution Monitoring Standards to Start Next
Year, With Results Made Public in 2016. China will introduce
stricter air pollution standards next year to monitor tiny
particles of pollution in Beijing and other cities, but it may
not start releasing the results to the public until 2016, state
news media reported Thursday. Chinese cities do not measure data
on the smaller particles, 2.5 microns in diameter or less, from
smokestacks and exhaust pipes that shroud many cities in acrid
smog, and many Chinese have complained that official statistics
vastly understate the problem. Posted.

New EPA anti-pollution standards draw industry fire. Industry
leaders condemned the rules for being costly and overly
aggressive. US health campaigners Wednesday hailed the
announcement of new anti-pollution standards for American
manufacturers, but industry leaders condemned the rules for being
costly and overly aggressive. The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) said the first national standards to control power plant
emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution would prevent up to
11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks annually. Posted.

New EPA rule reins in power plants. Washington – The
Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new standards Wednesday
sharply limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants
from the nation's coal- and oil-burning power plants. Unless
blocked by Congress or the courts, the new rule will mark the
first time the federal government has enforced limits on mercury,
arsenic, acid gases and other poisonous and carcinogenic
chemicals emitted by the burning of fossil fuels. Posted.

EPA power plant rule has greens pro-Obama. Environmentalists
rallied so hard for the Obama administration on Wednesday, you’d
think power plants were shooting cotton candy from their
smokestacks. It hasn’t been an easy year for the greens, who are
usually considered in the bank for a Democratic president. In the
summer, President Barack Obama pulled back an EPA attempt to
tighten smog standards, dismaying a wide array of environmental
allies. Posted.

Board approves monitoring trailer purchase.  The Lake County
Board of Supervisors (BOS), sitting as the board of directors for
the Lake County Air Quality Management District (LCAQMD),
approved the purchase of a new air monitoring trailer to monitor
emissions from the Geysers facilities.  Doug Gearhart, air
pollution control officer, said the department had been borrowing
equipment belonging to the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
to monitor emissions in certain areas of Cobb and officials were
asking when the equipment would be returned.  Posted. 


Oil could hit a new record in 2012. Crude oil may rise for a
fourth year to a record average price in 2012 as demand in
emerging markets increases and the U.S. avoids a recession. West
Texas Intermediate oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange will
reach an average of $100 a barrel in 2012, based on the median of
27 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, topping the all-time
high of $99.75 set in 2008. The U.S. benchmark is on course to
average $95 a barrel this year. Posted.

Americans continue to buy less gasoline. U.S. fuel demand in
November dropped, pulled lower by a decline in gasoline
consumption, the American Petroleum Institute said. Total
deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, declined
1.1% to 18.8 million barrels a day last month from a year
earlier, the industry-funded group said today in a report.
Year-to-date consumption has averaged 19 million barrels a day,
down 0.7% from the same period in 2010. Posted.

CARB releases 2011 LCFS review report.  The California Air
Resources Board has completed the first required formal review of
the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a regulatory program that
requires stakeholders to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of
fuels sold within its borders each year until reaching a 10
percent reduction by 2020.  Posted. 


California high-speed rail vows to show real job figures. Backing
off claims that the bullet train would create more than 1 million
jobs, California's high-speed rail leaders acknowledged Thursday
that their "short-handed" definition used to describe jobs has
been "imprecise and potentially confusing." In a statement
responding to an investigation by this newspaper, the California
High-Speed Rail Authority clarified that the 1 million jobs
figure does not refer to the number of workers. Posted.

At Prius Cup, slow and steady wins race. When racing a dowdy
Toyota Prius around Fuji Speedway's demanding Formula One
circuit, the cunning driver must employ some special strategies.
Don't floor the accelerator. Don't slam on the brakes. Hit the
gas when you're heading downhill. And coast for as long as
possible when you're rolling up an incline. Clearly, this is no
ordinary race. Indeed, the goal at the so-called Prius Cup is
mpg, not mph. It's a race for hypermilers. Posted. 

US Department of Energy grants USD7 millions to reduce electric
automobile charger prices.  The US Department of Energy (DOE)
awarded nearly $7 million (€5.36 million) to four projects aiming
at slashing EV charger costs this December. Delta Products
Corporation, Siemens Corporate Research, General Electric Global
Research and Eaton Corporation are the four organisations to
receive funds. Preference has been given to projects that provide
efficient and reliable management to the grid.  Posted. 


Altex to hire 50 workers at its green-fleet plant in Dixon.
Altec, a leading manufacturer of utility trucks, says it will
hire more than 50 people at its new "green" fleet manufacturing
plant in Dixon. The Birmingham, Ala.-based company said it plans
to complete the 43,000- square-foot factory in April, roughly two
months ahead of schedule. Additional jobs could be created as the
demand for alternative-fuel utility vehicles grows, said company
spokesman Mark Wegel. Posted.


French oil giant boosts stake in San Jose solar company.
Paris-based Total SA, Europe's third-largest oil producer, agreed
to pay $164 million to boost its stake in SunPower Corp. to 66%
in a deal that included selling its Tenesol unit to the U.S.
solar company. Total, which already owned 60% of the U.S.'s No. 2
solar-panel maker, will buy 18.6 million more shares of SunPower
at $8.80 apiece, a 50% premium to Thursday's closing price,
SunPower said today in a regulatory statement. Posted.

How to kick-start new energy technologies. The world desperately
needs innovation in energy technologies — but those innovations
are unlikely to happen by themselves. A three-year study by a
team of researchers based at MIT has now identified a suite of
policy and investment strategies that could accelerate innovation
in the United States, helping to meet our growing energy needs
affordably and reliably, reducing carbon emissions and
alleviating insecurity over energy supplies. Posted. 


Clearing the air on mercury. The Obama administration's rules
show that the country will no longer tolerate the health toll
caused by emissions of mercury and other highly toxic pollutants
from coal plants. Eight percent of women of child-bearing age in
this country have mercury levels in their blood that could cause
lower IQ in their children. That fact alone justifies the tough
but achievable regulations issued this week by the Obama
administration to control mercury pollution from coal-fired
plants. Posted.

Why So Many Spare the Air Alerts? Eight no-burn edicts issued in
past two weeks, during one of the driest Decembers on record. Air
quality regulators have banned wood-burning fires on eight of the
past fifteen days. Last year, there were only four such "Winter
Spare the Air" alerts all season. One reason for the increase?
“We don’t have any rain,” said Jennifer Jones, a public
information officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District, which issues the alerts. Posted.


Darrell Issa: California uncooperative in gas-mileage probe. Rep.
Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House
oversight committee, is accusing his home state of failing to
fully cooperate with his probe of California's role in the Obama
administration’s setting of tougher federal fuel-economy rules
for vehicles. Issa, in a letter to California Air Resources Board
Chairwoman Mary Nichols, accused state officials of making
statements that "frankly appear to be a deliberate attempt to
mislead Congress and obstruct an official investigation." Posted.

Historic Mercury Regs from EPA a Boon for Health, the Environment
and Jobs. A few small drops of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre
lake and the fish that happen to reside there, thanks to
coal-fired plant emissions. That’s a major reason why the EPA’s
decision to regulate the emissions of mercury, lead and other
toxic pollutants from coal- and oil-fired plants is a major
victory for the health and environmental welfare of the nation.

Public Attitudes Toward Climate Change Across Countries. From the
World Bank commissioned report in 2009: “Public attitudes toward
climate change: findings from a multi-country poll”, comes this
interesting look at country wide attitudes to climate change. So
it's interesting to look at how these views affected country
attitudes at Durban recently. It is pertinent to mention here
that Asia has been worst hit by severe climate change.  Pakistan
is one of the countries that have been severely hit in the recent
years by disastrous effects of climate change including flash
floods and devastating earthquakes. Posted. 

Nissan: batteries in the Leaf are tough, even after earthquake
beating. Nissan representatives have long been proud of the
durability of the air-cooled, 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
that stores energy in the Leaf. Given the recent troubles that
the liquid-cooled pack in the Chevy Volt has given GM, it's
perhaps not surprising that Nissan wants to reassure – carefully
– the public that it still believes the Leaf pack is safe.

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