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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 30, 2011

Posted: 30 Dec 2011 12:16:46
California Air Resources Board News Clips for December 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.


Chinese suspect Beijing's air more polluted than reported. 
Sitting on a park bench in downtown Beijing on Tuesday afternoon,
Wang Kuang paused to consider the air in front of his face. The
sky in Beijing is often a murky color, something between gray and
brown. But the past few days have been particularly bad: hundreds
of flights canceled, sections of highway temporarily closed and
entire buildings seemingly vanished from the horizon. "I worry
about whether this is pollution or fog," said Wang, a 31-year-old
who works in sports ticketing and merchandising.  Posted. 

Air district says climate causing bad air quality.  The valley's
air quality is off to a rough start this winter and the air
district said the weather is to blame.  The valley counties have
already had four times as many unhealthy days this season than in
the entire 2010-2011 winter season, a San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District news release sent Thursday said.  The
number of wood burning prohibition days is also up throughout the
district this year, according to the news release.  A La Nina
weather pattern, which causes drier, stagnant weather, is
responsible for the conditions causing the poor air, the district
said.  Posted. 


Federal judge blocks California low-carbon fuels rule. 
California officials say they will ask a federal judge to stay
his ruling that blocks the state from enforcing the
first-in-the-nation mandate for cleaner, low-carbon fuels.  In a
decision issued Thursday, Fresno-based U.S. District Court Judge
Lawrence O'Neill said the low-carbon fuel rules favor biofuels
produced in the state. He said that violates the U.S.
Constitution's commerce clause by discriminating against crude
oil and biofuels producers located outside California.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:







California Low-Carbon Rules Halted.  In a victory for refiners
and ethanol producers, a federal judge halted enforcement of
California's low-carbon fuel rules Thursday, saying they
discriminated against crude oil and ethanol imported into the
state. The decision puts on hold a major portion of California's
effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, at a time when the
most-populous state's stance has taken on extra importance
nationwide because of a stalemate in Washington over
greenhouse-gas legislation.  Posted. 

What the Frack?  The recent press about the potential of shale
gas would have you believe that America is now sitting on a
100-year supply of natural gas. It's a "game-changer." A "golden
age of gas" awaits, one in which the United States will be energy
independent, even exporting gas to the rest of the world,
upending our current energy-importing situation.  The data,
however, tell a very different story. Between the demonstrable
gas reserves, and the potential resources blared in the
headlines, lies an enormous gulf of uncertainty.  Posted. 


New regulations for light bulbs starts Jan. 1.  Q What do I need
to know about the new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs
that take effect in January? Will certain bulbs be unavailable?
And am I supposed to switch out my older inefficient bulbs with
newer efficient ones?  A Indeed, January marks the beginning of a
planned phaseout of inefficient light bulbs in the United States
that was signed into law five years ago by President George W.
Bush. It was designed to reduce energy usage nationally from
lighting by some 30 percent overall within three years.  Posted. 



Times Square ball-drop switches to LEDs.  Despite Republicans'
efforts to equate efficient lighting with tyranny, the age of
incandescent bulbs will be officially over as of Jan. 1. The best
indication of this switch-over is not any one piece of
legislation coming out of Washington, but a totally symbolic
move:  When the Times Square balls drops at midnight on New
Year's Eve, its shining light will be emanating from 32,256 LED
bulbs.  Posted. 


Judge Blocks California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Rule.  A federal judge
on Thursday blocked enforcement of a California regulation
favoring producers of gasoline, diesel fuel and biofuels whose
methods generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions.  The ruling by
the judge, Lawrence J. O’Neill of United States District Court in
Fresno, said the rule unconstitutionally discriminates against
out-of-state producers and attempts to regulate activities that
take place entirely outside state boundaries, from producers’
choice of farming methods to refiners’ use of coal-fired
electricity.  Posted. 

On Our Radar: Scientists Appeal to G.O.P. Candidates.  Less than
two weeks before the New Hampshire primary, 50 scientists in that
state call on Republican presidential candidates to accept the
“overwhelming” scientific evidence on the human role in climate
change and to support action to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
Their statement follows a similar appeal from scientists in Iowa.
[E2Wire.]  After angry residents block its first attempt to
deliver an environmental impact statement to a prefectural
government in Okinawa, Japan’s Defense Ministry makes the
delivery under cover of darkness.  Posted. 

For Entrepreneurial ‘Change Agents,’ a Green M.B.A.  As we noted
in a post in August about a new survey, an increasing number of
colleges are beginning to offer courses or entire programs
devoted to green business practices in response to growing
demand.  Such programs teach students how to manage a business’s
social and environmental impact in addition to focusing on
profits. The latest school to add its name to this list is Bard,
the liberal arts college just north of New York City, which this
month announced that it would begin offering an M.B.A. program
centering on sustainability.  Posted. 

So, you want to subsidize solar energy? Do you realize…  The
green lobby, which never found a taxpayer dollar it didn’t want
to redistribute, insists that we should divert our hard-earned
wealth for the greater good by subsidizing things like solar
energy.  Who profits?  Even if you buy the reasoning, you might
want to know more about how that works in practice. T.J. Rodgers
in the Wall Street Journal has a nifty little primer on the
details.  Posted. 

Federal Judge rules California Low Carbon Fuel Standard violates
Commerce Clause of US Constitution.  Federal District Judge
Lawrence J. O’Neill, Eastern District of California, ruled on
Thursday that the State of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard
(LCFS) program is in violation of the Commerce Clause of the US
Constitution and issued an injunction prohibiting its
enforcement. (Earlier post.) The LCFS intends to reduce, on a
full-fuel lifecycle basis, the carbon intensity (CI) of
transportation fuels (measured in gCO2e/MJ) used in California by
an average of 10% by the year 2020. (Earlier post.)  Posted. 

Ford targeting 30% reduction in water used per vehicle by 2015. 
Ford plans to cut the amount of water used to make each vehicle
30% globally by 2015, compared with the amount of water used per
vehicle in 2009. If Ford meets the 30% goal, the amount of water
used to make a vehicle will have dropped from 9.5 m3 (2,510
gallons US) in 2000 to approximately 3.5 m3 (925 gallons US) in
2015.  Posted. 

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