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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 9, 2012. Posted: 09 Jan 2012 15:52:58
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 9, 2012. 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 Hong Kong air pollution at worst levels ever. HONG KONG - Air pollution levels in Hong Kong were the worst ever last year, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday, a finding that may further undermine the city's role as an Asian financial centre as business executives relocate because of health concerns. Worsening air quality in Hong Kong caused by vehicle emissions and industrial pollution from the neighboring Pearl River Delta is already forcing many in the financial community to move to Singapore. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/09/uk-pollution-hong-kong-idUSLNE80800G20120109?feedType=RSS China to Release More Data on Air Pollution in Beijing. Shanghai — China said on Friday that it would begin to publish more detailed air quality data on Beijing later this month, following a public outcry over official government readings that critics said underestimated the severity of the air pollution problem in the smog-filled capital. Beijing plans to publish hourly air quality reports based on an international standard known as PM 2.5, which measures tiny particles that are 2.5 microns or less in diameter… Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/07/world/asia/china-to-release-more-data-on-air-pollution-in-beijing.html?_r=1 Air worse than it seems, so watch burn days. You walk outside, you take a deep breath, and, ah, the air seems so crisp and clear and clean. But — cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze, gasp, gasp — it's not. In fact, for most of the last month or so, it's been just the opposite. If you want to know what the air's really like, turn to The Bee's daily weather page, and there on the upper right portion of the back page of the B section you'll find the telltale signs: …Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/06/2014720/the-air-is-worse-than-it-seems.html Record air pollution hammers Calif's ag heartland. Fresno, Calif. -- This is the time of year when residents who often live with the nation's worst pollution often can draw a breath of fresh air. But this winter has not been kind to people who want to play outside in California's Central Valley. A dry December and January has stagnated air across California, but nowhere is the situation more serious than between Modesto and Bakersfield, where nearly every day dirty air has exceeded federal health standards. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/07/v-print/4169751/record-air-pollution-hammers-califs.html http://www.dailynews.com/ci_19695547?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19695547?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19695547?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Port gets a big lift. At 400 tons and 220 feet tall once fully assembled, the two harbor cranes that arrived at the Port of Stockton last week will be among most massive and, certainly, tallest structures in town. The cranes, costing nearly $5 million apiece, will serve as the centerpiece of a so-called marine highway, employing barges to shuttle marine shipping containers between the Port of Oakland and the inland ports at Stockton and West Sacramento. By supplanting truck transport, it would ease regional highway congestion and air pollution. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120108/A_BIZ/201080301&cid=sitesearch Smog agency: Switch to gas logs, get $200. If you have a wood-burning fireplace and live below 3,000 feet in the South Coast Air Basin, smog regulators have a deal for you: Switch to gas and receive a $200 discount for doing it. The idea is to reduce the amount of residential wood-smoke in the basin, emitted by an estimated 1.2 million homes and responsible for some five tons per day of harmful, fine-particle emissions. That’s four times the amount from all the power plants in the region, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://sciencedude.ocregister.com/2012/01/06/smog-agency-switch-to-gas-logs-get-200/166358/ CLIMATE CHANGE USC researchers discover new, cheaper CO2 capture. Researchers at USC, right here in our backyard, have just announced a new, superefficient way to pull CO2 out of the air. And, potentially, out of effluents from smokestacks and other industrial sources. And to then release it again, recycling the capture material over and over. The secrets? Sand. And plastic. The new process, detailed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, claims to have the highest carbon dioxide removal capacity for real-world conditions, Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-new-cheaper-co2-capture-discovered-20120106,0,7127959.story?track=rss New Materials Remove Carbon Dioxide from Smokestacks, Tailpipes and Even the Air. Scientists are reporting discovery of an improved way to remove carbon dioxide -- the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming -- from smokestacks and other sources, including the atmosphere. Their report on the process, which achieves some of the highest carbon dioxide removal capacity ever reported for real-world conditions where the air contains moisture, appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Posted. -http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115100.htm Next Ice Age Delayed By Global Warming Gases, Study Finds. London - High levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere mean the next ice age is unlikely to begin for at least 1,500 years, an article in the journal Nature Geoscience said on Monday. Concentrations of the main gases blamed for global warming reached record levels in 2010 and will linger in the atmosphere for decades even if the world stopped pumping out emissions today, according to the U.N.'s weather agency. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/next-ice-age-global-warming_n_1193900.html?ref=green FUELS Ethanol subsidy dies, auto industry shrugs. The Jan. 1 demise of a 30-year federal tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol came and went as a so-what moment in the auto industry. Automakers and industry observers said it will have little impact on sales of so-called flex-fuel models -- many of which roll through their lives, after winning federal fuel-economy credits for their makers, without burning a drop of ethanol. Car companies receive a credit toward their corporate average fuel economy for every model they build that is capable of burning E85 -- a blend of gasoline and up to 85 percent ethanol. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120109/OEM06/301099961/1186 VEHICLES GM goal: Protect Volt's battery, image. General Motors last week offered a voluntary modification meant to keep the Chevrolet Volt's battery pack from catching fire after a severe crash, a big step toward sidestepping a potential image hit to the halo car. GM is asking its 8,000 Volt customers to bring the plug-in hybrid to their Chevy dealership for a fix that will reinforce the steel surrounding the battery pack to prevent it from being punctured during a crash. It also will add a sensor to the battery pack to monitor coolant leaks. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120109/OEM01/301099944/1186 GREEN ENERGY Renewable energy projects in California go unused. Millions of dollars in projects intended to provide power to facilities in the state's national parks and forests are sitting idle because of a years-long squabble with Southern California Edison. Millions of dollars in renewable energy projects intended to provide power to facilities in California's national parks and forests are sitting idle because of a years-long squabble with Southern California Edison. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-parks-solar-20120109,0,1759062.story New program helps contractors, Realtors and loan officers think green. Having a green household is more possible than people think. That's what officials at Energy Upgrade California want homeowners and prospective buyers to know as the officials promote financing options and rebates for those who want to save money while making their homes more energy-efficient. The $30 million Energy Upgrade California program, which provides rebates for energy and water home improvements…Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jan/06/new-program-helps-contractors-realtors-and-loan/ Windsor school, town officials battle over solar array. Windsor’s desire to embrace green, energy-saving practices could be tested in a controversy involving a private school’s application to install a solar array next to its campus. Windsor planning department officials recently rejected the Sonoma Country Day School’s application to install the photovoltaic panels, saying it is incompatible with the zoning on the parcel. “I view this request as an encroachment of the school use into the Town’s Light Industrial zone,” Planning Director Jim Bergman wrote in a letter explaining his decision. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120108/ARTICLES/120109607 RETAIL: Stater Bros. lauded for waste reduction. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has recognized Stater Bros. with a 2011 Waste Reduction Award for the company’s efforts to recycling materials and eliminate waste from its Southern California operations. The CalRecycle Waste Reduction Awards Program, initiated in 1993, recognizes business is the state for their environmentally friendly practices. This is the second year running Stater Bros. has received the award. Posted. http://www.pe.com/business/business-insider-headlines/20120106-retail-stater-bros.-lauded-for-waste-reduction.ece MISCELLANEOUS Capping an era of L.A. oil exploration. Long-abandoned wells on the Los Angeles City Oil Field, which sparked Southern California's oil boom 120 years ago, are being sealed to make way for a 45-unit affordable housing project. It almost seemed as though oil drilling rigs were ready to tap into Los Angeles' first petroleum field again. But the workers setting up a pair of derricks south of Echo Park last week were plugging some of the city's oldest wells — not drilling new ones. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-old-wells-20120109,0,7837974,print.story In Person: John Bryson, who aims to strengthen U.S. competitiveness. New Secretary of Commerce John Bryson talks about dealing with China, encouraging U.S. businesses to create jobs, and other issues. Washington — John Bryson knows what it's like to be in crisis mode. His 18-year stint as chief executive of Edison International included a tumultuous stretch a decade ago when he fought to keep the company afloat during the California electricity crisis. Posted. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017186822_inpersonbryson09.html Rolling Stone: Utah’s Shurtleff one who gets it done. Rolling Stone asks the same question asked many Utah Democrats (yes, they do exist) - “How did Democrats let a conservative Republican from Orrin Hatch’s home state get out in front on this issue?” Other leaders honored by the magazine are Mary Nichols, head of the California Air Resources Board, Paul Reickoff, Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn, Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren-D …Posted. http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-salt-lake-city/rolling-stone-utah-s-shurtleff-one-who-gets-it-done OPINIONS Jerry Brown 2.0 at 1. A year into his latest go-round as governor of California, Jerry Brown doesn't stand much on ceremony these days. That was evident even before the snafu which caused the roll-out of his state budget five days earlier than scheduled (and delayed this about to roll-out piece). I talked with Brown over the holidays about how things have gone, how they are going, and how they (he hopes) will go. President Barack Obama will carry California. That's not in question. What is in question is California's future. Brown made it very clear that he intends to keep thinking big even in a time of limits. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-bradley/jerry-brown-2012_b_1190844.html LFTR: A Long-Term Energy Solution? Currently more than 80 percent of the world's energy is obtained from fossil fuels: petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Another 10 percent comes from biomass and waste, leaving only 10 percent from sources other than carbon burning. According to the World Health Organization, urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year, from respiratory infections, heat disease, and lung cancer. Indoor air pollution is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths mostly in developing countries. Almost half of these deaths are due to pneumonia in children under 5 years of age. The source in both cases is carbon combustion, from fossil fuels or biomass. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/lftr-a-longterm-energy-so_b_1192584.html?ref=green Beverly Bean: A pesticide challenge. The transition away from fossil fuels is the obvious action needed to combat the devastating effects of global warming, which are already starting to be felt worldwide. The United States — "the best democracy money can buy"— has been the main stumbling block for any meaningful worldwide action due to the shortsighted focus on their bottom line by the large energy corporations which control political action in Washington. Posted. http://www.montereyherald.com/opinion/ci_19703679 Detroit to India: The clean-vehicle paradigm shift. In 1900, it wasn’t obvious that we needed a replacement for horses. After all, horses were all-terrain vehicles that got the job done. So, when car’s arrived, they were greeted with far less fanfare than, say, the iPad, and were all but dismissed as dirty, noisy and unnecessary. The shift to computers was much the same. When the machines first started hitting desktops, everyone knew at least one writer who turned up their nose and treated the phrase “word processor” like a four-letter word. These are likely the same writers who are madly texting their grandkids on their smart phones today. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-innovations/the-clean-vehicle-paradigm-shift/2012/01/06/gIQAxKYblP_story.html Electric vehicles: To support with subsidies or not. The Jan. 2 editorial “Overcharged,”which celebrated the end of government support to all-electric cars, was shortsighted. The limited tax credit served a worthy goal: to boost private investment in the infrastructure needed to make all-electric vehicles a viable alternative — especially for drivers who travel short distances to Metro, to work and around town. Until charging stations are built, it will be hard for drivers to count on charging their cars when they are away from home. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/electric-vehicles-to-support-with-subsidies-or-not/2012/01/02/gIQA6PcufP_story.html It’s year for ‘fracking’ to break up or break through. The natural gas industry and its opponents are readying their final arguments for what many think will be a critical year in the debate over “fracking” safety. Supporters of the hydraulic fracturing process - the use of water, sand and chemicals to break underground rock and release huge amounts of gas - boast of recent economic growth, with hundreds of thousands of jobs created in the past several years and small, sleepy communities in Pennsylvania, North Dakota and elsewhere transformed into boomtowns. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/8/its-year-for-fracking-to-break-up-or-break-through/?page=1