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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 20, 2012.

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 13:42:39
ARB Newsclips for January 20, 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.


Navistar Running Out Of Pollution Credits - California Board.
Truck maker Navistar International Corp. (NAV) is quickly running
out of the pollution credits that have allowed the company to
sell heavy-duty truck engines that don't meet the latest U.S.
standards for diesel engine exhaust, according to California's
Air Resources Board. The board, which is part the state's
Environmental Protection Agency, said it's prepared to rescind an
executive order that has allowed Navistar to sell noncompliant
engines in California. Posted.

Beijing makes rare concession on pollution measure. BEIJING — In
a rare bow to public pressure, the Beijing local government has
begun using a more stringent measure for air quality, and the
first publicly announced readings Thursday showed the air was
“hazardous” in at least two areas of the polluted capital city.
The release of the data followed online protests and complaints
that the U.S. Embassy in Beijing was providing a more accurate
gauge of Beijing’s air than the city government, which typically
tries to downplay the pollution as mere “fog.” Posted.

San Lorenzo Valley residents air complaints over smoky
conditions: Use of fireplaces, wood-burning stoves increases,
worsening air quality. The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution
Control District is reminding county residents, especially those
in the San Lorenzo Valley, to be wary of using fireplaces and
wood stoves during cool temperatures. A lack of rain - until
Thursday - and cool temperatures have combined to worsen the air
quality in the valley, as residents fire up their wood-burning
stoves and fireplaces to stay warm. With little wind, the smoke
is lingering in the air, leading to several complaints. Posted.

District sets list of air quality goals. After a challenging year
for air quality in the San Joaquin Valley, officials on Thursday
approved a list of goals for 2012, including more air-quality
stations, cleaner vehicles and new alternatives for burning
agricultural waste. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District says pollution has declined 80 percent from factories
and businesses, and 60 percent from mobile sources such as cars
and trucks since 1980. Posted.


French Corn Farmers Plant Earlier, Lift Yields as Climate Warms.
Corn farmers in France, the European Union’s largest producer,
are planting their crop earlier compared with a decade ago as
climate change causes higher temperatures, boosting yields,
researchers and growers said. Corn planting has advanced by about
a month, giving crops more time to grow and develop, Jacques
Mathieu, head of crop researcher Arvalis Institut du Vegetal,
said in an interview this week in Dijon in eastern France.

World not quite as hot in 2011. The world last year wasn't quite
as warm as it has been for most of the past decade, government
scientists said Thursday, but it continues a general trend of
rising temperatures. The average global temperature was 57.9
degrees Fahrenheit, making 2011 the 11th hottest on record, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. That's 0.9
degrees warmer than the 20th century average, officials said. In
fact, it was hotter than every year last century except 1998.

Barclays Closes US Carbon Desk In Latest Cap And Trade Setback. A
major European bank closed its US carbon trading business this
week in a sign that 2012 is a "make-or-break" year for
cap-and-trade programs designed to fight climate change.
London-based Barclays determined the US carbon market, currently
comprised of a handful of states, is too small to justify the
expense of a dedicated trading desk in New York, according to
sources familiar with the decision. Posted.


Ever wonder where fossil fuels come from? Many people are very
concerned about climate change and how and why the Earth seems to
be getting warmer. Steps to prevent this warming from continuing
include recycling, reducing people’s “carbon footprint” and
finding ways to produce energy that doesn’t pollute and that is
renewable, which means it can be created again and again.
Reducing your carbon footprint means releasing less carbon
dioxide into the environment. Posted. 

Seaweed in the tank? Company turns to aquaculture for ethanol.
Imagine driving up to a gas station for ethanol made not from
corn farms in the heartland but from seaweed farms on the coasts.
Futuristic, yes. But as the world looks for ways to reduce the
use of fossil fuels, farming for seaweed as a fuel feedstock
could emerge as an option. It's already starting in the earliest
stages of testing in Chile. On Thursday, a breakthrough in the
development of biofuels and useful chemicals from seaweed made
the cover of the current issue of Science magazine. Posted. 

Traders worry that a Calif. low-carbon fuels decision could apply
to electricity imports. A federal judge's decision overturning
California's emissions reduction program for transport fuels is
making carbon traders and lawyers nervous. The ruling, they fear,
may not just apply to fuel. It could open California's
cap-and-trade system to charges that it violates the U.S.
Constitution's Commerce Clause by regulating shipments of
electricity from out-of-state power generators. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/01/20/1  BY

With Pipeline Stopped for Now, Tar Sands Battle Continues in
California Courts. A legal brawl over a low-carbon fuel rule will
shape the appetite of global markets for Canada's dirtier crude.
A high-stakes legal battle is underway in California over whether
the state's clean air agency can enforce a first-ever rule to
slash carbon emissions in transportation fuels. The fight is
being closely watched because the rule could choke global market
demand for Alberta's carbon-intensive oil sands at a very
precarious time for the industry. Posted.


Road Safety Agency Is Urged to Add Expertise in Electronics
Systems. A branch of the National Academy of Sciences reported
Wednesday that federal safety regulators lack the expertise to
monitor vehicles with increasingly sophisticated electronics. In
a widely anticipated study, the group called on the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration to add technical help,
refine its investigative techniques and push for automakers to
install “black boxes” that record data in car crashes. Posted. 

Chevrolet plans special Volt to qualify for carpool sticker,
rebate. General Motors Co. plans to bring a special version of
the Chevrolet Volt to the California market that will qualify the
plug-in hybrid sedan for a $1,500 state rebate and a coveted
carpool lane sticker. The Volt, which the automaker has made the
poster child for its environmental credentials, has sold slower
in California than its all-electric rival, the Nissan Leaf -- in
part because it previously did not qualify as a vehicle solo
drivers could use in the state’s network of time-saving carpool
lanes. Posted.

Report highlights California's huge 'wave power' potential. A new
report by the Department of Energy says that waves off
California's 1,100-mile coastline could generate more than 140
terawatt hours of electricity a year -- enough to power 14
million homes -- if tidal and wave energy was developed to its
maximum potential. The United States uses about 4,000 terawatt
hours of electricity a year; 1 terawatt hour powers about 100,000
American homes. Posted. 


REGION: Boxer calls on Congress to pass transportation bill.
Against the backdrop of a new railroad overpass in Riverside
County, Sen. Barbara Boxer on Wednesday called on Congress to
pass legislation that would significantly change the way the
federal government pays for transportation projects. Boxer's
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 18-0 in
November to maintain federal transportation funding at current
levels for two years, while sharpening the program's focus.

As other cities add SMART stations, Petaluma will still get only
one. While other North Bay cities are gaining additional train
stations in the initial phase of the SMART rail system, Petaluma
commuters will have to make tracks to a single downtown station
with no plans for additional parking. Saying construction bids
came in low, SMART officials recently announced they are adding a
station in Santa Rosa near Coddingtown and another in Novato at
Atherton Ave. This first phase of SMART will now stretch from the
Guerneville Road Coddingtown to downtown San Rafael. Posted. 


Help Next-Generation Nuclear Advance During Building Lull: View.
It’s been 34 years since the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
issued a new operating license for a nuclear reactor. Not, that
is, since before the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in
1979. Finally, the agency is set to move ahead. In December, it
approved the design of a so-called generation III-plus reactor,
the Westinghouse AP1000. Soon the NRC is expected to license four
of these, two in South Carolina and two in Georgia. That’s
promising news for the U.S.’s energy future. Posted.

Dan Morain: Brown buys a risky ticket on high-speed rail. You
have to hand it to Jerry Brown. He's not shrinking from taking a
big risk on high-speed rail. The governor used his State of the
State speech Wednesday to give a full-throated endorsement of the
project, even as cost estimates soar, polls suggest that the
electorate has turned against it and many politicians look for
ways to derail it. Brown made clear that high-speed rail is a
point of pride. Posted.

Robert Samuelson: Rejecting Keystone XL act of national insanity.
President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from
Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is an act of national insanity. It
isn't often that a president makes a decision that has no
redeeming virtues and – beyond the symbolism – won't even advance
the goals of the groups that demanded it. All it tells us is that
Obama is so obsessed with his re-election that, through some sort
of political calculus, he believes that placating his
environmental supporters will improve his chances. Posted.

EDITORIAL: Environmental disaster. President Barack Obama's
decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the
Gulf Coast is a monumental blunder, one that will not only ship
jobs from the United States to China, but will significantly
increase air pollution while doing nothing to decrease our
dependence on fossil fuels. Posted. 

Misguided Obama blocks Keystone pipeline. The following editorial
appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, Jan. 19: It's going
to be a long, long year in Washington. The Obama administration
announced Wednesday that it will deny a permit to build the
Keystone XL pipeline, an important link between a U.S. market
that's thirsty for energy and a rich source of petroleum in nice,
stable, neighborly Canada. But, the administration said, this
doesn't necessarily mean the president is against the Keystone
pipeline. Posted. 

Keystone surprise: Greens stronger & GOP dumber than predicted.
In October 2011, National Journal surveyed energy experts about
whether Obama was likely to approve the Keystone XL pipeline,
which would carry Canadian tar-sands oil through the U.S. to the
Gulf of Mexico. Ninety-one percent of the “energy and environment
insiders” believed he would. On Wednesday, Obama proved them
wrong. How could the experts have gotten it so wrong? The answer
is twofold: Grassroots environmentalists were stronger and
congressional Republicans dumber, than anyone predicted. Posted. 


Scrapping fossil-fuel subsidies would get us halfway there on
climate change. Here’s one free-market way to tackle global
warming. In 2010, the world spent $409 billion on fossil-fuel
subsidies to artificially lower the price of coal, gas and oil.
Eliminating those subsidies would curb fuel use and lead to half
the emissions cuts necessary to avoid 2°C of warming. That’s all
according to Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International
Energy Agency. Posted.

Come Hell With High Water. DHAKA, Bangladesh — Earlier this
month, Bangladesh’s foreign minister chided the world’s developed
nations for failing to honor their pledge to help this low-lying,
water-logged nation adapt to the effects of climate change. Of
the $30 billion that poor countries were promised three years
ago, just $2.5 billion have been disbursed. “Our achievements —
social, economic, environmental — of the past decades” are at
risk, Dipu Moni told the Guardian. Posted. 

Pushing the Green Button for Energy Savings. The White House
hopes that someday soon everyone will be able to monitor and
control their home energy usage, and lower their monthly utility
bills, with a few swipes on a smartphone app. At least that’s the
vision of the Green Button initiative, a recent White House
effort to bring together the nation’s utilities, energy consumers
and private industry to develop Internet and mobile phone-style
technologies and business models aimed at reducing energy
consumption. Posted. 

California Expects $1 Billion From Carbon Trading. There might be
more money in the first year of California’s cap-and-trade
program than expected. Governor Brown’s 2012-2013 budget includes
$1 billion in revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program,
ramping up this year as part of California’s 2006 climate
legislation, known as AB 32. That might seem surprising since 90%
of initial permits to emit greenhouse gases will be given away to
industry. Posted.
Obama gambles for green votes. President Barack Obama has taken
every left turn toward his liberal voter base of unions,
minorities, youth, big-city democrats and enviro-voters. Obama’s
pandering to the green eco-establishment has recently led him to
stop the Keystone XL Pipeline that would bring Canadian-produced
oil to U.S. refineries, provide thousands of new permanent jobs,
and diminish our dependency on foreign oil. Posted.

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