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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 23, 2012 Posted: 23 Jan 2012 13:28:07
ARB Newsclips for January 23, 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 Beijing releases pollution data; US figures higher. Caving to public pressure, Beijing environmental authorities started releasing more detailed air quality data Saturday that may better reflect how bad the Chinese capital's air pollution is. But one expert says measurements from the first day were low compared with data U.S. officials have been collecting for years. The initial measurements were low on a day where you could see blue sky. After a week of smothering smog, the skies over the city were being cleared by a north wind. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ghmLZJQIbwF4hreV_X3UU7C2754w?docId=5fb6fb17070e4a20bbe5e9ac06518ac7 AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/beijing-starts-releasing-key-data-expected-to-indicate-extent-of-citys-air-pollution/2012/01/21/gIQA3jOaFQ_story.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19789328?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19789328?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Judge sends Central Valley ozone plan back for revision. State and local air pollution districts in California's Central Valley must come up with a new plan to meet ozone emission standards after a federal appeals court ruled that the data used was out of date. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the plan in 2010. But Earthjustice sued arguing that the plan and emission projections didn't match reality. To measure diesel emissions, the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District had considered where trucks were registered — not whether they drove through the region. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120120/A_NEWS/120129987&cid=sitesearch http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/21/2035920/court-sends-ozone-plan-for-valley.html CLIMATE CHANGE Weaker sun will not delay global warming. A weaker sun over the next 90 years is not likely to significantly delay a rise in global temperature caused by greenhouse gases, a report said Monday. The study, by Britain's Meteorological Office and the university of Reading, found that the Sun's output would decrease up until 2100 but this would only lead to a fall in global temperatures of 0.08 degrees Celsius. Scientists have warned that more extreme weather is likely across the globe this century as the Earth's climate warms. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-sun-global-warming-idUSTRE80M1HG20120123 Environmentalists see reason for alarm in GOP race. Four years after the GOP's rallying cry became "drill, baby, drill," environmental issues have barely registered a blip in this Republican presidential primary. That's likely to change as the race turns to Florida. The candidates' positions on environmental regulation, global warming as well as clean air and water are all but certain to get attention ahead of the Jan. 31 primary in a state where the twin issues of offshore oil drilling and Everglades restoration are considered mandatory topics for discussion. Posted. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57363788/environmentalists-see-reason-for-alarm-in-gop-race/ Putting Cap and Trade Back Into Play. The nation's first experiment with a cap and trade system for carbon emissions has come to an end -- as of the first of the year, the Chicago Climate Exchange no longer deals in carbon credits. That is a blow to the U.S.'s effort to limit greenhouse gases, but it cannot and must not be the end of the story. Cap and trade has always made sense as a practical market-driven solution for reducing carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donald-g-rynne/cap-and-trade_b_1223818.html Climate change threatens Calif. economy by drying up ecosystems – report. Global warming could dry up portions of California's grasslands and forests, posing a threat to the state's economy, according to a study published in the February issue of Climatic Change. Researchers say climate shifts will decrease the natural vegetation that livestock need for grazing by 14 to 58 percent by the end of the century, forcing ranchers to grow or buy additional hay to supplement the animals' diets. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/01/23/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS As Price of Oil Soars, Users Shiver and Cross Their Fingers. When David Harris built his 2,000-square-foot hilltop home nine years ago, he wanted to put in natural gas, but the utility wouldn’t run a line to his house. Like many people here, he was stuck using heating oil. Mr. Harris added a wood stove to help cut costs and now uses only about one-third of the oil the house would otherwise need. But that did not stop a deliveryman for Crowley Fuel from handing him a $471.21 bill earlier this month for a refill that should get him to April. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/heating-oil-costs-surge-and-many-in-northeast-cant-switch.html?ref=earth CARB calls for stay on injunction for low carbon fuel standard. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has asked the US District Court for the Eastern District of California to stay its injunction it issued at the end of last year to stop CARB’s introduction of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Judge Lawrence O'Neill, who implemented the injunction, says he did so because he believes the LCFS ‘violates the commerce clause of the US Constitution’. Posted. http://www.biofuels-news.com/industry_news.php?item_id=4502 Chesapeake to cut natural gas production. Faced with decade-low natural gas prices that have made some drilling operations unprofitable, Chesapeake Energy Corp. says it will drastically cut drilling and production of the fuel in the U.S. Chesapeake, the nation's second largest natural gas producer, said Monday that it plans to cut production 8 percent. That means the company would produce the same or slightly less natural gas in 2012 than it did in 2011. Chesapeake produces about 9 percent of the nation's natural gas. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g-G2kWq7T7dyQqWuerXQEcH9419g?docId=12fb7e3e277a47fc81ff72283bb5bd16 AP Newsbreak: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/01/23/2693698/chesapeake-to-cut-natural-gas.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19799004?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19799004?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/23/2037425/chesapeake-to-cut-natural-gas.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Calif. cites trade damage in asking court to lift injunction. California policymakers asked a federal judge on Friday to lift his injunction against their low-carbon fuel regulation, saying several biofuels producers have already suffered economically. U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O'Neill in Fresno will now decide whether to allow the low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) to continue while the state appeals his decision of last month. The regulation, in force since last year, is designed to lower the carbon content of fuels sold in-state by 10 percent by 2020. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/01/23/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES In Fire Investigation, Regulators Say They Found No Defect in Volt. Federal safety regulators on Friday closed their investigation into the Chevrolet Volt, saying that they found no evidence of a defect and that plug-in vehicles posed no greater fire risk after a crash than gasoline-powered ones. Still, analysts say that General Motors faces a challenge to rebuild consumer confidence in the car and that related safety concerns could hurt overall acceptance of the growing number of electrified vehicles coming on the market. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/business/us-finds-no-defect-in-volt.html?scp=8&sq=vehicles&st=cse Event on electric vehicles scheduled. The California Center for Sustainable Energy will be hosting an event called Plug-In Electric Vehicles: Innovation, Incentives and Infrastructure from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Pleasant Valley School District auditorium, 2222 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo. The free workshop is offered by the CCSE in partnership with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, the Community Environmental Council and the Central Coast Clean Cities Coalition. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jan/21/electric-vehicles/ New electric-car charging stations coming to Sonoma County. Sonoma County officials are taking steps this year to significantly expand the region’s number of charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles, an effort to jump-start a relatively new sector of green transportation. Through a $1.4 million package of state and federal grants and funding from local governments, the county expects to add as many as 100 charging stations in cities and other spots across the region starting in spring. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120123/ARTICLES/120129841 UK invests more than EUR 480 million in hydrogen mobility. A project to boost the deployment of hydrogen as a fuel, to evaluate the conditions and prepare grounds for a mass-market rollout of fuel cell electric vehicles by 2015 has been initiated in the United Kingdom (UK). UK H2 Mobility, funded both by industry and government aims to put the UK at the forefront of hydrogen mobility in Europe. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/73820120123.php GREEN ENERGY A Smart Power Grid Begins With a Promise for the Future. Substation No. 505 in Oak Park, with its nondescript cluster of bulky transformers and web of power lines, seems an unlikely place for Commonwealth Edison to start the $2.6 billion smart grid it says will prepare the region’s antiquated power system for the digital age. Arguments raged over legislation, approved last year over Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto, that authorizes ComEd’s 10-year investment in the grid. ComEd says that the project will ultimately save customers more than it costs them. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/us/comeds-smart-grid-begins-with-a-promise-for-the-future.html?ref=earth Obstacles to Danish Wind Power. During howling winter weather two years ago, the thousands of windmills dotting Denmark and its coastline generated so much power that Danes had to pay other countries to take the surplus. The incident was the first of its kind, and lasted only a few hours. Low temperatures were an aggravating factor, because Denmark’s combined heat and power plants were also running full bore and generating a lot of electricity. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/business/global/obstacles-to-danish-wind-power.html?scp=9&sq=fuels&st=cse California solar strikes gold in N.J. It may be better known for smokestack industries, but New Jersey is fast becoming a green haven for a number of Sacramento-grown solar companies. Lured by some of the most attractive incentives in the solar industry, SPI Solar of Roseville and Premier Power Renewable Energy of El Dorado Hills have lined up a significant amount of work in the Garden State. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/22/2034766/california-solar-strikes-gold.html Government energy geeks: Fracking might not get us as far as we thought. Government energy geeks from the Energy Information Administration this morning released the abridged version of their Annual Energy Outlook. One of the most dramatic bits of the outlook for 2012 is that the EIA cut their estimate of “technically recoverable” shale gas almost in half, from 827 trillion cubic feet to 482 trillion cubic feet. Posted. http://grist.org/list/government-energy-geeks-fracking-might-not-get-us-as-far-as-we-thought/ MISCELLANEOUS Car-sharing networks flourish in the Bay Area. Donnie Fowler owns a 2006 Saab that's fully paid for, but he almost never drives it. A self-employed consultant who lives in San Francisco, he often works from home and takes public transportation to most of his meetings. But his car does not sit idle -- it's out on the streets earning money. Fowler rents out his Saab for $8 per hour via Getaround, one of several car-sharing networks that have sprouted in the Bay Area. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19778908?source=rss Environmentalists see reason for alarm in GOP race. Four years after the GOP's rallying cry became "drill, baby, drill," environmental issues have barely registered a blip in this Republican presidential primary. That's likely to change as the race turns to Florida. The candidates' positions on environmental regulation, global warming as well as clean air and water are all but certain to get attention ahead of the Jan. 31 primary …Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/environmentalists-see-reason-for-alarm-in-gop-race/article_c230487a-b9e8-559e-a4d6-178666c84fb9.html Retired Marine sergeant helps veterans find green jobs. Jarom Vahai learned early on in the Marine Corps never to desert a fellow Marine in need. He's taken that credo with him back to civilian life. The San Bruno resident formed a nonprofit last summer that's dedicated to helping veterans find green jobs, and the organization is already getting results. Green & Gold Careers for Veterans has found jobs for more than 40 people, and that number is about to increase dramatically. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19796259?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com OPINIONS The verdict is in on climate change. When it comes to climate change, open-mindedness is the wrong approach. Recently I had jury duty, and during jury selection something remarkable occurred. Early in the proceedings, the judge posed a hypothetical question to the 60 or so potential jurors in the room: "If I were to send you out now and ask you to render a verdict, what would it be? How many of you would vote not guilty?" A few raised their hands. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-oreskes-judging-climate-change-20120122,0,5387746.story?track=rss As California drives, so drives the nation. These days, people seem surprised when government works the way it was intended. This week, in San Francisco and in Los Angeles, we have the satisfaction of witnessing firsthand government working exactly as it is supposed to. A state agency is working in concert with not one, but two federal agencies, supported by many local ones. Businesses are pleased with the outcome of a government regulation, consumers will save money, and they will be healthier as a result. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/23/EDDU1MS9A5.DTL&type=green Thumbs down on Keystone. The following editorial appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Thursday, Jan. 19: President Barack Obama is not going to issue a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in its current form, and for this, even the project's most ardent supporters should be grateful. That includes TransCanada Corp. which was reportedly considering pulling its application for the pipeline to avoid further partisan bickering over the original route. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/01/23/2037359/thumbs-down-on-keystone.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY It's Climate Change, Stupid. I watched the two Republican presidential candidate debates in South Carolina last week, and although the contenders spent quite a bit of time bickering over economic issues (as well as bashing each other), they ignored the elephant in the room. The biggest long-term threat to the U.S. economy isn't government over-regulation, high taxes, or even the deficit. It's climate change. I work for a nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization that can't endorse candidates. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/its-climate-change-stupid_b_1222718.html Will natural gas fuel the future? We’ve all heard the hype, seen the television commercials, and even heard presidential candidates talking about it: the U.S. is awash in natural gas. The fossil fuel burns cleaner, and new drilling technologies have supposedly unlocked enough natural gas to last “a hundred years,” which makes it sound like we can consume the resource at twice current rates and still have it last 50 years. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/renewable-energy-in-eugene/will-natural-gas-fuel-the-future BLOGS Comparing Pollution Data: Beijing vs. U.S. Embassy on PM2.5. Beijing’s municipal government began releasing new air-pollution data over the weekend that will likely raise questions among government critics who worry that authorities aren’t going far enough to better track air quality. On Saturday, Beijing’s municipal government began publishing hourly measures of what are known as PM2.5 pollutants, or pollutants that measure less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/01/23/comparing-pollution-data-beijing-vs-u-s-embassy-on-pm2-5/ Home, Home … on Less Range. To see how thoroughly the concept of ecosystem services — the economic analysis of the natural world’s intersection with human endeavors — is embedded in climate change research, check out this forecast from a group led by researchers at Duke University and the Environmental Defense Fund. It examines the future of cattle ranching, an industry that is bound up with America’s self-image, thanks to Hollywood, pulp novels and Cormac McCarthy, through the lens of a climate-changed California landscape. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/home-home-on-less-range/?scp=3&sq=green%20energy&st=cse NHTSA: Volt investigation proves plug-in vehicles do not "pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's official word on the Chevrolet Volt fire incident is out, and it's all good. Following a two-month investigation into the crash test that resulted in a fire three weeks after the fact last summer, NHTSA says it "does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/23/nhtsa-volt-investigation-proves-plug-in-vehicles-do-not-pose-a/ Global hybrid and plug-in truck sales will almost double this year. Global hybrid and plug-in truck sales will almost double this year as more companies and public entities turn to advanced powertrains to cut fuel costs, green-technology research firm Pike Research said. In 2012, hybrid and electric-drive truck sales around the world will reach about 19,000 vehicles and will increase by more than 45 percent for each of the next five years until it hits more than 100,000 vehicles by the end of 2017, Pike Research said. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/22/global-hybrid-and-plug-in-truck-sales-will-almost-double-this-ye/ New car-pool sticker program starts with little fanfare. California's yellow clean-air car stickers were popular: They allowed 85,000 solo drivers of vehicles such as the Toyota Prius free use of the state's car-pool lanes, until the program expired last summer. The quiet start was probably because there's no car yet on the market eligible for the state's new and more stringent program. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/news/transportation/region-new-car-pool-sticker-program-starts-with-little-fanfare/article_2da85ede-6273-5da9-ad9b-204c6880c0c9.html Next Week's Vote on California's Clean Car Standards: What it Means for the State. At a time when consumers and businesses are being held hostage to oil rising to over $100 a barrel, our oil dependency is once again threatening our economic recovery. It would seem like we have little control in all of this as we are impacted by threats by Iran to disrupt oil shipments, by Nigerian strikes, and by the growing appetite for oil in Asia. Well, think again. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/smui/next_weeks_vote_on_californias.html For dying O.C. activist, an electric car rally. The friends of a Seal Beach environmental activist suffering from terminal lung cancer filled a Los Alamitos home Sunday with memories of his vigorous campaigns, fiery emails and torrent of ideas — along with a powerful sense of triumph. Doug Korthof, 68, greeted friends and activist colleagues with smiles, chuckles and jokes as they converged on the event, many pulling up in electric vehicles they said Korthof inspired them to drive. Posted. http://sciencedude.ocregister.com/2012/01/23/for-dying-o-c-activist-an-electric-car-rally/166983/ MIT team calls initial performance results of magnesium-antimony liquid metal battery “promising”. Drs. Donald Sadoway and David Bradwell of MIT and colleagues report promising initial performance results for a high-temperature (700 °C) magnesium–antimony liquid metal stationary storage battery comprising a negative electrode of Mg (magnesium), a molten salt electrolyte (MgCl2–KCl–NaCl), and a positive electrode of Sb (antimony) in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/sadoway-20120123.html Geoengineered Food? Climate Fix Could Boost Crop Yields, But With Risks. For a few years now, a handful of scientists have been proposing grandiose technological fixes for the world's climate to combat the effects of global warming — schemes called geoengineering. Climate change has the potential to wreak all kinds of havoc on the planet, including the food system. Scientists predict that two variables farmers depend on heavily — temperature and precipitation …Posted. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/01/23/145535536/geoengineered-food-climate-fix-could-boost-crop-yields-but-with-risks California, Climate change and our economic future (2). economy by reducing the types of natural, non-irrigated vegetation available for livestock forage and the ability of forest ecosystems to store carbon dioxide." This finding was published in a peer-reviewed study in the scientific journal Climatic Change. The Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as Assembly Bill 32 or AB 32, is based on this idea that we need our ecosystems to store carbon dioxide. Posted. http://blogs.redding.com/dcraig/archives/2012/01/california-clim-1.html