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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 2, 2012 Posted: 02 Feb 2012 11:27:08
ARB News Clips for February 2, 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. CLIMATE CHANGE Three States to Require Insurers to Disclose Climate-Change Response Plans. Insurance commissioners in California, New York and Washington State will require that companies disclose how they intend to respond to the risks their businesses and customers face from increasingly severe storms and wildfires, rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change, California’s commissioner said Wednesday. Up until this point, those states required about a third of larger insurers to turn over the information in a survey; for all others it was voluntary. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/business/energy-environment/three-states-tell-insurers-to-disclose-responses-to-climate-change.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=climate%20change&st=cse Climate Change Is Putting Punxsutawney Phil Out of a Job. With the non-winter we've had here on the East Coast, this year, Punxsutawney Phil could not have done his job right no matter what the little guy predicted. "This is the most philosophically perplexing Groundhog Day ever," noted CNBC's John Carney. This year, our furry meteorologist "saw his shadow," meaning six more weeks of winter. But, what does that mean when the winter hasn't happened? We can't have six more weeks of something we haven't had. Perhaps six more weeks of non-winter is ahead. "Six more weeks of winter would imply there has been one in the first place," adds @globeandmail. Groundhog Day has become a paradox. Phil can't have the right answer, making his job basically obsolete. Posted. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/02/climate-change-putting-punxsutawney-phil-out-job/48198/ DIESEL EMISSIONS Navistar Faces EPA Fines of Up To $2,000 Per Heavy-Duty Engine. Navistar International Corp., the maker of International brand trucks, faces fines of as much as $2,000 for each of its heavy-duty engines because they don’t meet pollution standards, according to a federal regulation. The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency rule yesterday on fines for truck-engine makers that don’t meet federal nitrogen oxides standards, without naming the company. Transport Topics reported that the regulation applied to Navistar. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-01/navistar-faces-epa-fines-of-up-to-2-000-per-heavy-duty-engine.html China quietly shelves new diesel emission standards. It ought to have been a centrepiece of China's efforts to reduce smog, but the government has quietly postponed plans to clean the fumes from truck and bus exhaust pipes. The 18-month delay of new diesel emission standards, which was announced this month, runs contrary to the authorities' promises to tighten controls on air pollution. Environmental scientists say the move shows public health concerns remain far less of a priority for China's leaders than the economic interests of state-owned petrol companies, PetroChina and Sinopec. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/feb/01/china-shelves-plan-diesel-emissions Stockton truck plant grows. Electric Vehicles International is expanding its Stockton assembly plant and has opened a Michigan office to support national marketing and sales efforts, company officials announced this week. A visit to the plant on Army Court north of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard revealed computerized machine tools being installed and a 30,000-square-foot plant expansion being readied for an assembly line where EVI will produce electric-powered, walk-in vans for delivery giant UPS. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120202/A_BIZ/202020318&cid=sitesearch VEHICLES Woman takes Honda to small-claims, wins big. A Southern California woman took Honda to small-claims court and won in a big way. Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan ruled Wednesday that the automaker misled Heather Peters about the potential fuel economy of her hybrid car and awarded her $9,867 — much more than the couple hundred dollars cash that a proposed class-action settlement is offering. “At a bare minimum Honda was aware ... that by the time Peters bought her car there were problems with its living up to its advertised mileage,” Carnahan wrote in the judgment. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jL8BebRqMUVzmIqCq3Zqzg2LEZVw?docId=cce1459b21c14fdb8aca51858d245584 AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/environment/california-woman-takes-honda-to-small-claims-court-and-wins-in-a-big-way/2012/02/02/gIQATDGqjQ_story.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/honda-hybrid-lawsuit-heather-peters-wins_n_1248357.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/02/01/2051120/woman-wins-small-claims-suit-over.html Support for Electric Vehicle Programs on the Increase in the United States. Last Friday, the California Air Resources Board voted to support an Advanced Clean Cars regulatory program for vehicles produced from 2018 through to 2025. The program, which was launched three years ago, is designed to help build the future market for lithium battery electric vehicles. Among the most interesting implications for the lithium industry are the new standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved through existing and new technologies and more efficient use of lighter and stronger materials. A modified “Zero Emission Vehicle” regulation requires a minimum number of lithium battery electric vehicles to be sold within California. Posted. Posted. http://resourceinvestingnews.com/30774-support-for-electric-vehicle-programs-on-the-increase-in-the-united-states.html MISCELLANEOUS Ventura's bright ideas earn it an energy award. Ventura is officially cool — at least according to Southern California Edison, which lauded the city last month for its efforts to combat climate change. Since 2007, the city has curbed greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent, the equivalent of taking 380 vehicles off the road, according to the Climate Registry, which partners with Edison to help reduce electricity consumption in the region. "We've tied this to cost savings," said Joe Yahner, the city's environmental services supervisor. "When you reduce energy use, not only do you reduce the carbon emissions; you also save money." Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/feb/01/venturas-bright-ideas-earn-it-an-energy-award/ OPINION Cheap natural gas jumbles energy markets, stirs fears it could inhibit renewables. For the past three years, promoters of shale gas and environmentalists opposed to coal-fired power plants have hailed the sudden abundance of U.S. natural gas as a bridge to a renewable-energy future. But natural gas has become so cheap that many energy experts and environmentalists now wonder whether it will turn into a long, bumpy detour. U.S. natural gas prices, which hit more than $13 per thousand cubic feet in 2008, have tumbled to about $2.50 per thousand cubic feet. Rapidly rising production of shale gas and a warm winter have created a glut and pushed supplies in storage to 21 percent above the average of the past five years. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/cheap-natural-gas-jumbles-energy-markets-stirs-fears-it-could-inhibit-renewables/2012/01/08/gIQApLr5hQ_story.html Editorial: Climate data chills global-warming alarmism. The Earth's temperature hasn't increased significantly in about 15 years, which wouldn't be big news except global warming extremists had predicted temperatures would soar during that time because of manmade greenhouse-gas emissions. That forecast would be just another failed hypothesis, except governments around the world used the threatened overheating as an excuse to regulate, tax and subsidize in order to curb greenhouse gases and, of course, to save the Earth. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/global-338432-warming-energy.html MILLOY: Clean-energy hostages. “Let the fossil fuels go, or the wind industry gets it in the wallet.” That’s the threat congressional Republicans need to convey to their colleagues across the aisle to stop the Obama war against fossil fuels. Despite President Obama’s effort in his State of the Union address to position himself as favoring an “all of the above” approach to domestic energy production, the reality of the past three years has been quite to the contrary. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/31/clean-energy-hostages/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS BLOGS Two Nobelists Offer Views of Human-Driven Global Warming. Given the flurry of attention this week around what two batches of scientists of various stripes think of evidence that humans are exerting a growing and disruptive influence on climate, it’s worth checking in with two Nobel laureates who’ve long been focused on the atmosphere and climate. As I’ve written before, whatever your view of the science and policy choices related to global warming, you can probably find a Nobelist with matching views. But Mario Molina and Burton Richter deserve a prominent place at this table given their sustained attention to relevant issues. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/two-nobelists-offer-views-of-human-driven-global-warming/ ‘Gasland’ Filmmaker Arrested at Capitol Hearing. Josh Fox, whose HBO documentary “Gasland” raised questions about the safety of the natural gas drilling technique known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was handcuffed and led away on Wednesday as he tried to film a House Science Committee hearing on the topic. The Capitol Police said that Mr. Fox, whose film was nominated for an Academy Award last year, was charged with unlawful entry. Mr. Fox brought a crew to film a hearing of the energy and environment subcommittee that was looking into an Environmental Protection Agency finding that fracking was probably responsible for groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyo. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/gasland-filmmaker-arrested-at-capitol-hearing/ The Earth's "Missing Energy". Two years ago, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., released a study claiming that inconsistencies between satellite observations of Earth's heat and measurements of ocean heating amounted to evidence of "missing energy" in the planet's system. Where was it going? Or, they wondered, was something wrong with the way researchers tracked energy as it was absorbed from the sun and emitted back into space? An international team of atmospheric scientists and oceanographers, led by Norman Loeb of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and including Graeme Stephens of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., set out to investigate the mystery. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/earths-missing-energy/ Call to Ground Aircraft Not Complying with EU's ETS. An influential committee of MPs is concerned Government policy for a unilateral carbon floor price will devastate UK industry. A report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee the move will 'artificially raise electricity prices' and have 'no overall impact' on emissions. The report also argues the UK could play a 'key role' in ensuring compliance with EU ETS on aviation. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/call-ground-aircraft-not-complying-eus-ets/ New study of emissions and health impacts from EVs in China, including massive e-bike fleet. A new study by researchers from the University of Tennessee, University of Minnesota, and Tsinghua University compares emissions (CO2, PM2.5, NOx, HC) and environmental health impacts (primary PM2.5) from the use of conventional vehicles (CVs) and electric vehicles (EVs)—incl uding electric cars, bicycles and light scooters—in 34 major cities in China. The study’s findings highlight the importance of considering exposures—especially the proximity of emissions to people—when evaluating environmental health impacts for EVs, the team said. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/02/ji-20120202.html