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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for February 8, 2012.

Posted: 08 Feb 2012 11:39:15
ARB Newsclips for February 8, 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.


Smoky air can harm dogs and cats, too, says vets and pollution
experts. You've heard of the no-wood-burning alerts on bad air
days this winter to protect people in the Bay Area, but there are
others to guard from the smoke as well -- cats, dogs and horses.
Fido and Fluffy can have lung and bronchial ailments aggravated
by wood smoke on Spare the Air days, veterinarians and air
pollution officials say. Posted.

IndoorDoctor Says Winter Can Be the Most Effective Time to Test
Indoor Air Quality. IndoorDoctor, a New England-based indoor air
quality testing firm, has seen a steady rise in indoor air
quality concerns during winter months. Simply put, more people
spend their time indoors when it's cold outside. "As homes become
more energy-efficient indoor air pollution will accumulate with
greater concentration," says environmental engineer and company
president Jeffrey Bradley. Posted.


South Korean Lawmakers Vote for Limits on Greenhouse-Gas
Emissions. Lawmakers in South Korea voted to impose
greenhouse-gas limits on the nation's largest companies,
overruling industry opposition and laying groundwork for the
third emissions-trading program in the Asia-Pacific region. A
special committee of the National Assembly on climate change
passed legislation today to establish a so-called cap-and-trade
system in 2015. Posted.

Airlines seek swift end to row over EU CO2 scheme. British
Airways, Qantas and other airlines are calling on governments to
find a swift resolution to a political dispute over the European
Union's carbon scheme, because the deadlock may create
competitive distortions. Since the start of 2012, EU law obliges
all airlines using EU airports to be included in the EU Emissions
Trading System (ETS), the 27-nation bloc's main policy to fight
global warming as it caps emissions on over 11,000 power and
industrial plants. Posted.


Safest small cars. Choosing the safest auto available is never
more important than when shopping for a small car, where every
advantage is essential. That’s because the laws of physics
dictate that a smaller and lighter vehicle will tend to fare
worse in a crash than a larger and heavier model will.
Fortunately, those shopping for a compact or subcompact car for
themselves or younger members of the family will find an ample
selection of model-year 2012 vehicles from which to choose that
are rated as “Top Safety Picks” by the Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety. Posted. 

Electric car maker Fisker: Layoffs in Del., Calif. Fisker
Automotive, an electric car maker that received a
half-billion-dollar loan from the federal government, said Monday
that it has laid off workers in Delaware and California. The
layoffs include 26 workers at a former General Motors plant in
Wilmington that Fisker is retooling to manufacture its Nina
plug-in hybrid sedan. Another 40 contractors and employees who
were working in design and development of Fisker's Karma luxury
car in Anaheim also have been cut. Posted. 

California’s ‘Clean Car’ Rules. Help Remake U.S. Auto Industry.
With the passage of strict new auto emission and air pollution
standards, California has again demonstrated its role as the
U.S.’s environmental pacesetter. In an interview with Yale
Environment 360, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air
Resources Board, explains how her state is helping drive a
clean-car revolution. How likely is it that your next vehicle
might be an electric car? California just increased the odds.

Electric Car Tops Out Greenest Vehicle List. For the first time
in the 12 year history of the Greencars.org Greenest Vehicle
List, an electric vehicle has topped the list, based on the 14th
annual comprehensive environmental rankings provided by the
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The
Mitsubishi i-MIEV battery electric vehicle claimed the top spot
from the Honda Civic Natural Gas which, up until this year, had
held the top spot for 8 years running. Posted.


Sacramento loses clean-tech jobs in 2010, for first time since
1999. Sacramento's green economy employed 200 fewer people in
2010, the first industry wide job decline since 1995, according
to a new report. Even so, the local clean-tech sector weathered
the recession better than the overall capital region economy.
Next 10, a San Francisco nonprofit that promotes the growth of
California's clean economy, said the local clean-energy
producers, green builders, agriculture tech companies and other
clean industries employed a total of 14,500 people in 2010, a 1.4
percent decline from the year earlier. Posted.

Green economy lost jobs as recession raged. The green economy
that California officials hoped would add jobs during the depths
of the recent recession actually lost positions instead,
according to a new report. And yet, California clean-tech
companies still fared better than the state's economy as a whole
in 2009, the year covered by the report. Employment in
California's "core green economy" shrank 3 percent between
January of 2009 and January of 2010, according to the "Many
Shades of Green" report, released late Tuesday. Posted.


Consumer Confidential: 'Lorax' rakes in green; bogus fish sales.
Here's your walk-like-an-Egyptian Wednesday roundup of consumer
news from around the Web: --How do you sell merchandise for a
green movie? With green businesses, of course. The Lorax, perhaps
the most famous anti-industrial crusader from children's
literature, is getting just such treatment. Universal Pictures
will begin promoting "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" this month. The
animated movie is about a creature who "speaks for the trees" and
fights rampant industrialism. Posted.


Europe's Carbon Trade War. Beijing tells Brussels what it can do
with its airline emissions tax. Does the world need a new trade
war? Probably not, though our friends in Brussels seem to think
so: Over intense international protest, they've plowed ahead with
a new tax that requires airlines to purchase carbon emissions
permits for the entirety of any flight that lands in or takes off
from Europe. That goes even if only a fraction of, say, a Chicago
to Frankfurt flight cuts over European airspace. Posted.
House transportation bill is a "greedy oil party" lie. Re
"Solutions to crumbling roads, bridges elusive," (Online, Feb.
2): Thanks for your article. Unfortunately, the House bill
referenced is yet another attempt to destroy the environment and
mask it as a transportation bill. President Obama had a real
transportation bill and the House of the Greedy Oil Party (aka
Obstructionist Party) denied passage of the bill in its entirety
and then subsequently each individual component/part. Posted.

Will consumers shell out for cleaner cars? Re "Buyers want
cleaner cars," (Letters, Feb. 7): Shannon Baker Branstetter
states that consumers want cleaner cars, but do they want the
changes, based on current technology that these cleaner vehicles
may bring to their want and needs in their transportation
choices. Smaller, lighter, less power, limited range, smaller
load carrying or towing capacity are just a few of the concerns.

Smog checks unscrupulous. I recently had my smog checked at a
reputable local smog-check facility. My car failed. The failure
had nothing to do with emissions or exhaust leakage or anything
mechanical. It was simply the "check engine" light, which had
came on in time to its 60,000 mile suggested tune-up. One of the
criteria for a clean smog test is that the "check engine" dash
lights are not activated. Posted.

Commentary: California air board tightens screws on the
automakers.  It didn't take long.  A scant seven months after the
Obama administration proposed a 54 miles-per-gallon fuel economy
average for cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. by 2025, the
state of California has countered with an even more draconian set
of mandates for the auto companies.  This time, the California
Air Resources Board (CARB) isn't setting fuel economy targets per
se. Rather, it's telling the companies what kinds of technologies
will be acceptable. Posted. 

Investing in the New Economy. Our country is built on the promise
that anyone can come up with an idea that changes the world.
We've seen it time and again, a subtle improvement or a whole new
creation that captures the world's imagination -- spawning new
industries -- from Facebook to the iPhone to the clean energy
revolution. Investing gives individuals and institutions the
opportunity to tap into the growth potential of these companies
and industries, while giving them access to needed capital. It's
how the system works. Posted.


What’s a Science Teacher to Do? It used to be sex ed that got
science teachers into challenging situations once in awhile.
Evolution, too, of course. Increasingly, the “C” word, climate,
is creating challenges for educators trying to explore the
heat-trapping properties of carbon dioxide and the implications
for climate as concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases
rise. Here’s an excerpt from a post at Real Climate that asks,
“So What’s a Teacher to Do?” Posted. 

A Fresh Take on Chaotic Weather. The crazy weather continues.
People in Europe are freezing to death in one of the coldest
winters on record. It snowed on Monday in Libya. Libya! That is a
country better known, weather-wise, for suffering the highest
temperature recorded on earth in modern times (136 degrees
Fahrenheit, in 1922). Meanwhile, the United States is enjoying a
bizarrely mild winter, in stark contrast to last year’s. Posted. 

California, Clean Energy, and the Obama Promise.  President Obama
made a strong State of the Union commitment not to walk away from
the promise of clean energy. Was it a shrewd long-term strategy
or a political liability that will result in even more
“Solyndras” here in California?  On the one hand, Obama’s clean
energy focus has helped expand the clean energy job market, into
a sector with more than 2.7 million jobs …Posted. 

GM looks to spur Chevy Volt sales with California leasing
incentives. General Motors appears to be looking to spur sales of
its Chevrolet Volt by offering potential California customers a
chance to lease the $40,000 extended-range plug-in vehicle with
no cash down, GreenCarReports.com said, citing a California
Chevrolet dealer. GM is offering a so-called "Quad $0" lease
program on the Volt, in which leasing the car requires no down
payment, no security deposit, no first-month's payment and no
cash due upon sale, the website said, citing Randall Baum at
Quality Chevrolet in Escondido, CA. Posted. 

Infographic: A lifetime of fuel costs, gas vs. solar. When you
drive a plug-in vehicle for the first time, it's common to get
the "EV grin" that advocates have talked about for a long time.
But, once that initial thrill quiets down a bit, something else
can happen – you start to think about the bigger picture. Posted.

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