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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 1, 2012.

Posted: 01 Mar 2012 12:15:06
ARB News Clips for March 1, 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.


Deal to shut Chicago's 2 coal-fired plants reached.  Rafael
Hurtado says the grime that coats houses and cars whenever
smokestacks are cleaned or coal dust blows off big piles at the
nearby coal-fired power plant is just a fact of life in his
southwest side Chicago neighborhood. He's learned to manage his
asthma after being diagnosed in fourth grade.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak: 

Valley air district blames dry winter for spike in air pollution.
 The valley air district's wintertime fireplace restriction
program ended for the season Wednesday, but not before
communities up and down the region experienced the worst particle
air pollution increases in recent years.  Officials say dry
weather patterns are largely to blame.  The San Joaquin Valley
Air Pollution Control District's program, known as Check Before
You Burn, runs from November through February each winter.

Five Steps for Healthier Indoor Air. Did you know that the air
you're breathing in your home can be two to five times more
polluted than the air outdoors? And that after remodeling,
renovating, or using cleaning products in your home, the air
indoors can be up to 1,000 times more polluted than the outdoor
air? It's mind-boggling but true. The reason is this: common
products used to build, furnish, and maintain our homes--from
flooring, furniture, and paint to drywall, cabinets, and
cleaners--can release potentially hazardous chemicals…Posted.


Opponents question EPA authority in greenhouse gas case.
Washington - The Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its
authority by moving to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from
power plants and industrial facilities, industry groups and
representatives argued in federal court on Wednesday. In the
second day of two-day arguments on a case seeking to overturn the
agency's proposed greenhouse gas regulations, challengers took on
two of the EPA's proposed rules to regulate stationary sources
under the Clean Air Act. Posted.

More Americans now believe in global warming. After several years
of finding that fewer and fewer Americans believed in man-made
climate change, pollsters are now finding that belief is on the
uptick. The newest study from the National Survey of American
Public Opinion on Climate Change, which is a biannual survey
taken since fall 2008 and organized by the Brookings Institute,
shows that 62% of Americans now believe that man-made climate
change is occurring, and 26% do not. The others are unsure.

Global warming brings snow to Southern California. Monday’s
weather forecast for Los Angeles called for snow flurries in
several of the county’s neighborhoods. Though most areas did not
receive such weather, snow and hail did make themselves apparent
just north of Los Angeles County. A stretch along Interstate 5,
in particular, was hit with wintery conditions that caused a
closure of the freeway. According to recent scientific research
at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center as well as
Atlanta’s Georgia Institute of Technology, this blustery winter
weather in the area…Posted.

Rebooting high-speed rail. Meet Dan Richard, the guy trying to
save the state’s plan. Dan Richard, incoming chairman of the
board for the California High-Speed Rail Authority is not the
easiest man to get hold of. One interview got scuttled when it
turned out Gov. Jerry Brown wanted to meet Richard at the same
time. Subsequent calls were missed. Voice mails were
exchanged—“I’m driving back from Fresno right now, because
there’s no high-speed rail. Try you later.” There was more travel
and more missed connections, before SN&R finally caught up with
Richard by phone in Washington, D.C. Posted.


Clean diesel conference celebrates ‘fundamental transformation of
an industry’. Sacramento, Calif. — At a day-long “clean diesel”
exhibit and conference here Wednesday, members of the California
Air Resources Board (CARB) and industry stakeholders celebrated
the “fundamental transformation of an industry to clean diesel.”
“Today we come together to recognize a fundamental transformation
of an industry to a new technology — clean diesel …Posted.

Alternative vehicles get a test drive in Bakersfield.  In the San
Joaquin Valley, 80 percent of smog-component nitrogen oxide comes
from mobile sources -- trucks, farm equipment, passenger cars and
trains. And the heavy-duty diesel trucks, used for things like
moving goods from ports in Los Angeles upstate, are the biggest
contributor.  And the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast air
basins have some of the highest air pollution levels in the
country.  Posted. 

California ARB to award $1M for locomotive advanced technology
demonstration project.  The California Air Resources Board (ARB
or Board) announced a solicitation for a grantee for up to $1
million to support up to two independent projects for
demonstration and administration of advanced locomotive
technologies that approach, meet, or exceed US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Tier-4 locomotive NOx and PM emission
standards (i.e., 1.3 g NOx/bhp-hr and 0.03 g PM/bhp-hr), with a
particular emphasis on higher horsepower line haul locomotives
(i.e., 4,000 to 4,500 hp).  Posted. 

Congress urged to extend biofuels tax provisions.  Leaders of
America’s rapidly emerging advanced biofuels industry urged
congressional leaders to extend two tax provisions that are
critical to the ongoing development and commercialization of new
biofuel production technologies.  In a letter addressed to the
Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Ways and Means Committee
and the Senate Finance Committee…Posted. 

China to cultivate biofuel use.  China is expected to use 12
million metric tonnes of aviation biofuels by 2020, accounting
for 30 per cent of the country’s total use of jet fuel, according
to Li Jian, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration
of China.  The market value of jet biofuels will exceed 120
billion yuan ($19 billion) by 2020, Li said on Tuesday. He said
the new carbon-emissions tax the European Union is imposing on
airlines will prompt China to develop jet biofuels…Posted. 


Air Products wants to supply California drivers with hydrogen. 
In 1943, visibility on the streets of Los Angeles dropped to
about three blocks as a layer of filth descended from the sky,
attacking the eyes, lungs and stomachs of the city's inhabitants.
 The culprit: smog.  In 1952, California Institute of Technology
biochemistry professor Arie Haagen-Smit discovered how smog forms
when nitrogen oxides from vehicle tailpipes and hydrocarbons from
oil refineries react with sunlight in a photochemical stew to
create ozone.  Posted. 


Green energy puts green in homeowner wallets. Two and half years
ago, Steve Stewart erected a 100-foot windmill at his Barstow,
California home. Stewart is no eco-crusader, but he does know a
good deal when he hears it. Although the windmill cost $53,000,
Stewart paid only $32,000 thanks to state tax incentives. His
electric bill has zeroed out from $2,000 annually before, and
most months he can even sell back surplus power to his local
utility, Southern California Edison, netting as much as $500 per
year. Posted.


Reducing Waste: New recycling mandates come online in July. 
Starting this July, many commercial enterprises in California
will be required to recycle. Back in 2006, then-Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act
(AB 32). Considered to be a landmark piece of legislation, this
bill requires California to lower its greenhouse gas emissions to
1990 levels by 2020. That's the equivalent of taking
approximately 28 million cars off the nation's roads.  Posted. 


PYLE: Kelp is on the way to help with high gas prices.  In an
attempt to calm the country’s growing concerns about U.S. energy
policy and high gas prices, President Obama addressed the nation
last week from the University of Miami, in part calling for new
subsidies for fuels made from algae. His claim: “We could replace
up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with
this fuel that we can grow right here in the United States.” 

INLAND: Pollution dodge. A court ruling this week should end a
distracting legal battle and focus attention on the more crucial
issue: Railroads need to help clean up Southern California’s air.
The federal government needs to approve tougher measures to curb
emissions from locomotives and rail yards. Without steps to cut
all diesel pollution, the state will struggle to meet federal
clean air mandates.  U Posted. 

US energy independence requires a balanced strategy.  Conserving
energy and developing new energy sources. Those used to be "good
things." But that was before this election year made them
political footballs to be kicked around.  I suppose if I wanted
to, I could heat and cool my home and leave my lights burning
without regard for how much energy I am consuming. And in
truck-driving Kern County, I could join a lot of other people on
the road, and roar between my home and downtown Bakersfield
office in a four-wheel-drive gas-guzzler.  Posted. 


A Fresh Scientific Defense of the Merits of Moving from Coal to
Shale Gas.  There’s been a fresh development in a prolonged
intellectual tussle among researchers at Cornell University over
the climate benefits of moving from coal to natural gas,
including gas extracted from shale using hydraulic fracturing, or
fracking.  Lawrence M. Cathles of the Department of Earth and
Atmospheric Sciences, with three colleagues, has offered a fresh
rebuttal to the conclusions of a team led by Robert Howarth, a
biogeochemist at the university.  Posted. 

New Carbon Markets Combine Best of Public And Private
Initiatives. Regular readers of this blog know what I think of
the climate-change denial “movement”, but I do agree with those
guys on one thing: namely, that massive bureaucracies like the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
aren’t equipped to create and micro-manage what would become the
largest, most important capital market in the history of the
planet – at least, not without active input from the private
sector. Posted.

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