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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 5, 2012 Posted: 05 Mar 2012 14:49:24
ARB Newsclips for March 5, 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 Federal court rejects delay of N.M. power plant pollution controls. A federal appeals court has ruled that the owners of the San Juan Generating Station, a huge coal-fired power plant near Farmington, N.M., must continue with plans to install strong pollution controls. Several California cities purchase electricity from the plant. The federal Environmental Protection Agency ruled last fall that the plant was required to install strong "selective catalytic reduction," or SCR, equipment to cut its yearly output of 16,000 tons of ozone, fine particulate matter and other pollutants in order to meet federal standards. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-court-wont-let-san-juan-power-station-stall-pollution-controls-20120305,0,558773.story Summit to clear air about asthma in S.J. Daylong event shares innovative research, tips on ways to cope. Stoctkon - If all 115,000 residents of San Joaquin County with asthma decide to attend the upcoming free asthma summit, the organizers will have to find a new venue. "Connecting Community to Combat Asthma" is a one-day, two-part health summit for professional health care providers and those interested in learning more about the incurable, chronic disorder that causes a person's lung airways to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120305/A_NEWS/203050308 Air Pollution Exposure Tied to Allergies. Increased exposure to common air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, was associated with sensitivity to both indoor and outdoor allergens, a researcher said here. After adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, urban-rural status, poverty, and smoking, each 10-ppb increment in average nitrogen dioxide exposure was associated with a 25% higher likelihood of sensitivity to outdoor allergens (odds ratio 1.25, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.49), said Capt. Charles Weir, MPH, of the U.S. Public Health Service, currently stationed in Atlanta. Posted. http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AAAAIMeeting/31472 CLIMATE CHANGE 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 percent of Americans now believe that man-made climate change is occurring, and 26 percent do not. The others are unsure. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/05/v-print/4312116/more-americans-now-believe-in.html http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-more-americans-now-believe-in-global-warming-20120229,0,2120287.story?track=rss http://www.sgvtribune.com/lottery/ci_20099297 Climate change melting backyard hockey rinks in Canada, scientists say. Shorter Canadian winters could well mean no more Wayne Gretzkys, a scientific study reports Monday. Five years of meticulous analysis by researchers at McGill and Concordia universities tracked evidence for the “significant shortening” of the outdoor skating season across Canada. Fewer backyard rinks and less time on the ice means an attack on “a critical component of Canadian identity and culture,” the study says. “Wayne Gretzky learned to skate. Posted. http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/681518--climate-change-melting-backyard-hockey-rinks-in-canada-scientists-say In climate wars, radicalization of researchers brings risks. Everybody talks about the weather, Mark Twain famously wrote, but nobody does anything about it. Many climate researchers are no longer following Twain’s adage, noted Michael McPhaden, president of the American Geophysical Union. “Scientists today, they don’t just want to talk about it. They want to do something about it,” he said in an interview. “We’re the trustees of information which, in many ways, is of critical benefit to society.” Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/in-climate-wars-radicalization-of-researchers-brings-risks/2012/02/24/gIQAcQWsrR_story.html Climate change will shake the Earth — literally. The idea that a changing climate can persuade the ground to shake, volcanoes to rumble, and tsunamis to crash on to unsuspecting coastlines seems, at first, to be bordering on the insane. How can what happens in the thin envelope of gas that shrouds and protects our world possibly influence the potentially Earth-shattering processes that operate deep beneath the surface? Posted. http://grist.org/climate-change/climate-change-will-shake-the-earth-literally/ Climate Change: Insurers Confirm Growing Risks, Costs. Stakeholders from the insurance industry met with members of the U.S. Senate to acknowledge the role global warming plays in extreme weather-related losses, and to issue a call for action. The politics of global warming have typically involved much debate as to the role climate change plays in growing weather-related risk. Yesterday, however, at a Capital Hill a press conference on the cost of climate change, debate was not on the agenda. Posted. http://www.insurancenetworking.com/news/insurance-climate-change-risk-ceres-30007-1.html?zkPrintable=true DIESEL EMISSIONS Study links heavy diesel exhaust to lung cancer. There's new evidence that exposure to exhaust from diesel engines increases the risk of lung cancer. Diesel exhaust has long been classified as a probable carcinogen. But the 20-year study from the National Cancer Institute took a closer look by tracking more than 12,000 workers in certain kinds of mines—facilities that mined for potash, lime and other nonmetals. They breathed varying levels of exhaust from diesel-powered equipment, levels higher than the general population encounters. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/02/2744491/study-links-heavy-diesel-exhaust.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20089528 http://www.modbee.com/2012/03/02/2094754/study-links-heavy-diesel-exhaust.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120304/Diesel-exhaust-fumes-linked-to-lung-cancer-among-miners.aspx?page=2 FUELS Fuel economy: Auto fleet average starts to climb. Gas prices continue their relentless climb and consumers are reacting. Small cars were the hottest segment of auto sales last month. About 24% of the vehicles sold last month were small cars, according to Erich Merkle, the sales analyst at Ford Motor Co. That compares to less than 20% just two months ago, he said. The consumer move toward purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles appears to be more than just a reaction to gasoline price spikes. It is a much longer trend. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-car-fuel-economy-20120305,0,1456797.story?track=rss EPA heightens scrutiny over Pa. gas drilling. Tugging on rubber gloves, a laboratory worker kneels before a gushing spigot behind Kim Grosso’s house and positions an empty bottle under the clear, cold stream. The process is repeated dozens of times as bottles are filled, marked and packed into coolers. After extensive testing, Grosso and dozens of her neighbors will know this week what may be lurking in their well water as federal regulators investigate claims of contamination in the midst of one of the nation’s most productive natural gas fields. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/5/epa-heighten-scrutiny-pennsylvania-marcellus-shale/ Ethanol groups file brief supporting injunction on California LCFS. A coalition of national ethanol groups, along with California and Midwest farming groups, filed a brief urging the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a court-ordered injunction on the California Air Resource Board’s low-carbon fuel standard. The coalition includes Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association. Posted. http://domesticfuel.com/2012/03/03/ethanol-groups-order-injunction-on-california-lcfs/ http://westernfarmpress.com/government/ethanol-groups-file-brief-supporting-injunction-california-lcfs Study finds gasoline exhaust contributes more to formation of secondary organic aerosols than diesel. Contrary to expectations, exhaust from gasoline vehicles contributes more to the production of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) than exhaust from diesel vehicles, according to a new study by scientists from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and other colleagues. Based on their study, the team estimated that within a day of processing…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/bahreini-20120303.html Gasoline worse than diesel when it comes to some types of air pollution. The exhaust fumes from gasoline vehicles contribute more to the production of a specific type of air pollution -- secondary organic aerosols -- than those from diesel vehicles, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES, NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory and other colleagues. Posted. http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2012/03/02/gasoline-worse-diesel-when-it-comes-some-types-air-pollution BP Rises Most in Month After Gulf of Mexico Spill Settlement: London Mover. BP Plc (BP/) rose the most in a month after Europe’s second-biggest oil company reached a $7.8 billion settlement with businesses and individuals over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. BP climbed as much as 3.1 percent, the biggest intraday advance since Feb. 1, and traded at 507.90 pence as of 8:06 a.m. in London. The benchmark FTSE 100 Index was down 0.3 percent. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-05/bp-rises-most-in-month-after-gulf-of-mexico-spill-settlement-london-mover.html VEHICLES Electric-Car Loans Dry Up Ahead of Election on Solyndra. Four times, the U.S. Energy Department offered terms to Bright Automotive Inc. for a loan the startup company was seeking to finance production of electric commercial vans. Each successive, conditional offer arrived with stiffer terms, Chief Operating Officer Mike Donoughe said in an interview. He likened the experience to offering to buy a car for $20,000 and having the dealer try to bargain up to $40,000. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-03-05/electric-car-producers-shun-u-s-loans-as-post-solyndra-red-tape-increases.html GM to pause Chevy Volt production for 5 weeks. General Motors will temporarily lay off about 1,300 workers at its Detroit Hamtramck plant while it stops making Volts. GM has surplus Volts waiting to be sold, the automaker says. Auto giant General Motors Co. is pausing production of its Chevrolet Volt and temporarily laying off about 1,300 employees because of slow sales of the plug-in hybrid. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-gm-volt-20120303,0,7772508,print.story Tracy earns funds for green vehicles. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has awarded the city a $100,000 grant to purchase five alternative-fuel vehicles. Grant funds are part of a program to help government agencies and public institutions meet clean-air projects that directly affect the air quality for Valley residents. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120305/A_NEWS/120309950&cid=sitesearch Austerity brings smaller cars to Geneva auto show. Automakers are thinking small _ in size, not ambition. After years marked by environmental concerns, then the economic downturn and now European austerity measures, car manufacturers have honed their products to cater for cost-conscious buyers. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/austerity-brings-smaller-cars-to-geneva-auto-show/article_31a3e875-4eb4-549e-b466-9824b71ffbaf.html#ixzz1oGdT3bq1 GM trucks use CNG and gasoline. General Motors this week will unveil redesigned heavy-duty pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500, that switch between compressed natural gas and regular gasoline. GM will begin selling the bifuel pickups in the fourth quarter as 2013 model. It will sell them through its dealers primarily to fleet customers, although individual buyers also will be able to order them. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/article/20120305/OEM03/303059965#ixzz1oGlldkV8 GREEN ENERGY Gov. hopes new plan will reactivate green energy. Gov. John Kitzhaber has a new 10-year plan he hopes will be able to reactivate green energy in Oregon. Despite the state's embrace of wind and solar companies, they're not making much of a contribution to the state's energy needs. The Columbia Plateau is now draped in wind turbines, but they supply only 3 percent of Oregon's electricity. Solar and geothermal make a small contribution. Existing hydro-electricity is a big contributor, but fossil fuel plants still contribute half the state's electricity. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/04/gov-hopes-new-plan-will-reactivate-green-energy/ MISCELLANEOUS Saving desert tortoises is a costly hurdle for solar projects. BrightSource Energy has spent $56 million so far to protect the endangered creatures, but calamities have befallen the effort. Reporting from Ivanpah Valley, Calif.— Stubborn does not come close to describing the desert tortoise, a species that did its evolving more than 220 million years ago and has since remained resolutely prehistoric. Its slowpoke take on biological adaptation has exposed modern vulnerabilities. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-tortoise-20120304,0,6145488.story OPINIONS Take the Subway. OUR plan was to meet for lunch at noon in Moscow. It was to be just myself and Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs. He picked the restaurant. It had been snowing that day, and the Moscow traffic — already nearly impossible because the city, which 15 years ago had 300,000 cars and today hosts nearly four million registered vehicles — was even more impossible than usual…As we hurriedly put on our coats, Lukyanov had one piece of advice for me, and it wasn’t that the U.S. should stay out of Syria. It was: “Take the subway.” Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/opinion/sunday/friedman-take-the-subway.html?scp=2&sq=smog&st=cse Drill Baby Drill, Redux. It’s campaign season and the pandering about gas prices is in full swing. Hardly a day goes by that a Republican politician does not throw facts to the wind and claim that rising costs at the pump are the result of President Obama’s decisions to block the Keystone XL pipeline and impose sensible environmental regulations and modest restrictions on offshore drilling. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/opinion/drill-baby-drill-redux.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=fuels&st=cse Gasoline prices got you down? Re "Gas prices deliver a blow," Feb. 28. It is time we started looking at gasoline prices as a matter of patriotism, or a lack thereof. When oil companies raise prices precipitously at a time the economy is showing the first signs of recovery, it is sure to have a chilling effect, thus harming the interests of millions of struggling people and the nation itself. It would be one thing if the oil companies were merely passing on cost increases, but they have raked in record profits. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0304-sunday-20120304,0,6606410.story Cigarettes' lessons for climate change. Successful anti-smoking efforts of decades past offer a blueprint for how we might tackle global warming. In the 1970s it seemed like we had problems we could never fix — and I'm not talking about white polyester disco suits and the band Air Supply. The '70s presented America with the residue of a catastrophic war, soaring inner-city crime rates, runaway inflation and subjugation to Middle East oil. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-schendler-cigarettes-lessons-for-climate-cha-20120304,0,6134172.story LOIS HENRY: Ranch takes double hit: from CARB, terrorists. Ludicrosity alert! Ludicrosity alert! No, that's not a real word, but you'll be using it too by the time you finish reading this tale about the California Air Resources Board, Harris Ranch and a cowardly act of terrorism. Oh, I should clarify: The cowardly act of terrorism was done by true criminals, as opposed to CARB, which isn't technically a crime syndicate but, as I've reported before, often employs a legal form of intimidation to achieve its ends. More on that in a bit. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/columnists/lois-henry/x1498654977/LOIS-HENRY-Ranch-takes-double-hit-from-CARB-terrorists Mark Landsbaum: Carbon market a doomed government fantasy. California's political class yearns to be European. Here's some advice for Gov. Jerry Brown and associates: Beware of what you desire. You just may get it. Their latest self-destructive fascination is the lunacy of a carbon trading market. It's part of the still-loonier cap-and-trade scheme to save California from the looniest concept of all, make-believe devastation from manmade global warming. It doesn't get more European than that. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/carbon-342902-government-europe.html Cap-and-trade is not a budget solution. “Good news! We found billions of dollars to help the state budget and fund more government programs.” If this sounds too good to be true, you’re right. The Governor’s plan to spend billions extracted from California employers under AB 32’s cap-and-trade program is actually bad news that will hurt the environment and kill jobs. The purpose of cap-and-trade is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not raise billions in new revenue for state coffers. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?_c=10eiw3519iy1fqh&xid=10eivgmg9gxp9zo&done=.10eiw3519iyefqh GREENHUT: Saving the Earth, one fraud at a time. If the theory of man-made global warming were such a self-obvious truth, the result of scientific consensus, then why do advocates for this idea keep committing frauds to advance it? Even more disturbing, why are some writers willing to defend this behavior? The latest embarrassment for global-warming activists came on Feb. 20 after Peter Gleick, founder of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Oakland, admitted …Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/greenhut/greenhut-saving-the-earth-one-fraud-at-a-time/article_75767d33-19e2-5062-9647-9e199f62f598.html#ixzz1oGd81s00 Budget sub-committee ponders use of cap-and-trade revenues. The Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3 hosted an informational hearing on the potential use of revenues from the AB 32 Cap-and-Trade program due to begin January 2013. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold the first auctions of allowances in August and November this year. The Governor’s proposed budget assumes $1 billion in auction revenue for the 2012-2013 budget year. He would use the revenue to offset $500 million of current general fund spending for environmental purposes, and the balance would fund new environmental programs. Posted. http://www.cmta.net/page/legupdate-article.php?legupdate_id=2129%22 BLOGS GM shutting down Chevy Volt production for five weeks. Even with the new HOV-eligible 2012 Chevrolet Volt models heading to California and sales up in February, General Motors has reportedly decided to shut down production of the plug-in hybrid for five weeks because of overall sluggish sales. With a 150-day supply of Volts sitting on dealer lots around the country, this shut down will temporarily lay off 1,300 employees. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/02/gm-shutting-down-chevy-volt-production-for-five-weeks/ GM's funding of climate-change denying Heartland Institute stirs up trouble. The Heartland Institute is a big daddy in climate change denialism and recently became a more household name thanks to a trove of documents that were exposed on DeSmogBlog. The documents purport to be leaked internal memos that detail the ways the institute is funded and disseminates its "nothing to see here, folks" message. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/