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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 30, 2012

Posted: 30 Mar 2012 16:15:19
ARB Newsclips for March 30, 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.

Bay Area Air District offers $10 million to reduce marine engine
pollution. Bay Area commercial boat owners may qualify for
state-funded grants and loans to help them replace their older,
polluting diesel engines. According to the Bay Area Air Quality
Management District, the district is offering $10 million in
grants for commercial marine engine replacements. Grants to cover
up to 80 percent of the replacement costs are available. Posted.

Appeals board upholds Navajo permitting authority. An
environmental appeals board has upheld the Navajo Nation's
authority to regulate major sources of air pollution on the
reservation. The Navajo Nation was the first tribe to be
delegated authority by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
to administer an air permits program that covers 14 sources on
the reservation, including power plants. The tribe issued a
permit in 2009 that set limits for particulate emissions for
Peabody Western Coal Company's operations. But the company
objected to citations of tribal law in the initial permit and a
revised one, saying the permit essentially was identical to one
issued by the EPA. Posted. 

NY landowners plan to frack using liquid propane. An upstate New
York landowners group may partner with a Canadian company that
uses liquid propane instead of controversial water-based
hydraulic fracturing to get natural gas flowing into wells. Chris
Denton, the attorney representing the 2,000-member Tioga County
Landowners Association, said Thursday that leaders of the group
have reached a deal with Calgary-based GasFrac, which has used
liquefied propane gas to frack wells in Canada, Texas and
Colorado. Posted. 

Students sickened after pesticide drifts over bus. A day after a
school bus was hit with pesticide drift, classes were back to
normal Friday with only two of the 30 students who were aboard
the bus missing from school. But Rio Bravo-Greeley Union School
District Superintendent Ernie Unruh said it's his understanding
that their absence had nothing to do with Thursday's incident.
Hall paramedic Shane Courtis checks on one of many Rio
Bravo-Greeley students who were impacted by an early morning
pesticide drift that hit their school bus Thursday. Posted.


IETA comments on citizens climate lobby suit against offsets in
California. Henry Derwent, President and CEO of the International
Emissions Trading Association, today commented on the lawsuit
filed by Citizens Climate Lobby and Our Children's Earth against
the California Air Resource Board's regulations allowing
companies to use offsets to meet up to 8% of their compliance
needs. "Offsets are a proven method for protecting the
environment while at the same time keeping costs down," said
Henry Derwent. "In these difficult economic times, when concern
about energy costs is already high, it's difficult to understand
why anyone would want to make it more difficult--and more
expensive--to combat climate change, but that's exactly what this
lawsuit would do…Posted. 

Scientists: 'No silver bullet' to declining Delta. There is no
single cause for the deterioration of the Delta, a team of
independent scientists said Thursday in a long-awaited report
that fails to resolve one of the largest areas of controversy.
The report by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences
marks the end of a two-year investigation launched during the
state's most recent drought. Congress and the federal government
asked the influential academy - a kind of "Supreme Court" of
science, although its findings are not legally enforceable - to
study the Delta and California water as a whole. Posted. 


Obama signs stop-gap transportation bill. President Barack Obama
has signed a three-month extension of a transportation bill to
keep federal highway and transit aid flowing. The move prevents a
widespread shutdown of construction projects. The White House
says Obama signed the 90-day extension before departing for
Vermont Friday. The government's authority to spend money on
transportation programs and levy federal fuel taxes was set to
expire on Saturday. Posted. 

EVI launches 500 electric medium-duty truck deployment initiative
in California. Electric Vehicles International is launching a new
initiative to deploy 500 fully electric return-to-base
medium-duty delivery trucks in California. With the partnership
and support of agencies such as the California Energy Commission,
the California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality
Management District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District, and the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, EVI
and UPS will jumpstart implementation of California Governor
Brown’s EV Executive early this summer by deploying 100
medium-duty electric vehicles. Posted. 


Germany Cuts Solar Aid to Curb Prices, Panel Installations.
Germany’s parliament approved record cuts in aid for solar power,
aiming to reduce the annual pace of installations by half in the
world’s biggest market for the industry.  Subsidies will be cut
by as much as 29 percent starting April 1, depending on the size
of the solar plant, according to the legislation posted on the
parliament’s website. The measure passed by 305 votes to 235 on
the strength of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition majority.

Offshore wind supporters to discuss benefits of developing
turbines. Supporters of offshore wind will be highlighting its
benefits as the House of Delegates nears a vote on a measure to
develop it in Maryland. A coalition of supporters is scheduled to
talk on Friday about how the measure could help minority-owned
businesses in the state. They also will be discussing health
benefits they say will result from reducing air pollution.The
House of Delegates could vote on the bill as soon as Friday.


Old Power Plants Need New Rules. THE Environmental Protection
Agency’s proposal earlier this week to reduce greenhouse gases
from new power plants was hailed by many environmentalists, but
unless steps are taken quickly to bring existing plants under the
rule, it will create a perverse incentive for companies to keep
running older, more heavily polluting power plants. That’s bad
economics that could lead to dirtier air.  The proposal would
regulate carbon emissions from future power plants but leave
existing sources untouched. This is yet another instance in a
more than 40-year pattern under the Clean Air Act in which old
and outdated technology has avoided new environmental standards.
The result is continuing unhealthy levels of pollution. Posted. 

2nd revolution of oil waiting in our back yard. The world was
reinvented in the 1970s by soaring oil prices and massive
transfers of national wealth. It could be again if the price of
petroleum crashes — a real possibility given the amazing
estimates about the new gas and oil reserves on the North
American continent. The Canadian tar sands, deepwater exploration
in the Gulf of Mexico, horizontal drilling off the eastern and
western American coastlines, fracking in once-untapped sites in
North Dakota, and new pipelines from Alaska and Canada could
within a decade double North American gas and oil production.

Southern California leaders get things done. The
about-to-be-adopted 25-year Regional Transportation Plan for
Southern California is a departure from convention with its
emphasis on transit, walking and biking, and on multifamily
housing instead of single-family homes. This could be good news
for the Inland Empire, where reliance on the automobile has made
residents especially vulnerable to traffic congestion, air
pollution and rising gas prices, and where almost half the homes
carrying mortgages were underwater last year - meaning that
homeowners who sold them would not be able to pay off their
loans. Posted. 

PATTERSON: Obama kills coal - as promised. Well, we can’t say we
weren’t warned. This week, the unelected, unaccountable
bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency released a set
of proposed rules designed to target greenhouse gas emissions. If
enacted, these rules would virtually destroy the coal industry -
just as President Obama once promised he would do. Under the
proposed rules, new power plants will be required to emit no more
than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of
electricity; coal plants average 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide
per megawatt. Posted. 


Making Sense of the Wacky Weather. Like many people, I’ve been
struggling to understand what is going on with the weather. As I
flipped on my air conditioner one day in the middle of March to
cool down an unbearably hot apartment, I thought, this is just
weird. In recent years, we have lived through one weather extreme
after another, sometimes whipsawing between them rather quickly.
So, for my recent article on this topic, reported with Joanna
Foster, I tried an interesting little exercise. Posted.

Oil war: the ad battle between ‘Big Oil’ and DNC, Part 1. The
pro-oil American Energy Alliance and the Democratic National
Committee exchanged barbs this week over the president’s energy
policies, providing a preview of the hard-hitting rhetorical
campaigns and rapid-response reactions that will take place as
the general election nears.  AEA claimed that it will spend $3.6
million airing the 30-second advertisement in eight states “in
the largest effort of its kind in AEA’s history.” We’ll examine
these ads in the order they were released, looking at the
American Energy Alliance commercial first and moving to the DNC
video in a later column. Posted. 

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