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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 13, 2012

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 12:39:45
California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 13, 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.

E.P.A. Weighs Texas Plan to Cut Haze in National Parks. Last
year, as wildfires raged in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona,
visitors to Guadalupe Mountains National Park had to settle for a
more limited view when hiking up Guadalupe Peak, Texas’ highest
point. “All summer, there was a haze here,” said Jonena Hearst,
the park’s geologist. Even before the fires, she said, visibility
had been decreasing slightly over time. Posted. 


Carbon Traders Ask California to Add Offset Projects to Curb
Projected Rise in Compliance Costs. Carbon traders and regulated
entities have urged California to boost the supply of offset
projects available under its greenhouse gas emissions
cap-and-trade program to avoid skyrocketing compliance costs
during the second phase of the program. Their plea came April 11
at the Climate Action Registry's 10th annual conference, which
focused largely on California's economywide emissions trading
program and efforts to link it with the cap-and-trade program
adopted by the Canadian province of Quebec (see related story; 69
WCCR, 4/10/12). Posted. 


New Health Effects Study Highlights Advancement in Clean Diesel
Technology. A new study released today by the Health Effects
Institute (HEI) provides important new insights on the
advancements in clean diesel technology and ultra-low sulfur
diesel fuel, according to Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of
the Diesel Technology Forum.The peer-reviewed study entitled "HEI
Research Report 166: Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study
(ACES) Subchronic Exposure Results: Biological Responses in Rats
and Mice and Assessment of Genotoxicity," was conducted by the
Health Effects Institute (HEI) in collaboration with the
Coordinating Research Council. Posted. 

Awards given for reducing emissions in Northeast. The Northeast
Diesel Collaborative has given four organizations from
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont "Breathe Easy"
awards for outstanding leadership in reducing diesel emissions.
The collaborative works to improve public health and promote
clean diesel technology. Its "Breathe Easy Leadership Awards" are
given to agencies and organizations that reduce air pollution by
retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines, reducing idling
from diesel engines, developing outreach programs and promoting
cleaner fuels. Posted. 


Obama to create working group on gas drilling. The Obama
administration said Friday it is creating a multi-agency working
group to coordinate federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing and
other natural gas drilling techniques. The working group, headed
by White House energy adviser Heather Zichal, includes
representatives of about a dozen agencies that oversee various
aspects of drilling. Natural gas production has boomed in recent
years as drillers use new techniques to gain access to wells that
were hard to reach in the past. Posted. 


Energy Commission Grant Prepares LA Region for Electric Vehicles.
A grant of $200,000 will help Southern California develop a plan
to prepare for the influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV)
across the region. The grant approved unanimously today by the
California Energy Commission, will help the Southern California
Association of Governments (SCAG) develop two sub-regional plans
under a regional PEV Readiness Plan to determine where best to
add PEV charging stations in one of the largest metropolitan
areas in the nation. The SCAG is a planning organization
representing the region's six counties, 191 cities and more than
18 million residents. Posted. 


Cap-and-Price-Fix. When the European Union launched its Emissions
Trading System seven years ago, it was sold as a market-based
solution to the supposed problem of climate change. The EU would
set a cap on the total emissions of CO2 permitted in Europe, and
businesses that emitted carbon would buy and sell these permits,
thereby setting their price. This would allow firms that figured
out ways to reduce their emissions to profit, by selling excess
permits, and allow those for whom that wasn't practical to buy up
permits to stay in business. Over time, the cap would be lowered,
raising the cost of carbon and making alternatives such as wind
and solar power more attractive. Posted. 

Risk, fear and nuclear power. California's initiative process can
be both a wonderfully democratic and perilously dumb way to make
law. On no issue could that be more true than the proposed
initiative to shut down nuclear power in the state. The
initiative would shut down the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre
nuclear plants until the federal government approves a permanent
disposal site for nuclear waste. The issue is scientifically,
environmentally and economically complex, and tangled with
powerful emotions. Between the facts and those feelings, guess
which will have more influence on the choice people make? Is that
a wise way to make policy on something with such huge
implications for human and environmental health? Posted. 

2012 Nissan Leaf SL needs to turn over a better new Leaf. Dear
Carlos Ghosn, You are a patient man, putting up with all of those
questions about why your Nissan Leaf car “isn’t selling.” It
seems everywhere you go, some blogger or content provider is
pushing a variation of the theme: “Is the Nissan Leaf, a
mass-market all-electric car launched a year ago, a flop?” Some
even try to stick it to you with numbers: “You have a U.S. sales
target of 20,000 to 25,000 Leaf cars in 2012. Yet, it’s
mid-April, dude, and you’ve only sold 1,733. What’s up with
that?” Posted. 

Is the First Offer the Best? Energy policy development over the
last decade has shown one thing for certain, governments the
world over are persistent in their desire to alter the energy mix
and/or at least begin to manage emissions. Whether this is purely
for environmental reasons or for concerns about energy security
or perhaps for long term fiscal security almost doesn't seem to
matter, energy policy development and emissions management
continues to be a high priority. Posted. 


On Astronauts, NASA, and Climate Concerns. The folks whose
mission or job is to amplify doubt about the significance of
greenhouse gases have made much of a recent letter from 49 former
NASA astronauts, engineers, scientists and others to the agency’s
administrator, Charles Bolden, Jr. The letter, widely cast as
signifying a “rebellion,” complains about the agency’s “unbridled
advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change.” A clear
focus is the research center run by the agency’s star
climatologist, James E. Hansen, who has variously been hailed and
attacked for becoming a prominent campaigner against coal and oil
use. Posted. 

Weaning Investors Off Italy’s Green-Energy Drug. Renewable-energy
returns in Italy had become so high they were “the envy of drug
pushers,” in the words of Environment Minister Corrado Clini. The
technocrat government of Prime Minister Mario Monti, appointed to
tame the country’s towering debt pile with austerity measures and
budget cuts, changed all that this week. To nobody’s surprise,
the government has slashed aid to green energy. Incentives for
solar-power generation will be cut by about 35% on average later
this year, while those for the non-solar energy sector will be
reduced by around 10% to 15% from 2013. Posted. 

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