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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/us/epa-weighs-texas-plan-to-cut-haze-in-national-parks.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.bna.com/carbon-traders-ask-n12884908910/ DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/12/4409686/new-health-effects-study-highlights.html#storylink=misearch’ 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/AP5f31309fc43a46cea41c3f382ef90dad.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution FUELS 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/04/13/national/w082313D99.DTL http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/13/4411609/obama-to-create-working-group.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20389237/obama-create-working-group-gas-drilling?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obama-administration-creates-working-group-to-coordinate-federal-rules-on-gas-drilling/2012/04/13/gIQAmO89ET_story.html VEHICLES 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. http://www.energy.ca.gov/releases/2012_releases/2012-04-11_los_angeles_region_electric_vehicle_nr.html OPINION 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. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303772904577333531487110266.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ropeik-california-nuclear-risk-20120413,0,5248411.story 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/nissan-needs-to-turn-over-a-better-new-leaf/2012/04/13/gIQAL8DHFT_story.html 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-hone/is-the-first-offer-the-be_b_1421752.html BLOGS 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. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/on-astronauts-nasa-and-climate-concerns/?scp=4&sq=climate%20change&st=cse 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. http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2012/04/13/weaning-italy-off-the-green-energy-drug/?KEYWORDS=green+energy