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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips 25, 2012

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 13:42:56
ARB Newsclips for April 25, 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.


Hess to Spend $46 Million to Settle Refinery Pollution Case. Hess
Corp. agreed to spend $45 million on pollution controls at its
petroleum refinery in Port Reading, New Jersey, and pay $850,000
in penalties to resolve a government lawsuit over harmful
emissions.  A consent decree, entered today in federal court in
Newark, New Jersey, settled a lawsuit filed last week by the U.S.
and state governments. Under the agreement, emissions of nitrogen
oxides will decline by 181 tons a year and volatile organic
compounds also will decrease. Both contribute to smog and asthma.

Healthier buildings for healthier occupants.  It is estimated
that people spend at least 90 percent of their lives indoors.
Much of this indoor time may be spent working inside of an
airtight office building without operable windows, where exposure
to air pollutants is significantly greater as compared to being
outdoors.  Over the past several decades, office buildings have
become increasingly airtight in order to maximize comfort and
improve energy efficiency through central heating and cooling
systems. Posted. 

Bakersfield area near top for bad air rankings -- again. In a
conference call detailing the American Lung Association's latest
air quality report card, one city's name came up again and again:
Bakersfield. Bakersfield-Delano ranked worst in the nation for
short-term particle pollution as well as annual particle
pollution. The region ranked third worst for ozone pollution,
behind the Los Angeles and Visalia areas. That's actually a
slight improvement from last year, when Bakersfield held the No.
2 spot for ozone. Posted. 

Air Quality Improving in Many U.S. Cities: Report. Air quality in
America's most polluted cities has improved significantly over
the past decade, according to a new report from the American Lung
Association. Even Los Angeles, famous for its morning smog, is
the cleanest it's been in 13 years, the association noted. Santa
Fe, N.M. leads the pack, having been ranked as the cleanest city
in the nation. Despite progress in reducing the level of smog and
soot in the air, the "State of the Air" report warned that
unhealthy levels of air pollution still persist around the
country. Posted.

State Of The Air 2012: American Lung Association Reports
Improvements, Challenges. More than 127 million Americans --
about 41 percent of the country -- still suffer from pollution
levels that can make breathing dangerous, according to a new
report. The American Lung Association State of the Air 2012,
released Wednesday, shows signs of air-quality improvement, but
also indicates struggles in many regions nationwide. Posted.


YUCAIPA: City to purchase new firetruck. Yucaipa will purchase a
new $485,992 firetruck from an Ontario company. The City Council
voted 5-0 Tuesday night to buy the truck as a replacement for a
30-year-old American La France that has logged nearly 151,000
miles. Fire Chief Steven Shaw, who supervises 26 firefighters
under a contract with Cal Fire, told the council it would have
cost more money to refurbish the La France than to buy a new
firetruck. Even selling it for scrap, he said, would only net the
city about $2,000. Posted. 

CARB: Companies that report on-road info will be listed online. 
Trucking companies that register their truck information with the
California Air Resources Board know they may be eligible for
additional compliance time.  They may not know, however, that
CARB is posting their company’s names online.  In an apparent
attempt to reward early compliers, CARB announced Friday, April
20, that its Truck and Bus regulation registry will feature a
search function that “allows anyone to look up the company name
of fleets that have reported to the ARB to comply” with the
regulation.  “Brokers and motor carriers can use the search
feature to confirm whether the truck owners they hire have
reported to the ARB.”  Posted. 
EPA making $20M available for clean diesel projects.  The US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Request for
Proposals (EPA-OAR-OTAQ-12-05) with up to $20 million in FY 2012
grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at
reducing pollution from the existing fleet of diesel engines. In
addition to these grants, approximately $9 million will be
available through direct state allocations.  Eligible diesel
vehicles, engines and equipment may include buses; medium-duty or
heavy-duty trucks; Posted. 


4 auto parts makers downplay resin shortage. Executives from four
auto parts companies said Tuesday that they don't expect
widespread fallout from a shortage of a key ingredient in plastic
resin following a factory explosion. Officials with Delphi
Automotive, Illinois Tool Works, AK Steel and Parker Hannifin
said during conference calls to discuss their companies' earnings
that a shortage of PA-12 shouldn't disrupt their operations.


Solar panels cause clashes with homeowner groups.  The government
wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even
give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not. 
It's a lesson Angel and David Dobs discovered when their
homeowners association north of Atlanta denied their request to
install solar panels on their roof. Neighborhood officials said
the panels would look out of place and might lower home values in
a community that regulates details as fine as the coloring of
roof tiles, the planting of trees and the storage of trash cans.

Donald Trump demands Scotland nix wind turbines. He came, he saw,
he blustered. Donald Trump on Wednesday swept into Scotland's
parliament to demand the country end plans for an offshore wind
farm he fears will spoil the view at his exclusive new
$750-million-pound ($1.2-billion) golf resort. In a typically
blunt display, the New York property tycoon told an inquiry into
renewable energy to stop the wind power efforts in the country's
north. "Scotland, if you pursue this policy of these monstrous
turbines, Scotland will go broke," he said. "They are ugly, they
are noisy and they are dangerous. Posted. 


Viewpoints: Potential of low carbon fuel will drive California
forward. For the first time since the 1950s the United States is
exporting more gasoline and diesel than it imports. To become
energy secure, we need to invest in homegrown fuels, but also
develop fuel-efficient vehicles that go farther on a gallon of
gas, while producing as little pollution as possible. That's
where California's low carbon fuel standard comes in. The low
carbon fuel standard, the first of its kind in the world, was
enacted in 2009 and incentivizes all producers of motor fuels,
including gasoline and corn ethanol, to reduce by 10 percent the
carbon content of motor fuels sold in California. Posted.

1 WILL MARK THE START of a dramatically different new year in
California, for it also marks the launch of California's
greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program established by then-Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state legislature in 2006.
California has moved deliberately to ensure that our program will
effectively reduce GHG emissions while avoiding any serious
pitfalls. California is not the first state to implement a GHG
cap-and-trade program. Posted.


Why we pay too little for energy.  There are two ways to think
about the cost of energy. There’s the dollar amount that shows up
on our utility bills or at the pump. And then there’s the “social
cost” — all the adverse consequences that various energy sources,
from coal to nuclear power, end up foisting on the public. 
Economists have been working to quantify these social costs for
some time: from the premature deaths due to air pollution to the
damage wrought by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf
Coast. Posted. 

Discovery’s Soggy Logic on ‘Frozen Planet’. Here’s a question to
ponder after reviewing the video of melting penguin ice
sculptures above shot at the glitzy New York City celebration of
the American production of “Frozen Planet.” How can Discovery
Communications, the same giant media company that has brought the
world the one-sided, and popular, “Whale Wars,” say it excluded
any substantial mention of human-driven climate change in its
wildly popular “Frozen Planet” series on the basis of
objectivity? Posted. 

U.S. drivers to save $68 billion in 2030 with new CAFE standards.
What an extra few hundred bucks a year or so in everyone's pocket
will buy almost two decades from now is anyone's guess, but for
us, that's beside the point. U.S. drivers will save about $68
billion in refueling expenses in 2030 if the more stringent
fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas-emissions standards proposed by
the Obama Administration go into effect as planned in 2025,
according to one report. Posted. 

General Electric CEO says electric vehicles will reach 'tipping
point'.  True belief or wishful thinking? That's the question
some may ask about General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and his
statement that electric vehicles will become more than a just
niche market in the U.S. Immelt, speaking at a Detroit automotive
conference on Tuesday, said GE will continue to invest in
battery-electric vehicle technology with the belief that lower
costs and improved performance will allow EVs to reach "a tipping
point," Reuters reportedPosted. 

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