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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 7, 2012. Posted: 07 May 2012 12:29:38
ARB Newsclips for May 7, 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 Recycled soil at Cabazon site found not to pose serious health threat. However, California regulators find that the operator did not meet state hazardous waste standards 'in a number of significant areas.' Odors at the site had been blamed for sickening children and teachers at a nearby school. State regulators found inadequate environmental safeguards at a Coachella Valley soil recycling company blamed for noxious odors that sickened children at a nearby school but said the mountains of contaminated soil do not pose a serious health threat. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cabazon-odors-20120503,0,7925249.story Group's lawsuit targets coal-fired power plant. An environmental group has filed a federal lawsuit claiming a Texas coal-fired power plant violates the Clean Air Act. The suit filed Tuesday in Waco federal court claims Luminant's Big Brown coal-fired plant exposes the public to harmful air pollution. The suit says the company's own data shows the power plant near Fairfield violated its particulate matter limits at least 370 times in the past 3 1-2 years. Asthma and other respiratory ailments are associated with particulate matter, commonly known as dirt and soot. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/01/groups-lawsuit-targets-coal-fired-power-plant/#ixzz1tj97rQTE CLIMATE CHANGE Flooding, climate concerns spur demonstrations in Sacramento area. Concerns that area rivers will flow high in winter and that extreme weather events will result in floods were on the minds of 50 people who gathered Saturday morning at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area levee as part of a worldwide demonstration. That event dovetailed with the recent release of a report that predicts that, locally, climate change will result in more rainfall earlier in the winter and less snowpack runoff later in the season, causing rivers to remain fuller for a longer period of time. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/05/06/2188398/flooding-climate-concerns-spur.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Aspen Ski Area rallies to highlight climate change. Aspen Ski Area hosted a ski race without snow Saturday to highlight the effect climate change has on the outdoor recreation industry. Auden Schendler, Aspen Skiing Company's vice president of sustainability, says "climate change is already pounding businesses and communities, whether you're a ski resort, an insurance agency or a raft business." Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/05/aspen-ski-area-rallies-to-highlight-climate/ FUELS Coal Fights Obama with NASCAR, YouTube Campaigns. From NASCAR and YouTube to campaign donations and Washington lobbyists, coal supporters are embracing an all-of-the-above strategy to defend the industry against what they consider regulatory overreach in Washington. While President Barack Obama has said he supports energy development of all kinds, he didn’t mention coal during his State of the Union address or during a four-state, two-day tour promoting his policies, an omission the industry took as a slight. Worse still in the eyes of coal backers are a series of regulations related to air pollution and mountaintop mining. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-05-07/coal-fights-obama-with-nascar-youtube-campaigns.html Refinery closures end streak of gas price declines in California. California's streak of seven straight weeks of gasoline price declines has ended, victimized by widespread refinery maintenance shutdowns that have reduced fuel supplies by nearly a third compared with a year ago, according to state statistics. Four of the 13 refineries in California that produce the state's expensive blend of gasoline have been in temporary shutdown, mostly for maintenance, according to state petroleum statistics. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-gas-rise-20120507,0,921026.story VEHICLES Pointing the Way to Where E.V. Drivers Can Plug In. IN the effort to establish standards that will encourage the acceptance of electric vehicles, there has been much wrangling over the development of a universal design for the plugs that connect battery chargers to cars. That is not the only E.V. debate under way, however. A less contentious, but still important, issue — the look of the road signs that tell drivers where they can top off a waning battery — has yet to be resolved. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/automobiles/pointing-the-way-to-where-ev-drivers-can-plug-in.html GREEN ENERGY Remote Solar Plants Come with Added Costs. New transmission lines will be needed to carry power from the desert to the Bay Area. On a desolate stretch of the Mojave Desert, twenty miles northeast of Barstow, construction workers recently began laying the foundation for a 2.8 square mile solar power plant. By 2014, electricity will flow from the facility into nearby power lines to homes and businesses throughout Northern California. The plant will help PG&E meet a state mandate requiring utilities to provide 33 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2020. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/energy/story/desert-solar-projects-costs/ Sacramento firm provides power in south state. Sacramento-based Greenleaf Power, which owns and operates green energy facilities, has begun delivering power to the Imperial Irrigation District in Southern California. Greenleaf's Desert View Power plant, in the northern end of the IID's service area, agreed to provide 45 megawatts of power over the next decade – enough to meet the needs of 45,000 households. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/05/04/2188871/sacramento-firm-provides-power.html SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Space weather expert has ominous forecast. Mike Hapgood, who studies solar events, says the world isn't prepared for a truly damaging storm. And one could happen soon. A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth, threatening to plunge cities around the world into darkness and bring the global economy screeching to a halt. This isn't the premise of the latest doomsday thriller. Massive solar storms have happened before —…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-solar-storms-20120505,0,6214500.story San Jose Mercury News, Calif., Mr. Roadshow column. Q I am about to buy a new Prius plug-in. I spoke to DMV to find out if they still have plenty of carpool stickers left, and they said they couldn't release that information. The state Air Resources Board said they didn't know. Why is this secret? Should I buy the car? A If getting stickers to drive solo in the carpool lane is one of your main reasons to purchase the plug-in Prius, you're in luck. This Prius and models of the Chevy Volt (with E, F, G or H in the fifth position of the vehicle identification number) qualify for green stickers that will allow solo drivers in carpool lanes through 2014. Posted. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-mct-san-jose-mercury-news-calif.-mr.-roadshow-column-20120503,0,1116077.story OPINIONS Dan Morain: Big tobacco's unlikeliest ally. Wearing a lab coat and speaking from an exam room, La Donna Porter looks every bit the wise physician, even as she does the bidding of the tobacco industry, which contributes to the deaths of 443,000 Americans every year. Porter is the star of tobacco-funded radio and television commercials intended to snuff out Proposition 29, the initiative on the June 5 ballot that would raise taxes by $1 per pack on cigarettes. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/06/4467266/big-tobaccos-unlikeliest-allyphysician.html Malzacher: New technologies making oil, gas and coal environmentally safe. President Barack Obama is the loudest social engineer politician. Let's give him some help. Green steel technology is a process that mixes plastic and rubber waste. This process reduces the reliance on coke, which is a refined version of fossil fuel. This process reduces carbon emissions, uses less electricity and greatly reduces rubber and plastics in landfills. The renewable green job success story is met by skeptical Americans. Renewable energy does not and will not meet our energy needs. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/05/malzacher-new-technologies-making-oil-gas-and/#ixzz1uCS9aeDL BLOGS SAE Congress: GE charges up Nissan's EV plans. Nissan and GE shared a booth at the SAE World Congress in Detroit recently to emphasize the way the two companies want to connects your car and various appliances to the emerging smart grid. The common piece of equipment is the new WattStation, which is an electric vehicle charging station that – along with the companion piece of software called WattStation Connect – gives plug-in vehicle drivers "the ability to manage and set customer pricing for EV charging, provide access control at their facilities, generate valuable reports and engage with customers in new ways." Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/05/06/sae-congress-ge-charges-up-nissans-ev-plans/ The Short Hot Life of Heartland’s Hateful Climate Billboard. The online spin cycle on global warming has become so fast and toxic that an electronic billboard in Chicago can flash an ultra-offensive message designed to draw attention to a conference of climate contrarians, then generate a global burst of Web traffic and then be withdrawn 24 hours later as “a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate” (the statement this afternoon from the Heartland Institute, the group that paid for the messages). Hopefully that necessary price will include Heartland losing a few more of its shrinking pool of corporate contributors. (The group issued a longer statement tonight on its “realist” message.) Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/the-short-hot-life-of-heartlands-hateful-climate-billboard/