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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 29, 2012

Posted: 29 May 2012 11:58:52
ARB Newsclips for May 29, 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.


Sequoia National Park: Worst air pollution.  On a clear day, the
view from Beetle Rock in Sequoia National Park extends west for
105 miles across the patchwork of crops in California’s
agricultural heartland to the Coast Mountains and the Pacific
Ocean beyond.  The problem is there are few clear days, even at
6,200 feet.  The Sierra Nevada forest that is home to the biggest
and among the oldest living things on earth — the giant Sequoia
redwoods — also suffers a dubious distinction. It has the worst
air pollution of any national park in the country.  Posted. 





PERC leaves toxic legacy state must pay for.  A dangerous
chemical used in dry cleaning is being phased out in California,
but state regulators say we may still have to live with a toxic
legacy for years to come. In this Assignment 7 report we take a
closer look at the problem leaching into soil and drinking water
around the state.  At Crystal Cleaning Center in San Mateo, owner
Lynnette Waterson uses a chemical called perchloroethylene, or
PERC, to clean the toughest stains.  "It is the favorite solvent
because of how well it cleans," said Watterson.  Posted. 


Climate Deadlock Breaks as Slow UN Talks Frustrate U.S., EU. 
Climate change envoys broke a deadlock at United Nations talks in
Germany, with European, U.S. and island nations warning the slow
pace of negotiations threatens the chance of reaching a deal at
the end of the year.  After a week of wrangling about the
structure of the agenda that will guide talks leading to a new
climate deal in 2015, delegates at the discussions in Bonn today
bridged a divide that pitted about 36 nations including China and
India against the European Union, U.S. and blocs of island and
developing nations.  Posted. 

Effort tracks carbon footprints.  Knowing how much energy you use
and how much methane and exhaust you produce is the first step to
living greener.  That's the theory behind Green Communities, a
public-private effort to nudge cities and counties to act
friendlier toward Mother Nature.  College interns dispatched by
the Modesto-based Great Valley Center have inventoried the carbon
footprints of Stanislaus County and its cities and are reaching
out to other agencies. Analyses in free reports serve as a
starting point for figuring out how to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions.  Posted. 

MIT report finds China’s actions on climate change crucial;
argues for global economy-wide greenhouse gas tax.  A new report
from the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global
Change shows the importance of all major nations taking part in
global efforts to reduce emissions—and in particular, finds
China’s role to be crucial.  The report—titled “The Role of China
in Mitigating Climate Change” and published in the journal Energy
Economics, compares the impact of a stringent emissions reduction
policy with and without China’s participation. Specifically, the
study finds that with China’s help the global community may
be—under the most optimistic scenario—able to limit warming to 2
°C, relative to pre-industrial levels.  Posted. 


Study finds diesel oxidation catalyst eliminates mutagenicity of
diesel exhaust in gas phase.  A team of researchers in Germany
has found that the mutagenicity of diesel engine exhaust (DEE) is
eliminated in the gas phase by a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC),
but only slightly reduced in the particle phase. In a study
published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology,
they investigated the influence of different diesel fuels and the
exhaust after-treatment with a DOC on the genotoxicity of DEE
using the bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames test) and a
detailed characterization of the emitted particles.  Posted. 


Some after-market motorcycle parts don’t meet safety or
environmental standards, experts say.  The first dollar Rick
Doyle ever earned as a $3 million-a-year dealer of after-market
motorcycle parts is tacked to the wall of a dusty barn in rural
Ohio, where two custom-built bikes have been pushed to the
corner, forgotten. There is nothing here now except a 10-year-old
tractor. The biker calendar above the desk still reads February
2006.  That’s about when Doyle made an unsettling discovery about
an industry that for decades catered to motorcyclists who pride
themselves on customizing bikes with unique features and
high-powered parts.  Posted. 


ENERGY: The latest in green construction: Recycled Styrofoam
walls.  Here's the latest in the all green home: 85 percent
recycled Styrofoam walls.  California's building codes are among
the toughest in the nation when it comes to energy efficiency,
and they will only get tougher over the next eight years. New
houses in the future may be able to get ahead of the game using
sturdy insulation, and homebuilders looking to take their
greenness up a notch could consider Perform Wall, an insulating
panel made mostly from old Styrofoam.  "We liked Perform Wall
because it's an environmentally responsible product," said Mary
Krebill, who is building her dream house in Elfin Forest, near
Escondido.  Posted. 

The truth about renewable energy: Inexpensive, reliable, and
inexhaustible.  We’ve all heard the common myths about renewable
energy: It’s expensive; it can’t be relied upon; there just isn’t
enough of it to meet our energy needs. But as technological
advances and plummeting costs drive explosive growth — U.S.
installed wind capacity has grown sevenfold to nearly 47
gigawatts in the last seven years — real-world experience is
shattering long-held assumptions every day. Even ardent
supporters of renewables may be surprised by what we’re learning.


Regulated Class in California seeks reparations from CARB. 
California Air Resources Board (CARB) met on Thursday, May 24. On
the agenda was discussion toward deciding where and how to spend
the billions raised from cap-and-trade carbon trading in the
state.  At the public meeting was Betty Plowman, who attended the
meeting to present a letter on behalf of the industries that CARB
calls polluters. The letter describes CARB’s threats to these
industries, induced by the Board’s regulations that are, in turn,
based on junk science. The letter’s signatories indicate
intention to seek reparations for the regulated class under
CARB’s repression in California.  Posted. 

A good start on the way to a coherent energy policy.  The
following editorial appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on
Friday, May 25: There's been a sighting this spring of that
rarest of birds in Washington: a national energy bill. The bill
by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., has fluttered around a bit, will
probably appear at a Senate committee hearing and then is
expected to go the way of all good energy bills: into extinction.
 Which is too bad. At the very least, the bill deserves better
than to go quietly into that good night. It deserves a fuller
national discussion and eventual passage in some form.  Posted. 

Dan Morain: Can market for clean-air credits resist profiteers? 
A promise of big money has a way of quieting nagging questions. 
So it is with California's cap and trade program. The Air
Resources Board is pressing ahead with the creation of a market
to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Answering doubters,
the ARB estimates the state will receive $1 billion a year in
revenue.  In this cash-strapped state, many interests have their
hands out. Environmentalists see ways to fund their projects,
legislators hope to use it to pay for their favored programs, and
Gov. Jerry Brown envisions using the money to help to build
high-speed rail.  Posted. 


How Americans use energy, in three simple charts.  Donald Marron
passes along a very handy chart from the Congressional Budget
Office looking at what sources of energy the United States relies
on — and for what purpose…Posted. 

Getting Serious About the “Other” Greenhouse Gases.  While carbon
dioxide reductions are at the heart of efforts in California to
curb greenhouse gas emissions, state air regulators were reminded
in a hearing on Thursday not to overlook a number of other
“short-lived” greenhouse pollutants in meeting targets outlined
under AB 32, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act.  A panel
of noted scientists was on hand, several from California
universities and research labs, to discuss the effects of black
carbon, methane and hydrofluourocarbons on regional and global
climate. Short-lived pollutants such as these are estimated to
comprise more than a third of overall global climate warming
emissions.  Posted. 

Germany Has Almost As Much Installed Solar Power Generation as
The Rest of the World.  Following Fukushima there was massive
pressure on the German government  to abandon nuclear power. They
closed  eight plants immediately andare  shutting down the
remaining nine by 2022.  The drive to replace nuclear with
renewables intensified.And this has happened. Norbert Allnoch,
director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR)
in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed
into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the
nation's midday electricity needs.  Posted. 

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