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newsclips -- ARB Newclips for June 5, 2012. Posted: 05 Jun 2012 12:44:15
ARB Newsclips for June 5, 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 China tells US to stop tweets on Beijing's bad air. China told foreign embassies Tuesday to stop publishing their own reports on air quality in the country, escalating its objections to a popular U.S. Embassy Twitter feed that tracks pollution in smoggy Beijing. Only the Chinese government is authorized to monitor and publish air quality information and data from other sources may not be standardized or rigorous, Wu Xiaoqing, a vice environmental minister, told reporters. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jXMzziKdVjIp0Hbrxa4LPLhq_upw?docId=4a9a59608c7446219969def81fccc576 AP Newsbreak: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/05/us-china-environment-idUSBRE85408S20120605 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-says-foreign-embassies-not-allowed-to-report-on-air-quality-in-beijing-other-cities/2012/06/05/gJQABHT4EV_story.html http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/04/4538544/china-tells-us-to-stop-reporting.html http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20784052/china-tells-us-stop-reporting-beijings-bad-air?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/04/2861607/china-tells-us-to-stop-reporting.html#storylink=misearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/05/china-tells-us-to-stop-reporting-beijings-02/ http://www.insidebayarea.com/nation-world/ci_20786148/china-u-s-stop-tweeting-about-beijings-bad?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com SJ Valley residents warned about unhealthy air. San Joaquin Valley officials are warning residents that gusty winds have created unhealthy levels of air pollution. The valley's Air Pollution Control District issued a health advisory Monday because of high concentrations of blowing dust in parts of Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. Officials say the gusty winds could produce unhealthy levels of particle pollution that can cause serious respiratory and heart problems. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/04/2861375/sj-valley-residents-warned-about.html#storylink=misearch http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/04/4538031/sj-valley-residents-warned-about.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20781342/sj-valley-residents-warned-about-unhealthy-air?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com CLIMATE CHANGE Utilities More Concerned About Carbon Emissions: Survey. Concern about carbon emissions increased last year among U.S. utility executives, who also expressed apprehension that customers won’t tolerate higher rates for power generated from renewable sources, according to a report. Carbon emissions increased to third from sixth among the top environmental concerns of 543 managers and engineers, said Black & Veatch Corp. The Overland Park, Kansas-based engineering and consulting firm conducted the survey from Feb. 22 through March 23 and posted the results on its website today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-04/utilities-more-concerned-about-carbon-emissions-survey.html http://grist.org/climate-energy/energy-companies-seeing-a-greener-future-are-losing-their-faith-in-coal/ Government of Québec unveils $2.7B climate change action plan; 63% of spending targeting transport. The Premier of Québec, Jean Charest; the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand; and the Minister of Transport Pierre Moreau unveiled the Canadian province’s 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change (PACC 2020). The action plan and strategy adaptation represent a total investment of nearly C$2.7 billion (US$2.6 billion). The PACC 2020 is self-financed from the carbon market and the extension until 2014 of the fuel levy and fossil fuels. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/06/quebec-20120605.html DIESEL EMISSIONS Westport and Caterpillar to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment. Westport Innovations Inc. has signed agreements with Caterpillar Inc. to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives. Caterpillar and Westport will combine technologies and expertise, including Westport High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) technology and Caterpillar’s off-road engine and machine product technology, to develop the natural gas fuel system. Caterpillar will fund the development program. When the products go to market, Westport expects to participate in the supply of key components. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/06/westcat-20120605.html FUELS February gas use up in California for first time in a year. For the first time in 12 months, year-over-year gasoline consumption in California rose 2.1 percent in February, despite a 12.5 average increase in gas costs during that time. The California Board of Equalization said in-state gas use in February totaled 1.154 billion gallons, up from 1.131 billion in February 2011. The average price of gas in California in February was a hefty $4.03 a gallon. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/05/4538445/february-gas-use-up-in-california.html VEHICLES Solar-powered plane leaves Spain for Morocco. An experimental solar-powered plane has taken off from Madrid en route to Morocco in a bid to complete its first transcontinental flight. The single-seat aircraft fitted with 12,000 solar cells is the size of a jumbo jet. Organizers said in a statement it is due to arrive in the Moroccan capital Rabat late Tuesday night after leaving Spain before dawn. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/06/05/international/i010110D50.DTL GREEN ENERGY Clean energy subsidies unlikely to create jobs -- or stem climate change. Giving clean energy subsidies to American companies is akin to throwing money "down a rat hole." Mostly, it's just a "bad idea." Those assertions are not taken from Mitt Romney's latest attack ad about Solyndra but are rather the views conveyed in a new paper by a left-leaning think tank that charges this White House, and its predecessors, with taking a wrong turn on the economy. Fear about threats from abroad and impulses to help favored energy sources have given rise to another "industrial policy," say Brookings Institution economists. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/05/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Costco settles hazmat lawsuit for $3.6 million. Costco has agreed to pay $3.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by 29 district attorneys accusing the big-box retailer of failing to properly store and dispose of hazardous materials at dozens of its outlets in California. Over a five-year period, Costco employees didn't label or sort hazardous materials that had sat unsold on shelves or that customers had returned, such as oven cleaner, bleach, pool chlorine, nicotine patches and batteries, according to the lawsuit. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/05/BAME1OSHED.DTL&type=green REGION: Air quality district offers exchange of lawn mowers. Registration is open for the South Coast Air Quality Managements District’s popular lawn mower exchange program. The campaign allows residents to improve air quality and save money by replacing gasoline-powered mowers with zero-emission battery electric models. This year marks the 10th anniversary of AQMD’s “Mow Down Air Pollution” program. Residents have exchanged 43,438 mowers during the annual exchange events. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20120604-region-air-quality-district-offers-exchange-of-lawn-mowers.ece OPINIONS Reader Rebuttal (James Enstrom): Air pollution in L.A. region. The April 25, 2012, Register article "Smog report: L.A. region still among the nation's worst" is highly misleading because it uncritically relies upon two reports that exaggerate the air pollution problem in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The air pollution problem is also exaggerated by the California Air Resources Board, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the two agencies that have responsibility for air quality in Southern California. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/air-357230-california-pollution.html Chevrolet Volt (and EV) Hater Johan de Nysschen Takes Top Job at Infiniti. Wait, What? Over the years, Nissan has done a lot of things for advancement of the electric vehicle, but yesterday’s decision to lure Johan de Nysschen away from Audi to become the senior vice president in charge of the Infiniti luxury brand worldwide is a real head scratcher, especially considering Nissan (and by extension Infiniti) has staked their whole future on the electrification of the automobile. If you were to look up all time gaffs when it comes to not being environmentally friendly…Posted. http://insideevs.com/chevrolet-volt-and-ev-hater-johan-de-nysschen-takes-top-job-at-infiniti-wait-what/ BLOGS Even coal and nuclear plants are vulnerable to climate change. Many modern power plants have a hidden weakness. They need water to stay cool. Lots of water. In the United States, coal, gas and nuclear plants account for roughly 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater use, drawing from rivers and lakes to prevent their turbines from overheating. Yet this water could prove increasingly hard to come by. Over the next 50 years, if global warming proceeds apace, many rivers will get warmer or reduce their flow. That, in turn, could lead to shortages of cooling water, forcing many plants to shut down. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/even-coal-and-nuclear-plants-are-vulnerable-to-global-warming/2012/06/04/gJQAQOH0DV_blog.html Emissions Fell Under Cap and Trade Program, Report Says. The cap and trade system known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative announced on Monday that carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the nine participating states on the East Coast fell by an average of 23 percent during the first three years of the program. The pioneering program, known as RGGI (pronounced reggie), sets a ceiling on carbon dioxide emissions from electric power providers and requires the companies to pay for their emissions by buying allowances in auctions held four times a year. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/emissions-fell-under-cap-and-trade-program-report-says/ China to U.S.: Stop Monitoring Our Air. It’s well-known that China’s government isn’t pleased with the U.S. diplomatic mission’s trio of Twitter feeds dedicated to publicizing independent air quality measurements in major Chinese cities. But is the highly popular initiative a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations? The answer, according to one top Chinese environmental official, is yes. And not only that, they may be violation of Chinese law as well. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/06/05/u-s-air-monitoring-in-china-vienna-violation/ Another big ozone violation last Friday. Remember the $29 million annual dirty-air fine -- $12 a year in your vehicle registration fees? It's back in the news and stirring debate between a local activist and the air district's leader. Last Friday, an intense ozone episode triggered a one-hour violation at Parlier. Another one of these peak violations at that monitor this summer would extend the annual fine at least through 2014. Violations at the Fresno and Clovis monitors also might extend the fine. Posted. http://fresnobeehive.com/news/2012/06/another_big_ozone_violation_la.html#storylink=misearch May 2012 alt-fuel sales led by Prius sales jump, Volt gains. Any hypermiler will tell you that a fierce tailwind will do wonders for fuel economy. The same could probably apply for U.S. sales of advanced-powertrain vehicles. Continuing high gas prices, a broadening array of hybrid and electric-drive vehicles and figures from a year earlier that were constrained by supply issues stemming from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan pushed May U.S. alt-fuel vehicle sales far above numbers from last year, though they were slightly lower than April sales. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/05/may-2012-alt-fuel-sales-led-by-prius-sales-jump-volt-gains/