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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.


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. 

AP Newsbreak:

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. 


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.

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.


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. 


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.


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.


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


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.

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. 

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. 

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


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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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