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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 21, 2012.

Posted: 21 Jun 2012 12:05:48
ARB Newsclips for June 21, 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.


CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Accounting for pollution likely within a
decade. Corporate and government accounting will likely reflect
environmental profit and loss within a decade, thanks partly to
progress made this week at a U.N. conference in Rio de Janeiro,
backers of the plan told Reuters on Thursday. Company accounting
and calculations of gross domestic product (GDP) are flawed
because they fail to show governments, consumers and managers the
true costs of their activities, said Pavan Sukhdev, a board
member of U.S. environmental group Conservation International and
a former Deutsche Bank AG banker. Posted.

Rio: pollution rife during UN enviro conference. The throngs
streaming into Rio for a sustainable development conference may
be dreaming of white-sand beaches and clear, blue waters, but
what they are first likely to notice as they leave the airport is
not the salty tang of ocean in the breeze, but the stench of raw
sewage. That's because the airport sits by a bay that absorbs
about 320 million gallons (1.2 billion liters) of raw waste water
a day: 480 Olympic swimming pools worth of filth. Posted. 


Climate change to worsen hunger as U.N.'s Rio+20 begins. As
leaders from more than 130 nations convene a United Nations
conference on sustainable development Wednesday, new research
shows how climate change will likely exacerbate a key issue:
hunger. The number of undernourished women and young children
could increase 20% and affect one of every five within a decade
because of climate change's impact on food production, according
to an analysis by the World Health Organization and other groups.

REGION: Climate plan approved by Riverside County. Riverside
County's model home of the future may use small amounts of energy
and water, be located near public transportation and produce its
own electricity. And the county government building of the future
is expected to be a model of efficiency. Those are anticipated
byproducts of a draft climate action plan adopted earlier this
week by the county Board of Supervisors. The final version is
scheduled to be completed in summer 2013. "The future homes that
younger residents may be buying ... are probably going to be much
different than they are now," said county planner Adam Rush, who
has been working on the plan. Posted. 


Navistar Fined by EPA Over Technology Built With Agency.  The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fining diesel-engine
maker Navistar International Corp. (NAV) (NAV) for shortcomings
in pollution-control technology the agency helped it develop. 
“EPA is entangled in a blatant conflict in regulating a business
partner,” Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for
Environmental Responsibility, said in an e-mail. Posted. 


Development banks commit $175bn to transportation. Rio De Janeiro
-- The world's largest development banks say they are investing
$175 billion over the next decade to support cleaner
transportation systems. The announcement was made Wednesday in a
statement by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and six
other multilateral institutions represented at a U.N.
environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They point
out that transportation is the fastest-growing source of
greenhouse gases. Posted.

AP Newsbreak:


Fuel Efficiency Takes Baby Steps in the Auto Industry.  Thanks to
climate change policies and expensive gasoline, electric cars —
and especially hybrid electrics — have made some inroads in the
U.S. vehicle market. Still, the internal combustion engine is not
about to go the way of the dodo. Mainstream engine makers are
continually pushing forward incremental improvements and a few
companies are developing radically different technologies. 

Carmel-based startup envisions greener portable classrooms. 
Toxic dust, stale indoor air, mold and formaldehyde. The
California Air Resources Board found all of them in the least
desirable place: California’s K-12 classrooms. 
A team of
local design professionals have targeted portable classrooms,
which the 2004 CARB report suggests are even more environmentally
sketchy than traditional classrooms. 
Paul Byrne, a Carmel
architect, started Green Apple Classrooms with a vision for
greener and healthier schools. Posted. 

Icelandic tax breaks make EVs cost competitive.  The Icelandic
government has recently proposed to remove VAT on the first
$47,000 (around €35,750) of the price of electric vehicles (EVs).
Compared to vehicles with internal combustion engine (ICE) that
are subject to VAT of 25,5%, the highest rate in the world, EVs
will become more cost competitive and affordable for Iceland’s
inhabitants. The legislation was adopted by the Icelandic
Parliament on 19 June, the last day before the summer break,
overcoming the final step towards the exemption of EVs from VAT.
Posted.  http://cars21.com/news/view/4586 


Gov. Jerry Brown to scrap environmental exception for bullet
train. Environmental groups and others had criticized Gov.
Brown's plans to protect the construction of California's
high-speed rail network from injunctions. After encountering
criticism from environmental groups, Gov. Jerry Brown signaled
Wednesday that he plans to withdraw his controversial proposal to
protect the California bullet train project from injunctions
sought by environmental lawsuits. Posted.



EBay to power data center with renewable energy.  EBay Inc. said
it plans to build a data center powered by startup Bloom Energy's
renewable energy fuel cells, a more environmentally-friendly
alternative to drawing power from the mostly coal-based electric
grid. The U.S. online auction sales group will use 30 Bloom
Energy servers that use biogas derived from renewable organic
waste and will only use the grid as a back-up source of power.
Last month, Apple Inc. said it was buying equipment from SunPower
Corp and Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations to
power its main U.S. data center. Posted.

Searing questions on massive solar experiment in Mojave Desert.
As one of the world's largest sun-powered plants takes shape,
observers debate the risk to birds, planes and drivers. Ivanpah
Valley, Calif. — At what temperature might a songbird vaporize?
Will the glare from five square miles of mirrors create a
distraction for highway drivers? Can plumes of superheated air
create enough turbulence to flip a small airplane?  What happens
if one of the Air Force's heat-seeking missiles confuses a solar
power plant with a military training target? Posted.


Living near loud traffic may raise heart attack risk. Living in
an area with lots of traffic noise may do more than give you a
headache. A new study from Denmark suggests exposure to too much
traffic noise may raise a person's heart attack risk. More people
die in fatal car crashes on Tax Day, study finds. Reducing air
pollution during 2008 Beijing Olympics boosted residents' heart
health, research reveals. For the study, researchers looked at
more than 57,000…Posted.


PATTERSON: Banking on green energy.  How do you know a bank is in
trouble? When it suddenly jacks up fees or imposes new ones
capriciously, that’s usually a flashing red light. For example,
last year, Bank of America (BOA) suddenly announced it would
charge customers a $5 fee for using their debit cards. Though the
bank backed off that plan after a public outcry, the Wall Street
Journal reported in March that the bank was still considering
requiring “many users of basic checking accounts to pay a monthly
fee unless they agree to bank online, buy more products or
maintain certain balances.”  Posted. 

Time to adopt tighter rules on air pollution. The federal
government is long overdue in updating standards for fine
particulates, one of the most lethal types of air pollution and
one that is prevalent in high concentrations in the San Joaquin
Valley. Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
proposed to finally update the current standard, set in 1997, to
a more protective level. This new standard must be adopted.
Science has uncovered a lot in the 15 years since the current PM
2.5 standard was set.. Posted. 

Despite significant victories, race remains a major fault line in
American life. It shapes the distribution not only of power and
economic resources, but environmental quality as well. Tales of
environmental injustices around the country provide strong
evidence that chemical-by-chemical and facility-by-facility
regulation is inadequate to protect public health. Posted.


Senate Move to Reverse Mercury Rule Fails. A Senate resolution
seeking to reverse federal regulations limiting emissions of
mercury and other toxic substances from coal-burning power plants
failed to win passage on Wednesday. The resolution, introduced by
Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, won support from
46 senators; 53 voted against it.The Environmental Protection
Agency rules, issued late last year, have been criticized by some
utilities, coal producers, Congressional Republicans and other
foes as overly broad and potentially harmful to the economy.

Tackling global warming in 21 easy steps.  In the past, whenever
world leaders have huddled to discuss what to do about this
steadily warming planet of ours, they’ve usually endorsed one
big, sweeping solution. That was the logic behind the Kyoto
Protocol — each nation would promise sharp cuts in their overall
carbon emissions.  That, clearly, hasn’t worked. Global emissions
are still rising rapidly. That’s why, in a new paper for Nature
Climate Change, four researchers take a different approach.
Instead of starting with one huge, overarching carbon limit
dreamed up at U.N. conferences…Posted.

My Air-Conditioner Envy.  With scorching heat enveloping New York
City this week, I’m suffering from air-conditioner envy. I want a
model like the one I saw in April at the Terre Policy Center in
Pune, India. But I can’t buy it.  As Andrew W. Lehren and I
report in The Times, the warming effects of air-conditioning
gases are reaching crisis proportions as more and more people in
countries like India and China buy the appliances. (Some readers
have rightly pointed out that people in industrialized countries
depend far more heavily on air-conditioning.)  Posted. 

More, hotter heat waves predicted for Southern California.
Southern California is going to feel the heat in the coming
years, according to a new UCLA climate change study. The study,
released Thursday, is the first to model the Southland's complex
geography of meandering coastlines, mountain ranges and dense
urban centers in high enough resolution to predict temperatures
down to the level of micro climate zones, each measuring 2¼
square miles. The projections are for 2041 to 2060. Posted.

Battery costs will fall to $250/kilowatt hour by 2015. Our most
burning question – aside from how many licks it takes to get to
the center of at Tootsie Pop – is, how much does a
battery-electric vehicle's battery really cost? One analyst says
that the price tag will be at about $250 per kilowatt hour by
2015, which spells good news for the EV industry. Roland Berger
Strategy Consultants' analyst Wolfgang Bernhart told EV Update
that the cost of a typical plug-in hybrid-electric battery "in
Japan and Korea for contracts with a 2015 delivery" will be at
about $250 per kilowatt hour. Posted. 

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