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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 5, 2012 Posted: 05 Jul 2012 12:28:13
ARB Newsclips for July 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 Many Native Americans live next to power plants. Beyond the ancestral hunting fields and the rows of small, sparse homes, the cemetery at the Moapa River Indian Reservation sprawls across a barren hill with the tombstones of tribal members who died young. Their deaths haunt this small desert community outside Las Vegas. Children play indoors, afraid they might be next. Hoping to keep out the air they believe is killing their people, tribal elders keep their windows shut and avoid growing food on the land where their ancestors once found sustenance. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hB9Q3el2NAo0kvDp0CYy7uPYSm1A?docId=62ce28fb72e642e9a2f8b7fc0e568d12 AP Newsbreak: http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/many-native-americans-live-next-to-power-plants/article_30c71ad2-85b8-584a-ac1a-73fd2cf7af5e.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/07/04/2269599/many-native-americans-live-next.html#storylink=misearch http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/07/04/2898333/many-native-americans-live-next.html#storylink=misearch http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Many-Native-Americans-live-next-to-power-plants-3683871.php http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21005398/many-native-americans-live-next-power-plants?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21005398/many-native-americans-live-next-power-plants?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Clean the Skies. One evening last spring, Peter nearly stopped breathing. He was riding in the car with his mother, April, who was taking the 11-year-old boy back from a visit to the ER for one of his chronic asthma attacks. He seemed to be getting better — and then his throat began to constrict. He began to wheeze loudly. He rolled his head back to get more air. "That was wrong. 'He should be better than this by now,' I remember thinking. I knew something was wrong then," April recalls. "They had given him some meds and the usual advice, but it was not working." Posted. http://magazine.ucla.edu/features/clean-the-skies/ Hong Kong’s dirty air costs $6 billion a year. As Hong Kong strives to consolidate its reputation as a financial hub and major offshore conduit for China’s wealth, the smog that often envelops its skyscrapers exacts a heavy cost on its pro-business credentials and competitiveness. The problem costs an estimated $6 billion each year, according to health experts, with air quality in the former British colony now among the worst in Asia. Newspaper vendor Chung Tang, 74, knows just how bad it can be, working all day at a bus stop in Sheung Wan, a busy neighbourhood next to the central business district where pollution-free trams trundle along steel rails, between the cars and buses, just as they have done for more than 100 years.Posted. http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Hong+Kong+dirty+costs+billion+year/6885113/story.html#ixzz1zlwLEAO4 NY picks 23 groups to do citizen air sampling. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has selected 23 community organizations to do sampling to help identify and address local air quality concerns. Participants will use Environmental Protection Agency-approved canisters to collect air samples for an hour. The DEC will analyze the samples for pollutants. If toxic pollutants are found, DEC will conduct additional testing, determine the source of pollution and look at ways to reduce it. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/APe5598c4fbbe0499db4a06bd250edc4c1.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution CLIMATE CHANGE N.C. to sea level forecasters: Ignore climate change data for now. Scientists with a state commission in North Carolina will not be permitted to issue formal predictions of sea level rise based on climate change – at least for the next four years. After enduring national ridicule for proposing a bill to outlaw any coastal sea level projections based on climate change data, the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature came up with a compromise Tuesday. Lawmakers effectively put the sea level debate on hold by asking for more studies – but none that involve climate change. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-north-carolina-climate-change-predictions-20120703,0,4748940.story Conn. shoreline preservation group sets meetings. A task force has scheduled three public hearings this summer to look into the impact on property of rising sea level and extreme storms. The New Haven Register reports (http://bit.ly/LzituX) that the Shoreline Preservation Task Force has set meetings this month and in August in Branford, Fairfield and Groton. The task force was established in February to study and make legislative recommendations about storm impacts and the effects of climate change on shoreline communities. Posted. http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21010127/conn-shoreline-preservation-group-sets-meetings?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21010127/conn-shoreline-preservation-group-sets-meetings?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21010127/conn-shoreline-preservation-group-sets-meetings?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Global warming seen as a factor in wildfires. A growing chorus of environmental groups is blaming climate change for the ferocity of this year’s wildfires, heating up the debate over fire policy as wetter conditions brought relief to the Colorado front. At the “Forests at Risk” symposium held last week by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, environmental advocates, federal officials and scientists agreed global warming was a major player in this year’s destructive fire season. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/3/global-warming-seen-as-a-factor-in-wildfires/ How’s the weather, America? July 5, 2012 edition. Everything west of the Mississippi is still on fire. Also, some spots east of the Mississippi. Maybe also the Mississippi. InciWeb tracks wildfires currently burning in the United States; right now, there are literally hundreds of thousands of acres on fire or recently burned. (Grist List has a horrifying, sad video from a family that visited the “moonscape” that was once their neighborhood.) On the plus side, people are more and more willing to point at climate change as the culprit. Here’s Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano drawing that connection. Posted. http://grist.org/news/hows-the-weather-america-july-5-2012-edition/ Preindustrial carbon dioxide still warming the planet. Carbon dioxide emissions that predate the industrial revolution continue to haunt the world, new research has found, challenging assumptions that coal-fired generators and gasoline engines solely drive today's climate changes. When it comes to tracking greenhouse gases, most scientists tabulate emissions from the mid-19th century onward, when fossil fuels caught on as the main energy source for production and transportation. It makes sense, given that smokestacks and tailpipes are the largest man-made emitters in the modern era. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/07/05/3 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Fraud Case Shows Holes in Exchange of Fuel Credits. Gary L. Miller knew something was afoot in the garage rented out behind his auto equipment business. Through an open door, Mr. Miller glimpsed piles of pipes, polyethylene tanks and pumps. But nothing was hooked up. Nothing was being made.So it came as a surprise — to say the least — when he learned that the tenant, Rodney R. Hailey, had told a federal agency that he would produce millions of gallons of biodiesel fuel there. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/us/biofuel-fraud-case-shows-weak-spots-in-energy-credit-program.html VEHICLES U.S. files trade complaint against China over new auto tariffs. The U.S. has filed an international trade complaint against China for new duties it placed on many large American-made vehicles, the Obama administration announced Thursday. The duties, which range from 2% to 21.5%, are aimed at more than $3 billion in annual sales of cars and sport utility vehicles exported into China. The duties were slapped on the vehicles in December and are unfair, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said Thursday. “As we have made clear, the Obama administration will continue to fight to ensure that China does not misuse its trade laws and violate its international trade commitments to block exports of American-made products,” Kirk said. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-obama-china-autos-trade-complaint-20120705,0,4673656.story Modesto workshop to discuss owning electric cars. People intrigued by electric vehicles can learn more about them at a July 21 gathering in north Modesto. The free event, "The Future is Electric: Plug In and Get There," will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the regional office of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, 4800 Enterprise Way, off Bangs Avenue. Attendees can learn about incentives of up to $13,000 per vehicle and programs offered by the Modesto Irrigation District and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/07/04/2270327/modesto-workshop-to-discuss-owning.html#storylink=misearch SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Car, truck sales surge in June. From mini cars to monster pickups, sales of new cars and trucks surged in June and eased concerns that Americans would be turned off by slower hiring and other scary headlines. Automakers sold nearly 1.3 million cars and trucks in June, up 22 percent from the same month last year. Chrysler posted its best June in five years. Sales soared at Volkswagen, which is on track for its best year in the U.S. since 1973. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012207040303 GREEN ENERGY Solar, wind energy a missed opportunity for Cuba. The sleepy country setting that farmer Juan Alonso calls home hasn't changed much since he was born 74 years ago, with the two rustic wooden houses nestled among palm trees against a backdrop of green hills and clear skies. Incongruously perched atop the homes are the only visual clues that his 150-acre (60-hectare) farm inhabits the 21st century: the gleaming solar panels that revolutionized the lives of Alonso and his family. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jb3VaqYibdHbUl29m6RlgKFSdGXg?docId=de31e6efe2b2477fbb7ed97a6905df6c AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/cubas-small-scale-successes-with-solar-wind-energy-yet-to-make-a-nationwide-impact/2012/07/05/gJQAukKYPW_story.html http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Solar-wind-energy-a-missed-opportunity-for-Cuba-3685763.php http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21011312/solar-wind-energy-missed-opportunity-cuba?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21005398/many-native-americans-live-next-power-plants?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.dailynews.com/ci_21011312/solar-wind-energy-missed-opportunity-cuba?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/07/05/2899315/solar-wind-energy-a-missed-opportunity.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/5/solar-wind-energy-a-missed-opportunity-for-cuba/ http://www.modbee.com/2012/07/05/2270797/solar-wind-energy-a-missed-opportunity.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy SUBSCRIPTION ONLY State farm bureau gets OK to sue over solar project. The California Farm Bureau has won approval to pursue its legal fight against solar development on Valley farmland. A Fresno County Superior Court judge ruled last week that the California Farm Bureau Federation can sue Fresno County for permitting a 90-acre solar plant on agricultural land near Interstate 5. County attorneys had argued that the farm bureau didn't have a local connection to the proposed solar project and therefore couldn't sue. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/07/04/2898824/state-farm-bureau-gets-ok-to-sue.html Family-owned Muir Beach firm to build San Rafael Airport solar project. Synapse Electric, a Muir Beach-based company managed by a local married couple, has been selected to install a $3 million photovoltaic project at the San Rafael Airport. The Marin Energy Authority announced in May that it had signed a 20-year agreement to buy electricity produced by the 972-kilowatt solar installation. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21001033/family-owned-muir-beach-firm-build-san-rafael?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com MISCELLANEOUS Feds settle Western energy corridor lawsuit. Parts of a plan for designating thousands of miles of energy corridors in 11 Western states will be revamped under a settlement reached by federal land managers, more than a dozen environmental groups and one Colorado county. The settlement was filed Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco and must be approved by a judge. At issue are more than 6,000 miles of corridors for power lines; oil, natural gas and hydrogen pipelines; and other energy distribution systems that were carved out by the Bush administration as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The corridors were finalized in 2008, and environmentalists sued in 2009 over concerns that more than half of the corridors passed through sensitive areas from Washington south to New Mexico. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/western-energy-corridors-to-be-revamped-under-settlement-between-feds-environmentalists/2012/07/03/gJQAYemaLW_story.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jul/03/feds-settle-western-energy-corridor-lawsuit/#ixzz1zlRpe63K Japan reactor on grid; panel slams crisis response. Nuclear power returned to Japan's energy mix for the first time in two months Thursday, hours before a parliamentary investigative commission blamed the government's cozy relations with the industry for the meltdowns that prompted the mass shutdown of the nation's reactors. Though the report echoes other investigations into last year's disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, it could fuel complaints that Japan is trying to restart nuclear reactors without doing enough to avoid a repeat. Thursday's resumption of operations at a reactor in Ohi, in western Japan, already had been hotly contested. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jul/05/japan-reactor-on-grid-panel-slams-crisis/#ixzz1zlSNzlgY OPINION The Most Sensible Tax of All. ON Sunday, the best climate policy in the world got even better: British Columbia’s carbon tax — a tax on the carbon content of all fossil fuels burned in the province — increased from $25 to $30 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, making it more expensive to pollute. This was good news not only for the environment but for nearly everyone who pays taxes in British Columbia, because the carbon tax is used to reduce taxes for individuals and businesses. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/opinion/a-carbon-tax-sensible-for-all.html Hot Enough for You? When the weather is cold, we think it's cool to make fun of global warmism. Invariably when we do so, global warmists get hot under the collar. You fool! they thunder. Climate isn't the same thing as weather! Of course we understand that. Cool down, it's a joke. It's a joke designed to make a point--a point worth revisiting now that it's hot out. And it is hot: As we write, Google informs us that the temperature in New York, outside our lovely air-conditioned apartment, is 88 degrees. Over the weekend we were in Tennessee, and at one point our rental-car thermometer informed us the outside temperature was 111, albeit on blacktop. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304708604577504832203888456.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change The EPA wins, for science’s sake. LAST WEEK, as the nation’s attention was on the Supreme Court and health care, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ringing ruling concerning America’s response to global warming that does two critical things. First, it emphatically dismisses arguments that the science is too uncertain to justify federal action. Second, it assures Congress that, if lawmakers don’t act on global warming, the courts won’t stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from doing so independently of Congress, using the powers the EPA has under the Clean Air Act. Both should persuade lawmakers to develop, at long last, a comprehensive response to climate change instead of leaving the job to the EPA’s command-and-control regulation. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-epa-wins-for-sciences-sake/2012/07/04/gJQANbN6NW_story.html Feeling the Heat. Still don't believe in climate change? Then you're either deep in denial or delirious from the heat. As I write this, the nation's capital and its suburbs are in post-apocalypse mode. About one-fourth of all households have no electricity, the legacy of an unprecedented assault by violent thunderstorms Friday night. Things are improving: At the height of the power outage, nearly half the region was dark. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-feeling-the-heat/2012/07/02/gJQANNZGJW_story.html http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120705/A_OPINION/207050304&cid=sitesearch http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120703/WIRE/120709906 http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/07/05/2899417/eugene-robinson-global-warming.html#storylink=misearch http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_20999420/eugene-robinson-anyone-east-coast-should-believe-global?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com High-speed rail boosts economy. During the course of any modern political debate, we often hear a familiar refrain from those who oppose particular investments. They usually say something along the line of "This project will burden future generations with debt." We're currently hearing of lot of this concerning high-speed rail in California. And while concern about our debt is a legitimate and important point of view, it does not apply to California's high-speed rail project. Investment in high-speed rail will actually help to reverse the downward economic spiral that leads to deficits and long-term debt. How can this be? Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/ci_21005261/high-speed-rail-boosts-economy?IADID=Search-www.sbsun.com-www.sbsun.com#ixzz1zlmbA4sm BLOGS District by District, Climate Change in Los Angeles. Last year, as part of a series about planners mapping out adaptations to climate change, I wrote about how the city of Chicago was expecting that its climate would be comparable to that of Baton Rouge today by the end of the century. Chicago based its predictions on global climate models that had been adjusted to use data from local weather stations and to take into account the moderating effect of Lake Michigan. Still, the model was described as little more than a schematic evaluation of the potential regional impact. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/district-by-district-climate-change-in-los-angeles/ A New Climate Science Resource from the National Academies. The National Academies, the nation’s preeminent independent scientific advisory body, has released a series of videos building on themes laid out in its America’s Climate Choices reports over the past couple of years. Above, you can watch the material as a single long video. Below you can find links to seven themed sections. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/a-new-climate-resource-from-the-national-academy-of-sciences/ Can China Follow U.S. Shift from Coal to Gas? Here’s an effort to look ahead from a promising American environmental trend to a prospect for the same in China, starting with two observations. First, the combination of abundant and cheap natural gas and tightening regulations on coal-burning power plants in the United States — along with a general intensification of efforts to conserve energy — has led with unpredicted speed to a remarkable, and likely persistent, drop in coal-based electricity generation and related decline in emissions of the most important greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/a-greenhouse-gift-if-china-follows-u-s-shift-from-coal-to-gas/ Too Much Wood, Too Little Power. I was in Malawi for six hours before my laptop fried. While charging overnight, it became the sorry victim of a routine power surge. Though it sputtered back to life the next day, I was very bluntly forced to acknowledge the power issues Malawians in the cities deal with on a regular basis, along with the complex ecological trade-offs people weigh to meet their needs. While only a minority of Malawians are actually hooked up to the electrical grid, the consequences of frequent blackouts and surges for all become clear in hospitals. A flickering light or faulty generator can mean the difference between life and death for a woman undergoing a caesarean section or a premature baby dependent on a ventilator. Posted. http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/too-much-wood-too-little-power/ Crescendo Partners to Tap Market for Canada’s EnviroResolutions. Australia’s Crescendo Partners has been appointed to assist in a capital raising for Vancouver-based technology solutions provider EnviroResolutions Inc. The company and related entities will fold into an already listed Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board shell company later this month. EnviroResolutions is seeking to raise an additional US$5 million, Crescendo Partners Director Paul Shmukler told Deal Journal Australia. The group owns a technology that is patented across 127 countries until 2030, ENVI-Clean. It says the technology is the most efficient single system emissions cleaning technology available for use in a market with an indicative size of up to US$1 billion. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/dealjournalaustralia/2012/07/03/crescendo-partners-to-tap-market-for-canadas-enviroresolutions/?KEYWORDS=diesel+emissions Wildfire, heat wave: Is it climate change? As wildfires devour acreage across the West and a heat wave broils in the East, the question seems natural: Are we feeling the effects of global warming? Scientists still answer cautiously. No single weather event, they say, can be linked directly to global climate change. But some researchers have begun to draw a broader connection between sweltering temperatures, tinder-dry forests and a warming planet. While direct links are still elusive, the statistics, they say, reveal climate change hovering in the background — pushing conditions more consistently toward extremes, and causing those extremes to increase in severity. Posted. http://sciencedude.ocregister.com/2012/07/03/wildfire-heat-wave-is-it-climate-change/173626/ House chair Issa questions CARB's influence on new truck-efficiency rules. Darrell Issa, tree hugger. Just kidding. Issa, the House Oversight Committee Chairman, recently sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency questioning why the California Air Resources Board was influential in drafting last year's heavy-duty-truck greenhouse-gas emissions standards, Truckinginfo reported. Issa (R-Calif.), who gave the EPA until today, July 5, to respond to a list of questions, took issue with the fact that CARB appeared to have more influence than a number of other non-federal entities, according to the publication. Issa also said the new rules would place undue costs on independent truckers who'd need to upgrade their rigs in order to meet the new standards. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/07/05/house-chair-issa-questions-carbs-influence-on-new-truck-efficie/