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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 20, 2012.

Posted: 20 Aug 2012 16:20:03
ARB Newsclips for August 20, 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.


Merits of a Power Line From Quebec Are Debated. On paper, the
proposal looks fairly straightforward: a 330-mile underground
power line that would carry electricity generated by hydropower
in Quebec, one of the cheapest power markets in North America, to
New York City, one of the most expensive. The transmission line
would help cut air pollution in the city, by reducing the need to
burn natural gas locally, proponents say. And the metropolitan
region would be less reliant on the Indian Point nuclear plant,
which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, wants to close. Posted.

Why L.A. is ahead on gauging air quality. Air regulators in the
Los Angeles basin appear to be better prepared to gather
information quickly about refinery fires than regulators in the
Bay Area. That, both agencies say, is partly because the air
pollution in the Los Angeles area is consistently so much worse
than in the Bay Area. The South Coast Air Quality Management
District has an array of portable devices that can be deployed
during a refinery fire or similar event, district officials said.

Refinery smoke blew past air monitors. Smoke and soot from the
fire at Chevron's refinery in Richmond spread across a densely
populated area, sickening thousands. But while the material found
its way into lungs and bloodstreams, it did not find an air
quality system that could measure it in a meaningful way. The
network of air monitors run by the Bay Area Air Quality
Management District is designed to track everyday levels of
pollutants like ozone and carbon monoxide, part of an effort to
meet government health standards. Posted.

Study puts Ohio among most toxic states. A newspaper reports that
a new survey puts Ohio near the top of the country's top 20 toxic
states. The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/NyTOfe ) reports
that The Buckeye State was No. 2 on a list of 20 states that are
responsible for a disproportionate share of toxic emissions from
the U.S. electric sector. That's according to a report released
earlier this month by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an
environmental group. Kentucky was No. 1 on the list. The report
said the emissions include key power plant pollutants such as
mercury, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, ammonia and others.

Vitamin C Might Protect Lungs On High-Pollution Days: Study.  An
antioxidant-rich diet could do your lungs a favor when exposed to
air pollution, according to a small new study.  Researchers from
Imperial College London found that asthma and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD) patients were more likely to be admitted
to the hospital on days when there were high particulate matter
levels outside, Environmental Health News reported. Particulate
matter is a pollutant that causes oxidative stress in the body
(raising the risk of health problems like heart attack).  Posted.

SMOG: Unhealthful air grips the region.  The 2012 smog season is
shaping up to be worst in years for Inland residents.  From July
18 through Thursday, Aug. 17, ozone levels were in the
unhealthful range every day. Forecasters said the weeks ahead
likely will bring more of the same.  What’s making the situation
more punishing is triple-digit heat with high humidity — the
result of monsoon conditions that funnel moist air from the Gulf
of Mexico.  Posted. 

Officials issue air warning for Valley.  Worried that
back-to-school traffic and hot temperatures will create a brew of
toxic pollution over the San Joaquin Valley, air quality
officials have called an "Air Alert" for Monday and Tuesday. 
It's already too late to eliminate a $29 million air pollution
penalty after 2013, as officials had hoped.  But keeping ozone
levels down the rest of this summer and over the next two years
could end the penalty after 2014, said Anthony Presto, a
spokesman for the Valley Air Pollution Control District.  Posted.

Valley air quality expected to suffer as school starts.  Smog
levels in the Valley typically spike when kids return to school. 
Next week's increase in traffic prompted the air pollution
district to issue the season's first air alert.  The Air
Pollution Control District is asking people not to idle their
cars while dropping off and picking up students. That may be
tough for some parents waiting in 100-degree heat.  The high heat
only adds to the Valley's poor air quality, and with cars full of
kids ready to line up for the start of school the Valley Air
Pollution Control District has issued an air alert for Monday and
Tuesday.  Posted. 

Air alert on for Monday, Tuesday.  The San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District is ushering in the back-to-school
season with an air alert effective Monday and Tuesday.  Air
alerts aim to remind residents to curb pollution, said Jaime
Holt, chief communications officer for the district. The goal is
to avoid violations of the Environmental Protection Agency's
one-hour ozone standard, which measures ozone levels in one-hour
snapshots at monitors throughout the valley.  If levels are above
125 parts per billion, that's a violation and more than three
violations at the same monitor in one year means a big fine, Holt
said.  Posted. 

Cold, allergies -- or ozone? Valley catches air pollution. In the
1990s, it seemed concern for the ozone layer was everywhere,
leading to plenty of studies on skin cancer and environmental
worries. Now, it seems every week an ozone warning is issued by
the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.  And with the
warnings come sneezing, headaches, and coughs. So what is ozone
-- and how is it affecting our health? Ozone is a type of oxygen
molecule. While the type of oxygen molecule used to breathe is
two oxygen atoms bonded together, ozone has three. Posted.


CLIMATE CHANGE California suspends CO2 market rule on electricity
imports.  California's air regulator said on Thursday it would
delay by 18 months a controversial part of its carbon market
rules addressing imported electricity after coming under pressure
from a Washington official who warned it threatened to disrupt
western U.S. power supply.  Mary Nichols, chair of the California
Air Resources Board (ARB), wrote in a letter to Philip Moeller, a
commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC),
that the state needs more time to define "resource shuffling" in
the rules governing its carbon cap-and-trade program, which
begins next year.  Posted. 

California's carbon price rollout.  Australia is certainly not
going it alone on a carbon price – the latest cab off
the rank will be California, which begins its cap-and-trade
scheme in January 2013. Erwin Jackson from The Climate Institute
talks to George Peridas from the US Natural Resources Defense
Council on how the scheme will work, and how similar it is to
Australia’s carbon laws …Posted. 


In Calif. desert, the future is now for solar plant. Turn a power
plant boiler inside out. Stick it on top of a 450-foot tower, and
point 50,000 pairs of mirrors at it. In a matter of months, that
setup -- under construction here in the Mojave Desert -- will
begin sending electricity to consumers in Southern California
when the first phase of the world's largest concentrating solar
plant begins operating. By the end of next year, another
120,000-plus mirror pairs are expected to be online, tracking the
sun's movements to power two additional towers as the
392-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station enters
full operation. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/20/2  BY


SCE&G, environmental group settle lawsuit. An environmental group
says it has settled a lawsuit accusing South Carolina Electric &
Gas of illegally discharging arsenic and other contaminants into
a river near Columbia. Attorneys for the Catawba Riverkeeper
Foundation said Monday that a settlement includes an agreement to
remove all of the coal ash now being stored at the Wateree
Station near Eastover. Posted.

New program allows transfer of pollution credits. A new program
being tested in Ohio and two other states would allow farmers who
cut polluted storm water runoff to sell the reductions to power
companies as credits to help them meet government requirements.
The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/NAziqh) reports the Electric
Power Research Institute came up with the idea and helped
persuade state and federal officials to support it. The "water
quality trading" test program was recently announced by
environmental regulators in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Posted.


Programs to Reduce Carbon Emissions.  “Carbon Credits Gone Awry
Raise Output of Harmful Gas” (“Chilling Effect” series, front
page, Aug. 9), about the effect of the United Nations’ carbon
credit program in driving increased production of a coolant with
a harmful waste gas byproduct, illustrates the key drawbacks of
carbon credit programs, cap and trade, and related schemes. 
These programs often lead to perverse incentives that produce no
net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions or, worse, can even
increase emissions. Cap-and-trade programs, like the European
Union’s, allow offsets that are too easily manipulated.  Posted. 

Dan Morain: Will jobs be lost with cap and trade? 
Extraordinarily smart people at the California Air Resources
Board have taken to using the term "leakage" as they go about
devising the experimental cap and trade system for reducing
greenhouse gases.  Homer Perez, head boiler mechanic at Pacific
Coast Producers' tomato cannery off East Main Street in Woodland,
might use a word that is more familiar to the rest of us:
"layoff."  The cannery has been operating under one owner or
another since the 1920s..  Posted. 


California's cap-and-trade must stand firm for our future.  This
July was the hottest on record for the United States. According
to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the
average July temperature clocked in at 77.6 degrees, breaking the
record set in the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.  By now, everyone
can see the looming consequences of global warming. This year’s
drought has devastated the nation’s crops. The corn harvest is
expected to drop by 13 percent from last year, and the soybean
harvest is expected to drop by 12 percent. Posted. 

Editorial: Oil giant Tesoro OK with a certain kind of California
'green'. The folks at Tesoro Corp. decided to stick around a
little longer, after all. The Texas-based oil refiner doubled
down on its California investment last week by buying a BP
refinery in Carson near Los Angeles and 800 gas stations for $2.5
billion. The company bought the BP property for the most basic of
business reasons: It got a good deal. Not two years ago, Tesoro
was one of the Texas companies that poured $10.4 million into
Proposition 23…Posted.

Calif. Gov. Brown's eco-propaganda.  In a cynical and desperate
scheme to wring the last dime out of the myopic, elite green
voters of California, Gov. Brown is spending California taxpayer
dollars to convince you that global warming should be a firm
basis for his fanciful green-leveraged spending on high-speed
rail and taxing under California’s go-it-alone 2013 carbon
cap-and trade climate regulations.  Gov. Brown’s new propaganda
campaign includes his Office of Planning and Research website
that attempts to demonize global warming skeptics, scientists and
energy companies on the unsettled side of the climate change
issue.  Posted. 

McEwen: Diesel truckers should pay for bad air.  It's a shared
Fresno experience.  You're returning from Los Angeles, Pismo
Beach, Lake Tahoe or even our local Sierra. Hanging above the
great Valley floor is a woven blanket of ozone and particulates,
and you think, "I breathe that filthy stuff."  Yes, we do.  The
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has been with
us 26 years. Businesses have spent $40 billion meeting
regulations and buying emissions credits since its formation. 
More of us use electric lawn mowers and ride bikes. More of us
drive hybrids or new, clean-burning gas vehicles. Posted. 

Theory Meets Reality on California’s Carbon Cap-and-Trade
Program.  Theory met reality on Tuesday at a Senate informational
hearing on California’s carbon cap-and-trade program that is set
to start with an auction in November 2012. Craig Anderson from
Solar Turbines, an industrial gas turbine manufacturer with 4,000
employees in San Diego, testified that the
soon-to-be-fully-implemented cap-and-trade program is the most
significant threat to his company’s growth.  “I can say without
hesitation that AB 32 is viewed by our company leaders as not
only the most significant environmental regulation we have faced
in California, but also the greatest threat to the growth of our
business in California,” said Anderson.  Posted. 


Can natural gas really help tackle global warming? A primer. 
Over the winter, the United States reached a striking milestone.
Carbon-dioxide emissions from the energy sector sank to their
lowest levels in 20 years. At a glance, the country seems to be
making major progress in tackling climate change. And many
analysts give credit to the recent flood of cheap natural gas,
which is shoving aside coal as America’s top source of
electricity.  Yet some environmentalists have argued that the
accolades for natural gas are too premature. True, the shale gas
boom has led to lower carbon pollution from the country’s power
plants.  Posted. 

Sustainable Innovation: Reducing Fashion’s Carbon Footprint. The
colorful world of fashion has its dark sides, not least of which
is its potential impact on the environment. First, there are the
negative effects cause in the making, dying and distributing of
most clothes, coverings and other fabrics. Then, there is what
happens to all these textiles after consumers are done with them.
Cheap clothing has become a disposable product in our society and
most people in Europe recycle or donate less than half the
clothing they discard — and they discard a lot — with the rest
going into landfills. Posted.

Infiniti sets 2014 due date for all-electric LE with wireless
charging.  Infiniti has re-confirmed it will sell the production
version of the LE, and it has now given us a year: 2014. This
makes it likely that Nissan's upscale arm will be the first OEM
to sell a production inductive charging vehicle.  USA Today
reports that Infiniti officials made the announcement in
California alongside the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this
past weekend. Posted. 


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