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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 21, 2012.

Posted: 21 Aug 2012 12:19:40
ARB Newsclips for August 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.


Court overturns border-crossing pollution rule. A federal appeals
court has overturned a regulation clamping down on power plant
pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring
states. In a 2-1 decision Tuesday, a panel of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia said the Environmental
Protection Agency's cross-state air pollution rule exceeded the
agency's statutory authority. The court faulted the EPA for
imposing "massive emissions reduction requirements" on upwind
states without regard to limits imposed by law. Posted.




http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/21bn/1  BY

Sinclair fined $3.8M for pollution at Wyo. plants. Sinclair Oil
Corp. has agreed to pay a $3.8 million fine for two of its
Wyoming oil refineries exceeding air pollution limits that had
been established three years earlier in another settlement with
the federal government, authorities announced Monday. Sinclair
also agreed to spend about $10.5 million on additional pollution
control equipment and other measures at its refineries in Casper
and east of Rawlins in the town of Sinclair, according to the
Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. 


New carbon emissions rule could cost UC, CSU millions.  Large
campuses in the University of California and California State
University systems are bracing for the implementation of new
state rules that will force them to cut carbon emissions or pay
as much as $28 million a year to offset their greenhouse gases. 
For years, businesspeople have been complaining that the Global
Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill 32,
will decimate California's economy and force companies to move
out of state. The program, which will go into effect on Jan. 1,
2013, sets a gradually shrinking cap on emissions by the state's
biggest polluters while also establishing a market for carbon
credits, which will be initially distributed through an auction
and free handouts to many emitters.  Posted. 

Action on climate change speeding up: Commission.  The expert
Commission was set up by the Federal Government last year and
says its remit is to "provide all Australians with an independent
and reliable source of information" about climate change, action
on greenhouse gas emissions, and the carbon price.  Its latest
report, subtitled 'The Critical Decade' and released today, says
nearly 850 million people in 33 countries will soon be living in
economies with a carbon price or similar arrangement. 
Commissioner and economist Robert Beale says Australia is still
the developed world's biggest per-capita carbon emitter "by quite
a way".  Posted. 

UN calls on nations to adopt drought policies. The world urgently
needs to adopt drought-management policies as farmers from Africa
to India struggle with lack of rainfall and the United States
endures the worst drought it has experienced in decades, top
officials with the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday. The World
Meteorological Organization says the U.S. drought and its ripple
effects on global food markets show the need for policies with
more water conservation and less consumption. Posted. 

Calif. will relax its regulation of 'resource shuffling' in
cap-and-trade program. California regulators won't enforce a
controversial provision in their cap-and-trade system requiring
emitters to deny shuffling high-carbon electricity out of the
state when trading begins next year. In response to a worried
letter Aug. 6 from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member
Philip Moeller, Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairwoman Mary Nichols
said she would suspend the requirement for businesses to promise
that they have not engaged in "resource shuffling”, or avoiding
carbon constraints by arranging power imports to sell dirtier
energy out of state. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/08/21/7 BY


California gasoline prices climb, but at reduced pace. Gas prices
have slowed their climb, but motorists are still paying heavily
at the pump, here in the Sacramento area and nationwide. And
prices could go even higher by Labor Day weekend. The average
price of gas in the area rose 3.3 cents over the past week to
$4.05 a gallon, according to Monday's weekly report by
SactoGasPrices.com, a GasBuddy.com website. That was a
comparative walk in the park after the previous week's
25.8-cents-a-gallon spike following an Aug. 6 fire that damaged
the Chevron refinery in Richmond, a critical link in the state's
gas supply chain. Posted.


China declares US energy projects violate free trade, stepping up
trade spat.  China’s government has ruled that U.S. government
support to six American solar and wind power projects violates
free trade rules, adding to strains between Beijing and its
trading partners over renewable energy.  The United States and
China are the two biggest markets for renewable energy and have
pledged to cooperate in developing technology. They accuse each
other of improperly supporting their own producers and
obstructing foreign competitors.  Posted. 

West Hollywood OKs ban on plastic bags in store checkout lines.
West Hollywood's ordinance follows decisions by a string of
California cities to prohibit single-use plastic bags. The bans
aim to reduce landfill waste. West Hollywood has become the
latest in a string of California cities — including Santa Monica,
Long Beach and Pasadena — to ban single-use plastic bags at store
checkout lines. The City Council adopted an ordinance Monday
night prohibiting hundreds of pharmacies and grocery and retail
stores… Posted.

El Cerrito recycling center has style. It's no surprise that El
Cerrito's new recycling center comes with such studiously green
touches as thick benches assembled from remnants of wooden
trusses from the shed that once stood on the site. The unexpected
twist is the center's architectural presence - an industrial
campus of wood and steel cradled against steep cliffs in a way
that shows how even the least glamorous aspects of modern life
can be housed in energetic style. The $2.8 million center opened
in April on a bowl-shaped site at the end of Schmidt Lane that in
previous lives was a quarry and then the city dump. Posted.


BP recalls unleaded regular gas from Whiting. WHITING, Ind. -- BP
is alerting northwestern Indiana fuel distributors that it's
recalling unleaded regular gasoline shipped from its Whiting fuel
storage terminal Aug. 13-17. The company said Monday it believes
that fuel stored in a tank at the storage depot could cause hard
starting, stalling and other drivability issues. BP asks any
customer whose vehicle has experienced those problems since Aug.
13 to contact its customer hotline at 1-800-333-3991. Posted.

Almond Environmental Tour shows sustainability in action. The
Almond Board’s recent environmental stewardship tour provided
real-world examples of how almond growers are taking sustainable
farming principals and putting them into action in a way that
manages resources with an eye toward environmental stewardship
and economic viability. Brian Leahy, director of the California
Department of Pesticide Regulation, one of the state’s highest
ranking regulators who himself has a background in sustainable
farming, was one of 40 state, local and federal regulators,
elected officials, media and other invited guests who got a
firsthand look at innovative almond growing practices related to
water, nutrient and pest management at the Almond Board’s eighth
annual Environmental Stewardship Tour in May. Posted.


Residents have right to know what is in the air. The right to
know what's in the air we breathe and what we're being exposed to
from our neighbors - whether resident, business or industry - is
a fundamental human right. This right isn't easy to exercise and
vanishes without action. The recent fire at Chevron's Richmond
refinery makes the strongest case for a community's right to
know, yet Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo residents have
been denied their right by local government and industry. We
protest this denial and call for environmental justice. Posted.

Dan Walters: Overhauling CEQA now a hot topic. For years – even
decades – business groups have complained that the California
Environmental Quality Act's complex provisions were being misused
to block worthwhile projects, often for reasons that had nothing
to do with the environment. The complaints drew sympathy from
Republican legislators, and sometimes became intertwined with
state budget negotiations. But the Legislature's dominant
Democrats, closely allied with environmental groups, refused to
entertain any major changes in CEQA. Posted.

Roadshow: What 'HOV Only' means on toll lanes at Highway 237 and
I-880.  I've noticed a few times that the express lane signs will
say "HOV Only" instead of the toll on Highway 237 in the evening
commute. Why would the express lane only allow carpoolers during
toll hours?  A Good question, and here's the answer. When you see
"HOV Only" on the sign over the carpool or express lane, it means
solo drivers may not use this lane unless they are driving a
motorcycle or clean air vehicle with green or white stickers.

KEVIN HALL: We can clean Valley's air.  Cleaning our Valley's air
is not the impossible task some people, particularly those in
charge of doing the job, want us to think. What's needed is new
leadership at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District.  In his Sunday column, "Diesel truckers should pay for
bad air," Bill McEwen correctly identifies one major source of
our problem: diesel exhaust from semi-trucks. Thanks largely to
state regulators, those emissions will drop from 139 tons per
winter day in 2012 to 78 tons by 2019.  Posted. 

Leave the renewable fuels standard alone.  America is suffering
from the worst drought since the Dust Bowl. Thirty-two states
have been declared natural disaster areas, rural communities are
hurting, and lawmakers from the local, state and national level
are looking for solutions. As often happens in times of crisis, a
potential solution is being touted that would have drastically
negative consequences in the long run - altering America’s
Renewable Fuels Standard, or RFS.  For the sake of the very rural
communities suffering today, and for our energy and national
security long-term…Posted. 


Sweaty Lessons in the ‘True’ Cost of Construction. When my wife,
Julia, and I arrived in Moab, Utah, to start our four-month
internship building a straw bale house, a party was raging in the
backyard. Our internship is with the nonprofit group Community
Rebuilds, and on the evening we drove up to the house we’ll be
sharing with seven other interns, Emily Niehaus, the group’s
founder and director, was throwing a thank-you party for Bike and
Build. Posted. 

Business, labor groups propose environmental act changes. A
coalition of business and labor groups is proposing changes to
California's landmark environmental law, saying it is time to
modernize a 40-year-old measure that is often used to block even
so-called green development. At a Sacramento press conference
Monday, representatives of the coalition outlined a proposal that
they said would maintain the California Environmental Quality act
as "the state environmental law" but eliminate regulatory
redundancy and limit legal challenges to "real" environmental
lawsuits. Posted.

California has HOV lane stickers for plug-in vehicles, but not
many takers. Those new green stickers in the Golden State haven't
exactly been golden. A California Department of Motor Vehicles
(DMV) program that distributes special
high-occupancy-vehicle-lane (HOV) stickers to owners of vehicles
like the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in has started
slower than expected, as few plug-in drivers have taken up the
state's offer to let them drive solo in HOV lanes, the North
County Times reports. Posted. 

Climate Change This Week: Climate Skeptic Team, Poached Caviar,
and More.  Climate Change? What climate change? While Mitt Romney
has expressed uncertainty over whether global warming is
occurring or not, his vice-presidential pick, Congressman Paul
Ryan, is a virulent denier of climate science, with a
Congressional voting record to match, reports Brad Johnson at
Climate Progress. Thus, this election will be crucial in deciding
how the U.S. addresses climate change. Make your vote part of it!

LA's Pollution from Car Exhaust is Down 98% from the 60s. My
earliest memories of L.A. are colored with a grey, dystopian
palette—I remember staring out at a hazed-over full moon,
actually impressed by the way the smog smeared the city lights
and hung thick in the air even at night. It was surreal and
noirish and pretty repulsive. And that was just over ten years
ago. It never really occurred to me to again be impressed by how
quickly that industrial fog has lifted. But I think back to more
recent visits to California's sprawling metropolis, and it's
striking: I'd never again seen it so choked by pollution. Posted.

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