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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for November 29, 2012.

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 13:38:27
ARB Newsclips for November 29, 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.


Mild storms expected this weekend. Windy conditions Wednesday
prompted a warning from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution
Control District regarding potentially unhealthy concentrations
of blowing dust, but mild rainfall a short while later seemed to
clear up the atmosphere somewhat. The warning was in effect until
late Wednesday afternoon, but rainfall that had been expected
later in the day hit Kern County about noon instead and lasted
for about a half hour in downtown Bakersfield before dissipating.

Majority of voters support tighter soot standard -- Lung
Association poll. More than six in 10 registered voters support a
U.S. EPA proposal to tighten air standards on small particles
that come from power plants, boilers and car tailpipes, according
to a new poll from the American Lung Association. The group found
broad bipartisan support tightening the national ambient air
quality standard, or NAAQS, for fine particles, commonly referred
to as PM 2.5 or soot. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/11/29/5  BY


Arctic sea ice larger than US melted this year. An area of Arctic
sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, according
the U.N. weather agency, which said the dramatic decline
illustrates that climate change is happening "before our eyes."
In a report released at U.N. climate talks in the Qatari capital
of Doha, the World Meteorological Organization said the Arctic
ice melt was one of a myriad of extreme and record-breaking
weather events to hit the planet in 2012. Posted.

Think tank to sue EPA to force cap-and-trade rules.  A think tank
is preparing to sue the Environmental Protection Agency to demand
that the agency set up a cap-and-trade system for the
transportation sector to rein in greenhouse gas emissions from
fuels.  “We think the agency’s powers are super clear,” said
Michael Livermore, executive director at the Institute for Policy
Integrity at the New York University School of Law, which
notified EPA of its lawsuit plans Wednesday.  Posted. 

Emissions trading: Cap and trade finds new energy.  Fifteen years
ago, the Kyoto Protocol presented a blueprint for a way to curb
the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One key
measure, put forward by the administration of Bill Clinton, the
US president at the time, was an enticing extension of
free-market logic: establish emissions quotas to limit pollution,
and trade them internationally. Let the market find the
lowest-cost way to deliver the goal.  Cap and trade is one of two
ways to put a price on pollution — taxation is the other. Posted.


Culver City’s Sony Pictures Studios Launches Clean Truck Fleet.
The studio takes early action ahead of the 2023 deadline,
replacing over a third of its fleet with new clean diesel and
gasoline trucks. Thinking clean and green, Culver City’s Sony
Pictures Studios has upgraded its fleet of diesel, generator and
camera trucks to achieve compliance with California Air Resources
Board (CARB) regulations. Posted.


Senators push Obama to propose clean gasoline rules. A group of
Democratic senators on Thursday will urge the Obama
administration to propose rules to cut smog-forming emissions
from gasoline, regulations opposed by many Republicans. The
lawmakers, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, want
the Environmental Protection Agency to propose rules that would
slash the sulfur content in gasoline this year and to finalize
them next year. Posted.

Snyder plan favors natural gas, renewables study. Gov. Rick
Snyder released an energy and environmental policy blueprint
Wednesday that calls for increasing production of natural gas in
Michigan while making no further commitment to requiring the
state to rely more on renewable power sources in the coming
years. The Republican governor gave natural gas a central role in
an energy policy that seeks greater efficiency and improvements
to infrastructure such as pipelines and the electric transmission
grid. Posted.

Defense funds for advanced fuels will provide long-term benefits,
say supporters. The biofuels industry enjoyed its second victory
in a week yesterday as senators voted to repeal a section of the
National Defense Authorization Act that would have hindered
military investment in advanced fuels. Led by Sen. Mark Udall
(D-Colo.), a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and
supporter of renewable energy…Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/11/29/3  BY


Chevy Volt again ranked by Consumer Reports as most-loved car. 
The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid landed atop Consumer Reports'
annual owner-satisfaction ranking for the second straight year. 
Ninety-two percent of responding Volt owners in a poll of the
magazine's subscribers said they definitely would buy a Volt
again, tops among 240 models, the magazine said today.  Several
other fuel-efficient models also scored highly, including
Toyota's Camry Hybrid, Prius, and Prius C as well as Nissan's
Leaf electric car.  Posted. 


Small businesses prepare for High Speed Rail jobs.  With High
Speed Rail back on track to start ground breaking next summer,
minority businesses are preparing to get in on some of lucrative
contracts with the statewide project.  "We want to make sure that
our community gets their share of the jobs," said Ali Morris,
president of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce.  Posted. 


'Green' program set for western NY GM plant. General Motors
executives will give the media a tour of one of the company's
western New York plants to unveil a new environmental program.
The GM Components Holdings executives are holding a news
conference Thursday morning at the plant in Lockport in Niagara
County to make the announcement. They'll be joined by the
president of Local 686 of the United Auto Workers union.

Senate gives green light to Pentagon green energy. The Senate on
Wednesday gave the green light to the Pentagon's investment in
green energy. By a vote of 62-37 on Wednesday, the Senate backed
an amendment that would delete a provision in the defense bill
prohibiting the military from spending money on alternative fuels
if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal,
natural gas and oil. The Pentagon has opposed the provision that
a sharply divided Senate Armed Services Committee added in May.

Senate gives green light to Pentagon green energy.  The Senate on
Wednesday gave the green light to the Pentagon's investment in
green energy.  By a vote of 62-37 on Wednesday, the Senate backed
an amendment that would delete a provision in the defense bill
prohibiting the military from spending money on alternative fuels
if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal,
natural gas and oil. The Pentagon has opposed the provision that
a sharply divided Senate Armed Services Committee added in May. 


Head to head: Is cap-and-trade auction a step forward? The Issue:
California held its first cap-and-trade auction Nov. 14 as part
of the state's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990
levels by 2020. More than 70 companies submitted bids for more
than three times the 23million credits available for 2013. For
the first time, the state has a market price on carbon of $10.09
per metric ton. Pia Lopez: Yes, it's progress. Posted.

Put The Brakes On High-Speed Rail Project.  California's
High-Speed Rail has really become a train to nowhere.  We
recently reviewed some court documents that revealed top managers
of California's high-speed rail project were concerned about
project delays.  Delays that could threaten federal funding of
the project and put taxpayers at risk for having to pay the money
back.  One manager feared construction might not truly begin
until 2014, putting it about a year and a half behind schedule. 


Delhi and Shanghai Aim to Reduce Plastic Trash. Two recent items
of news from Asia appear to show that the region’s nations are
starting to take seriously the ever-growing amounts of plastic
trash they produce. In India, plastic bags, sheets, films and the
like were banned in Delhi beginning last week. The city is
attempting to rein in the 250,000 tons of plastic waste it
generates every year. My colleagues on the India Ink blog have
written about the development here. Posted.

A Climate Scientist Braves the Wilds of YouTube.  Earlier this
year, the Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh
became an early adopter of Google+ Hangouts on Air — open video
chats with invited participants and, when they drop in, members
of the public. Last night I invited Diffenbaugh to use the same
portal to “meet” the students in my Blogging a Better Planet
course at Pace University. Posted.

A Certified Path to Environmental Progress. The Rainforest
Alliance was a pioneer in testing the idea that businesses can
prosper by adhering to transparent and science-based
environmental standards for the products they grow or make. I
became familiar with their work when I first plunged into rain
forest reporting in a big way to write my 1990 book on the fight
for the soul of the Amazon River basin. They’re still at it,
developing projects in sustainable agriculture, forestry, tourism
and education. Posted.

2014 Acura RLX: Once More, With All-Wheel Steering. Introduced on
Wednesday: 2014 Acura RLX. What it is: The latest attempt at
enlivening Acura’s biggest and slowest-selling sedan. What it
isn’t: The RLX still isn’t quite the pinnacle of luxury Acura
wishes it were. The addition of a cornucopia of electronic aids,
including all-wheel steering, at least gives it a more complex
personality. Posted.

Another Step to Smaller Reactors. Babcock & Wilcox, the nuclear
technology company, moving fast after a promise of help from the
Energy Department, said Wednesday that it had lined up a supplier
for the towering metal shell for its mPower small modular
reactor. The Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation, of Bethlehem, Pa.,
said it would seek to be accredited as a supplier for nuclear
parts, and would expand its plant as Babcock & Wilcox moved
forward with its business. Posted.

Outdated Soot Standards Pose Serious Public Health Threat. I
often meet people with chronic lung diseases like asthma, COPD
and lung cancer who struggle to breathe day in and day out. Some
must rely on oxygen and carry heavy tanks around because of the
toll the disease has taken on their lungs. Endless exposure to
particle pollution, or soot, only exacerbates this struggle:
millions in the Northeast alone are living with some form of lung
disease. Posted.

Solar panels are getting cheaper — time to make the rest of solar
power cheap, too.  The installed cost of solar photovoltaic (PV)
power continues its precipitous decline, mostly due to falling
prices for PV panels. Pushing solar forward in coming years will
involve driving down the other costs — the non-panel costs. 
Those are a couple of the insights to be found in the fifth
annual report on solar PV [PDF] from Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory (LBNL), which digs into “project-level data for more
than 150,000 individual residential…Posted. 

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