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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 2, 2013 Posted: 02 Jan 2013 12:55:10
ARB Newsclips for January 2, 2013. 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 Local groups among those who sue EPA over rules on pesticide emissions. A group of community organizations has sued the Environmental Protection Agency about new rules on pesticide emissions, saying the regulations do too little to protect public health. The suit, filed under the Clean Air Act, challenges the EPA's approval of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation's measures to reduce certain emissions from pesticides. Attorneys for the San Francisco-based Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment filed the suit in federal court recently. The local Wishtoyo Foundation and Ventura Coastkeeper are on the list of petitioners. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/dec/31/local-groups-among-those-who-sue-epa-over-rules/#ixzz2Gq0YU8F4 Officials declare Wednesday Spare the Air day. Bay Area air quality officials have declared Wednesday a winter Spare the Air day, meaning burning of wood and wood products is prohibited. It's the second Spare the Air day in a row, and the second of the season, which runs from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28. The air forecast for Thursday is also poor. The 24-hour burn ban is intended to limit the introduction of soot and particulates from wood smoke into the air, where they can contribute to respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and lung disease. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130102/ARTICLES/130109957 CLIMATE CHANGE STUDY: Climate change is having significant impact on biodiversity. Plants and animals are shifting their ranges and life cycles in response to climate change, creating clashes between unfamiliar creatures or mismatches between animals and their food sources, according to a new national biodiversity report. The analysis could expand the scope of conservation efforts, which for 40 years has focused predominantly on habitat changes, local wildlife experts said. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/02/tp-study-climate-change-is-having-significant/ FUELS Location looms large in pump prices at California gas stations. Record gasoline prices in 2012 and calls for investigation of California's fuel markets have brought into focus a persistent peculiarity of the state's service station world: the wild swings in price any brand has from one location to the next. Known in the industry as zone pricing, the controversial practice was apparent one afternoon when Culver City resident Michael Denis, on a jaunt to downtown Los Angeles, stopped at a Chevron station to feed his Fiat 500 some gasoline at $4.69 a gallon. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-zone-pricing-20130102,0,7824014.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fbusiness+%28L.A.+Times+-+Business%29 Hollywood faces fracking in 'Promised Land.' The new movie "Promised Land" digs into the fierce national debate over fracking, the technique that's generated a boom in U.S. natural gas production while also stoking controversy over its possible impact on the environment and human health. Written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, the film comes at an opportune time for a big-screen exploration of the issues surrounding the shale gas revolution, with cheap natural gas transforming the nation's energy landscape and "fracking" now a household word. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/entertainment/movies/hollywood-faces-fracking-in-promised-land/article_e6daebff-4f81-5833-9dc5-90b6daa20ad7.html No fuel sheen, no sign that hull is breached. Crews aboard two aircraft flew over an oil drilling ship Tuesday that went aground in a severe Alaska storm and saw no sign that the vessel was leaking fuel or that its hull had been breached. The Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig used this summer in the Arctic was aground off a small island near Kodiak Island, where the ship, the Kulluk, appeared stable, said federal on-scene response coordinator Capt. Paul Mehler. "There is no sign of a release of any product," Mehler said during a news conference at unified command center at an Anchorage hotel. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22294741/no-fuel-sheen-no-sign-that-hull-is VEHICLES Avis to Buy Zipcar for $500 Million. The Avis Budget Group said on Wednesday that it had agreed to acquire the car-sharing pioneer Zipcar for $500 million in cash. The deal represents a new direction for Avis in the fiercely competitive car rental market. Rivals Hertz Global and Enterprise each have hourly rental operations that compete with Zipcar. These rentals tend to have younger, more urban customers than traditional business or leisure travelers. Posted. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/avis-to-buy-zipcar-for-500-million/ GREEN ENERGY Why greener schools can make a difference in kids' lives. As awareness about the environment continues to grow, it’s becoming more apparent that “going green” not only benefits the planet – it benefits the entire population, especially its youngest segment. When children learn in safe, comfortable, toxin-free school environments, their futures are that much brighter. "Green schools improve student test scores, lower energy bills, and promote a more ecologically sound atmosphere,” explains Matt Petersen, president and CEO of Global Green USA. “We call it the three R's of green schools: Rise in student performance levels and teacher retention; Reduction in carbon emissions and toxins; and Renewed hope in education and the future." Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Why-greener-schools-can-make-a-difference-in-4161364.php#ixzz2GqBWkN4Q Paving a fast lane for desert solar. Hundreds of square miles of Southern California desert, both public and privately owned, could be targeted for renewable energy development under a comprehensive plan balancing state clean-power mandates with efforts to conserve wild habitat. State and federal officials are currently providing a sneak preview of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan that's designed to speed the development of large-scale solar, wind and geothermal plants with the least possible environmental impact. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/01/comments-sought-desert-development-plan/ Rancho Cucamonga to permit residential wind energy turbines. The city will now allow some residents to apply for a wind turbine. For now, only owners of larger properties will be allowed to get permits. The city will require towers to be placed in "large backyards" and not in front of homes, according to officials. The new systems are meant to be supplemental energy sources for households. The policy change is part of a development-code update for the city and is part of the Healthy RC initiative, which includes more sustainable energy, Mayor Dennis Michael said. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_22289036/rancho-cucamonga-permit-residential-wind-energy-turbines?source=rss#ixzz2Gq8W1TxG 'Fiscal cliff' deal includes extension to tax credit for wind industry. A one-year extension of a key tax credit for the wind industry made it into the fiscal cliff deal the U.S. Senate and House passed on Tuesday. The tax credit, which has been a major driver for wind development across the U.S. over the past two decades, is worth 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy produced by new wind installations for their first 10 years of operation. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20130101/BUSINESS01/301010039/-Fiscal-cliff-deal-includes-extension-tax-credit-wind-industry?nclick_check=1 BLOGS Fixing Our Food Problem. We must figure out a way to un-invent this food system. It’s been a major contributor to climate change, spawned the obesity crisis, poisoned countless volumes of land and water, wasted energy, tortured billions of animals… I could go on. The point is that “sustainability” is not only possible but essential: only by saving the earth can we save ourselves, and vice versa. Posted. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/01/fixing-our-food-problem/?smid=tw-bittman&seid=auto Carbon Trading on 2013 Energy-Law Agenda. In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, we wrote about the big greenhouse-gas debate coming up in 2013 over Environmental Protection Agency plans to restrict emissions from coal-fired power plants.Some market-oriented environmentalists say the most logical solution is to let the plants emit as much CO2 as they like, so long as they pay extra for doing so or find offsets for the emissions. And that’s where the legal angle comes in: Washington’s lawyers disagree whether the EPA could engineer such a system on its own. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2013/01/02/carbon-trading-on-2013-energy-law-agenda/?KEYWORDS=air+pollution BY SUBSCIPTION ONLY Fiscal fiasco bright spot: 2013 will be a huge year for wind. You have probably heard by now that Congress has voted through a bill that will avert the absurdly named “fiscal cliff.” I’ll leave it to other blogs to get into the details. (Suzy Khimm has a nice rundown.) I’ll also leave it to others to lament the absurd way in which this country is governed. I just want to focus on one bright spot that hasn’t gotten much coverage. Part of the bill was a one-year extension of several stimulus tax credits. Among them was the production tax credit (PTC) that is so crucial to the wind industry and for which it has been fighting over the past year. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/fiscal-fiasco-bright-spot-2013-will-be-a-huge-year-for-wind/ Chilling effect: How warmer winters could ruin fruit. Think of your favorite fruits and you might think of the warm climates they tend to thrive in. Florida oranges, Texas grapefruit, California strawberries — and grapes, figs, pears, and apricots. But here’s the funny thing: Most fruit trees have to chill. Literally. Unless they’re tropical, trees have what are called “chilling requirements”: They need winter temperatures to drop to within a certain range — usually just above freezing — and remain there for a set period of time. Posted. http://grist.org/food/chilling-effect-how-warmer-winters-will-ruin-fruit/ Fuel cell company ClearEdge Power to acquire UTC Power. ClearEdge Power, a manufacturer of scalable, continuous onsite power systems, recently reached agreement to acquire the UTC Power fuel cells unit from United Technologies Corp. Divesting UTC Power is another step forward in UTC’s ongoing portfolio transformation to focus on its core of aerospace and building systems. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Closing is expected early in 2013. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/utc-20130102.html