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newsclips -- Newsclips for January 11, 2011 Posted: 11 Jan 2011 12:49:30
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 11, 2011. 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. CLIMATE CHANGE California’s Heavy Rains Counter La Niña’s Ways. For meteorologists and climate scientists, the flooding that has affected the Australian state of Queensland has not been unexpected. It is seen as collateral damage from the current La Niña, a lowering of sea-surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. While a typical La Niña — the low-temperature side of the cycle known as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation — usually brings wet weather to the western Pacific, it also brings dry conditions to the Southern United States, including Southern California. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/science/earth/11nina.html?_r=1&ref=earth&pagewanted=print South Korea Carbon Trading Bill Faces Opposition From Business Groups. South Korea’s government is facing opposition from business groups over its proposal to start a carbon-emissions trading system in 2013. Business groups, including the Federation of Korean Industries, the Korea International Trade Association, the Korean Employers Federation and the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, want the government to delay the adoption of carbon emissions trading, the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry said at a conference today on the subject in Seoul. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-01-11/south-korea-carbon-trading-bill-faces-opposition-from-business-groups.html Climate Change May Continue for at Least a Millennium. (Corrects temperature conversion in last paragraph.) Climate change may be unstoppable for the next millennium. Rising carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere will affect the climate for at least another 1,000 years, based on a simulation by researchers at Canada’s University of Victoria and University of Calgary. That will cause the West Antarctic ice sheet to collapse by the year 3000 and raise sea levels by 4 meters (13 feet), it showed. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-01-10/climate-change-may-continue-for-a-millennium-researchers-say.html One In Five Not Interested In Climate Change. One in five people are not interested in climate change because they don't believe 'others are doing their bit', according to new research. Finding published yesterday (January 10) to mark the launch of the Climate Week Awards, prompted sociologist and environmental campaigner Lord Anthony Giddens to speak out. The research also points to a worrying 15% of the population unwilling to change their behaviour based on the facts of climate change alone. Posted. http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=19228&channel=0&title=One+in+five+not+interested+in+climate+change+ FUELS Much-Touted Cellulosic Ethanol Is Late In Making Mandated Appearance. A projected shortfall in the production of an important green energy alternative could hurt U.S. efforts to move away from fossil fuels, a ClimateWire analysis has found. U.S. EPA figures indicate that in the second half of 2010, not a drop of cellulosic ethanol -- a much-touted fuel that taps the sugars from farm wastes and other non-food sources of biomass -- was commercially blended with gasoline. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/11/1 Oil Rises in New York After Alaskan Crude Pipeline Leak Cuts U.S. Supplies. Oil climbed for the first time in three days after an Alaskan pipeline carrying about 15 percent of U.S. crude output was shut following a leak. Futures gained as much as 2.2 percent after the Trans- Alaska Pipeline System was closed Jan. 8, forcing companies including BP Plc to suspend 95 percent of production from the North Slope area. China’s oil imports rose 18 percent in 2010, customs data showed today. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-10/oil-rises-in-new-york-after-alaskan-crude-pipeline-leak-cuts-u-s-supplies.html Banned Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks Now Used For Ethanol. Sparks. Tilt. Joose. Four Loko. Liquid Charge. Torque. These drinks may sound fun, but they’ve all been discontinued. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration called the caffeine added to these alcoholic beverages an “unsafe food additive” and issued letters of warning to four manufacturers in November. In response, manufacturers pulled their beverages from shelves to reformulate them without caffeine and other stimulants or dispose of them completely. The caffeinated alcoholic beverages that once promised to fuel you will now become fuel. Posted. http://earth911.com/news/2011/01/11/banned-caffeinated-alcoholic-drinks-now-used-for-ethanol/ GREEN ENERGY San Jose-Based Sunpower Signs Contracts With Southern California Edison. San Jose-based SunPower, Silicon Valley's dominant solar panel manufacturer, on Monday announced three power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison to deliver 711 megawatts of solar power. The deal, one of the largest for photovoltaic solar power in the United States, would produce enough power for about 460,000 California homes. "This is an unprecedented time for solar photovoltaic," Marc Ulrich, the utility's vice president of renewable and alternative power, said in a statement. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_17058666?nclick_check=1 Will Green Energy Crush Oil Investment Returns? (USO, XOM, PBW, QCLN). As oil continues to skyrocket to nearly $100/barrel, alternative energy companies might slash into the profits of oil titans and provide the most lucrative investment for 2011 and beyond. While the price of oil is subject to much short-term volatility, peak oil - the idea that the maximum point of oil extraction from the earth has been reached - is becoming a legitimate concern for environmentalists, policymakers, and households. Peak oil would drive oil prices up permanently, thus making alternative energy more attractive. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/01/11/benzinga768996.DTL&type=printable Berkeley Zero Net Energy Cottage Deserves Study. Karen Chapple's just-built second home looks exactly like what it is: a cottage that packs 450 square feet of living space into a traditional shell with a pitched roof, warm wooden walls and a shaded front porch. Old news - except that it sits tucked behind a century-old bungalow on a quiet Berkeley block with neighbors close on either side, stealth infill that in its own discreet way deserves study by every city where the need for housing outstrips the supply of obvious land. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/11/DDLU1H5DSF.DTL&type=printable Making Skylights More Energy-Efficient. All shapes and types of skylight can be green with the right options and installation. A skylight may seem like a sustainability no-brainer. It provides daytime lighting year-round, and cheap solar heat in the winter. But green skylights must be carefully designed and installed, or they could waste more energy than they save. The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that skylights can contribute to heat gain and loss by 40 percent more than other windows. However, there are ways to maximize the energy efficiency of skylights. Posted. http://www.mnn.com/your-home/remodeling-design/stories/making-skylights-more-energy-efficient First Home Wind Turbine Approved in San Diego. San Diego, California has approved the first vertical axis wind turbine for the county. Not soon after, the first one has gone live at the home of Tim Williams, who has a personal mission to “go green”. His 3.4 kW Falcon turbine from WePOWER was installed on an 18′ pole on his property by Joe Moore Construction, an authorized WePOWER dealer. According to a news release, Joe Moore had to appear before the County Building Department and present the WePOWER’s Falcon Turbine for approval. Posted. http://domesticfuel.com/2011/01/10/first-home-wind-turbine-approved-in-san-diego/ A Black Market for 100-Watt Bulbs? US Ban Looms. Few people seem to know that 100-watt incandescent bulbs, the Thomas Edison-type, are leaving store shelves. They were phased out in California on Jan. 1, and will be phased out across the U.S. on Jan. 1, 2012. That's less than a year away. Which makes you wonder, will people hoard the old 100-watt bulbs? Will there be a black market for retro illumination? There are people who scoff at global warming or just aren't as happy with energy-efficient, low-watt alternatives like CFLs and LEDs. Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/01/a-black-market-100-watt-bulbs-california-phaseout.php Appliance Rebate Program. Current stats on Appliance Rebate Program: Total Funds Paid: $20,860,850; Apps received: 266,995; Funding Requested Exceeding Availability: $3,086,000 (as of 1/5/2011) http://www.cash4appliances.org/stats/index.html State Budget Plan: Five Years Of Higher Taxes, $12.5 Billion In Spending Cuts. Sacramento -- To erase the state's enormous deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday asked Californians to accept deep service cuts, more taxes and a fundamental shift in the way resources are distributed. Brown, who took office a week ago, called for $12.5 billion in what he called "drastic cuts" to nearly every state program except K-12 schools, $12 billion in revenues and nearly $1 billion in reserves for the next 18 months to lead the state out of a $25.4 billion budget deficit that has been growing as the economy weakened. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_17056188 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/10/BASJ1H6RON.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576073760670210434.html?mod=WSJ_Election_LeftTopStories http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/us/11california.html?_r=1&hp Merger Of Duke Energy And Progress Energy Would Create Largest U.S. Utility. As chief executive of the Charlotte-based Duke Energy, James F. Rogers has become a familiar face in Washington over the past three years, playing his part in the futile effort to forge a cap-and-trade scheme to limit greenhouse gas emissions. But with climate legislation moribund, Rogers has turned to breathing more life into his own company. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/10/AR2011011006959.html CalSTRS Joins The Climate Registry. West Sacramento, Calif.-The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) today announced it has joined The Climate Registry, the leading voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) registry in North America. A nonprofit group governed by states, provinces and tribes, The Registry helps organizations measure and reduce their GHG emissions. Posted. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110110006752/en/CalSTRS-Joins-Climate-Registry New Military Bill Orders Pentagon to Buy Solar Panels from US Firms Only. The U.S. military from now on will be able to only “buy American” when it comes to the purchase of solar energy panels—a move that may upset the government of China. During the closing days of Congress last month, lawmakers inserted language into a military appropriations bill requiring the Department of Defense to buy solar panels exclusively from U.S. manufacturers. The new law effectively cuts China, the top exporter of solar panels, out of the American military market. Posted. http://www.allgov.com/US_and_the_World/ViewNews/New_Military_Bill_Orders_Pentagon_to_Buy_Solar_Panels_from_US_Firms_Only_110111 Governors In California, Arizona To Push For More Solar Energy. As Jerry Brown (D) retook the reigns of California, and Jan Brewer (R) won her first election to the governorship of Arizona, both made clear in their inaugural addresses that renewables like solar and wind are imperative to both states. “I have set a goal of 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020 and I intend to meet it by the appointments I make and the actions they take,” said Gov Brown in his inaugural speech. The goal is in line with former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) projections. Posted. http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/governors-in-california-and-arizona-push-for-solar-energy-011011/ Vanadium to Revolutionize Green Energy. The ‘Holy Grail’ of renewable energy – grid scale power storage – appears to be finally within reach. So is the ability to make electric cars far more practical or user-friendly. This is why the world’s most influential leaders, ranging from U.S. President Obama to the Premier of China and even famed multi-billionaire Warren Buffett, are all heralding an exotic industrial metal called vanadium. Governments the world over are directing billions of dollars of grants into vanadium’s fast-emerging role in the electrification of society’s energy supplies.. Posted. http://seekingalpha.com/article/245896-vanadium-to-revolutionize-green-energy Terra-Gen Sells 150MW California Wind Farm, Leases It Back. GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), and Bankers Commercial Corporation, a unit of UnionBanCal Corporation, have acquired a 150-megawatt wind farm in California. The two companies have purchased the Alta Wind I project, the first phase of the $1.2 billion Alta Wind Energy Center, which is expected to comprise about 3,000 megawatts of generating capacity when completed... Posted. http://www.brighterenergy.org/21798/news/wind/terra-gen-sells-150mw-california-wind-farm-leases-it-back/ California Solar Companies Make Waves. Solar power can, of course, reduce carbon emissions and help individuals and businesses slash their energy spending. The widespread adoption of solar energy also has the potential to create jobs - and, in so doing, can help the country build a stronger, greener economy. Posted. http://www.getsolar.com/News/Solar-Energy-Facts/General/California-Solar-Companies-Make-Waves-800334024 VEHICLES GM Reveals Plans For All-Electric Vehicle. General Motors Co. has announced it is developing an all-electric car in the United States in an effort to expand their selection of battery-powered vehicles. GM CEO Daniel Akerson said the new addition would fill a separate niche than that of the Detroit-based automaker's extended-range Chevrolet Volt that went on sale in December. The new car is "more of a metro car or an urban car," Akerson said yesterday at the North American International Auto Show. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/01/11/15 Education Key To Alternative Fuels. Automakers will have to boost consumers' knowledge about electric and hybrid cars if they hope to boost sales of alternative fuel vehicles, according to a U.S. study. "While consumer awareness about alternative fuel vehicles continues to grow, only about one in five consumers state they are "very familiar" with any alternative-fuel technologies, according to a new survey by Maritz Automotive Research Group. Posted. http://www.windsorstar.com/technology/Education+alternative+fuels/4089640/story.html OPINION Key Points in Governor's Budget. The budget Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Monday includes program cuts, a June election to extend tax increases and a reordering of state and local government to close a deficit he estimated at $26.4 billion. Here are some of the elements: PROGRAM CUTS. Education: Provide K-12 schools with roughly the same spending as the current year. If June tax extensions fail, schools would likely see significant cuts. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/11/v-print/3314618/budget-breakdown.html Youngblood: Sorry Easy Bake, incandescent has to go. When I was growing up most of my friends, and even my cousins had an Easy Bake Oven. I thought they were so cool. Whip up the special batter, pour it in the special cake pan, and push it through the Easy Bake. After 20 minutes, Wha-lah! Chocolate Cake! You know the really amazing thing about an Easy Bake Oven? The heat source was one incandescent light bulb. Well, I guess by next year Hasbro is going to have to come up with another way to bake all of those little miniature cakes in all of those Easy Bake Ovens across the country. Why? Because as of Jan. 1, 2012, the 100 watt bulb will be banned; and, that is just the beginning. Posted. http://www.examiner.net/opinions/opinions_columnists/x1062714130/Youngblood-Sorry-Easy-Bake-incandescent-has-to-go CRAIG BASDEN: We're Chaffing At The Wrong Air-Quality Agency. In response to recent Sounding Board comments about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, it's important to note that, counter to what some writers implied, the air district has no jurisdiction over mobile sources such as auto and truck emissions. The California Air Resources Board has this authority. The CARB consists of 11 part-time members appointed by the governor with the consent of the state Senate. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community/x1937969128/CRAIG-BASDEN-Were-chaffing-at-the-wrong-air-quality-agency 10 Common Misconceptions About California's Cap-and-Trade Program. This article originally appeared on the Natural Resources Defense Council's Switchboard blog, and is reprinted with permission. In the aftermath of the California Air Resources Board’s historic vote to adopt the nation’s first-of-its kind program to cap global warming pollution across California’s economy, understandably there are questions about what the program will accomplish and how it will get us there. Below, I will attempt to clear up 10 common misconceptions about the program: Q1: Isn’t cap-and-trade dead? Posted. http://www.greenbiz.com/print/41351 Why Electric Vehicles Will Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. A recent article by John Peterson argued that electric vehicles will take us backward in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that today's hybrid cars are more effective in reducing GHGs. Peterson's commentary rests on recent research by Carnegie Mellon University regarding life-cycle emissions of various vehicle types. I believe Peterson's highly negative view of electric vehicles is unwarranted and inaccurate due to a number of reasons that I describe below. Posted. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/01/why-electric-vehicles-will-significantly-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions?cmpid=rss BLOGS Consumer Electronics Show: Your Car Isn’t As Cool As Your Kid’s Fuel Cell-Powered One. Gadgets for kids were nestled among the grown-up toys at the Consumer Electronics Show –- but these aren’t your average model cars or train kits. Instead, the tiny toy vehicles on display at the OWI Inc. booth run on renewable power. A bullet train set operates using an integrated solar panel and a racing car has a fuel cell module that runs for up to seven hours when a magnesium metal sheet comes into contact with salt water. Other solar-powered gizmos for children: miniature transforming robots and even walking king crabs and “attacking inchworms.” http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/01/consumer-electronics-show-your-car-isnt-as-cool-as-your-kids-fuel-cell-powered-one.html An Energy Epiphany: Staying Home Is Cheap. There is a new thrill in my life. Every week Reliant Energy now sends me a weekly e-mail summary of my home electricity bill. No kidding, for someone interested in energy use and conservation, the Smart Meter reading is interesting. I just got my e-mail and I learned that between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8, my wife, 5-year-old daughter and I spent $23.12 on our home electricity. That is $9.68 more than we spent the week before, when we were mostly away on vacation. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/an-energy-epiphany-staying-home-is-cheap/?pagemode=print California Utility Adds To Its Renewable Portfolio. Southern California Edison continues to add to its renewable-energy portfolio, announcing Monday that it signed contracts for more than 800 megawatts of electricity generated from solar photovoltaic plants being built in three California counties. The utility is now the nation’s largest provider of renewable power, deriving about 19% of its supply from renewable sources, according to Mike Marelli, the company's director of renewable energy contracts. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/01/solar-power-renewable-energy-california.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 Global Warming and the English Language. Last week, I wrote a post about the deepening doubts many climate scientists have expressed about democracy’s ability to avert dangerous climate change. These “doubts” have manifested themselves first and foremost in growing support for federally-funded geoengineering research, which has attracted significant support as a result of the perceived failure of climate-change negotiations in Copenhagen in 2008. Posted. http://blogs.forbes.com/williampentland/2011/01/11/global-warming-debate/ Climate 3000. What if this and that... The art of prediction is one that often fails and only the test of time will show who is right and who is wrong. Climate models use quantitative methods to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice. There is a new paper in Nature Geoscience that examines the inertia of carbon dioxide emissions. New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in... Posted. http://www.enn.com/climate/article/42215/print On Our Radar: U.S. Chamber Backs Growth of Fossil Fuels. The top energy official at the United States Chamber of Commerce, the powerful lobbying group, urges lawmakers to focus on expanding fossil fuel energy production, not “high-cost energy sources” like wind and solar. “Having people really understand our energy reality, rather than energy as we would like it to be, is incredibly important, particularly at this juncture in terms of our economy,” Karen Harbert, a former high-level official at the Department of Energy under President George W. Bush, says in an interview. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/on-our-radar-u-s-chamber-backs-growth-of-fossil-fuels/?pagemode=print