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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Appliance Rebate Program. Current stats on Appliance Rebate
Total Funds Paid: $20,860,850; Apps received: 266,995; Funding
Requested Exceeding Availability: $3,086,000 (as of 1/5/2011)

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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