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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 10, 2011.

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 11:31:27
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 10, 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.


GOP Invites Business To Vent About Regulations.  From large
manufacturers to a small electric company, businesses are
sounding off about costly government rules. Witnesses at a House
hearing complained about regulations on endangered species,
excessive paperwork, EPA anti-pollution standards and much more. 
The hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee
quickly became partisan Thursday.  Posted. 





GOP Attacks EPA On Rules. Washington – Congressional Republicans
on Wednesday opened a formal assault on the authority of the
Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases,
raising doubts about the legal, scientific and economic basis of
rules proposed by the agency. The forum was a hearing convened by
the energy and power subcommittee of the House Energy and
Commerce Committee to review the economic impact of pending
limits on carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. Posted.

House Republicans Take E.P.A. Chief to Task.  Congressional
Republicans on Wednesday opened a formal assault on the authority
of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse
gases, raising doubts about the legal, scientific and economic
basis of rules proposed by the agency.  Posted. 

House Panel Plans To Overturn EPA's Finding On Climate Change.
Washington - Republicans on the House of Representatives energy
committee on Wednesday aired their proposal to block the
Environmental Protection Agency from reducing greenhouse gases
and to reverse the agency's scientific finding that climate
change is dangerous. While the plan might be blocked in the
Senate or vetoed by President Barack Obama, the comments during
Wednesday's hearing were a fresh indication of the depth of
opposition in Congress to action on reducing U.S. carbon
pollution. Posted.


Low-Income Groups Could Delay California’s Pollution Legislation.
As California officials get ready to implement their historic
climate-change legislation they’re being met with expected
challengers. Groups representing low-income residents have filed
a motion that could possibly delay the effectuation of portions
of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) because they say the
law violates the California Environmental Quality Act because the
air board did not provide any alternatives, and have risked the
welfare of many residents. Posted.

Heat’s On Cap And Trade. There’s a persistent myth out there that
left-wing loonies are somehow trying to foist carbon
cap-and-trade schemes on California business. In fact, lots of
progressives and environmental groups aren’t all that crazy about
cap and trade either—and believe that it’s a complicated game
which lets polluters off the hook for their impacts on local
communities. In fact, the state’s ambitious anti-global-warming
law, Assembly Bill 32, is now stumbling in the courts, because
several environmental-justice organizations sued over the
controversial cap and trade plan that state regulators approved
in December. Posted.

Enviro Groups Hit Lawmakers In Swing Districts On Emission Regs.
Environmentalists today released polls that found a majority of
independent voters in the swing districts of nine House Energy
and Commerce Committee members oppose legislation that would halt
U.S. EPA action on greenhouse gas emissions. The polling unveiled
by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) marks the latest
step in green groups' intensifying campaign to discredit
lawmakers from both parties who seek to handcuff EPA. Posted.

What’s New? Objections Filed in the AB 32 Lawsuit. The parties
involved in the lawsuit “Association of Irritated Residents v.
California Air Resources Board (CARB)” filed objections on Monday
to the judge’s tentative ruling that could lead to a temporary
suspension of the state’s landmark climate change plan. Given the
breadth of the materials filed in this suit and the scope of the
ruling, the arguments in the objections were both expected and
appropriate. In fact, they shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. 

IID Continues Emissions Progress. The Imperial Irrigation
District is on track to meet greenhouse gas emission standards as
required by Assembly Bill 32. The bill makes the California Air
Resources Board responsible for monitoring and reducing
greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to cut emissions by 25
percent, to 1990 levels, said David Kolk, IID assistant general
manager, at the IID Board of Directors meeting Tuesday.
Incremental reductions begin next year with 2 percent cuts per
year until 2015. Then 3 percent cuts are required until 2020.


Workshop Set On Truck Clean Engine Rules And Funding. State and
regional air pollution regulators will conduct free workshops for
truckers Feb. 19 and March 19 on how to meet California's clean
engine rules for diesel trucks and on obtaining government grants
to comply. The free Saturday workshops will be held from 8:30
a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 19 at the College of Alameda, 555 Ralph
Appezzato Parkway, Alameda; and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 19
at the San Mateo County Events Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San
Mateo. Posted.


2 Studies Target Sticking Points, Gaps In Life-Cycle
Calculations. Conducting in-depth life-cycle assessments of the
environmental impacts of biofuels is complicated, and new
research suggests some questions in comparing biofuels to
alternatives like petroleum-based fuels will never be answered.
Furthermore, one study argues, consumer choices driven by price
differences between bio-based and petroleum-based fuels will play
into how biofuels affect the environment, adding another layer of
complication that must considered. Posted.


San Francisco Mandates Energy Audits. San Francisco -- The San
Francisco board of supervisors voted this week to require owners
of all nonresidential buildings to disclose their energy use.
Property owners will have to publish their buildings' energy
footprints once a year and owners of commercial structures larger
than 10,000 square feet will eventually be required to conduct
in-depth efficiency audits every five years. Audits will start in
October for commercial properties larger than 50,000 square feet,
extending to buildings as small as 10,000 square feet starting in
2013. Posted.

Renewable Energy Standards Survive GOP Offensive.  Colorado
Democrats slammed the door Wednesday on Republican plans to undo
clean-energy policies adopted in recent years.  A
Democrat-controlled Senate committee narrowly rejected three
Republican proposals to lower consumer utility bills.  Posted. 
Chicago Awards Contract For Car Charging Stations.  Chicago
officials have awarded a California company a $1.9 million
contract for installing 280 electric vehicle charging stations in
the city and some surrounding suburbs by the end of the year. 
The Chicago Tribune reports that under the contract, San
Diego-based 350 Green LLC will set up 73 plazas where motorists
driving electric cars will be able to plug in to either of two
different types of charging stations.  Posted. 



Settlement Fund To Pay For RI Wind Power.   Rhode Island's
attorney general says funds from a settlement agreement with a
major U.S. power company over pollution allegations will finance
wind energy projects in the state.  In a statement Wednesday,
Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin says the state will spend a
fifth of its $1.2 million portion of the settlement to construct
wind turbines along its windy southern coast. The turbines will
partly power a state beach facility and a state campground. 

Groups Argue Against Proposed PNM Rate Increase.  Several
renewable energy and consumer advocacy groups have come out
against a proposed rate increase for customers of New Mexico's
largest electric utility.  Western Resource Advocates, New Energy
Economy, the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy and others
have filed statements of opposition with the New Mexico Public
Regulation Commission over Public Service Company of New Mexico's
revamped request for a rate increase that would average nearly 11
percent for residential and business customers around the state. 


CARB Chairman Accuses Auto Trade Group Of Lying To Congress.
Don’t mess with Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air
Resources Board (CARB). In a letter to the CEOs of seven major
automobile manufacturers (see CARB Press Release), she alleged
that their trade association misrepresented CARB’s role in the
regulatory process for development of greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions regulations for motor vehicles. Specifically, Nichols
accused the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) of falsely
complaining to Congress that CARB was not cooperating with
industry, the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association
(NHTSA). Posted.

All Aboard: California High-Speed Rail Planners Prepare To Put
Out Billions In Contracts. California’s bullet train planners
Wednesday cracked open the flood gates for bidders expected to
rush in seeking billions of dollars in construction work
projected to start next year. Requests for expressions of
interest were sent to thousands of large and small contractors
worldwide that may want a piece of the first phase of the
$43-billion network that is supposed to connect the Bay Area and
Southern California with trains running up to 220 mph. Posted.

High-Speed Rail Group Surveys Industry's Interest. With $5.5
billion to spend on the first stretch of a statewide high-speed
train network, the California High-Speed Rail Authority invited
private industry Wednesday to help finance, build and operate the
system. The agency announced that it has mailed out several
thousand letters to businesses, chambers of commerce and other
business organizations, asking for "expressions of interest" in
building or designing the 120-mile initial stretch from north of
Fresno to Bakersfield, or participating in future efforts to
build, maintain, operate or fund the $43 billion first phase of
the system from San Francisco to Southern California. Posted.

High-Speed Rail Authority Invites Input From Business. In the
first formal step to figure out who's going to build and run
California's high-speed rail system, officials Wednesday invited
companies to speak up if they're interested -- and send in ideas.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority's "request for
expressions of interest" is 44 pages long, and it's going out to
businesses around the world. Its release marks the start of a
yearlong process to select firms to design and build the initial
segment between Fresno and Bakersfield. Posted.

Fla. Lawmaker Questions Calif. High-Speed Rail.  Washington --
The influential chairman of the House transportation committee
voiced skepticism Wednesday about California's high-speed rail
plans. While not ruling out eventual support for California, Rep.
John Mica, R-Fla., said he's unimpressed by what he's seen so
far. Mica specifically questioned the state's current plans to
start with tracks connecting a rural stretch of the central San
Joaquin Valley. Posted.

Calif. Gauges Private-Sector Interest As Critics Question Cost,
Ridership. California went fishing for private contractors and
investors yesterday with the state's first open invitation to
outside parties looking to participate in construction of an
800-mile high-speed rail line. The agency in charge of the
project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, gave
interested parties a five-week window, until March 16, to express
interest in design, construction, financing, operations and
maintenance of the north-to-south line. Posted.

Bill Blocks Tailpipe Emissions Limits. Legislation would bar
states from imposing their own rules. Washington — The top
Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to
block the Environmental Protection Agency from setting tailpipe
emissions limits. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, has introduced
legislation that would have the effect of barring California and
a dozen other states from also imposing their own emissions
rules. The bill would overturn a 2007 Supreme Court decision that
said the EPA can regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the
Clean Air Act. Posted.


You Can’t Make It Up. Just how crazy is the assault on reason
done in the name of combating “climate change”? Well, consider
this scenario from — where else? — California. Not even the
ultra-liberal Golden State can pass a cap-and-trade law through
its legislature. Instead, it has long relied on its unelected air
resources board (CARB) to implement any and all restrictions by
fiat. But a funny thing happened recently on the way to de facto
cap-and-trade in California. Posted.


Yet Another Route to Cellulosic Ethanol.  There are myriad routes
to making car fuel from waste, using mix-and-match technologies
assembled in novel ways, but none has worked yet on a commercial
scale. On Wednesday, Ineos Bio, the subsidiary of a major
international chemical firm, broke ground on a plant that aims to
use yet another combination.  Posted. 

E.P.A. and Carbon Dioxide: The Prequel.  As a committee of the
Republican-controlled House settled in to interrogate the
Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Lisa P. Jackson,
about her agency’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases like
carbon dioxide, a senior House Democrat released three-year old
documents showing that the Bush administration’s E.P.A. sought to
follow exactly the same course.  Posted. 

On Edge-Pushing Statistics and Climate Basics.  There’s a young
field at the interface of science and mathematics called spatial
statistics. It’s so new that its first international conference
is taking place next month in the Netherlands.  It’s an important
line of work, with the potential to help clarify everything from
the risk of disease outbreaks to the rate of warming across the
vast and sparsely monitored Antarctic continent.  Posted.

Clorox Comes Clean: Company Discloses All Ingredients In All
Products. The maker of bleach, Pine-Sol and other popular
cleaning products announced Tuesday that it will disclose the
specific preservatives, dyes and fragrances it uses in its
cleaning, disinfecting and laundry products sold in the U.S. and
Canada. The Clorox Co. announcement builds on the ingredient
communications program the corporation launched in January 2008,
which disclosed the active ingredients in its natural Green Works
line on a dedicated Clorox website. In 2009, Clorox also began
listing the active ingredients of its more traditional products.

A Cool Reception: EPA Administator Experiences Climate Change In
The House.  EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson got a cool
reception Wednesday in her first appearance before a House energy
subcommittee under Republican rule. Conservatives grilled Jackson
on her agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases that
contribute to climate change, saying it would burden
manufacturers with expensive costs.  Posted. 

Air Board Defends EPA on Capitol Hill. A high-ranking California
official appeared on Capitol Hill today to defend the right of
the federal Environmental Protection Agency to regulate
greenhouse gas emissions. James Goldstene, executive director of
the state’s Air Resources Board, told members of a House
subcommittee that the EPA's recently released regulations will
not create a "regulatory train wreck." Posted.

Wind Farm Forecast: More & Bigger. How much wind energy do we
need to make California's goal of 33% clean electricity by 2020?
Whenever I put this question to one of the experts, the answer is
always: "It depends." But under almost any scenario, thousands
more windmills will dot the California landscape in years to
come. Those who don't see them on a daily basis might be
surprised to learn that there is already something on the order
of 13,000 commercial wind turbines operating in California.
Supercomputer Helps Turn Big-Rigs Into Energy Efficient
‘Smarttrucks’. Energy efficient big-rig trucks might may hit the
highways much sooner than anticipated — thanks to the nation’s
fastest supercomputer. BMI Corporation and Department of Energy’s
Oak Ridge National Laboratory have teamed up to develop the
SmartTruck UnderTray System, a set of finely-tuned wind
deflectors that when installed make 18-wheeler... Posted.

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