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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 16, 2011. Posted: 16 Feb 2011 11:53:54
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 16, 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. AIR POLLUTION Enviro Groups Urge EPA To Limit Greenhouse Gases. Environmental activists urged the federal government Tuesday to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil refineries even as Republican opponents in Congress seek to restrict or stop those rules. The comments came during the second of five meetings that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding across the country ahead of its plan to issue proposed standards limiting two of the biggest industrial sources of the gases blamed for global warming: power plants and oil refineries. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-02-16/enviro-groups-urge-epa-to-limit-greenhouse-gases.html Congress’ Heated But Hollow Climate Debate. While campaigning to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, R-Mich., vowed that he would grill Lisa Jackson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, in front of his committee so often that she would need her own parking space on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Jackson submitted to her first interrogation, about one of the Republican Party’s pet peeves: the EPA’s plan to restrict emissions of greenhouse gases from cars and factories by decree. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110215/WIRE/110219750/1042&Title=Congress-8217-heated-but-hollow-climate-debate&template=printart EPA Levies Major Fines Against Biomass Plants. wo biomass plants, intended to help the San Joaquin Valley clean up the air, have been tagged with one of the state's largest air-pollution fines in recent history. Global Ampersand of Boston was fined more than $800,000 for excess ozone-related emissions and other violations from biomass plants in Madera and Merced counties, federal authorities announced Tuesday. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/15/1558963/epa-levies-major-fines-against.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/15/2274110/valley-biomass-plants-face-steep.html#storylink=misearch Odor Sickens Residents, Bewilders Officials. Regional air pollution officials believe a toxic soils recycling plant is the source of strong, gassy odors that Mecca residents blame for illnesses in this small, low-income, predominantly Hispanic farming community in the Coachella Valley. The odor is emanating from the plant, which is on tribal land and is operated by Western Environmental Inc. Residents said they started smelling the odor about three years ago. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_smell15.2550ff0.html Chowchilla Biomass Plant Faces $328K Fine. A biomass power plant in Chowchilla has been slapped with a $328,000 fine in a settlement over alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act. The fine against Ampersand Chowchilla Biomass, LLC was announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which along with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District allege the power plant emitted nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide in excess of permitted limits. Posted. http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/energy/8380-chowchilla-biomass-plant-faces-328k-fine CLIMATE CHANGE Investments Worth Trillions At Risk From Climate Change: Study. Singapore (Reuters) - Climate change could put trillions of investment dollars at risk over the next 20 years, a global study released on Wednesday said, calling for pension funds and other investors to overhaul how they allocate funds. Risks from more extreme weather, continued delay in climate policy by governments and uncertainty over the shape of a new global climate pact were major concerns, while renewable energy, agriculture and infrastructure could be opportunities. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/16/us-climate-investment-risks-idUSTRE71F1CO20110216 EU May Cut Emissions by 25% as of 2020, Put Permits in Reserve. The European Union may cut carbon emissions 25 percent by 2020 and withhold permits in the next phase of its cap-and-trade program to curb excess supply and promote new technologies. The European Commission, the EU regulator, stopped short in a draft policy paper of proposing a binding 2020 target for cutting carbon dioxide more than the current goal of 20 percent below 1990 levels. Still, it said the 27-nation bloc may exceed 20 percent as long as it saves more energy, curbs emissions from transport and invests in low-carbon infrastructure. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-02-16/europe-may-cut-carbon-emissions-by-25-as-of-2020-put-permits-in-reserve.html Environmental Justice Groups Sue For Cap And Trade Alternatives. A final decision regarding a law on California greenhouse gas emission reduction will likely come in the next few weeks. The California Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as Assembly Bill 32, aims to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. To reach these goals, the California Air Resources Board adopted the Scoping Plan in 2008 to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through various methods, including cap and trade policy. Posted. http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/article/2011/02/environmental_justice_groups_sue_for_cap_and_trade_alternatives#print Carbon Counters. California’s Air Resources Board defends and reconsiders its Low Carbon Fuel Standard. January marked the start of California’s controversial Low Carbon Fuel Standard program, a regulatory measure designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the state’s transportation sector by 16 million metric tons in 2020. The specifics of the program are far from finalized, however. California’s Air Resources Board is currently defending its policy in lawsuits filed in both federal and civil courts while simultaneously convening its regular Expert Working Group hearings to attempt to settle contentious issues related to the policy. Posted. http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/7483/carbon-counters Grove Introduces Bill To Delay Environmental Regulations. Sacramento, Ca. — Assemblywoman Shannon Grove has introduced Assembly Bill 333, which calls for the delayed implementation of AB 32, otherwise known as the “Global Warming Solutions Act,” passed by the legislature in 2006, her staff announced Tuesday. Grove’s measure will relieve California businesses from "the costly and burdensome regulations associated with AB32 until the unemployment rate in the county where the business resides falls below 7% for six consecutive months," according to a statement. “Now is not the time to experiment with new, oppressive rules on businesses,” said Grove. Posted. http://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/news/x454338738/Grove-introduces-bill-to-delay-environmental-regulations FUELS Greens Sour On Natural Gas. Whatever happened to the romance between the environmental lobby and natural gas? After years of basking in a green glow as the cleanest fossil fuel and a favorite short-term choice to replace cheap-but-dirty coal, gas now finds itself under attack from environmentalists, filmmakers and congressional Democrats — and even from some scientists who raise doubts about whether its total emissions are as climate-friendly as commonly believed. Posted. http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=2AFBCD9F-9395-F63A-23394EAE9471416E GREEN ENERGY Obama Budget Looks To Boost Clean Energy. As promised in his State of the Union Address, President Obama's proposed 2012 budget continues his administration's commitment to funding alternative energy and transportation research and development. The president aims to pay for some of his investments by jettisoning tax breaks for fossil-fuel industries worth billions every year. Exactly what the president is able to get out of a split Congress, and in particular a Republican-led House bent on slashing spending, remains to be seen. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=US198342078320110216 Growing in Power, Natural Gas Attracts Enemies. Environmental groups want to extinguish the ardor many are feeling for natural gas. As the fuel grows in market share and political power, several green groups have launched campaigns highlighting potential problems. They raise questions about everything from how natural gas is extracted to how much of a climate benefit it offers over competitors. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/02/16/16greenwire-growing-in-power-natural-gas-attracts-enemies-92162.html?pagewanted=print VEHICLES Tesla Beats Expectations As Revenue — And Losses — Grow. Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors announced fourth-quarter revenue Tuesday of $36.3 million, a 16 percent increase from the $31.2 million reported in the previous quarter and double the $18.6 million in the fourth quarter a year ago. Wall Street analysts had expected revenue of $34.3 million. The electric-car maker's stock rose about 0.1 percent to $22.86 in after-hours trading after closing down 1 percent to $22.84. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/cars/ci_17395740?source=rss&nclick_check=1 E.U. Caps Commercial Van Emissions. The European Union has voted to cap carbon emissions from commercial vans, the latest move to curb transportation pollution contributing to climate change. The law will be imposed on "light commercial vehicles" made by auto manufacturers like Volkswagen AG, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Fiat SpA. It will reduce average CO2 emissions from new vans sold in the European Union by 14 percent compared with 2007. That level will equal to 175 grams (6.2 ounces) a kilometer (0.6 mile). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/16/8 OPINION Opinion: Now Is The Time To Invest In Ending California's Oil Addiction. Oil prices are spiking yet again, due in large part to the political unrest in the Middle East. We've seen this before, and we will see it again. Oil price volatility will take a toll on California until we diversify energy supplies and reduce oil demand. The time has come for us to end our addiction to imported oil. We depend on oil for 93 percent of our transportation needs in California. This is hardly the "diversified portfolio" approach that we, as an investor and an economist, would recommend as a risk management strategy. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_17396561?nclick_check=1 Congress Must Derail President Obama's Backdoor EPA Power Grab. In last year’s budget, President Obama called for Congress to enact cap-and-trade legislation, using a slush fund to disguise the cost of the program. But cap-and-trade was decisively rejected in the 2010 election, so this year President Obama’s budget simply funds the EPA to move forward with regulating greenhouse gases on its own – against the clear wishes of voters and without any legitimate legislative basis. Congress must take responsibility, step in, and stop this power grab. One day after the election, President Obama told us this was coming: “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/02/16/congress-derail-president-obamas-backdoor-epa-power-grab/print BLOGS Volt and Leaf Fail to Topple Honda Civic GX From Green Book List. The Honda Civic GX, which runs on compressed natural gas, topped The Green Book’s annual list for the eighth time. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a Washington-based nonprofit group financed by foundations, electric utilities and state and federal agencies, released its annual list of the 12 greenest vehicles of the model year on Tuesday. With five models having displaced 2010 honorees, this year’s list differs markedly from last year’s group. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/volt-and-leaf-fail-to-topple-honda-civic-gx-from-green-book-list/?pagemode=print Climate Change Drives Instability, U.N. Official Warns. The United Nations’ top climate change official said on Tuesday that food shortages and rising prices caused by climate disruptions were among the chief contributors to the civil unrest coursing through North Africa and the Middle East. In a speech to Spanish lawmakers and military leaders, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations climate office, said that climate change-driven drought, falling crop yields and competition for water were fueling conflict throughout Africa and elsewhere in the developing world. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/climate-change-drives-instability-u-n-official-warns/?partner=rss&emc=rss The A, B, C’s of Limiting Climate Risk. There appears to be a breath of fresh air wafting through the environmental community, reflected in Degrees of Risk: Defining a Risk Management Framework for Climate Security, a new report from the Britain-based nonprofit group Third Generation Environmentalism, or E3G. The report is enthusiastically endorsed by Bill Becker, the head of the Presidential Climate Action Plan, in a guest post at Climateprogress. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/the-a-b-cs-of-limiting-climate-risk/?scp=3&sq=green%20energy&st=cse CERV: A New Kind of Army Green. Just beyond the stands of mainstream manufacturers during last week’s Chicago auto show press previews, stood an unusual, rugged-looking vehicle. Though its crude appearance might suggest otherwise, the Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle, or CERV, is an all-wheel-drive diesel hybrid that $14 billion in federal financing for dual-use advanced technology helped to build. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/cerv-a-new-kind-of-army-green/?scp=2&sq=fuels&st=cse Greenest Cars: Natural Gas Honda Civic GX, Nissan Leaf Electric And, Just Barely, Chevrolet Volt. For a list of the greenest 2011 model-year vehicles, there sure are a lot of traditional gasoline engines among the top 12 cars ranked by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The council's 14th annual ratings of the most eco-friendly cars on the market include internal combustion models such as the Smart Fortwo, the Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai Elantra. The natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX topped the list for an eighth straight year, with a score of 54, followed by the new all-electric Nissan Leaf. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/02/greenest-cars-list-include-natural-gas-honda-civic-gx-nissan-leaf-electric-and-just-barely-chevrolet.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 Classifying Beliefs About Climate Change. Is Convinced Versus Unconvinced The Way To Go? In the climate change debate, commentators on the issue in the media and cocktail parties alike often use labels to put people into camps based on what they "believe" about the issue. The labels I've heard include: the mainstream, alarmists, progressives, deniers, delayers, skeptics, believers, hawks, contrarians, naysayers, doomsayers, chicken littles, non-skeptical heretics, and dissidents - to name a few off the top of my head (heard others? comment below). Posted. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2011/02/classifying_beliefs_about_clim.html Aerodynamic Add-Ons Reduce Fuel Consumption Of Semi Trucks By 7-12%. BMI Corporation, along with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have developed a set of aerodynamic fairings that are claimed to reduce fuel consumption of long-haul semi trucks by 7-12 percent. The aerodynamic add-ons, which BMI calls the SmartTruck UnderTray System, include five individual components that reduce the drag coefficient of tractor trailers. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/02/16/aerodynamic-add-ons-reduce-fuel-consumption-of-semi-trucks-by-7/ Why We Can Have One Million Electric Cars on the Road by 2015. When General Motors' EV1 rolled out in 1996, there was no infrastructure for it, gas was about ten cents a gallon, and cars were turning into military vehicles. And I still wanted one. But then it was gone. Flash forward to President Obama saying we'll have a million electric cars on the road by 2015. Pundits expressed immediate doubts about this number, but today we have two big reasons to believe we can get there. First, we have to look beyond the options we have today. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dar-williams/why-we-can-have-one-milli_b_823911.html Bad Air Politicians Want A Blast From The (Smog-Filled) Past. In October 1954, Los Angeles found itself swallowed up by a blanket of smog so thick that industry shut down and children stayed home from school for most of a month. Over 2000 auto accidents occurred in a single day, as drivers careened through the soot-filled air. Residents wore gas masks at community meetings, protesting the life-threatening pollution seeping into their lungs. There’s no doubt that our air has been made significantly safer and cleaner since then due to government standards and programs. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/vjaffee/bad_air_politicians_want_a_bla.html