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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 8, 2011 Posted: 08 Mar 2011 13:24:04
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 8, 2011. California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 8, 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 EPA Tells Oklahoma Utilities To Clean Coal Plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants OG&E Corp and American Electric Power Co Inc (AEP) to reduce air pollution at three coal-fired power plants in Oklahoma or convert the facilities to natural gas. The EPA acted because the state's plan did not adequately reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions enough to meet the regional haze requirements under the Clean Air ActPosted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/08/us-utilities-epa-oklahoma-coal-idUSTRE72742J20110308 Report: U.S. Coal Power Plants Emit Toxic Air Pollutants. Coal-burning power plants release more toxic air pollutants such as arsenic and lead than any other U.S. industrial pollution source, says a report Tuesday by the American Lung Association. The report comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gets ready to propose rules to address this pollution, which it's required to do by March 16. Environmental and health-care groups, including the ALA, are pushing for strict limits on pollutants. The industry seeks more flexibility. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/03/coal-power-plants-air-pollution/1 EPA Gives OK To California Ban On Dry Cleaning Chemical. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has given the green light to California’s ban on a chemical many dry cleaners use. Twenty years ago, California’s Air Resources Board identified perchloroethylene, or PERC, as a toxic air contaminant. For decades, though, dry cleaners relied on that solvent. Scientists say it’s a possible carcinogen that can cause neurological problems in humans and liver and kidney damage in rodents. California has ordered dry cleaners to phase out the use of PERC by a dozen years from now. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/news/2011/03/07/epa-gives-ok-california-ban-perc/ Wyoming Plagued By Big-City Problem: Smog. Wyoming, famous for its crisp mountain air and breathtaking, far-as-the-eye-can-see vistas, is looking a lot like smoggy Los Angeles these days because of a boom in natural gas drilling. Folks who live near the gas fields in the western part of this outdoorsy state are complaining of watery eyes, shortness of breath and bloody noses because of ozone levels that have exceeded what people in L.A. and other major cities wheeze through on their worst pollution days. Posted. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=134364421 CLIMATE CHANGE Carbon Capture Projects Up In 2010, Despite Costs. OSLO, March 8 (Reuters) - The number of projects for capturing greenhouse gases from power plants and factories edged up in 2010 despite soaring costs and slow progress in U.N.-led efforts to slow climate change, a study showed on Tuesday. The focus of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects also shifted more to the United States from Europe even though U.S. President Barack Obama has failed to persuade the Senate to legislate caps on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, it said. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/08/climate-carbon-idUSLDE7271AK20110308 EU Urges Energy Savings to Top Carbon Target, Offers to Set Aside Permits. The European Union urged governments and businesses to make energy efficiency a higher priority to help the bloc exceed its goal of cutting carbon by 20 percent, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and boost security of supplies. The EU may cut greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020 compared with 1990, as long as it steps up energy-saving measures, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said in a policy paper published today in Strasbourg, France. The document maps a path for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases in 2050. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-08/eu-urges-energy-savings-to-top-carbon-target-offers-to-set-aside-permits.htmlhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gjtQmofh0BIw3ZiYQo7a6IC6FqvA?docId=a300fdf6329e4e2fa8b9a76350005161 Snubbing Skeptics Threatens to Intensify Climate War, Study Says. Listening to climate change doubters, and not dismissing them, might avert a "logic schism" similar to the political stalemate on abortion, according to a new paper involving research on skeptics. The paper (pdf) portrays doubters as being at a disadvantage. The majority of climate research comes from the fields of physical science, engineering and economics -- largely depicting rational outcomes in a world dominated by the view that the Earth is warming, and that something needs to be done about it. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/03/08/08climatewire-snubbing-skeptics-threatens-to-intensify-cli-27853.html?pagewanted=print CO2 Scrubber Could Recycle Carbon Into Multiple Uses. American company Skyonic Corp. has launched a proposal to build a system that would attach to a British power plant, trap carbon dioxide, and use it to make paper, windows and even shrimp food. The scrubber would trap carbon dioxide and use it to make minerals -- sodium bicarbonates or calcium carbonates. These can be made into as a base to grow algae that shrimp eat, or produce glass and paper. Selling these carbon byproducts could offset the cost of operating the project. "Let capitalism work," said Joe Jones, CEO of Skyonic. "We can recycle the carbon dioxide and displace mining of minerals." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/08/8 'Climate Change' Rings Truer Than 'Global Warming'. American skepticism about whether the world's weather is changing depends partly on wording. More believe in "climate change" than "global warming," a new study by the University of Michigan shows.Three of four people, or 74%, thought the problem was real when it was referred to as climate change, while 68% thought it was real when it was called global warming, according to questions posed by U-M psychologists on a RAND-conducted survey of 2,267 U.S. adults.. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/03/americans-climate-change-global-warming/1 Greens Slam EPA Over Exemption For Emissions Data. U.S. EPA's plan to give businesses another three years to show how they calculate their greenhouse gas emissions will weaken the agency's new reporting requirements and could be illegal, environmental groups said before yesterday's deadline to comment on the proposal. Under the new reporting program, which was ordered by Congress in 2007, the largest pollution sources now have to gather data on their greenhouse gas emissions and make it available to the public. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/08/3 Calif. Will Launch Emissions Trades With At Least One Partner. California's greenhouse gas trading program for industrial emitters could start with even fewer trading partners than expected, the state's air pollution chief said last week. "I predict in January 2012 we will be starting a program and will have at least one other trading partner with whom we are fully linked by the time we start the program," California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols told an audience of business executives at The Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/08/6 FUELS Monsanto Backs Algae Startup Sapphire Energy. Agriculture and genetics giant Monsanto has made its bet on algae. On Tuesday Monsanto announced that it has made an equity investment in, and developed a partnership with, algae startup Sapphire Energy. Founded in 2007, Sapphire Energy uses synthetic biology to make a green crude out of algae that can be turned into gas, diesel or jet fuel. Monsanto wants access to Sapphire’s genetic research technology to use it for its own agricultural development. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/08/idUS83048293820110308 CORRECT: German Economy Minister: No Halt To Introduction Of E10 Fuel. ("German Economy Minister: No Halt To Introduction Of E10 Fuel," at 1207 GMT, misstated the ethanol content in E5 fuel in the third paragraph. The correct version follows:) -German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said Tuesday that he doesn't expect a halt to the introduction of E10 gasoline in Germany, a gasoline fuel containing a 10% ethanol blend to meet European Union biofuel targets. Bruederle later Tuesday will meet Germany's ministers for the environment and agriculture, as well as representatives from the fuel and automotive industries, to discuss problems with the introduction of the fuel. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110308-708993.html Bill to Handcuff EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regs a Mixed Bag for Biofuels Industry. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) negotiated some concessions for his home state's corn ethanol industry before he signed on to a bill last week that would bar U.S. EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions -- but not as many as he won two years ago before agreeing to support a climate change bill. In 2009, the then-chairman of the House Agriculture Committee was instrumental in adding language to a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill that would have allowed corn ethanol to qualify for a larger share of the renewable fuel standard by tweaking the way the carbon footprint of various fuels is calculated. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/03/07/07greenwire-bill-to-handcuff-epas-greenhouse-gas-regs-a-mixe-693.html?pagewanted=print Ethanol Industry Feels Squeeze as Congress Tightens Belt. It's been a rough season for corn ethanol on Capitol Hill. A winter that began with a tougher-than-expected battle to win congressional approval for a one-year extension of the ethanol blenders' tax credit is delivering more harsh doses of reality to an industry that benefits from notable government support. With a House Republican majority newly emboldened to trim ethanol mandates and a bipartisan Senate majority eyeing subsidy reform, the political obstacles facing conventional biofuels appear steeper than ever. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/03/07/07greenwire-ethanol-industry-feels-squeeze-as-congress-tig-30519.html?pagewanted=print Scientists Get Isobutanol From Plants For First Time. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory may have come across two breakthroughs in biofuels production that could open doors to the commercialization of cleaner-burning substitutes for gasoline and diesel. A team led by James Liao, of UCLA, has published a study that describes how researchers, armed with grants from the U.S. Energy Department, may have discovered the means to circumvent many of the problems encountered in biofuels processing. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/08/5 Breakthrough In Biofuels Reported. Bacteria are being used to convert plant material – including typical farm waste -- directly into isobutanol, which can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol and similar to gasoline, the U.S. Department of Energy says. "Today's announcement is yet another sign of the rapid progress we are making in developing the next generation of biofuels that can help reduce our oil dependence," says U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/templates/print.cfm?ID=17824 U.S. Department of Energy Announces New Biofuel to Replace Gasoline. Things are moving along at a nice clip in the world of biofuel research, so it seems like news of another “breakthrough” is barely enough to provoke a yawn. Well, this latest piece of news sure stands out from the crowd. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has just announced that a research team headed up by the Department’s BioEnergy Science Center has developed a cost effective method for converting woody plants straight into isobutanol, which can be used in conventional car engines just as gasoline. Biofuel and Green Jobs, Too. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2011/03/08/u-s-department-of-energy-announces-new-biofuel-to-replace-gasoline/ GREEN ENERGY Procter & Gamble Commits to 100 Percent Green Building. Procter & Gamble announced that all new company facilities will be designed to meet green building standards as certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED program. LEED is a widespread program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. P&G's Taicang plant in China, which broke ground last week, is the first P&G manufacturing site to pursue LEED certification, with several additional new P&G sites currently working toward the same distinction globally. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=US226161240120110308 Which U.S. Cities, States LEED In Green Building? The nation's capital isn't just the epicenter of the U.S. government, it also leads U.S. cities and states in green building, new data show. The Obama administration requires new federal buildings meet higher energy-efficiency standards, and one result is that Washington now has far more green-building space per capita -- 25 square feet -- than any of the 50 states, according to the private U.S. Green Building Council. The 2010 data refer to commercial and institutional space (not residential) certified by its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/03/us-cities-states-leed-green-building/1 SDG&E Falls Far Short Of Green-Energy Goal. Electricity accounts for nearly half of greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States. California required power companies to produce 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2010. San Diego Gas & Electric fell far short.The utility blames factors outside of its control for part of its failure to meet the 20-percent deadline at the end of December. The company says a bad wind year across the Western U.S. and poor power production by hydroelectric plants contributed to the failure to meet the target. Posted. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/mar/08/sdge-falls-far-short-green-energy-goal/ Green Building, Renewable Energy Directories Launched. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) have launched a global library of building energy rating policies. BuildingRating.org aims to create a standard way of comparing the energy performance of buildings, by providing a searchable library of rating and disclosure information. Users of the website can search the energy performance policies of more than 100 countries and jurisdictions to learn how they are being implemented, what types of rating systems they are using to evaluate energy performance, and how policies are impacting markets, the two organizations said. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/03/08/green-building-renewable-energy-directories-launched/ MISCELLANEOUS Calif Tribe Files Lawsuit To Protect Ancient Maze. A Native American tribe has filed a lawsuit against a California agency over a groundwater cleanup plan near Needles, claiming it is harming an ancient maze that members believe is critical for spirits to get to the afterlife. The lawsuit filed in Sacramento on Wednesday is part of a years-long dispute between the Fort Mojave Indian tribe, the Department of Toxic Substances Control and Pacific Gas & Electric. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/03/03/state/n144228S08.DTL&type=printable Are Califonia Firms Closing Or Leaving? More than one in five (21%) of California small-business owners do not expect to be in business in California in three years, according to a recent survey by Small Business California, an advocacy group in San Francisco. It's a number Small Business California President Scott Hague calls "scary." Yes, if California lost a fifth of its small businesses it would be scary. About 83% of California's businesses (78% of Orange County's) have fewer than 10 employees. But here's the question: Are they closing their businesses forever or moving away? Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/common/printer/view.php?db=ocregister&id=291073 BLOGS The Elusive Dream of American Energy Plans. Why does “same as it ever was” keep coming to mind when examining the responses of America’s elected “leaders” to durable challenges — whether confronting deficits and the debt, the glaring lack of alternatives to oil and the risks posed by unabated emissions of greenhouse gases. Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee should be holding a hearing on advancing America’s, and the world’s, energy future by initiating a sustained …Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/the-elusive-dream-of-american-energy-plans/?pagemode=print NASA Launch Failure Is A Blow To Climate Science. The crash of a NASA rocket bearing a sophisticated observation satellite has dealt a major setback to scientific efforts aimed at understanding how humans are affecting Earth’s climate. A nine-story Taurus XL rocket carrying the agency’s Glory satellite was launched early Friday from Vandenburg Air Force base. But it crashed into the Pacific Ocean without reaching orbit, after the satellite’s protective casing failed to open. The satellite carried equipment to help scientists understand how the sun and particles of matter in the atmosphere called aerosols affect Earth’s climate. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/03/nasa-glory-satellite-climate-change-science.html Waxman Angrily Assails G.O.P. ‘Science Deniers’. There are few more powerful forces in nature than Henry Waxman in righteous fury. The California Democrat, scourge of the tobacco industry, the pharmaceutical business, the oil lobby and other malefactors of great wealth, is trying to adjust to his new role in the minority in the House. It is not going well. Mr. Waxman, the erstwhile chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and now the ranking Democrat under its new Republican leadership, is fighting a rearguard action on behalf of health, telecommunications, energy and environmental legislation passed in the last Congress, when Democrats held the majority and he wielded the gavel of arguably the most powerful committee in Congress. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/waxman-angrily-assails-g-o-p-science-deniers/?partner=rss&emc=rss Wind Energy’s Overblown Prospects. Unfortunately, wind doesn’t afford the benefits marketers promise. It isn’t an abundant, reliable power source; doesn’t appreciably reduce fossil dependence or CO2 emissions; isn’t free, or even cheap; doesn’t produce net job gains; nor does it cool brows of feverish environmental critics. Many green energy advocates have exaggerated the capacity of wind power to make a significant impact on U.S. electrical needs. Posted. http://blogs.forbes.com/larrybell/2011/03/08/wind-energys-overblown-prospects/