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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 28, 2011. Posted: 28 Mar 2011 13:04:29
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 28, 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 Coal Plants Face New Scrutiny. MONROE, Mich. —A Michigan utility spent $65 million last year replacing key parts at the state's largest coal-fired power plant. When regulators found out, they hauled the company into court for what it didn't do: Spend millions more at the same time to greatly eliminate air pollution. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/26/coal-plants-face-new-scrutiny/ Eye On The Environment: March 27, 2011. The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District's new public information program, Sky Savers, is an exciting way to help air quality and your pocketbook at the same time. Ventura County consumers can make smart environmental choices by selecting "green" products and services from local merchants. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/26/eye_on_the_environment/ Safeguards In Place For When Air Quality Diminishes. Safeguards were in place to assure that children, especially those afflicted with asthma, were protected from air emissions from a recent haystack fire east of Seeley, officials said. Imperial County’s Air Pollution Control District and the Public Health Department jointly reported Friday that while the second arson-related fire on Silsbee Road raged overnight, monitoring data did “not show elevated readings in local air quality.” Posted. http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/ivp-news-safeguards-in-place-for-when-air-quality-diminishes-20110328,0,2178169,print.story CLIMATE CHANGE Enviro Lawyers Tied In Knots Over Calif. Emissions Ruling. A California court ruling suspending the implementation of the state's landmark climate change law came with a large dose of irony. That's because San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith found that the state had failed to comply with another landmark law, one that is beloved by some of the same environmental groups that are critical of the ruling, the California Environmental Quality Act. Essentially, a major environmental initiative is under threat because the state failed to correctly carry out the appropriate environmental analysis. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/28/1 Rust Belt Voters Support EPA Carbon Rules -- With the Senate poised to vote this week on as many as three amendments that would limit U.S. EPA's power to curb greenhouse gas emissions, a leading environmental advocacy group hopes a new poll will convince Rust Belt senators to oppose the proposals. The League of Conservation Voters-sponsored poll, conducted in late February by Hart Research Associates, a Democratic firm, showed that 63 percent of voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan say they "trust" EPA to decide whether to set carbon dioxide emissions limits more than they trust Congress to do so. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/28/11 Suspension Of Cap-And-Trade Expected To Have Limited Effects. California's landmark cap-and-trade program for curbing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions faces new uncertainty due to a recent California Superior Court decision. It is very likely that cap and trade ultimately will be implemented in a form similar to its current design, but implementation could be delayed. A program delay would harm the wind industry economically by deferring anticipated program benefits Posted. http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.7557 DIESEL EMISSIONS Catalina Flyer Is To Resume Daily Service Friday. The 600-seat passenger boat, which runs between the Balboa Pavilion and Avalon, was removed from service in mid-September to have its engines replaced. The Catalina Flyer is to resume daily service from Newport Beach to Catalina Island on Friday with machinery that should give passengers a quieter and smoother ride, the catamaran's owner announced. The 600-seat passenger boat, which runs between the Balboa Pavilion and Avalon, was removed from service in mid-September to have its engines replaced. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-adv-catalina-flyer-20110328,0,6135244,print.story FUELS Project Would Turn Horse Manure Into Power. With its rolling hills and wide-open fields, the Ojai Valley is the perfect place for riding horses. As many as 2,000 horses trot about the valley, eating lots of hay and making lots of poop — as much as 30 tons a day. While some of that is used for compost, much of it gets thrown into landfills or left on the ground, where it eventually ends up in streams that lead to the Ventura River. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/26/project-would-turn-horse-manure-into-power/ VEHICLES Conventional Cars in Cities Should Be Halved by 2030, EU Says. The European Union should halve the use of conventional cars in cities by 2030 to reduce pollution and lessen dependence on oil from a politically unstable Middle East, according to an EU policy paper. The shift away from the 150-year-old combustion engine in urban transport should be completed by 2050, when all vehicles used in EU cities ought to be powered by low-emission technologies, the European Commission said. This would lower discharges blamed for climate change and smog, ease noise and cut an EU oil-import bill that totaled around 210 billion euros ($295 billion) last year, according to the commission. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-28/conventional-cars-in-cities-should-be-halved-by-2030-eu-says.html High-Speed Rail: First Phase Could Run To Merced After All. Authority plan to apply for money Florida rejected would expand construction project's 'backbone.' High-speed rail may come to Merced sooner than expected, as the California High Speed Rail Authority will announce today it's asking for $1.2 billion in funding that was rejected by Florida. If the request is approved, it would mean the first phase of track will run from Merced to Bakersfield. Also, instead of building a station just in downtown Fresno, stations will be built in Merced and Bakersfield. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03/28/1828719/high-speed-rail-first-phase-could.html Question: Is It Wise To Invest In A Car? Los Angeles -- To buy or not to buy? That is the question facing many car shoppers these days. That's because rising gas expenses and a looming shortage of Japanese-built hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles are starting to pump up prices for gas-sipping autos. But analysts at auto information company Kelley Blue Book say that with all this turmoil in the marketplace, consumers should think twice about jumping to buy a new car. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/26/1615839/questionis-it-wise-to-invest-in.html EV Standardisation Efforts In The U.S. The Japanese have surged ahead with the industry standard CHAdeMO for DC fast charging. The European Union has mandated the European standardisation bodies to work out recommendations for EV standards, which are expected to be presented by the end of this month. But what is the third major market for electric mobility, namely the U.S., doing in terms of EV related standardisation? Both government and industry calling for standards. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/54420110328.php?AlertDate=2011-03-25 Lithium Battery Roadmap. Focus on Lithium ion batteries. Green MotorSport started researching lithium ion cells several years ago and produced the world’s first lithium ion 12V monoblock long before anyone else had a commercial and reliable product. Over the last 5 years we have been looking very closely at the battery industry, seeking the best solution and we can now say that we have found a suitable candidate where cost, quality and energy density are concerned. Posted. http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/green_motorsport/news_and_information/3,1,388,1,28940.html GREEN ENERGY Top Ten Cleantech Cities in the United States. There are numerous cities across the United States which can be considered "cleantech capitals." With a large array of renewable resources, a dedication by businesses and homeowners to become more energy efficient, and a large hub for research and development, a lot can be accomplished when it comes to creating new, efficient and sustainable clean technologies. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/28/idUS317857292020110328 At U.S. Nuclear Sites, Preparing for the Unlikely. Washington — American nuclear safety regulators, using a complex mathematical technique, determined that the simultaneous failure of both emergency shutdown systems to prevent a core meltdown was so unlikely that it would happen once every 17,000 years. It happened twice in four days at a pair of nuclear reactors in southern New Jersey. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/science/29threat.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print Plan For Fresno Co. Nuclear Plant Faces Obstacles. Several hurdles remain for proposed site in western Fresno Co. Local investors hoping to build a nuclear power plant in western Fresno County have scoped out locations, planned a water supply, lined up support and signed a development agreement with a French energy conglomerate. The real hard work, however, lies ahead. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/27/v-print/2326850/investors-face-down-fresno-county.html 'Solar Group Buy' Program Launched In San Jose. For the past few years, Dennis Korabiak had been considering installing a solar panel system on his 2,300-square-foot San Jose home. But the cost never penciled out. All that changed last year when the city of San Jose developed a pilot program with a $100,000 grant from the federal government that encouraged city workers to band together to increase their buying power and simplify the sometimes confusing process of going solar. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/green-energy/ci_17707523?nclick_check=1 State’s Authority Over Diablo Canyon Plant Is Limited. Utility overseers could use control of fee increases to get closer look at seismic issues. The California Public Utilities Commission has joined a chorus of agencies and elected officials who are calling for a closer look at the seismic safety of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant after the nuclear emergency in Japan. But the commission is different than other state and local government agencies. It wields indirect authority over Diablo Canyon because it controls PG&E’s purse strings. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/03/26/1537594/states-authority-over-diablo-canyon.html How Green is Biomass Energy? California is hungry for renewable energy. Solar and wind power have taken off thanks to the state's ambitious clean energy goals. But there's another way to generate electricity -- by using organic material like agricultural and tree waste. It's known as biomass power. But some say it's not as green as it seems. Posted. http://www.kqed.org/a/quest/R201103280633 A Win-Win for Clean Energy. The nuclear tragedy in Japan and the disturbing upheaval in Libya and the Middle East have dominated the headlines, but it also serves as a haunting reminder that America's own energy security may be in peril unless we accelerate efforts to more fully develop energy alternatives that are reliable, safe and sufficient to meet our future needs. Achieving energy independence has been a laudable but daunting goal since the first energy crisis in 1979. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/uwe-t-schmidt/post_1875_b_841420.html MISCELLANEOUS Reno Site Offers Comparison Shopping for Home Wind Turbines. Small turbine sales are increasing every year, but useful data on the amount of electricity the turbines generate is still hard to come by. In a push to promote urban wind power, city officials in Reno, Nevada, are helping consumers take the guesswork out of buying home turbines. The city has launched an online consumer guide called the Green Energy Dashboard that allows potential buyers to track performance of nine different turbines at four sites throughout Reno, including the city hall and a water treatment plant. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/28/idUS342978024620110328 Three Valley Sites In Disease Cluster Report. Kettleman City, two other Valley locations on state list. Kettleman City and two other Valley communities are among dozens of places nationally where people have died in mysterious disease clusters, environmentalists say in a report being released today. Nine California locations are discussed in a report being released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Disease Clusters Alliance. The groups say federal authorities need to study these clusters quickly and help local officials. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/27/v-print/2326842/three-valley-sites-in-disease.html U2 Malibu Project Raises Questions About LEED. Los Angeles -- When U2 guitarist The Edge announced plans to build mansions overlooking the Pacific, he promised the homes would look like scattered leaves on the ridgeline and boast the country's most sought-after green building seal. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/26/1616485/u2-malibu-project-raises-questions.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/26/u2-malibu-project-raises-questions-about-02/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_c9a1d589-7ed8-5e23-84bf-22ceab446fea.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/26/2325283/u2-malibu-project-raises-questions.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/u2-guitarists-proposal-for-green-mansions-in-malibu-raises-questions-about-leed-certification/2011/03/26/AFgQxNcB_story.html A Green City Rises Up in Sydney. Sydney — The most famous Central Park is in New York, but Sydney is planning its own version that is less like a park in the city and more like a city in the park, with the urban parts aspiring to be as green as their surroundings. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/business/energy-environment/28green.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=green%20energy&st=cse Supreme Court Stays Out Of Joshua Tree Landfill Dispute. The Supreme Court decided today not to take up a dispute over a land transfer involving the federal government that could lead to the construction in California of the nation's largest landfill. The proposed transfer, involving land near Joshua Tree National Park, is between Kaiser Ventures LLC and its subsidiary, Mine Reclamation Corp., on one side and the Bureau of Land Management on the other. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/28/2 MN Ethanol Plant To Be Converted To Nation's First Corn-Based Isobutanol Facility. A Minnesota ethanol plant is being converted into the nation's first facility to make isobutanol from renewable resources, Minnesota Public Radio reported Monday. Englewood, Colo.-based Gevo Inc. hopes to begin producing isobutanol at its Luverne plant in about a year. The conversion is another indicator of the weakness of the ethanol industry, analysts told MPR. Like ethanol, isobutanol is made from a process that ferments corn into alcohol. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2011/03/28/mn-ethanol-plant-being-convereted.html?s=print OPINION The Senate's EPA Showdown. Democrats face a moment of truth on regulatory cap and trade. The Environmental Protection Agency debate lands in the Senate this week, amid the makings of a left-right coalition to mitigate the agency's abuses. Few other votes this year could do more to help the private economy—but only if enough Democrats are willing to buck the White House. This moment arrived unexpectedly, with Majority Leader Harry Reid opening a small business bill to amendments. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704517404576222581494405442.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change Probe Carbifornia And Weed Out Credential Fakery. In early April, UCLA will decide whether to fire epidemiologist James Enstrom, a fixture in the UCLA Department of Public Health since the 1970s. If UCLA does give him the boot, Assemblyman Dan Logue has threatened to hold hearings. Whatever happens to Enstrom, legislators have good reason to investigate. Enstrom is the author of a 2005 study that found no evidence that PM2.5, dust and soot from diesel exhaust, causes premature deaths. That’s the contention of the California Air Resources Board. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/print/opinion/op-eds/2011/03/probe-carbifornia-and-weed-out-credential-fakery Nuclear power: Seismic data first, then make key decisions. As a freshman lawmaker and former geophysicist, I raised eyebrows when I authored a 2005 viewpoint cautioning that significant seismic uncertainty exists around Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. I questioned, “Is the facility safe from tsunami and earthquake damage that could be generated by large offshore faults?” I called for rigorous independent study and analysis of the seismic zone around the facility. Posted. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/mar/27/seismic-data-first-then-make-key-decisions/ Farmers and the EPA. The March 24 article, "EPA official tours farms," discussed a visit to the Valley by our government's highest ranking EPA administrator. Lisa Jackson, a Cabinet-level member of the Obama administration, got a glimpse at how farmers in the Valley are doing their part to reduce air emissions and conserve precious water. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/27/2324650/farmers-and-the-epa.html#storylink=misearch BLOGS On Our Radar: Don’t Tear Down E.P.A., Former Agency Chiefs Urge. The Republican assault on the Environmental Protection Agency, including a proposed bill to repeal the agency’s recent finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases pose a threat to human health and welfare, goes too far, write two former E.P.A. chiefs, both appointed by Republican presidents. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/on-our-radar-dont-tear-down-e-p-a-former-agency-chiefs-say/ Group That Beat Back Proposition 23 Is Reborn. George P. Shultz, the Republican former secretary of state, and Thomas F. Steyer, the Democratic hedge fund billionaire, are reviving the coalition that campaigned last year to defeat Proposition 23, the California ballot measure that would have derailed the state’s’ landmark global warming law. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/group-that-beat-back-proposition-23-is-reborn/ Of Nuclear Power, Risk and Meteorites. The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant sits on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean — and on active seismic zones, worrying residents. As my colleagues Matt Wald and John Broder and I write in Science Times, weighing the risks associated with nuclear power against other forms of electricity is, at least for regulators and actuaries, a highly academic exercise. But for others — particularly those living in the shadow of nuclear reactors — it is an intensely personal affair. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/of-nuclear-power-risk-and-meteorites/?pagemode=print Groups Demand Data on Radiation Release. As the Japanese authorities order a wider evacuation area around the stricken Fukushima reactor complex to as far out as 19 miles, three health and environmental groups in the United States announced that they were seeking further information about why American officials recommended that its citizens keep at least 50 miles away. Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, recommended the 50-mile radius in congressional testimony 10 days ago. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/groups-demand-data-on-radiation-release/?pagemode=print Renewing Support for Renewables. The biggest positive result of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi could be renewed public support for the development of renewable energy technologies. Many influential policy makers, including President Obama, continue to insist that we must expand nuclear power to help meet our energy needs. But plenty of experts disagree. As the chart below illustrates, renewable energy sources (including hydropower and biofuels) already account for almost the same share of total energy consumption in the United States as nuclear power. Posted. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/renewing-support-for-renewables/?pagemode=print Lung Association Ads Fault House Panel Chairman. American Lung Association A billboard takes aim at Representative Fred Upton’s effort to prevent the E.P.A. from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The American Lung Association has opened a billboard campaign against Fred Upton, the Republican chairman of the House Commerce and Energy Committee, taking him to task for his legislative attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency and clean air regulations. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/lung-association-faults-commerce-chairman-in-ads/?pagemode=print California Clean Energy: "No On 23" Is Back. Former Secretary of State George Shultz and San Francisco hedge fund manager Thomas Steyer are resurrecting the successful alliance between clean-tech businesses and environmental groups that defeated Proposition 23 last November. The new non-partisan group, calling itself “Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs,” will support the rollout of new regulations under the state’s ambitious global warming law, which survived the initiative that would have delayed its implementation. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/03/george-shultz-thomas-steyer-ab-32-california-global-warming-law.html Update: Air Board Moves Swiftly to Address Court's Concerns. The California Air Resources Board issued a statement yesterday in response to the Superior Court’s recent decision in the AB 32 Scoping Plan lawsuit. Californians should take heart – the statement spells good news for our efforts to protect public health and stay out in front in the global push for clean energy. The Air Board identified three courses of action it will take in the wake of the decision to ensure AB 32 implementation remains on track: Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ajackson/update_air_board_moves_swiftly.html 'Artificial Leaf' Makes Hydrogen From Solar Cell. Drawing from nature, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Daniel Nocera thinks he can draw cheap and clean energy from water. At the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Nocera yesterday presented results from research on making an "artificial leaf" to split water to get hydrogen fuel and oxygen. The goal is to use the solar cell to make hydrogen, which would be stored and then used in a fuel cell to make electricity. Posted. http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20047814-54.html