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newsclips -- REVISED Newsclips for April 19, 2011.

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 12:19:09
REVISED California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 19,

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.


Obama Joins American Electric to Fight Lawsuits With Environment
Agency. In 2004, eight states decided they wouldn’t wait for
President George W. Bush to take steps against climate change.
They sued to force five power companies to cut plant emissions.
The Obama administration today will urge the U.S. Supreme Court
to throw out the suit, arguing alongside American Electric Power
Co., Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL), Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) and Southern
Co. (SO) The administration contends the Environmental Protection
Agency is already taking steps against climate change. 

Court Hears Arguments In New Global Warming Case.  Washington—The
Obama administration and leading power companies are going before
the Supreme Court in an effort to block a global warming lawsuit
aimed at forcing cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.  The justices
are hearing arguments Tuesday in the court's second climate
change case in four years.  Posted. 

States' 'Nuisance' Argument Seems To Fall On Deaf Ears In Supreme
Court. Taking up a high-stakes case on climate change, a majority
of Supreme Court justices appeared hostile today as to whether
states can regulate greenhouse gases as a public nuisance under
federal common law. Even the court's more liberal members gave
little hope to the plaintiffs, six states, New York City and
several land trusts, which want utilities that operate fossil
fuel-fired electric power plants to reduce emissions by invoking
federal "public nuisance" common law. Posted.

States, Utilities Ask EPA To Boost Regional Cap-And-Trade Plans.
The states of California, New York and Minnesota, as well as
about a dozen power companies and influential advocacy groups,
have joined forces to persuade U.S. EPA to let states meet new
federal climate change rules by crafting their own programs, such
as the cap-and-trade plans that have been adopted by California
and a handful of Northeastern states.
Under a settlement that staved off lawsuits from
environmentalists, EPA must set new limits on greenhouse gas
emissions from the utility sector this year. Posted.

Study Of Cap-And-Trade Lobbying Draws Angry Rebuke From Left. The
liberal Center for American Progress has launched a pre-emptive
strike against a report by an American University professor that
suggests environmentalists and their corporate allies spent more
on lobbying and advertising then their adversaries during the
debate on cap-and-trade legislation last Congress. Posted.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop In Short Term, Rise In Long Term.
The year 2009 marked a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in
the United States from the year before, according to an annual
inventory from U.S. EPA released yesterday. A decline in
electricity and fuel use led to the decrease in overall
emissions, which dropped by 6.1 percent from 2008 to 2009,
according to the inventory. A consumer shift to low-carbon fuels
played another role as prices for coal went up and prices for
natural gas went down, according to the inventory. Posted.

In Mass., Belief In Climate Change Is Stronger Than Action To
Prevent It. Promoting the economic benefits of lowering carbon
emissions could cause "fatigue around global warming" if green
jobs are oversold, says a new study on the attitudes of
Massachusetts residents. The research, which finds that 59
percent of state residents believe humans are contributing to
climate change, urges officials to focus on the environmental
impacts of warming as the state seeks to reach its ambitious
climate goals. Posted.

Germany Squanders Chance to Pioneer CO2 Capture Technology.  It's
an unusual drilling facility that stands on the outskirts of
Ketzin, a town in the eastern German state of Brandenburg.
Instead of pumping something out of the ground, it is forcing
something into the earth.  That something is carbon dioxide. The
scientists with the Potsdam-based German Research Center for
Geosciences are injecting the gas into porous sandstone 650
meters (2,100 feet) beneath the surface. Posted. 


Ethanol Rebounds From Two-Week Low as Corn Prices Go Higher. 
Ethanol futures rebounded from a two-week low on concern that bad
weather will hurt corn crops and boost production costs.  The
alternative fuel gained the most since April 8 as corn rose amid
cold, wet Midwestern weather that could delay planting and reduce
crop yields. Ethanol in the U.S. is distilled from the grain. 
New Fast-Fill Station For Compressed Natural Gas.  The city of
Elk Grove has opened a fast-fill compressed natural gas station,
the first of its kind in south Sacramento County.  The station,
at 9050 Elkmont Drive near the city's corporation yard, is used
to fuel the city's fleet of 43 CNG e-tran buses and is now open
to other transit agencies and the general public 24 hours a day. 


Automakers Unveil Ambitious China Expansion Plans. Global
automakers unveiled ambitious expansion plans for China on
Tuesday, targeting the country's newly prosperous drivers as the
industry struggles to recover from Japan's tsunami. Nissan Motor
Co. plans to raise sales by about 15 percent to 1.15 million
vehicles this year, said CEO Carlos Ghosn. He spoke as the
company unveiled the new Tiida sedan, one of a series of world
premieres at Shanghai's auto show by automakers that reflect
China's critical importance to their sales. Posted. 

DOE Allots $5M To Encourage Electric Vehicle Deployment. The
Department of Energy will open up $5 million for community and
local projects designed to facilitate the deployment of electric
vehicles in the next few years, Secretary Steven Chu said today.
Speaking at the opening of the Electric Drive Transportation
Association conference in Washington, D.C., Chu also announced
that the administration was launching a partnership with Google
Inc. and more than 80 EV companies to create a national charging
station map. Posted.


San Joaquin Air Board Help On Electric Mowers.  Air quality
officials have trimmed the cost of switching from gasoline-
powered lawn mowers to cleaner electric models. 
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is offering
a limited number of vouchers that enable residents to pay $50 for
a cordless electric mower with a 14-inch blade or $100 for a
19-inch version. The Clean, Green Yard Machine program will
continue while funding lasts. Posted. 

Solar Power: Breakthrough Could Herald Big Drop In Costs. 
Scientists at the University of Michigan have discovered a new
effect from an old property of light, which they say could lead
to an "optical battery" that converts sunlight to electricity at
a fraction of the cost of today's photovoltaic cells.  Posted. 
Environmental Groups Object To Army Corps' Proposed Clean Energy
Permits. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is on the verge of
approving two new nationwide permits that would allow renewable
energy developments on wetlands, streams and ocean floors. But
yesterday, just before the period for public comments closed,
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and others
filed a complaint criticizing the potential environmental impact
that the permits could allow. Posted.


EPA's 10 'Greenest' Companies Include Intel, Cisco.  A few days
before Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has
announced the country's top corporate buyers of "green" power —
solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small-scale hydroelectric. 
Many of the companies have a strong presence in the four-county
region. Topping the list was Intel Corp., followed by Kohl's
Corp. and Whole Foods Market. Posted. 

BPA Substitutes May Be More Harmful. As companies have been
touting BPA-free products, a new study indicates that alternative
chemicals used in such products might not be much safer. BPA,
short for bisphenol A, is a synthetic estrogen used to harden
plastic. Evidence remains inconclusive, but a growing body of
science suggests that even at low doses, BPA binds to estrogen
receptors in the human body and may be linked to health problems
including infertility, birth defects, early puberty, autism,
obesity, diabetes and hormone-related cancers. Posted.


The Court and Global Warming. The case about global warming
scheduled to be argued on Tuesday before the Supreme Court is a
blockbuster. Eight states — from California to New York, plus New
York City — sued six corporations responsible for one-fourth of
the American electric power industry’s emissions of carbon
Rather than seeking money or punishment for the defendants, they
seek what everyone should agree is the polluters’ responsibility:
abatement of their huge, harmful part in causing climate change.

Climate Change Policy Is EPA’s Job, Not Courts’. THE DEMOCRATS’
global warming bill died in the Senate last year. The new
Republican majority in the House wants to gut carbon regulations
at the Environmental Protection Agency. President Obama is
reluctant even to discuss global warming publicly. So some
environmentalists believe that a case being argued before the
Supreme Court Tuesday represents the last, best hope to reduce
greenhouse emissions. Posted.

Protect The Air To Protect Our Lives.  I was glad to see Rep.
Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, stand in support of clean air and
public health. On April 7, he voted "no" on H.R.910, a bill that
undermines the Clean Air Act. Among the actions that the bill
would repeal is the provision that allows California to set clean
vehicle standards to reduce smog forming pollution and carbon
emissions.  Posted. 

Solar Panels, Not Merely Subsidized And Costly…  A reader who saw
my column Your money’s gone with the wind (and solar) on Sunday
sent this photo of the solar panels he has.  There are “a few
other bothersome facts,” wrote Ben Alegra.  ” It takes work to
keep solar going. AND the current life expectancy is about 25
yrs. for the panels. “The snow below did not shed by itself.”
Snow isn’t a problem for Southern California, you say? How about
dirt? Bird droppings? Soot? Do you like roof climbing?


California's Carbon Market: Will Cap-And-Trade Work? Nine months
before California is set to finalize a trading system aimed at
curbing greenhouse gas emissions, participants have the jitters.
Litigation threatens to delay the start of the
multibillion-dollar program, and industry executives worry that
its regulations will fall short of guaranteeing a smoothly
operating market. Fear is growing that it could be susceptible to
the fraud that has plagued a similar European system. Posted.

Riverside County Solar Project Gets $2.1-Billion Federal
Guarantee. Yet another California renewable energy project will
get financial support from the federal government, Energy
Secretary Steven Chu and Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday. The first
two parts of the Blythe Solar Power Project in Riverside County
were awarded a conditional commitment for a $2.1-billion loan
guarantee from the Department of Energy -– the controversial
program’s largest offering to a solar project. So far, 22
clean-energy projects –- including wind, geothermal and biofuels,
in 14 states have been handed $21 billion in conditional
commitments. Posted.

Why The Supreme Court Should Let States Sue The Country’s Biggest
Carbon Polluters.  Today, the Supreme Court hears oral argument
in American Electric Power vs. Connecticut -- a case in which six
states and other plaintiffs are trying to put emissions limits on
America's five largest greenhouse-gas polluters.  The states are
invoking their right, recognized by the Supreme Court more than a
century ago, to seek relief in federal court when polluters in
other jurisdictions send dangerous air or water pollution across
state lines. Posted. 

American Teens Smarter About Climate Change Than Adults, Despite
Knowing Less.  More American teens than adults believe climate
change is caused by humans, 57 percent versus 50 percent, says a
new survey from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.
 Yet American teens also tend to know slightly less than adults
on the subject of climate science, says the same survey.  Posted.

Surprise! Developed World Uses Less Energy Per Person Than It Did
20 Years Ago.  If you're the sort who wakes up every morning to a
media diet that can only be delivered via a Wolf Blitzer
situation room-style array of glowing screens and buzzing
whatsits, you probably suspect that you're using more energy than
the mid-90's you, the one who warmed herself over a kerosene lamp
and ate hardtack straight out of the barrel.  Posted. 

Rough Seas for Shipping Industry Emissions Agreement. Depending
on how it’s spun, recent shipping industry meetings on
controlling greenhouse gas emissions through market-based trading
schemes either made “steady progress” or no progress at all. The
International Maritime Organization characterized the meetings of
the third inter-sessional meeting of the Working Group on
Greenhouse Gas Emissions that ended early this month in London as
making steady progress. Posted. 

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