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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 26, 2011.

Posted: 26 Apr 2011 12:06:26
California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 26, 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.


Mecca-Area Residents Air Their Odor Concerns. With a faint,
gas-like smell drifting in the air, about 30 Mecca residents and
students gathered in the Saul Martinez Elementary School
cafeteria to express their concerns about the noxious odor
outbreaks that have affected the east valley community since late
2010. It was the first of two meetings scheduled this week to
address the problem. Posted.

Houston Mayor Asks Impact Statement For Coal Plant. 
Houston—Houston Mayor Annise Parker has asked the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers to require an environmental impact statement for
developers of a coal-fired electric power plant proposed for the
shores of Matagorda Bay.  The 1,200-megawatt White Stallion
Energy Center project proposed for Bay City, about 75 miles south
of downtown Houston and outside the federal air pollution
non-attainment area covering Houston, Galveston and Brazoria
County.  Posted.  http://www.dailynews.com/ci_17926580


Calif. Judge Has Carbon Market Choice: Point Carbon. Washington
(Reuters) - Plaintiffs in a case targeting California's planned
greenhouse gases market on Monday offered a judge a choice of
plans to redress failings by the state in rolling out its plan.
The court could either put on hold the so-called cap-and-trade
market or take the much broader step of halting implementation of
the state's full global warming law, including fuel standards and
other programs. Posted.

Clean Air Act Not ‘Ideal’ to Regulate Carbon, Jackson Says.
Environmental Protection Agency rules using the Clean Air Act to
limit greenhouse gases aren’t an “ideal tool” to cut emissions
and combat climate change, agency Administrator Lisa Jackson
said. President Barack Obama’s EPA in January began limiting the
gases, using the law after Congress failed to pass legislation
last year. While the rules are needed to start curbing heat-
trapping emissions, legislation is the preferred step, Jackson
said today at an energy conference in Washington. Posted.

Climate Change May Not Dramatically Affect California's
Precipitation Or Runoff.  The Southwest is likely to become drier
and the Columbia River Basin may become wetter, while the effect
in California remains unclear, U.S. study finds. Precipitation
and runoff in California's major river basin will not fall
dramatically with climate change, according to a new federal
study that shows rising temperatures will have an uneven effect
on the West's water supplies. 

Report Stresses Impact Of Global Warming On Valley. Washington --
Global warming in the Central Valley could increase flooding,
shrink salmon habitat and invite in more invasive species,
scientists conclude in a new report. Snow will melt sooner in the
Sierra Nevada, the report predicts. Rain will replace snow
altogether in some places. Fisheries will stress out. Surface
water will be harder to come by, and groundwater will be drained,
as average temperatures rise.

Imports Offset Developed Countries' Emissions Reductions – Study.
Developed countries have canceled out their emissions reductions
by increasing their imports from developing countries, according
to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences. Though developed countries have collectively reduced
their emissions by nearly 2 percent between 1990 and 2008, their
emissions have actually increased by 7 percent when international
trade, both imports and exports, has been taken into account.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/04/26/14

Fact Check: The NDP's Cap-And-Trade Revenue Plan. With only a
week before Canadians head to the polls, the Liberals have
launched fresh attacks on the surging NDP, accusing Jack Layton
of using "fantasy money" to pay for his campaign promises. 
While both the Liberals and the Conservatives have turned attacks
toward Layton's party, the NDP maintains that they are the only
party with a "fully-costed" campaign plan. Posted.


Valley Truck Operators Say They Can't Afford Cleaner Trucks.
Between the rising price of diesel fuel, increased competition in
the trucking industry and other growing expenses, Jaime Robles
said replacing his small fleet of five trucks may be impossible
for him to afford. And retrofitting them with filters to capture
more pollutants that can cost thousands of dollars per truck
seems no more within his budget. But new state regulations
starting Jan. 1 will require him and other commercial diesel
truck owners to buy newer-model trucks with cleaner emissions or
retrofit them with special filters to clean up emissions. Posted.

CARB Fines Ships For Bunker Fuel – Will Chinese Ship Comply In
CA? Truck drivers have seen smog from oceanliners billowing above
ports at left and right coasts for years, and wondered why
environmental agencies like the California Air Resources Board
haven’t seemed to punish these ships as often as trucks. In
reality, CARB does fine shipping lines for breaking emission
rules. CARB announced it has fined three European-based shippers
a total of $161,000 for using bunker fuel while in regulated
California waters. Posted.


Ethanol Sales Sluggish Amid E85 Push. Despite a push from ethanol
lobbyists to get consumers to use higher blends of it, sales of
E85 are slow even in the Midwest. Critics of ethanol say that
motorists who have vehicles that can use E85, a blend of 85
percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, often don't buy it.
"Even in states where E85 pumps are concentrated, actual sales of
E85 have been stagnant," Shane Karr, a lobbyist for the auto
industry, said to a Senate committee this month. The fuel is
supposed to be used only in vehicles specially equipped to run on
ethanol. Posted.

The Golden Landfill State: California Democrats Continue To Block
Use Of Waste For Biofuels. In California, Jim Stewart, Chairman
of the Board, BioEnergy Producers Association reports: “Democrats
on California’s environmental committees, for more than six
years, have blocked corrective legislation that would enable the
state to make constructive use of its organic wastes as a
feedstock for the sustainable production of advanced non-food
derived biofuels and electricity. Posted.


Zipcar Adds More Vehicles In Santa Cruz.  Santa Cruz - With six
months of operation under their fan belts, the verdict is in: the
county's new Zipcars are a success.  Monday, Ecology Action
announced that three more cars are hitting the streets: two near
Whole Foods on Soquel Avenue and another at Olive and Mission
streets on Santa Cruz's Westside, bringing the total to nine. 
Posted.  http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_17926730
Deloitte Survey: Chinese Market Could Spark Mass Adoption Of Evs.
 The survey, conducted among 1,163 consumers in China, coincides
with China's 12th five year plan to increase the amount of EVs on
the roads, as well as produce a million cars each year by the end
of the decade.  Posted. 

Cheap Platinum Substitute Could Crack The Fuel Cell Puzzle –
Researchers. Expensive platinum could be substituted with a
roughly zero-cost material in electricity-producing fuel cells,
researchers believe, in a discovery they say could significantly
shift the economics of the elusive technology. Scientists with
the Energy Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak
Ridge National Laboratory teamed up in pursuit of an alternative
to platinum that could match the precious metal's power output,
efficiency and longevity. Posted.

Ford Posts Best 1Q Profit In 13 Years.  Ford posted its best
first-quarter profit in 13 years, as its new, more fuel-efficient
vehicles reached showrooms during a surge in gasoline prices. New
arrivals such as the Ford Explorer and Fiesta small car are
selling well. Company profits are growing around the world. And
Ford is charging more for its cars, helping offset higher
commodity costs. Posted. 


SMUD Gets $1 Million For Smart Grid Project.  The California
Energy Commission has awarded a $1 million grant to the
Sacramento Municipal Utility District for its regional smart grid
project.  The state grant comes on top of more than $127 million
in federal stimulus money already granted for the project, which
will modernize SMUD's transmission system.  Posted. 

Wind Power Surpasses Record Peak In Calif. Wind production in
California hit a record peak last week of 2,432 megawatts
available statewide, accounting for about 5 percent of total
electricity demand, according to the state's grid operator. The
California Independent System Operator, or Cal ISO, said in a
statement that this year's peak wind power outpaced last year's
record of 1,915 MW. Peak refers to the amount of generation
available when demand is highest. Posted.

Labor, Business Groups Launch Push For Local Renewables. A group
of 25 labor, business and environmental groups are pushing for
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to fulfill his campaign pledge of
a massive local renewable energy buildout. The CLEAN Coalition
announced today it would lobby for a feed-in tariff for utilities
to purchase power from small renewable projects on the
distribution grid. California has several programs to promote
utility purchases of local generation, but none offer a set,
fixed price, as a feed-in tariff does. Posted.


Battling Over the Climate War. After cap-and-trade finally died
in the U.S. Senate last year, it didn't take long before we all
started asking what went wrong—and who was to blame. There was no
shortage of explanations: a plummeting economy and high
unemployment made it impossible to sell major environmental
legislation; the White House chose to prioritize health care
legislation and never really pushed the climate bill; the simple
mathematics of the Senate, with its 60-vote requirement and
overrepresentation of industrial and agricultural regions, simply
made passage impossible. Posted.


Legislation To Kill Air Resources Board Rejected In Assembly.
Legislation to abolish the California Air Resources Board has
been killed by a legislative committee. The proposal by
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, died Monday in the
Assembly's Natural Resources Committee on a party-line vote, with
Democrats opposed to the measure. Assembly 1332 would have
transferred the Air Resources Board's duties, powers and
jurisdiction to the state Environmental Protection Agency.

Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf Earn Top Marks in First U.S. Crash
Tests. In the first independent crash tests of mainstream
electric vehicles conducted in the United States, the Chevrolet
Volt and Nissan Leaf have been named Top Safety Picks by the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Posted. 

Poll: Americans Chilly On Global Warming Fears. Global warming
isn't making Americans sweat as much as it used to do. More than
half of the U.S. respondents to a new Gallup Poll said it posed a
"somewhat serious" or "very serious" threat, but the percentage
slipped from 63% in 2007-2008 to 53% last year. Our Corky
Siemaszko writes: Concern about global warming also declined in
much of Europe, where the fear factor among French respondents
dropped steeply from 75% in 2007-2008 to 59% last year. Posted.

Global Warming, Temperatures, Turtles And Toilets. We kid you
not.  The global warming mania that swept the nation is
subsiding, but in its wake it’s left a horde of unnecessary and
counterproductive laws, and more than a few unintended unpleasant
consequences.  Exhibit #1 – “Federal officials have told a solar
developer to stop work on two-thirds of a construction site in
northeast San Bernardino County because no more tortoises can be
disturbed,” reports Heliogenic.net.  Posted. 

Start-Up Commercializing NC State Technology For Drop-In
Biofuels; Full Commercial Production Targeted For 2016.  Avjet
Biotech, Inc. (ABI), a developer of small distributive refining
systems in the 10 to 15 million gallon per year range and parent
company of Red Wolf Refining, has licensed exclusive rights to a
technology portfolio developed at North Carolina State University
(NCSU) for producing drop-in diesel, jet and gasoline hydrocarbon
fuels from triglycerides (fats), and for producing products from
genetically modified marine microalgae (earlier post).  Posted. 

GM: 90% of Chevy Volt Customers Are New To GM, Most Trading In A
Prius. General Motors says customers love their new Chevy Volts –
and the number one vehicle they are leaving behind is the Toyota
Prius. Quoting some interesting statistics from an early GM Volt
Customer Satisfaction survey, GM's marketing manager for the
Chevrolet Volt and EV Technologies, Rob Peterson, says the Volt
launch is exceeding GM's expectations. Posted.

Los Angeles Cuts Red Tape, Offers Rebates on Electric Car
Charging. In just under a week, electric vehicle owners in Los
Angeles will be find that owning an electric car will have got a
lot easier. As part of a program recently announced by Los
Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, residents of the city will be
able to fast-track applications to install electric vehicle
charging stations in their homes, receiving a decision in just
seven days. Posted.

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