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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 5, 2011

Posted: 05 May 2011 13:49:34
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 5, 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 Quality Measure Could Be On October Ballot.  Fairbanks,
Alaska—Fairbanks voters could see another air quality measure on
the October ballot.  The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported
Thursday that the measure would attack air pollution by banning
certain appliances and penalizing the improper use of others. 
The citizen's initiative would prohibit wood-fired hydronic
heaters and coal burning appliances, and it would set emissions
limits for other home heating devices.  Posted. 

Next Liberty Quarry Hearing Set for June 22. The third meeting on
Liberty Quarry is set for next month, giving Riverside County
officials time to answer a key ethics question and get a handle
on the complicated review process for the proposed open-pit mine.
County Planning Commission Chairman John Roth announced Tuesday
the next quarry hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 22 at
Temecula's Rancho Community Church. Posted. 


New Hampshire Senate Panel Opposes Bill to Leave CO2 Market. A
New Hampshire Senate committee opposed a bill that would pull the
state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a
cap-and-trade program for power- plant carbon-dioxide emissions.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 2-3 today on the
bill that would withdraw New Hampshire from the 10-state program,
Richard Parsons, an aide to the panel, said in a telephone
interview. The bill is scheduled to get a vote in the full state
Senate on May 11, Parsons said. Posted.

Report: Global Warming Already Crimping Crop Production, Pushing
Prices Higher. The warming of the Earth has cooled the yields of
corn and wheat in much of the world, a new study finds. Although
agricultural advances have pushed global production of staple
crops skyward, hotter temperatures in Russia, China, Mexico and
elsewhere have stunted that growth and contributed to the
long-term rise in food prices, concludes the analysis published
Thursday in the journal Science. Posted.

Suit Accuses U.S. Government of Failing to Protect Earth for
Generations Unborn. SAN FRANCISCO — Advocates of stringent curbs
on greenhouse gas emissions sued the federal government on
Wednesday, arguing that key agencies had failed in their duty to
protect the earth’s atmosphere as a public trust to be guarded
for future generations. Similar lawsuits are to be filed against
states around the country, according to the plaintiffs, a
coalition of groups concerned about climate change called Our
Children’s Trust. Posted. 

Climate Change Panel Drafts Renewable Energy Paper.  DOHA, Qatar
-- A draft report from the world's top scientific body concludes
that prices for renewable energy are falling and will keep
declining in the coming years with the help of technological
breakthroughs.  But the report, obtained by The Associated Press,
also warns that policy changes will have to be enacted to ensure
that renewable energy can achieve its potential in helping reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.  Posted. 

Climate Scientists Told To 'Stop Speaking In Code'.  Copenhagen,
Denmark—Scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming were
told Wednesday to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt
in the region to a world reluctant to take action against climate
change.  An authoritative report released at the meeting of
nearly 400 scientists in Copenhagen showed melting ice in the
Arctic could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet
this century, much higher than earlier projections.  Posted. 

Teen Activist Plans 'Million Kid March' To Fight Global Warming.
At an age when most of his peers are worrying about driver's
licenses and the SAT, Alec Loorz is tackling some weightier
challenges. This week, for example, he's suing the U.S.
government in an effort to fight climate change. And right after
that, he'll lead what's being billed as a "Million Kid March" in
25 countries. "I think it's awesome," the 16-year-old
environmental activist and founder of Kids vs. Global Warming
said by phone from his home in Oak View. "We don't have political
power. Posted.


Ukraine Looks to Texas for an Energy Path. KIEV, Ukraine — This
former Soviet state in Eastern Europe is betting that the path
toward energy independence runs through Fort Worth. By drilling
in the scrubland and vacant lots in and around the city of Fort
Worth, American energy companies have demonstrated that they can
produce natural gas economically from shale — a form of
sedimentary rock previously considered all but worthless. Posted.

Rising Gasoline Prices Fuel The Growing Appeal Of Compressed
Natural Gas Vehicles. Honda, the only automaker selling natural
gas passenger cars, has seen sales of its Civic GX almost triple
so far this year, and interest in converting conventional
vehicles to natural gas is growing because the fuel costs about
half as much as gasoline. With no end in sight for rising
gasoline prices, cars and trucks that run on compressed natural
gas — fuel that's about half the cost of gasoline — are getting
another look. Posted.

Ballot Initiative Seeks 15% Tax On Statewide Oil Extraction.
Proponents of a ballot measure in California that would tax oil
producers directly to fund state education programs were
authorized by the Secretary of State to start collecting
signatures today, with an eye on the next statewide ballot early
next year. The initiative, which needs about 500,000 signatures
to qualify, would direct a 15 percent levy on each barrel of oil
extracted in California, to pass on the funds to elementary
schools, high schools, community colleges and the state's
university system. Posted.


GM Earns $3.2 Billion in 1Q on Higher Sales. General Motors Co.
reported its highest quarterly profit in more than a decade,
helped by demand for fuel-efficient cars and a big gain from
selling its stake in its former auto parts business. The biggest
U.S. automaker said Thursday that it earned $3.2 billion, or
$1.77 per share, in the first quarter. Posted. 

Tesla Posts A $48.9-Million Loss Despite Jump In Revenue. The
Palo Alto firm's revenue climbs to $49 million in the first
quarter, up from $20.8 million a year earlier, on deliveries of
battery packs and chargers. Tesla Motors Inc., bolstered by sales
of battery packs for electric vehicles, said quarterly revenue
more than doubled. But losses grew sharply as costs of developing
an electric vehicle escalated. Posted.


Green Energy Can Wean Off Subsidies, Gradually. London (Reuters)
- Government support for renewable energy must end gradually and
in tandem with cuts in fossil fuel subsidies, say investors and
lobbyists who complain bitterly about unpredictable chopping of
incentives. Most green energy sources still struggle to compete
with fossil fuels except in favorable areas, for example for
onshore wind in coastal areas of Western Europe or in Texas.

Texas Firm Has Plans For First Erie-Area Wind Farm.  North East,
Pa.—A Texas company wants to build the first wind farm near Erie
in northwestern Pennsylvania.  Officials with Pioneer Green
Energy, of Austin, Texas, tell the Erie Times-News they've begun
leasing property for the planned 7,000-acre wind farm that will
include between 50 and 75 turbines.  Posted. 

Riverside Lauds New Solar Projects. With the addition of two
city-funded solar projects coming online last month, the city of
Riverside has achieved another milestone toward increasing its
renewable energy portfolio by surpassing the 3 megawatt mark of
clean, renewable energy that is produced by solar generation
projects throughout the city. Posted. 

UN To Forecast Renewables Boom Through To 2050. The United
Nations is set to forecast substantial increases in the
deployment of renewable energy through to 2050 as clean
technologies such as wind and solar power improve and costs fall.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is next
week expected to publish a set of 164 scenarios, most of which
show a 100 exajoule rise in renewable energy capacity by the
middle of the century. Posted.

Solfocus Completes A One Megawatt High Concentrator Photovoltaic
Power Plant For Nichols Farms In California.  California’s
central valley region has significant solar resources and a
wealth of agricultural business that can benefit from the
implementation of innovative solar technology.  SolFocus, Bechtel
Power Corporation and developer Sol Orchard, have completed a one
megawatt high concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) power plant for
Nichols Farms in Hanford, CA. Posted. 


Phone App Enlisted To Help Map Future Bicycle Routes.  Local
governments long ago started including bikes in their
transportation plans. But while there are tried-and-true ways of
figuring out automotive traffic patterns, tracking bicyclists can
be more difficult.  Well, now there's an app for that.  Building
on a program out of San Francisco, the Association of Monterey
Bay Area Governments is going high-tech, using next week's Bike
Week to urge bicyclists to help with regional bike planning by
downloading a smart phone application that tracks their routes. 
Posted.  http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_17994622


The EPA Shouldn’t Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions.  The
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should keep its hands off
greenhouse gases (GHGs). That doesn’t mean that emissions of
carbon or other GHGs aren’t important national security, business
investment, or pollution policy issues — that’s for citizens and
policymakers to decide on the merits. It does mean that even if
one decides in favor of limiting emissions, the EPA is the wrong
way to go.  Posted. 

Regional Energy Pact Is A Matter Of Security. My Turn. State
would be wrong to quit now. As a veteran of the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan and a New Hampshire native, I have to speak out
against the short-sighted effort by some in the Legislature to
pull our state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a
program that promotes clean, efficient energy generated right
here in New Hampshire. The decisions we make about our energy use
here in New Hampshire directly affect our national security.

Forum: Don’t be Fooled by Misinformation on Liberty Quarry.
Misinformation is a dangerous thing, not only as it applies to
this project, but to all matters of great public importance. With
regard to the quarry, the myths promulgated by opponents have
included assertions regarding the project causing dust clouds
over Temecula, being the largest quarry in the world, bringing
down the ridgeline behind the city, polluting the Santa Margarita
River, causing silicosis and more. None of this is true. Posted. 


Climate Change: Arctic Ice Melting Faster, Sea Level To Rise
More, Report Says. Sea levels will rise more dramatically than
was predicted nearly four years ago by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, a new study of arctic conditions
concludes. The Arctic ice study by the International Arctic
Monitoring and Assessment Program, titled Snow, Water, Ice and
Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA), says that the feedback loops
scientists have been warning about already are accelerating
glacial melting in the Arctic, …Posted.

Mow Down Air Pollution: Trade In Your Gas-Powered Lawn Mower.
Vehicles get most of the attention when it comes to air
pollution, but a single gas-powered lawn mower used 45 minutes
each week for a year is equal to driving 22,000 miles in a new
passenger car, according to the Air Quality Management District,
the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major
portions of the L.A. area. Posted.

Climate Change: Alarming New Study; Report on Effects in Bay
Area. Australia's Chief Climate Commissioner, Tim Flannery,
stopped by KQED this morning for an appearance on Forum, the
station's live call-in program. He spoke about the status of
international climate agreements and expressed hope for the
process, not something I came across very often as a reporter at
the UN climate talks in Cancun last December. "We're slowly
gaining the ability to cooperate globally," he told KQED's
Michael Krasny. Posted.

Ford Credits Green Vehicles as Driver Behind Earnings Jump. Ford
Motor Company is feeling pretty good about itself these days. The
company just announced its best quarterly profits this century.
Profits reached $2.55 billion, up, 460 million, or 22% from a
year ago. Rising demand for their new line of fuel-efficient
vehicles, along with an improving economy, were seen as the main
drivers. Posted. 

High Gas Prices: Want To Be A Cool 'Hypermiler'?  When gas hit $4
a gallon in 2008, Americans started driving less – and when they
drove, they drove less aggressively. But today, with prices back
at $4, demand doesn't seem to be declining, a Reuters analysis
shows. Perhaps $4 just doesn't count as sticker shock anymore. Or
maybe it's just too hard to break the bad driving habits – hard
acceleration, sudden braking, speeding – that contribute to
excessive oil consumption.  Posted. 

Republican Energy Coalition Has The Most Ironic Name Ever.  House
Republicans are forming a coalition to talk about energy
priorities. They're calling it the Guild to Load Our Business
Associates with Lucre While Also Realizing Many International Net
Gains, or GLOBALWARMING. Ha ha, just kidding! They're calling it
the House Energy Action Team, or HEAT. WHAT? THAT IS NOT EVEN
BETTER.  Given that the coalition is pushing to expand oil
drilling, the name is appropriate, but it's rare for politicians
to be so forthright.  Posted. 

New York City Taxi And Limo Commissions Selects Nissan NV200 As
“Taxi Of Tomorrow”; Fully-Electric Version Possible Starting In
2017.  The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has
selected the Nissan NV200 as the exclusive taxi of New York City
for a decade, beginning in late 2013. The award comes after a
selection process that lasted more than two years. The other two
finalists included Ford Motor Co. and Karsan, a Turkish vehicle
manufacturer. The City now will enter into final negotiations
with Nissan to make the NV200 the first taxicab specially built
for use in New York City.  Posted. 

The World’s First Solar Powered Floating Golf Course. The island
nation of the Maldives has a series of coral reefs that are being
threatened by rising sea levels as a result of climate change, so
a transition to floating development is a logical next step to
encourage a new boom in tourism. The zero-footprint,
solar-powered 18-hole golf course is the combined effort of the
architecture firm, Waterstudio.NL, floating development
engineers, Dutch Docklands and golf course developer Troon Golf.

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