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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 19, 2011.

Posted: 19 May 2011 13:04:24
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 19, 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.


EPA Admits Making Math Error In Mercury Proposal. After being
taken to task by critics in the utility industry, U.S. EPA
conceded yesterday that it made mathematical errors in newly
proposed limits on mercury from coal-fired power plants. The
Utility Air Regulatory Group, a coalition of power companies that
often challenges new Clean Air Act rules, recently claimed that
"egregious errors" by EPA led to estimates that the cleanest
power plants are releasing 1,000 times less mercury than they
actually are. Posted.


Climate Study Congress Requested Falls on Deaf Ears in the
Capitol. The latest climate report from U.S. scientists urges
action but avoids policy recipes. Some fear this method of
communicating science is no longer adequate. Ho hum. The average
air temperature in the United States has leapt two degrees in the
last five decades. Yawn. Coastal regions in the country are
disappearing because of rising sea levels. Hit the snooze button.
The already-arid Southwest is becoming drier. Snore. Posted.

Energy: America's Top Climate Cop. The United States has
abandoned comprehensive greenhouse-gas curbs, but California is
pressing ahead. Mary Nichols is leading the fight against
emissions. Mary Nichols can take some pride in the view as she
travels out of Los Angeles. The San Gabriel Mountains rise up to
the north, framed by blue sky with just a touch of midday haze.
The clear vista comes in large part because of the California Air
Resources Board (CARB), the agency that Nichols leads, which has
spent decades cleaning up the city's air. Posted.

Emissions Traders Suggest A Buffer Pool To Minimize Offset
Project Risks. A group of greenhouse gas emissions traders and
oil companies is floating an alternative to California's plan for
managing risk from voluntary emissions-reduction projects. The
International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the Western
States Petroleum Association and other groups sent a letter to
the California Air Resources Board (ARB) on May 2 asking for 1.5
percent of all offset credits to be put into a fund that would
compensate credit buyers if a given project falls through due to
misrepresentation or fraud. Posted.

EPA Launches Awards as ‘Climate Leaders Legacy’. The
Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Registry, Pew Center on
Global Climate Change and Association of Climate Change Officers
have announced a new national awards program for climate
leadership, to serve as a legacy for the EPA’s now-defunct
Climate Leaders program. The awards program is designed to
recognize exemplary corporate, organizational and individual
leadership in response to climate change. Posted.


O.C. Firm Reopens 10 Oil Wells In Kansas. Force Fuels Inc. in
Costa Mesa has reopened 10 oil wells in Montgomery County in
southern Kansas and plans to reopen another 10 wells by June 2.
The four-employee firm specializes in marginally producing wells.
It has leases on 2,600 acres in Chautauqua and Montgomery
counties and on 1,200 acres in Oklahoma. The properties have a
number of wells that have been shut down for several years,
President Thomas Hemingway said in a phone interview. Posted. 

Research Shows No Historic Evidence Of Indirect Land Use Change.
A research project meant to analyze possible indirect land use
change (ILUC) as a result of biofuels production has found no
factual evidence that ILUC occurred from 1990 through 2007. The
study, titled “Indirect land use change for biofuels: Testing
predictions and improving analytical methodologies,” was funded
by the U.S. DOE’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and
examined data from countries that are historical grain …Posted.


Japan Produces Autos Over Weekend In Power Crunch. Japanese
automakers are going to be producing cars over the weekend and
taking Thursday and Friday off to avoid blackouts from a power
crunch caused by problem nuclear reactors. Toshiyuki Shiga,
chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and
chief operating officer of Nissan Motor Co., told reporters
Thursday the plan, which includes auto-parts suppliers, kicks in
July, August and September _ the peak months for electricity use
in Japan. Posted. 

Ford To Build First Transmission Plant In China. A Ford Motor Co.
joint venture in China will spend $350 million to build the
company's first transmission plant in the world's largest auto
market. The company said Thursday that the factory in Chongqing
in southwest China will be able to build 400,000 six-speed
automatic transmissions. It will make them for Changan Ford Mazda
Automobile Limited, the Chinese joint venture. Posted. 


California Energy Commission Awards Nearly $2.9 Million for
Research Projects. Sacramento, California - The California Energy
Commission today awarded $2,872,755 for four research projects.
The research areas include renewable energy, climate change, and
the safety of natural gas pipelines. Funds for the projects come
from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER)
program. Posted.


Hanford-Area Residents Slam High-Speed Rail Route. Hanford --
Farmers and rural residents turned out in force Wednesday to
state their opposition to the planned California high-speed rail
project east of Hanford. They got their message across, but
expressed frustration that the information session for the public
did not allow the public to speak out. "It's like talking to a
brick wall," said almond farmer Helen Sullivan, whose orchard
could be cut in half by tracks. Posted.
Sanger Chile Farm Uses Controversial Pesticide. Methyl iodide was
applied to a field of chili peppers. Methyl iodide, a powerful
but controversial fumigant, has been applied for the first time
in California -- on a one-acre chili pepper farm near Sanger. The
fumigant's use Tuesday took environmentalists by surprise: They
have been waging a battle against the fumigant and have been
trying to track where and when it would be used.
Environmentalists say the chemical is a significant threat to
public health. Posted.

Calif. Statute To Blame For Flame Retardants In Baby Products,
Watchdogs Say. A 1975 California statute encouraged manufacturers
to include potentially toxic flame retardants in baby products, a
group of scientists and chemical watchdogs said today. At issue
is California Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117), which requires
polyurethane foam used in upholstered furniture to be able to
withstand an open flame for 12 seconds. To comply, manufacturers
have used flame retardants in nursing pillows, car seats,
highchairs and other baby products. Posted.

Hagman's Assembly Bill 135 Gets Unanimous Approval. The proposed
measure would mandate that small business owners have
representation on the State Air Resources Board. A bill designed
to give small business owners representation on the State Air
Resources Board received unanimous support on the Assembly Floor
last week. Assembly Bill 135, authored by Assemblyman Curt
Hagman, R-Chino Hills, said in press released that he is pleased
that 71 members voted in favor of the measure. 


California’s High-Speed Train Project Is Going Off The Rails.
THERE’S A SCANDAL brewing in California, and we are not talking
about Arnold Schwarzenegger. We refer to the $43 billion
high-speed rail project in that state, to which the Obama
administration has pledged more than $3 billion in federal
funding, even though study after authoritative study has cast
serious doubt on its financial feasibility. Posted.


Natural Gas: Study Raises Doubts On U.S. Supply. The United
States does not have a decades-long supply of inexpensive,
locally sourced natural gas, according to a new report
commissioned by the Post Carbon Institute, a nonprofit think tank
that examines issues related to the economy, energy and the
environment. The report, titled "Will Natural Gas Fuel America in
the 21st Century?" is a challenge to the commonly cited
projection that domestic natural gas can meet U.S. demand for
more than 100 years. Posted.

Protesters Shell Mojave Solar Plant. Oakland's BrightSource
Energy and Environmentalists throw down over a threatened
tortoise. What some have billed as the world's largest solar
project in the Mojave came under fire again today. This time a
baby desert tortoise led the charge with a cohort of
environmentalists. While the tortoise provided a slow-motion
picket around downtown Oakland, protestors lined up in front of
BrightSource Energy's corporate headquarters, determined to
preserve the Mojave desert and keep solar projects local. Posted.

Global Weirding And You. "More than 3.4 billion people worldwide
are already threatened by natural hazards, most of them in the
developing world. Climate change could make matters even worse.
Innovative insurance solutions offer these large populations more
adequate financial tools to help them cope with the growing risks
in a changing climate." "Climate change will continue to expose
local communities to the mounting challenges - and costs - of
protecting lives and assets against extreme weather and other
climate-related risks. Posted.

Global Warming Means More Fire. For those of us who study the
science of climate change, we know that a warmer world is bad in
about every way you can imagine the Earth being bad. More
droughts, more floods, more heat waves, increased extinctions,
rising seas, dead trees, more disease, climate refugees, water
scarcity, more acidic oceans, melting permafrost and increased
methane releases. And that's the short list.

It’s Time To Put A Price On Carbon, NRC Says. Substantial,
immediate action on climate should begin, new report says By
Janet Raloff Web edition : 1:49 pm   Text Size “Climate change is
occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and poses
significant risks for a broad range of human and natural
systems.” As such, “it is imprudent to delay actions that at
least begin the process of substantially reducing emissions [of
greenhouse gases].” Posted.

Will Gas Prices Turn America into Europe? If you thought driving
sporty little fuel-efficient vehicles and living a reasonable
distance from work was strictly an affectation of Continentals
who kiss their ladies down there, we've got news for you: Turns
out these behaviors can be induced in any population, whatever
the likelihood that its colors will run, simply by increasing the
cost of fuel. Probably. Posted. 

A Violent Climate is the New Normal, Say Scientists. "Extreme
weather" may soon just be called "weather." Thanks to climate
change, floods and storms and droughts and Snowpocalypses and the
like will soon be standard office procedure, according to
scientists and civic planners brought together by the Union of
Concerned Scientists. Posted. 

Doe Expands Partnership With Industry To Advance Next-Generation
Automotive Technologies, Adds Tesla And Epri As Members: Us
Drive. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched US DRIVE, a
cooperative partnership with industry to accelerate the
development of clean, advanced, energy-efficient technologies for
cars and light trucks and the infrastructure needed to support
their widespread use. Posted. 

Pwc Industry Survey Provides “Check-Up” On Determining Factors
For EV Success. PwC has released the first edition of the
“Charging Forward: Electric Vehicle Survey”, which it developed
to provide a check-up on some of the major determining factors
for the success of EVs in the near-, mid- and long-term. More
than 200 participants from the automotive, utilities, energy,
technology, government, finance, education and other sectors
provided their feedback for the effort. Posted. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Restore Free Market Capitalism for the
Environment. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is well known as an
environmental advocate and attorney.  Given his pro-environment
position, it is quite unexpected to hear Kennedy advocate for
free market capitalism in order to protect the environment. If
you ask many committed environmental folks, they would probably
be anti-free market capitalism. If you ask many free market
adherents, they would probably be anti-environmentalist. Posted. 

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