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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 20, 2011.

Posted: 20 May 2011 12:35:26
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 20, 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.


Jackson Defends Boiler Rule Delay On 'Daily Show'. U.S. EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson tried to tamp down environmentalists'
concerns during an interview on "The Daily Show" last night,
telling host Jon Stewart she's still committed to curbing mercury
from power plants and industrial boilers. Some of the agency's
supporters cried foul last week when Jackson granted a request to
delay the toxic emissions limits for industrial boilers. Posted.

Assembly Bill Proposes Small Business Reps for Air Resources
Board, Passes Senate.  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.  Posted. 


China Threatens Airbus Over EU Carbon Cap –Sources. Brussels.
China has threatened retaliation against French planemaker Airbus
(EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) if the European
Union goes ahead with plans to include international aviation in
its carbon market, three sources said on Friday. From January 1
next year, the EU will require all airlines flying to Europe to
be included in the Emissions Trading Scheme ETS.L, a system that
forces polluters to buy permits for each tonne of carbon dioxide
they emit above a certain cap. Posted.

Climate-Change Aid To Developing World Difficult To Track, Report
Says.  In the 2009 Copenhagen climate accord, 21 developed
nations and the European Union agreed to provide $30 billion over
three years to help poorer nations adapt to climate change and
reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.  But nearly two years
later, tracking these “fast start” pledges — and what specific
programs the funds have been used for — has proved difficult,
according to a new report from the World Resources Institute. 


Placer Logger Gets Clean Energy Loan. The state has launched a
new loan guarantee program to help construction companies and
other heavy equipment users replace aging off-road diesel
vehicles with cleaner models. The California Air Resources Board
on Thursday unveiled the first of its loan guarantees to a Placer
County logging company, Volcano Enterprises Inc. The $84,000 loan
helped Volcano acquire a new ultra-clean Caterpillar skidder to
replace a high-polluting, 22-year-old model. Posted.

Shell's U.S. Shale Gas May Be Refined Into Diesel, Jet Fuel.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, said a $19
billion investment in Qatar may prove that abundant natural gas
coaxed from shale rocks across the U.S. could be converted into
diesel and jet fuel. Shell, which is completing the world's
largest gas-to- liquids plant in Qatar, could use the technology
on a smaller scale in the U.S. if capital costs can be reduced,
Marvin Odum, head of Shell in the Americas, said in an interview
in London. Posted.

Gas Power Plant Approved.  State regulators on Wednesday approved
a 200-megawatt natural gas power plant in far northeastern
Alameda County, about seven miles from Tracy.  Supporters have
said the Mariposa Energy Project will burn cleanly and stimulate
the economy.  Critics say the plant — one of several that have
been proposed just outside of San Joaquin County — will funnel
tax dollars to Alameda County while San Joaquin gets whatever
comes out of the smokestack.  Posted. 

Tehama County To Get New Buses To Clear The Air. Two schools will
be getting new buses thanks to funding help from the Tehama
County Air Pollution Control District and the state. County
supervisors approved matching state funding Tuesday, at $25,000
per bus, to purchase three new buses, replacing ones manufactured
before 1986. Manton Joint Union School District will get one bus,
while Evergreen Union School District in Cottonwood will get two.
Posted. http://www.redbluffdailynews.com/news/ci_18096978


U.S.-Backed Biofuel Study Says Other Nations Show Ways That
Biofuels 'Can Be Done Right'. Expanding biofuel feedstocks has
often come at the expense of agricultural plots or forests, but
new government-funded work suggests that does not always have to
be the case. A $1.1 million Energy Department-backed study sheds
light on ways alternative fuels may be more sustainably produced
and help to safeguard biodiversity and carbon conservation.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/05/20/7

Do Biofuels Reduce Greenhouse Gases?  Greenhouse-gas emissions
from biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, may be lower than
many researchers have estimated, according to a new study. The
findings could further fuel a debate over whether biofuels
actually reduce greenhouse-gas emissions compared to gasoline,
and if so, by how much.  Posted. 


Hybrid Owners Look to Extend Carpool Privilege.  San Francisco —
Virtue may be its own reward, but incentives don’t hurt. In
California in 2004, when the country’s first measure restricting
vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions became law, 75,000 owners of
the gas-stingiest hybrid cars were assured access to carpool
lanes.  Now the $8 yellow decal that served as a
get-out-of-traffic-free card is about to become meaningless: the
privilege, originally set to expire in 2008,  was legislatively
extended twice, and now ends July 1.  Posted. 

How Is The Transition To Electric Cars Going? As electric cars
arrive in American garages, drivers are going to have to start
thinking of them more like cellphones and less like hungry
children. Just as we've learned to plug our phones in at night if
we want to use them in the morning, we'll need to remember to
plug in the car if we want to get to work. This will replace the
old thinking in which, as the gas gauge approached empty, we
lived in confidence that we could duck into a nearby gas station
to top off the tank, just as we know we can find a grocery store
or fast-food place if the kids get hungry. Posted.

GM Boosts Volt Production as More Consumers Consider Electric
Vehicles.  With gas hovering $4 a gallon, it's easy to understand
why many drivers are becoming increasingly frustrated with their
gas guzzling vehicles that drain their wallets on a normal basis.
To make matters worse, fuel prices are expected to remain around
the $3 to $4 mark for some time, and these high prices are
pushing some consumers toward electric vehicles like the
Chevrolet Volt.  Posted. 

Fuel-Economy Labels Won't Include Letter Grades – Sources. New
federal fuel economy labels for cars and light trucks won't
include letter grades, according to sources from industry and
advocacy groups tracking the Obama administration's work on the
issue. The administration is expected to announce a new design
for fuel economy labels next week that will include data about
emissions and annual fuel costs. Regulators had been considering
a pair of designs announced last August, including one that would
feature a letter grade to assess fuel economy. Posted.

Zero Emission-Branded Electric Cars 'Misleading': Consumers.  EU
policymakers are pushing to boost the take-up of electric
vehicles across the European Union as a crucial means of reducing
the bloc's CO2 emissions.  Indeed, back in 2008, the EU earmarked
€5 billion in its economic recovery plan for the Green Car
Initiative as part of a wider package of public support for the
industry.  But consumer groups yesterday warned that current
commercial and political pressures to present battery electric
vehicles as 'zero emission' vehicles "are misleading for
consumers".  Posted. 


Which U.S. States Lead In Clean Energy? Eight of the 10 U.S.
states that rank highest for their use and support of clean
energy are on the West and East coasts, according to a second
annual scorecard. California tops the list, followed in order by
Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Colorado, Washington, New
Mexico, Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont, according to a
ranking based on 70 indicators by consulting firm Clean Edge.

Duke Energy Chief Urges U.S. Caution in Relying on Natural Gas.
Duke Energy Corp. Chief Executive Officer James E. Rogers said
the U.S. should be careful about depending on natural gas for
energy even as his company seeks to expand its portfolio of the
fossil fuel. The historic volatility of natural gas, questions
about accessible reserves, and the possible environmental
implications of drilling all raise concerns, Rogers told
reporters today after a speech in Washington. Posted.

Panasonic Sees Light After Darkness Of Disaster. TOKYO, Japan
(AP) --Panasonic Corp., which faces a tough road this year after
Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, believes it can
turn disaster into opportunity as the country rethinks its energy
policy. President Fumio Ohtsubo said Friday his company's recent
efforts to move toward environmentally friendly products and
renewable energy technologies would eventually pay off. Posted.

State Oks 2 Bay Area Power Plants Over Objections. California
regulators have approved construction of two new Bay Area power
plants, despite criticism that they aren't needed. One will be
built in Oakley, the other in the hinterlands of Alameda County 7
miles northwest of Tracy. Like most California power plants, both
will burn natural gas. Each won unanimous approval from the
California Energy Commission on Wednesday. Critics contend
neither one is needed. Posted.

Acid-Rain Curbing Kit at U.K. Power Plants Too Costly, SSE Says.
Scottish & Southern Energy Plc, the U.K.'s second-largest power
producer, said equipment needed to curb acid rain pollutants at
two of its coal-fed power stations in northern England is too
costly. SSE's Fiddlers Ferry and Ferrybridge power stations have
until 2023 to comply with European Union limits on pollutants
including nitrogen oxides. Posted.

Australian Coal Gas Plant Gets Conditional Environment Approval.
HRL Ltd., a privately held Australian electricity generator, got
conditional approval to develop a plant in Victoria State that
will be powered by gas from brown coal, the Environment
Protection Authority said. The Environment Protection Authority,
or EPA, approved construction of a 300-megawatt plant by Duel Gas
Pty, a subsidiary of HRL, the department said in a statement
today. Posted.

CA Moves Toward Investment In On-Site Clean Energy Technologies. 
Sacramento, Calif. - A bill moving through the state Legislature
would give large manufacturers more incentive to comply with the
state's landmark global-warming law. The renewable-energy bill
comes on the heels of a new report which finds that not only is
climate change happening - most likely caused by humans - but
that it'll only get worse the longer we wait.  Posted. 


Pumped Up: Are Americans Addicted To Oil? As many Americans
struggle with higher gas prices, others look for ways to live
using fewer fossil fuels. They pursue a personal form of energy
independence — and they are finding that it's no easy feat. About
a year ago, following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig catastrophe
that released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico,
Mary Richert decided that she wanted to live a life free of oil.

Locals Examine Bullet Train Plans. Of the many questions asked at
Thursday's high-speed rail workshop in Bakersfield, the one posed
by southwest resident Debbie Raygoza-Wells had to be among the
simplest. Would the trains be much like the ones she had ridden
in France? Why, yes, a project staff member responded -- in fact,
they will be much like Europe's bullet trains. If only all the
questions were that easy. Posted.


In The 2012 Campaign, Environmentalists Don't Matter. That's the
message President Obama is sending as the administration caters
to smokestack and other industries. Shortly after his party's
"shellacking" in the midterm election, President Obama ordered
government agencies to ensure that new regulations took economic
growth into consideration and that old ones be revoked if they
"stifle job creation or make our economy less competitive."

Editorial: Hybrid Owners: Bid Adieu To HOV Lanes. Come July 1, we
won't be tying yellow ribbons on trees in hope that the yellow
stickers will return. No, we bid these stickers a fond farewell,
even though some bothersome green ones are coming in their wake.
Perhaps we should explain. Starting in 2005, California began
handing out 85,000 yellow stickers to owners of hybrid cars, as
an incentive to boost purchases of fuel-efficient vehicles.
Motorists with such stickers were allowed to drive solo in
carpool lanes. Posted.

PUBLIC OPINION: Online Climate Change Searches Can Lead To Faulty
Information, Study Says. Curious Web users looking online for
global warming information are likely to come across a site
called climatechangefacts.info. From the website, they'll find
that the link between carbon dioxide and the Earth's temperature
is unproven, that many scientists blame the sun for rising
temperatures, and that the Earth could soon cool. This, of
course, differs from a broad scientific consensus that says
fossil fuels are causing temperatures to rise. Posted.


Who Will Reap the Dividends of Fuel Economy? There are two basic
arguments over whether and how the country should respond to
climate change and other environmental challenges. One focuses on
government’s right to regulate industry, and the other on the
costs and benefits of such regulation. A new, almost biblical
twist to one of these arguments was presented at a recent
conference organized by Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit that
brings together investors, companies and environmental
organizations who embrace sustainable business practices. twist.

As School Roofs Crumble, Toronto Finds Solar Solution.  Like many
of its counterparts in the United States, the Toronto District
School Board oversees a large number of schools that were built
as a result of the baby boom. Now that those schools, like their
former pupils, are firmly in late middle age, their roofs have
become a major financial problem. The board estimates that it
faces a $3 billion backlog in roofing repairs.  On Thursday it
announced a plan to harness solar power to finance roof repairs
over the next four years.  Posted. 

Lamar Alexander Uses Gas Prices To Drive Republicans To Electric
Cars.  Sen. Lamar Alexander went after members of his own party
in testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee yesterday, calling government subsidies for electric
cars “urgent” in light of high gasoline prices.  “Why do we need
the government to be involved?” asked Alexander, chairman of the
Senate Republican Conference.  Posted. 

Natural Gas, Coal, and Climate. Recent research has shown that
over the next few decades an effective U.S. climate policy to
significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions would rely on
extensive reductions in energy use and substitution of natural
gas for coal in power generation. The second pathway --
gas-for-coal -- is premised on the fact that natural gas, when
combusted, produces 50 percent lower CO2 emissions than coal.

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