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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/05/20/5 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. http://diamondbar.patch.com/articles/hagmans-assembly-bill-135-gets-unanimous-approval-2 CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USLNE74J05820110520 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-20/china-threatened-airbus-over-eu-carbon-trading-reuters-says.html 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. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/climate-change-aid-to-developing-world-difficult-to-track-report-says/2011/05/19/AFbTdp7G_story.html DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/20/v-print/3640949/placer-logger-gets-clean-energy.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/05/20/1696279/placer-logger-gets-clean-energy.html 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/05/19/bloomberg1376-LL149N07SXKX01-4CNI6S50NFA1NIAITMLPHKHQF3.DTL&type=printable http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-19/shell-s-u-s-shale-gas-may-be-refined-into-diesel-jet-fuel-1-.html http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-05-19/shell-s-u-s-shale-gas-may-be-refined-into-diesel-jet-fuel.html 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. http://www.modbee.com/2011/05/19/1696315/gas-power-plant-approved.html 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 FUELS 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. http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/37609/?p1=A3 VEHICLES 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/science/earth/19prius.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=green%20vehicles&st=cse&gwh=B2830EE37715B83BDF06D743713B6820 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. http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2011-05-18-electric-cars_n.htm 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. http://www.dailytech.com/GM+Boosts+Volt+Production+as+More+Consumers+Consider+Electric+Vehicles/article21678.htm http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/05/20/10 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. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/05/20/2 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. http://www.euractiv.com/en/consumers/zero-emission-branded-electric-cars-misleading-consumers-news-504971 GREEN ENERGY 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. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/05/which-states-lead-in-clean-energy/1 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/05/20/bloomberg1376-LLGP590YHQ0X01-7VSRUVD7OV34D55A82G53HS9OR.DTL&type=printable 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/05/20/financial/f042349D54.DTL&type=printable 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/20/BUVF1JIILG.DTL&type=printable 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/05/20/bloomberg1376-LLHJSN1A74E901-275NLIKJKH3ENPROK19HJM2QIL.DTL&type=printable 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/05/20/bloomberg1376-LLHE8M0YHQ0X01-1OAR9M0NTOF6T2I1M9S6LKPU2Q.DTL&type=printable 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. http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/20174-1 MISCELLANEOUS 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. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2011/05/20/136424838/pumped-up-are-americans-addicted-to-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. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/business/economy/x504580825/Locals-examine-bullet-train-plans OPINION 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." Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-environment-20110520,0,2203186,print.story 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/20/v-print/3640500/hybrid-owners-bid-adieu-to-hov.html 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. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/05/20/9 BLOGS 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. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/who-will-reap-the-dividends-of-fuel-economy/?pagemode=print 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/as-school-roofs-crumble-toronto-finds-solar-solution/ 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. http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffmcmahon/2011/05/20/lamar-alexander-uses-gas-prices-to-press-republicans-on-electric-cars/ 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. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-m-reilly/natural-gas-coal-and-clim_b_864698.html