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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 17, 2011.

Posted: 17 Jun 2011 12:24:07
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 17, 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.


Sewage Pile, Illegal Dump On Calif Toxic Tour List. Community
activists in Southern California's Coachella Valley have been
toiling for years along the eastern rim of this crescent-shaped
breadbasket to spread the word about the abandoned waste dumps,
shoddy migrant housing and overburdened recycling facilities that
are a fact of life in this poor, farmworker community. Their work
paid off last month, when the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and state regulators cracked down on a soil recycling
plant that was blamed by air quality officials for a putrid
stench that sickened dozens of children and teachers at a nearby
school. Posted. 


EU to Watch Carbon Prices to Gauge Fallout of Energy-Efficiency
Push. Regulators will watch carbon prices to gauge whether new
energy efficiency measures cut demand for emission permits, a
senior official at the European Union said. EU commissioners are
scheduled June 22 to consider a directive to improve energy
efficiency as part of their effort to fight climate change.

UN Climate Chief Calls On World Leaders To Step In. Bonn, Germany
-- World political leaders must step into climate negotiations in
the next few months to unlock disputes over reducing greenhouse
gas emissions, the U.N.'s top climate official said Friday.
Wrapping up a two-week negotiating session among more than 180
countries, Christiana Figueres said it will take "high-level
political attention" to resolve mutual demands between industrial
countries treaty-bound to reduce carbon emissions …Posted.


Japan Says It Won't Extend Carbon Reduction Pledge. Bonn, Germany
-- Japan affirmed Thursday it will not extend its legal
commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to cut greenhouse gases
after they expire in 2012. Japan has said it aims to reduce
carbon emissions 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, but it
will not make that pledge part of a binding agreement unless all
other major economies join in an emissions-reduction treaty.

Drilling Down Deep On Fracking And Our Nation's Energy Future.
Right now natural gas is the new big thing when it comes to
solving our nation's energy challenges. With gasoline hitting $4
a gallon and coal- and nuclear-based power reeling from
environmental and safety concerns, many see cheap, plentiful
supplies of homegrown natural gas as the latest answer to our
energy dreams, especially as hydraulic fracturing technology
opens up vast new reserves. Posted.

New Online Tool Allows Users To See Climate Change In California.
Ever wonder just how hot it’s going to get in your town if the
climate changes as scientists predict? Or whether your beachfront
house is going to be underwater if sea levels rise? The answers
to those questions – and more – can now be accessed through a
nifty interactive Internet tool designed by Google, in
collaboration with the California Energy Commission, the U.S.
Geological Survey, several California universities and others.

Emissions Trading Progress On The Pacific Rim. Despite the
significant prevailing obstacles to emissions trading initiatives
around the world aimed at cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and
fighting climate change, this week has seen some modest forward
progress in California, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
The South Korean government’s push to implement cap and trade in
2015 appears to have passed a major hurdle – achieving bipartisan
political support. Posted.

Budget Remedies Could Prevent Climate Plans For More Than A
Decade. Spending caps proposed by Republicans would make it
"virtually impossible" to enact climate legislation for a decade
or longer, according to an analysis released yesterday.
Automatically triggering widespread funding cuts if federal
spending exceeds a percentage of the gross domestic product is a
popular theme in Congress and in presidential campaigns. Posted.

Study Says Humans Outproduce Volcanoes In Terms Of CO2. Volcanoes
may be more impressive visually in terms of carbon dioxide
production, but in terms of sheer volume, they're no match for
the greenhouse gas output of humans. A recent U.S. Geological
Survey study that compared volcanic carbon dioxide emissions to
those with human origins found that annual output produced by
volcanoes was a fraction of the man-made output. Posted.


EPA Proposes Tougher Guidelines for SCR Engines. The pollution
control systems most engine manufacturers used to meet 2010
emission standards have been effective, but technical
developments justify tougher guidelines, says the Environmental
Protection Agency. The proposed guidance on selective catalytic
reduction systems specifies requirements for warning drivers when
they are running low on diesel exhaust fluid. Posted.


French Activist Bove Pushes Green Agenda In Poland. French
environmental activist Jose Bove urged Poland's government
Thursday to abandon its plans to build nuclear power plants and
explore for shale gas. Bove said he was pressing his case on the
issues because Poland will take over the European Union's
rotating presidency in two weeks. Posted. 


Stockton Firm Takes Charge With Electric Trucks. Air quality
board OKs $1.4M deal for truck subsidy. San Joaquin Valley clean
air officials Thursday approved a $1.4 milliongrant that should
bring 50 electric delivery vans - to be built in the Valley - to
the streets of Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield. Posted.

Germany Steering Towards Electric Vehicles.  Joerg Wind, Manager
EC Projects and Energy Systems Analyses, presented Daimler's
findings on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
of different drive trains. The Daimler lifecycle assessment (LCA)
finds different propulsion systems apply to different scenarios,
supporting plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) for long distances,
interurban and city traffic distances, but considering pure
electric vehicles (EVs) to be advisable for interurban and city
traffic only.  Posted. 
Nissan’s Ghosn on the Future of the Zero-Emission Car.  I
attended a media roundtable and a lecture with Nissan-Renault CEO
Carlos Ghosn at Stanford University's Institute for Economic
Policy Research (SIEPR) on Monday. Forbes called Ghosn "the
hardest-working man in the brutally competitive global car
business." Ghosn was on the Stanford campus to attend his
daughter's graduation.  Posted. 


U.S. Market For Solar Thermal Energy Begins To Heat Up. Munich --
Shiny arrays of solar panels are sitting on the roof of a PepsiCo
plant in Phoenix, Ariz. They are not making electricity; they are
heating up 30,000 gallons of water to be used for soft drink
production. Similar technology provides air conditioning to a
high school elsewhere in the city. Meanwhile, in New York, solar
panels built to withstand hurricane-force winds heat water used
to wash the city's famed subway cars at the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority's depot in Coney Island. Posted.

Study Says Cable Boxes Are Sneaky Source Of Wasted Energy. Most
environmentally conscious consumers have learned to unplug their
cellphone chargers when not in use as a way to cut down on energy
consumption, but an even bigger drain on your electric bill may
be lurking next to your television. In a new study released
Tuesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council said that cable
and satellite boxes, often called set-top boxes, are cumulatively
draining energy at the rate of about $2 billion per year. Posted.

Del. Bill Would Define Fossil Fuel-Burning Fuel Cell As Renewable
Source. State lawmakers in Delaware are looking to loosen
restrictions on what can be classified as a renewable energy
source in their state, paving the way for energy companies to
fulfill renewable energy requirements by using fuel cells that
run on fossil fuels. The new definition of renewable energy is
part of a Delaware bill that recently made its way through a
crucial committee test. Posted.


Much To Be Gained If California Drivers Just Drove Less. In
California in the year 2000, according to the California Air
Resources Board (CARB), the annual number of vehicle miles
traveled (VMT) reached 280 billion, up from 242 billion VMT just
a decade earlier. That’s an increase in VMT of 38 billion miles
over a ten-year time frame or an average 3.8 billion miles
yearly. Total number of state registered vehicles went from
roughly 17 million in 1980 to 23 million in 1990, and from 23
million to 23.4 million between 1990 and 2000, respectively.
Posted. http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/print/9084


Ford Offers A Taste Of Europe. I had been driving the 2012 Ford
Focus for four days when I pulled into the driveway of a friend.
Parked there was her late-model Audi A3. 
Like the Focus, it is a five-door hatchback. Both are designed in
Europe. And despite the Audi name, the A3 actually starts with
the humble Golf platform, with which the Focus competes on the
continent. Then, a question entered my mind: Could this new Ford,
designed and engineered in Germany, be competition for the Audi
A3? Posted.

JARDINE: Harnessing Nature To Power Life: Some folks talk a good
game when it comes to protecting the environment. Recycle? Of
course. Then they throw the bags of soda cans and plastic bottles
into a bin and drag it out to the curb for pickup, leaving it
just a few feet away from the 14-mpg SUV parked in the
driveway…….That day came a couple of weeks ago, when they picked
up their brand new, all-electric Nissan Leaf. Posted.

Taxes And Congress: The Wasteful Ethanol Fuel Tax Credit
Survives. It isn't too often that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a
pro-environment Democrat from California, and Sen. Tom Coburn, a
"drill, baby, drill" Republican from Oklahoma, agree on energy
issues. Yet when it comes to the ethanol tax credit, an egregious
form of corporate welfare that unites liberals and conservatives
in opposition nationwide, they are of one mind. Posted


Partners in Wind Power Bridge a Mideast Divide. Muhammad, a
Palestinian engineer who designs and installs small wind turbines
for homes in the territories, had recently forged an unusual
alliance: he partnered with an Israeli engineer, Yanir Avital,
with the goal of manufacturing and selling wind turbines together
in both Israel and the Palestinian territories. Posted. 

Out On a Limb. PG&E green program helps preserve forests already
saved by state taxpayers. California’s largest utility company
promises its customers green salvation through its ClimateSmart
program. For every bit of energy a PG&E ratepayer uses – turning
on a vacuum cleaner, powering up a computer or heating up an oven
– a little part of a tree or forest is saved to erase the carbon
sins of the customer. The voluntary program costs ratepayers an
average of $60 a year. Posted.

Asbestos-Common Roofing Supply in India. Asbestos pollution may
not be an issue in Europe and US but it still remains a big issue
in India. Richer nations like the UK and Germany banned asbestos
decades ago after it was discovered that it leads to a condition
called asbestosis which was first identified in 1906. Asbestos
consists of six natural fibers about 1,200 times smaller than a
strand of human hair that can be woven like fabric. The material
is resistant to fire, heat and chemicals and is therefore
well-suited to construction and auto industries. Posted. 

Debate Over Ethanol Subsidies Heats Up in Washington. Washington
currently provides approximately $5 billion worth of annual tax
credits to U.S. farmers growing crops for ethanol production. The
question of ending the subsidies is fracturing the Republican
leadership in Washington, National Public Radio reported.
Kentucky Republican Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said,
"This is a very controversial subject. We have members in our
conference on both sides of this issue." Posted. 

US Gas Is Artificially Cheap: What We Don't Pay For at the Pump.
California has some of the dirtiest air in the nation.
Consequently, it has some of the strictest rules for gasoline,
meaning it burns cleaner than it does in many other states. But
cleaner fuels are more expensive. Clean air requirements,
combined with supply and refining constraints, make the price of
California gas consistently among the highest in the nation.

A Better Transportation Vision for Los Angeles. An important
report was released today about transportation in Los Angeles.
The Vision Los Angeles report is the product of extensive work by
business representatives, the environmental community, and local
government. Spearheaded by Environmental Defense Fund and the Los
Angeles Economic Development Corporation …Posted.

Sciam Op-Ed: Kill Biofuels To Solve The Food Crisis.  With the
Senate, on a second attempt, successfully passing an amendment to
end the 45 cent per gallon ethanol subsidy for American refiners
and the 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol, I thought I'd point
to this terrific op-ed in Scientific American on how to solve the
food crisis. Posted. 

1 Million Bangladeshis Use Solar As Sole Source Of Electricity. 
It's the fastest expansion of solar power ever, says the
government of Bangladesh: From 7,000 households in 2002 to 1
million in 2011. Ninety million of Bangladesh's 150 million
people have no access to electricity at all, so access to
small-scale solar is transformative for this population.  Posted.
Ditch the Car, Ride the Train: Today is ‘Dump the Pump’ Day! When
you left your house this morning, did you grab your car keys or
your bus pass? We certainly hope it was the latter. After all,
today is the sixth annual National Dump the Pump day. Created by
the American Public Transportation Association, the Sierra Club,
and the Natural Resources Defense Council, ‘Dump the Pump’ day is
a simple way to encourage drivers to forgo their personal metal
machines and hop on public transit. A lot. Posted.

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