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newsclips -- Newsclips July 15, 2011.

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 11:35:11
California Air Resources Board News Clips for July 15, 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.


Health Groups Make Hay Over Utility Regulators' EPA Resolution.
During a meeting next week, an influential group of electricity
regulators is set to take a position on the idea of letting older
power plants wait an extra few years to retire, rather than
following new pollution rules from U.S. EPA. Public health groups
such as the American Lung Association aren't happy about the
resolution that will be considered by the National Association of
Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) during its annual summer
meeting. Posted.


UN Shipping Agency Approves New Rules For Energy Efficiency,
Carbon Emissions. The U.N. agency regulating international
shipping has decided new cargo vessels must meet energy
efficiency standards and cut carbon emissions. The International
Maritime Organization is requiring new ships contracted after
2015 be designed to reduce pollution from today’s average,
according to an efficiency index for ships of varying sizes and
types. Posted. 

Heavy Coastal Erosion In 2009-2010 Winter Linked To Climate
Change. The storms that battered the West Coast during the winter
of 2009-10 eroded record chunks of shoreline, and more will
likely disappear as the changing climate brings more such
powerful storm seasons, scientists warn in a new study. Pacific
waves were 20 percent stronger on average than any year since
1997 and higher-than-usual sea levels drove them further inland,
tearing away on average one-third more land in California.
Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_18478625

UC Davis Researchers Find Climate Change Muscling In On Mussels.
Polar bears may have stolen the show when it comes to climate
change, but it may be the lowly California mussel that we really
should be watching. A new study by researchers at UC Davis shows
that rising acid levels in the ocean thin and weaken the shells
of this diminutive bivalve. And that could spell trouble for
entire marine ecosystems. Posted.

Tropical Forests Are Best For Mitigating Carbon – Study. Forests
are responsible for nearly all of the terrestrial carbon sink,
the landmass that processes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a
new study reveals. Although there are several ecosystems that
take in carbon -- grasslands, agricultural fields and wetlands,
for example -- forests, particularly tropical ones, take the
cake, concludes the paper published in the journal Science. "It
indicates the dominant role of forests," said Richard Birdsey,
co-author of the report and a researcher with the U.S. Forest
Service. Posted.

Troubles Vex California’s Carbon Plan. CAP AND TRADE SPARKS
POLITICAL UPHEAVAL. CAP AND TRADE HAS been a controversial topic
around the nation and the world, but perhaps no more so than in
California. The state intends to implement the first full-scale
carbon-trading system in the United States in January. That
multimillion-dollar effort is growing much more difficult as the
deadline looms. Posted.


Law: Buses, Big Rigs, Diesels Must be Retrofitted. A new air
quality plan set for EPA approval will phase in exhaust filter
requirements starting next year and mandate most heavy diesel
equipment be replaced or retrofitted in 10 years. Operators of
trucks, buses, trains, ships and other heavy diesel equipment in
California--and certainly the ports of Long Beach and L.A.-- will
have to start phasing in exhaust filters in January and, in many
cases, replace the vehicles by the end of the decade. Posted.


EPA Proposes Waiving Federal Requirements For Stations To Capture
Gasoline Vapors When Vehicles Refuel Beginning In 2013. The US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a proposed rule
under the Clean Air Act (CAA) that would waive requirements
beginning in 2013 for systems used at gas station pumps to
capture potentially harmful gasoline vapors while refueling cars.
The result of the proposal would potentially save affected gas
stations more than $3,000 annually, according to EPA. Posted. 

U.N. Body Upholds The Right To Incentivize 'Clean Coal' United
Nations -- The concept of coal plants as soldiers in the fight
against global warming survives, for now. Yesterday, the
Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) refused
to suspend a process whereby coal-fired power plants can earn
greenhouse gas emissions offset credits, which usually go to
projects that are seen as removing or preventing emissions from
entering the atmosphere. Posted.


White House Offers Auto Makers Concession to Win Mileage Support.
The White House is ready to let auto makers improve the future
fuel efficiency of pickups and sport utility vehicles at a slower
pace than passenger cars, say people familiar with the matter, a
move that would benefit Detroit manufacturers. Officials are
scrambling to reach by early next week a broad agreement on a
mileage target by 2025 of 56 miles a gallon, roughly double the
current level. Posted.

DRIVING GREEN: Electric Car Safety And Durability. Energy is
dangerous. We learn this as kids, whether we recognize it or not.
Climb up a tree and your increased potential energy threatens to
break your arm if you fall out. Pedal your bike too quickly and
your kinetic energy might do the same if you lose control and
crash. Store enough energy to propel a five-passenger vehicle any
useful distance, and you’ve got enough energy to be dangerous if
it is released suddenly. Posted. 

Calif. Regulators Order Utilities To Develop EV Rate Plans. San
Francisco -- California energy regulators ordered utilities
yesterday to work with automakers on developing a strategy for
setting rates for charging electric vehicles. The California
Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously for development of
strategies for having buyers of electric vehicles tell the
utilities about their purchases, possibly modeled after a
voluntary notification system that General Motors Co. has been
using since December. Posted.


Los Angeles DWP To Again Offer Solar Rebates. The plan, suspended
because money ran out, involves smaller rebates and higher rates.
Customers who generate extra power could sell it to the utility.
Commission and council approval are required. Los Angeles once
again will pick up part of the tab for residents who want to go
solar. The Department of Water and Power announced at a public
workshop Thursday the relaunch of its Solar Incentive Program,
which offers rebates to businesses and homeowners who generate
their own electricity. Posted.

Two Valley Malls To Go Solar, Generate Hours Of Electricity. The
Westfield Group is spending $6.6million to install solar panels
at its malls in Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park - the company's
largest renewable energy investment in the U.S., officials said
Thursday.  The installation is well under way at Westfield
Fashion Square and will begin next week at Westfield Topanga,
said Larry D. Green, Westfield's senior vice president for U.S.
development. Posted. 

Germany's Lufthansa Starts Biofuel Flights. Germany's biggest
airline, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says it has begun trial flights
using biofuels in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Lufthansa said Friday that an Airbus A321 flying the
Hamburg-Frankfurt route four times daily will use a 50/50 mix of
regular fuel and biosynthetic kerosene in one of its two engines
for the next six months. Posted. 

For The First Time Ever, Renters Can Get Solar Incentives, Too.
There's a reason California is the largest solar market in the
country -- I mean, aside from its abundance of sun. Namely, its
regulators keep coming up with new ways to allow people to DIY-up
their own distributed energy systems. Their latest brainstorm is
a measure that allows renters to take advantage of the same solar
incentives as people who own their own homes. Posted. 


State Roundup: Record Year For California Rooftop Solar; NH Veto
Saves Carbon Trading; VA Wants Alternative Fuel Fleet; More
On-Bill Financing; And WV Wind Power. Record Year For California
Rooftop Solar. 2010 was a record year for rooftop solar in
California with 194 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic capacity added
atop residences and commercial buildings. That marks a 47%
increase over 2009, according to the Public Utilities Commission,
and the state now has a total of 924 MW of rooftop solar - more
than half of its 2016 goal of 1,750 MW. Posted.

Hacking For The Planet. In a protest move that makes ELF
operations look like knocking off a few small-town liquor stores,
international "hacktivists" Anonymous just announced a plan to
pursue hacking campaigns in support of green causes. The first
victim of Operation Green Rights was ginormous biotech firm
Monsanto, which Anonymous targeted for "corrupt, unethical and
downright evil" business practices. Monsanto confirmed the
attack, though it downplayed the damage. Posted. 


An Unenlightened Waste Of Energy In Congress. How many members of
Congress does it take to unscrew a lightbulb? When it comes to
repealing a directive ending old-school incandescents, there
weren't enough in the House this week. In one of the more
fact-averse campaigns in recent memory, Republican forces fell
short in trying to end a federal policy that phases out the
familiar pear-shaped lightbulb in favor of newer models that use
less juice. Posted.


Scattered Attempts at Carbon Capture. As my colleague John Broder
and I reported in Thursday’s paper, American Electric Power is
dropping its plan to build a commercial-scale version of a carbon
dioxide scrubber at Mountaineer, its coal-fired power plant in
New Haven, W.Va. The company decided that since public service
commissions in West Virginia and Virginia had refused to give it
full reimbursement for a pilot version that it ran for two years,

The Difference Engine: Priced Off The Road? THERE is one sure way
to free a gas-guzzling country like America from having to rely
on oil imported from places that are politically unstable and far
from friendly, while at the same time reducing its carbon
emissions and conserving energy for future generations.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle know precisely what it is.

BMW Buys Leasing Firm To Launch Its i Series Electric Cars. BMW
has purchased the car-leasing unit of Dutch banking giant ING for
a reported $1 billion. The move enables BMW to expand its fleet
operations, but more importantly, it gives the automaker the
ability to aggressively promote the launch of its i Series
electric cars via leasing options. Posted.

Fuel Poverty and Climate Change Legislation. There’s a nice
little collision going on in the UK between two groups or people:
or perhaps two different visions of the good society. This is
between the concept of fuel poverty and the legislation being
used to try and deal with climate change. Figures show a huge
rise in UK households in fuel poverty, even before expected rises
in the price of gas and electricity, …Posted.

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