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newsclips -- News Clips for July 29, 2011

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 14:12:32
California Air Resources Board News Clips for July 29, 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.


Obama Unveils Sharp Increase In Auto Fuel Economy. * Auto makers'
fleets must average 54.5 mpg by 2025 * "Most important step" to
reduce foreign oil use-Obama * Deal will lower U.S. fuel
consumption by 2.2 million bpd (Recasts, adds details,
background). Washington - President Barack Obama on Friday
formally unveiled standards that would dramatically increase U.S.
fuel economy standards for cars and trucks by 2025. Posted.
(paid subscription only)

Environmentalists Cheer Obama's Fuel Economy Hike. President
Obama's plan to double fuel efficiency standards for cars and
light-duty trucks by 2025 received applause from
environmentalists who had pressed for such action. President
Barack Obama announces a new fuel efficiency standards for cars
and light trucks Friday, July 29, at the Washington Convention
Center in Washington. Posted.

Cellulosic Biofuel Has A Future, Say Industry Leaders. Bioenergy
executives remain positive about cellulosic biofuel's potential
to fill the country's energy demands more sustainably, despite a
grim outlook. Last month, U.S. EPA released sobering preliminary
targets for cellulosic biofuel output -- between 3.45 million and
12.9 million gallons by 2012, a minuscule fraction of what the
agency set to achieve in 2007. A final target will be released in
November, confirmed an EPA official. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/07/29/6 BY PAID


EPA Targets Air Pollution From Gas Drilling Boom. Faced with a
natural gas drilling boom that has sullied the air in some parts
of the country, the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday
proposed for the first time to control air pollution at oil and
gas wells, particularly those drilled using a method called
hydraulic fracturing. The proposal, issued to meet a court
deadline, addresses air pollution problems reported in places
such as Wyoming, Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado, where new
drilling techniques have led to a rush to obtain natural gas that
was once considered inaccessible. Posted.


Justice Groups Sue To Halt Implementation Of Calif. Cap And
Trade. The environmental justice advocates who successfully sued
to force California to reconsider its choice of cap and trade for
greenhouse gases are now trying to stop ongoing rulemaking in the
meantime. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) should not be
allowed to continue forming its market-based policy while still
in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act, which
requires state agencies to analyze the environmental effects of
proposed policies, the groups argued yesterday in a filing with
the California Supreme Court. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/07/29/6 BY PAID


DOJ: Caterpillar To Pay $2.55M To Resolve Clean Air Act
Violations.  Washington (Dow Jones)--Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)
agreed to pay $2.55 million to settle civil charges it violated
U.S. environmental regulations by shipping engines that lacked
proper emissions controls, the government said Thursday.
Caterpillar allegedly shipped to assembly plants 590,000
misconfigured highway and non-road engines, some of which made it
into vehicles, causing particles and excess emissions to be
released into the air, the Justice Department said in a press
release. Posted.
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110728-721855.html BY


Latest Out of Tailpipes: Electricity With Exhaust. EVEN the most
efficient of modern cars has a wasteful streak: only about a
quarter of the energy contained in the fuel the engine burns is
converted to motion. Much of the lost energy flows out of the
tailpipe in the form of hot exhaust gases, researchers at General
Motors say. As proposals for E.P.A. fuel economy standards of
more than 50 miles per gallon are floated in Washington, it is
little wonder that automakers are ratcheting up the search for
simple and cost-effective ways to squeeze every last bit of
energy from available petroleum fuels. Posted.

The Prius V: A Hybrid That Hauls More Stuff. TESTED 2012 Prius V
(though Toyota, which seems to have a shortage of capital
letters, prefers “v”). WHAT IS IT? A stretched Prius with 58
percent more cargo capacity than the standard version. HOW MUCH?
Prices won’t be released until closer to the car’s showroom debut
this fall. WHAT MAKES IT RUN? A slightly tweaked version of the
Prius’s hybrid drivetrain, built around a 1.8-liter
Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine, with a 60-kilowatt motor
generator and a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack. Posted.

Report Casts Doubt On Forecasts For California High Speed Rail.
In a review of California's high speed rail project, a panel of
experts determines that ridership and revenue projections need to
be more conservative. Fresh questions about the ridership and
revenue projections that underpin the state's $43-billion bullet
train project have been raised in a new internal report by the
agency charged with building the system. Posted.


Nobel Prize Winner Pursues Clean-Tech Leadership With Thinning.
There's something about Energy Secretary Steven Chu's laugh,
something that may hint at what -- he hopes -- a scientist can
achieve in the age of deficits. It is a kind of self-effacing
chuckle that doesn't condescend, though his credentials would
back that. Nor is it wistful, even though the new Congress has
assaulted his energy agenda and the climate science behind it.

MOJAVE DESERT: Proposed Wind Farm Triggers Opposition. Residents
near Joshua Tree National Park celebrated last year's demise of a
controversial electrical transmission project that they said
would have marred the scenic vistas and sensitive plant and
animal species of their desert outpost.  Now homeowners in the
Mojave Desert community of Pipes Canyon, northwest of Yucca
Valley, are gearing up for a showdown, this time over a proposed
wind farm on top of ancient volcanic mesas. Posted.


ENERGY: Regulators Approve Privacy Protections For Smart Meter
Data. The California Public Utilities Commission approved rules
Tuesday forbidding investor-owned utilities like San Diego Gas &
Electric Co. and Southern California Edison from giving out
customer data from smart meters without customer consent.
Utilities have been replacing old-school rotary electric meters
with computerized devices since 2008. Posted. 

Huntsman: 'Conservation Is Conservative.' Touting a record that
could complicate his bid for the Republican presidential
nomination, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman challenged his party
Thursday to protect the environment and acknowledge climate
change as a real threat.  Huntsman, who is trailing in the polls
but is working to build a campaign that could deny front-runner
Mitt Romney the nod, criticized those who question the science
behind climate change and loathe government's role in fighting
it. Posted. 


California Should Advance Solar Power. Gov. Jerry Brown has a
well-earned reputation for promoting environmentalism. It was
under his administration in the 1970s that California took the
lead in reducing auto emissions and greatly improved energy
efficiency. That is a major reason why Californians today use
substantially less energy per capita than the national average.
Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_18568715

Inquirer Editorial: Gas-Guzzlers Targeted. President Obama on
Friday was expected to announce the first significant boost in
fuel-economy standards in 30 years. That will be good news for
consumers, the nation's air quality, and for a rebounding auto
industry that stands as a symbol of hope to out-of-work
Americans. By 2025, most motorists can expect to get nearly twice
as many miles out of a gallon of gas than today's average, under
standards the Obama administration has negotiated with major
automakers. Posted.

Important Lessons To Learn From The CAFE Standard Compromise.
Today President Obama will announce a third historic agreement to
bring us cleaner cars and trucks, dramatically cutting carbon
pollution and raising fuel economy for new cars, SUVs, minivans,
and pick-ups built between 2017 and 2025.  The latest Clean Car
Peace Treaty builds on a 2009 agreement for 2012-16 vehicles, and
a 2010 pact to clean up heavy-duty trucks and buses. Posted.


High Test: 54.5 MPG Cars Promise to Arrive by 2025. U.S. fuel
economy standards would double by 2025 under a deal the White
House announced this week with auto makers and environmentalists.
If upheld, the plan would lead to the biggest gains in fuel
economy since government began setting mileage regulations in the
1970s and could lead to substantial changes to the cars and
trucks most Americans drive. Posted.

Will The New Fuel Economy Rules Actually Work? This morning,
Barack Obama is scheduled to unveil one of the biggest policy
accomplishments of his term—though it certainly won’t seem that
way. After the president gives his televised remarks on the debt
ceiling crisis, the White House is expected to announce—at a much
sleepier Washington Convention Center venue—that it has finally
struck a deal with the auto industry on extending new
fuel-economy standards out to 2025. Posted.

Are CAFE regs the ultimate expression of bureaucratic elitism?
President Obama will announce dramatically higher Corporate
Average Fuel Economic (CAFE) standards for cars and trucks today.
The new fleet average requirement is expected to be 54.5 mpg,
which will require massive downsizing of automakers' products and
huge price increases, all for barely measurable gains in clean
air. Posted.

Washington's Bad Week Ends With A Bright Spot: Higher MPG. With
President Obama announcing new fuel efficiency standards for the
auto industry Friday, you could be forgiven for thinking that as
we drive off the economic cliff, at least we're getting good gas
mileage. But it occurs to me that today's fuel economy
announcement is just about the only thing happening in Washington
this week (that we know of) that will make a positive difference
for the country's future. Posted.

US Driving Fuel Efficiency Standards Higher. Cars and trucks sold
in the United States will be required to use half as much fuel as
they do now under a new agreement being rolled out by the White
House. President Barack Obama and leaders of the world’s largest
automakers announced new, higher fuel efficiency standards
Friday. The agreement calls for the average vehicle to get 23.2
kilometers per liter by 2025, twice as much as the current
requirements. Posted.

What the Latest Clean Car Peace Treaty Shows About Governing
Today's America. Today President Obama will announce a third
historic agreement to bring us cleaner cars and trucks,
dramatically cutting carbon pollution and raising fuel economy
for new cars, SUVs, minivans, and pick-ups built between 2017 and
2025.  The latest Clean Car Peace Treaty builds on a 2009
agreement for 2012-16 vehicles, and a 2010 pact to clean up
heavy-duty trucks and buses. Posted.

Pedaling Your Way to Environmental Nirvana. Another lunchtime
spin class had recently been added by popular demand. But since
it was new on the schedule, the session at the New York Sports
Club at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan wasn’t crowded
when I arrived on a recent Wednesday. Just over a year ago, the
club fitted a full line of Star Trac Spinner NXT cycles at this
Chelsea location with generators designed to convert human energy
into electricity. Posted. 

California Acts To Limit Pollutant Targeted By Erin Brockovich.
The California Environmental Protection Agency has issued the
nation’s first public health goal for hexavalent chromium, the
cancer-causing heavy metal made infamous after activist Erin
Brockovich sued in 1993 to prove it had contaminated groundwater
in the Southern California town of Hinkley.At that time, the
average hexavalent chromium levels in Hinkley's water was 1.19
parts per billion (ppb). Posted.

Who Cares About The Climate? Fossil Fuels Are Killing Us Now.
Half of all toxic air pollution in the United States comes from
electricity generation. (Compare that to just 15 percent from
toxic chemicals.) Electricity also accounts for 75 percent of all
air-borne emissions of mercury, one of the most damaging
chemicals to humans there is. By some estimates, the Clean Air
Act — which reins in fossil fuel pollution, but doesn't eliminate
it — saves $1.9 trillion a year in health care costs. Posted.

Climate Change & the Future – When You Know Trouble is Coming.
Most of us greet news of a looming threat with skepticism. “Show
me” is the usual reaction. We are like the mayor of the
fictitious Amity Island in Jaws, who refuses to shut down the
town’s beaches because officially acknowledging shark attacks
would hurt tourism. Posted.

Chevrolet Dealerships Get Charged Up With Green Zones. Select
Chevrolet dealership across the nation will harness the power of
the sun to charge Chevy Volts and supplement the site's grid
electricity. Called the Green Zone, this initiative aims to
provide Chevrolet dealers with "added flexibility when it comes
to charging their vehicles, while also reinforcing GM's
commitment to renewable energy projects," says Chris Perry,
vice-president of global Chevrolet marketing and strategy.

Ford: Odds Of Encountering Issue With Our Hybrid Battery Cells
Are 8.5 Million To 1. With Ford nearly ready to launch a handful
of electrified vehicles in the U.S., the automaker is looking to
build street credibility for its existing hybrid models. That's
why, at a recent media event, Ford compared the performance
durability of its hybrid vehicles to segment leader Toyota.

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