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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 3, 2011. Posted: 03 Aug 2011 14:17:52
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 3, 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 NASA's Eyes In The Sky Study Pollution On Earth. NASA, the agency best known for exploring space, is trying to answer some urgent questions about air pollution right here on Earth. For much of July, the agency flew research planes between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore as part of a mission known as DISCOVER-AQ. The planes, along with weather balloons and ground stations, were gathering data on how pollutants such as ozone and particulates behave in the atmosphere. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2011/08/03/138890522/nasas-eyes-in-the-sky-study-pollution-on-earth House Bill Seeks To Delay EPA Emissions Rules For Cement Makers. The cement industry is pushing legislation to relax U.S. EPA rules for controlling pollution from Portland cement plants. The "Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act" (H.R. 2681) was introduced Thursday by Reps. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.), calling for an extension to the implementation of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/01/5 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Does A 'Cultural Divide' Between Science And Journalism Confuse The Public About Climate Change? With public belief in climate change declining, the issue of media communication has caused enough concern for the scientific community to take action with a new monthly column in Nature Geoscience aimed at bridging the chasm between journalists and scientists. "A cultural divide separates science from the media," wrote the editors of the journal, citing it as the motivation for the column. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/01/2 Posted. Debt And (Carbon) Taxes: Obama’s Last Chance For Climate Redemption. One of the silliest headlines to come out of the debt ceiling postmortems comes from ClimateWire (sub req): Debt deal, promising energy budget cuts, appear to chill hopes for a carbon tax. How exactly do you chill something that has been frozen near absolute zero? In fact, in my reading, the debt deal actually warmed up hopes for a carbon tax from those liquid helium temperatures to at least liquid nitrogen temperatures -- you know, around -321 degrees F. Posted. http://www.grist.org/energy-policy/2011-08-03-debt-and-carbon-taxes-obamas-last-chance-for-climate-redemption Here’s How The Debt Deal Could Spell Doomsday For Climate And Energy. The debt deal Washington just passed is going to pit defense spending against the budgets of the DOE, EPA and incentives for clean energy production, GOP strategist Mike McKenna tells Politico. No one knows what will actually be cut -- that's to be decided by a bipartisan committee -- but plenty of programs to protect the environment and fund green energy already have big fat targets on them. Posted. http://www.grist.org/list/2011-08-02-heres-how-tdebt-deal-could-spell-doomsday-for-climate-and-energy People Under 35 Have Never Seen Normal Global Temperatures. “If you’re younger than 26, you have never seen a month where the global mean was as cold as the 161 year average,” observes Robert Grumbine. In contrast, “there are no periods as long as even 20 years of continual below reference temperatures.” Posted. http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/08/02/285660/people-under-35-have-never-seen-normal-global-temperatures/ FUELS One Tainted Water Well, and Concern There May Be More. For decades, oil and gas industry executives as well as regulators have maintained that a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that is used for most natural gas wells has never contaminated underground drinking water. The claim is based in part on a simple fact: fracking, in which water and toxic chemicals are injected at high pressure into the ground to break up rocks and release the gas trapped there, occurs thousands of feet below drinking-water aquifers. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/us/04natgas.html?_r=1&hp Gas Mileage Ratings Don't Add Up. The government will require new cars and trucks to meet a fleetwide average fuel economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Fat chance. Many motorists know they can't expect to get the mileage they see on the window sticker if they drive too fast or don't keep the car in optimal condition. But what most of them don't know is even if they do drive like highway saints, they still won't get the Environmental Protection Agency-rated results. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/03/1800647/gas-mileage-ratings-dont-add-up.html A 'Midterm Review' Helped Industry And Environmental Groups Sign New Fuel Efficiency Standards. The White House's latest deal with automakers would let U.S. EPA revisit fuel efficiency standards by 2018 to see if they are too difficult to meet. Last week, the auto industry and the administration agreed to raise average fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The White House said the standard would cut a quantity of oil use equivalent to half of imports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries by 2025. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/01/3 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY The Dark Side Of Solar And Wind Power Projects. Building and maintaining solar and wind power projects can be hazardous, and industry watchdogs worry that the push for more green energy places more workers and bystanders in harm's way.They can look benign from a distance — solar panels glistening in the sun or turbines gently churning with the breeze to produce electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes. But building and maintaining them can be hazardous. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-fi-green-safety-20110803,0,6066233,print.story Green-Focused Facility Breaks Ground In Dixon. A firm that produces a line of "green" utility vehicles broke ground last week on a new Solano County facility in Dixon that will bring dozens of jobs here, company officials announced. "These will be primarily manufacturing jobs -- good-paying ones," company spokesman Mark Wegel said Monday. "There will be more than 50 needed at first." More jobs eventually may be added if use of Green Fleet equipment grows, company officials said. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18603163 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18603163 Better Technology Drives Down Flat-Screen TV Energy Use By 60%. Energy-guzzling flat-screen TVs have become much greener in recent years, cutting their average electricity use by more than one-half and consuming far less energy than the bulky cathode-ray tube TVs they replaced, new energy research shows. Since 2006, new TVs have reduced their electricity use by 60 percent. Today, it costs only £14 ($22.80) a year to run a 42-inch LED TV, whereas a plasma screen cost about £80 ($130) in 2006, at 2011 prices. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/01/8 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Despite Rising U.S. Sales, Automakers Are Struggling. Sales of new vehicles in the United States rose in July but were still hampered by economic concerns and low inventories of many Japanese models. Honda and Toyota each reported large declines, as they have each month since production was slowed by the earthquake and tsunami in March. Toyota said it did not expect to post a year-over-year increase until early 2012. Sales fell 28.4 percent at Honda and 22.7 percent at Toyota. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/03/business/car-sales-show-restrained-growth.html?scp=1&sq=vehicles&st=cse 14 Hybrid Pickups Added To SMUD Fleet. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has received 14 Dodge Ram 1500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as part of a nationwide demonstration test of alternative fuel vehicles. The pickup trucks will be part of SMUD's regular commercial fleet for the next three years. Funded in part by federal stimulus money, Chrysler Group LLC and the U.S. Department of Energy plan to deploy 140 of the plug-in hybrid trucks at 11 other sites to test customer usage, fuel economy, emissions and air quality impact. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/03/v-print/3812862/14-hybrid-pickups-added-to-smud.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/03/1800899/14-hybrid-pickups-added-to-smud.html SF's City Workers To Test Plug-In Hybrid Pick Up Trucks. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced Tuesday a partnership that will provide the city with a fleet of 14 plug-in hybrid pickup trucks for the next three years. The partnership between the city, the U.S. Department of Energy and Chrysler Group allows the Ram 1500 trucks to be tested by San Francisco city departments to evaluate their charging performance and fuel economy. The trucks are part of a national fleet of 140 vehicles that are being tested in a dozen cities. Posted. http://sfappeal.com/news/2011/08/sfs-city-workers-to-test-plug-in-hybrid-pick-up-trucks.php GM Invests In Solar To Charge Electric Cars. Sunlogics, a solar energy system provider, received a $7.5 million investment from General Motors Co.'s venture capital arm. The solar company will use the funds to establish its headquarters in Rochester Hills, Mich., which will employ 200 people, and a factory in Ontario, which will employ 110 people. According to CEO Michael Matvieshen, Sunlogics will start production by the end of the year and will employ tool designers as well as structural and design engineers. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/01/10 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY New Electric Motor, Evs Powering The House And EV Car Sharing. A research team at the Tokyo University of Science has developed a new switch-reluctant electric motor without rare earth materials. Nissan has presented a new add-on system for the Leaf's battery that allows the EV to power an average household for two days. Nobukazu Hoshi, associate professor at the Tokyo University of Science, has together with his team developed an electric motor without rare earth materials. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/63220110803.php OPINIONS Airlines and Carbon. The world’s leaders should have reached a deal long ago to limit greenhouse gas emissions. In the absence of such a deal, the European Union’s plan to regulate the carbon emissions of all airplanes that land or take off from European airports is a reasonable attempt to address an urgent problem. Aviation amounts to about 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, a share projected to rise quickly as air traffic surges. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/03/opinion/airlines-and-greenhouse-gas-emissions.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print BLOGS California Air Resources Board Sees ‘Reasonable Compromise’ in CAFE Standards. Proposed fuel economy standards for 2017-25 model-year vehicles, announced last week by President Obama, should reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a pace consistent with targets set by the California Air Resources Board, according to agency representatives. The board plans to announce its clean-air targets in September, said Tom Cackette, its chief deputy executive officer, in a telephone interview. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/03/california-air-resources-board-sees-reasonable-compromise-in-cafe-standards/?scp=8&sq=vehicles&st=cse Ahead of Frankfurt Auto Show, Mazda CX-5 Makes Web Debut. Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts aside, few new cars are burdened with the weight of expectation like the Mazda CX-5 compact S.U.V., revealed online Tuesday ahead of its debut in September at the Frankfurt auto show. Mazda, virtually alone among major automakers, has foregone hybrid technology in favor of high-compression internal combustion engines. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/ahead-of-frankfurt-auto-show-mazda-cx-5-makes-web-debut/?scp=1&sq=diesel%20emissions&st=cse Congressman Issa, Please Step Away from the Car Deal. Last Friday, President Obama announced another historic clean car agreement, supported by car companies, the auto workers union, environmental organizations, and states that by 2025 will double new vehicles’ miles per gallon and cut their carbon pollution nearly in half. Car owners will fill up half as often and save $3,000 over the life of the car. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ddoniger/congressman_issa_please_step_a.html NASA and Google Team Up for Zero-Emissions Flight Contest. Google’s made all kinds of headlines with its investments in clean energy recently: $280 million for a California residential solar company, $55 million for a wind project in Kern County, more than $10 million for geothermal R&D projects, and $168 million for a massive solar farm in the California desert, just to name a few. A new move by the company seeks to address another kind of energy challenge: airplane fuel. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2011/08/03/nasa-and-google-team-up-for-zero-emissions-flight-contest/ How will Citizens Ever Afford 54.5 MPG? Remember the old days when the auto manufacturers would line up in lockstep opposition to any fuel economy (CAFE) standards? Even the unions would oppose it, concerned about job losses. And lord knows…there was probably a gushing river of oil industry money flowing through the halls of congress to prevent America from moving in sustainable direction. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/08/545-mpg-gas-cafe/ BMW Teases Us With Two Electric Concepts. BMW has provided a glimpse of its electric future with the unveiling of two electric concepts, the first to come from its e-mobility division. Although the cars are conceptual studies that probably won’t see production, they provide the best view yet of the electric i3 and plug-in hybrid i8 models the company promises to deliver within three years. They also suggest the German automaker is serious about launching “BMW i” electric vehicle brand. Posted. http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/08/bmw-i3-and-i8-concepts/#more-37559 Morning Greens: Foreign Auto Lobby Wants A Revision Of California’s Zero-Emissions Standards. The foreign auto lobby says California’s emission standards will hurt the auto industry while state lawmakers consider the environmental “reform” on a planned downtown stadium. Welcome to your Wednesday morning greens. The foreign auto lobby claims California’s expansion of zero-emission standards by 2018 will hurt the auto industry. Mike Stanton is president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/environment/2011/08/03/morning-greens-foreign-auto-lobby-wants-revision-c/ University Of Michigan And Ford Researchers See Plentiful Lithium Resources For Electric Vehicles. Researchers from the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Co. report in Journal of Industrial Ecology that even with a rapid and widespread adoption of electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries, lithium resources are sufficient to support demand until at least the end of this century. For their study, they assessed the global availability of lithium and compared it to the potential demand from large-scale global use of electric vehicles. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/lithium-20110803.html Auto Industry Survey Finds Need For Materials Innovation To Meet 2025 CAFE; Greatest Change Seen In Powertrain Systems. The auto industry’s current materials portfolio will need to be augmented to meet new 2025 fuel economy standards, according to a WardsAuto and DuPont Automotive survey conducted in late July. Only 5% of the vehicle design and engineers polled said they are “very confident” that currently available materials will help them meet proposed CAFE standards. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/dupont-20110803.html