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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 11, 2011. Posted: 11 Aug 2011 12:29:19
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 11, 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 It's been a banner year for breezes and clean air in the Valley. Sacramento is enjoying cleaner air, which officials attribute to this year's cool spring and summer, the lack of major forest fires and continued success in state vehicle emission-control programs. The summer's air quality is good news for those taking advantage of outdoor recreation – gardening, jogging, golfing, hiking and finding pleasure in the region's scenic views. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/11/3830243/its-been-a-banner-year-for-breezes.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/11/1811120/its-been-a-banner-year-for-breezes.html Industry asks to reopen Bush-era lawsuit over ozone rules. As the White House decides whether to tighten the nationwide limits on smog that the George W. Bush administration had chosen, power companies and large manufacturers are asking a federal court to hear their claims that even the old rules are too strict. U.S. EPA has delayed the release of its final update to the air quality standards for ozone four times, most recently last week. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/11/3 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Building Cap-and-Trade System ‘An Ingenious Approach’ The world’s first cap and trade system just for buildings could prove a model for other municipalities seeking to cut emissions, according to a forthcoming journal article. Tokyo’s emissions trading program, launched in April 2010, demonstrates that effective regulation of building emissions is possible, according to the article by Yuko Nishida and Ying Hua. The piece will appear in the August 10 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Building Research and Information. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/08/11/building-cap-and-trade-system-an-ingenious-approach/ China, California likely to dictate US carbon market. Successful carbon cap-and-trade programmes in China and California are likely to be necessary preconditions of any US national market in greenhouse gas emissions, according to market pioneer Richard Sandor. Richard Sandor: Cautiously optimistic about prospects of a "bottom up" US carbon market developing. “We need to have China surpass us to wake up the politicians in Washington,” Sandor told Environmental Finance. “And all eyes will be focused on cap-and-trade in California…Posted. http://www.environmental-finance.com/news/view/1914 Emissions cap not low enough for E.U. to continue buying Chinese offsets. China's plan, announced last week, to set absolute limits on greenhouse gas emissions is unlikely to persuade the European Union to continue financing project-based greenhouse gas reductions in China under the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). While the absolute cap on Chinese industry emissions represents a major policy change, after 2012, the European Union plans to restrict offset credits from Chinese projects. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/11/9 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS The rise, fall, then rise again of a powerful global warming gas. Call it "The Case of the Missing Methane." Scientists were stumped when the concentration of the powerful greenhouse gas leveled off at the end of the 20th century, after increasing for nearly a century. Now a pair of studies published yesterday in Nature presents two different, seemingly conflicting, theories about what happened. One study argues that changing agricultural practices, especially among Asia's rice farmers, caused the methane slowdown between 1980 and 2000. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/11/5 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES In Auto Test in Europe, Meter Ticks Off Miles, and Fee to Driver. Eindhoven, the Netherlands — As Sander Van Dedem recalled watching the charges tick up every 10 seconds on the dashboard meter on the way to the airport, he resolved to try public transportation next time. “Looking at the money makes you realize that a car isn’t always a good idea,” said Mr. Van Dedem, a commercial sales manager for I.B.M. here. But his pricey ride was not in a taxi. He was driving his own Volvo XC60. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/science/earth/11meter.html?ref=earth Ford and SunPower to bundle electric cars with rooftop solar power. Electric-car makers and solar manufacturers have long known they share the same potential customers -- highly educated and affluent people who are fascinated by technology and care about the environment and energy independence. SunPower (SPWRA), Silicon Valley's largest solar manufacturer, and Ford on Wednesday announced a partnership that is a first for the auto and solar industries. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_18653385 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18656111 U.S. awards $175M for advanced technology projects to improve fuel economy. The U.S. Department of Energy today awarded more than $175 million in funding to support projects and research that accelerate the development of advanced vehicle technologies. The funding will support 40 projects across 15 states aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of future cars and trucks. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110810/OEM05/110819984/1186 U.S. electric vehicle battery maker gets a jolt from GM. 2011 hasn't been a banner year for American battery manufacturers, but an announcement by General Motors Co. today suggests that at least one of them will get a shot in the arm. GM today selected A123 Systems Inc. as a supplier for an as yet unknown passenger vehicle that will be sold in the United States as well as Europe and Asia, the markets that are a surer bet for adopting electric cars. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/11/4 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY New electric car can power your home. Nissan's Leaf electric car can feed power from its battery back into a family home and run appliances for up to two days under a new project the Japanese car-maker unveiled Tuesday. Using the "Leaf to Home" system, the lithium-ion batteries of the zero tailpipe emission Leaf can be used as an emergency power backup for the home during a natural disaster or a power blackout, Nissan said. Posted. http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2011/aug/100811-nissan-electric-car-power-home-leaf-technology.htm GREEN ENERGY Europe Lodges WTO Complaint Against Canada Over Renewable Energy. The European Union lodged a complaint at the World Trade Organization against Canada over subsidies the province of Ontario gives to renewable-energy producers that use domestic technology. Under Ontario’s feed-in tariff program, created by the province’s Green Energy Act, above-market rates are paid to producers of renewable energy provided it is generated with a certain percentage of Canadian-made equipment. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-11/europe-lodges-wto-complaint-against-canada-over-renewable-energy.html http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/11/us-eu-canada-trade-idUSTRE77A2WU20110811 Massive Solar Project Gets Approval To Build. Palm Springs, Calif.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved a massive solar project proposed for a large swath of desert east of Palm Springs. The proposed project would be built on 4,100 acres of public lands by Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of First Solar Inc. According to the announcement issued Wednesday …Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_18655704 http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110811/NEWS07/108110318/Feds-approve-massive-solar-project-Desert-Center-?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFrontpage Feds approve massive desert center solar project. With federal approval of First Solar's 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project Wednesday, three of the four fast-tracked industrial-scale solar projects on public land east of the Coachella Valley are, or soon will be, hiring. “We're going to see people back to work pretty quick,” said Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit. “There will be a large number of construction jobs at the start. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108110318 Palm desert couple take on hoa over solar. A Palm Desert couple who want to help the environment and shave utility costs are battling their homeowners association over the right to install solar panels on their condominium, a situation in which other condo owners in the valley could find themselves. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108100312 San Mateo County gets to work on energy-efficiency plan. Redwood City -- The assignment was to write their visions for a greener San Mateo County -- big ideas only, three per person, on Post-it notes to share. Janet Davis was already on her 15th Post-it when meeting organizers called for the discussion to begin. "It's why we're here," said Davis, who came to kick off the county's Energy Efficiency Climate Action Plan at a public meeting with a sprinkling of concerned county residents. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-county/ci_18658081 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18658081 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18658081 Hybrid plant slated for Los Angeles County. The California Energy Commission yesterday approved construction of a hybrid power plant in Los Angeles County. The 570-megawatt plant, which will be built about 60 miles north of the city of Los Angeles, will create energy with a combination of natural gas and solar thermal. During daylight hours solar equipment will provide about 10 percent of the peak power generated, the commission said in a statement. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/11/10 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Test flight set today for 13,000-mph Hypersonic Falcon glider. Ready for a 12-minute flight from New York to Los Angeles? You can't buy tickets quite yet, but today DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is conducting a second flight test of its unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology vehicle. A drawing of the unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology vehicle developed by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/08/test-flight-set-today-for-13000-mph-hypersonic-falcon-glider/1 http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18660533 Pregnant California women show high levels of flame retardant. The levels of PBDEs in their blood were among the highest ever recorded, a UC San Francisco study says. PBDEs, mostly banned in California since 2004, are harmful to the liver, thyroid and nerve development. Pregnant California women have registered some of the highest levels of the toxic flame retardant PBDE in their bodies ever recorded worldwide, according to a new study released by researchers at UC San Francisco on Wednesday. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-flame-retardants-20110811,0,4523300,print.story Capitol Alert: Harry Reid a fan of 'gentleman' Jerry Brown. Gov. Jerry Brown has a fan in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. On a media call this morning ahead of a clean energy summit in Las Vegas this month, the Nevada Democrat said he was "elated" to have Brown join the conference, touting Brown's longtime advocacy of renewable energy. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/08/10/v-print/2494764/capitol-alert-harry-reid-a-fan.html Alternative fuel firm under scrutiny after blast. An alternative energy company is under scrutiny after it was revealed that a powerful explosion that blew two employees out of the building was similar to another one that occurred last year at a facility operated by the same owner. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/10/1810949/state-joins-la-probe-into-alternative.html (paid subscription only) OPINION Political smog. The White House is caving to pressure and delaying new ozone standards despite a scientific consensus that the minimum standard is too high. Health is too important to allow politics to interfere. Former President Bush had a nasty tendency to put politics ahead of science; one of the more flagrant examples of this occurred in 2008, when the Environmental Protection Agency set a weaker standard on ozone, the key ingredient in smog, than the agency's scientific advisory panel had unanimously recommended. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-ozone-20110811,0,3038912.story NRDC: It's Not Just the Heat, It's the Smog Pollution -- Analysis shows suburbs, rural areas, even national parks suffer from dangerous "bad air" days this summer. Washington - Most of the nation – from seaside suburbs to our national parks - has experienced health-threatening "bad air" days this year due to smog pollution, according to a new analysis of government air pollution data by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/11/v-print/3831191/nrdc-its-not-just-the-heat-its.html http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/extremes/story/2011/08/Report-details-2000-unhealthy-air-alerts-in-2011/49920218/1 Would looser environmental regulations help the economy? Republicans in the House of Representatives are waging an all-out war to block federal regulations that protect the environment. They loaded up a pending 2012 spending bill with terms that would eliminate a broad array of environmental protections, everything from stopping new plants and animals from being placed on the endangered species list to ending federal limits on water pollution in Florida, Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/07/13/1810002/would-looser-environmental-regulations.html (paid subscription only) LEWIS W. DIUGUID: Give Mother Earth a weekly day off. Global warming naysayers will continue to deny that humans worsen the health of the planet until the rising tide overtakes coastal homes and 100-degree heat is a Midwest constant. The prevailing science provides clear evidence that the polar ice caps are melting. Arctic shipping lanes, which for the centuries of humanity's existence have been frozen, are now clearing in parts. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/08/10/2495099/lewis-w-diuguid-give-mother-earth.html#storylink=misearch Opinion: Hooking up to the grid: Reforming access is imperative. There is significant excitement over the new law requiring 33 percent of California’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. (Thanks to author, state Sen. Joe Simitian.) But, without reforming the process of connecting renewables to the grid, the economic benefits that can be delivered to our communities by clean renewable energy will remain limited. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?1=1&_c=zwws650pg8t4z7&xid=zwwl3eyzutlswz&done=.zwwlnmmw5bn2kt&_credir=1313079470&_c=zwws650pg8t4z7# BLOGS Imparting Energy Smarts to Young Consumers. While some members of Congress lament the prospect of switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, one California nonprofit, Zilowatt, is spreading the energy conservation message at a grass-roots level. The group, whose motto is “Start Small,” wants to change energy habits by teaching consumers in grades K to 12 that the best light bulb is one that’s turned off. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/imparting-energy-smarts-to-young-consumers/?ref=earth More than 150,000 Jobs Exist in the Clean Car Sector; New Standards Will Create More. Today President Obama is speaking at a factory in Holland, Michigan that makes lithium batteries for advanced hybrid electric cars. We have heard a lot of bad news about the economy lately, but when the President stands in the Johnson Controls’ plant, we will hear a different truth: clean cars have powered Detroit’s turnaround and put Americans back to work. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/plehner/already_151000_jobs_exist_in_t.html New Smog Standards Will Prevent Respiratory Illness, but Polluters Don't Want to Clean Up Their Mess. American homeowners know that companies don’t have the right to dump garbage in our backyards. If we found a pile of solid waste on our lawn, we would demand they haul it away. Even if we learned it would cost the company money to clean it up, we wouldn’t just let them leave garbage in our yard. We would make them get rid of it. Yet every day, companies are dumping garbage into our lungs in the form of air pollution. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/plehner/new_smog_standards_will_preven.html Faced with daunting mpg standards, automakers seek "cure" for vehicle weight. Stringent fuel economy guidelines unveiled by the Obama administration in late July will force the automotive industry to explore cost-effective lightweight materials for use in future vehicles, according to some industry analysts. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/10/faced-with-daunting-mpg-standards-automakers-seek-cure-for-ve/ Urban green energy's skypump lets you drive like with the wind. We doubt that charging your electric vehicles using solar will become passé any time soon, but when it does, at least we have options when comes to fossil fuel-free electrons. Urban Green Energy is teaming with General Electric to create charging stations that funnel power from the wind directly into your EV's batteries. They even have a clever name: the skypump. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/10/urban-green-energy-skypump-wind-power/ DOE awards $7 million to advance hydrogen storage systems. It appears the U.S. hasn't completely backed away from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a new Department of Energy (DOE) announcement saying it will award nearly $7 million over five years for cost analysis to support the development of hydrogen storage for fuel cell systems, including those used for transportation. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/10/doe-awards-7-million-to-advance-hydrogen-storage-systems/ DOE To Invest $50 Million More In Solar Manufacturing. Over the course of the next two years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will invest $50 million into its SUNPATH (Scaling Up Nascent Photovoltaic At Home) program. The DOE says this multi-million investment is to assist the U.S. in reclaiming its competitive edge in solar manufacturing. SUNPATH is the second phase of the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative (PVMI), which, in turn, is part of the DOE's SunShot Initiative. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/10/doe-to-invest-50-million-in-solar-manufacturing/