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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.


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.

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


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.

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.

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


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


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. 

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.

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. 

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

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. 


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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.
(paid subscription only)

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.

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.

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. 
(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.

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.


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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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