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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 15, 2011.

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 14:26:49
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 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.


Sacredness of Temecula-area quarry site adds to fight. Imagine
having the Garden of Eden in your backyard and watching it
disappear, one explosive blast at a time.  Leaders of the
Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians say something similar will
happen if a proposed Temecula-area quarry is approved in the area
where they believe the world began. "The origin of the Luiseño
people is the single most important account in our culture,"
Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said. "Our present-day practices,
beliefs and social structure are directly related to our
creation."  Posted. 

Odors, air emissions and livestock mortality composting. Nearly
all people initially think that a dead animal, if told nothing
else about the carcass, smells badly. This is because typically
their experiences are limited to road kill and mice in the
garage. A well-managed composting system for on-farm mortality
does not have to be an air quality concern! Similar to other
areas of livestock production there are air emissions from
composting livestock mortality. Greenhouse gases and ammonia are
all emitted from the compost site. Posted.

EPA stays tight-lipped on ozone review. Two weeks after missing a
self-imposed deadline for a review of the national air quality
standards for ozone, the Obama administration dropped few hints
about its plans Friday when it told a federal court it will need
more time to make a decision. The filing with the U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia does not say when
U.S. EPA will release a final rule that was sent to the White
House in mid-July. The interagency review process should be
finished soon, "after which EPA expects expeditiously to sign the
final action," the filing says. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/15/5 BY PAID


Obama administration encounters opposition to international
climate agenda.  President Obama spoke of lofty intentions to
help the world reduce greenhouse gases when he addressed
delegates to United Nations talks in Copenhagen in 2009.  “We
have charted our course, we have made our commitments, and we
will do what we say,” he said. “Now I believe that it’s time for
the nations and people of the world to come together behind a
common purpose.”  Posted. 

With Post-Its and Checklists, Schools Cut Their Energy Bills.
Simple yellow Post-it notes with the message “When not in use,
turn off the juice,” pointedly left on classroom computers,
printers and air-conditioners, have helped the Mount Sinai School
District on Long Island save $350,000 annually on utility bills.
Energy consumption in New York City’s 1,245 school buildings is
down roughly 11 percent since 2008, as motion detectors have been
installed on classroom lights and unused refrigerators and
freezers have been unplugged for the summer. Posted. 

New study blames human beings for half of arctic ice melt. About
half the recent record loss of Arctic sea ice can be blamed on
global warming caused by human activity, according to a new study
by scientists from the nation's leading climate research center.
The peer-reviewed study, funded by the National Science
Foundation is the first to attribute a specific proportion of the
ice melt to greenhouse gases and particulates from pollution.
(paid subscription only)

Parking? Yes, there's an app for that. Everyone who drives has
had the frustrating experience of circling the block in search of
an elusive parking space, or pulling into a garage to discover
that it is full. All that time spent driving around in search of
parking wastes time and gas -- and emits even more of the
greenhouse gases that cause climate change. That's where "smart
parking" comes in -- the use of wireless technology and
smartphone apps to make parking far easier, from directing you to
open spots to facilitating online payments.

Flurry of lobbying as Calif. Approaches final cap-and-trade
design. As California's cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases
nears the finish line, industry and environmental groups are
still polarized on most of the major issues, from how many
allowances industries should get for free to the stringency of
the offsets system. Public comments were due last week on the
second-to-last version of California's cap-and-trade program,
which will be the first economy wide market-based system in the
country for corralling greenhouse gas emissions when it takes
effect next year. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/15/2  BY PAID

Northeast states considering low-carbon fuel rule based on Calif.
model. A group of 11 states in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic
regions is working on a plan that could cut the carbon intensity
of transportation fuels by as much as 15 percent over the next 10
to 15 years. The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use
Management (NESCAUM) is set to release a framework for a
low-carbon fuel standard pending the completion of an economic
analysis, which could happen as early as this month. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/15/2 BY PAID

Carbon emissions from soil could limit sequestration efforts –
study. The carbon-sucking potential of tropical forests could be
diminished significantly by decaying leaves and plant matter, a
new study from Nature Climate Change says. The culprit is a
process known as the priming effect, said Emma Sayer, lead author
of the study and a researcher at the Centre for Ecology and
Hydrology in the United Kingdom. The extra CO2 that is expected
to enter the atmosphere in the coming decades will encourage
overall plant growth in the forests. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/15/3 BY PAID

Small-scale experiment yields a 'sponge' that traps power plant
CO2.There is a new sponge that researchers hope could absorb
greenhouse gases from power plants one day. In a recent study,
scientists at Lehigh University created a new material that pulls
carbon dioxide and methane selectively from a stream of other
gases. In theory, the new spongy substance could sop up
heat-trapping gases emitted from the burning of coal or natural
gas. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/15/4

What is cap-and-trade? Program would lower greenhouse gas
emissions, but panned by Tea Party. The cap-and-trade approach to
handling greenhouse gases, while controversial, is hardly
complex. The basic premise of the pollution management program
involves imposing mandatory limits - the caps - on the amount of
allowable emissions from certain businesses. Step two grants
companies’ credits - basically, licenses allowing them to release
a specific amount of carbon dioxide or other pollutants into the
air. Posted.


Pittsburgh panel OKs diesel limits for contractors.  Pittsburgh
City Council has approved a bill that would limit diesel
emissions on contractors' vehicles used in city-subsidized
construction projects.  The bill was hailed as the first
clean-air law passed by council since the middle of last century,
though Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office says he was still reviewing
the bill and uncertain if he would sign it. The bill passed
Tuesday with a veto-proof 8-0 majority, however, making that a
formality.  Posted.  http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18468351

CARB rejects port truckers bid. After agreeing to a panel
hearing, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has decided
against a recommendation to delay the scheduled emissions
upgrades for drayage trucks in the Port of Oakland. We did not
accomplish our intended outcome,” Ronald Light, executive
director of the West State Alliance told Fleet Owner following
the hearing. The hearing was designed to give truckers hauling in
and out of the area port the opportunity to voice their concerns
about the impact of the scheduled Phase II …Posted.


DRIVING GREEN: Electric vehicle practicality.  As Chevrolet Volts
and Nissan Leafs trickle into area showrooms, we have reached the
dawning of the age of Duracell. Mass-produced electric vehicles
are finally breaking out of their niche after languishing for
more than a century, as other manufacturers are jockeying to
bring their battery electric and extended-range electric cars to
market as quickly as possible …Posted. 

Surprise! Ford's V-6 gamble turbocharges sales of F-150. Five
years ago, when Ford considered a push to put a pricey, premium
V-6 in more F-150s, it seemed like a dangerous gamble with a
macho, full-sized pickup known for toughness and capacity. To
many dealers and company insiders, it seemed like a bad joke.  "I
once said, "Bubba don't buy nothing but a V-8, and we've got a
lot of Bubbas out here,'" recalls Martin Gubbels, owner of Big
Sky Ford-Lincoln in Torrington, Wyo. Posted. 

Ford's new option: Home solar power. Floor mats, mag wheels --
and now solar panels for the roof of your house. The list of
dealer-offered options gets a first with the 2012 Ford Focus
Electric. Ford has teamed up with SunPower to offer a residential
solar-power system. The system, which can produce 3,000 kilowatt
hours of electricity annually, doesn't directly charge the
vehicle's battery. But Ford says it can provide enough
electricity to the house to balance out the strain that a
1,000-mile-per-month driver puts on the electric bill. Posted. 

U-M Eco-Driving Index tracks environmental impact of new
vehicles.  A new national index by the University of Michigan
shows that emissions of greenhouse gases per driver of newly
purchased vehicles are down fourteen percent since late 2007.
UMTRI researchers developed the index as part of Sustainable
Worldwide Transportation.  The U-M Eco-Driving Index estimates
the average monthly amount of greenhouse gases produced by an
individual U.S. driver who purchased a new vehicle that month. 
Posted.  http://www.umtri.umich.edu/news.php?id=2854

Not sure about buying an EV yet? Just rent it first!  Major US
and Europe car rental companies are proposing and announcing the
integration of electric vehicles (hybrid, plug-in and full
electric) into their fleets, giving consumers the opportunity to
rent almost every EV commercially available as soon as they hit
the market. cars21.com summarised their offers below, focusing on
the offer of plug-in and full electric vehicles to rent.  Posted.


Corbett downplays Pa. green energy, conservation.  A newspaper
says the Corbett administration is putting aside renewable energy
and energy conservation efforts emphasized by previous governors
as it focuses on Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry. 
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/onSYHd) that
the administration has stripped employees from offices that
oversee utility efforts to save energy and help schools and local
governments conserve energy.  Posted. 

One solution to the variability of wind power is more wind.  The
output from a single wind turbine can vary widely over a short
period of time, as wind goes from gusty to calm. The adjacent
graphic (from this report [PDF]) illustrates how a single turbine
in Texas provided varying power output over a single day, varying
from under 20 percent of capacity to near 100 percent!  Posted. 

Are California’s Renewable Energy Goals Achievable? California is
committed to a renewable energy portfolio to provide 33 percent
of its electricity by 2020 from qualifying resources such as
wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and small hydroelectric
facilities. Can this portfolio succeed? Ambitious goals take more
than legislative action to have a chance for success. It takes an
actual plan that can be implemented with actual engineering
accomplishments. Posted.


More colleges offering organic, sustainability agriculture
programs as consumer interest grows.  Misha Manuchehri slowly
picks her way through plots of barley, wheat and peas. Every so
often, the graduate student in crop science at Washington State
University stoops to pluck an errant weed at a farm just off
campus.  With a bachelor’s degree in organic agriculture already
under her belt, Manuchehri plans to continue her studies and
ultimately find work in sustainable agriculture.  Posted. 


High-speed rail: on track to better travel. When The Chronicle
endorsed Proposition 1A, the $9.95 billion bond measure that
provided California's share of funding for the statewide
high-speed rail system, the newspaper said it represented an
"ambitious vision that is well tailored to the state's
transportation and environmental needs." The Chronicle argued
that we will see the "economic and environmental benefits of
connecting urban centers with growing inland cities that don't
have major airports - and providing an alternative to the
cattle-call flights between the Bay Area and Southern
California." Posted.

'Leaf To Home': A Charging System That Powers Your Ev (And Then
Some). Back in November, when I was invited to visit Nissan's
American headquarters outside of Nashville to give the Leaf - the
company's revolutionary, emissions-free electric vehicle - a
spin, my main concern wasn't with how the car handled on
Tennessee's lonely back roads (it handled just fine) but with its
sleeping arrangements. Posted. 
(paid subscription only)

Editorial: don't put brakes on transportation funding. The trauma
of the past two weeks has driven the point home: America must
reduce its national debt. However, we dread the next major battle
between Republicans trying to cut spending and Democrats fighting
to maintain the status quo. Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican,
proposes to cut federal funding for highway and mass transit
construction and repair by a third. Posted.

Thumbs down: home owners associations should allow solar panels
on condominiums. The Palm Valley homeowners association is
setting the wrong example by denying a Palm Desert couple's
request to install solar panels on their condo. The homeowners
want to go green to save money on electricity and help the
environment, a practical and noble effort. Posted. 

Fuel efficiency? Be careful what you wish for.  One of the
persistent canards of the free-us-from-foreign-oil crowd is that
if we can make our cars more economical – get more miles to the
gallon – we can win release from Middle Eastern oil dependency. 
Not exactly.  As Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe Columnist, explains:
“Americans use energy far more efficiently than in decades past,
and for that reason they consume more energy.”  Posted. 

Film on Climate Refugees Strikes a Chord. During the shooting of
his 2010 documentary “Climate Refugees,” the Irish-American
filmmaker Michael Nash visited nearly 50 countries in about 18
months, interviewing politicians, scientists, health workers and
victims of floods, cyclones, hurricanes and droughts. His
conclusion was that short- and longer-term changes in climate are
causing vast numbers of people to abandon their jobs, homes and
countries to seek better lives elsewhere, or to simply survive.

After 2 studies, methane puzzle persists. One climate-science
conundrum, two research teams, two independent approaches, two
seemingly conflicting conclusions. The unsolved mystery, or
perhaps now, twice-solved mystery: Why did atmospheric methane
levels, steadily on the rise since record-keeping began, abruptly
level off and stabilize in the last three decades? Posted. 

Measuring your plastic footprint. With climate change and carbon
dioxide emissions dominating the environmental conversation much
of the time, the issue of plastic pollution tends to get short
shrift. Still, the problem is worrying enough to be stirring
serious concern among environmental and scientific experts,
especially when it comes to plastic that ends up in the oceans,
where it never quite biodegrades and can form a swelling gyre of
sludge. Posted.

Usda, DOE award $12.2 million to 10 bioenergy crop projects. The
U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) have awarded ten grants totaling $12.2 million to spur
research in biofuel and bioenergy crops. The specific goal is to
improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of growing
bioenergy crops. Posted. 

DOE awards $175 million for development of advanced vehicle
technologies. Can you build a better car for $175 million? The
U.S. Department of Energy hopes so, and Secretary Steven Chu has
announced that the DOE will award more than that amount over the
next three to five years to accelerate the development and
deployment of advanced vehicle technologies. Posted. 

White house says job growth will come from higher mpg standards .
Yesterday, President Obama visited the Johnson Controls advanced
battery manufacturing plant in Holland, MI (pictured) and talked
about how cleaner cars will add jobs to the American economy.

How the 54.5 mpg cafe standard will really equal 40 mpg in the
real world. First there was 62 miles per gallon, then 56.2 mpg,
then 54.5 mpg, and now we could be looking at 40 mpg for
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) in 2025. What's that you
say, you thought 54.5 was the official number? Posted. 

Nissan Leaf Will Power Homes in Japan. This week, automaker
Nissan  announced a two-way charging system that will allow the
new all-electric Nissan Leaf  to not only charge up, but also to
reverse the flow of electricity to allow the car to power the
home for brief periods during power outages or shortages.
Considering the recent calamity in Japan’s power generation
system, and the numerous blackouts that occurred in the
aftermath, this capability will certainly be appreciated.
Meanwhile, energy saving measures in the wake of the disaster
have reduced Tokyo’s electric demand by about a third. Posted. 

Agave as a Biofuel? A new study by University of Sydney and
England's Oxford University researchers is investigating the
possibility that the agave plant could be farmed as a fuel source
in the Australian outback. The agave plant is best known as a
Mexican plant used to distil tequila and mescal….'In terms of
producing ethanol, agave is about the same as sugar cane - but
the advantage over sugar cane is they survive in very dry areas
on little water,'' The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 29 July.
Posted.  http://www.celsias.com/article/agave-biofuel/

Lifting the Lid on Climate Activism. With legislative remedies
falling far behind the threat of climate change, nonviolent
direction action is increasingly being seen as the critical next
step for environmental activists and advocates. Filmmaker Emily
James spent more than a year embedded with British activist
outfits like Climate Camp   and Plane Stupid   to document their
clandestine activities and offer unprecedented access to a
community of people who refuse to sit back and tolerate the
destruction of their world. Posted. 

Ecotricity Rolls Out the World’s First Wind Powered Car Charger.
Ah Ecotricity, how we love your innovative and awesome ways. Not
content with pioneering electric highways and eco-friendly
supercars, the UK based renewable energy company has created the
world’s first wind turbine-powered post for charging electric
vehicles. Posted.

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