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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 18, 2011.

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 13:23:51
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 18, 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.


White House looks to curb smog-rule impact. The Obama
administration is promising to blunt the impact of its pending
ozone standards by ensuring flexibility for industries, but it
likely won’t have enough wiggle room to win over its fiercest
critics. In an effort to refute industry’s claims that a tighter
smog standard will put a damper on economic recovery, the White
House and the EPA have repeatedly vowed to use flexibility
allowed under the Clean Air Act when the rules are implemented.
Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61594.html

Previous EPA smog crackdown didn't hurt local economies – report.
If the last time U.S. EPA updated its nationwide smog standards
is any indication, a plan to further ratchet down pollution
limits won't slam the economy in parts of the country with
dirtier air, according to an analysis released today by a liberal
think tank. Oil companies, manufacturers and large business
groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sounded the alarms in
1997 when, under the watch of President Clinton, the agency moved
to tighten the air quality standards for ground-level ozone, the
main component of smog. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/18/3 BY PAID


Rick Perry calls global warming an unproven, costly theory. The
Texas governor says scientists have 'manipulated data' to win
research dollars. Reporting from Bedford, N.H. - Texas Gov. Rick
Perry on Wednesday reaffirmed his view that global warming is an
unproven scientific theory that has been advanced, at least in
part, by scientists who have "manipulated data," and he argued
that programs intended to limit climate change are costing the
nation "billions if not trillions" of dollars that he believes
could be better spent elsewhere. Posted.

Climate law will increase REU rates; Redding cost could rise 1.5%
to 27%. California's campaign to curb its greenhouse gas
emissions could cost Redding Electric Utility ratepayers as soon
as next year. An emissions cap and trade program under Assembly
Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, may force REU
to raise rates anywhere from 1.5 percent to 27 percent, Elizabeth
Hadley, legislative and regulatory analyst for the utility,
recently told the City Council. Posted.

Climate Change: GHG Emissions Allowance Prices Tumble.  As
California regulators weigh whether to move ahead with a carbon
cap-and-trade program, the price for greenhouse gas emission
rights last week in Europe sunk to nearly an all-time low. The
reason is plentiful supply and ongoing economic sluggishness. 
Benchmark certified emissions reductions stemming from offset
projects hit 7.4 euros/ton, or about $10.53. Posted. 


Engineer to Measure Vehicle Emissions on Highways. Study will
focus on particulate matter concentrations, which are
increasingly implicated in human death and illness. Riverside,
Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- Heejung Jung, a University of California,
Riverside assistant professor of engineering, has received a
$41,000 grant from the UC Transportation Center to build a
portable device, install it on test vehicles and use it to map
real-time particulate matter concentrations on Southern
California highways. Particulate emissions from burning
transportation fuels are increasingly implicated in human illness
and death. Posted. http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2706


GM plans to roll out Cadillac ELR, a luxury electric compact car.
The Cadillac ELR will use a drivetrain similar to what GM
developed for the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. Cadillac, the
upscale General Motors Co. brand, plans to come out with a luxury
electric compact car — based on the decidedly blue-collar
Chevrolet Volt. GM said Wednesday that the Cadillac ELR will use
a drivetrain similar to what it developed for the Chevrolet Volt,
which will enable the new model to travel some distance on only
electricity before a gas motor kicks in to act as a generator and
extend the vehicle's range. Posted.


Cash-Rich Companies Begin to Make Renewable Energy Investments.
With major U.S. corporations holding tens of billions of dollars
in cash on their balance sheets, a financing tool for renewable
energy projects that lost its luster during the credit crunch at
the end of 2008 is staging a comeback. Specialized "tax equity"
deals that had been a major source of financing for the wind and
solar industries are getting a fresh look by companies outside
the financial sector, such as Google. Posted.

Do alternative designs for wind turbines work? Propeller wind
turbines are the most common way of using one of the most
abundant energy sources on Earth to generate electricity. The
tall three-bladed fans are the ubiquitous symbol of wind energy,
but they aren't the only design on the market. Vertical axis
turbines, where the rotating axis stands upright, have been
around as long as their horizontal brethren but have failed to
catch on at large scales. Posted.


Bashing E.P.A. Is New Theme in G.O.P. Race. The Environmental
Protection Agency is emerging as a favorite target of the
Republican presidential candidates, who portray it as the very
symbol of a heavy-handed regulatory agenda imposed by the Obama
administration that they say is strangling the economy.
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota wants to padlock the
E.P.A.’s doors, as does former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Posted. 

Most GOP candidates have harsh words for EPA.  The Environmental
Protection Agency is emerging as a favorite target of the
Republican presidential candidates, who portray it as the very
symbol of a heavy-handed regulatory agenda imposed by the Obama
administration that they say is strangling the economy.  Rep.
Michele Bachmann of Minnesota wants to padlock the EPA's doors,
as does former Speaker House Newt Gingrich. Gov. Rick Perry of
Texas wants to impose an immediate moratorium on all
environmental regulation.  Posted. 

Free smog check Saturday in Fresno. The San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District and Valley Clean Air Now are teaming
again up to encourage owners to cleanup their old cars during the
“Tune In & Tune Up” event this Saturday at the Fresno
Fairgrounds. Free vehicle emissions tests will be available from
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the parking lot on Maple and Butler avenues.
Fresno-area drivers who own older cars can have their vehicles
inspected, and will be provided with a voucher for up to $800 if
the car does not pass an emissions test. Posted.

Polystyrene ban: Bill would put California first. California
would become the first state in the nation to ban the use of
polystyrene foam to-go food containers under legislation pending
in the Assembly. Opponents are pushing hard to keep the measure
bottled up in committee. A key reason is that Gov. Jerry Brown
could sign it into law.As mayor of Oakland, Brown secured
elimination of plastic foam cups and containers at the Oakland
Coliseum. Various environmental groups back the ban as a way to
reduce litter and marine pollution while encouraging greater use
of biodegradable or compostable alternatives. Posted.


Opinion: CARB was wise to give California business a warm-up year
for global warming law. The National Football League's preseason
is under way. Especially after this locked-out summer, players,
owners and fans are eager for teams to get back on the gridiron
and work out the kinks before the full weight of the regular
season kicks in. For businesses in California, 2012 will be a
preseason, of sorts, for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Just
as football's preseason is designed to allow teams to get up to
speed for the regular season, 2012 will give businesses,
regulators, and investors a chance to climb the learning curve
without penalties. Posted. 

Revive Alerts To Spare The Air. About this time two years ago, as
students were returning to school and people were busy driving
around, air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley soared, causing
ozone to reach levels that violated federal air quality
standards. Posted.


Weather Alerts Are Imperiled, NOAA Warns. Without money to build
a new satellite, the federal government will no longer be able to
forecast severe weather events far enough in advance for
communities to take life-saving action five years from now. That
was the message that Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, delivered on
Wednesday at a town-hall-style meeting in Denver. Posted. 

Never Mind a Tiger in Your Tank: How About An Alligator?
Researchers at the Lafayette campus of the University of
Louisiana are looking for green substitutes for diesel fuel. The
prime one now in use is soybeans, which are used to make
biodiesel oil. But soybeans are also needed for human consumption
and animal feed. Now the researchers think they have identified a
potential source for biodiesel that currently goes straight to
landfills: alligator fat, about 15 million pounds of it every
year. Posted. 

A Republican Shout-Out for Wind Energy. In The New York Times on
Thursday, John M. Broder writes about a blood sport that has
become quite popular among the field of Republican presidential
candidates: attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet
the candidates recently found time to rally behind clean wind
energy, a topic some voters identify with a somewhat more liberal
agenda. Posted. 

Clouds Part for U.S. Solar Industry. A potentially dim week for
the American solar power industry ended on a bright note instead.
Solar advocates mounted a last-minute push Monday to prevent
sweeping cuts to a federal loan guarantee program for clean
energy development in a Republican budget plan. The cuts would
have essentially closed the program, which is popular with solar
power developers, and rescinded billion of dollars in loan
commitments for dozens of projects. Posted. 

Have Solar Panels, Will Travel. A thing of sheer beauty is
berthed in Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong: the Tűranor PlanetSolar,
a vessel that is circumnavigating the globe to prove that solar
energy can power water transportation. Designed in New Zealand,
built in Germany and flying a Swiss flag, the 102-foot boat has
completed about two-thirds of a voyage that began in Monaco last
September. So far it has sailed nearly 24,000 miles. Posted. 

Revisiting Climate and the Food Supply. When I was researching a
June article on the threat that climate change poses to the food
supply, scientists described numerous difficulties they have
encountered in seeking to forecast food production. They cited
uncertainty about whether crops would be hit harder by drought or
heat. Posted. 

Jerry Brown calls for high speed rail to move forward. Gov. Jerry
Brown said this afternoon that California's embattled high-speed
rail project should move forward, despite growing criticism about
the project's management and cost. While the nation is in a
"period of massive retrenchment," Brown told The Fresno Bee's
editorial board, "I would like to be part of the group that gets
America to think big again." The Democratic governor has said
little publicly about the project since it came under fire this
year in Sacramento, with cost estimates rising and lawmakers
questioning its oversight. Posted.

Gov. Brown discusses high-speed rail and moving water around the
state. Gov. Jerry Brown told The Fresno Bee's editorial board of
his plans for two major infrastructure projects in California. He
said he still backs high-speed rail, but believes the
governmental authority overseeing the project in California needs
to do a better job on the project. He also said that in the next
year, his administration will have a detailed proposal to build a
water conveyance system around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

New one-pot methanol-mediated process for conversion of wood and
cellulosic solids to liquid fuels.  Researchers at the University
of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) have developed a one-pot
process for the catalytic conversions of wood and cellulosic
solids to liquid and gaseous products in a reactor operating at
300–320 °C and 160-220 bar. Little or no char is formed during
this process.  Posted. 

California's cap-and-trade needs to be well-designed to protect
manufacturers. Vice President of Communications for the
California Manufacturers & Technology Association. California has
lost a third of its manufacturing sector and the California Air
Resources Board (CARB) continues to try to implement the state's
AB 32 carbon reduction program in a cost-effective manner.  The
rest of the country has lost a large portion of its manufacturing
as well, but at least temporarily given up on mandatory carbon
reductions. Posted.

Infographic: What it would take to meet Obama’s 2035 clean energy
goals?  In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve
America's energy security, President Obama has laid out a goal
for the U.S. to generate 80 percent of its electricity from clean
energy sources by 2035. To replace coal, which is currently the
dominant source of electricity, we would need to rely on other
energy sources. Posted. 

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