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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 31, 2011. Posted: 31 Aug 2011 11:44:32
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 31, 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 Alexandria coal plant may shut by 2012. Alexandria’s controversial coal-burning power plant, once considered one of the largest single sources of air pollution in the Washington area, will probably close by October 2012, its owner and the city announced Tuesday. The surprise announcement culminates a 12-year battle to close the six-decade-old Potomac River plant, which local activists and environmentalists blame for causing or contributing to dozens of cases of serious illness each year. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/alexandria-coal-plant-may-shut-by-2012/2011/08/30/gIQA4JBjqJ_story.html VEHICLES Via Zipcar, Ford Seeks Young Fans. It wasn’t long ago that car-sharing services like Zipcar were perceived as a threat to the sales volumes of traditional automakers. But the Ford Motor Company is taking the view that drivers who rent from Zipcar by the hour just might be potential customers down the road. Ford and Zipcar are expected on Wednesday to announce an unusual partnership in which the Detroit automaker will supply its vehicles to Zipcar locations on 250 college and university campuses in the United States. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/business/ford-and-zipcar-join-forces.html?scp=5&sq=vehicles&st=cse Report: Nissan and Mitsubishi to standardize EV-home powering system. Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. aim to jointly develop a technology that allows electric vehicle owners to power their homes from car batteries, a news report says. Cooperation could lead to unified standards for the technology, which attracted interest in Japan following widespread power outages in the wake of the country's March 11 earthquake. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110830/OEM05/110839995/1186 Beijing Rethinking Electric Car Policy. A debate raging largely behind closed doors among members of China’s ruling élite mirrors a wider debate that has been gathering steam this year: the viability of electric vehicles, at least over the next few years. An FT article says that Beijing is rethinking its focus on electric cars as a means of reducing fuel consumption and improving air quality, as it looks increasingly likely the country will fall far short of ambitious goals to sell 1 million electric vehicles by 2015 and 5 million by 2020. Posted. http://agmetalminer.com/2011/08/29/beijing-rethinking-electric-car-policy/ GREEN ENERGY Gov. Brown calls for action on clean energy. Las Vegas -- In his first out-of-state trip since taking office in January, California Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he plans to forge ahead with aggressive renewable energy policies amid growing evidence of climate change. "Climate change has become more obvious, and we see great opportunity in investing in wind, solar and energy efficiency, or 'negawatts,'" Brown told a gathering here of 700 clean energy advocates. "This is like the computer industry when it first started. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18790164?source=rss Solaria, already expanding in Fremont, seeks a second solar factory site. Fremont-based solar energy company Solaria wants to buck the grim trend of companies scaling back manufacturing operations in California. The company has already been ramping up production of solar equipment at its Fremont complex, but says it needs another facility to keep up with demand. "Ideally it'll be a California location," said Dan Shugar, the company's CEO. "That's our first choice." Solaria wouldn't identify locations where it has begun to scout for a new complex. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18790099 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18790099 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18790099 Fremont solar tech firm Solyndra to shut down, lay off hundreds of workers. Solyndra, a Fremont solar tech manufacturer, announced Wednesday it is suspending operations and immediately laying off 1,100 employees. The company said it will also file for bankruptcy. "Despite strong growth in the first half of 2011 and traction in North America with a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops, Solyndra could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers," the company said in a statement. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_18795739 Biden calls for new clean energy policy for US. The United States can't lead the world in the 21st century with its current energy policy, Vice President Joe Biden told alternative technology supporters Tuesday at a clean energy summit in Las Vegas. The nation is already trailing China and Germany in green technology, Biden said. It will trade its dependence on foreign oil for a dependence on foreign clean energy technology if its leaders don't act to help fledging green researchers and businesses, he said. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/science/article_64f93d07-abd8-574c-8bd8-535f9d7c8538.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/30/1837420/biden-calls-for-new-clean-energy.html BLOGS Documenting a Collapsing Ice Shelf. One of the more dramatic events in the Arctic in recent years was the detachment, in 2010, of a large section of the ice shelf attached to Petermann Glacier, in northwest Greenland. A chunk of ice measuring 100 square miles, about four times the size of Manhattan, broke loose and floated away. The possible connection of this event to global warming drew immediate interest, including a hearing in Congress. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/documenting-a-collapsing-ice-shelf/?scp=10&sq=green%20energy&st=cse Steinberg bill would give locals power to raise fuel surcharge. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is pushing last-minute legislation to give local governments power to seek new fuel surcharges to fund certain transit projects. Senate Bill 791 would allow local transportation agencies to seek voter approval for a "regional transportation congestion reduction charge" on gasoline or diesel. Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/08/steinberg-bill-would-give-loca.html Study finds fewer Americans concerned about climate change in 2010 than in 2008. QUESTION: Does anybody really care about this stuff outside of the "green" community? I know I sure don't. Asked by Rick Abell, Steamboat Springs, Colo. ANSWER: As someone who cares deeply, and who is often surrounded by people who care, it can be easy to forget that not everyone attaches the same level of importance to environmental issues. I understand -- not everyone is an environmental science student who has to think about climate change on a daily basis. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inthepeninsula/detail?entry_id=96530 Is Cap and Trade Unfair? I should probably start by putting my cards on the table. I’m not really an advocate of cap and trade as compared with other forms of regulation. What I care about is getting effective carbon restrictions in place, whether they take the form of cap and trade, a carbon tax, industry-wide regulations, or something else. The big advantage of cap and trade from that perspective is that some systems are already up and running, and unlike a carbon tax, it doesn’t directly violate any political taboos. Posted. http://legalplanet.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/is-cap-and-trade-unfair/ Global biofuels production up 17% in 2010 to hit all-time high of 105 billion liters. Global production of biofuels increased 17% in 2010 to reach an all-time high of 105 billion liters (28 billion gallons US), up from 90 billion liters (24 billion gallons US) in 2009. High oil prices, a global economic rebound, and new laws and mandates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, and the United States, among other countries, are all factors behind the surge in production, according to research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute’s Climate and Energy Program for the website Vital Signs Online. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/wwi-20110831.html Shutting Down America’s Dirtiest Coal Plants Will Not Affect Our Power Supply. When the EPA announced its new regulations for coal plants back in July, the right wing media had a field day saying that the new rules, which will force the nation’s dirtiest plants offline, would result in a strained electric grid, putting the lights out on millions of Americans. But, just like so many things fear mongering anti-environmentalists preach, this just isn’t true. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/shutting-down-americas-dirtiest-coal-plants-will-not-effect-our-power-supply/