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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 13, 2011. Posted: 13 Sep 2011 12:40:34
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 13, 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 Texas Utility to Idle Boilers, Coal Mines in Response to New EPA. Luminant, the largest electricity producer in Texas, announced this morning that it will shut down two of its coal-fired boilers and close three lignite coal mines in response to a recent clampdown on interstate air pollution by U.S. EPA. To meet tougher limits on sulfur dioxide, a chemical that causes soot, haze and acid rain, the company will idle two units with a combined capacity of 1,200 megawatts at the Monticello Steam Electric Station in northeastern Texas. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/09/12/12greenwire-texas-utility-to-idle-boilers-coal-mines-in-re-68196.html?pagewanted=print http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-12/energy-future-sues-to-block-epa-cross-state-pollution-rules.html http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-texas-power-20110912,0,1825871.story?track=rss http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2011/09/12/1 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/12/texas-power-provider-closing-units-over-epa-rule/ 'Cancer villages' one offshoot of China's economic growth. Beijing – To fight the cancer stalking their village, some late-stage patients in Xinglong, southwest China, eat bugs every day, in hope of a folk cure. Farmer Cui Xiaoliang hopes for another, more substantial remedy. "I wish all the polluting factories would move away, but I worry, even if they move, it will be impossible to clean up all their waste in a short time," says Cui, 40, who blames nearby chemical firms for the deaths by cancer of his father and an aunt. Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-09-12/China-pollution-cancer-environmental-activists/50376252/1 Manufacturers take aim at Boiler MACT in letter to lawmakers. A coalition of business and manufacturing groups today asked Congress to prevent U.S. EPA from moving ahead with a toxics rule for industrial boilers and incinerators. The coalition, led by the National Association of Manufacturers, comes the same day the House Energy and Power Subcommittee is set to vote on a bill (H.R. 2250) by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) that would delay and limit a future EPA rule by setting maximum available control technology for mercury and other pollutants from boilers. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/13/7 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE World Bank looks to South African climate talks. International climate change negotiators in Africa later this year will be looking back on the famine now sweeping eastern parts of the continent, and ahead to predictions that climate change will hurt Africa's future food production, a World Bank expert said Tuesday. "The challenges are overwhelming," Andrew Steer, the World Bank's special envoy on climate change, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Africa needs to triple food production by 2050," he said. "At the same time, you've got climate change lowering average yields .... So, of course, we need something different." Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18883711?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Rare undersea volcanic vents show oceans' increasing acidity likely to hurt biodiversity, endanger ecosystem stability, say Stanford researchers. Stanford researchers have gotten a glimpse into an uncertain future where increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere will lead to higher levels in the ocean as well, leaving the water more acidic and altering underwater ecosystems. Posted. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/september/acidsea-hurt-biodiversity-091211.html Energy-savvy military base bumps up against Calif. cap-and-trade law. Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- With fields of solar panels and a pilot microgrid project, the sprawling Marine base here is at the forefront of U.S. military efforts to lessen its reliance on the vulnerable civilian power grid. But a key component of the energy-conscious base has been ensnared by California's global warming law. At issue is the Air Ground Combat Center's cogeneration plant that produces electricity and hot water primarily from natural gas. Built eight years ago, the 7.2-megawatt plant provides at least 57 percent of power used by the base's 16,000 or so Marines, sailors and civilians. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/13/4 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA drops objections to court case over Bush smog plan. Now that it has scrapped a plan to further tighten the smog limits set by U.S. EPA under President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has told a federal court that it has no problem with reopening the litigation over that standard in court. The rules, which were finalized in 2008, face lawsuits from both flanks. States and public health groups sued EPA over the ground-level ozone standard of 75 parts per billion, planning to argue that it wasn't as strong as science advisers said was needed to protect people. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/13/2 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Redding, Calif., looks to join in county climate action plan. The city of Redding, Calif., is seeking to help form regional air pollution regulations. Redding Vice Mayor Dick Dickerson is worried that the Shasta County Air Pollution Control Board will take too much control of city affairs as it develops a plan to carry out A.B. 32, a state law reining in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/13/12 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Biodiesel is the fuel of the future, entrepreneur says. While examining his latest research project, a global selection of castor oil plants growing in his backyard, Mahesh Talwar, 55, tells of the time he tried to change the engine of his Toyota sedan to make it more fuel-efficient. He thought he'd build a hybrid himself. Turns out, he didn't just change the engine, but also ended up accelerating the car through his garage. Laughing now, he explains he accidentally connected two wires, leading the car to accelerate and plow through the garage wall of his previous home in Ventura. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/12/biodiesel-is-the-fuel-of-the-future-entrepreneur/ VEHICLES Frankfurt: Mercedes-Benz shows off plug-in hydrogen car. We're not quite sure what dignified Mercedes was thinking with that ridiculous exclamation mark. Mercedes says the 125! is meant as a look ahead to cars beyond 2025, the kind of talk that usually indicates to us this is a design exercise that will go, basically, nowhere. Still, it has some interesting ideas inside. "With the F125! we want to show that large, comfortable and safe cars have an excellent future, partly because they are able to operate with no emissions," says Thomas Weber, Mercedes' design chief. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/09/mercedes-benz-125-hydrogen-fuel-cell-plug-in/1 Researchers close in on solid-state auto battery. Two companies are racing to develop the Holy Grail of electric and hybrid vehicles: a solid-state battery. The technology is not expected in showrooms until the next decade, one expert says, as researchers tackle energy storage and manufacturing challenges. Solid-state batteries store energy in thin, solid film, not liquid. They would give electric vehicles more range than the current 70 miles or so. And they are lighter than current lithium ion batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110913/OEM06/110919974/1186 MISCELLANEOUS Transcript: Mercury News interview with PG&E CEO Anthony Earley. Here is a transcript of Mercury News staff writer Paul Rogers' interview with new PG&E CEO Anthony Earley, who starts his job on Tuesday. Earley's opening remarks: "I start on Tuesday at PG&E and I am looking forward to it. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity. I know it is going to be a challenge, but PG&E has been one of the iconic companies in our industry for as long as I've been involved. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_18880480?nclick_check=1 PAID SUBSCRIPTION Gentlemen, Start Conserving. Is green Nascar an oxymoron? After all, the sport is all about watching gas guzzlers drive at high speeds in circles for hours. Until 2007, race cars used leaded fuel. Tens of thousands of fans still drive to races in recreational vehicles and other gas hogs. But more than any other American sport, Nascar is also a for-profit business, and like many companies these days, it is focused on cutting costs by recycling, conserving and generating its own energy. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/sports/autoracing/for-nascar-going-green-is-good-business.html?scp=3&sq=diesel%20emissions&st=cse OPINIONS PD Editorial: A false choice between jobs and pollution. Talk about a phony choice: your job or your health. If you believe the Republican leaders of the House of Representatives and the GOP presidential candidates, scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are conspiring to undermine the American economy. And what is it that these supposed zealots have in mind? Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110912/OPINION/110909501 BLOGS China Caps Energy Use in Low-Carbon Plan. China looks determined to take the challenge of sustainable growth by the horns. It has its tasks for itself clearly set out for the next five years. It is going to work towards achieving low carbon energy targets. Energy efficiency and clean technology are going to be the watchwords for policy-makers. The 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) documents spell that out. It is a clear indication of the Chinese focus towards balancing growth with environmental sustainability instead of maximizing economic growth alone. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/china-caps-energy-use-low-carbon-plan/ Ownership costs for plug-in vehicles to drop significantly by 2030. A UK analysis of total ownership costs for the cars of tomorrow found that low-carbon vehicles will make substantial progress in bridging the current cost gap, when compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars, by 2030. The big question is whether – or when – will advanced vehicles be seriously cost-competitive? Might we really have to wait decades? Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/13/ownership-costs-for-plug-in-vehicles-to-drop-significantly-by-20/ ‘Green’ Jobs, the IT Analogy. Several pundits and writers have recently suggested that the green economy is small and unlikely to be a major source of job growth anytime in the near future. So, the argument goes, it’s not a worthy investment. As evidence for the first claim, some critics of green policies have cited the job growth figures from our recent “Sizing the Clean Economy” report while arguing that the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar photovoltaic manufacturer, illustrates both the failures of green policies and the weakness of the industry. Posted. http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-avenue/94872/%E2%80%98green%E2%80%99-jobs-the-it-analogy