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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.


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.

'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.

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


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. 

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.

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

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

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


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. 


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.

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. 


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.

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. 


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?


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. 

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. 

‘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.

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