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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 19, 2011.

Posted: 19 Sep 2011 12:38:22
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 19, 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.


EPA chief on verge of quitting after Obama rejected pollution
proposal. The ozone almost did her in. Lisa Jackson, the
Environmental Protection Agency administrator, was on the verge
of quitting two weeks ago after President Obama rejected her
centerpiece proposal for strict new air-pollution regulations,
The Post has learned.
Jackson told intimates she had been convinced Obama would back
her up despite aggressive lobbying from Capitol Hill Republicans
and business interests. Posted.

Bay Area Spare the Air officials urge less driving today, energy
conservation. Officials issued a Spare the Air Health Alert for
today, suggesting the public drive less and reduce energy usage.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert for
the fifth time this year. "Due to the amount of air pollution we
generate daily by driving and from other sources, unhealthy
levels of smog are expected to accompany high temperatures," Air
District Executive Officer Jack Broadbent said. Posted.

5 die at biker fest; carbon monoxide suspected. Clarksville,
Tenn. (AP) - Fumes from a generator leaked into a camper, killing
three men and two women who were at a biker festival to raise
money for needy children, an organizer for the event said. Police
were investigating the deaths but said no foul play was
suspected. Two of the men worked security into the early morning
hours Sunday during the festival's party, which featured
motorcycle drag races, live music and bikini and tattoo contests.

NOAA finds air pollution plummets by up to 90% when ships switch
to low-sulfur fuel. In 2010, a team of researchers led by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) mounted
instruments on an aircraft and the vessel Atlantis to capture
emissions from container ships off California's coast. The team
found that as container ships shifted from bottom-of-the-barrel
bunker fuel to low-sulfur fuels, air pollution plummeted, with
some pollutants dropping by as much as 90 percent. Posted.

Evangelicals press Republicans to drop EPA mercury fight. House
opponents of U.S. EPA regulations for mercury and air toxics are
getting push-back from an unusual source: pro-life Christian
evangelicals, with whom they are often allied politically. The
Evangelical Environmental Network has run radio spots last week
and this week in three markets, targeting a trio of Energy and
Commerce Committee senior Republicans -- Reps. Fred Upton of
Michigan, Ed Whitfield of Kentucky and Joe Barton of Texas.The
ads focus on the effect of mercury on the health and neurological
development of unborn children. Posted.


GOP senator sought money from renewable energy program he now
calls 'reckless'.  Republican Sen. David Vitter says the Obama
administration has been "reckless" as it awards billions of
dollar taxpayer subsidies for renewable energy projects,
including a $528 million loan to a now-bankrupt California solar
panel maker.  The Louisiana senator and other Republicans have
pounced on the bankruptcy of Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra Inc.,
saying the White House rushed to approve a loan guarantee to the
politically connected company without adequate oversight. 

AP Newsbreak:

Va. court sides with insurer in global warming case.  The
Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of an insurance company
Friday in the nation’s first legal test of whether insurers may
be liable for claims arising from global warming.  The justices
unanimously ruled that environmental problems allegedly caused by
power-producer AES Corp.’s emission of greenhouse gases were not
“occurrences” covered by a commercial liability policy issued by
Steadfast Insurance Co.  Posted. 

Study shows how a global CO2 regime might prod laggard nations to
reduce emissions. It's frustrating when someone else gets a free
ride off of your hard work, but when it comes to curbing
greenhouse gas emissions, researchers may have found a way to
make sure everyone pulls his fair weight. Countries that go
through all the trouble of scrubbing flue gases, buying carbon
offsets and building wind farms may find it difficult to contend
with nations that continue to spew greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere from power and industrial plants. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/19/3 BY PAID

Glut of unsold allowances complicates RGGI reform. New York --
Efforts to reform the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
are complicated by an overabundance of unsold allowances from
recent auctions, state regulators were warned at a public meeting
under way today. Though the overallocation of allowances under
the RGGI program means a lowering of the cap would have to occur
for the system to be effective, carbon market experts also noted
that the excess allowances still held in state accounts could
keep the market moribund to 2018 even if that cap is lowered.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/19/14 BY


The Battle in Seattle & Beyond. According to a front page expose
in the Seattle Times “truck drivers who serve Seattle’s busy
shipping port say they’re losing patience with chronically low
pay and poor working conditions.” No truer words have been
spoken. Port truck drivers, community activists,
environmentalists and faith leaders used the backdrop of the
annual American Association of Port Authorities convention in
Seattle to bring attention to the dirty and broken port trucking
industry plaguing workers and communities in port cities around
the country. Posted.


Biodiesel plants back from the brink. Across the nation,
biodiesel plants have been restarting or ramping up production,
spurred by a revived federal tax credit and renewable energy
mandates. For more than three years, the SoyMor Biodiesel plant
sat idle — victim of a slump that took down more than a quarter
of the plants in the industry. 
But biodiesel is booming again, and a sign of the revival
happened recently in this small southern Minnesota town. Posted.


Automakers Resolve to Drop a Few Pounds. THE 64th Frankfurt Motor
Show offers ample evidence that automakers still cannot agree on
what energy source will power the cars of the future — petroleum,
hydrogen, electricity or some fuel yet undiscovered. But they all
agree on one point: cars are going to have to become lighter. A
lot lighter. Posted. 

Lawsuits could stall high-speed rail plans. Even if state
officials can scrape together the billions of dollars needed to
fund California's ambitious high-speed rail plans, lawsuits from
local cities and opposition groups still could delay, divert or
derail the project altogether. In the Bay Area, cities and
nonprofits are suing over issues with the route and environmental
studies. In Southern California, the city of Palmdale has gone to
court over fears that rail officials will pull a planned Antelope
Valley line through the city and reroute the tracks up I-5
instead. Posted.

Toyota says rechargeable Prius will be be priced at $32,760.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest seller of
gasoline-electric cars, said today the rechargeable version of
its Prius hybrid will cost $32,760, including transportation
costs, when it goes on sale early next year. The car goes as far
as 15 miles solely on electricity, after which it runs as a
standard 49 mpg Prius, Bob Carter, Toyota's group vice president
for U.S. sales, told reporters here today. Toyota dealers will
start selling the car in 14 states on the West and East coasts in
March, he said. Posted. 

New California Law Allows EV’s to be Towed for Not Charging.  The
state of California is known for its firsts, and this is
defiantly one for the books. California Governor Jerry Brown has
signed into law a bill that allows all fully electric vehicles,
as well as plug in hybrid electric vehicles, to be towed if the
vehicle parked in a designated electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid
charging parking space is not plugged in.  EVs are becoming a
common sight on the roads in some parts of California. Posted. 

Price of electric vehicle batteries to fall as manufacturing
capacity outstrips demand.  The total worldwide manufacturing
capacity of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles will
greatly exceed supply unless demand by automakers increases
significantly in the short-term, according to new research by
Bloomberg New Energy Finance. As a result of the overcapacity,
battery prices are poised to fall.  Automakers have committed to
producing up to 839,000 plug-in electric vehicles worldwide by
2013, up from just 124,000 to be delivered by the end of 2011. 


Questions Raised Over Letting Another Lender Help a Failing Solar
Company. The political brawl over Solyndra, the solar array
manufacturer that received $528 million in government aid and
then went bankrupt, shifted focus Friday to a decision by the
Energy Department that allowed another lender to step in to help
rescue the company. That decision in February gave Solyndra a
temporary reprieve and a chance to survive, but it also forced
the government to waive its privilege as first creditor in the
event of a bankruptcy — which then occurred at the end of August.

Chinese Protesters Accuse Solar Panel Plant of Pollution. In a
fresh indication of growing public anger over pollution, hundreds
of demonstrators in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang on
Sunday were camped outside a solar panel manufacturing plant that
stands accused of contaminating a nearby river. The demonstration
was the latest move in a four-day protest that has sometimes
turned violent. Posted. 

Senator was not always critical of loan program. Republican Sen.
David Vitter says the Obama administration has been "reckless" as
it awards billions of dollar taxpayer subsidies for renewable
energy projects, including a $528 million loan to a now-bankrupt
California solar panel maker. The Louisiana senator and other
Republicans have pounced on the bankruptcy of Fremont,
Calif.-based Solyndra Inc., saying the White House rushed to
approve a loan guarantee to the politically connected company
without adequate oversight. Posted. 


Obama’s green-energy scam. The Issue: The Obama administrations’
financing of the now-bankrupt company Solyndra. ***The bankruptcy
filing by Solyndra, an Obama-favored green-energy firm with a
half-billion- dollar taxpayer loan guarantee, is one whopping,
green “I told you so” (“Let the Sun Shine In,” Editorial, Sept.
15). This is a green eye for the Obama administration, which is
making Ozone Al Gore look better every day. The Obama
administration rushed this loan guarantee through for political
reasons. Posted.

Al Gore and the battle for climate opinion. Al Gore isn't going
away. And neither is global warming. With Gore's latest
high-profile global warming-awareness event, "24 Hours of
Reality", now over, political science still looks like the
trickiest discipline in the entire realm of climate science.
"Lots of people out there are wondering why floods, droughts and
storms are more powerful than in the past," Gore says. "While the
political system too rarely is responding." Posted.

Solyndra crash shows shakiness of market subsidies. Solyndra, the
Fremont solar-panel manufacturer that went belly up last week,
was the subject of a hearing Wednesday all the way in the
nation’s capital. Lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee Committee on Oversight and Investigations wanted to
get to the bottom of how the much-hyped “green” company scored a
half-billion-dollar federal loan guarantee two years ago this
month. Posted.

Sustainable growth: Forward-thinking state mandate or misguided
environmental mantra? For some, sustainable growth means jobs
near their homes. It means easier access to trains or buses or
bicycle trails. It means filling in cities instead of paving over
surrounding farmland. For retired engineer Ed Miller of Lodi,
"sustainable" is a buzzword born of a 1992 United Nations
document that lays out a worldwide vision threatening the
sovereignty of the United States and the American way of life.

Why utilities really want us to go green. I read an alarming
article about medical insurance premiums in New York. Health
insurance premiums are double and triple the cost of what they
were in 2008. Insurance providers are experiencing more
cancellations. Spreading that liability over fewer paying
customers is becoming a serious problem. So, those who keep the
insurance have to foot more of the bill. Enter the world of
energy conservation, which in simple terms means using less or
"going green." Posted. 


Seeking better answers to climate change, extreme weather
questions. The United States has suffered from a record number of
billion dollar natural disasters this year, from the Mississippi
and Missouri River flooding to Hurricane Irene and the Texas
drought. With each of these events, many have wondered - did
climate change have anything to do with this? Reporters and
members of the public wanted to know: has climate change vaulted
us into a new normal, as some climate scientists have warned for
years, in which these kinds of devastating events will occur more
frequently, and be more severe? Posted.

Cosmic Breitbart Climate Blunder. Earlier this month, I noticed a
glaring error in an astonishingly distorted Sept. 6 piece on
climate, clouds and cosmic rays on Andrew Breitbart’s Big
Government blog. There’s been plenty of overheated gushing on
this subject by climate naysayers in recent weeks, triggered by
an important, but heavily over-interpreted, experiment. But this
piece stands out. Posted.

EPA Chief: Cap & Trade a Distant Hope. Remember those national
carbon trading bills that were moving through Congress as Barack
Obama was setting up shop in the Oval Office? The head of the
federal Environmental Protection Agency says: Don’t hold your
breath. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s appearance on KQED’s
Forum Wednesday seemed to confirm that her boss is picking his
battles carefully. “What America’s talking about right now is
jobs,” Jackson told host Michael Krasny. “Green jobs are what we
have to be working on with everything we do.” Posted.

Subway Train Wheels: The Next Power Source? Think of how much
energy it takes to stop a moving subway train as it screeches
into each and every station along its route. Right now, that
energy is mostly dissipated as heat and noise. Imagine being able
to capture some of that energy so that it can be used again.
That’s exactly what that Vycon, a California company, proposes to
do with it in its Regen (short for regeneration) energy storage
system. They call it “energy recycling.” Posted. 

Green Drive Expo: CalCars' Felix Kramer ready to go beyond cars. 
In modern history, it is all too rare that a progressive activist
is able to achieve his or her goals (just read A People's History
if you doubt this). Felix Kramer – a name that should be familiar
to many regular AutoblogGreen readers – is at that stage, though,
and he took a moment to celebrate the arrival of actual, OEM
production plug-in vehicles at the beginning of his speech at the
Green Drive Expo in Richmond, CA this past weekend. Posted. 

Proposal Can Break Deadlock on Shipping Emissions. A report
published yesterday by Oxfam and WWF shows how a proposed deal to
apply a carbon price to international shipping can tackle the
huge and growing greenhouse gas emissions from ships, and raise
billions of dollars to help developing countries tackle climate
change, without unfairly hitting developing countries. The deal
offers a solution to the deadlock on shipping emissions that has
lasted more than a decade. Posted. 

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