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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 20, 2011.

Posted: 20 Sep 2011 14:48:45
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 20, 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.


China solar company pledges toxic waste cleanup for factory
targeted in pollution protests.  A solar panel maker targeted by
violent protests over pollution from one of its factories in
eastern China has apologized and says it will do what’s necessary
to clean it up.  Jinko Solar Holding Co., parent company of the
factory in Haining city west of Shanghai, said in a statement
Monday that initial tests showed pollutants may have spilled into
a nearby river due to “improper storage of waste.”  Posted. 

New air alert issued in San Joaquin Valley. Fresno, Calif. (AP)
--The San Joaquin Valley is under a new air alert as high
temperatures, a high-pressure system and stagnant wind combine to
trap smog. Air pollution officials are asking residents to limit
driving and not idle cars while waiting for students after school
or at drive-thru windows. It's the third air alert of the year
issued by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District. The
district is under a three-year federal fine for violating ozone
standards set by the Clean Air Act. So far this year, no
violations have occurred. Posted.

2 schools to test ways to get city drivers around traffic jams.
The University of California, Los Angeles, and Rutgers University
will study ways to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in
Los Angeles and New York. The two schools, which won a $2 million
grant from the National Science Foundation, will develop
technology to monitor traffic and air quality and offer drivers
alternate ways around traffic tie-ups. Those routes would be sent
through on-board navigation devices. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/20/23 BY PAID

EPA grants air permit to Shell for Arctic drilling.  Shell Oil
Co. on Monday took a step closer to tapping vast petroleum
reserves off Alaska's Arctic coasts when the federal
Environmental Protection Agency approved an air quality permit
for one of the company's drilling vessels.  The EPA approved the
air permit for the drilling vessel Noble Discover, which Shell
hopes to use for exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off
Alaska's northwest coast, and its support fleet of oil spill
response and supply vessels.  Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith
said the permit was a hopeful step.  Posted. 


Clinton raps GOP climate change stands. POLITICO's MJ Lee reports
that Bill Clinton, midway through the second day of the Clinton
Global Initiative, took a shot at the GOP contenders over climate
change: “If you’re an American, the best thing you can do is to
make it politically unacceptable for people to engage in denial”
about climate change, the former president said on the first day
of the Clinton Global Initiative’s seventh annual meeting in New
York City. “I mean, it makes us – we look like a joke, right?
Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63944.html

Ex-President Clinton: Green movement needs money. Former
President Bill Clinton's annual philanthropic conference will get
under way in New York City with a discussion about climate
change. The Clinton Global Initiative is set to begin Tuesday
morning with an opening session focused on addressing global
climate challenges in coming years. The session will be co-hosted
by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and South African President
Jacob Zuma. Posted. 

The Carbon Tax, Then and Now. In the debate over climate
legislation in 2009 and 2010, it was conventional wisdom that a
price on carbon was the sine qua non of effective climate policy.
All Very Serious People knew that you could not reduce carbon
emissions or drive clean energy innovation without a price on
carbon, either through a carbon tax or a cap and trade system.
Indeed, leading venture capitalist John Doerr used to travel
around the country hammering home the three top things that the
government needed to do to catalyze a clean energy revolution.

Green groups ask Obama for greenhouse gas timeline.
Environmentalists stepped up the pressure on the Obama
administration today to set a firm, near-term deadline to
finalize greenhouse gas rules for electric utilities. Nineteen
CEOs of major environmental groups told President Obama in a
letter that they were "deeply concerned" by U.S. EPA's
announcement last week that it would miss a Sept. 30 deadline to
propose new source performance standards (NSPS) for carbon
dioxide emissions from utilities. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/20/5 BY PAID

Climate Group launches campaign for a low carbon economy. New
York -- The Climate Group called for accelerated action to reduce
impacts of climate change yesterday, urging the creation of a
coalition of 200 of the world's business, government and thought
leaders to build the foundation for a low-carbon economy. A panel
of distinguished guests, including New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Quebec
Premier Jean Charest, expressed their support for clean and
sustainable development at the opening ceremony of Climate Week
NYC 2011. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/5 BY PAID

U.N. climate chief bullish amid growing doubts about Durban
talks. United Nations -- The head of the U.N. system's climate
change offices continues to express confidence that the Durban,
South Africa, international climate negotiations are headed
toward success, despite reports of worsening rifts between
developed and developing nations. With 11 weeks to go before the
next major round of talks, observers fear that negotiations over
annual financing for poor nations to respond to climate change
could be stalling again. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/8 BY PAID


Solar company projects cost parity with fossil fuels. Thin-film
solar cell manufacturer First Solar Inc., the world's largest,
expects its new designs to cost less than their Chinese
counterparts and will compete directly with fossil fuels without
government subsidies. David Eaglesham, First Solar's chief
technology officer said that his company has produced a solar
cell that converts 17.3 percent of sunlight into power, an
improvement on the company's 11.7 percent average. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/9 BY PAID


GM OK's electric vehicle cooperation with China. Shanghai --
General Motors Co. agreed Tuesday to deepen cooperation with its
flagship Chinese partner on development of electric vehicle
knowhow amid pressure from Beijing to hand over proprietary
technology. GM would not say how much it's investing in the
venture with Chinese state-owned partner Shanghai Automotive
Industrial Corp., and gave few details of the deal. Posted.

Chinese government to provide major support for EVs, but
challenges remain. The government of China is expected to adopt a
plan later this year that foresees around a million plug-in
vehicles and more than 2,300 charging stations by 2015. Recently
the government representatives have announced that further
incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles will be adopted.
Chinese government to provide major support for EVs, but
challenges remain. Posted.

Senators didn't always slam energy loan program.  Louisiana Sen.
David Vitter and other Republicans have criticized the Obama
administration for awarding billions of dollars in taxpayer
subsidies for renewable energy projects, including a $528 million
loan to a now-bankrupt California solar panel maker. But the GOP
lawmakers haven't always been so critical of the program. 
Documents obtained by The Associated Press show the Louisiana
Republican wrote to the Energy Department at least seven times
since 2009 seeking money for projects that would benefit his home
state.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:

China Shuts Solar Panel Factory After Antipollution Protests. The
Chinese authorities have suspended production at a solar panel
factory after protests by residents who blame the plant for
fouling the air and water, a government Web site said Monday.
Since Thursday, the Zhejiang JinkoSolar Company factory has drawn
hundreds of protesters, some of whom overturned vehicles and
ransacked offices inside the plant in the city of Haining, in
Zhejiang Province. Posted. 

Lessons on Solyndra and clean energy development. The collapse of
Solyndra, putting 1,100 people out of work and the Fremont
company into bankruptcy, is filled with cautionary tales. It
shows what can happen when politics accelerates a decision to
invest $535 million of taxpayer money in a fledgling enterprise.
Worse yet, it shows the perils of an administration attaching its
reputation to the fate of one company - and ignoring warnings
that it may have placed a bad bet. Posted.

GOP rep: Appoint special counsel in Solyndra loan. Washington --
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday called
for an independent investigator to look into a $528 million loan
approved by the Obama administration for a now-bankrupt solar
energy company. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said an outside lawyer
is needed to determine "whether politics played a role" in the
Energy Department loan for California-based Solyndra Inc., which
declared bankruptcy this month and laid off its 1,100 workers.

The small-town energy revolution.  Until recently, the idea of
powering a local economy with 100 percent renewable energy seemed
unrealistic. That has changed: there's a small town energy
revolution underway.  Take Juehnde, a village in the German state
of Lower Saxony: it reached total self-supply by 2006 with biogas
and wood chip heating. It now attracts visitors from around the
world (e.g. from Thailand).  Posted. 

Ohio governor prepares energy and environment plans for his newly
gas-rich state. The nation's fourth-largest carbon
dioxide-emitting state is about to get a new energy policy that
its governor says could be a model for the entire country. This
week, industry representatives, state officials, academics and
environmentalists are gathering in Ohio to craft a new energy
plan for the state that will culminate in a major energy proposal
from Gov. John Kasich (R) by next spring. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/1 BY PAID

Leasing now an attractive option for home solar installation.
Leasing has emerged as an effective option for homeowners who
would like to use solar panels but are wary of the upfront costs.
"We debated owning or leasing," Myphuong Le, a Denver resident.
"But when you consider that service and replacement are part of
the lease, it looked like a better deal." More than half of
Colorado's 5,861 kilowatts of solar panels installed in the first
half of this year were leased, according to the Colorado Solar
Industries Association. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/10 BY PAID


Led by Demand in China, Energy Use Is Projected to Rise 53% by
2035. Global energy demand will increase 53 percent from 2008
through 2035, with China and India accounting for half of the
growth, the United States Department of Energy said on Monday.
China and India will consume 31 percent of the world’s energy by
2035, up from 21 percent in 2008, the department’s International
Energy Outlook projected. In 2035, Chinese energy demand will
exceed that of the United States by 68 percent, it said. Posted. 


Keep tabs on solar energy subsidies. Whatever the reality, the
optics are bad and getting worse: The Obama administration loaned
$535 million to a Fremont solar start-up that received venture
capital funding from one of Obama's major campaign donors, only
to have the company plunge into bankruptcy. House Republicans are
investigating, and Democrats are demanding answers to their
questions. Making the picture worse still, the FBI has served
search warrants and picked through the building that housed
Solyndra and the homes of executives. Posted.


Solar Installations Rise, but Manufacturing Declines.
Installations of solar panels are still expanding in the United
States, but manufacturing is down, and a great deal of factory
capacity is idle, according to a report on the solar energy
market for the second quarter of this year. The number of solar
cells put on the roofs of houses has retreated, yet
nonresidential rooftop installation is thriving, according to the
report, produced by the Solar Energy Industries Association and a
consulting firm, GTM Research. Posted. 

For Obama, Peer Pressure from Nobel Laureates. With his approval
rating among American voters at an all-time low, President Obama
could use a little support from his peers. But this month nine
fellow recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, including Archbishop
Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the Dalai Lama, sent the
president a letter urging him to veto the construction of a huge
pipeline that would bring bring crude oil to the United States
from Canada. Posted. 

EPA grants air permit for Shell oil drilling in Arctic. If you're
looking for a smog-free venue, one of the last places left might
be the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, the remote stretch of frigid
water between Russia and Canada at the top of the planet. To help
open the door to offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic,
though, the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued a
final air quality permit that will allow Shell Oil's Noble
Discoverer drill ship and the rest of Shell's drilling fleet to
emit more than 250 tons of pollutants a year into the Arctic air
while looking for oil. Posted.

$43-million settlement approved for asbestos victims in Libby,
Mont. For decades, the residents of Libby, Montana have lived a
double life. On the outside, the town of 3,000 people along the
Kootenai River is a picture postcard of why western Montana is
one of the most gorgeous places in the country. Unseen, though,
is how asbestos pollution from a former W.R. Grace & Co. mine has
sickened more than 1,300 residents with a deadly lung disease,
killing many of them and turning Libby into the deadliest
Superfund site in the nation's history. Posted.

Schwarzenegger urges regional action on climate change. Former
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, speaking about climate change at a
United Nations forum in New York this morning, said he will "keep
pushing regional governments around the world to come off the
sidelines" to enact green energy programs such as California did
during his tenure. "We don't have to wait anymore for the
national capitols to make it happen," Schwarzenegger said. "

2011 Carbon Disclosure Project S&P 500 findings:  Majority of US
companies taking climate change action, despite absence of
mandatory rules. The 2011 S&P 500 report from the Carbon
Disclosure Project (CDP) has found that while national and global
policy remains uncertain, most large US companies recognize the
opportunity to gain strategic advantage from acting to address
climate change. Posted. 

The Case for a Carbon Tax. The case for putting a price on
greenhouse gas emissions from human activity is not arguable.
It’s undeniable. But what is arguable is the best way of
achieving it in the working of a modern economy. Shi-Ling Hsu, a
law professor at the University of British Columbia, argues for a
currently less popular way in his newly published book The Case
for a Carbon Tax.   “There is no policy instrument that is more
transparent and administratively simple than a carbon tax.”
Posted.  http://www.celsias.com/article/case-carbon-tax/

China to GM: Give us Chevy Volt secrets or it'll cost $19,000
more. Like many countries, China provides subsidies to support
the use of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Considering the
heavy levels of pollution often found in China's rapidly growing
cities, this seems both admirable and understandable. It can also
be significant, with subsidies going as high as $19,300. As
General Motors seeks to introduce the Chevrolet Volt to the
Chinese market, it's counting on these subsidies to help make the
car attractive to potential buyers. Posted. 

EIA projects world energy use to increase 53% by 2035; oil
sands/bitumen and biofuels account for 70% of the increase in
unconventional liquid fuels.  Worldwide energy consumption will
grow by 53% between 2008 and 2035 with much of the increase
driven by strong economic growth in the developing nations,
especially China and India, according to the reference case in
the newly released International Energy Outlook 2011 (IEO2011)
from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).  Posted. 
This Thursday is World Car-Free Day.  World Car-Free Day – a day
when people organize their own events to explore alternative
transportation – is coming up this Thursday, September 22nd. The
event is loosely run by the World Carfree Network (WCN), but
individual events are being planned by people all over the world
and submitted via wiki to the WCN website. Participating events
include everything from group cycling to work to people standing
in the streets to protest the lack of non-car transportation
options in their cities.  Posted. 

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