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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 21, 2011. Posted: 21 Sep 2011 12:40:20
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 21, 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 Today expected to be a 'Spare the Air' day in region. Dirty, hot air is predicted to be the order of the day as summer goes out with a sizzle. Autumn arrives Friday but not before the work week finishes with temperatures around 100 every day in Sacramento. The high on Tuesday was 99 degrees. A strong Pacific Ocean high pressure system is causing the hot spell that has gripped the Central Valley this week. Along with the expected temperature today of near 100 degrees is a prediction that the Sacramento region will reach an unhealthy level of atmospheric pollutants, making it the fourth "Spare the Air" day this summer. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/21/3926169/today-expected-to-be-a-spare-the.html#ixzz1YbarMcV7 http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/21/1869665/today-expected-to-be-a-spare-the.html Latinos at risk without new pollution standards. Washington -- Latinos would have a higher risk of disease and death without tougher standards that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed for ozone and toxic emissions, environmental and Latino groups said Tuesday. Latinos would also be affected more than other groups because they're more likely to live in polluted areas, according to a report prepared by the groups. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/20/MN9K1L77J2.DTL#ixzz1YbU1aIJR http://www.ocregister.com/news/report-318014-ozone-latinos.html 3rd day of smog warnings in San Francisco. San Francisco—A third day in San Francisco's smog siege has authorities urging residents to limit driving and ride bicycles. The San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/oyZr9F) says air pollution is expected to approach unhealthy levels Wednesday. Elevated ozone levels have plagued the East Bay region since Monday. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's third Spare the Air Day declaration urges residents to take bikes, public transit or carpools instead of driving solo, to cook indoors rather than barbecue and to avoid using gas-powered gardening equipment. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CA_SAN_FRANCISCO_SMOG_CAOL-?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Other AP Stories http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/21/BAON1L6KV2.DTL http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18943634 http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18937575 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/21/3rd-day-of-smog-warnings-in-san-francisco/ http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18943634?IADID=Search- www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110921/ARTICLES/110929923 http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110921/ARTICLES/110929923?Title=Spare-the-Air-Day-today- http://clayton.patch.com/articles/lots-of-smog-extreme-heat-third-spare-the-air-day-this-week CLIMATE CHANGE Study for G20 on raising climate change funding suggests carbon price, targets fuel subsidies. Amsterdam — Global financial institutions are recommending raising money to fight climate change by trimming subsidies for fossil fuels, putting a price tag of $25 per ton on carbon emissions and collecting a surcharge on aviation and shipping fuels. The recommendations are part of a draft paper by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international groups prepared for a meeting Friday in Washington of G20 finance and development ministers. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/study-for-g20-on-raising-climate-change-funding-suggests-carbon-price-targets-fuel-subsidies/2011/09/21/gIQA5BTPkK_story.html Emerging-market CO2 trade unlikely until at least 2020: researchers. International climate policy should continue to support the Kyoto Protocol's project-based carbon emissions reduction mechanism in developing countries because carbon trade might not materialize in emerging markets in the current decade, Germany's Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy said in a government-sponsored policy paper published Tuesday. Posted. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/ElectricPower/8365382 Carbon Retirement – the future of offsetting? Carbon trading has not had the greatest press of late, considering the cyber crime hitting the European spot markets earlier this year, ongoing concerns over the efficacy of industrial gas offsets, and the wave of protest sparked by Australia's proposed cap-and-trade scheme. Critics have also branded carbon offsets simply a mandate for polluters to continue polluting and questioned whether the stated benefits from some projects, most notably forestry and HFC gas schemes, are quite as significant as they seem. Posted. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/interview/2110454/carbon-retirement-future-offsetting AB 32’s Carbon Market Rounding Into Shape. Seems like only yesterday that those following AB 32 were anticipating the release of the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) initial view of the AB 32 Cap and Trade program. That initial version, known as the Preliminary Draft Regulation (PDR), was made public in the fall of 2009. It was a document that laid out in broad strokes the basic structure of the program, but it left many policy calls for future versions. We are now only about a month away from the CARB Board taking final action to approve the fully detailed program. What a strange trip it’s been. Posted. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/09/19/ab-32%E2%80%99s-carbon-market-rounding-into-shape/ Germany to fund new coal plants with climate change cash. The German government wants to encourage the construction of new coal and gas power plants with millions of euros from a fund for promoting clean energy and combating climate change. The plan has come under stiff criticism, but the Ministry of Economics and Technology defended the idea. A spokeswoman said it was necessary as the government switches from nuclear to other renewable energy sources and added that the money would promote the most efficient plants possible. Posted. http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110713-36277.html GREEN ENERGY Solyndra Executives to Invoke Fifth Amendment Rights. The top two executives of a solar-energy company that filed for bankruptcy after getting $528 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration said Tuesday that they will invoke their constitutional rights against compelled self-incrimination when they appear at a Congressional hearing. The chief executive of Solyndra, Brian Harrison, and Bill Stover, the chief financial officer, hired lawyers in preparation for the hearing this week before the House Energy and Commerce committee and got advice not to say anything, according to a representative of the lawyers. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/science/earth/21solar.html?ref=earth http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/20/1869141/solyndra-execs-to-plead-5th-at.html State utility plant wins top rating. The state's central utility plant downtown has become the third state-owned facility to receive the highest rating for environmental sustainability. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded its LEED platinum designation to the building, which provides chilled water and steam to cool and heat 23 state-owned buildings in the Capitol area. "This central plant is one of the most efficient of its kind in the nation," said Fred Klass, director of the state Department of General Services. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/21/3925694/state-utility-plant-wins-top-rating.html Clean-tech 'accelerator' Greenstart opens in S.F. Greenstart, an "accelerator" to boost fledgling clean-technology companies, opened its reclaimed-wood doors in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, the first such enterprise in a city that hopes to become a hub for clean tech. "I love this term accelerator because we don't have time to waste; we need this innovation right now to reduce carbon emissions," said Mayor Ed Lee at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/20/BULQ1L6NT6.DTL#ixzz1YbUsuZOT Clean-energy fund invests in commercial retrofits. Not waiting for the feds to get their act together on the matter, a Santa Rosa clean-energy fund is investing an initial $650 million in a program to finance retrofits, solar installations and other efficiency upgrades in older commercial buildings nationwide. Beginning with Sacramento and Miami-Dade County, Ygrene Energy Fund ( www.ygrene-energy.com) is putting up the capital and administering the projects as part of its lead role in a private partnership that also involves Lockheed Martin, Barclays Capital and the global reinsurer Hannover Re. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/20/BUBH1L70O8.DTL#ixzz1YbVF5WnV The military’s historic embrace of smart energy. The U.S. military's embrace of energy efficiency and renewable energy is going to be one of the great stories of the coming decade. It will be a story about technology, the changing face of warfare, geopolitics in the 21st century, and the struggle to change one of the world's largest bureaucracies. But it will also be a great political story. Posted. http://www.grist.org/renewable-energy/2011-09-21-the-militarys-historic-embrace-of-smart-energy MISCELLANEOUS Federal hearings convened in Sacramento bemoan forest rules. A congressional hearing in Sacramento on Monday provided a stage for complaints about the U.S. Forest Service, as off-roading groups, ranchers and others bemoaned access limits and steeper fees. Held at the state Capitol, the hearing by the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands featured just two of its 13 Republican members, including Rep. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove. None of its 10 Democratic members attended. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/20/3923131/federal-hearings-convened-in-sacramento.html#ixzz1YbbY8ryd OPINIONS How to Weaken the Power of Foreign Oil. OUR country has just gone through a sober national retrospective on the 9/11 attacks. Apart from the heartfelt honoring of those lost — on that day and since — what seemed most striking is our seeming passivity and indifference toward the well from which our enemies draw their political strength and financial power: the strategic importance of oil, which provides the wherewithal for a generational war against us, as we mutter diplomatic niceties. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/opinion/how-to-weaken-the-power-of-foreign-oil.html?scp=6&sq=fuels&st=cse Head to Head: After Solyndra, should Congress end – or change – loan guarantees? THE ISSUE: The bankruptcy filing of Fremont-based Solyndra in August has cast harsh new light on the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee program. The solar panel maker received $534 million in loan guarantees. Now Congress is investigating whether the company received special favors from the Obama administration. After Solyndra, should Congress end – or change – loan guarantees? Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/21/3925834/after-solyndra-should-congress.html Letters: 'The great global warming swindle'. Santa Ana, Linda Dean: We're way behind Western Europe, Canada and Latin America in our enlightenment regarding global warming according to Register reporter Martin Wisckol [“Perry’s skepticism of evolution, global warming shared by many,” Sept. 15]. He might have done better to quote some of the many scientists who disagree with the current, popular view rather than deriding us for not following the crowds. I simply googled “Scientists” view of global warming' for the following.... Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/global-318042-warming-latin.html Selling a Bridge to Nowhere: NREL Lithium/Carbon Metric. Back in 2003, for those who know the history of the second coming of electric cars, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was convinced to rewrite the definition of zero emission vehicles to include hybrids. About the same time, Chevron was suing everyone to keep the nickel-metal-hydride battery out of electric vehicles. However, they became the standard for hybrids. The movie “Who Killed the Electric Car” may have been inconclusive but attention did shift to hybrids, which continue to use gasoline, as the EV was crushed. Posted. http://cleantechnica.com/2011/09/20/selling-a-bridge-to-nowhere-nrel-lithiumcarbon-metric/ BLOGS Weaving ‘Climate’ Into ‘Corporate’. A new report finds more evidence that climate change is gradually moving to the center of corporate strategy. Virtually every big company in the world now pays at least lip service to sustainability, and many of them are starting to take real action to reduce their environmental footprint. The new report from the Carbon Disclosure Project finds that for the first time, a majority of companies in the United States responding to the group’s survey “now integrate climate change into core business strategy.” Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/weaving-climate-into-corporate/ Banished from the H.O.V. Lane, Prius Drivers May Be First to Embrace New Plug-In Model. Toyota announced last week that its plug-in Prius, with 15 miles of all-electric range, will cost $32,780 when it goes on sale early next year, $8,500 more than the entry-level Prius Two, which costs $24,280. While it’s worth noting that the plug-in car is eligible for a $2,500 federal income tax credit, paying thousands of dollars extra may be a burden happily shouldered by current Prius owners who lost their privileges in California’s high-occupancy-vehicle lanes in July, when the state rescinded their eligibility for single-occupancy driving in the lanes. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/banished-from-the-h-o-v-lane-prius-drivers-may-be-first-to-embrace-new-plug-in-model/?scp=4&sq=vehicles&st=cse Poll Finds Support Among Small Businesses for Tougher Fuel Economy Standards. Findings from a new poll contradict the prevailing wisdom that small-business owners are focused on the twin burdens of regulation and high taxes. Owners are instead more concerned about economic uncertainty and higher costs, including expensive fuel. According to the online poll of 1,257 small-business owners, commissioned by the Small Business Majority, …Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/poll-finds-support-among-small-businesses-for-tougher-fuel-economy-standards/?scp=6&sq=vehicles&st=cse Ex-Automotive Executives Select Start-Ups for Green Incubator. Greenstart, a San Francisco green technology start-up accelerator created by three entrepreneurs with backgrounds in automotive advertising, pulled the sheets off its first round of investments on Tuesday afternoon. The four start-ups in the freshman class will each receive $25,000 to $100,000 in direct investment, as well as mentoring, work space and networking opportunities through the three-month accelerator program. Every one of them, the Greenstart founders hope, will generate revenue within a year, a short time frame by virtually any small-business standard, let alone capital-intensive energy ventures. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/ex-automotive-executives-select-start-ups-for-green-incubator/?scp=7&sq=diesel%20emissions&st=cse Of Beach Sand, ‘War’ and Carbon. Three years ago, my colleague Andrew Ross Sorkin caught the British entrepreneur Richard Branson on his private island in the Caribbean in a pensive moment. With a little help from his friends, he was thinking hard about the problem of global warming, and whether he might be able to help. Fast-forward to now, and we know Mr. Branson’s answer to his own question. A year after that chin-stroking session on Necker Island, he founded an outfit called the Carbon War Room in Washington that is working on solutions. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/of-beach-sand-war-and-carbon/?ref=earth This Machine Can Suck Carbon Out Of The Air. David Keith is a bit fidgety. Maybe that's because venture capitalists have asked to come see his carbon dioxide machine. Maybe it's because the project is running months behind schedule, as experiments so often do. Maybe it's because his critics say it'll never work. Or maybe it's a taste of excitement, because it seems entirely possible that the trailer-truck-size machine that he's leaning up against is actually going to work. Posted. http://www.npr.org/2011/09/19/140513014/this-machine-can-suck-carbon-out-of-the-air Is The Future of Solar Technology Looking Bright? Experts Discuss. These are tough times for the solar industry. Companies such as Evergreen solar and SpectraWatt have filed for bankruptcy, while most famously, Solyndra, a recipient of tax dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, closed up shop this month. On top of this, an excess supply of photovoltaic (PV) panels, especially from China, is causing price suppression; cutting the margins for those manufacturers still in business. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/future-solar-technology-looking-bright-experts-discuss/ The (Real) Lessons from Solyndra. The White House is worried that the story of Solyndra, the solar power company that filed for bankruptcy protection after receiving $535 million in loan guarantees, will follow Obama through the 2012 election season. I’ve got a feeling it will stay with us even longer than that. Thomas Friedman once wrote that when historians will look back at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, they will say that the most important thing to happen was China’s green leap forward. My hunch is that the Solyndra episode will be one of the examples they will use to make their case. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/solyndra-real-lessons/ The Cleantech Competitive Advantage -one of Six Changes Driving Business Change. The cleantech-enabled transformation to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy may be the next industrial revolution. Ernst & Young's work on Six Global Trends Shaping the Business World list those six trends as: emerging markets increase their global power, cleantech becomes a competitive advantage, global banking seeks recovery through transformation, governments enhance ties with the private sector, rapid technology innovation creates a smart mobile world, and demographic shifts transform the global workforce. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/cleantech-competitive-advantage-one-six-changes-dr/ Tesla Motors opens service center in Hong Kong. As last week came to a close, Tesla Motors celebrated the grand opening of its first vehicle service center in Hong Kong. Though the service center was set up to serve some sort of purpose, Tesla claims the Roadster: Requires less routine maintenance than conventional cars, does not need regular oil changes or exhaust system work. Roadsters have no spark plugs, pistons, hoses, belts or clutches to replace. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/21/tesla-motors-opens-service-center-in-hong-kong/ Gasoline vehicles soon to be overtaken by CNG, diesel in India. At a time when gasoline prices frequently fluctuate, cheap compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel have started to climb the fuel-of-choice charts over in India. According to The Times of India, CNG is so hot that it will soon overtake gasoline as the fuel that powers the majority of vehicles in India. Of course, CNG's rise to the top is not related to saving the environment but to the fact that it's far cheaper than gasoline. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/21/gasoline-vehicles-soon-to-be-overtaken-by-cng-diesel-in-india/ Even without H2 cars, Honda opens UK's first public-access hydrogen station. UK drivers wishing to skip battery electric vehicles while maintaining "zero-emissions" motoring now have a new alternative since Honda has opened the UK's first public-access hydrogen refueling station. Ironically, no automakers offer a fuel cell vehicle in the UK, not even Honda. At the moment, Honda has "no plans" to sell the FCX Clarity in the UK, so we'd argue the hydrogen fueling station is pointless, but Honda says it's not. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/21/honda-uk-first-public-access-hydrogen-refueling-station/ Failure is not an option for global climate change talks. Ahead of the Durban climate change summit, world leaders are demanding quicker action to avert catastrophe. The B4E Climate Summit, which took place in London last week, closed with a determined statement of intent – and a warning. Ambassador NJ Mxakato-Diseko, the South African ambassador at large to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC) talks in Durban later this year, will announce at Durban that failure is not an option. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/global-climate-change-talks-business-b4e-wwf?newsfeed=true UK consortium to develop new drivetrain technology for hybrid & electric vehicles to reduce dependency on rare earth metals. UK-based motor control specialist Sevcon Ltd (earlier post) is leading a collaborative project that includes Cummins Generator Technologies and Newcastle University’s Power Electronics and Drives Research Group to develop a new type of electric traction drive for use in hybrid and pure electric vehicles that will use steel to replace the rare earth magnets used in motors. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/sevcon-20110921-1.html