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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 27, 2011. Posted: 27 Sep 2011 11:20:01
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 27, 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 NRG's Texas coal plants able to meet new air rule. Houston, - NRG Energy Inc, (NRG.N), the second-largest electric power producer in Texas, does not expect to shut units at its coal-fired plants to comply with the latest federal mandate to cut air pollution, a spokesman said. Texas is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its last-minute inclusion of Texas coal plants under the final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). The rule mandates much stricter limits on emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide from coal and natural gas-fired power plants beginning in January. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/27/utilities-coal-nrg-idUSS1E78Q0UK20110927 'MythBusters' turns to UCR researcher for help. UC Riverside researcher Kent Johnson didn't get to blow anything up. He didn't get to crash any vehicles together. Nothing was destroyed at all. In that sense, the episode of the popular "MythBusters" TV program in which Johnson appears that airs Wednesday evening on the Discovery Channel is hardly a normal one. On the other hand, it's one of a very few -- two, to be precise -- that will result in the writing of a scientific paper. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/riverside/stories/PE_News_Local_D_mythbusters26.384e3a8.html Oil refineries seek huge tax refunds. Some of the nation's largest oil refineries are seeking huge tax refunds that could force school districts and local governments across Texas to give back tens of millions of dollars they were counting on to pay teachers and provide other services. The refineries want the tax breaks in exchange for buying pollution-controlling equipment. But the cost to public schools would be dear, coming only months after lawmakers slashed education spending by more than $4 billion. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9Q0ENHO0.htm DIESEL EMISSIONS CARB issues $223,295 in diesel violation fines. The California Air Resources Board issued $223,295 in fines for 37 different cases of air quality violations recently. Most of the violations stemmed from trucks and buses failing to meet state requirements for self-inspections. The five highest fines were the following: •$27,000 in fines for the County of Imperial Department of Public Works. The county failed to properly self-inspect its diesel trucks; Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Sep11/092611/092611-06.shtml http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=74805 Panel throws out part of Port of L.A.'s Clean Truck Program. U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals eliminates provision that would have ended trucking companies' use of independent contractors to haul containers from the port. The program is aimed at reducing diesel emissions. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday threw out a key provision of a program aimed at reducing diesel emissions from trucks hauling containers from the Port of Los Angeles. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-trucks-port-20110927,0,5148568.story http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/26/1878561/court-rejects-key-aspect-of-clean.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/26/court-rejects-key-aspect-of-clean-truck-program/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/article_a2f112a3-3377-50ab-8f58-3ac11ee15ecd.html http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/09/27/business-us-port-pollution-california_8702757.html FUELS A Way to Make Motor Fuel Out of Wood? Add Water. A Georgia company says it has overcome a major roadblock in turning agricultural waste into vehicle fuel and other useful chemicals by experimenting with a technology that treats the waste with compressed water heated to very high temperatures. The company, Renmatix, plans to cut the ribbon on a research and development center on Tuesday in King of Prussia, Pa., near the heart of the nation’s chemical and refining industry, to complete development of the process. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/business/energy-environment/using-water-to-turn-wood-chips-into-motor-fuel.html?scp=6&sq=fuels&st=cse Berkeley Lab scientists identify new type of biofuel. Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville identified a possible new type of biofuel that could replace diesel. The JBEI, run by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory engineered the new fuel, called bisabolane, from two microbes -- a bacteria and a yeast. Fuel made this way, the lab said, would be “clean, green, renewable and produced in the United States.” Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2011/09/27/berkeley-lab-scientists-id-new-biofuel.html VEHICLES Battery options for an older Prius. Dear Tom and Ray: I just got word that my 2005 Prius, with 110,000 miles, needs a new hybrid battery. I got the car new, and it’s been well-maintained, but the battery has not given us the 150,000 or 180,000 miles that we had hoped we could get out of it. Our dealer is willing to replace the battery pack with a new one for $3,500 (another dealer would charge $3,995). Posted. http://www.pe.com/cars/content/click/stories/0919ClickClack1.15ea22a0c.html Hybrid technology soon to be inescapable. Your next car will probably have a little bit of Toyota Prius or Chevrolet Volt in it, whether you think of yourself as a high-tech fuel saver or not. Technologies pioneered by the 50-mpg Prius and the Volt, which burns no gasoline at all on most trips under 40 miles, will soon be omnipresent. Virtually every car will be a hybrid, with so many variations of electric-assistance that some manufacturers won't even use the word. Posted. http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/sc-cons-0922-autotips-20110924,0,1373990.story EV charging standards: European OEMs recommendations. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has published on 14 September 2011 a position paper with recommendations for the “standardisation of the charging of electrically-chargeable vehicles”. For ACEA, standardisation is a pre-requisite for quicker market uptake of electric vehicles and higher investment into a quick charging network. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/66220110926.php Electric vehicle information and demo center being built. GE Capital Fleet Services is setting up a “customer experience and learning center” for electric vehicles in Eden Prairie, MN. The center will showcase GE’s portfolio of electric vehicle solutions and allow customers to evaluate electric vehicles and other alternative fuel vehicles. The facility is expected to open in the spring of 2012. “At GE, we are committed to helping our customers incorporate electric vehicles and other alternative fuel technologies into their fleets,” said Clarence Nunn, president & CEO. Posted. http://fleetowner.com/green/archive/electric-vehicle-info-demo-center-0926/ GREEN ENERGY Consumer product packaging in plastic going green. The decades-old duel between Coca-Cola and Pepsi has entered new territory. As the soda behemoths spar for world's top soft drink, the battle isn't just about what's in their bottles. It's about what's in their plastic. In 2009, the Coca-Cola Co. said it would sell its Dasani water products in bottles containing up to 30 percent sugarcane-based polyethylene terephthalate plastic, or PET. It touted the "PlantBottle" as the latest in eco-friendly food packaging. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/23/BULA1L78PH.DTL#ixzz1ZAT35CIi Looming budget cuts threaten San Jose's expansive solar plan. The gloomy financial forecast that has San Jose considering shuttering its branch libraries and community centers next summer could also claim another casualty: a money-saving solar project at the heart of Mayor Chuck Reed's clean-energy plan. The threatened closures could kill plans to install solar panels at no cost to the city on the roofs or parking lots at libraries and community centers. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/bay-area-news/ci_18981181 http://www.contracostatimes.com/bay-area-news/ci_18981181 State's openness to 'green energy' a big selling point. When Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler decided to start their own luxury electric auto company in 2007, they knew they wanted to set up the business in California. “This was a definite decision,” said Will Powell, a spokesman for Anaheim-based Fisker Automotive, which produces an electric vehicle with a gas-powered “range extender” different from traditional hybrids. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110925/BUSINESS/109250304/State-s-openness-green-energy-big-selling-point?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Frontpage|p MISCELLANEOUS Gov. Jerry Brown signs 38 bills, vetoes 4. Sacramento -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed 38 bills and vetoed four others on Monday, including a Republican-sponsored measure that would have mandated that one of the state's Air Resources Board members be a small-business owner. In a swipe at Republicans over their refusal to support taxes, Brown attached a message to a bill he signed that imposes a 1 percent fee on the sale of olive trees to raise funds to help certify the trees through a government program. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/27/BAM71L9OAJ.DTL&type=politics http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2011/09/26/calif-air-board-small-biz-owner-veto.html OPINIONS Climate Change and the Exodus of Species. To most humans, so far, climate change is still more of an idea than an experience. For other species, it is an immediate reality. Many will be left behind as the climate alters, unable to move quickly enough or with nowhere to move to. Others are already adapting. An iconic example of these swift changes is the recent discovery that Atlantic and Pacific populations of bowhead whales — long kept apart by the frozen Arctic — are now overlapping in the open waters of the Northwest Passage. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/opinion/climate-change-and-the-exodus-of-species.html BLOGS Climate Change Takes a Toll on Cultures. A member of Colombia’s indigenous Nukak-Makú people. Climate change will only hasten a trend in which members resettle in urban areas when they come of age, environmental experts warn. There are nearly 7,000 known languages in the world today. It is predicted that half of these, in many cases vessels of indigenous cultures, will vanish over the next 50 years. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/climate-change-takes-a-toll-on-cultures/ Report Says Vehicle Fuel Should Be the Priority, Not Electricity. Research on solar and wind power is all well and good, but a self-assessment by the Department of Energy has found that in the great scheme of energy needs, the government is not investing enough in transportation energy, an area in which those renewable power sources do not play a role. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/transportation-fuel-challenge-dogs-the-u-s/?scp=5&sq=fuels&st=cse California treasurer: Put renewable-energy tax exemption on hold. The head of a California panel that hands out sales tax exemptions to renewable-energy manufacturing companies wants to suspend the program in the wake of the Solyndra scandal. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said he will ask fellow members of the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority at a meeting Tuesday to not approve any new applications for exemptions from paying California sales tax. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/09/solyndra-california-bill-lockyer-tax-exemption.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyCompany+%28Money+%26+Company%29 EGYPT: Clearing the air pollution after the revolution. Reporting From Cairo -- When the thick clouds of tear gas and repressive rule lifted last winter, Egyptians breathed more easily. And in a shade of serendipity, the revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak accomplished what the Egyptian Environmental Ministry had failed to accomplish for years: noticeably cleaner air in Cairo. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/09/egypt-revolution-air-pollution.html Carbon Sciences adapting its dry reforming catalyst to target steam methane reforming market. Carbon Sciences, Inc., the licenser and developer of technology for the dry catalytic reforming of methane to produce gasoline and other transportation fuels (earlier post), now plans to commercialize its catalyst as a drop-in replacement in the existing billion-dollar catalyst market for steam methane reforming (SMR). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/carbonscismr-20110927.html