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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 28, 2011.

Posted: 28 Sep 2011 12:14:19
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 28, 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 holds hearing in Denver on oil and gas rules.  The energy
industry plans to tell the Environmental Protection Agency at a
hearing Wednesday to take more time to rethink its proposed rules
for limiting air pollution at oil and gas wells.  Environmental
groups, though, plan to argue the proposal could go further.  The
public hearing in Denver is the second of three on the agency's
plan, which includes what would be its first regulations for
wells that are hydraulically fractured by blasting water,
chemicals and sand underground.  Posted. 

Homeowners say Wisconsin law favors big farms, leaves them
powerless against smells, pollution.  John Adams can’t see the
nearly 3,000 cows on the dairy farm two miles from his Wisconsin
home, but when the wind blows he can smell them.  The stench
gives him and his wife headaches. They blame the big farm for
contaminating their air and polluting the groundwater well they
use for drinking, bathing and watering their garden. They no
longer feel safe eating the vegetables they grow.  Posted. 


Report: EPA cut corners on climate finding.  An internal
government watchdog says that the Environmental Protection Agency
cut corners when it produced a key scientific document
underpinning its decision to regulate climate-changing pollution.
 The Inspector General report, obtained by The Associated Press
in advance of its release Wednesday, says the agency circumvented
a more robust review process that was warranted for a technical
paper supporting a costly and controversial decision to control
greenhouse gases for the first time.  Posted. 

New IG report faults process in agency's GHG assessments. In a
report with wide-reaching political implications, U.S. EPA's
inspector general has found that the scientific assessment
backing U.S. EPA's finding that greenhouse gases are dangerous
did not go through sufficient peer review for a document of its
importance. The new report, released today, examines only federal
requirements for EPA's "technical support document" and not the
accuracy of the scientific studies included within it. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/28/1 BY PAID

Little preparation under way for climate change at world's
seaports. United Nations -- Port operators worldwide have some
knowledge that climate change could pose a threat to their
operations, but to date, few studies have been undertaken to
determine just how serious the threat is. The U.N. Conference on
Trade and Development in Geneva is preparing to fill this gap in
knowledge. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/28/2 BY PAID


In North Dakota, Flames of Wasted Natural Gas Light the Prairie. 
Across western North Dakota, hundreds of fires rise above fields
of wheat and sunflowers and bales of hay. At night, they
illuminate the prairie skies like giant fireflies.  They are not
wildfires caused by lightning strikes or other acts of nature,
but the deliberate burning of natural gas by oil companies
rushing to extract oil from the Bakken shale field and take
advantage of the high price of crude.  Posted. 


U.S. to do more research on electric vehicles.  The Energy
Department wants to devote more of its $3 billion research budget
to get more electric vehicles on the road, a strategy it sees as
making the biggest difference in reducing oil imports and cutting
pollution.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu is due to unveil the
results of a major review of research spending on Tuesday, one
that could shift research dollars away from clean electricity and
biofuels toward electric vehicles and modernizing the power grid.

Toyota global production bounces back in August. Toyota Motor
Corp. said Wednesday its global production rose for the first
time in a year in August as Japanese automakers continued to
recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Worldwide
output at Japan's biggest automaker climbed 10.6 percent from a
year earlier to 626,817 vehicles. Production rose at both
domestic and overseas factories, especially in South Africa,
Australia, Asia and Europe. Posted. 

U.S. to conduct more research on electric vehicles. The U.S.
Energy Department wants to devote more of its $3 billion research
budget to get more electric vehicles on the road, a strategy it
sees as making the biggest difference in reducing oil imports and
cutting pollution. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is due to unveil
the results of a major review of research spending on Tuesday,
one that could shift research dollars away from clean electricity
and biofuels towards electric vehicles and modernizing the power
grid. Posted. 

U.S. green car subsidies aren't cost effective, study says. U.S.
government incentives to spur a market for battery-powered autos
aren't a cost-effective way to cut oil use and tailpipe emissions
compared with boosting sales of hybrids and plug-in cars that go
short distances on electricity, a study said. Battery
breakthroughs, more-expensive oil and a more-efficient electric
power grid will be needed to justify the expense, weight, and

University of Delaware enters into partnership to harness energy
from electric vehicles.  The University of Delaware will work
with a commercial company to harness the power of plug-in
electric vehicles.  The technology was developed at UD, which
allows owners of electric vehicles to sell power stored in their
vehicles' batteries back to the electric grid while the car is
plugged in and not being driven.  Now, NRG Energy and UD are
partners in eV2G (Electric Vehicle-to-Grid), a joint venture to
commercialize the technology.  Posted. 

Urban mobility: small, light and electric, the way to go!  The
benefits of electric vehicles will be mainly appreciated in urban
areas: no engine noise, no tailpipe, and a smoother way to drive.
However, with an average vehicle occupancy of 1.6 people in the
US and Europe, there is only little use for a 5-seater, even if
it is electric. The solution? To create small, light and electric
vehicles.  Posted. 

Incentives should target hybrids, not pure EVs – report. The
federal government should direct incentives to plug-in hybrids
and cars that run short distances on electricity rather than pure
electric vehicles to maximize the impact of gas-free cars,
according to a new report. Pure electric vehicles with large
battery packs -- such as the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Roadster --
may not reduce emissions or costs, depending on the charging
mode, states the report from Carnegie Mellon University. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/28/18 BY PAID


Start-Up in California Plans to Capture Lithium, and Market
Share. A start-up company will announce on Wednesday that it is
beginning commercial operations at a factory in Southern
California to capture lithium from existing geothermal energy
plants, a technology it says has the potential to turn the United
States into a major lithium exporter. The plant, built by Simbol
Materials near the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley, will also
capture manganese and zinc. Posted. 

Sacramento City Council approves energy retrofit program. The
Sacramento City Council approved a program Tuesday night that
opens the door to $100 million worth of energy-saving retrofits
at office buildings around the city. City officials said the
arrangement, part of a national effort launched by British
billionaire Richard Branson's nonprofit Carbon War Room group,
will create 1,150 jobs. Posted. 

Brown signs bills to expedite enviro reviews. California Gov.
Jerry Brown yesterday signed two laws meant to expedite judicial
reviews of environmental issues on large construction projects,
earning mixed reactions from environmental groups. One measure
limits lawsuits that could delay the construction of a football
stadium and the other is a broader bill meant to speed up
environmental reviews on other building proposals. The bills are
focused on "cutting red tape all over the state," the Democratic
governor said. "There are too many damn regulations." Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/28/25 BY PAID


MILBANK: The GOP role in birthing of Solyndra. Solyndra is trying
to rival her big sister Katrina's ability to make the federal
government look incompetent. But whose baby is she? Since the
solar-energy company went belly-up a few weeks ago ---- leaving
taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in loan guarantees ---- a
business that was once the poster child for President Barack
Obama's green-jobs initiative has instead become a tool for
Republicans to discredit most everything the administration seeks
to do. Posted. 

Shedding light on solar scandal. It's hard to tell who is having
the worst September - Barack Obama or the Boston Red Sox - but I
give the nod to the president, if only because of the scandal
involving Solyndra. Perhaps you're asking: "Who the heck is
Solyndra? Another White House intern?" Uh, no. It's not that kind
of scandal. Solyndra is a bankrupt solar-panel manufacturer, a
metaphor for an administration in serious political trouble.

‘Faster than light’ vs. climate change. The Sept. 24 front-page
article “Faster than light: Revolution or error?” was remarkable.
After more than 100 years, a potential flaw in Albert Einstein’s
unifying theory has emerged through experimentation. However, it
is what did not happen that is more important. No “relativity
deniers” were castigated by the press or political groups.  No
financial regulations were created to prevent people from
traveling to the future to reap profits on events they knew would
happen. No one resigned in protest. Posted.

Attention, pundits: We have the makings of a serious U.S. solar
program.  In my last post, I noted the disdain U.S. elites feel
for the grubby-but-necessary politics of clean energy deployment.
It's all well and good to advocate for sweeping macroeconomic
solutions to carbon pollution, but there are all sorts of
proximate battles being fought on the ground today. They'd be
easier to win if pundits like Fareed Zakaria would weigh in on
the right side.  Posted. 


How Climate Change Could Hurt Yellowstone National Park. Before
the end of the century, Yellowstone National Park could
experience summers that feel like Los Angeles’s, according to a
report released Tuesday. These warming temperatures will imperil
everything from native cutthroat trout to aspen forests and the
$700 million in annual economic activity that they and other gems
in the park generate by attracting tourists, the report said. 

Arctic Shelves Have Lost Half Their Size in Six Years. Canada’s
Arctic ice shelves, formations that date back thousands of years,
have been almost halved in size over the last six years, Canadian
researchers said on Tuesday. Researchers at Carleton University
in Ottawa, who regularly analyze satellite images from the
region, also found that a major portion of the ice shelves split
in half this summer and other pieces covering an area roughly one
and a half times that of Manhattan have broken off since the end
of July. Posted. 

The U.S. Military’s Plans to Assure Energy Independence. George
Kai’iliwai, Director, Resources and Assessment, of the U.S.
Pacific Command, recently spoke at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy
Summit and Expo, addressing the role of the military in helping
solve the world’s energy challenges. According to Ka’iliwai,
military technologies are potential game-changers in the energy
world. Posted. 

Researchers Link Ethanol Production and Financial Speculation to
Rising Food Prices. A recent scientific paper, from the New
England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) attributes the increase
in food prices in 2007/2008 and 2010/2011 to ethanol and
financial speculation. As the authors of the paper put it, “The
two sharp peaks in 2007/2008 and 2010/2011 are specifically due
to investor speculation, while an underlying upward trend is due
to increasing demand from ethanol conversion.” Posted. 

Toyota Prius C to be called Aqua in Japan, expected to return 94
mpg*. Toyota's upcoming compact hybrid, previewed by the Prius C
Concept, will reportedly launch in January 2012 in Japan wearing
the Aqua name, according to news outlet Nikkei. The compact
gas-electric is expected to carry a fuel economy rating of 40
kilometers per liter (94 miles per gallon U.S.) on Japan's
generous JC08 evaluation cycle. That works out to be roughly
equal to an EPA combined rating of 61 mpg U.S. Posted. 

Los Alamos researchers engineer magnetic algae to assist
harvesting and lipid extraction.  Scientists at Los Alamos
National Laboratory (LANL) have genetically
http://www.lanl.gov/news/stories/magnetic_algae.html “magnetic”
algae to investigate alternative, more efficient harvesting and
lipid extraction methods for biofuels. The researchers seek to
reduce the cost of algae-based biofuel production.  Currently,
used algae-harvesting and lipid-extraction technology accounts
for almost 30% of the total cost of algae-based biofuel
production.  Posted. 

Iceland to Build World’s First Zero-Carbon Data Center. 
Iceland’s ailing economy isn’t going to keep it from making
environmental strides – the city of Keflavik will soon be
receiving 37 prefabricated components in order to complete the
world’s first zero-carbon data center. The project, commissioned
by UK start-up Verne Global (a data hosting company), will
comprise 5,400 sq ft and will be powered completely by geothermal
and hydroelectric power. Posted. 
Microcab Debuts Its H2EV Hydrogen Mini Cars as a Cab Fleet in the
UK.  This week, UK specialist car maker Microcab is launching its
brand-new Microcab H2EV hydrogen fuel cell car. The first
recipient of the green mini cars will be West Midlands’ CABLED
(Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrator), which will
test how the H2EV performs using the current infrastructure for
hydrogen fueling in the UK. This may prove to be a real challenge
for the little car, or a real opportunity to prove itself, as the
one and only public hydrogen fueling station in the UK just
opened in Swindon  Posted. 

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