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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18994044 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18994044 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/homeowners-say-wisconsin-law-favors-big-farms-leaves-them-powerless-against-smells-pollution/2011/09/28/gIQAYYym3K_story.html CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/09/28/2556574/report-epa-cut-corners-on-climate.html#storylink=misearch http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_8d6e07c0-eb7e-591e-84ef-66c8b70ff921.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/28/1880873/report-epa-cut-corners-on-climate.html 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/business/energy-environment/in-north-dakota-wasted-natural-gas-flickers-against-the-sky.html?_r=2&hp VEHICLES 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. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/27/us-usa-energy-research-idUSTRE78Q13220110927 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/28/toyota-global-production-bounces-back-in-august/ http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/28/1880712/toyota-global-production-bounces.html 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. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110927/OEM05/309279844/1186 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 …Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110927/OEM05/309279829/1186 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. http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/27183 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. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/66320110928.php 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/business/energy-environment/simbol-materials-plans-to-extract-lithium-from-geothermal-plants.html?ref=earth 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. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/28/v-print/1880514/sacramento-city-council-approves.html 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS 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. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/milbank/article_a1a4af00-5b01-5888-9277-45491a628699.html http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110928/OPINION/110929510 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. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/28/1880748/shedding-light-on-solar-scandal.html ‘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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/faster-than-light-vs-climate-change/2011/09/24/gIQAzlAk2K_story.html 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. http://www.grist.org/solar-power/2011-09-27-attention-pundits-we-have-makings-of-a-serious-us-solar-program BLOGS 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. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/how-climate-change-could-hurt-yellowstone-national-park/?ref=earth 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/arctic-shelves-have-lost-half-their-size-in-six-years/?ref=earth 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. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/whats-military-doing-assure-energy-independence/ 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. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/researchers-link-ethanol-production-financial-speculation-rising-food-prices/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/28/toyota-prius-c-to-be-called-aqua-in-japan-expected-to-return-94/ 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/lanl-20110928.html 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. http://inhabitat.com/iceland-to-build-worlds-first-zero-carbon-data-center/ 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. http://inhabitat.com/microcab-h2ev-hydrogen-mini-cars-debut-as-cab-fleet-in-uk/