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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 30, 2011. Posted: 30 Sep 2011 12:36:07
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 30, 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 Valley Air Alert Gets Extended Again. San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District officials extended an air alert through today because of the possibility of high ozone levels. Officials expect weather conditions to improve today because a cooling trend and better air flow over the region is forecast. But they remain concerned about higher-than- anticipated ozone levels violating federal air quality limits and stressed the importance of the public's participation in minimizing emissions. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/29/1883635/valley-air-alert-gets-extended.html EPA: New England air quality improved in 2011. New England's air quality improved this summer compared with last year because of fewer sweltering days, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. Between April and September, the six-state region has had 16 days when ozone levels were considered unhealthy, according to preliminary data from the EPA. That's down from 29 unhealthy days in 2010. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19003299 CLIMATE CHANGE California Supreme Court denies request to halt cap-and-trade work. The California Supreme Court Wednesday declined to order state regulators to halt work on a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program while a lower court considers legal challenges filed by environment groups. The California Air Resource Board is scheduled to adopt a final rules on October 21 implementing the nation's first economy-wide cap-and-trade plan. While the program is scheduled to start in January, CARB has decided to delay enforcement until January 2013. Posted. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/ElectricPower/6534733 California Sup Ct Lets California Continue Its Cap and Trade Work. The California Supreme Court issued an order today that allows the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to continue implementing its cap and trade program. The history here is somewhat convoluted. The state’s plan (called the scoping plan) to implement the California Global Warming Solutions Act contains within it a cap and trade programPosted. http://legalplanet.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/california-sup-ct-lets-california-continue-its-cap-and-trade-work/ Businesses and federal agencies make final objections to Calif. cap and trade. While California's first-in-the-nation cap-and-trade program being voted on next month won't take public comments into account, stakeholders are still trying to change large parts of it, including the distribution of allowances, market protection provisions and the inclusion of federal agencies. A number of federal agencies are continuing to protest being subject to California's jurisdiction, including the Defense Department and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), which delivers hydroelectric power in Western states. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/30/3 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION European fleets slash CO2, says GE Capital. New company cars across Europe’s major markets reduced their CO2 emissions by 7.2% between 2008 and 2010, according to the Key Solutions CO2 Assessment published today by GE Capital. Based on data from GE Capital’s 250,000 vehicle pan-European fleet, the report reveals that between 2008 and 2010 emissions fell by an average of 11gCO2/Km per car. Posted. http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2011/9/26/european-fleets-slash-co2-says-ge-capital/40687/ 'Ozone hole' begins to heal, which could make Antarctica warmer. The Antarctic ozone hole could show the first signs of recovery within a decade, according to researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The scientists base their findings, published yesterday in the Journal of Geophysical Research, on a combination of data collected by specially equipped weather balloons and computer models. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/30/7 DIESEL EMISSIONS CARB-suspended filters are aftermarket, mufflers temporary. Two models of diesel particulate filters that were recently suspended by the California Air Resources Board were not factory installed, but aftermarket devices. The filters, the LongMile truck DPF unit and the off-road Allmetal DPF, were recently taken off the market after the company that makes the units reported a failure on one of its units. Some reports have blamed a truck for creating a spark that eventually turned into a major fire in south Washington. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Sep11/092611/092911-05.shtml Port train line seeks to reduce emissions by retrofitting locomotives. Pacific Harbor Line is hoping to reduce emissions by retrofitting 16 older locomotives that solely operate on 18 miles of rail within the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, port officials announced Thursday. A set of new, ultra-low emission engines will be installed in the locomotives, emitting 85 percent less diesel particulate matter and 38 percent less nitrogen oxide, port officials said. Posted. http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_19007223 VEHICLES Tesla won't ask for another U.S. loan, CEO Says. Tesla Motors Inc. won't ask the U.S. Energy Department for another vehicle-manufacturing loan from a program House Republicans tried to cut, the electric-car maker's chief executive officer said. Tesla, based in Palo Alto, has "significant" capital reserves and more than enough money to develop its Model S sedan, CEO Elon Musk told reporters today in Washington after a speech at the National Press Club. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/29/BUK21LBDKR.DTL#ixzz1ZSKB88yW GM to develop electric cars in China with SAIC, but won't share Volt. General Motors Co. says it plans to develop an electric vehicle with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp., and it won't be just a copy of the Chevrolet Volt. GM and SAIC announced the project in a statement today and during various media events from Shanghai this morning. In a teleconference today with journalists, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky confirmed that GM will form a 50-50 joint venture with SAIC to develop an EV for the Chinese market. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110920/OEM/110929994/1131 Ministry of Environmental Protection collecting opinions for new hybrid vehicles standards. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has begun collecting public opinions for its so-called "measurement methods for emissions from light-duty hybrid electric vehicles", the China Securities Journal reported today. The opinions will be used to determine emission standards for classifying hybrid electrics. Posted. http://autonews.gasgoo.com/china-news/ministry-of-environmental-protection-collecting-op-110928.shtml GREEN ENERGY From Dump to Paragon of Ecology: A First Peek. As befits what used to be the world’s largest landfill, the future Freshkills Park on Staten Island may represent the planet’s greatest act of ecological atonement. The 2,200-acre site, which the Department of Parks and Recreation calls a “reminder of wastefulness, excess and environmental neglect,” will, as it evolves into a park over the next 25 years, feature every environmentally correct practice known to landscape architecture. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/nyregion/fresh-kills-once-a-landfill-is-environmentally-transformed.html?_r=1 Energy efficiency programs may continue, but controversy remains. The California Public Utilities Commission's president will push to continue fully funding energy efficiency programs, despite the Legislature’s recent failure to extend a special surcharge on utility bills. In a letter dated Wednesday to Gov. Jerry Brown, commission President Michael Peevey said he is initiating a formal proceeding to consider alternate ways to pay for efficiency and renewable energy programs that had been funded by the surcharge. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/energy-efficiency-programs-may-continue-controversy-remains-12850 CONGRESS: Bono Mack sought expedited reviews of solar projects. Washington - A year before Republicans seized on the collapse of the solar energy firm Solyndra as an illustration of politically motivated spending by the Obama administration, Inland Rep. Mary Bono Mack pushed for the expedited review of federal loan guarantee applications for solar projects, including a pair of large ones in her Riverside County desert. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/politics/stories/PE_News_Local_D_solar30.4052029.html Obama administration approves 2 more solar energy loan guarantees worth total of $1B. The Energy Department on Wednesday approved two loan guarantees worth more than $1 billion for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona, two days before the expiration date of a program that has become a rallying cry for Republican critics of the Obama administration’s green energy programPosted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-administration-approves-2-more-solar-energy-loan-guarantees-worth-total-of-1b/2011/09/28/gIQAYVpv4K_story.html Contra Costa County hacks down 100 trees to clear land for green energy. Clean green energy will save the environment -- even if an acre or three of trees get in the way. That theory apparently led a Contra Costa County-hired contractor to clear-cut more than 100 venerable eucalyptus and oaks bordering Point Pinole Regional Shoreline this month, all blocking the ideal location for solar panels intended to power the County Jail in Richmond. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19006152 Hartford school wins top 'green' certification. A Hartford magnet school has become Connecticut's first public school building to achieve the highest possible rating for energy efficiency and environmentally friendly design. The Mary M. Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School joins two other Connecticut buildings to win platinum-level LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19010433 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19010433 Latest developments in battery safety and technology. Battery Power 2011, an international conference on latest developments in the area of battery technologies, was held between 20-21 September 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. cars21.com was a media partner of the conference and summarizes some of the papers presented during the event. The conference gathered OEM design engineers, manufacturers of battery technologies, battery component providers and discussed the most recent advancements in battery and power management technology. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/66620110930.php Can the wind industry survive without federal tax credits? Minnesota wind developer Dan Juhl has seen the scenario before. The wind production tax credit -- seen as a key incentive to bringing new wind energy projects online -- nears its expiration date, expires without legislative action, and then comes barreling back, reviving the industry after a period of stagnation. It's a sequence of events that has played out three times in the last decade, most recently in 2003, and is unfolding again today. Posted. http://www.grist.org/wind-power/2011-09-30-can-the-wind-industry-survive-without-federal-tax-credits Can there be uniform, accurate energy efficiency labels for dwellings? Measuring the energy performance and green attributes of a home or business can positively affect the sale or rental price of a house, a building or an apartment. The difficulty is getting out information on performance labels so that people can relate to them the way they do to fuel efficiency stickers on new cars. To better understand the value of "green" and energy efficiency labels …Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/30/5 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION Wood is best option for green buildings, says USDA head. Using lumber leaves one of the smallest carbon footprints and should be prioritized in sustainable construction, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said yesterday. "Wood should be a major component of American building and energy design," he said in a statement. "The use of wood provides substantial environmental benefits, provides incentives for private landowners to maintain forest land, and provides a critical source of jobs in rural America." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/30/8 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION Obama admin unveils awards for 'green schools'. The Education Department announced plans yesterday to honor the greenest U.S. schools with a series of new awards next spring. Education Secretary Arne Duncan released final plans for the program and nomination documents online, encouraging states to identify their best candidates for the Green Ribbon Schools awards. The program is modeled after the department's Blue Ribbon award for academic achievement. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/30/16 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION MISCELLANEOUS E.P.A. Is Longtime Favorite Target for Perry. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has built a political career running against Washington, and no agency more symbolizes what he considers the meddlesome and economy-choking evils of the federal government than the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Perry’s conservative views on business costs, states’ rights, job creation, energy policy and global competitiveness — the core of his governing philosophy — are illuminated most vividly in his clashes with the E.P.A. over issues like pesticide regulation and global warming. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/us/politics/epa-is-perrys-favorite-target.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse High-Speed Rail Would Take A Lot of Juice. Trains rolling through the San Joaquin Valley chug along on diesel power, hauling freight and passengers at speeds that range from a seeming crawl — especially if you're stuck at a crossing — to upward of 75 mph. But the 220-mph passenger trains proposed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority would run on electricity, with overhead power lines providing juice along the 800-mile route connecting San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/29/1883684/high-speed-rail-would-take-a-lot.html OPINIONS Cleaner air, and rules, at the Port of L.A. Diesel truck emissions there have dropped 80% in three years, proving that there's no need to phase out independent truckers in favor of unionized ones. For years, L.A. labor and environmental advocates have been claiming that it would be impossible to clean up the diesel pollution that sickens residents near the Port of Los Angeles without phasing out the independent truckers who have traditionally picked up cargo there and replacing them with unionized employees. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-port-20110928,0,3882820.story Electricity surcharge should go dark. Will Gov. Jerry Brown never relent in his quest for higher taxes and fees? His latest idea is a sneaky attempt to extend a 1.5 percent surcharge on electricity bills, which is set to expire Jan. 1, 2012. The surcharge, which raises $400 million a year for energy efficiency and renewable-energy research, costs the average homeowner about $1 to $2 a month. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/energy-319641-surcharge-commission.html BLOGS Surprise! U.S. might meet its climate targets. Back in 2009, at the global climate talks in Copenhagen, the United States promised to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The conventional wisdom is that there’s no way we can possibly hit that target, especially after the Senate killed a cap-and-trade bill last year. But David Hone, the climate change adviser for Shell*, has a worthwhile analysis suggesting that the combination of the steep recession, new EPA rules on power plants, and low natural-gas prices might actually let us meet those goals, after all. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/surprise-us-might-meet-its-climate-targets/2011/09/30/gIQA57z49K_blog.html Global Warming Could Cost Canada Billions, Study Warns. A report by an advisory board to the government of Canada estimates that the effects of global warming will cost the country’s economy 5 billion Canadian dollars a year by 2020 and that those costs will rise substantially afterward. Unlike earlier studies, the report does not examine the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; it looked at the economic consequences of global warming. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/global-warming-could-cost-canada-billions-study-warns/?scp=5&sq=climate%20change&st=cse Researchers from MIT and Sun Catalytix develop an artificial leaf for solar water splitting to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Researchers led by MIT professor Daniel Nocera have produced an “artificial leaf”—a solar water-splitting cell producing hydrogen and oxygen that operates in near-neutral pH conditions, both with and without connecting wires. (Earlier post.) In a paper published in the journal Science, they report that the cells carry out the solar-driven water splitting reaction at direct solar-to-fuels efficiencies of 2.5% (wireless configuration)…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/researchers-from-mit-and-sun-catalytix-develop-on-artificial-leaf-for-solar-water-splitting-to-produce-hydrogen-and-oxygen.html MIT Unveils Artificial Leaf That Creates Hydrogen Fuel from Sunlight. MIT researchers just officially unveiled a device that uses sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The device builds upon a breakthrough hydrogen producing technology developed in 2008, and they are calling it an “artificial leaf” because of it capacity to create chemical fuels directly from sunlight. The cell is also made from common materials like silicon, cobalt and nickel, which means that the “leaf” could potentially be mass-produced. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/mit-unveils-artificial-leaf-that-creates-hydrogen-fuel-from-sunlight/ Solyndra bankruptcy is aberration, solar power executives say. National media "chatter" surrounding the much-publicized bankruptcy of Fremont, Calif., solar panel producer Solyndra Inc. and the loss of $535 million in federal loan guarantees is hurting more successful renewable energy companies and obscuring the new industry's success, solar executives said. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/09/soylyndra-bankruptcy-is-aberration-say-california-solar-power-executives.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyCompany+%28Money+%26+Company%29 Markets Can Be Very, Very Wrong. Muller, Mendelsohn, and Nordhaus have a new paper in the American Economic Review that should be a major factor in how we discuss economic ideology. It won’t, of course, but let me lay out the case anyway. What MMN do is estimate the cost imposed on society by air pollution, and allocate it across industries. The costs being calculated, by the way, don’t include the long-run threat of climate change; they’re focused on measurable impacts of pollution on health and productivity... Posted. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/markets-can-be-very-very-wrong/?scp=6&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Lighter and More Fuel Efficient, Boeing Delivers the First 787 Dreamliner. This week, US aircraft maker Boeing celebrated the delivery of it’s first new-generation 787 Dreamliner to the Japanese carrier, All Nippon Airlines (ANA). This follows a series of setbacks which have beset the launch, delaying deliveries by around three years. Despite the setbacks, Bloomberg reported in August that the 787 is the fastest selling aircraft ever. With the number of orders already secured, production of the 787 represents about 7 years of work for the company. These orders were all placed prior to 2011 however, and orders for 26 planes have been cancelled during 2011. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/lighter-fuel-efficient-boeing-delivers-first-787-dreamliner/ The Problem with Politicizing Solyndra. “As much as I wish to be able to answer the members’ questions, I have been advised by my counsel that it is the better course for me to assert my constitutional right to decline to answer questions under the Fifth Amendment. While I hope to have an opportunity to assist this committee’s inquiry in the future, on the advice of my attorney, I must respectfully decline to answer any questions put forth to me by this committee.” Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison, Hearing on the Committee on Energy & Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, 9/23/11. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/politicization-solyndra-tale-bad/ Tesla expands in Europe with showroom opening in the Netherlands. With the Model S slowly making its way through the pre-production process, Tesla Motors is expanding its operations in Europe, starting with the construction of a showroom and service center in the Netherlands. In anticipation of continued success, Tesla swung open the doors to its showroom in Eindhoven, Netherlands and has raised the curtain on Europe's largest Tesla-only service center. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/30/tesla-expands-in-europe-with-showroom-opening-in-the-netherlands/ Nissan addresses Leaf battery life, replacement costs. Hundreds, not thousands. That's the word from Nissan's chief vice-president of global marketing communications, Simon Sproule, who believes that after five years of repeated use, the battery pack in the Nissan Leaf may require some maintenance, but not complete replacement. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/30/nissan-addresses-leaf-battery-life-replacement-costs/