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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 7, 2011. Posted: 07 Oct 2011 12:14:33
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 7, 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 Ga. AG sues EPA over new air pollution rule. Georgia joined a growing number of states on Thursday seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency's new pollution restrictions. The complaint filed by Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens targets the EPA's new cross-state pollution rules, which are designed to decrease smokestack emissions in 27 states that contribute to unhealthy air in other states. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19057262 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19057262 Arvin air monitor move could jeopardize fine's removal. This summer, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District urged residents to do their part in keeping the air below the one-hour ozone standard, violations of which have resulted in a $29 million federal fee. But, even if the valley's air were to reach those standards -- and it still hasn't -- the fine won't be lifted until there's resolution of an ongoing controversy over the relocation of a monitor in Arvin, according to an official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x443091072/Arvin-air-monitor-move-could-jeopardize-fines-removal Air Pollution Tied to Premature Births, Study Finds. (Los Angeles) -- Pregnant women who live in areas with high levels of air pollution caused by heavy traffic could be at increased risk for premature births, according to a new study. Researchers led by Michelle Wilhelm, an assistant professor in residence at the UCLA School of Public Health, found that Southern California women exposed to traffic-related air pollution had a 30 percent higher risk of pre-term birth. Wilhelm and her colleagues looked at 100,000 births that occurred in Los Angeles County within five miles of stations used by the state to monitor air quality. Posted. http://www.kgoam810.com/rssItem.asp?feedid=116&itemid=29736231 CLIMATE CHANGE Law fights regulation with regulation. Sacramento, Calif (Reuters) - In an odd twist, California business groups applauded Governor Jerry Brown for signing legislation on Thursday to create a new layer of government regulation they say will lessen the burdens imposed by future regulations. The measure orders the Democratic governor's Department of Finance to establish a uniform method of measuring the economic consequences of regulations put forward by other state agencies. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/07/us-california-regulations-odd-idUSTRE79639420111007 Poll: European concern about climate change grows. A new survey shows that more than two-thirds of EU citizens see climate change as a very serious problem, and a vast majority thinks fighting it can create jobs and help the economy. The poll says 68 percent of the people in the EU consider climate change a serious threat, up from 64 percent in 2009. And 78 percent said fighting climate change could help jobs and the economy, up from 63 percent two years ago. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_EUROPE_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=RIPRJ&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/7/poll-european-concern-about-climate-change-grows/ http://www.sacbee.com/2011/10/07/3967779/poll-european-concern-about-climate.html http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/10/07/international/i074025D84.DTL http://www.modbee.com/2011/10/07/1894124/poll-european-concern-about-climate.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/10/07/2568036/poll-european-concern-about-climate.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19062884 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19062884 Bay Area could become first region to plan for sea level rise in long-term development. The Bay Area could become the first region in California, and perhaps in the U.S., to recognize and plan for sea level rise in its long-term development. At a public meeting Thursday afternoon, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission is expected to approve a major amendment to its guiding Bay Plan document with new language on climate change in the Bay Area. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_19048354 http://www.baycitizen.org/development/story/bay-area-adopts-sea-level-rise-building/ http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2011/10/bcdc-sea-level-plan-passes.html FUELS TransCanada CEO surprised at furor over pipeline. Washington -- Wearing a nose ring and a T-shirt that read "Food not bombs," environmental activist Spiro Voudouris came to the nation's capital Friday to protest a Canadian company's plan to pipe oil from tar sands in western Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. Unemployed pipe fitter Ira Orenstein came to the same event because he wants a job. At a pro-pipeline rally sponsored by the Laborers' International Union of North America, the bearded Voudouris, 26, engaged the 63-year-old Orenstein in earnest debate. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/10/07/1894095/transcanada-ceo-surprised-at-furor.html#ixzz1a7htwBbi http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/ VEHICLES How to reduce EV production costs? EV Battery Tech USA. Last week was taking place the EV Battery Tech USA in Troy, Michigan. One of the main topics this year was “Translating technical solutions into commercial opportunities for reducing the cost of Electric Vehicle”. Here is a summary and selection of the most interesting ideas brought up by the speakers. Batteries represent about 54% of the production costs of an electric vehicle, according to Albert Lam from Detroit Electric. 26% of the costs can be attributed to the drive system and the remaining 20% are spent on the manufacturing of the body. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/67020111007.php Nissan, GE Team Up on Battery Cars. General Electric wants a piece of the electric vehicle action and is teaming up with Nissan to figure out how it can help expedite the adoption of electric vehicles. Signing a new partnership with the Japanese maker, GE officials say they aren’t interested in putting their badge on a battery car but see other huge opportunities. With corporate ventures in fields as far flung as battery manufacturing, electric motors and even green energy generation …Posted. http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011/10/nissan-ge-team-up-on-battery-cars/#more-43099 GREEN ENERGY Appraisers get guidelines for setting the value of energy-saving home improvements. Here’s some good news for homeowners who have gone green and installed energy-saving features but haven’t been sure whether appraisers will credit them with higher valuations: Thanks to a new industry-issued appraisal addendum, the odds have improved that they’ll get the market value they’re due. The Appraisal Institute, the country’s largest and most influential association in its field, published the long-awaited addendum Sept. 29. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/appraisers-get-guidelines-for-setting-the-value-of-energy-saving-home-improvements/2011/10/05/gIQAiZRkSL_story.html Solyndra collapse blunts support for clean tech. For the past three years, the clean-tech industry found receptive ears in Washington. President Obama cast renewable power as a key to the country's economic revival. Stimulus loans helped fund new wind farms, solar factories and power plants. Tax incentives for big alternative-energy projects gave an added boost. And while Republicans and Democrats deadlocked on climate-change legislation - dear to the industry's heart - clean tech counted strong friends on both sides of the aisle. Now, Solyndra's high-profile bankruptcy has strained that relationship. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/06/MN421LEEB1.DTL&feed=rss.pageone Obama defends Solyndra loan, says solar viable. President Barack Obama said Thursday the U.S. must not surrender development of clean energy to China and other countries, despite the spectacular failure of a solar-panel manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy after taking a half-billion dollar government loan. Obama said the government should continue to give loan guarantees to help green energy companies compete with other countries that spend billions to subsidize solar panels and other renewable energy manufacturing. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_cd588b06-07ac-5c28-b768-d3c6b6b5e75a.html MISCELLANEOUS Climate Generation: Second annual high school competition. Sacramento, California - Today the Air Resources Board announced the kick-off of California’s second annual Climate Generation program, a high school competition challenging students to connect environmental issues with their school work and daily lives. The competition creates an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in leadership and project management by working together to design and implement programs that promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of their school or community. Posted. http://imperialvalleynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11398&Itemid=2 OPINIONS Solyndra is not a White House scandal: President is doing exactly what he promised. The White House has recently come under fire for quickly approving a loan guarantee of $535 million in taxpayer money to now-bankrupt California solar energy company Solyndra, despite getting multiple warnings about its financial stability. As more and more emails are being released revealing damning details about the Obama administration's decision to dole out the dough and ignore red flags - even sending President Obama to the company in 2010 to tout its green energy efforts - some are calling Solyndra the latest scandal to plague the White House. Posted. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/10/06/2011-10-06_president_obamas_support_of_solyndra_betrays_hopeless_belief_in_a_green_economy_.html?print=1&page=all BLOGS An Escalator That Feeds the Grid. Regenerative braking, which involves taking unwanted mechanical energy and turning it back into electricity instead of letting it dissipate it as heat, is well established in cars like the Toyota Prius and has lately made inroads in railway locomotives. In both cases, an electric motor, which converts current into mechanical energy, briefly reverses its function to become a generator, converting mechanical energy into current. One problem for cars is that the flow of electricity is so large that batteries have trouble absorbing it. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/an-escalator-that-feeds-the-grid/ Why plug-in vehicles with "small" battery packs should be subsidized in a big way. Are plug-in vehicle incentives distributed correctly? Apparently not. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University (PDF) suggests that by subsidizing vehicles with big battery packs (that is, bigger than 16 kWh), the return on investment (in terms of reducing gas/diesel consumption and lowering emissions) is less than if the $7,500 tax credit subsidized vehicles with meager battery packs (i.e. the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid). Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/10/06/why-hybrid-plug-in-vehicles-battery-packs-should-be-subsidized/ Researchers use ionic liquid electrolyte for a more efficient electroreduction of CO2 to CO; potential for synthetic fuel pathways. The electroreduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to CO—a key component of artificial photosynthesis—has largely been stymied by the impractically high overpotentials necessary to drive the process. Now, University of Illinois chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Paul Kenis and his research group and researchers at startup Dioxide Materials report on the development of an electrocatalytic system that reduces CO2 to carbon monoxide at overpotentials below 0.2 V. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/10/rosen-20111007.html