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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 24, 2011.

Posted: 24 Oct 2011 13:18:44
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 24, 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.


Railroads cite voluntary steps to reduce diesel emissions. A
lawsuit recently filed by three environmental groups against two
railroad companies raises questions about the pollution emitted
from the state's rail yards and the health risks on nearby
However, the railroad companies say they have made numerous
changes over the years in an attempt to reduce toxic pollutants.
Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_19182120 BY

House GOP wants to waive environmental laws on U.S. borders.  In
a move aimed at improving national security, House Republicans
want to give the U.S. Border Patrol unprecedented authority to
ignore 36 environmental laws on federal land in a 100-mile zone
stretching along the Canadian and Mexican borders.  If the
legislation is approved, the Border Patrol would not have to
comply with the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the
Safe Drinking Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act and 32
other federal laws in such popular places as Olympic National
Park, Glacier Park, the Great Lakes and the Boundary Waters
Wilderness Area.  Posted. 


State's cap and trade program gets final approval. Sacramento --
California's plan to cap greenhouse gas emissions and put a price
on carbon is set to take effect on Jan. 1 after the Air Resources
Board voted Thursday to make final adjustments in the regulation.
The state board first passed the cap-and-trade program last
December. But the board, which normally allows its staff to
finalize details, took the unusual step of personally tying up
the loose ends of the nation's only comprehensive limit on
greenhouse gases.

Calif. Board Finalizes Cap and Trade. The California Air
Resources Board yesterday gave its final approval to the state’s
cap-and-trade system, which sets limits on carbon emissions
starting next year. CARB unanimously approved details of the
regulations over the objections of industry groups, the San
Francisco Chronicle reported, with the board’s major actions
focusing on the allocation of carbon allowances. Under the plan
approved yesterday, the state will limit carbon emissions from
its 350 or so biggest emitters starting in 2012, with enforcement
starting in 2013. Posted.

California Passes Cap-And-Trade Regulations. The California Air
Resources Board approved Thursday new cap-and-trade regulations
which will limit the amount of greenhouse emissions that
industrial refineries can produce while creating a market where
businesses can buy the ability to emit more greenhouse gases from
facilities that reduce their carbon emissions below state
standards. The decision makes California the only state to
approve a state-administered cap-and-trade program. Posted. 

Russian Heat Wave Statistically Linked to Climate Change. A new
method of crunching climate data could make it possible to put a
figure on climate change’s contribution to freak weather events,
something that’s been difficult to do with empirical precision.
The debut subject: the Russian heat wave of July 2010, which
killed 700 people and was unprecedented since record keeping
began in the 19th century. According to the analysis, there’s an
80 percent chance that climate change was responsible. Posted.


CARB Diesel PM Filter Retrofit Deadline Looms; Some Fleets Still
Have Compliance Options. The deadline for meeting California's
Truck and Bus regulation diesel particulate filter retrofit
requirement is January 1, 2012, but fleets can still apply for
staggered implementation schedule or flexible phase-in option.
The Air Resources Board is reminding owners of heavier diesel
trucks that they need to act now in order to comply with
California's Truck and Bus regulation, which has its first diesel
filter deadlines in January 2012. Posted.


Nissan aims to be world No. 1 in green vehicles.  Nissan Motor
Co. is aiming to be the world's No. 1 in green cars, targeting
cumulative sales of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles with
alliance partner Renault SA of France.  The Japanese maker of the
Leaf electric car announced Monday its six-year strategy,
planning a plug-in hybrid by fiscal 2016 and reducing carbon
dioxide emissions by 20 percent per vehicle compared with 2005
levels.  Nissan, based in Yokohama, also aims to improve fuel
efficiency of its vehicles by 35 percent by fiscal 2016 compared
with 2005.  Posted. 

Anticipating Big Growth at Tesla. Tesla Motors makes pure
electric cars, but it’s valued like a hybrid. Quarterly numbers —
due in the coming weeks — hint at its ability to hit
manufacturing targets. But Silicon Valley-style growth is central
to the story. Like many young tech companies, Tesla burns cash.
In the coming months, it will wind down its run of 2,500
blisteringly fast Roadster cars, and next year, it will start
producing the more sedate Model S sedan at a rate of 20,000 a
year. Posted. 

All-electric DeLorean DMC-12 coming in 2013. The DeLorean - yes,
that DeLorean - is back. The iconic vehicle made famous as the
time machine Marty McFly used in the "Back to the Future" series
is set to re-enter the marketplace as an all-electric version of
its former self. "I've always had a soft spot for electric
vehicles, and I knew the next thing I wanted to work with was the
DeLorean," CEO Stephen Wynne told AutoWeek. "After Tesla opened
the door with their car, it got the fluids racing again, and I
started thinking of doing it with the DeLorean." Posted.

IEC released standards for harmonised global EV charging system. 
The two new international standards IEC 62196-1 and IEC 62196-2
released by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
define plugs and sockets for electric vehicle (EV) charging while
addressing diverse regulations and electricity infrastructure in
different countries around the world. They represent a
prerequisite for a mass adoption of EVs and are imperative in
ensuring the global compatibility of charging infrastructure. 
Posted.  http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/67820111024.php


Special Report: Singed by Solyndra - David Prend is one of the
most respected investors in green technology - but even he picks
some losers. Like the Department of Energy, Prend thought
Solyndra, an innovative solar company, was a good bet. His
venture capital firm, RockPort Capital, began investing in the
company three years before the federal government gave the
start-up a loan guarantee. RockPort eventually put more than
$63.5 million into Solyndra. Posted.

Environmental Features in Science Campus Plans. If Cornell
University were to win the city’s competition to build a new
science graduate school, it would install on Roosevelt Island
almost four acres of solar panels, 500 geothermal wells, and
buildings with the rare distinction of generating as much power
as they use. Stanford University’s proposal for the island calls
for minimizing energy use, creating a marsh to filter water, and
recycling water from storm runoff and sinks, and possibly from
toilets as well. Posted. 

West Davis Village touts zero net energy living. Davis --
Sustainable design is often measured by the use of recycled
materials and power-saving gadgets. But architecture itself can
embody the quest for conservation, as is the case in this
university city 80 miles east of San Francisco, where a new
130-acre development aspires to be the nation's largest zero net
energy community. The first 23 buildings have just opened, so
it's too early to say whether the enclave will consume no more
energy than is generated by the on-site solar panels. Posted.


Green Tips For Your Dog: Reduce Your Pet's Carbon Pawprint. In
recent years, many of us have become increasingly focused on
reducing our environmental impact and boosting conservation
efforts. But in trying to reduce our own carbon footprint, we
often forget about our pets. ABC News reported a few years ago
that two New Zealand scientists wrote a book alleging "pets have
a carbon footprint that is about twice the size of ... gas
guzzling [SUVs]." Posted.

Clean-up plan renews plutonium fears in Livermore. Plans to
capture contaminated groundwater from the Lawrence Livermore
Laboratory have resurrected old worries among some residents
about plutonium in the city's soil. Leaders of the Livermore Lab
watchdog group Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive
Environment (CAREs) are concerned about what they see as safety
shortfalls in the Department of Energy's designs for a pipeline
extension along the Arroyo Seco, where elevated levels of
plutonium were found in the 1990s. Posted.
http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19172799?source=rss BY

Marten Law Launches San Francisco Office. Former Orrick
Environmental Partner to Anchor Firm's Expansion to California.
Robert Lawrence, former chair of Orrick's environmental
transactions group, will anchor Marten Law's new San Francisco
office -- making it one of the largest environmental and energy
law firms on the West Coast. The firm's new San Francisco office
is its first outside the Pacific Northwest and continues its
expansion into new markets and new practice areas. Posted.

What your new home will look like in 2015. The fact that the
average American home is slowly but surely shrinking - and will
most likely continue to do so if and when the country shakes off
its current financial woes - isn't exactly revolutionary news.
But when members of the National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) were asked earlier this year what they anticipate the new
home size will be 2015, it's how they think single-family homes
will shrink - …Posted. 


California’s Persistence. California has a long and productive
history as a leader in environmental policy, requiring cleaner
cars and power plants and more energy-efficient appliances. The
state continued to break new ground last week when it unveiled
the country’s first comprehensive, statewide cap-and-trade system
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. The
announcement was a rare bright spot at time when Republicans in
Washington, and their corporate backers, have turned the words
“cap and trade” into an epithet. Posted.

Shifting Attitudes on Global Warming To the Editor: “Where Did
Global Warming Go?” (Sunday Review, Oct. 16) notes that Europe,
Australia, China, India and Brazil are all moving ahead with
policies to reduce heat-trapping pollution, while most American
politicians duck the issue or actively question the reality of
the problem. Unfortunately, the article offers a sweeping — and
in my opinion wrong — claim that Americans are just “wired to be
holdouts.” Yes, Americans value personal freedom, but we also
believe, …Posted.

Cost of Subsidizing Fossil Fuels Is High, but Cutting Them Is
Tough. The bankruptcy this summer of Solyndra — a solar company
heavily subsidized by the U.S. government — unleashed a torrent
of concern about the risks of wasting taxpayer money on
renewable-energy projects. There have been similar worries in
Europe, where bountiful state support led to a boom and bust in
the Spanish solar sector and where targets for some biofuels may
contribute to greenhouse emissions. But what are the effects of
subsidies that continue to flow to fossil fuels? Posted. 

Editorial: Cap-and-trade is high-stakes bet on state's future.
With last week's passage of the cap-and-trade plan for carbon
dioxide emissions that is the centerpiece of California's effort
to reduce greenhouse gases, we see two possible futures. In the
rosy one sketched out by cap-and-trade's proponents,
technological innovation and savvy policies to promote renewable
energy succeed in proving that California can have it all — a
strong economy that nonetheless reduces the carbon emissions
that, over time, threaten to dramatically warm our friendly
planet. Posted.

As We See It: Capping job losses: Will California's cap and
trade, and Democrats infrastructure spending get people working? 
Can California successfully navigate climate change legislation
while finding a way to get people back to work?  On this page, we
offer two opinion columns on the topics of jobs and employment.
In one, liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul
Krugman argues that greenhouse gas polluters actually cost jobs.
In another, veteran Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters compares
Texas' enviable employment figures to California's.  Posted. 

California’s big pollution bet. California’s efforts to scrub its
dirty skies and curb greenhouse gases are well under way.
Tailpipe emission rules, wider use of alternative energy and
cleaner fuel are examples of a pioneering 2006 law. Now comes the
hard part: bringing down industrial pollution through a
cap-and-trade system never tried at such a large scale. The state
Air Resources Board gave its blessing to a steady-step system
targeting mainly oil refineries, power plants and major
smokestack facilities. Posted.  No URL.

OUR VIEW: Don't let one scandal derail all investment. The
Solyndra bankruptcy and accompanying allegations that the U.S.
Energy Department was pressured to approve a loan for the company
deserve a thorough investigation. But the partisan fervor that
has erupted over the scandal threatens to cut off much-needed
support for the renewable energy industry -- and could jeopardize
our nation's alternative energy future, stunt the growth of
California industry and cost jobs. Posted. 

GREENHUT: Bureaucrats don't mind jobs 'leakage'. As California's
unemployment rate hovers above 12 percent, even the state's
Democratic leaders ---- notorious for regulating, taxing and
complaining about California's business community ---- are
talking about jobs. They are championing the occasional job
expansion in Silicon Valley (i.e., Dell) and proposing their jobs
plans, even if such plans ignore the reason businesses aren't
growing here. (Hint: high taxes, punitive regulations,
regulators' hostility to the private sector.) Posted. 

Pollution is not the secret to job creation.  Paul Krugman's
column in The New York Times Thursday laments one of the many
ironies of our time: Politicians in Washington are finally
talking about job creation, but Republicans (and some Democrats,
I'm sure) pin their hopes for employment on environmental
deregulation. As Krugman points out, "Serious economic analysis
actually says that we need more protection, not less."  Posted. 

The War Against Climate Science Unravels. The skeptic case
against climate change is unraveling before our eyes like someone
walking away from an old sweater, thread in hand. For those who
have ever put the skeptic arguments to the test, it has always
been clear that their criticisms rarely stand up to even the most
basic level of academic rigor. But last week's release of the
Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study delivered a
decisive blow to the edifice of climate skepticism. Posted.


Will California’s carbon market spur cleantech growth? Before
California regulators announced they unanimously approved
regulations for a cap and trade market on Thursday, the chair of
the California Air Resources Board made much ado about the impact
it would have on the development of clean technology in the
state. Chairwoman Mary Nichols said in her opening remarks: “Cap
and trade sends a policy signal to the market and guarantees that
California will continue to attract the lion’s share of
investment in clean technology.” Posted.

Will new studies confirming global warming settle skeptics’
questions? Don’t hold your breath.  During the past several
years, some skeptics of manmade global warming have focused their
attention on the reliability of the modern surface temperature
record, which according to numerous studies, shows a distinct
warming trend starting in the middle of the 20th century, and
continuing through the present day.  The surface temperature
record isn’t reliable, the skeptics argue, because the data is
biased by the urban heat island effect, which can raise
temperatures in cities compared to rural locations.  Posted. 

Cap and Trade: Sweating the Small Stuff. Associated Press Mary
Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board. One
thing built into a politician’s DNA is a sense of occasion.
Regulators tend to lack that gene. One of the most startling
things about California’s groundbreaking adoption of a
market-based policy to cut emissions of the heat-trapping gases
was how unstartling the final meeting was. The California Air
Resources Board’s all-day hearing Thursday was such a well-oiled
exercise in democracy and administrative procedure that the
momentousness of the occasion was almost lost in the footnotes.

California's Cap-and-Trade Program Gets Green Light. California's
Air Resources Board has formally adopted the state's greenhouse
cap-and-trade program today, following a lawsuit that delayed
compliance with the controversial scheme by a year. The program,
which will begin in mid-2012 with auctions of the emissions
allowances, will be the nation's most stringent cap-and-trade
mandate but not the first. It follows in the footsteps of the
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program that covers
utilities in Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. Posted.

New Technology Could Double Solar Cell Efficiency. Solar
photovoltaic prices are coming down. Between 1998 and 2010,
installed costs have dropped by 43 percent, and that does not
include any government tax credits or subsidies. This is good for
consumers, but not so good for some solar manufacturers.  Energy
Secretary Chu says that solar will soon achieve cost parity with
fossil fuels. Posted. 

Green Car of the Year Award finalists include diesel, hybrid,
natural gas, electric. Those are the past winners of the Green
Car of the Year award, given out each year at the LA Auto Show by
Green Car Journal. The five finalists for the 2012 award were
announced today and there are four different powertrains among
them. Here they are: Ford Focus Electric, Honda Civic Natural
Gas, Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius V and Volkswagen Passat TDI.

California Approves Cap and Trade System. California’s Air
Resources Board has formally approved a cap and trade system to
minimize climate change pollution, becoming the first state in
the nation with a cap and trade program. Legislation authorizing
a cap and trade system was passed in California back in 2006, but
after multiple reviews, the CARB finally approved the program.
The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously today to
adopt rules for a program that will use the trading of pollution
permits …Posted.

California’s crazy cap &trade scheme. The California Air
Resources Board has imposed a limit on carbon dioxide emissions
on California businesses.  The limits will be lowered each year
until 2020.  Industries can obtain carbon credits, initially free
but which later must be purchased, in order to emit more carbon
dioxide than the regulations decree.  See more of the story from
the San Francisco Chronicle here. These regulations will increase
the cost of energy, hence the cost of doing business.  Posted.

DOW Starts Mass Marketing Solar Shingles.  Dow Solar company has
started mass marketing solar shingles. Solar shingles are roof
shingles with solar cells (electricity generating material)
integrated into them, so the shingles are the solar panels. The
solar shingles plug into each other and help to hold each other
down very securely during strong winds.  The solar shingles can
only be stolen by first unplugging those at the edge of the array
and then working your way inwards, which means that securing the
edge only will actually secure the entire solar panel array from
thieves.  Posted. 

Study concludes that sugar cane-based biorefineries producing
ethanol and electricity could power a global auto fleet of
hybrids and EVs using only 4% of available cropland.  If sugar
cane is used as the feedstock to produce ethanol and electricity
for the same final use—fueling vehicles for personal
mobility—only 4% of the world’s available cropland area would be
sufficient to produce fuels that would power a global car fleet
consisting of hybrids and electric vehicles, according to a new
study by Sergio Pacca and Jose Moreira at the University of Sao
Paolo, Brazil.  Posted. 

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