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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 28, 2011 Posted: 28 Dec 2011 12:31:44
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. GREEN ENERGY Why the Hype Surrounding Renewable Energy Is Just That. Okay, call me a spoilsport, but as much as we all might wish otherwise, there really is no free energy lunch. Not so long as much or more needs to be put in to get it than it yields, that removes more valuable land and other resources from more beneficial uses than it is worth, that isn’t reliably available in sufficient quantities when and where needed, that promises highly debatable environmental advantages, that costs consumers lots more than “nonrenewable” alternatives, and whose sustainability depends upon endless government mandates and subsidies. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/12/27/why-the-hype-surrounding-renewable-energy-is-just-that/ OPINION PRUDEN: A little humility at the ‘climate research’ crossroads. “Climate research,” the New York Times confidently assures us, “stands at a crossroads.” This means that a lot of research scientists are standing at the crossroads, holding out paper bags like trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, standing in line for taxpayer largesse to fill ‘em up. These specialists in shakedown “science,” who speak only in hyperbole, are calling the weather of 2011 the worst in history, or at least in memory, or maybe a decade, and say they could have found useful links between disasters and global-warming “science” by now if only they could shake down tightwad taxpayers for a few more millions. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/27/pruden-a-little-humility-at-the-climate-research-c/ The dirty politics of clean energy. Disturbing revelations continue to emerge about how more than half a billion dollars of taxpayer dollars were shoveled into the Solyndra solar-panel boondoggle. It is becoming increasingly clear that the only “green” involved in this scandal is money. There is no compelling reason to empower the government to use public funds to engage in risky investments. Posted http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/26/the-dirty-politics-of-clean-energy/ BLOGS In Drilling Safety Debate, Hydrofracking’s Not the Only Target. In the heated debate over fracking in New York, it is often forgotten that conventional natural gas drilling has been taking place in the state for decades. Chemung County, a place I write about in Wednesday’s Times, has been a leader in gas production in the state and is now poised to become a leader in exploration of the Marcellus Shale. Drilling awaits the approval of new state rules governing horizontal drilling combined with high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking – a controversial process because it uses large amounts of water, more than one million gallons per well — and could pose new risks of groundwater contamination. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/in-drilling-safety-debate-hydrofrackings-not-the-only-target/ Air pollution control agency increases gas log rebate. The Air Quality Management District is increasing its rebate for gas log sets from $125 to as much as $200. The rebates are for homeowners who convert their existing wood-burning fireplaces to log sets fueled with natural gas, which radically reduce fine particulate emissions. The air pollution control agency for Orange County and the non-desert portions of L.A., San Bernardino and Riverside counties says that fireplaces and other wood-burning devices are used in 1.2 million homes in the South Coast Air Basin. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/home_blog/2011/12/gas-log-rebate.html Three federal electric vehicle incentives expiring at end of 2011. 2011 may have been the first full year that multiple mainstream plug-in vehicles were available in the U.S., but it will also be remembered – most likely – as the year when the U.S. federal government was offering the most money to plug-in vehicle buyers (based on the number and types of incentives offered, not in total funds spent). As of the end of 2011 – i.e., three short days from now – three incentives will go the way of an ethanol subsidy. A fourth – arguably the most important one – will remain on the books. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/12/28/in-budget-fight-three-federal-electric-vehicle-incentives-fall/ Sign of the times: Gas stations in Japan get into EV charging game. It's an idea with global reach: turn gas stations into electric vehicle charging points. Whether you're talking about the U.S. or the UK, putting plugs near pumps seems to make sense. And that's just what's going to happen in Japan, too. Not a surprise, really, especially since most DC fast chargers will be coming to Asia in the next few years. The latest announcement of the growing transition comes from a group of four companies in Japan – Cosmo Oil , Idemitsu Kosan, JX Nippon Oil and Showa Shell Sekiyu KK – that will install EV charging station at 27 of their various gas stations in the first three months of 2012. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/12/28/sign-of-the-times-gas-stations-in-japan-get-into-ev-charging-ga/ EPA finalizes 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards; cellulosic biofuels category comes in at 0.006%. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the 2012 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2). (Earlier post.) The final 2012 overall volumes and standards are Biomass-based diesel (1.0 billion gallons; 0.91%), Advanced biofuels (2.0 billion gallons; 1.21%), Cellulosic biofuels (8.65 million gallons; 0.006%), Total renewable fuels (15.2 billion gallons; 9.2%). In the proposed rulemaking released earlier this year for 2012, EPA had proposed a cellulosic biofuels volume ranging from 3.45–12.9 million gallons (0.002–0.010%). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/12/eparfs-20111227.html