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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 27, 2012.

Posted: 27 Jan 2012 12:38:56
ARB News Clips for January 26, 2012. 

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.


California passes new auto emission rules. SAN FRANCISCO  -
California air regulators passed sweeping auto emission standards
Friday that include a mandate to have 1.4 million electric and
hybrid vehicles on state roads by 2025. California's auto
emissions standards are often more strict than federal ones, and
the move could set the pace for other states. The California Air
Resources Board unanimously approved the new rules, which require
that one in seven new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an
electric or other zero-emission vehicle. Posted.

AP Newsbreak:



Popular Criticism Cracks China’s Wall of Denial About Pollution.
Beijing — Weary of waiting for the authorities to alert residents
to the city’s most pernicious air pollutant, citizen activists
last May took matters here into their own hands: they bought
their own $4,000 air-quality monitor and started posting its
daily readings on the Internet. That began a chain reaction.
Volunteers in Shanghai and Guangzhou purchased monitors in
December, followed by citizens in Wenzhou, who are selling
oranges to finance their device. Posted.

3 coal-fired power plants on Lake Erie to close. Chicago -- An
Ohio-based utility said Thursday that it will close three Lake
Erie coal plants and all but one unit at another, scrapping some
of the biggest fish killers on the Great Lakes.  Like other power
companies that rely on coal, FirstEnergy Corp. faces
more-stringent pollution limits and competition from suddenly
abundant and relatively cheap natural gas. The company decided it
wasn't worth upgrading the Ohio plants, and others in
Pennsylvania and Maryland, to comply with new air and water
standards. Posted.


Planners want to direct Bay Area residents to live in existing
communities to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. Concord -- A
Bay Area plan for where to build new houses, shops and offices in
a way that helps cut greenhouse gases relies on increased
population concentrations some communities may reject, a state
homebuilding industry representative told Contra Costa business
and political leaders Thursday. Posted. 

Obama admin says new forest rules stress science. The Obama
administration says new rules to manage nearly 200 million acres
of national forests will protect watersheds and wildlife while
promoting uses ranging from recreation to logging. The new rules,
to replace guidelines thrown out by a federal court in 2009, are
set to take effect in early March. Agriculture Secretary Tom
Vilsack announced the rule change on Thursday. Vilsack said in an
interview that the rules reflect more than 300,000 comments
received since a draft plan was released last year. Posted. 


Auto Retailer Heralds a Turnaround, Citing Demand to Replace
Aging Cars. The nation’s biggest automotive retailer on Thursday
reported strong financial results for 2011 and suggested the
recovery of the American car market had reached a turning point.
AutoNation, which sells domestic and import brands at more than
250 dealerships across the country, said its fourth-quarter
revenue increased 13 percent to $3.7 billion and its profits rose
by 3 percent to $69 million. Posted. 

Ford posts big profits but misses Wall Street. Ford's stock price
fell after weak sales in Europe and production losses in Asia
hurt fourth-quarter earnings.  Ford Motor Co. reported $13.62
billion in net income, but investors brushed off the result
because most of that came from an accounting change. Excluding
that change, earnings totaled $1.1 billion, or 20 cents a share,
missing Wall Street expectations by 5 cents. Posted. 


Obama looks to Mich. to revive clean energy debate. A Michigan
factory that made luxury yachts before the recession and
diversified to add wind energy products when times got tough was
touted by President Barack Obama at his State of the Union
Address as an example of an industry creating forward-thinking
jobs _ with a little help from the government. In urging Congress
to approve clean energy tax credits, Obama cited Energetx
Composites LLC, a wind turbine blade manufacturer in Holland,
Mich., that received millions in government assistance. Posted. 

Parent of Obama-backed battery maker goes bankrupt. The parent
company of an electric car battery maker that received a $118
million grant from the Obama administration filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection on Thursday. New York-based Ener1 said it
has been affected by competition from China and other countries.
Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel received a $118 million stimulus grant
from the Energy Department in 2009, and Vice President Joe Biden
visited the company's new battery plant in Indiana last year.


Editorial: San Francisco's green ethos goes only so far. Gee, do
you think San Francisco could get any more hysterical about
proposed alternatives to the city getting its water from a
submerged and majestic canyon in Yosemite National Park? Even the
esteemed San Francisco Chronicle has joined the epidemic of
panic, blaming such ideas on "fringe environmentalists" in a
Sunday editorial. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the general manager
of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission believe that a
U.S. …Posted.

Reaping a Bonus From Cap-and-Trade. Criticism of cap-and-trade
programs often centers on the costs they impose on electric power
companies and their consumers. But as I report in Friday’s Times,
New York and other Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that are
trying out such a system have found that those costs can be
offset by energy efficiency measures paid for by the
cap-and-trade program itself. Posted. 

Can natural gas vehicles get us off oil? On Thursday, President
Obama traveled to Las Vegas to pitch a few new energy policies —
including tax breaks for firms that buy natural gas-powered
trucks. T. Boone Pickens, for one, has argued that fueling
vehicles with natural gas will help us curtail oil use. Can it?
It all depends on what the alternatives are. Fueling up cars and
trucks directly with natural gas could help cut America’s
reliance on oil. Posted. 

Toyota works on electric-drive powertrains that don't need rare
earth metals. Toyota is working on a method of making
electric-drive powertrains without using magnets that require
pricey rare-earth metals such as neodymium and dysprosium, and
may start integrating that process into vehicle production within
two years, Reuters reported, citing Japan's Kyodo News. Posted. 

Berkeley Lab developing novel metal-organic framework materials
for high-capacity hydrogen storage.  Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is working to synthesize novel
metal-organic framework materials with high hydrogen adsorption
capacities sufficient to provide safe and cost-effective storage
that could support a 300-mile (483-km) range on vehicles. Posted.

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