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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 3, 2012. Posted: 03 May 2012 12:32:47
ARB Newsclips for May 3, 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. CLIMATE CHANGE South Korean Parliament Approves Carbon Trading System. South Korea approved a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gases as President Lee Myung Bak seeks support for new restrictions on factories and power plants in the fastest-growing emitter among industrialized democracies. The National Assembly passed a bill to establish cap-and- trade, a market-based program that requires companies exceeding their emission quotas to buy permits from those that discharge less, with the backing of ruling and opposition parties, according to the assembly’s webcast of yesterday’s session. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-05-03/south-korean-parliament-approves-carbon-trading-system.html Korea legislates for emissions trading by 2015. The Republic of Korea, the world's 15th largest economy and one of Australia's top trading partners, passed legislation last night for a national emissions trading scheme (ETS). The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, welcomed the move. "I congratulate the South Korean Government and National Assembly for taking this important step to drive sustainable growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Mr Combet said. Posted. http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/minister/greg-combet/2012/media-releases/May/MR-69-12.aspx FUELS Uncertainty still clouds future of EU biodiesel. Senior European Union officials failed on Wednesday to agree on how to measure the full climate impact of biofuels, prolonging uncertainty in a debate that threatens to wipe out large parts of Europe's biodiesel industry. The talks followed warnings from scientists that using biodiesel made from European rapeseed and imported palm oil and soybeans does nothing to prevent climate change and could actually accelerate it. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/02/us-eu-biofuels-idUSBRE8410RA20120502 Plant-based biofuels expand with tech advances. Amid the push to develop clean energy, new research suggests plant-based biofuels could meet 30% of global demand for transportation fuel and slash the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning fossil fuels. Recent scientific advances raise the possibility that biofuels can be made from non-edible plants engineered to grow on land abandoned for agricultural use and thus not compromise food production, according to an article this week in F1000 Biology Reports. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2012/05/plant-based-biofuels-could-power-nearly-a-third-of-vehicles/1?csp=34news HIGH-SPEED RAIL Expert warnings on rail costs flawed by 'wrong numbers,' official says. A report that warned of huge operating deficits for California’s bullet train was based on “the wrong numbers,” an official of the state High-Speed Rail Authority claims. Rail board member Mike Rossi told a legislative hearing this week that incorrect data undergirds a downbeat analysis of the bullet train’s finances published recently by four Peninsula-based financial experts. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/expert-warnings-rail-costs-flawed-wrong-numbers-official-says-16015 VEHICLES U.S., German Automakers Push EV Charging Nissan Bypasses. Ford Motor Co. (F), General Motors Co. (GM), Volkswagen AG (VOW) and five other carmakers are promoting a standard for rapidly charging electric cars that’s at odds with a method used by Nissan Motor Co., the top seller of battery vehicles. Chrysler Group LLC is the latest to join Ford, GM and Germany’s VW and its Audi luxury brand, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), Daimler AG and Porsche AG in adopting direct current fast- charging with a single standard plug, said Mike Tinskey, Ford’s associate director of vehicle electrification. The system can re-power vehicles in as little as 15 minutes, he said. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-03/u-s-german-automakers-push-ev-charging-nissan-bypasses.html GREEN ENERGY EU green goals depend on CO2 market-Acciona. The European Union could fail to hit its green goals unless it manages to drive carbon prices on its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to around three times current levels, Spain's Acciona Energy said. Acciona is among a group of businesses - including Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Philips, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone - whose leaders on Thursday met European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and other senior officials from the EU executive. They reiterated demands for ambitious future targets on renewable energy and carbon emissions reduction, as well as to back urgent action to bolster carbon prices. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/03/us-eu-carbon-acciona-idUSBRE8420W020120503 Wind farm adds 55 turbines. A stretch of 55 new wind turbines that will supply energy for 44,000 customers of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District are up and spinning in Solano County. The new turbines are the latest expansion of SMUD's 5,400-acre wind farm in Rio Vista. Altogether, the 107 new and existing wind turbines in SMUD's Solano Wind Project are expected to churn out 230 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 79,000 homes, SMUD said. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/02/4458284/wind-farm-adds-55-turbines.html Crisis-hit Japan mulls shift to renewable energy. Another long, stupefyingly hot summer is looming for Japan just as it shuts down its last operating nuclear power reactor, worsening a squeeze on electricity and adding urgency to calls for a green energy revolution. On Saturday, the last of the country's 50 usable nuclear reactors will be switched off, completely idling a power source that once supplied a third of Japan's electricity. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/05/03/financial/f005030D59.DTL&type=printable OPINIONS Fighting greenhouse gases: Demise of small business is greatly exaggerated. The demise of small businesses due to AB 32 has been greatly exaggerated. I should know – I founded a small business and clean energy laws like AB 32 are a big part of the reason we are still here. Not because I am a clean tech investor or venture capitalist but because our company, which partners with businesses and communities to convert organic waste to renewable energy, is leading the wave of clean energy job creation that is sweeping across the state. Posted. http://capitolweekly.net/article.php?_c=10jgvttj1kth435&xid=10jgnatbve6lsas&done# With gas prices rising, is premium worth the cost? With fuel prices on the rise, some drivers are pumping less-expensive regular-grade gasoline into cars for which premium fuel is recommended. Although that might save money initially, auto experts are divided on the wisdom of such a strategy, which some say could end up costing more. What you save at the pump can be lost on the road as the electronics in the engine ratchet down performance to deal with the lower-grade fuel, experts say. Using the cheaper gas might also damage the vehicle over a long period. Posted. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/autos/with-gas-prices-rising-is-premium-worth-the-cost/1228033 Editorial, other views: Strawberry growers still without effective fumigant. It's a sad irony that for years growing a healthy strawberry conventionally has required methyl bromide, a chemical so harmful it has been banned by international treaty because it is destroying the Earth's ozone layer. Another dose of irony: The soil fumigant at first favored to replace methyl bromide, methyl iodide, is perhaps even more despised, with studies linking it to cancer, birth defects and other maladies, and now it has been yanked from the U.S. market. Posted. http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20120503/OPINION01/205030303/Editorial-other-views-Strawberry-growers-still-without-effective-fumigant BLOGS Repair bill for San Onofre nuclear plant could hit $65 million. Edison International officials estimate that the company's cost for inspections and repairs at the closed San Onofre nuclear plant will be between $55 million and $65 million, but said that the costs may be recovered under a manufacturer's warranty. The company, which revealed the figures during a conference call about its first-quarter earnings, also incurred costs of $30 million for replacement power through March 31, Edison reported. Officials did not give an estimate of what total replacement power costs will be. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/san-onofre-outage-costs.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29