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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 9, 2012. Posted: 09 May 2012 12:13:13
ARB Newsclips for May 9, 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 Canada's effort to meet emission targets goes up in smoke – report. Canada is falling far short of its goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade and has no plan in place to change the dynamic, a new government audit warns. The report from Canadian Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Scott Vaughan -- who acts as Parliament's watchdog -- is not surprising considering prior forecasts but lays out in more detail statistically how far the country needs to go to slash emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/09/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Are thunderstorms producing a greenhouse gas? Next week scientists will begin sending airplanes into thunderstorms over Colorado, Oklahoma and Alabama, where they will gather data to determine whether these weather events are helping to produce ozone -- a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. "When thunderstorms form, air near the ground has nowhere to go but up. Suddenly, you have an air mass at high altitude that's full of chemicals that can produce ozone," said Mary Barth, a principal investigator on the project, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/05/09/10 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Analysis declares 'twilight of coal-fired power' in U.S. The era of U.S. coal-fired electric power generation will effectively end as new federal regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil plants take effect, a new analysis from Bloomberg Government concludes. The report, from energy analyst Rob Barnett, posits that the new U.S. EPA rule, rolled out last month and open for public comment until June 12, will effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants because the CO2 emission rates required of fossil plants are so strenuous that no conventional coal plant could meet them. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/09/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Coast Guard steps up inspections of towboats. A new round of inspections of towboats and tugs is starting in July as part of a nationwide push by the Coast Guard to improve the safety of the nation's rivers and harbors. Since a 2008 collision and oil spill near New Orleans involving an improperly licensed towboat captain, the Coast Guard has begun inspecting work boats across the nation. So far, the Coast Guard says it has inspected 2,887 towing vessels that volunteered to be inspected in the 26 states that fall under the Coast Guard's Eighth District, which is headquartered in New Orleans. Posted. http://www.wwltv.com/news/Coast-Guard-steps-up-inspections-of-towboats-150761915.html VEHICLES Electric motorcycle has Hollywood debut. Manufacturer Brammo says its Empulse, designed to be the first motorcycle to perform like a traditional sport bike, can go at least 100 mph and as far as 121 miles per charge in city riding. The first electric motorcycle that promises to deliver near the performance of traditional sport bikes was unveiled in Hollywood. The Brammo Empulse is designed to be "the first viable motorcycle that just happens to be electric," said Brammo Chief Executive Craig Bramscher, whose team started working on the bike in 2010. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-motorcycles-brammo-20120509,0,3789718.story MISCELLANEOUS Eco-homes and green scenery in sustainable community; includes HGTV 'Green Home'. As a day trip, Serenbe is bliss, a fresh grass-redolent, shockingly restful sojourn to the country only 30 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. But what was once just a chance to feed a horse a sugar cube and shop the local farmers market, has recently transformed into a research odyssey. Spending the day at the sustainable community of Serenbe has morphed from a mere country idyll into an occasion for intensive green research. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/09/2830682/eco-homes-and-green-scenery-in.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2012/05/09/2192861/eco-homes-and-green-scenery-in.html 1,300 Onofre tubes plugged; no restart date. Operators of the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant now say more than 1,300 steam generator tubes have been plugged in the plant’s two idled reactor units. And despite statements Thursday from an executive with the operator, Southern California Edison, suggesting a possible restart of the reactors next month, the utility company said Tuesday that no date has been set. The earlier statement was an estimate, Edison said, and any startup plans must have prior approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Posted. http://sciencedude.ocregister.com/2012/05/08/1300-onofre-tubes-plugged-no-restart-date/171428/ San Lorenzo Valley air district to offer funds to replace wood stoves. For San Lorenzo Valley residents who suffered "bad air" days last winter due to smoke, there's good news on the horizon. The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District plans to repeat last November's popular giveaway to help people replace wood stoves generating smoke. "We gave away $75,000" said Richard Stedman, the district's air pollution control director. Posted. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/rss/ci_20576646?source=rss OPINIONS PUGLIARESI: Ethanol’s hidden gasoline tax. With regular gasoline prices still averaging more than $3.50 a gallon nationwide, the last thing drivers need is car troubles. Yet a new scheme from Washington to boost the ethanol content of gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent could gum up many motorists' travel plans - literally as well as figuratively. Ethanol has enjoyed a trifecta of government largesse for many years: tariff protection from imports, direct subsidies to encourage its use, and a federal mandate requiring refiners and importers to blend it into the gasoline pool. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/7/ethanols-hidden-gasoline-tax/print/ BLOGS BL On Our Radar: A Dry Year So Far. A map prepared by NOAA indicates that much of the nation has gotten off to a dry start this year. [NOAA Climate Services] Vermont is set to become the first state to impose an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The move is largely symbolic given that Vermont is thought to have relatively meager shale gas reserves, but a bill awaits the governor’s signature. [care2.com] Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/on-our-radar-a-dry-year-so-far/ Canada Is Slow to Act on Emissions, Audit Warns. Canada will probably not meet its already-diminished greenhouse gas reduction targets, the country’s environment commissioner warned on Tuesday in a report to Parliament. The commissioner, Scott Vaughan, blamed a lack of government oversight, particularly for the oil and natural gas industry, which is Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas related emissions. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/report-upbraids-canadian-government-on-emissions/ The Current State of Clean Energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an organization that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. They are probably some of the most informed people on the planet on the subject of energy. This is what Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven recently had to say on our current energy outlook in a recent report entitled Tracking Clean Energy Progress. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/05/current-state-clean-energy/ Microsoft Commits to Carbon Neutrality. Microsoft has committed to become carbon neutral beginning on July 1, the start of the company’s new fiscal year. The shift results from three years of internal discussions within the company to improve Microsoft’s carbon footprint and environmental performance. The company will roll out the new changes, including a new accounting system, across its operations in over 100 countries. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/05/microsoft-carbon-neutral/OGS