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newsclips -- ARBNewsclips for May 17, 2012.

Posted: 17 May 2012 12:21:49
ARB Newsclips for May 17, 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.


New alternative fuels station opens in Fullerton. The Propel
Clean Mobility Center on Chapman Avenue offers gasoline as well
as E85 ethanol and biodiesel. A gas station that also offers E85
ethanol and biodiesel fuels has opened in Fullerton, becoming the
first of more than 200 so-called clean mobility centers slated
for the state. The Propel Clean Mobility Center at 1124 E.
Chapman Ave., which opened Wednesday, was partially funded by
grants from the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Energy
Department. Posted.



Bay Area plan to guide growth up for regional vote. Competitors
in the Bay Area's perennial tug of war over where and how to grow
will square off Thursday night in Oakland when regional leaders
choose how best to cut air pollution by redirecting new housing,
shops and jobs into transit corridors. Called the Bay Area Plan,
the process is inciting suspicion among suburbanites who fear the
initiative will usurp local control and force dense, urban-style
development into their communities. Posted.

State to brief public on Mecca odor. Regulators today will
discuss soil studies, continuing probe of recycling facility.
Mecca residents can weigh in today on two new state reports that
might help decide the fate of Western Environmental Inc., the
nearby soil recycling plant blamed for noxious and widespread
odor outbreaks in 2010-2011. In a meeting that's open to the
public, state hazardous waste regulators will brief the community
on their soil samples taken from the Western site back in
December. Posted.


Cap-and-trade to generate billions, tough choices. Starting later
this year, California's cap-and-trade system to fight global
warming will generate billions of dollars in revenue, as
companies buy and sell permits to produce greenhouse gases. How
should the money be used? With the first permit auction scheduled
for November, that question still hasn't been answered by
Sacramento - not fully, at least. Posted.

Carbon fund aims to reduce biological greenhouse gases. An
industry-supported carbon fund in Alberta is planning to attack
the biological side of greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate
Change and Emissions Management Corp. (CCEMC) will spend three
years on an $8.4 million project to decrease emissions from
sources such as livestock and forest waste. "There are no firm
decisions yet," said Susan Wood-Bohm, executive director of
Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, which leads science and
innovation for the province's agriculture, food and forestry
sectors. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/17/11 BY


IID fined for truck fleet air violations. The California Air
Resources Board fined the Imperial Irrigation District $45,375
for operating its truck fleet and other diesel equipment in
conflict with air quality regulations. Air resources board
investigators found that the Imperial Irrigation District
neglected to install particulate filters on its trucks, and to
record smoke emissions, as required by California law, according
to a press release from the state board. The district also failed
to report its diesel equipment being used in off-road activities.


Fracking's Methane Trail: A Detective Story. There are a lot of
cheerleaders for the nation's natural gas boom — in part because
they believe it's a lot cleaner than dirty coal. It's pretty
well-known that power plants that burn coal pump out far more
greenhouse gases than power plants that run on natural gas. But
there's a hitch: We don't really know how much air pollution is
created when companies drill for natural gas. Posted.


Fuel cells, sidelined but not forgotten at electric vehicle show.
 As the spotlight has shifted to battery-powered cars, other
promising alternative fuels have been left in the dark. That's
especially true for yesterday's transportation stars, fuel-cell
vehicles. But that doesn't mean progress has stopped.  California
is still planning to get 20,000 fuel-cell vehicles on the road,
starting in 2015. Part of the state's zero-emissions vehicle
mandate requires oil companies to install 68 hydrogen-refueling
stations in five cities and along highways between those cities
by 2015. The hydrogen would most likely be produced on site from
natural gas, although some would use renewable sources.  Posted. 

Exploring the life and death of a lithium-ion battery. DOWNERS
GROVE TOWNSHIP, Ill. -- With current battery systems reaching
their performance limits, researchers are scrutinizing every
component of lithium-ion cells in order to develop energy storage
mechanisms that can make electric vehicles better competitors to
fossil-fueled engines. Lithium-ion systems have made tremendous
strides since they were invented in the 1970s. The cells have
matured beyond expensive, fire-prone energy systems, becoming the
go-to chemistry to power new mobile devices and electric
vehicles. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/17/1  BY


Calif. Senate president asks Obama admin to promise more money
for bullet train. A leader in California's Senate wants the Obama
administration to promise more federal money for the state's
beleaguered high-speed rail project. California Senate President
Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D) said yesterday he is working to get
a July vote on state bond funding for the bullet train, a push
that comes after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week
urged faster action toward the project (Greenwire, May 11).
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/05/17/3 BY


Reports: Funding energy efficiency programs makes economic sense.
As California policymakers discuss how to spend revenue generated
by the state’s soon-to-be-launched carbon market, four related
studies providing legal and economic analysis of different
investment scenarios were released late Wednesday. How the money
is spent will have implications for the state’s economy and
future, said F. Noel Perry, businessman and founder of Next 10, a
nonpartisan nonprofit organization which commissioned the four
studies. Posted.


San Onofre's future hinges on finding cause of abnormal tube
wear. The root of the problem at the nuclear plant is still a
mystery. A key issue is whether Edison or ratepayers will have to
cover the cost of replacement power. On Jan. 31, alarms alerted
the control room at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
that a radiation leak was occurring in one of the nearly 39,000
tubes that carry radioactive water in the steam generators. That
failure led to an unparalleled shutdown of one of California's
two nuclear power plants …Posted.

Bicycle advocates chalk up successes of Bike Month. In the eight
years since the "May Is Bike Month" campaign began, area cyclists
have ridden millions of miles while demonstrating that bikes are,
among other things, an easy solution to complex problems. The
organized effort has inspired many others to give it a try, and,
no doubt, stirred up a little hostility as bicycles became a
larger part of the transportation equation.


Stephen L. Johnson: Methane: Energy for California without all
the flare. As former administrator of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, for many years I have been concerned with
methane gas, both as an environmental pollutant and a renewable
resource that is largely wasted. Though methane has long been
known as a harmful greenhouse gas -- according to the EPA, it's
20 to 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide -- it also holds
an abundance of energy. However, much of the power potential had
previously been thought of as unusable, and other environmental
issues have persisted. Posted.

California Is Leading: Will the Nation Follow? What do the
iPhone, the silicone breast implant and the solar panel have in
common? Each has the most users in California. The companies that
designed and marketed them are here, too. California is the state
of cutting edge, of firsts. We're Hollywood, Silicon Valley, gay
rights, the first female Speaker of the House and the first
Sierra Club. It's why I moved here from the Midwest. The sense of
excitement, that anything is possible. Now California is going
first on climate change. There's a lot hanging in the balance.

Coal Use Drops to Record Lows While Clean Energy Soars. It's
amazing how much can change in a year. At this time in 2011, we
were testing our hair for mercury as a way to encourage the EPA
to adopt strong mercury pollution protections -- which the agency
did. I was also celebrating generating my first clean kilowatt of
energy from brand new solar panels on my home. A mere one year
later, some jaw-dropping numbers have just come in: In the first
quarter of 2012…Posted.

Solar Panels Trade Case Mocks Washington's Ways. Later today the
U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to announce preliminary
antidumping duties on solar panels from China. This case might
normally be met with an exasperated sigh and chalked up as just
another example of myopic, self-flagellating, capricious U.S.
antidumping policy toward China. But in this instance the
absurdity is magnified by the fact that Washington has already
devoted billions of dollars in production subsidies and
consumption tax credits in an effort to invent a non-trivial
market for solar energy in the United States.  Posted.

Don’t believe the hype: Five things you should know about clean
energy investments.  In an attempt to keep the political war
against renewable energy in the headlines, Republicans held
another hearing to question the value of government investments
in the sector.  Looks like 10 political sideshows on Solyndra
weren’t enough.  If the hearing were being used as a chance to
objectively assess where the industry stands, that would be one
thing. Posted. 


Viewpoint: pitting climate change research against weather
research is unproductive.  Yesterday, I discussed a blog post
from University of Washington’s Cliff Mass which argued computer
resources for models of climate change are unjustifiably far
greater than for weather forecasting.  But some feel what Mass, a
professor of meteorology, wrote may not be helpful in advancing
atmospheric science goals and could create unnecessary conflict
in the community.  Posted. 

Clouds and Climate, Redux.  “Cloud feedbacks are infamous,” David
Randall writes in a new book. Indeed they are, as readers of my
recent article on the subject may recall. Judging from the
feedback I received, many people would like to know more about
the role of clouds in climate. Readers ready for a book-length
treatment of the topic may find the right level of detail in
“Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate,” a new book by Dr. Randall
published by the Princeton University Press. Dr. Randall, a
professor at Colorado State University, is a leading climate
scientist. Posted.

Cap-and-Trade and Your Electric Bill. Forcing utilities to pay
for their carbon emissions, as California plans to do, will mean
more costly megawatts. Six months before formal compliance with
the state’s new cap & trade system begins, regulators are still
sorting out what to do about that. One of them is to provide
rebates to offset hikes in electric bills. A new report from the
clean-economy advocates, Next 10 attempts to sort out the options
and put some concrete numbers on them. Posted.

Coffee Growers Turn to Carbon Credits For Much Needed Help.  The
devastating impact of climate change on coffee production
globally could be significantly off-set by reforestation
programmes funded by carbon trading, using carbon credits earned
by newly planted trees.  That's the core proposition of a report
titled 'Coffee Climate Crisis' which is published today by the
ethical hot drinks brand, Cafédirect. Their argument is supported
by evidence from a Peruvian project in which they're working with
smallholder coffee growers to combat climate change impacts, such
as floods and landslides, largely caused by deforestation.  

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