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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. PROPEL STATION 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. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-autos-flex-fuel-20120517,0,2328289.story http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-clean-mobility-center-opens-with-alternative-fuels-in-la-20120516,0,5108769.story http://www.ocbj.com/news/2012/may/16/alternative-fuel-station-opens-fullerton/ http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2012/05/16/energy-station-of-the-future-propel-launches-first-clean-mobility-center/ http://www.csnews.com/top-story-propel_fuels_debuts_new_fueling_station-61131.html http://www.arb.ca.gov/videos/propel_opening_mn.htm http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Rethinking-Americas-Gas-Station-Propel-Fuels-Launches-New-Vision-1658033.htm http://www.pr-inside.com/rethinking-america-s-gas-station-propel-r3185450.htm http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/05/propel-20120517.html http://www.hybridcars.com/news/propel-launches-clean-mobility-center-46000.html AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20639976/bay-area-plan-guide-growth-up-regional-vote 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. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20120517/NEWS07/205170313/State-brief-public-Mecca-odor CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/16/BUPQ1OIGTI.DTL 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS 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. Posted. http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/ivp-news-imperial-irrigation-district-iid-fined-for-truck-fleet-air-violations-20120517,0,197309.story FUELS 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. http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/151545578/frackings-methane-trail-a-detective-story VEHICLES 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. http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/05/fuel-cells-sidelined-but-not-forgotten-at-electric-vehicle-show.html 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY HIGH-SPEED RAIL 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2012/05/17/next-10-energy-efficiency-report-econ-be.html?page=all MISCELLANEOUS 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. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-adv-san-onofre-tubes-20120517,0,5463800,print.story 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. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/17/4494840/bicycle-advocates-chalk-up-successes.html OPINIONS 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_20639515/stephen-l-johnson-methane-energy-california-without-all 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. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claire-tomkins/california-green-economy_b_1521893.html 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-anne-hitt/coal-use-drops_b_1522687.html?ref=green 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. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danikenson/2012/05/17/solar-panels-trade-case-mocks-washingtons-ways/ 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. http://grist.org/energy-policy/dont-believe-the-hype-five-things-you-should-know-about-clean-energy-investments/ BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/viewpoint-pitting-climate-change-research-against-weather-research-is-unproductive/2012/05/17/gIQALHdFWU_blog.html 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/clouds-and-climate-redux/?pagemode=print 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. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/05/16/cap-and-trade-and-your-electric-bill/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FClimateWatchBlog+%28KQED%27s+Climate+Watch+Blog%29 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. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/coffee-growers-turn-carbon-credits-much-needed-hel/