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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 22, 2012. Posted: 22 May 2012 12:35:36
ARB Newsclips for May 22, 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 Emissions cut hiatus slows work to limit warming. Reluctance to raise ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions due to economic constraints is threatening progress towards limiting global warming, delegates at United Nations' climate talks in Germany warned on Monday. The talks in Bonn, which end on May 25, are partly to discuss ways of raising the level of ambition on cuts but the worsening eurozone crisis and battered global economy have increased reluctance to commit to more financially onerous cuts by the end of the decade, delegates told Reuters. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/21/us-un-climate-idUSBRE84K0WZ20120521 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/un-bonn-climate-conference-delegates_n_1533539.html California bill would use some Cap and Trade profits for school energy upgrades. OAKLAND -- Assemblymember Nancy Skinner is expected to introduce a bill on Tuesday that would use a portion of the money that businesses generate from trading carbon emissions permits to make schools more energy efficient. "Funding schools shouldn't be a question of paying teachers or paying power companies," Skinner stated in a news release. "Efficiency upgrades can put money back in the classroom to the tune of $60,000 annually -- enough for one additional teacher for every retrofitted school." Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/politics-government/ci_20676160/skinner-bill-would-use-some-cap-and-trade?source=rss FUELS More than 150,000 methane seeps appear as Arctic ice retreats. Scientists have found more than 150,000 sites in the Arctic where methane is seeping into the atmosphere, according to a report published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience. Aerial and ground surveys in Alaska and Greenland revealed that many of the methane seeps are located in areas where glaciers are receding or permafrost is thawing as the climate warms, removing ice that has trapped the potent greenhouse gas in the ground. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/22/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Tesla to start deliveries of Model S electric cars next month. Tesla Motors Inc. said it will begin delivering its first mass production electric car -– the high-end Model S to customers starting June 22, about a month ahead of the expected schedule. The Palo Alto-based company says it has more than 10,000 orders for the battery-powered car but that not all will be delivered this year. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-tesla-model-s-20120522,0,3950552.story?track=rss Lotus Shows Carmakers How To Shed The Pounds, CARB Agrees. There's a phrase oft-quoted in the automotive world when the topic of lighter cars is discussed. The phrase, "add lightness", originated from Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars and builder of some of the best sports cars and racing vehicles ever made. And the influence has remained--Lotus still builds light cars, to the benefit of performance, handling, and of course--efficiency. Posted. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1076389_lotus-shows-carmakers-how-to-shed-the-pounds-carb-agrees 'For first time in 30 years EU, Japan, China and US work on common EV standards', says European Commission. Part of ENEVATE is working on the market drivers for electric vehicles such as incentives. Incentive effectiveness is currently being evaluated and some feedbacks are already collected via a survey conducted in ENEVATE partner regions. “Incentives effectiveness depends a lot on where you implement them. In the 70 surveys completed so far, with responses from the UK, France, Ireland and Germany, non-financial incentives such as parking or access to priority lanes does not seem to be a major factor” said Godfried Puts, Project Leader. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4665 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Bullet-train backers seek bypass around environmental lawsuits. The people behind California's beleaguered high-speed rail project want the Legislature to ensure lawsuits don't derail the bullet train. The state's High-Speed Rail Authority is talking to lawmakers about finding a way to bar judges from temporarily halting construction. Agency board of directors Chairman Dan Richard said he'd prefer courts be limited to ordering fixes. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/05/22/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY 2ND UPDATE: UK Draft Energy Bill Seeks To Secure GBP110B Investment. The U.K. government Tuesday published its long-awaited draft energy bill, which contains mechanisms and incentives designed to encourage around GBP110 billion investment in low-carbon energy such as offshore wind farms and new nuclear power stations. With around one-fifth of the U.K.'s power generating capacity closing over the next decade as aging nuclear and old coal plants are shuttered, the proposed legislation is part of government plans to keep the lights on while meeting binding climate change targets at cheapest cost to the consumer. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120522-711908.html BY SUBSCRIPTION http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/22/britain-power-reform-idUSL5E8GLD1D20120522 Developer offers 'no-electric bill' homes in East Bay retirement communities. Retired PG&E worker Spencer Brown was at first a bit skeptical about SheaXero, the "no-electric bill" homes now under construction by Shea Homes at the Trilogy retirement resort communities in Brentwood and Rio Vista. Brown and his wife, Effie, live in a Trilogy home in Rio Vista and recently decided to upgrade to a Shea solar-powered home that promises to produce as much electricity as it uses. Brown said that some SheaXero homeowners whom he has talked with pay a few cents annually for their electric bills. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_20676699/developer-offers-no-electric-bill-homes-brentwood-and http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20676697/developer-offers-no-electric-bill-homes-brentwood-and?source=rss Folsom-based ISO moves to foster small solar projects. Commercial rooftop solar arrays and other small-scale generators are expected to gain easier connection to local electricity grids under a measure approved recently by the California Independent System Operator Corp., based in Folsom. Under the new measure, ISO will produce an annual list of locations where small solar providers could supply the grid. The report will be used in negotiating renewable energy contracts and developing projects. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/22/4506890/folsom-based-iso-moves-to-foster.html#mi_rss=Business Energy frugality born in recession is here to stay – survey. The unsteady economy may have a silver lining: Recession-induced energy thriftiness will persist when jobs and industries recover, according to the results of a survey released yesterday. The report, produced by the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions and Harrison Group, showed 93 percent of queried consumers will continue to use the same amount of energy they do now or even less. This year, 83 percent of individuals said they will take steps to reduce their power bills, compared with 63 percent the year before. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/22/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS WWII Chemical Exposure Spurs Obesity, Autism, Researcher Says. The World War II generation may have passed down to their grandchildren the effects of chemical exposure in the 1940s, possibly explaining current rates of obesity, autism and mental illness, according to one researcher. David Crews, professor of psychology and zoology at the University of Texas at Austin, theorized that the rise in these diseases may be linked to environmental effects passed on through generations. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/05/21/bloomberg_articlesM4DRCL6KLVR401-M4E16.DTL Cap and trade is struggling but spreading, new chief of trade group says. Veteran carbon market advocate Dirk Forrister yesterday was officially named the new head of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). Forrister comes to the Geneva-based carbon trade lobby group from Washington, D.C.-based Natsource LLC, one of the world's largest providers of asset management services. He replaces Henry Derwent, who announced his retirement in March. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/22/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Our cooling love affair with driving. Good news for Memorial Day weekend: Since peaking at a national average of $3.93 on April 5, the price of regular gasoline has fallen almost 25 cents per gallon. That’s like a $25 billion tax cut for consumers. In fact, gasoline is cheaper now than it was a year ago at this time. Futures markets are signaling further possible declines. All hail President Obama! Clearly his brilliant energy policy has gotten results, and fast. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-cooling-love-affair-with-driving-our-cars/2012/05/21/gIQA4taYgU_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions How Big Oil Benefits From Global Warming Alarmism. I find it somewhat comical when scientists and others who publicly express skepticism about a looming man-made global warming catastrophe are accused of being in the pocket of Big Oil. Here we are referring to oil and gas… master resource trade commodities that the entire world urgently depends upon. Can you imagine they are losing sleep over market competition from non-fossil “renewable alternatives” such as ethanol, windmills and sunbeams? Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/05/22/how-big-oil-benefits-from-global-warming-alarmism/ Let’s end polluter welfare. At a time when we have more than $15 trillion in national debt, American taxpayers are set to give away over $110 billion to the oil, gas, and coal industries over the next decade. Clearly, we cannot afford it. The five largest oil companies made over $1 trillion in profits in the last decade, with some paying no federal income taxes for part of that time, so they certainly do not need it. It is time we end this corporate welfare in the form of massive subsidies and tax breaks [PDF] to hugely profitable fossil-fuel corporations. Posted. http://grist.org/politics/lets-end-polluter-welfare/ Take a stand for clean air. The Lung Association couldn't agree more strongly with the recent letter titled "Boehner's bogus bills" (Monitor, May 15) stating that bills being championed by House Speaker John Boehner would not be in the public's best interest. Several bills mentioned in the letter would roll back important protections offered by the Clean Air Act. If enacted, these bills would result in dirtier air and more people being burdened by lung disease. Posted. http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/331098/take-stand-for-clean-air?SESSa7112aeb8b086e58ce106533696e0c9c=google BLOGS An Olympic Respite From Air Pollution. Chinese officials clamped down on air pollution during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, giving researchers an unusual opportunity to assess the effects of polluted air on the risks for cardiovascular disease. Researchers examined 125 healthy young doctors, average age 24, before, during and after the Games, measuring their heart rates and blood pressure and testing their blood for various biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease and death. Posted. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/an-olympic-respite-from-air-pollution/ What lies ahead for international action on global warming for the rest of 2012? (Part 2). When countries meet in Rio+20 they have a choice – they can talk about the actions that should be taken to reduce global warming or they can outline new actions that they’ll personally implement. We are way past the point of needing more countries talking – we need them to act. After all, the U.N. Climate Convention was agreed at the first Rio Summit in 1992, so 20 years after leaders met in Rio we need more than just mere words from world leaders. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmidt/what_lies_ahead_for_internatio_1.html National security and climate change. As we continue to fill our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, it isn't the natural world that is under attack. We are also making the world less secure for ourselves and everyone else on the planet. Over four years ago the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) released a report on Climate Change and National Security, An Agenda for Action. Posted. http://blogs.redding.com/dcraig/archives/2012/05/national-securi.html