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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 1, 2012 Posted: 01 Jun 2012 14:00:06
ARB Newsclips for June 1, 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 Cap-and-trade getting to nuts and bolts, but Sacramento still seeing climate skeptics, AB 32 opponents. A discussion about how state lawmakers should dole out cap-and-trade auction proceeds under AB 32, the state's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, is proceeding in Sacramento. What's interesting is that it's doing so with considerable and continuing opposition to the premise of capping or, for that matter, trading greenhouse gas emissions in the first place. The bill is AB 1532. By its language at the moment, it provides that proceeds of an auction "shall be used to facilitate the achievement of feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in this state" Posted. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/environment/2012/05/30/6378/cap-and-trade-getting-nuts-and-bolts-sacramento-st/ UN report predicts increase in world's displaced. The number of people fleeing their homes and becoming refugees or displaced in their own countries will increase in the next 10 years as a result of a host of intertwined causes ranging from conflict and climate change to population growth and food shortages, according to a report Thursday by the U.N. refugee agency. "The State of the World's Refugees," covering the period 2006-2011, said a key change and dominant challenge is the increasing number of internally displaced people - some 26 million globally compared to around 15-16 million refugees who have crossed borders to another country and a further one million asylum seekers. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/05/31/2223259/un-report-predicts-increase-in.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/31/2857142/un-report-predicts-increase-in.html#storylink=misearch China stresses economic needs ahead of UN summit. Chinese officials promised Friday to play a positive role in this month's U.N. environment summit but stressed the needs of their country's poor, apparently trying to dampen hopes for major concessions. The comments added to signs that the June 20-22 meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, might face political obstacles to any significant agreements. President Barack Obama, in the midst of a re-election campaign, and European leaders have withdrawn from the meeting. "China still is a developing country," said Du Ying, a deputy chairman of China's planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/31/china-stresses-economic-needs-ahead-of-un-summit/#ixzz1wZLYFMNO Let's turn carbon emissions into something useful. The average coal-fired power plant spews out more than a million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Wouldn't it be great if that greenhouse gas could be put to good use? On this month's edition of The Digital Future, Strategic News Service Publisher Mark Anderson tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that all that carbon could be used to make fuel, chemicals and other products. Last week, Mark held his Future in Review (FiRe) technology conference in Laguna Beach, California. The annual event is a brainstorming session for some of the brightest minds on the planet. Posted. http://kplu.org/post/lets-turn-carbon-emissions-something-useful DIESEL EMISSIONS Cummins Thrives on New Air Regulations. Cummins Inc. is a rarity among top U.S. manufacturers: the maker of engines for trucks, buses and off-road machinery is thriving in good measure because of tough, new government regulations around the world. In the last few years, the $18 billion-a-year-in-sales company has become the go-to partner for overseas vehicle manufacturers in Asia and Latin America looking to avoid years of costly engineering work to bring their own engines into compliance with the new standards. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303624004577337973701572022.html?KEYWORDS=diesel+emissions FUELS Groups square off over plans to reopen coal plant. Four environmental groups that are contesting a permit to restart the Healy Clean Coal Plant are getting heat from supporters who say the project means jobs and more affordable energy. More than 100 people showed up Wednesday at the headquarters of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in Fairbanks to show their support for restarting the plant has been idled since 2000. They carried signs reading "Support Working People" and "No to Environment Wackos," according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/MDYFUV ). Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/31/groups-square-off-over-plans-to-reopen-coal/#ixzz1wZLIEzNU VEHICLES GM CEO Dan Akerson: 'We're dancing as fast as we can.' Dan Akerson's first job in the auto industry is his current one, CEO of General Motors (GM). A telecom executive who had run Nextel, XO Communications, and General Instrument, he had joined Carlyle Group, the giant private equity firm based in Washington, D.C. His career took an unexpected turn when the federal government bailed out GM in 2009 and asked him to join the board -- then swerved again in 2010 when CEO Ed Whitacre decided on short notice to step down. Akerson, now 63, got the job. He talked recently with Fortune's Geoff Colvin about how he's driven 3,000 miles on one gallon of gas in his Chevy Volt, making GM more customer-centric, career lessons, and much else. Posted. http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/31/leadership-gm-akerson/ Consumer Reports: Special 'eco' car models don't pay. The special “eco” versions of small cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Honda Civic don’t improve fuel economy enough to be worth the extra money, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports. The magazine said it could take as long as 38 years for the extra cost to be worthwhile, depending on the vehicle. The cars, which come equipped with special low rolling resistance tires and aerodynamic features, generally cost $500 to $800 more than fuel-efficient siblings that don’t carry the “eco” label. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-green-cars-20120531,0,5326867.story Japanese automakers' U.S. sales jump as they recover from tsunami. Monthly U.S. sales from Toyota shot up 87% year-over-year as the company rebounded from the earthquake and tsunami that hammered Japanese factories and slowed production last year. U.S. sales by Toyota in May totaled 202,973 units in May. This was in part because of last year's slowdown in production because of the disasters that hit Japan. “Last year, the earthquakes hit in March, and May is when everything started to tank,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst at Edmunds, an automotive information company in Santa Monica. Toyota sold 21,477 Prius hybrids last month, compared to 6,924 in May 2011. Its Camry sales increased 94% to 39,571. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-toyota-nissan-auto-sales-20120530,0,5674056.story U.S. Auto Makers Post Solid May Sales Gains. Auto makers on Friday reported healthy gains in new car and truck sales for May and shrugged off worries about the U.S. economy, despite further signs suggesting the recovery is slowing. General Motors Co. GM -1.64% and Ford Motor Co. F -4.36% each reported sales rose by more than 10%, while Chrysler Group LLC saw a 30% jump. Toyota Motor Corp., TM -2.63% whose sales plunged a year ago after the earthquake that devastated Japan, reported an 87% increase in its sales of new cars and light trucks. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303552104577440072804683342.html?KEYWORDS=vehicles http://www.nctimes.com/business/auto-sales-remain-bright-spot-in-darkening-economy/article_4bdddeaa-f587-580a-a455-b5c642bfe4f2.html Nissan Poised to Sell Green-Vehicle Credits Tesla Started. A new front is opening in the emerging market for electric vehicles -- not for selling cars, but for credits required to meet clean-air rules. Starting this year, California is requiring the biggest automakers to sell increasing numbers of “zero-emission vehicles,” or ZEVs, such as pure-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered autos. Companies that fail to meet their quotas have the option of buying ZEV credits from rivals that exceed their targets. Nissan Motor Co. (7201) says it may sell credits earned in the past two years from its battery-powered Leaf, the best-selling all-electric car in the U.S. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-29/nissan-poised-to-sell-green-vehicle-credits-tesla-started Zipcar names Gilligan as a board member. Zipcar Inc. has named American Express Vice Chairman Ed Gilligan as a board member, the car sharing company said Friday. Gilligan replaced Jill Preotle, who decided not to stand for re-election at Zipcar's annual shareholders meeting on Thursday. Preotle had served on the Cambridge, Mass., company's board since December 2002. "Ed's expertise in global expansion, member-based product and service offerings and digital commerce will benefit us greatly as we look to continue to expand our international footprint and further innovate Zipcar service offerings for our members," Zipcar Chairman and CEO Scott Griffith said in a statement. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/01/zipcar-names-gilligan-as-a-board-member/#ixzz1wZMTha7R Hydrogen-Powered Mercedes-Benz F-CELL Goes Hollywood. With strict vehicle-emissions standards and the nation's first cap-and-trade program to reduce pollution, California has been at the forefront of the United States' renewable-energy push during the past decade. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Mercedes-Benz would select The Golden State for an early rollout of its new hydrogen-powered B-Class F-CELL model. More than three dozen Mercedes-Benz F-CELL electric vehicles are currently being leased to early adopters in Southern California, and availability will open up in Northern California this month. Among the first to take home the new eco-friendly Mercedes-Benz was actress Diane Kruger of the films "Inglourious Basterds" and "National Treasure." Posted. http://readme.readmedia.com/Hydrogen-Powered-Mercedes-Benz-F-CELL-Goes-Hollywood/4103556 GREEN ENERGY California passes tougher energy code for new construction. The California Energy Commission on Thursday approved what it called nation-leading efficiency standards for new homes and commercial buildings. Approved by a 4-0 vote, the upgraded standards include improved windows, insulation, lighting, air-conditioning systems and other features to reduce energy consumption in California homes and businesses by a projected 25 percent or more, compared with previous standards approved in 2008. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/01/4529992/california-passes-tougher-energy.html http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-california-energy-efficiency-20120601,0,3168852.story Romney Makes Surprise Visit to Solyndra. Mitt Romney denounced Solyndra as a symbol of “gross waste” and a “serious conflict of interest,” in a secretively planned news conference across the street from the failed solar panel-maker. “Free enterprise to the president means taking money from the taxpayers and giving it freely to his friends,” Mr. Romney said Thursday. “It’s heads and his cronies win, and tails and the taxpayers lose.” As the Obama campaign put the focus on Mr. Romney’s economic record as governor of Massachusetts, the presumptive GOP nominee turned the tables on the president with a visit Solyndra. Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/05/31/romney-makes-surprise-visit-to-solyndra/?KEYWORDS=green+energy A day of energy savings will dawn soon at Pacifica High. Pacifica High School's electric bill is about to shrink. The school's solar panel project, located on the roof of the gym and in the parking lot, is expected to go on line in the middle of the month. Pacifica is the third school in the Oxnard Union High School District to introduce solar panels on campus. Oxnard and Rio Mesa high schools came on board late last year. Channel Islands, Hueneme and Camarillo high schools will get the green technology by the end of the year. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/31/a-day-of-energy-savings-will-dawn-soon-at-high/#ixzz1wZN2W7QC OPINION Tariff on Chinese panels would hurt solar industry. A tariff is always a double-edged weapon in international trade. Countries apply them to protect domestic producers but risk retaliation and penalize their own consumers, who must pay higher prices. That's how things are shaping up with the 31 percent tariff the Commerce Department wants to slap on Chinese solar panels later this year. That would undercut one goal of President Barack Obama's administration - the promotion of green energy. This dispute began with a complaint from the U.S. unit of a German company, Solar World AG, which was joined by other firms. Commerce officials later concluded the Chinese were "dumping" government-subsidized products, or selling below cost. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/06/01/2223698/tariff-on-chinese-panels-would.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/01/2857463/tariff-on-chinese-panels-would.html#storylink=misearch Debate begins on fracking regulations. The email caught Zoe Shenker's attention. Have your voice heard, it said. Protect your water supply. Shenker wanted to do both, so Wednesday night she went to the Ventura County Government Center for a workshop on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," as it's commonly called. What the Thousand Oaks resident heard left her speechless. Not only did she learn that fracturing rocks to extract oil and natural gas has been practiced for decades, but she also found out that regulators and the public don't know exactly what is being pumped into the ground to bring the raw materials to the surface. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/31/debate-begins-on-what-fracking-regulations-look/#ixzz1wZLzy9Fn BLOGS Roger Revelle’s 1980 Discussion of CO2 and Climate Risks. Roger Revelle, one of the pioneering researchers in the study of the human influence on the atmosphere, carbon cycle and climate, gave a prescient lecture on carbon dioxide, climate and the oceans in 1980 that was recorded by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and now surfaces via the Web site Climate Science TV. Revelle is best known for the comment he added late in the drafting of a seminal 1957 climate paper co-authored with Hans Suess: “Human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in the future.” Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/roger-revelles-1980-discussion-of-co2-and-climate-risks/ When Cleaning Up Power Plants, Time is Money. New rules on pollution from coal plants will cost the American economy $175 billion to $275 billion between now and 2035, according to a new analysis from the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit utility consortium. But the price can be be closer to the lower figure if the government shows flexibility in how the rules are phased in, the researchers said. Power sector expenditures will range from $140 billion to $220 billion, according to the institute, which used computer modeling to predict effects across the economy. Those are big numbers. But the electricity industry is vast, so the estimated impact on the retail price of electricity is expected to be just 4.5 to 8 percent in 2015, the group said. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/when-cleaning-up-power-plants-time-is-money/ Turn Waste Into Energy, Group Urges New York. New York City should embrace waste-to-energy plants to reduce the $300 million it spends annually disposing of its garbage, a government watchdog group suggested in a report released on Thursday.The group, the Citizens Budget Commission, noted that the city’s trash is transported to out-of-state landfills by tractor-trailer trucks that travel hundreds of miles while emitting greenhouse gases. If one-third of the garbage going to landfills were to be turned into energy instead, the city would save $119 million a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent, said the group, which monitors state and city spending. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/turn-waste-into-energy-group-urges-new-york/ A libertarian approach to global warming. Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western University, has been writing a very interesting series of posts at The Atlantic on conservative approaches to various environmental problems. Here he lays out the libertarian case for tackling climate change:It is a well established principle in the Anglo-American legal tradition that one does not have the right to use one's own property in a manner that causes harm to one's neighbor. There are common law cases gong back 400 years establishing this principle and international law has long embraced a similar norm. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/a-libertarian-approach-to-global-warming/2012/06/01/gJQAYDCL7U_blog.html Europe solves its “green” quota, declares gas to be green enough. This is our favorite news item this week, hands down. The Europeans, so enamored by things green that they have implemented subsidies, mandates and regulations that have nearly strangled their economy, have found a way out of their dilemma. “Energy from gas power stations has been rebranded as a green, low-carbon source of power by a €80bn European Union programme, in a triumph of the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industry lobby over renewable forms of power,” reports the Guardian in Great Britain. There you have it. To make the green quota, simply reclassify a fossil fuel as green enough. Voila! It harkens back to the solution suggested for the U.S. during the Vietnam War. Declare victory and go home. Posted. http://orangepunch.ocregister.com/2012/06/01/europe-solves-its-green-quota-declares-gas-to-be-green-enough/70162/