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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 11, 2012

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 16:00:45
ARB Newsclips for June 11, 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.


Water war reignites as L.A. resists fixing some Owens Lake dust.
The L.A. DWP, which agreed in 1997 to fight dust pollution from
part of the dry Owens Lake bed, wants to rework the deal and
balks at an order to take responsibility for more territory. LONE
PINE, Calif. — Los Angeles and the Owens Valley are at war over
water again, with the city trying to rework a historic agreement
aimed at stopping massive dust storms that have besieged the
eastern Sierra Nevada since L.A. opened an aqueduct 99 years ago
that drained Owens Lake. Posted.

Group says Calif. air regulations discriminate. Fresno, Calif. -
A coalition of environmental groups is alleging that California's
Cap and Trade program violates the 1964 Civil Rights act. The
groups filed a complaint Friday against the California Air
Resources Board charging that minority groups will be
disproportionately harmed by the program that allows polluters to
discharge more emissions by buying credits from other
less-polluting industries. Posted.

Aging power plants in Ohio face uncertain futures. Eight aging
electric generating plants powered by coal in Ohio are facing
uncertain futures. They could be demolished or sold as utilities
try to meet clear air standards. The coal-fired generators
lacking sufficient pollution equipment are run by American
Electric Power, Duke Energy and FirstEnergy. There are 22
coal-fired power plants in Ohio, including the eight headed for
retirement. According to The Columbus Dispatch (bit.ly/LqcWrs)
the shutdowns will eliminate toxic compounds, including mercury,
along with pollutants that cause smog and soot. Posted. 


China’s Top Planner Sets Up Climate-Change Center, Xinhua Says.
The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top
economic planning agency, will set up a research center aimed at
facilitating efforts to cope with climate change, Xinhua News
Agency reported. The National Center for Climate Change Strategy
and International Cooperation will research strategic planning,
laws and regulations, international policy, carbon markets and
informating consulting, Xinhua said, citing Xie Zhenhua, deputy
director of the NDRC. Posted.

green energy uk Applauds Efforts of Alternative Energy Awareness
Days. London, England — green energy uk, a leading provider of
eco-friendly electricity, has highlighted the importance of
awareness campaigns to educate people about cleaner, greener
energy - coinciding with Global Wind Day. Taking place on 15th
June, Global Wind Day is an annual event worldwide that raises
the profile of wind power and the possibilities it has to change
the world. The campaign, says green energy uk, is an effective
way to educate people about alternative ways of creating
sustainable energy, and the pioneering work in this arena.
Posted. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47767524

Group: Europe airlines could lose $1.1B this year. The global
aviation trade group nearly doubled its forecast of European
airlines' losses this year to $1.1 billion and said Monday the
worldwide industry will scrape by with wafer thin profit margins
due to high fuel prices. U.S. and Asian carriers should make
money this year, but more airlines in Europe might follow
Hungary's Malev into bankruptcy if the European financial crisis
worsens, the International Air Transport Association said. The
group called for governments to resolve a dispute over European
carbon charges on airlines and to avoid tax and regulatory
changes it said might hamper industry growth. Posted. 

Santa Rosa adopts compromise greenhouse gas emission plan. The
Santa Rosa City Council has adopted a sweeping plan that tries to
strike a balance between meeting aggressive greenhouse gas
emission goals and minimizing the burdens on local businesses.
The Climate Action Plan, a dense 231-page document, is meant to
serve as a road map for how the city can meet its state-mandated
goals and local emission reduction targets by 2020 and beyond.

Medical issues given short shrift in climate talks, say
researchers. Aside from its impact on sea levels, weather and the
economy, researchers say climate change is also an urgent public
health concern, a matter that has been largely left out of the
global climate conversation until recently. Rising average
temperatures and more frequent weather extremes place a
tremendous burden on human health, a fact officials need to
include in developing a climate policy at regional and
international scales. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/06/11/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION


Ethanol won’t hurt your car engine. No, it will not. Today’s
passenger vehicle engines are developed around fuel that contain
ethanol. However, there is no question the federal requirement
that gasoline sold in Canada contain 5 per cent ethanol has
caused difficulties for small engines such as those used in lawn
mowers, weed whackers, etc. The Canadian requirement is lower
than the 10 per cent in the U.S., which is moving to 15 per cent.
At the 5 per cent level I doubt it is creating the problems your
neighbour reports, but at 15 per cent there might be issues,
particularly with engines left unused for lengthy periods of time
since ethanol contains more moisture…Posted.

China team optimizes catalytic hydrogenation process to convert
coal tar to gasoline and diesel.  Researchers in China report the
production of gasoline and diesel from coal tar via an optimized
catalytic hydrogenation using two serial fixed beds, the first
with a hydrofining catalyst of MoNi/γ-Al2O3 and the second
with a hydrocracking catalyst of WNiP/γ-Al2O3-USY. Their
paper was published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.  Coal
tars—highly viscous liquids—are byproduct of the carbonization of
coal to produce metallurgical coke and/or natural gas. Posted. 


Can gas savings make up for a hybrid's higher sticker price? 
When deciding between a hybrid such as the Toyota Prius and a
gas-only vehicle, how much city driving you do and how long you
plan to keep the vehicle are just two of the factors to consider.
Once a rarity in the showroom, fuel-sipping hybrids are becoming
an increasingly common option at dealerships. Need a big luxury
sedan with all the bells and whistles that still gets 29 miles to
the gallon in everyday driving? Check out the Buick LaCrosse with
the eAssist mileage boosting system. Posted.

Are hybrids worth it? (VIDEO) Autos reporter Jerry Hirsch
compares the Toyota Prius V and Volkswagen Jetta diesel wagons.

Mileage increased in gasoline-powered vehicles, pollution reduced
in diesel vehicles, startup says. Hydrogen Power Systems, a
startup developing a mileage-raising and pollution-lowering
device, says recent preliminary tests have demonstrated up to a
30 percent increase in mileage in gas-powered vehicles with its
hydrogen injection system. The findings follow those of last
fall, when the privately held company said its tests indicated
the device can reduce tailpipe emissions from an 11-year-old
diesel truck by more than 50 percent. Posted. 

Green-Car Credits: Automakers' New Way to Cash In. As the market
for electric cars heats up—in 2011, about 18,000 electric
vehicles were sold in the U.S., up from just under 500 in 2010—a
new opportunity is emerging for carmakers: selling “credits”
required to meet clean-air rules. This year, California begins
stepping up the number of zero-emission vehicles, such as
electric and hydrogen-powered cars, automakers must sell in the
state. Companies that can’t meet their quotas can buy credits
from rivals that exceed their targets. Posted.

Nissan establishes Zero Emission Fund; CO2 offset credits for
LEAF owners in Japan.  Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. launched the Nissan
Zero Emission Fund, a new fund for individual Nissan electric
vehicle (EV) owners in Japan which converts the amount of CO2
emissions that are offset by driving the 100% electric Nissan
LEAF to generate credits.  Through participation in this fund
program, Nissan LEAF owners will be able to generate CO2
emissions credits certified by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry (METI) and sold to the Green Investment Promotion
Organization, an organization that promotes investment in low
carbon emissions. Posted. 


Environmental objections in path of bullet train. Rail
construction could create more emissions in an area that already
has dirty air and high asthma rates. Resolving the issues could
delay the project and boost costs. The California bullet train is
promoted as an important environmental investment for the future,
but over the next decade the heavy construction project would
potentially harm air quality, aquatic life and endangered species
across the Central Valley. Posted.


$257 billion invested in renewable energy in 2011.  Global
investment in renewable energy reached a record of $257 billion
last year, with solar attracting more than half the total
spending, according to a U.N. report released Monday.  Investment
in solar energy surged to $147 billion in 2011, a year-on-year
increase of 52 percent thanks to strong demand for rooftop
photovoltaic installations in Germany, Italy, China and Britain. 
Large-scale solar thermal installations in Spain and the United
States also contributed to growth during a fiercely competitive
year for the solar industry.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:

Mandates keep green power growing through economic downturns –
report. United Nations -- Renewable energy is inching ahead
worldwide, despite head winds from the economy and governments
mulling big budget cuts, new research says. Renewables accounted
for almost half of the new power capacity added in 2011, led by
wind and solar sources, according to a report issued today by
REN21, an international group of researchers sponsored by the
United Nations. The researchers estimated that modern renewable
energy sources accounted for 8.2 percent of final energy
consumption worldwide. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/11/14 BY


New Wyoming supercomputer expected to boost atmospheric science.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research's machine is one of
the fastest computers ever built, its sheer speed designed to
burst through the limits of chaos theory. Cheyenne, Wyo. — Here
in the shortgrass prairie, where being stuck in the ways of the
Old West is a point of civic pride, scientists are building a
machine that will, in effect, look into the future. This month,
on a barren Wyoming landscape dotted with gopher holes and hay
bales, the federal government is assembling a supercomputer 10
years in the making, one of the fastest computers ever built and
the largest ever devoted to the study of atmospheric science.

For rocket fans, JPL's open house is the right space. An
estimated 20,000 people swarm the leafy campus in La Cañada
Flintridge, descending on the exhibits and activities as if they
were amusement park rides. The Westminster man took four months
off his warehouse job last year to visit every NASA site in the
United States. On Saturday, he joined an estimated 20,000 people
who swarmed the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's leafy campus for its
annual open house weekend. Posted.


America’s New Energy Reality. AMERICA needs a new political
discourse on energy. This would recognize the emerging reality
that the United States has turned around as an energy producer
and is on a major upswing. And the impact will be measured not
just in energy security and the balance of payments. Energy
development also turns out to be an engine for job creation and
economic growth — something that would hardly have been
considered the last time we were electing a president.  In 2008,
the rise in oil prices was accompanied — and partly fueled — by a
belief that an era of permanent scarcity was at hand. Posted.

Daniel Borenstein: In his quest to be like his father, Gov. Brown
risks his own legacy on high-speed rail.  As Gov. Jerry Brown
barrels ahead with high-speed trains, he could find that his
quest for a legacy derails the November tax measure he
desperately needs to repair the state budget. For his entire
political career, Brown has lived in the shadows of his visionary
father, Pat, the governor from 1959-67 who brought us the State
Water Project and the master plan for California higher
education. Posted.

ELIAS: Commission pulls plugs on dubious hydrogen grant policy.
Less than two weeks after this column exposed a situation where
tens of millions of state tax dollars were given to
billion-dollar corporations ---- but only with approval from
other billion-dollar corporations ---- the California Energy
Commission suddenly ended that practice. In a message sent late
May 25, the commission said it "is canceling its grant
solicitation for hydrogen fueling stations in order to revise
solicitation protocols. The commission will issue a new
solicitation at a future date.” Posted. 

The Choice Is Ours. The "Future We Want" is the title of the
negotiating text we have come here to complete. Since it was
first made public in January, the draft has swollen to over 200
pages. Challenges to be considered have been identified: over a
billion people live in poverty, food and water are becoming
increasingly scarce, and two-thirds of the earth's ecosystems are
in decline, to name a few. Governments, civil society, and other
stakeholders have weighed in. Text has been proposed, debated,
amended, accepted, and struck.  Posted.
'Cap and Trade' For CO2 Needs a Stake through the Heart. Cap and
trade (C&T) is in the news again: Global Carbon Market trading
(practically all EU) climbed to $176 billion in 2011 according to
the The World Bank, which has just released its annual State and
Trends of The Carbon Market in 2012.  That makes it about the
same value as total global wheat production -- which supplies
about 20% of the calories consumed by the 7 billion people on
planet Earth. Meanwhile in Sacramento, CA, passage of Assembly
Bill 1532 on May 29, signals a shift from regulation of air
pollution to an outright war on business and industry in
California.  Posted.


On Not Reaching Carbon Goals. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions
by enough to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2
degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is “still within
reach,’’ the International Energy Agency reported Monday, but at
the moment, trends in energy usage are running in the wrong
direction. In the latest version of Energy Technology
Perspectives, a report issued biennially by the agency, it said
the technology to achieve that goal is available. But as Maria
van der Hoeven, executive director of the agency, put it, “we’re
not using it.’’ Posted.

Q. and A.: A Panoramic View of Energy Innovation. It’s been a
busy two and a half years for Arun Majumdar, who is stepping down
from his post as director of the Department of Energy’s Advanced
Research Projects Agency for Energy. As the founding director,
voice and face of the agency, better known as ARPA-E, Dr.
Majumdar has been on the front lines of the Obama
administration’s investments in experimental energy projects,
many of which focus on improving efficiency, reducing pollution
or devising plant-based alternatives to fossil fuels. Posted.

Hey America, here's how to use 'half the oil' by 2035. It's going
to take a concerted effort to make a big dent in the oil use in
the U.S. Everyone's pretty much in agreement about that. But how
big and how do we get there? The Union of Concerned Scientists
(UCS) has an idea on how to make the dent as big as half of all
the oil we use. It'll take a while, but it's a target to shoot
for. Called "Half The Oil: A realistic plan to cut the United
States' projected oil use in half over 20 years" (PDF), the UCS
says there is a way to save a total of nearly eight million
barrels per day by 2035 using efficiency strategies and another
four million through innovation. Posted. 

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