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newsclips -- Newsclips of January 25, 2011.

Posted: 25 Jan 2011 11:08:39
California Air Resources Board News Clips for January 25, 2011. 

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.


Browner Leaving As Top Obama Adviser On Energy, Climate.
Washington (AP) — President Barack Obama's top adviser on energy
and climate matters is stepping down, two White House officials
confirmed Monday. The departure of Carol Browner underscores that
there will be no major White House push on climate change, given
that such efforts have little chance of succeeding on Capitol
Hill. Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency
administrator under President Bill Clinton, will be leaving the
White House just as Republicans in Congress prepare to take on
the Obama administration over global warming and the
administration's response to the massive Gulf oil spill. Posted.

Scientists' Hopes For Climate Data Are Up In The Air. Shortly
after it lifted off in February 2009, NASA's Orbiting Carbon
Observatory crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica. With
that, a $250 million investment became scrap metal on the ocean
floor and an effort to begin using satellites to measure
atmospheric carbon dioxide and trace emission-reduction actions
was dealt a huge setback. Scientists say the information the OCO
was intended to collect is a crucial piece of the data needed not
only by those monitoring the Earth's environment but also by
federal officials struggling to understand possible national
security implications of those climate changes. Posted.

Efforts to Fight Climate Change Revive Optimism. Brussels - For
years, China was seen as a major obstacle to global efforts to
combat climate change because of its refusal to reduce emissions
under the Kyoto Protocol. Now, for some, the concern is not that
China is moving too slowly but that it is rushing ahead so fast
that clean-energy companies in the West will be left in the dust.
Demands on China for verifiable monitoring of emissions have been
a long-running source of tension in climate negotiations. Posted.

Calif. Panel Signals 'Viable' Path Forward For CCS Projects.
Carbon capture and storage is a necessary, safe and viable option
for California polluters as they eye ways to comply with the
greenhouse gas emissions cuts called for under state law, a
state-sanctioned panel of scientists, industry officials and
environmentalists argue in a new report. The report, from a
review panel created a year ago by three state agencies,
recommends that California move forward with CCS under the
umbrella of its climate change law, A.B. 32, which calls for
emissions cuts to 1990 levels by 2020 starting next year. Posted.

Space-Based 'A-Train' Will Provide More Accurate Climate Data.
NASA is preparing to launch a satellite designed to study
aerosols' influence on Earth's climate and continue a
long-standing record of solar energy, measurements that could
help improve the accuracy of climate models. Known as Glory, the
satellite is set to launch Feb. 23 from Vandenberg Air Force Base
in Southern California aboard a Taurus XL rocket. Once in space,
it will settle into an orbit roughly 440 miles above the Earth.
That will place Glory in a line of satellites known as the
A-Train, named for their afternoon orbit around the equator.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/25/4

California Report Examines Capture and Storage of Greenhouse
Gases. The general public may be mostly in the dark about carbon
capture and storage, but California’s increasing focus on
greenhouse gas emissions is beginning to shed more light on the
subject. Among other things, a recent report titled “Findings and
Recommendations by the California Carbon Capture and Storage
Review Panel” mentions the prospect of using eminent domain to
acquire suitable sites for storing carbon dioxide and other gases
underground, or transporting compressed C02 in pipelines. Posted.


CARB Touts Results of Diesel Cleanup. A broad range of projects
targeting freight transport, funded by state bond money and
administered by the California Air Resources Board and air
districts, has slashed emissions along trade corridors and near
ports, cutting pollution from trucks, trains and ships. More than
5,300 diesel trucks traveling the state's busiest trade routes
are being cleaned up, CARB says, thanks to its Goods Movement
Emission Reduction Program. The program is supported by $1
billion in voter-approved Proposition 1B bonds, of which $450
million has already been allocated. Not all of it is for trucks;
some goes to locomotive and stationary diesel engines. Posted.

California Claims Success For Its Diesel Cleanup Program.
Pollution emissions along trade corridors pollution from trucks,
trains and ships has been slashed under the Goods Movement
Emission Reduction Program, the California Air Resources Board
claims. “These ambitious efforts are improving our air quality as
well as the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of
Californians who live near major diesel pollution sources such as
busy highways, ports and railyards” says CARB Executive Officer
James Goldstene. “We estimate that these projects will eliminate
more than 3 million pounds of diesel soot plus 60 million pounds
of smog-forming pollutants from our environment over the next few
years,” he says. Posted.


Alternative Fuels Don’t Benefit the Military, a RAND Report Says.
The United States would derive no meaningful military benefit
from increased use of alternative fuels to power its jets, ships
and other weapons systems, according to a government-commissioned
study by the RAND Corporation scheduled for release Tuesday.  The
report also argued that most alternative-fuel technologies were
unproven, too expensive or too far from commercial scale to meet
the military’s needs over the next decade. In particular, the
report argued that the Defense Department was spending too much
time and money exploring experimental biofuels derived from
sources like algae or the …Posted.

EPA's Approval Of Higher Ethanol Blends May Reduce Air Quality,
Critics Assert. As the country strives to wean itself off fossil
fuels and meet renewable fuel targets, some in the environmental
regulatory community say air pollution questions may be taking a
backseat. They point to U.S. EPA's decision Friday to allow
higher blends of ethanol to power cars made in the last decade as
a key example. "Higher levels of ethanol in motor vehicle fuel
mean higher emissions of nitrogen oxides, an important
contributor to ground-level ozone and other harmful air
pollutants," said Bill Becker, executive director of the National
Association of Clean Air Agencies. Posted.


I Think We Can,' New San Fran Mayor Says Of 100% Green-Power
Goal. Just weeks before leaving his post as San Francisco's mayor
earlier this month, California's new lieutenant governor, Gavin
Newsom, pledged that the Golden Gate City would be powered by 100
percent renewables by the year 2020. But with Newsom (D) now in
Sacramento, the responsibility for turning San Francisco's
renewable energy dream into a reality has fallen on the shoulders
of interim mayor Ed Lee. Since he was sworn in on Jan. 12, it has
been a whirlwind first two weeks on the job for Lee. The new
mayor was in Washington, D.C., last week as part of the U.S.
mayors' annual winter meeting. Posted.


California, EPA to Work on Joint Auto Standards. Washington -
California state officials have agreed to work with federal
officials to develop new greenhouse-gas standards for cars and
light-duty trucks built for 2017 through 2025, following weeks of
pressure from the auto industry. In an announcement Monday, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said California officials
have scrapped their plans to issue state-specific standards in
March. Instead, the EPA and California Air Resources Board will
now issue standards jointly by Sept. 1. Posted.

Republicans Target High-Speed Rail For Cuts. California's hugely
ambitious and futuristic high-speed rail project will be front
and center of the coming showdown between President Obama and
House Republicans who are hell-bent on cutting domestic spending.
Obama's State of the Union address tomorrow, 6 p.m. PST, will lay
out his plan to protect "investment" spending from the GOP axe:
specifically infrastructure, energy, education and R&D. He is
drawing directly from the Clinton playbook, defining spending as
investment and focusing on key areas around a competitiveness
theme. Posted.

New Green Trail Under BART Moving Forward. The areas below
elevated BART tracks are not normally known for their picturesque
beauty, but Alameda County's transportation agency is hoping to
change that. The Alameda County Transportation Commission is
moving forward with a plan to build a 12-mile bike path under the
elevated BART tracks between Oakland and Hayward. The project --
called the East Bay Greenway -- would offer a landscaped,
car-free corridor from just north of the Fruitvale BART station
all the way just south past the Hayward station. Posted.

Preview And Price Tag Out For The First Global Plan For
Sustainable Energy. Providing the world with universal energy
access will cost $38 billion annually over the next two decades,
according to the first-ever Global Energy Assessment (GEA) due
out this summer. The 2,000-page report will provide for the first
time detailed energy information about developing countries as
well as a sweeping examination of everything from technology
trends to the links between human health and pollution on future
energy requirements. More than five years in the making, the
assessment is the product of research and peer review by 300
authors from a dozen countries and some of the world's leading
research institutions. Posted.

New Leaf Deliveries Are Delayed. Anxious buyers of Nissan's Leaf
electric vehicle may need to wait longer than expected. Officials
expect a four- to five-month delay for delivery, initially
scheduled for the early months of this year. The waits are
attributed to the fact that carmakers want the first wave of
electric vehicle buyers not to be disappointed with their
purchases. A happy first crop of owners will mean more follow-up
purchases as time goes by. But the delays are brewing some
frustration among buyers. "We don't know what's going on," says
Eugen Dunlop of Davis, Calif., who ordered his Leaf last summer.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/01/25/10


Don't Give Stadiums A Pass On Environmental Laws. I'm not into
face painting or tailgate parties, but I do like NFL football. I
also care about our environment and the laws that protect it.
What, you may ask, do these subjects have to do with each other?
I would have answered "nothing" if you asked me two years ago.
But California seems to have gone stadium crazy with repeated
attempts to exempt NFL stadiums from environmental safeguards
protecting our air, water, quality of life and natural habitats.
One of those attempts, a 2009 bill to exempt a stadium in the
City of Industry from the California Environmental Quality Act
(CEQA), passed. Posted.


China Leapfrogs U.S. Wind Power Industry. Chinese turbines are
now harnessing more wind power than machines installed in the
U.S., according to a trade group Monday. For the first time ever,
the Asian giant’s capacity –- the amount of electricity that can
be generated using wind –- blew past the U.S. to soar 62% to
41,800 megawatts. American-based turbines can produce up to
40,180 megawatts, a 15% jump from the beginning of 2010,
according to a report from the American Wind Energy Assn. Posted.

Browner Leaving Climate-Change Job. Carol Browner, who has served
as President Obama’s top environmental adviser in the White
House, will leave the administration soon, a senior White House
official said Monday night. Ms. Browner had been viewed as a
close adviser to Mr. Obama in the White House. A veteran who was
administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under
President Clinton, her name was floated as a possible candidate
for a deputy chief of staff when Rahm Emanuel departed to run for
mayor of Chicago. Posted.

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