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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 3, 2011. Posted: 03 Feb 2011 13:05:39
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 3, 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. AIR POLLUTION Court Orders EPA To Revisit S. Calif. Ozone Plan. San Francisco -- A federal appeals court ordered U.S. EPA yesterday to revisit a 2003 plan for cutting smog in the Los Angeles region, saying the agency failed to require transportation control measures to account for projected increases in vehicle miles traveled. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said EPA's review of California's ozone attainment plan for the Los Angeles-South Coast Air Basin was "arbitrary and capricious" because, among other elements, the agency did not direct the state to plan for offsetting growth in vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/02/03/13 CLIMATE CHANGE California Groups Seek Overhaul of State Carbon Market. California should abandon a cap-and- trade program for greenhouse gases and rewrite regulations for cutting the emissions that scientists link to climate change, an environmental-justice group said. The program, in which power plants, refineries and factories buy and sell the right to emit carbon dioxide, will let companies pay to “continue polluting in low-income communities,” Alegria De La Cruz, legal director at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, said today in a telephone interview from San Francisco. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-02-03/california-advocacy-groups-seek-overhaul-of-state-s-carbon-market-rules.html Court Ruling Could Threaten State Emissions Law. San Francisco -- A California court has issued a tentative ruling that could delay implementation of the state's climate change law. In a proposed decision released with little fanfare, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith faulted the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for, in his view, not doing enough to complete environmental analyses or consider alternatives to a cap-and-trade market to regulate carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/03/8 EPA Must Work With States To Limit Rules' Reliability, Cost Impacts – Regulator. U.S. EPA should work with stakeholders to ensure that electric reliability and pricing do not suffer from expected environmental regulations covering power plant emissions, coal ash waste handling and other issues, according to a draft resolution to be presented at a February meeting of utility regulators. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/02/03/6 GREEN ENERGY Democrats Launch 'Green Energy' Bills. Flanked by solar energy business people and investors, legislative Democrats announced Wednesday that they're resurrecting a bill to require utilities to buy at least 33 percent of California's electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Legislators presented the proposal along with related measures as a pro-business effort to help create jobs. "The budget is and remains our top priority," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/03/v-print/3373329/democrats-launch-green-energy.html Newsom Sings Praises Of China At Green Biz Event In SF. The forum was sponsored by Oakland-based GreenBiz Group, a company that seeks to help professionals integrate sustainable business practices into their routines. Joel Makower, GreenBiz Group chairman and executive editor, opened the discussion by praising Newsom's green efforts as San Francisco's mayor. While in the mayor's office, Newsom introduced citywide composting bins and converted all city vehicles to run on biodiesel fuels, Makower said. "We also have the nation's highest green building standards and the highest recycling rate," Newsom said. Posted. http://sfappeal.com/news/2011/02/newsom-sings-praises-of-china-at-green-biz-event-in-sf.php Report Criticizes California Electricity Surcharge Program. California consumers have paid $700 million for research on clean and efficient energy. But a legislative analyst says the money has not been well spent and urges that the program be overhauled or killed. California electricity users have paid $700 million in surcharges for research on clean and efficient energy production, but not all of the money may have been well spent and the program should be overhauled or killed, state officials say in a new report. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/politics/la-me-energy-20110203,0,3425269,print.story Energy Firms Aided by U.S. Find Backers. In late 2009, the federal government gave $151 million in grants to advance 37 clean energy ideas deemed too radical or too preliminary to attract much private financing — like electricity storage that mimics photosynthesis and batteries that double or triple the energy stored per pound. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/business/energy-environment/03energy.html?_r=1&sq=diesel%20emissions&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=2&adxnnlx=1296752417-EMWUnK6xVVJbPTQ3L+7nBQ Obama Spotlights Energy Efficiency Work At Penn St. im Freihaut thinks he might be on the verge of one of those "Sputnik moments" that President Barack Obama referred to in his State of the Union speech. The Penn State scientist wants to transform the building industry by making energy-efficient renovations more affordable. The administration is so interested that Obama plans to get a firsthand look at Freihaut's lab during a scheduled stop Thursday in State College. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/02/1539009/obama-spotlights-energy-efficiency.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/02/2256938 /obama-spotlights-energy-efficiency.html#storylink=misearch Green Is Good In A Blue State. Change one letter in Gordon Gecko’s infamous credo and it becomes the mantra of Democratic policymakers from President Obama to Gov. Jerry Brown and the majorities of the state Senate and Assembly: Green is good. In their eyes, it’s very, very good. Perhaps too good. They say: Greater energy efficiency, expanded recycling, cleaner manufacturing, more renewable energy will foster new categories of jobs that will drive California’s economy into broad sweeping uplands – green, naturally – of prosperity and sustainability. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?xid=zgs2oxn5mot9bu# Cleantech Companies Off To A Good Start. Six cleantech companies that received a total of $23.6 million in seed funding from the Department of Energy's highly regarded ARPA-E program have, a year later, attracted more than $100 million in private capital investment. The announcement, made late Wednesday by the Energy Department, seeks to highlight ARPA-E's success in making early and strategic investments in potentially game-changing clean-energy technologies. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_17281319 New research at work: Bing Energy of Chino to make cost-saving fuel cells. Bing Energy's licensing deal to bring new research to the marketplace could allow the firm to produce hydrogen fuel cells at significantly lower prices, the company's vice president for business development said. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_17275786 Calif. Lawmakers Promote Clean Energy Standards. The California Legislature's Democratic leaders are promising quick passage of bills they say will position the state as the national leader in developing clean energy alternatives and green jobs. The package introduced Wednesday includes a bill requiring utilities to get one-third of their power from alternative energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2020. The state is currently on track to get 21 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2012. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/02/1539310/calif-lawmakers-promote-clean.html http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110202/A_NEWS/110209975&cid=sitesearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/02/calif-lawmakers-promote-clean-energy-standards/ http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/03/n-kingstown-suggests-statewide-turbine-standards/ http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/02/2257222/calif-lawmakers-promote-clean.html#storylink=misearch Obama To Propose Goal For Energy Efficiency In Buildings. President Obama will announce an ambitious effort to reduce energy use in the nation's commercial buildings by 20 percent when he delivers a speech today in State College, Penn. The plan, called the Better Building Initiative, seeks to spark a spending spree on things like new lighting, windows and heating systems in thousands of strip malls, hospitals and universities across the country. The administration hopes to meet the efficiency goal by 2020. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/03/3 Alternative-Energy Bill Should Be Top Priority For Congress – Poll. Of eight issues Congress could tackle this year, Americans most favor an energy bill that would provide incentives for solar and other alternative energy sources, according to a new Gallup poll. Eighty-three percent of individuals would favor such energy legislation, placing the issue ahead of overhauling the federal tax code, speeding up withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, addressing illegal immigration or passing stronger gun control laws, the poll said. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/03/4 VEHICLES Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid's Selling Point Is Power, Not Fuel Economy. The main advantage of the hybrid Touareg over other versions is getting V-8 power out of a V-6. If you're looking to make your fuel dollars go further, the diesel TDI is your best bet. Volkswagen recently put on sale the second generation of its mid-size sport utility vehicle, the 2011 Touareg. Sitting at the top of the Touareg line is the $61,385 Hybrid, a vehicle that is eminently capable and well-executed. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-vw-touareg-hybrid-review-20110203,0,1497095,print.story Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations Get Funding. As the latest wave of electric cars arrives in California, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Wednesday awarded $3.9 million to four companies to install charging stations in homes and public places. Most of the money will be used to lower the cost of installing charging stations in the homes of electric car drivers, helping fund the installation of 2,750 chargers throughout the Bay Area. The money also will pay for installing 30 fast-charging stations in places accessible to the public, such as stores, restaurants or government buildings. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/03/BU3I1HI1FL.DTL&type=printable http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110202/ARTICLES/110209892 The Hazy Anatomy Of A Potential 'Game-Changer' In Automobiles. The last of a four part series. Click here for part one, here for part two and here for part three. In his State of the Union address, President Obama painted a vision of the jobs of tomorrow -- then pointed to the scientists of today. "None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from," Obama admitted. But historically, he said, the government has funded basic research that the private sector hesitated to fund itself. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/03/1 IBM On The Hunt To Perfect The Lithium-Air Car Battery. As the Obama administration searches for a breakthrough battery, it will have company -- a 100-year-old U.S. company doing the research on its own dime. IBM, better known for its computers and mainframes, has spent two and a half years researching lithium-air batteries, a technology that could eliminate the gap between gasoline cars and electric cars, if it works. In late 2009, IBM applied for a Department of Energy grant to defray some of the cost of this risky research. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/03/2 MISCELLANEOUS EPA To Regulate Toxic Chemicals In Drinking Water. The EPA plans to set standards for perchlorate and 16 other substances, reversing a Bush-era decision. The Environmental Protection Agency took steps Wednesday to curb toxic substances in drinking water, including perchlorate, a chemical thought to threaten the thyroid gland that has contaminated hundreds of public water wells, mostly in California. The agency also moved to set standards for 16 other substances that can invade water supplies and impair human health. Perchlorate, a remnant of California's manufacturing, aerospace and military bases, can inhibit thyroid hormone production, especially in fetuses and infants. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-na-water-epa-20110203,0,2407777,print.story http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/03/MNLD1HI0UJ.DTL&type=green CA Stations Still Using Non-Compliant Hands-Free Pumping Clips. California's Fire Marshal office has sent lists of non-compliant stations to local fire districts. Walnut Creek, CA – California officials have estimated that nearly 1,000 of California's 12,000 gas stations have not yet complied with an October 15 order from the State Fire Marshal to remove hands-free pumping clips from VST nozzles, Patch.com reports. Stations with VST nozzles must either remove the hands-free clip or install approved nozzles at a cost of $180 to $300 each. Posted. http://www.nacsonline.com/_layouts/internal/NewsStory_Print.aspx?pid=c60fc9f1-31f4-40d5-8669-d14591979395 OPINION Peering Into A Post-Petroleum World. As protests in Egypt underscore the hazards of relying on imported oil, a bus and bike-riding scientist at UCLA is working on clean fusion energy that could wean us from foreign fuel. The story of how I ended up in the basement of a UCLA physics building, getting a tour of a plasma facility with a young scientist working on the development of clean fusion energy, begins with the uprisings in the Middle East. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0202-lopez-20110202,0,7786114,print.column Court’s AB 32 Ruling Is Quite Narrow and At Most a Temporary Setback . Cara published a terrific summary of a tentative California superior court decision in which the court held that the state’s Air Resources Board (CARB) violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in implementing AB 32, the state’s landmark climate change legislation. The CEQA portion of the ruling — should the judge stick with it when he finalizes his decision — is a setback for efforts to implement California’s law. But I think it’s worth emphasizing that it’s only a temporary setback and one that may not even have the effect of delaying the air board’s climate change plan. Posted. http://calclimate.berkeley.edu/aggregator/sources/1?? OPINION Debating Carbon-Dioxide Emissions. A recent Washington Times editorial unfairly disparaged climate research based on a purposefully narrow representation of science (“Snow job,” Comment & Analysis, Jan. 28). The editorial cited a recent study about glaciers in the Himalayas to try to downplay the effects of climate change. However, as your editorial noted, the study was limited. Dirk Scherler, the study’s lead author, told Reuters news agency, “Overall in the Himalayas, the glaciers are retreating.” The editorial misrepresented science in the service of its ideological opposition to government policies aimed at reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/2/debating-carbon-dioxide-emissions/ Give Me The Green Light. Businesses respond to signals, not speeches. High unemployment tells companies to hold off on production, and low interest rates tell companies to borrow, but State of the Union addresses don't have the power to tell companies to do anything. So when the president says he's committed to green energy, that's fine. But the U.S. isn't giving alternative energy companies the green light. We're giving off something more like a ruddish-yellow light, as if to say: Go ahead if you'd like, but proceed at your own caution. Posted. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/give_me_the_green_light.html Air District Needs True Transparency, Collaboration. Regardless of recent claims by the air district that the air is cleaner, the health of San Joaquin Valley residents is indicative that more can be done. Polluted air is still responsible for 2,400 premature deaths in the region, and is linked to heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other serious acute and chronic health conditions. The valley also continues to have the highest childhood asthma prevalence in the state, almost double that of the state average. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/02/1539716/air-district-needs-true-transparency.html BLOGS Another Challenge to Greenhouse Gas Regulation. Three Republican lawmakers have joined the bandwagon of opponents of Environmental Protection Agency regulation of climate-altering gases. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Representatives Fred Upton of Michigan and Ed Whitfield of Kentucky are circulating a draft of a bill dubbed the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 that takes aim squarely at the E.P.A.’s authority to impose limits on emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/another-challenge-to-greenhouse-gas-regulation/?pagemode=print Disputed Power Plant For San Joaquin Valley Clears Hurdle. Should all new power plants install the "best available technology" to control pollution? Not necessarily, the Obama administration said on Tuesday, reversing a long-held policy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, battling an industry lawsuit, told a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia that it would allow a controversial gas-fired plant to be built in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the nation's most polluted regions. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/02/avenal-power-plant-san-joaquin-valley-pollution.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 It's Baaaccck! Lawmakers To Try Again For 33 Percent Renewable Energy Standard. They say in Sacramento that no idea ever dies, it just returns the next year. That's the case for an ambitious clean energy proposal, which failed to get out of the Legislature in the wee hours at the end of the last legislative session because the clock ran out. Today, lawmakers announced they have reintroduced the bill, which mandates that utilities get 33 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020 -- the so-called "renewable portfolio standard." Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=82321 US States Take Initiative On Cap-And-Trade. As Congress fights over whether or not to block the US Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions, 23 states are moving ahead on one level or another to take climate legislation into their own hands and institute cap-and-trade schemes at the local level. California’s is by far the most comprehensive state system being instituted, and cap-and-trade is to begin in the state in 2012. Posted. http://blogs.ft.com/energy-source/2011/02/03/us-states-take-initiative-on-cap-and-trade/ Auto Industry Repeating Pattern of Overstating Cost to Comply with Pollution Standards. As I blogged about earlier, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) recently sent letters to the new House leadership claiming the cost for meeting future fuel economy standards are twice as high as those recently estimated by three government agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/rhwang/as_i_blogged_about_earlier.html