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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 14, 2011.

Posted: 14 Feb 2011 15:04:01
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 14, 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.


Environmental Enforcement: Cement Maker to Pay $1.4 Million
Penalty. Cemex, Inc., one of the largest cement producers in the
United States, has agreed to pay a $1.4 million penalty for Clean
Air Act violations at its cement plant in Fairborn, Ohio, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice
Department announced Thursday. In addition to the penalty,
Houston-based Cemex agreed to spend an estimated $2 million on
pollution controls that will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides
(NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), pollutants that can contribute to
childhood asthma, acid rain, and smog. Posted.

EPA Says New Plan Would Cut Smog And Save Jobs.  Federal
officials unveiled a plan Friday to reduce nitrogen oxide
emissions at a coal-fired power plant in New Mexico where the
Arizona Public Service four months ago proposed installing strict
pollution-control measures.  Under the Environmental Protection
Agency's latest proposal, smog-causing nitrogen oxides at the
Four Corners Power Plant would be reduced from 45,000 tons per
year to 5,800 tons per year, a reduction of 3,200 fewer tons from
the federal agency's initial plan.  Posted. 

JOSHUA TREE: Smog Continues To Plague National Park.   More than
1,200 square miles of open space, six mountain ranges, vast
valleys, striking pink granite boulders and its namesake desert
plant life make Joshua Tree National Park a paradise for visitors
escaping suburbia.  However, visitors often find they haven't
escaped entirely. Every summer, smog cooked up in industrial
zones and freeways 100 miles away blow into the park on sea
breezes, sullying the air, ruining the views and encouraging the
growth of fire-prone weeds.  Posted. 


E.U. Climate Chief Has Work Cut Out for Her. Brussels — Connie
Hedegaard embodies the way the European Commission would like to
be perceived in the 21st century. Ms. Hedegaard, 50, leads the
commission’s efforts on climate change, an issue with global
resonance, and she is a confident and telegenic communicator,
helping dislodge the commission’s image as a haven for graying
politicians who settle fights over fish quotas. She sums up her
job as keeping the European Union “in the front-running position
when it comes to being the most energy-efficient,
climate-friendly region in the world.” Posted.

Republicans Gut EPA Climate Rules, Slash Deeply Into Climate
Research, Aid and Technology Programs. House Republicans
introduced spending legislation Friday that would strip U.S. EPA
of its ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, gut the
State Department's climate aid programs and slash funding for
energy and climate research across the federal government. The
continuing resolution (CR), which would fund government
operations through Sept. 30, seeks to trim $100 billion from the
fiscal 2011 budget President Obama proposed last year. Posted.

Making Climate Change Real At Oakland High School. The 200
engrossed students at Oakland Unity High School kept their eyes
glued to the projector screen and hardly uttered a sound during
the 45-minute presentation - the most striking exception coming
at the part of the special school assembly that featured cow
farts. It turns out bovine flatulence contributes to greenhouse
gases. That was just one of several topics covered in the
assembly, which was offered by the Alliance for Climate
Education, an Oakland nonprofit that is trying to educate
students about climate change one school at a time. Posted.

House Republicans Open A Major Budget Battle, Proposing Deep Cuts
Into Energy, Environment And Climate Spending. House Republicans
are hurtling toward a collision with Obama Democrats as they
prepare to launch a major defunding offensive tomorrow on energy
programs, U.S. EPA and mass transportation projects --
cornerstones of the president's agenda. The effort to cut $100
billion from the budget for the remaining fiscal year marks the
Republicans' first test at leading a majority energized by
freshman conservatives elected, in many cases, after attacking
climate policies and runaway government spending last year.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/14/1

Budget Proposal Focuses On Air And Climate Rules, Cuts Water
Grants. U.S. EPA would take a 12.6 percent funding cut under
President Obama's budget request for fiscal 2012, which would
shrink the amount of grants for state and local water projects
while keeping money flowing toward enforcement and the new air
pollution regulations that House Republicans are trying to starve
of funding. The president's budget would include $9 billion for
EPA, down from the fiscal 2010 funding level of $10.3 billion
that has remained in place for the first five months of fiscal
2011. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/02/14/2


Valley Truckers Hit Hard By Rising Diesel Prices. Ten weeks of
rising diesel fuel prices are the latest blow to the trucking
industry, which has struggled to overcome a series of economic
challenges recently. For trucking companies, the average $3.74 a
gallon fuel -- a 70-cent increase from last year -- comes at a
time when they would otherwise be gearing up for an economic
turnaround. In addition, many still are recovering from pricey
expenditures to meet clean-air rules. Many Valley companies pass
on costs to customers with fuel surcharges, but for others that's
not an optionPosted.

Gas For $4 A Gallon? Are you ready for $4-a-gallon gas again? For
the first time in three years, pump prices this year may reach
the psychologically frightening $4 threshold, which is sure to
change some drivers’ habits. Gas prices are already the highest
they've been since 2008, and a growing number of energy analysts
think they will keep rising until the current $3.45 a gallon in
the South Bay seems cheap. "Gasoline prices will breach $4 a
gallon in San Jose at some point in April or May," predicted
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at gasbuddy.comPosted.

MIT Grad's Invention Turns Brewery Waste To Fuel.  Before he
started "saving the earth, one beer at a time," all inventor Eric
Fitch knew about home brewing was that it could make quite a
mess.  Once, he accidentally backed up the plumbing in his
apartment building by dumping into his garbage disposal the spent
grain left over from his India Pale Ale home brew. The
oatmeal-looking gunk choked the pipes in his Cambridge, Mass.,
building, flooding the basement.  Posted. 



In Holland, Land Of Windmills, Flap Over Wind Farm. Netherlands
(AP) --On an outcrop near this town's lighthouse, a woman in
stone perpetually scans the horizon for the fishing fleet
returning home. To the dismay of townspeople, her view may soon
be obscured by some of the world's tallest wind turbines. In this
eco-friendly nation where windmills are embedded in the culture,
it may seem strange that a spat over wind power threatens to land
in the country's highest court. But these turbines are a far cry
from the squat four-bladed mills used for centuries to drain the
swamps and create new land from the sea. Posted.



ENERGY: With Government Help, Solar's Cost Approaches Fossil
Fuels'.  Solar electricity costs slightly more than fossil fuel
generation, but only because of built-in government subsidies,
analysts and utility officials said.  Federal and California
public policies promote solar, wind and other renewable power
sources because they release no carbon dioxide into the air,
reducing the state's contribution to global warming.  Posted. 

KB Home To Lure Buyers With Energy Bill Savings.  Homebuilders
say one of the biggest advantages of buying a newly built home is
energy efficiency. However, some of the ways that builders make
homes burn less cash might not be as recognizable to buyers as
say, kitchen appliances, generous closets and bathroom amenities.
So now some builders are boiling energy efficiency down to
something every buyer understands: money.  Posted. 





Alternative Energy Investors Not Seeing Green Yet.  President
Barack Obama laid out an ambitious goal in his latest State of
the Union address: By 2035, America will get 80 percent of its
electricity from clean energy sources.  Achievable? Maybe, if you
consider that Obama's expansive definition of clean energy
includes nuclear and emerging clean coal technologies, which many
environmentalists don't embrace as ways to combat greenhouse
gases.  Posted. 

RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Supervisors Begin Renewable Energy Lobbying
Push.  Riverside County supervisors want to begin flexing their
muscles in the ongoing renewable energy rush.  The county is
proving to be a hotbed for solar, wind and geothermal energy, and
supervisors don't want to disproportionately bear the cost of its
production.  They don't want to see transmission lines, for
instance, crisscrossing the county to carry power to other
population centers without seeing any financial benefit for local
residents.  Posted. 

Eye On The Environment: Green Business Certification Provides
Validation.  Any business can claim to be "green," giving it
marketing advantages and attracting customers, but the claim may
not actually reflect exemplary environmental practices.  Green
business certification programs offer third-party validation — a
neutral body, generally either a nonprofit organization or
government agency, checks whether a business deserves
certification using a list of minimum criteria. Certification
programs exist for organic farming, sustainable architecture,
low-energy appliances and other commercial ventures.  Posted. 

Ontario Shuts Down All Offshore Wind Projects. In a surprise move
Friday, Ontario halted all pending and proposed offshore wind
projects. The action comes at a sensitive time for the offshore
wind industry on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. There are
no operational offshore wind farms in North America, and the
Canadian industry had been looking to Ontario as a potential
first mover because of its access to the northern Great Lakes.
The decision nullifies a contract for an offshore wind project
awarded by the Ontario Power Authority and blocks approval and
consideration of all other applications for offshore wind farms.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/02/14/5/

Obama Proposal Promotes Clean Tech, Slashes Fossil Energy. The
White House continued efforts today to beef up investment in
nuclear and renewable energy technologies in its $29.5 billion
fiscal 2012 spending request for the Department of Energy. The
clean-tech increases would come at the expense of fossil energy
spending, including the perennial request to eliminate billions
in tax incentives for the oil and gas industry. Posted.


Emmerson Measure Would Slash Tire Pressure Fines. Sacramento -
Car repair shops cited for failing to verify customers' tire
pressure would face much smaller penalties under an Inland
Southern California lawmaker's legislation introduced this week.
The California Air Resources Board approved tire inflation rules
in 2009 as a way to improve motorists' mileage and eliminate an
estimated 700,000 tons of heat-trapping emissions linked to
global warming. The regulations took effect last September.
Violators face stiff penalties -- jail time and up to a $1,000

What Will The Cars Of The Future Look Like?  A vehicle big enough
to comfortably carry six adults and get better than 40 miles per
gallon?  It’ll be on the road before 2020, predicted Henry
Hansel, president of the Hansel Auto Group and a 38-year auto
industry veteran.  “I’m absolutely confident of that,” Hansel
said.  With $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon — some analysts
say later this year in California — the demand for powerful,
economic cars and trucks is inescapable.  Posted. 

Read Me Green: Eco Book Awards.  Mallory, a popular children's
fiction heroine, has decided to make her home and school more
eco-friendly. She wants to get her friends to join in, but can
she convince them?  Read all about it in "Mallory Goes Green" by
Laurie B. Friedman, illustrated by Jennifer Kalis.  The book,
published by Darby Creek/Lerner Publishing Group, was just named
one of the 2011 Green Earth Award Book Winners by the Newton
Marasco Foundation.  Posted. 

Students' Solar-Energy Showcase Is Kicked Off Mall.  At a coffee
shop in Los Angeles, Elisabeth Neigert listened to some of the
most memorable words in President Obama's State of the Union
address. "Win the future," Obama said of the quest to develop
alternative energy and wean the nation off fossil fuels. "This is
our generation's Sputnik moment."  Posted. 


The Global Food Crisis and Climate Change. To the Editor: Re
“Droughts, Floods and Food” (column, Feb. 7): Paul Krugman makes
a great point in connecting the global food crisis to the effects
of climate change. The 2007 Assessment of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change suggests that this problem will only
worsen: yields from rain-fed agriculture in some African
countries may decrease by 50 percent by 2020 because of climate
change. So what will we do? President Obama and other G-8 leaders
have committed to mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to help
developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of
climate change. Posted.

Don't Weaken EPA.  The following editorial appeared in the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday, Feb. 11: Temperatures in
Wisconsin are expected to rise by midcentury by an annual average
of 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study by
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists and others in state
government. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration reported that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest
year on record based on global surface temperature. It was also
the wettest year on record worldwide, the NOAA reported.  Posted.

EDITORIAL: Windmill Power: We'll Need More Than 13,000. 
California law requires that by 2020, a third of our energy
production should come from clean sources such as wind. We seem
to be well on our way: California already has some 13,000
commercial wind turbines. But if that sounds like a lot, consider
that a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab researcher recently told
Climate Watch he believes we'll need 5,000 more to hit that goal.


Gingrich’s Energy Policies Rile Conservative Critics. In a speech
at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual
gathering of conservative activists, Newt Gingrich, the former
House speaker, called last week for a radical shift in national
energy and environmental policy, including the total dismantling
of the Environmental Protection Agency, the relaxation of coal
mining regulations and quick approval for offshore drilling
projects in the Arctic. The reaction from some conservative
commentators was swift and harsh. Posted.

Vanishing Cap And Trade In Obama's 2012 Budget. In President
Obama's new budget plan, the idea of comprehensive climate
legislation appears to have disappeared into thin air. The phrase
cap and trade -- the touchstone of the climate legislation
battles over the past two years -- does not appear in the
216-page budget summary. Nor is there any mention of climate
legislation or its impact. In fiscal year 2011, the
administration included a line in its revenue projections for
climate change legislation, …Posted.

Circular Reasoning. Just a difference of opinion, except for the
dying part. People don't like being called stupid, but let's face
it. One side or the other is sometimes being stupid. Let's see if
we can decide which. On the climate change side we have:
Plausible theory: -Carbon Dioxide, a long-acknowledged
heat-trapping gas, is increasing in the atmosphere due to human
activity. -Scientists measure this, and do their best with
imperfect data to model and predict consequences. -The measuring
of CO2 levels throughout history and the effect on climate is
tabulated. Posted.

Climate Change Challenge Update #5 Earl Honsteder wrote, "Climate
EDITORS what abusive priests did for the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile you threatend our children with DEATH BY CO2, caused
needless and costly panic and wasted 25 years on climate control,
instead of POPULATION control. I'm calling my D.A. You media fear
mongers should be brought to court for this." Thanks for your
post Earl! But again the challenge is to find some scientific
support for your claims here. Posted.

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