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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 14, 2011 Posted: 14 Mar 2011 11:43:59
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 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. AIR POLLUTION Damaged Nuclear-Power Plants Could Spew Range of Emissions. A damaged nuclear-power plant can release a range of radioactive materials: some relatively harmless, others more dangerous. The process that splits uranium using high heat creates more than 100 new chemical substances, said Joseph Mangano, executive director of nonprofit Radiation and Public Health Project, which researches the effects of radiation on public health. In a total meltdown, several radioactive gases are released on the less-toxic end of the spectrum, including nitrogen-16, tritium and krypton. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576199022182617758.html?mod=googlenews_wsj EPA Tangles With New Critic: Labor. Washington—The Obama administration's environmental agenda, long a target of American business, is beginning to take fire from some of the Democratic Party's most reliable supporters: Labor unions. Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants. Their contention: Roughly half a dozen rules expected to roll out within the next two years could put thousands of jobs in jeopardy and damage the party's 2012 election prospects. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704076804576180384094409812.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Get Rid Of Indoor Pollution In Your House. Pop quiz: Which environment is more polluted? A. The air inside your home. B. The air in your back yard. If you guessed B, outdoor air, you failed. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is more pollution inside your home than there is outside. You can even smell your indoor pollution – the scent of new cabinets, new carpet, pressed wood, leather furniture, new paint, spray paint, car emissions from attached garages, plastics, pet dander, gas leaks, household cleaners and scented air fresheners and plug-ins. Posted. http://articles.ocregister.com/2011-03-11/news/28684490_1_indoor-air-pollution-air-fresheners-carbon-monoxide White House Gets An Earful On Power Plant Rules. High-level Obama administration officials have gotten involved as U.S. EPA has prepared to unveil a plan to crack down on toxic air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants, suggesting the White House is keeping a close eye on rules that could have the greatest impact of any environmental regulations issued under President Obama, experts say. The Office of Management and Budget has held at least 10 meetings with stakeholders as it has reviewed the proposed rules, which have to be released by Wednesday under a legal deadline. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/14/12 CLIMATE CHANGE EPA Chief Lisa Jackson Perpetually On Capitol Hill Hot Seat. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson maintained a poker face as she spoke at a congressional budget hearing last week. As the Obama administration's point person for environmental regulations, Jackson received her seventh grilling on Capitol Hill this month, more than any other federal agency director has faced, according to committee and agency staffs. At Friday's joint hearing of two House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittees, Jackson addressed familiar questions, most of them from Republican lawmakers. How would you describe carbon? "As black carbon soot," Jackson answered in part. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/13/AR2011031303813_pf.html House GOP Targets State's Tough Emission Standards. Washington - -- Taking advantage of a spike in gasoline prices, House Republicans are moving rapidly to gut California's landmark controls on greenhouse-gas emissions from cars as a way to prevent the tougher state standards from spreading nationwide. The legislation, HR910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, would revoke the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to grant California the federal waivers it needs to impose tougher fuel-efficiency requirements based on carbon emissions Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/14/MNM11I9C7N.DTL&type=printable California May Start Carbon Trade Without Allies, Chief Says. By Simon Lomax - Mar 14, 2011 California, which is seeking to build a regional carbon market for the U.S. West and parts of Canada, may start its cap-and-trade program next year even if other jurisdictions aren’t ready, a state official said. “We could do the program on our own, but we’d rather not,” California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols told reporters today after speaking at an International Emissions Trading Association conference in Washington. The air resources board last year identified New Mexico and Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia in Canada as governments that may be ready to join a regional carbon market in 2012. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-14/california-may-start-carbon-trade-without-allies-chief-says-1-.html Corn May Be More Vulnerable to Warming, Stanford Study Shows. Corn, the world’s second-most- widely grown grain, may be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought, based on a study led by Stanford University that examined data from field trials. The study found that a gain of 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperatures would lower yields for 65 percent of Africa’s corn fields assuming optimal rainfall, Stanford said in an online statement. The same warming under drought conditions would cut corn yields for all of Africa, with declines of 20 percent or more in 75 percent of growing areas, the study showed. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-14/corn-may-be-more-vulnerable-to-warming-stanford-study-shows.html Earth's Ancient Trees Cloned To Save Climate. Copemish, Mich. – Redwoods and sequoias towering majestically over California's northern coast. Oaks up to 1,000 years old nestled in a secluded corner of Ireland. The legendary cedars of Lebanon. They are among the most venerable trees on Earth, remnants of once-vast populations decimated by logging, development, pollution and disease. A nonprofit organization called Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is rushing to collect their genetic material and replant clones in an audacious plan to restore the world's ancient forests and put them to work cleansing the environment and absorbing carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas largely responsible for global warming. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/14/v-print/3472925/earth-ancient-trees.html Climate-Change Law: Why CA Environmentalists Are Fighting Each Other. San Francisco—Last November, mainstream environmental groups and environmental justice groups joined forces to defeat a ballot measure that would have suspended California’s climate-change law. Now, the two sides are at odds—over the very same legislation they helped to save. The rift was brought into sharp relief in January, when a San Francisco County Superior Court judge issued a tentative decision in a 2009 lawsuit by environmental justice groups that challenged how state regulators drew up their blueprint for carrying out the climate law. Posted. http://newamericamedia.org/2011/03/cap-and-trade-story-here.php# FUELS Placer County renewable energy firm suing over rights to methane gas from landfill. These are boom times for the green energy sector, but Laura Rasmussen's tiny renewable energy company is fighting for its life. Rasmussen's company, Energy 2001, makes electricity from gas at the Placer County landfill near Roseville. The company should be well-positioned to capitalize on today's rising energy prices and abundant green subsidies. Instead, the past 18 months have been filled with conflict. Rasmussen has sued the government agency that owns the landfill, alleging that it failed to adequately maintain pipelines. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/03/13/v-print/3469761/placerville-renewable-energy-firm.html GREEN ENERGY Natural Gas, Scrutinized, Pushes for Growth. KENEDY — At a packed meeting here one evening last week, natural gas industry boosters told long tables of ranchers and townspeople about anticipated jobs and economic opportunities. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/us/11ttgas.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse Done With the Wind. By unleashing human ingenuity, the world can solve its energy woes. Wind power won't do it. To power the future, many commentators today exhort us to buy lots of “green energy”—chiefly solar panels and wind turbines. They claim this is a way to avoid running out of fossil fuel, to create “green jobs” and greater energy security, and to respond to global warming. However, these arguments mostly fail on closer inspection. We have long been fearful of our energy supply running out. In 1865, popular opinion—led by some of the world’s most esteemed scientists—held that Britain’s coal reserves would soon become exhausted. Posted. http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/13/done-with-the-wind.html Close To Home: Wind Energy And Lost Wallets. In the debate over the costs of his offshore wind energy proposal [“Questions of costs, jobs and influence surround O’Malley’s offshore wind proposal,” March 3], Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has scored some points. But he has missed the elephant in the room. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/close-to-home-wind-energy-and-lost-wallets/2011/03/10/ABsfNVR_story.html Google, Microsoft Execs Tout Benefits Of Soaring Information Technology Energy Use. San Francisco -- Top environmental executives at Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. found themselves on the same stage last week in an eye-opening forum here on energy use by the information technology industry. And they even managed to agree on a few things. The corporate rivals sent Rob Bernard, Microsoft's top environmental strategist, and Bill Weihl, Google's green energy czar, to the Commonwealth Club to record a radio program on how the Internet giants are coping with growing energy appetites connected to the IT sector. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/14/3 European Wind Energy Industry Calls For Binding 2030 Renewables Target. The European wind energy industry has today called upon the EU to adopt a binding renewable energy target for 2030 in order to help secure long-term investment in the low carbon energy market. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) released a new report, titled EU Energy Policy to 2050, at its annual conference in Brussels calling on the EU to drive investment in the sector by setting renewable energy targets for the period after 2020, moving forward with proposals for Emissions Performance Standards, and tightening the bloc's Emissions Trading System. Posted. http://www.businessgreen.com/print_article/bg/news/2033882/european-wind-energy-industry-calls-binding-2030-renewables-target VEHICLES With Gas Prices Rising, First Electric Vehicle Owners Are Charged Up. Early adopters of battery powered cars say they are satisfied with their purchases, despite some hassles. Gas prices are rising, and drivers are fretting. But not Roy Olson. The Rancho Mirage retiree drives a plug-in hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt, which he said runs for about 40 miles on battery before switching to traditional fuel. Because he charges the car nightly, Olson has yet to visit a gas station. "Having our future in our own hands is really important," he said. Posted. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/12/business/la-fi-ev-owners-20110312 New Business To Build Mobile EV Charging Units. In anticipation of a growing electric vehicle market, two Phoenix entrepreneurs are developing a business that would help stranded motorists who are stuck with dead batteries and want to avoid being towed. The company plans to use mobile chargers to recharge empty batteries. This all, of course, comes as automakers are making serious efforts to produce reliable electric cars. Nissan, Ford Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. all have models set to hit or already on the market. Eric Edberg, co-founder of EV Mobile Charging Services, created the mobile car charger with his business partner. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/14/11 OPINION EDITORIAL: Sound Steps Toward Long-Term Energy Policy. Gasoline prices are approaching $4 a gallon, and could hit $5 this summer. But as long as this country uses so much energy and depends so heavily on foreign oil, we are at the mercy of a manipulated market. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/03/14/2309382/editorial-sound-steps-toward-long.html#storylink=misearch Gasoline Additives Probably Don’t Affect Fuel’s Environmental Impact Very Much. Gasoline is a complex mixture of, well . . . stuff. The thick crude oil that comes out of the earth bears little resemblance to the gasoline powering your Porsche. To make crude safe and useful for cars, refiners must add, alter and remove hundreds of chemicals. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/gasoline-additives-probably-dont-affect-fuels-environmental-impact-very-much/2011/03/02/ABA0mxO_story.html Calif. Legislature Expected To Replace RPS Order With Law This Week. A renewable power mandate poised to clear the California Legislature this week differs significantly from a sister version of the standard that went into effect under an executive order signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in 2008. The California Assembly this week is expected to take up and approve a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requiring utilities to generate 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, taking up where the state's 20-percent-by-2010 version left off. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/14/14 SHANNON GROVE: We Need To Roll Back, For Now, Greenhouse Gas Law. After three months in Sacramento, my focus remains the same -- put Kern County residents back to work through private sector job creation by reducing state government intervention, taxation and regulation. To that end, I have authored AB 333, a pivotal bill that confronts one of the many roadblocks standing in the way of significant economic recovery. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x233128506/SHANNON-GROVE-We-need-to-roll-back-for-now-greenhouse-gas-law Can Electric Vehicles Take Off? A Roadmap to Find the Answer. Electric cars are finally coming to market in the U.S., but what is the future potential for this much-touted technology? A good way to find out would be to launch demonstration projects in selected U.S. cities to determine if, given incentives and the proper infrastructure, the public will truly embrace plug-in vehicles. As instability in the Middle East pushes oil prices past $100 per barrel and gasoline prices toward $4 a gallon in the U.S., the need to find better ways to fuel our vehicles has never been more urgent. Posted. http://e360.yale.edu/content/print.msp?id=2380 Ban Blowers. EDITOR: I support the Sebastopol City Council resolution to restrict the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Exceptions should be allowed where no practical alternative exists, such as cleaning out rain gutters. Otherwise, for the sake of the environment and our health, there are better, non-polluting alternatives, such as rakes and brooms. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110312/OPINION/110319940 BLOGS ‘Republicans for Environmental Protection’ – Endangered Species? After watching Republican leaders in Congress last week stick with “same old” approaches to rising energy prices (extract, baby, extract ) and climate science (what, me worry? ), I began to wonder whether the group Republicans for Environmental Protection should be put forward as a candidate for the Endangered Species Act. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/republicans-for-environmental-protection-endangered-species/ Hearing Is Set in Climate Fraud Case. A nearly yearlong effort by Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II of Virginia to force the University of Virginia to turn over the documents of a prominent climatologist is headed to the state’s Supreme Court. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/hearing-is-set-in-climate-fraud-case/ Clean-Tech: A Decade Of Explosive Growth With More To Come. What a difference a decade makes. Once shunned as an industry only a tree-hugger could love, clean-tech has blossomed into an economic heavyweight, according to a report from research firm Clean Edge Inc. Companies working on green construction and the smart grid are proliferating, the study said. From less than 10,000 hybrid electric vehicles in 2000, now more than 1.4 million are speeding around U.S. roads. The solar photovoltaics market grew an average of 40% each year over the past decade to $71.2 billion in 2010 from $2.5 billion in 2000. The average cost of installing a photovoltaic system back then was $9 per peak watt; it’s now $4.82. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/03/clean-tech-renewable-energy-electric-cars.html Green Building: Solar Panels And Earthquake Faults Don't Mix. The Los Angeles Community College System, blessed with $5.7 billion in voter-approved bonds, had a grand plan to be a national model of green energy: its nine colleges would be self-sufficient in electricity thanks to solar, wind and geothermal power. But major blunders and miscalculations over the last six years cost the program $10 million, including $4 million for designs of solar and wind installations that would never move to construction. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/03/green-building-solar-panels-earthquake-faults.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29 Solar, Wind And Biomass Worth $188 Billion In 2010. The main renewable energy industries grew 35% last year, and revenues should double again this decade, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2011 report issued today by Clean Edge Inc., the Portland-based research company. This boom has been going on for a decade and shows no signs of stopping, the report said. Since 2000 the market for solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind has grown 20-fold, with the price to install solar panels falling by nearly half, and the percentage of the country's venture capital invested in the space growing from less than 1% to last year's 23%. Posted. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2011/03/solar-wind-and-biomass-worth-188-billion-in-2010 Moray Firth Rocks 'Could Store 15 Years Of Carbon Emissions'. Scientists estimate the Captain sandstone could hold emissions from power stations in Scotland using carbon capture and storage. Sandstone rocks under the North Sea could store at least 15 years of all Scotland's CO2 emissions from power stations and create tens of thousands of new jobs, an industry-sponsored report has claimed. The study has estimated that the rock formation, known as Captain sandstone, east of the Moray Firth, could eventually hold up to 100 years' worth of CO2 emissions from power stations in Scotland, using carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technologies which might be worth £10bn by 2025. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/14/moray-firth-carbon-capture-storage