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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.


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.

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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 


‘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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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