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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 1, 2011

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 12:57:37
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 30-April 1,
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


An Energy Plan Derailed by Events Is Being Retooled. IN just over
two years in the White House, President Obama has seen the major
elements of his energy and climate-change strategy demolished by
a succession of economic, political, technical and natural
disasters. Mr. Obama came into office promising to enact a
market-based system to combat global warming and encourage
development of alternative energy sources. He endorsed a
cap-and-trade system in his first State of the Union address and
budget and began pushing for comprehensive legislation to place
the nation on a path to a future less addicted to imported oil
and more reliant on clean energy alternatives. Posted.

Obama goal to cut oil imports is well within reach.  NEW YORK --
When President Obama called for reducing the nation's oil imports
by one-third by 2025 in a speech Wednesday, he echoed similar
goals - still unfulfilled - set by every president since Richard
Nixon.  Posted. 

Obama sets ambitious goal to reduce U.S. oil imports.  WASHINGTON
— Seeking to show the public he understands the burden of rising
gas prices, President Barack Obama set an ambitious goal of
reducing U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025, and vowed to
break through the political gridlock that has stymied similar
initiatives for decades.  Posted. 

Obama to detail US energy security strategy.  WASHINGTON — Facing
pressure to curb rising gasoline prices, President Barack Obama
is calling for the U.S. to reduce its oil imports by one third by
2025, a lofty goal likely to run into significant obstacles. 

Obama seeks one-third cut in oil imports.  “Those of us who are
concerned about climate change, we’ve got to recognize that
nuclear power — if it’s safe — can make a significant
contribution to the climate change question,” he said. “And I’m
determined to ensure that it’s safe.”  Posted. 

Obama renews pitch for clean energy to reduce oil appetite. 
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a
goal to cut U.S. reliance on foreign oil by one-third by 2025,
saying that demand from growing economies such as China and India
probably will force prices up in the long term.  Posted. 


U.S. to reduce oil imports by a third by 2021, Obama says. 
WASHINGTON (NEWSCORE) -- US President Barack Obama outlined
Wednesday a new plan to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign
oil, expand oil production and increase the use of natural gas in
vehicles.  Posted.  


POLITICS: Greens see EPA-sized hole in Obama energy pivot.  For
environmentalists fighting to save U.S. EPA regulatory authority
from the budgetary chopping block, the most pivotal part of
President Obama's energy speech yesterday was what it failed to
mention.  Posted. 

Sector Snap: Natural Gas Dealers Up On High Prices. A one-two
punch of winter storms and energy policy talk from President
Barack Obama sent shares of a wide range of natural gas companies
up sharply Wednesday. AccuWeather.com says a strengthening storm
could knock out power in the Northeast this week, avalanches and
high winds are striking the Northwest and a shot of winter chill
will hit the Midwest next week.  Posted. 

Obama to highlight alternative-fuel vehicle partnership plan.  US
President Barack Obama Friday will highlight a public-private
partnership to help large US companies reduce diesel and gasoline
use in their vehicle fleets by incorporating alternative-fuel
vehicles and other measures, the White House said in an early
morning statement.  Posted. 

Obama touts partnership to clean commercial fleets.  The White
House will work with major corporations, including AT&T Inc.,
FedEx Corp. and UPS Inc., to reduce fuel consumption in their
fleets and integrate advanced hybrid and electric vehicles to the
commercial sector.  Posted. 

Obama showcases fuel-saving vehicles.  WASHINGTON -- With one eye
on the gas pump and the other on his energy agenda, President
Barack Obama is showcasing fuel-efficient vehicles as part of his
goal to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil.  The president was
to make a short trip Friday to Landover, Md., to visit a UPS
shipping facility that features fuel-saving vehicles. Obama was
to launch a public-private partnership designed to help large
commercial fleets cut back on their diesel and gasoline use. 






Mr. Obama’s Energy Vision.  It was instructive and depressing
this week to watch President Obama and Congressional Republicans
marching in completely different directions on energy policy. Mr.
Obama reminded us that charting a clean energy future is not a
pipe dream and that America can reduce its dependence on foreign
oil. The Republicans reminded us how hard it will be to get
there.  Posted. 

What a clean-energy standard is, and why we’re talking about it. 
Whether you think the energy plan President Obama announced
yesterday is worth applauding depends on whether you think a
clean-energy standard is worth supporting. For most people, that
raises a second question: What’s a clean-energy standard? 

Explaining Obama’s car talk.  President Obama likes to spend time
talking about batteries, but on Friday he’s talking cars.
Specifically, a new Energy Department program encouraging private
companies to buy more alternative fuel vehicles.  Posted. 

Obama’s New Plan for Old Goal, Cutting Oil Imports.  You can
choose from music or film — “ Same as it Ever Was…,” “ Groundhog
Day”– to find the same feeling of echoey familiarity contained in
President Obama’s latest speech trying to break through America’s
“ shock to trance” approach to energy, and particularly oil. His
central goal is to cut oil imports by a third over the next
decade.. Click here to scan coverage and reactions.  Posted. 

Obama Pushes Energy Savings From ‘Clean Fleets’.  President Obama
is joining with FedEx, UPS and several other major companies
whose vehicles are familiar sights on America’s roadways to
promote a new administration initiative encouraging businesses to
operate commercial fleets that burn less gasoline and diesel
fuel.  Posted. 


Cemtrex Outlook: EPA's MACT Regulation Will Have a Positive
Impact.  FARMINGDALE, N.Y., April 1, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ --
Cemtrex Inc. (OTC: CTEI) announced today that the EPA is expected
to issue new regulations for air pollution emissions from
electrical generating units (EGUs) based upon the Maximum
Achievable Control Technology (MACT) provisions of the Clean Air
Act Amendments in March 2011. The final regulations should be
promulgated by November 2011 and then power plants will have 36
months to comply.  Posted. 

Ruling: California can mandate cleaner ship fuels.  SAN FRANCISCO
-- A federal court has decided California officials have the
authority to require ships that stop in the state's ports to use
cleaner marine fuels to reduce pollution from engine exhaust. 
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Wednesday
in favor of the Vessel Fuel Rules, which mandate that ship
operators use less polluting fuel if they come within 24 nautical
miles of the California coast.  Posted. 






Senate Resolution on Clean Air Act Benefits Slammed as 'Work of
Fiction', by JunkScience.com.  WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 --
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Senate resolution introduced citing
enormous public health and economic benefits from the Clean Air
Act was denounced as "a work of fiction" today by
JunkScience.com.  Introduced yesterday by Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-Vt.) and 33 other members of the Democratic caucus, the
resolution parrots U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims
that the Clean Air Act saves millions of lives and adds trillions
of dollars to the economy.  Posted. 

Air pollution is another potentially deadly threat for U.S.
soldiers in Iraq.  As if U.S. troops serving in Iraq didn’t face
enough risk to life and limb already, these servicemen and women
are putting their long-term health at risk because the air in
Iraq is so polluted.  A study begun in 2008 is finding that much
of the air pollution in Iraq is of the most insidious sort – the
very small dust particles that can make their way deep into the
lungs and stay there.  Posted. 


Congress aims to curb EPA's power over gases, bugs.  The Obama
administration's bid to regulate greenhouse gases, after losing
last year's congressional debate over global warming, is making
the Environmental Protection Agency the focus of Republican
attacks on federal oversight.  Posted. 


Has Emissions Cap and Trade Created Toxic Hotspots? A New Study
Says No.  Despite concerns that date back to the early days of
emissions trading, a U.S. EPA program that lets coal-fired power
plants buy and sell the right to pollute hasn't hit poor people
and minorities with dirtier air than everyone else, according to
a new study (pdf).  Posted. 


CLIMATE: House to vote next week on EPA bill as Senate dithers. 
The House is poised to pass a bill next week that would prevent
U.S. EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas
emissions as Senate leaders continue grappling with when and how
to bring the same provision to the floor.  Posted. 

U.S. emissions down, report says.  WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) --
The economic recession and low energy prices contributed to the
largest decline in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in more than a
decade, the EIA said.  Posted. 

Berkeley scientists' climate data review puts them at center of
national debate.  An effort by a handful of UC Berkeley
scientists to reexamine temperature data underlying global
warming research has landed in the center of a national political
debate over government regulation.  Posted. 

Experts Heat Up Over Berkeley Lab Scientist's Quest to 'Calm'
Climate Change Debate.  The scientist heading up a controversial
review of land-surface temperature records has a simple goal. 
"What I really hope to do is calm the debate" over climate
change, said Richard Muller, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory and the director of the Berkeley Earth
Surface Temperature study (BEST).  Posted. 

Denial of climate change is irresponsible and dangerous.  SAN
FRANCISCO -- My daughter, age 5, is a member. Chances are, so is
a youngster you know. In fact, every child on Earth born after
June 23, 1988, belongs to what I call Generation Hot. These 2
billion young people will spend the rest of their lives coping
with the hottest, most volatile climate that civilization has
ever known.  Posted. 

EIA reports 5.8% year-to-year decline in US GHG emissions in
2009; 4.3% drop in transportation sector although vehicle miles
travelled increased.  Total US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
were 6,576 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent
(MMTCO2e) in 2009, a decrease of 5.8% from the 2008 level,
according to Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States
2009, a report released by the US Energy Information
Administration (EIA).  Posted. 

NATIONAL PARKS: Proposed construction cuts test GOP senator's
support for land buys.  A Republican senator and key supporter of
Interior Department land acquisitions yesterday criticized the
National Park Service for failing to address a growing backlog of
maintenance projects and argued funding might need to be shifted
from climate change or other agency programs.  Posted. 


Climate Corps interns help businesses save energy.  Cisco Systems
is installing energy-saving devices throughout its R&D labs. EBay
upgraded its lights to LED, installed power-management software
and replaced most of its desktop computers with laptops.
Shorenstein Properties adjusted the heating and cooling systems
for its buildings. Now it plans a road show to educate its
thousands of tenants about sustainability.  Posted. 

China charges up the on-ramp of the electric highway.  When it
comes to the future of electric cars, as with other green
technologies, the wild card is China.  The People's Republic has
invested billions in renewable energy and has become a solar
superpower in photovoltaic manufacturing. It's also poised to one
day potentially blow away the competition in wind turbine
production.  Posted. 

Aviation Welcomes Obama's Boost For Biofuels.  Aviation industry
expects to benefit from plans for at least four commercial-scale
biofuel refineries announced by President Barack Obama today as
part of an energy-security strategy to reduce U.S. oil imports by
a third by 2025.  Posted. 


Carmakers scramble to hire electric engineers.  DETROIT --
Engineering students and newcomers to the auto industry are
unfazed by the deep job cuts and troubles the industry has
suffered in recent years - especially those looking to become
tomorrow's electric vehicle engineers.  Posted. 



Vehicle-sharing network Zipcar opens in Sacramento.  Zipcars now
live in Sacramento.  City Council members approved the
partnership with Boston-area Zipcar Inc., at its meeting Tuesday
night. The car-sharing network with its flotilla of gas-sipping
economy cars carrying its banner of affordable, convenient
transportation opened for business Wednesday.  Posted. 

Start-Ups Work to Reinvent the Combustion Engine.  IN this city
where Toyota Priuses clog the roads and battery-powered Tesla
Roadsters and Chevrolet Volts can be spotted at the organic
farmers market, the engine factory in a gritty industrial
neighborhood near San Francisco Bay is a throwback to the
automotive past.  Posted. 

Pinnacle Engines Introduces Its Ultra-Efficient Combustion
Engine.  SAN CARLOS, Calif., March 31, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ --
Pinnacle Engines today unveiled plans to commercialize a
breakthrough ultra-efficient engine by 2013. The new engine
design enables significant reductions in fuel consumption and
greenhouse gas emissions without increasing vehicle cost.
Pinnacle also announced it has raised $13.5 million in venture
funding from NEA, Bessemer Venture Partners and Infield Capital. 

Lexus CT 200h is a multifaceted hybrid.  Lexus recently
introduced an all-new car, the CT 200h, and it's a hybrid in more
ways than one.  Unless you're a descendant of Gregor Mendel or
his peas, it's likely you think of hybrids in strictly automotive
terms.  But let us not forget that the term has long been more
broadly applied to the result of two dissimilar entities being
combined. Think of the pluot, a sweet combination of the plum and
apricot.  Posted. 

24.2 million EURO for electromobility in Europe.  The ‘Green
eMotion’ project will cover different types of electric vehicles,
the development of Smart Grids, innovative Information and
Communication Technologies solutions, and urban mobility concepts
with the aim to exchange and develop know-how and experience in
selected regions within Europe as well as facilitate the market
roll-out of electric vehicles in Europe.  Posted. 

SHIFT: From hybrids, technology, new vehicles and the
environment, to saving money at the pumps.  Could a new
lightweight material replace metal and carbon fiber?: Scientists
at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., have created a material
with the look, strength and durability of metal, but that can be
molded into complex shapes just like carbon fiber can - but as
simply and cheaply as plastic. They say the material could have
an impact on soci ety similar to the development of synthetic
plastics in the mid-20th century.  Posted. 


NYC green auction aids 4 groups.  NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City
benefit auction has raised $1.4 million for four environmental
groups, including the Central Park Conservancy.  Christie’s “The
Green Auction: A Bid to Save the Earth” also will benefit
Conservation International, Oceana, and the Natural Resources
Defense Council.  Posted. 

An ecological calculator to help make your home-buying decision. 
If you can apply a hard-headed business perspective to a home
purchase, you don’t need a deep understanding of environmental
issues to make a decision that is more environmentally benign,
said Mathis Wackernagel, the man who devised the Ecological
Footprint, a widely used metric for assessing the impact of human
activities on the earth’s resources.  Posted. 

Sacramento State expands environmental studies degrees. 
California State University, Sacramento is expanding the types of
degrees students can earn in environmental studies.  The
university is now offering both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor
of Arts degrees in environmental studies. The B.S. requires
students take more hard science classes, while the B.A. requires
more classes focused on policy and planning.  Posted. 

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board seeks
student videos.  Students and teachers have a chance to help
clean the air with 30-second videos promoting bicycle riding,
carpooling and other practices.  The San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District is holding its third annual For Reel
Video Contest for elementary through college entrants.  Posted. 


MILLOY: Defund EPA’s enablers.  NPR is not the only partisan
political organization that ought to have its public funding cut.
Congress should put the American Lung Association (ALA) on the
chopping block, too.  As Congress went on recess last week, the
ALA took out billboard advertising in Michigan targeting House
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan
Republican. The billboard ad features a child with an oxygen mask
over her face and reads, "Rep. Fred Upton, protect our kids'
health. Don't weaken the Clean Air Act."  Posted. 

Need clean energy.  After reading the March 29 opinion piece by
Assembly Member David Valadao regarding loosening up requirements
to encourage and allow petroleum-based energy production in
California, I am very concerned with his logic.  Posted. 


Republicans Get Inconvenient Replies at Climate Hearing.  Richard
Muller,  a Berkeley physicist who at times has been embraced by
foes of action to limit greenhouse gases because of his criticism
of depictions of catastrophic global warming, was a star witness
at  a hearing today organized by Republican lawmakers. I’ll be
adding some observations from the hearing below as time allows.
Add yours, of course!  Posted. 

E.P.A. Eases Way for Alternative-Fuel Engine Conversions.  The
Environmental Protection Agency has revised its alternative-fuel
conversion regulations for light and heavy-duty vehicles, making
it easier for manufacturers to sell conversions that are
compliant with clean-air laws. The 186-page ruling provides an
exemption from a Clean Air Act prohibition against tampering when
converting an engine to run on alternative fuel.  Posted. 

Coal, Jobs and America’s Energy Future.  No one should be
surprised to learn that in trying to woo a reluctant community,
developers in just about every industry tend to exaggerate — or
perhaps optimistically overestimate — the number of jobs they
expect to create by building that new shopping mall, industrial
park, widget factory or other project.  Posted. 

On Our Radar: Senator Expects Vote on Delaying E.P.A. Rules. 
Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, has pledged to bring to a
vote an amendment blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s
authority to regulate climate-warming gases for two years,
Senator Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, says in a statement. “I
hope we will have the opportunity to vote on this measure within
the next day or so,” said Mr. Webb, an opponent of E.P.A.
emissions rules for stationary sources like power plants. [Blue
Virginia]  Posted. 

Solar, Wind, and Nuclear: South Africa’s New Electricity Plan. 
You might think that this would be the sort of month to hold off
on investing in a new nuclear reactor. But even as some countries
are taking a step back — Germany has taken seven of its oldest
plants offline, Italy has declared a one-year moratorium on a
plan to re-establish its nuclear industry, and China has
temporarily suspended approvals of new plants — South Africa is
moving confidently ahead.  Posted. 

Piston Engine Holds Promise for Fuel Economy.  As I wrote in
Thursday’s Times, several start-ups backed by Silicon Valley
venture capital firms are developing a new type of internal
combustion engine that promises a striking boost in fuel economy
while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Posted. 

Your neighborhood tour bus: use it or lose it?  Proximity to
Alamo Square, a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, stellar,
sweeping views and gorgeous architecture. On the other, abysmal
parking and constant crowds of visitors, most of them transported
to the Square by giant tour bus.  Posted. 

Brooklyn Motorized: Electric With a Jolt of Retro Style.  Last
December, Neil Young played a venue opposite the offices of the
Brooklyn Motorized Corporation, an electric-motorcycle start-up
situated among the red brick warehouses of Gowanus, Brooklyn. 

Everybody Panic: California dealers reportedly running out of
Prius models.  The Japan earthquake and tsunami has left the vast
majority of Japanese auto plants without parts or power at least
temporarily, and the good folks of California are beginning to
feel the pinch. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Toyota
Prius is in very short supply in The Golden State, leading many
car buyers to move up their purchases in fear of not being able
to get their precious hybrid at a later date.  Posted. 

3-D Lithium-Ion Batteries Are Lighter and Charge in Minutes.  A
new type of lithium-ion battery that features a 3-D interior
structure is able to recharge in just a few minutes, can be
discharged over twice as many times as traditional lithium-ion
batteries and is thinner and lighter than existing versions --
essentially the dream battery for electric cars.  Posted. 

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