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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 25, 2011.

Posted: 25 Apr 2011 11:49:11
California Air Resources Board News Clips for April 25, 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.


Planners To Hear Quarry Dispute.  Jan Tucker and her husband hope
to retire to the dream home they bought last June in Temecula. 
But they see a shadow looming over their plans: an open-pit mine
proposed for the foothills just outside the city limits. Like
most opponents, she worries that the quarry will lead to
pollution, traffic backups and other problems that will ruin the
area's quality of life.  Posted. 

Sky Savers Program Offers Consumers Way to Save Green and Go
Green.  Go green and save some green through the Sky Savers
program, a public awareness campaign sponsored by the Ventura
County Air Pollution Control District. Sky Savers offers
consumers promotional discounts and coupons from eco-friendly and
green businesses throughout Ventura County.  Posted. 

Western Environmental Says It's Not Necessarily Source Of Foul
Odor. Soil plant defies state demands. Despite recent claims it
has operated for years without the proper permits, Western
Environmental Inc. continues to accept hazardous waste shipments
at its Mecca plant and maintains it is complying with the law.
Air quality and environmental health officials believe the
soil-recycling facility is the main source of the unusually
strong odor that has sickened Mecca residents downwind in recent
months. Posted.


Report Prompts Debate, Soul Searching On Enviros' Cap-And-Trade
Bill Tactics. A little-known associate professor at American
University kicked a hornet's nest last week when he released a
study that took aim at environmentalists' view of themselves as
underdogs, outgunned in financing and exposure by "Big Oil," "Big
Coal" and other industries interested in maintaining the
regulatory status quo. Posted.


NY Truckers Prevail in DERA Battle. Appellate Division of the New
York Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that contractors engaged
in state sponsored work are not required to abide by the
requirements of that state's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act
regulations. According to the wording of the DERA, passed by the
New York legislature in 2006, diesel powered heavy-duty vehicles
"owned by, operated by or on behalf of, or leased by" state
agencies and certain public authorities were to be required to
use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel … Posted.


HEMET: Slow-Fill CNG Station To Increase Efficiency.  The city of
Hemet will soon have a more efficient way to fill its
clean-energy fleet of city vehicles.  The City Council earlier
this month approved a bid that will result in a new slow-fill
compressed natural gas station at its city yard that will cut
down on the number of times vehicles have to stop and fill up
throughout the day.  Posted. 
Fuel For Car Or Cows? Many look to end corn subsidies for
ethanol.  Dairy and poultry industry leaders seek to end a state
subsidy for corn-based ethanol, which they claim has driven up
the price of their main feed.  Meanwhile, the ethanol plant in
Keyes has received a $1.88 million state grant for research on
possible alternatives to corn for making the fuel.  Posted. 


Electric Vehicle Conference Drives Through Washington.  The
Electric Drive Transportation Association rolled its annual
conference into Washington last week, bringing with it a parade
of electric and hybrid vehicles charged with reconciling the
country’s transportation, energy and climate demands.  Posted. 

How Often Are Smog Checks Due? Q: Larry A. Roberts, a San Jacinto
resident, asked about smog-check information mentioned in a
column a few months ago. Another reader had asked whether SUVs
are exempt from state smog checks (they're not). The answer
mentioned that "vehicles registered in some ZIP codes within
western Riverside and San Bernardino counties are subject to
every-other-year smog checks." Roberts said in an email, "I
thought the every-other-year smog check was throughout
California. Posted.

Program Aims At Fixing Clunkers. REPAIRS: A state plan will pay
up to $975 to fix vehicles that fail the tailpipe portion of the
smog check. Now is the time to take that smog-causing clunker out
of the garage and get it fixed. A state program is offering
California drivers up to $975 each to pay for testing, diagnosis
and repair of vehicles that fail the tailpipe portion of the smog
check. Posted.

Will Buying An Electric Car Make An Environmental Difference?
Sure, you might get a carpool sticker and a tax break. But if you
buy an electric car, will it make much environmental difference?
Experts say that depends on three factors: What were you driving
before? How is your electricity generated? And how many other
electric cars are going to be sold? In many cases, people who
trade gasoline-powered cars for electric ones won't be
dramatically lessening the smog they emit. Posted.

Discovery Could Make Fuel Cells Much Cheaper. One of the biggest
issues with hydrogen fuel cells, aside from the lack of fueling
infrastructure, is the high cost of the technology. Fuel cells
use a lot of platinum, which is frightfully expensive and one
reason we’ll pay $50,000 or so for the hydrogen cars automakers
say we’ll see in 2015. That might soon change. Researchers at Los
Alamos National Laboratory have developed a platinum-free
catalyst in the cathode of a hydrogen fuel cell that uses carbon,
iron and cobalt. Posted.


Easier To Track Renewable Energy Sources At New Cal ISO HQ. In a
major milestone for the state's renewable-energy program,
California wind farms delivered a record amount of electricity
last week, while the output from solar power approached last
year's all-time highs. The California Energy Commission and the
California Independent System Operator Corp., which runs most of
the state's transmission lines, said solar and wind producers as
of Friday generated nearly 9 percent of the state's peak demand,
or enough electricity to light about 2.2 million homes. Posted.

Being Green: Power Shift Vs. The Powers That Be.  More than
10,000 people converged in Washington, D.C., this past week to
discuss, organize, mobilize and protest around the issue of
climate change.  While Tax Day tea party gatherings of a few
hundred scattered around the country made the news, this massive
gathering, Power Shift 2011, was largely ignored by the media. 

Solar: California's New Gold Rush. Green energy offers the
prospect of an economic boon, but some worry the environmental,
cultural cost is too high. It's been called California's second
gold rush: the clamor by large solar companies to stake a claim
in southern California's open deserts and capture one of its most
abundant resources — sunlight. While many cheer the cleaner
energy and economic possibilities utility-scale solar development
may bring to a job-starved region, some environmentalists …

U.S. Solar Surges, Wind Stalls – Report. Electricity generation
from solar panels nearly doubled in the United States last year
on favorable state and federal incentives, but the number of new
wind installations dropped by half compared to prior years,
according to a new report from federal energy regulators.
Grid-connected solar photovoltaics added almost 1,000 megawatts
last year, up from about 500 megawatts in 2009, the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission staff says in its annual "State of
the Markets" report released last week. Posted.

Eye On The Environment: Do Some Research, Then Go Solar.  We
represent three competing solar panel installation companies, and
we are teaming up to write this column because there has never
been a better time to "go solar."  Utility incentives are
declining, prices have dropped, and our country and environment
need solar energy more than ever. Fortunately, federal tax
credits are in place through 2016.  Posted. 

Electric Mowers Still Available.  Air quality officials have
trimmed the cost of switching from gasoline-powered lawn mowers
to cleaner electric models. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution
Control District is offering a limited number of vouchers that
enable residents to pay just $50 for a cordless electric mower
with a 14-inch blade or $100 for a 19-inch version.  Posted. 


Pediatricians Want Tighter Regulation Of Chemicals. Pediatricians
say the U.S. should more tightly regulate chemicals in consumer
products because studies show children are at risk. Alarmed by
studies showing children are vulnerable to toxic chemicals in
scores of consumer products, the nation's largest pediatricians
group is joining a campaign to overhaul how the U.S. regulates
hazardous substances. Posted.


The Climate Tort Goes Down. Even liberal Justices can't abide
this theory... How unconvincing is the green legal doctrine of
the climate tort? So much so that not a single Justice seemed
persuaded when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments last
Tuesday—even some of the liberals questioned the theory with
Scalia-like vigor. In American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut,
a group of state attorneys general are suing five utilities,
claiming their carbon emissions are a "nuisance" under common
law. Posted.


Sizing Up the Greenest Colleges.  For environmentally conscious
students, choosing a school with green principles is getting a
little easier.  This week the Princeton Review, the test prep
firm and creator of popular college guides, and the U.S. Green
Building Council, a nonprofit organization in Washington,
released their second annual listing of the 311 greenest colleges
in the country.  Posted. 

Chris Paine Stages a Discussion of the Electric Car’s Future at
the Tribeca Film Festival.  Chris Paine, whose 2006 documentary
“Who Killed the Electric Car?” admonished General Motors for
taking a not-so-metaphorical wrecking ball to the automaker’s EV1
electric-vehicle program, has returned with “Revenge of the
Electric Car.” The film had its premiere on Saturday in New York
during the Tribeca Film Festival.  Posted. 

Are La Nina And Global Warming Behind The Extreme Tornado
Activity? Tornadoes have been descending from angry skies with a
frequency that may become unmatched in official records of April
twisters. Cities, small towns, rural hamlets - even international
airports - have suffered severe damage. The atmosphere has been
behaving like an unruly teenager, with 275 tornadoes recorded so
far this month. In order for tornadoes to form, several factors
have to combine in just the right way.

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