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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 2, 2011

Posted: 02 May 2011 14:28:57
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 2, 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.


California Gambles on Carbon Trade. Washington — California is
putting its reputation as a pioneering environmental heavyweight
on the line as it prepares to establish a carbon market in eight
months. State regulators are battling the clock, the courts and
their own empty pockets as they prepare to oversee the start of
the multibillion-dollar market Jan. 1. The idea of capping
greenhouse gas emissions and providing cleaner companies with the
potential for profit from their success is not new, but it has
never been tried in the United States on this scale. Posted.

Carbon Cap a Possibility in Canada's Election. Canadians head to
the polls today to determine whether Prime Minister Stephen
Harper will keep his job or be replaced by a new leader in favor
of carbon pricing. The result of the national election could
determine whether Canada dramatically changes its climate policy
and moves ahead of the United States in enacting a cap-and-trade
system. It also could change how much money the national
government invests in energy efficiency, renewable and coal
projects. Posted.

UPDATE: Appeals Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Calif Auto
Emissions Rules.  Washington (Dow Jones)--A federal appeals court
on Friday dismissed a lawsuit challenging California's ability to
regulate emissions from passenger cars and light trucks, without
addressing the case's underlying legal question. The U.S. Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia said an auto-dealers
association that filed the case jointly with the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce failed to establish standing. Specifically, the court
ruled the dealers failed to prove they would be harmed by the
California regulations. Posted.

California's Right To Exceed Federal Auto Emissions Standards Is
Upheld. In a challenge to California's auto emissions standards,
a U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Assn. did not have
legal standing. California's authority to enact automotive air
pollution standards that are stricter than federal law has
withstood legal challenge after a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled
that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile
Dealers Assn. did not have legal standing in the case. Posted.

Court Rejects Challenge To Calif.'S Clean Car Regs.  San
Francisco -- A federal appeals court rejected a legal challenge
Friday that sought to bar implementation of a California
regulation meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by forcing
automakers to make and sell less polluting cars in the state. 
The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia ruled the U.S. Chamber of Commerce failed to
identify any members affected by the regulation, and the National
Automobile Dealers Association didn't prove its members would
suffer future harm.  Posted.  

Communities Win Federal Climate Change Funds. Tackling climate
change just got a little bit easier, with some help from federal
funding. The Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded
grants to five local and tribal governments in California for
projects that include reducing waste, improving energy efficiency
and planting drought-resistant gardens. Nationwide, 50
communities will receive funds for localized efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, totaling $20 million in two years.

Cracking The Carbon Code: Corporations, Businesses, Kids Cash In
On Carbon. Cracking the Code shows how corporations and
businesses can cash in on the new carbon consciousness and
regulations developing throughout the nation and the world. Next
week, thousands of highschool kids around the world will
participate in the iMatterMarch to reduce carbon imbalances in
the atmosphere-- "to let the world know that climate change is
not about money, its not about power, it's not about convenience,
it is about our survival. It's about the future of this and every
generation to come." - Alex Loorz. Posted.

Nations Begin To Plan The Details Of 'Green Climate Fund' The
United Nations has started the detailed work of designing a fund
that leaders hope will deliver billions of dollars each year to
help poor and vulnerable countries address climate change. In a
meeting in Mexico City that wrapped up on Friday, U.N. climate
chief Christiana Figueres lauded the work that leaders from 40
different countries directing a transitional board are doing, and
warned that a strong Green Climate Fund is critical. Posted.


Arch Coal Mines A Rich Seam. U.S. Coal's Great Escape Continues.
Arch Coal is the latest miner to dig a tunnel abroad with its
$3.5 billion takeover of International Coal Group. It won't be
the last. Despite dodging comprehensive carbon cap-and-trade
legislation for now, domestic miners still must look over their
shoulders. U.S coal consumption in 2010 was less than in 2000.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency continues to
target emissions from coal-fired power plants, and cheap natural
gas presents a competitive threat. Posted.


Permit Process Clouds Solar Energy Projects. For the past several
years, the solar installation business has been one of the bright
spots in an otherwise depressed local construction industry. But
contractors say cumbersome and inconsistent regulations are
undermining the sector's growth and are increasing costs for
consumers. "It's a nightmare," Kevin Hahner, owner of Roseville
Solar Electric, said of the myriad permitting rules that solar
contractors face. "The problem is every building department is
different." Posted.

Real Estate Managers Reaping Rewards From Going Green. Green
investing not only helps the climate, but lowers costs and
improves returns. Real estate managers are going green for
environmental reasons, and are reaping the benefits through lower
costs and higher returns. Much of the funding for measures to
make real estate portfolios more environmentally friendly
withered during the economic crisis, as real estate managers
needed money to help cover their debt and maintain their
properties. Posted.


Pesticide Could Have Serious Health Risks. Monterey, Calif. --
California's strawberry crop, the little red fruit that produces
a lot of cash for farmers, has a dark cloud hanging over it. The
pesticide used in strawberries, Methyl Bromide, is being phased
out because it depletes the ozone. Its replacement is a
controversial chemical, Methyl Iodide. While this chemical has
been deemed safe for strawberries, questions have been raised if
it’s safe for workers to apply. UCSF doctor Paul Blanc said
exposure to this chemical will definitely cause cancer. Posted.


Dan Morain: Old law bottles up a renewable resource. There's no
polite way to say this: California has a lot of gas. Our happy
cows, our sewage treatment plants and, most of all, our garbage
dumps ooze gas. California has more landfills emitting more gas
than any state in the union. It's a classic renewable energy
source. Organic garbage in, methane out. But in the state that
views itself as the greenest one of all, legislators and
regulators have made it all but illegal to transport gas from
California landfills through pipelines for use by large gas-fired
electrical power plants. Posted.

The High Price Of Ethanol.  "Ethanol has a lower energy content
than gasoline. That means that about one-third more ethanol is
required to travel the same distance as on gasoline." That is a
quotation from the California Energy Commission. We in California
are buying gasoline with 5 to 10 percent ethanol and it is
costing a premium price. It will reduce your gas mileage by 10
percent. Check your car and see.  Posted. 

Menace in Mecca. The public spotlight should not be the only way
to protect people from dangerous contaminants. California
regulators need to do a far better job policing hazardous waste
operations, judging by what happened at a Coachella Valley
facility. And a local tribe should insist that any such
operations on tribal land comply with state, as well as federal,
safety standards. Posted.


Energy Information Agency Feels Budget Ax.  The federal
government’s ability to gather and analyze energy data and
produce market forecasts will be significantly impaired by the
recently enacted budget cuts, the administrator of the Energy
Information Administration said.  The agency’s 2011 funding
levels were cut by 14 percent, or $15.2 million, in a short-term
budget deal signed into law earlier this month.  Posted. 

Old Energy Strategies, New Century.  The Op-Ed page has published
“Pain at the Pump? We Need More,” a very retro-feeling proposal
for a rising price on carbon-emitting energy sources by Daniel C.
Esty, the new commissioner of the Connecticut Department of
Environmental Protection, and Michael E. Porter, a professor at
the Harvard Business School.  Posted. 

Whose Life Looks Greener? Towns Compare Notes.  Eager to post
information about a green event in your town? Wondering what
other cities are doing to make their buildings more
energy-efficient? GreenTowns.com, a new Web site billed as an
online community board where towns can trade information on local
sustainability efforts and green events at no cost, was
introduced on Monday.  Posted. 

Clean-Tech Venture Capital Jumps 54% In First Quarter 2011.
Venture capitalists spent the first quarter of the year dousing
the clean-tech industry with attention, giving more money to
fewer companies and hiking investment 54%. Green companies raised
$1.1 billion in the first three months of 2011 compared to $743.3
million in the same period last year, according to Ernst & Young
and data from DowJones Venture Source. The number of deals fell
to 69 from 79. Posted.

Auto Pollution: California's Carbon Curbs Upheld By Appeals
Court. California's authority to pass its own air pollution
standards, when they are stricter than federal law, withstood
legal challenge Friday when a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers
Assn. did not have legal standing in the case. Under the 1970
Clean Air Act, California may request waivers of federal
standards in order to enact its own, stricter laws -- a right
granted because the state had its own pollution laws before the
federal government’s. Posted.

Stanford Researchers Say Climate Change Affects Where Plants
Grow. A lizard is almost invisible, camouflaged in a bush. A
bumblebee flits about and pauses on one of the plant's flowers.
An ant descends a stem, delivering food to her brothers. What
kind of lives would the lizard, bee and ant lead without this
plant? It's not a question we ask ourselves often. Posted.

Cap-and-Trade Best Financed Cause in U.S. History, Study Says.
Green-advocacy groups are fielding the equivalent of a full-court
press to discredit the principal finding of a study released last
week by Matthew Nisbet, an associate professor of communications
at American University in Washington D.C. The finding:
environmentalists are spending as much – and probably more –
money on political causes like cap and trade as their adversaries
in the fossil-fuel industry. Posted.

ANSI Workshop Called For Electric Drive Vehicle Standardization. 
Convened on behalf of the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the ANSI workshop brought
together around 120 experts, working collaboratively through
presentations, Q&A and breakout discussions to identify the
issues and make recommendations for additional standards and
programs that may be needed to support the broad uptake of
electric mobility.  Posted. 

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