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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 3, 2011.

Posted: 03 May 2011 11:37:01
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 3, 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.


Kaweah Delta Named Air Partner. Kaweah Delta Health Care District
has been 
named a Valley Air Living Partner by the San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District. Healthy Air Living Partners have
expressed an interest in reducing emissions at their businesses
and organizations to improve air quality in the Valley. Kaweah
Delta will kick off its commitment to clean air throughout the
month of May by asking employees to walk, bike or take public
transportation to work in an effort to improve air quality and
reduce traffic congestion. Posted.

Republicans Seek To Spare Smoggy Calif. Areas From Punishment.
Worried that their constituents will soon pay more dearly for
their air pollution, four California Republicans have introduced
legislation to temporarily exempt the San Joaquin Valley from
stricter smog limits and a $29 million fine from U.S. EPA that
grows larger by the year. Many smog-choked areas of California
have failed to meet the standards despite having some of the
nation's strictest restrictions on industrial pollution and
emissions from cars and trucks. Posted.


New Report Confirms Arctic Melt Accelerating. Stockholm—Arctic
ice is melting faster than expected and could raise the average
global sea level by as much as five feet this century, an
authoritative new report suggests. The study by the international
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, or AMAP, is one of the
most comprehensive updates on climate change in the Arctic, and
builds on a similar assessment in 2005. 

Conservatives Win Big; Climate Policy Likely To Remain Unchanged.
Canada's ruling political party won a resounding victory in
national elections last night, ensuring the country's climate
policy will continue on its current course. That means no
national emission cap as long as the United States is not
enacting such a limit, and ongoing support for production in the
country's vast oil sands region, which is more carbon intensive
than traditional oil drilling and provides the U.S. with its top
source of oil. Posted.

Climate Cycle Shift May Accelerate West Coast Sea Level Rise.
Changing wind patterns could accelerate sea level rise along the
West Coast, new research suggests. The cause is an apparent shift
in a climate cycle called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or
PDO, said researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The climate pattern cycles between two phases every few decades,
driven largely by changes in broad-scale wind patterns. Each
phase produces its own recognizable fingerprint of sea level rise
and sea surface temperatures along the West Coast. Posted.

When It Comes To Carbon Footprints, Location And Lifestyle
Matter. Tips to reduce your carbon footprint frequently include
buying compact florescent light bulbs, taking your own bag to the
grocery store or buying local produce. But how much difference do
these actions make? A new study by researchers at the University
of California, Berkeley, suggests that who you are and where you
live make a big difference in which activities have the largest
impact. Posted.


Hydraulic Fracturing Hearings Planned for BR Area. The state
plans to hold public hearings on whether a potentially oil-rich
shale in the Baton Rouge area will be tapped on a large scale
through a process used to develop natural gas from north
Louisiana's Haynesville Shale. High oil prices are sending
petroleum explorers in search of shale oil using a process called
hydraulic fracturing that has raised concerns from
environmentalists. Posted. 


Cutbacks In Solar Rebates Cast Shadow Over Green Power. Bill
Donnelly is going as green as he can. He drives a Prius. By next
year, he hopes to have an all-electric vehicle. And to keep his
car and home running, he wants to install solar panels on the
roof of his home in the South Carthay neighborhood of Los
Angeles. But Donnelly, 63, has put his solar plans on hold, at
least until he finds out how much the L.A. Department of Water
and Power will kick in. Posted.

At Oregon Gym, Members Burn Calories While Generating
Electricity.  Portland, Ore. — Reddening, a rivulet of sweat
running across her cheek, Amy McCullough hunched over the
stationary bike, pumped her legs like crazy and began producing
serious power — enough watts to run a flat-panel TV and a ceiling
fan.  She thrust her arms upward and exclaimed: "Oh, 180!" And
with that, her electrical output drooped.  Posted. 

Solar Plane Set To Try First International Flight.  (CBS/AP) Last
July, a team of Swiss adventurers made history when their
solar-powered manned aircraft flew continuously for a 26 hours.
Now, they're about to take the next step - and it's a big one:
nothing less than an international flight.  The Solar Impulse
team says the flights to Belgium and France, slated for Tuesday,
are a big challenge because the plane will need to navigate
across international air traffic networks.  Posted. 
Clean Technology Investments Up 54%, Driven By Calif. And Solar.
New York -- Venture capital investments in renewable energy and
clean technology companies soared in the first three months of
the year, an indication that such investors are still bullish on
the industry's future. Data released by Dow Jones and an analysis
by Ernst & Young show venture capital investments in clean tech
grew by 54 percent over levels during the same period last year,
from $743 million to $1.14 billion during the first fiscal
quarter of 2011. Posted.

Korean Power Company To Spend Billions On 'Green' Technology.
State-run Korea Electric Power Corp. committed to spending the
equivalent of $2.8 billion to develop green technology like
carbon capture and storage and smart grids, its officials said.
"Should KEPCO win in the global 'green race' with its challenges
and aspirations for green growth, it would be able to lead"
Korea's effort for an expanded gross domestic product by 2020,
KEPCO CEO Kim Ssang-su said. Posted.


Brown Appoints SF Official To State Toxic Panel. Debbie Raphael,
who spearheaded San Francisco's efforts to reduce the use of
hazardous chemicals, was appointed Monday to head the state
agency that monitors toxics substances in California and is in
the process of developing its own regulations to limit the use of
dangerous chemicals. Posted.

Which Is Better, A Window A/C Or Central Air?  The boxy air
conditioners that fill so many urban windows must consume a
tremendous amount of energy. From an environmental perspective,
aren’t central air conditioners better?  Not necessarily. Air
conditioning accounts for more than 15 percent of the energy use
of the average home, consuming about 183 billion kilowatt-hours
of electricity in the United States per year, according to a 2001
analysis by the Energy Information Administration. Posted. 


Roadshow: As Gas Prices Rise, Some Drivers May Be Slowing Down. 
I often think that I am imagining it when I see cars flying by me
going 85, 90, 95 and even 100 mph on Interstate 280 by De Anza
Boulevard. I am not a slow driver by any means, but I get blown
off the road by people driving at these very unsafe speeds. Am I
imagining things or do other people tell you about that, too? 
Posted.  http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_17976316

Forum: Quarry A Bad Deal For Both Sides Of County Line. As a
Fallbrook resident and a grower in Riverside's De Luz Valley, I
oppose Granite Construction's proposed Liberty Quarry. The
mountaintop quarry, at 1,300 feet elevation, would be in
Riverside County, but the approximately mile-long quarry access
road would be blasted up the mountainside at the Rainbow exit in
San Diego County. Posted. 

Try a Greener Way to Dry Clean. Does the “earth-friendly” sign at
a dry cleaner really mean it’s better for the planet and your
health? You’ve seen the signs at the local dry cleaners boasting
“earth-friendly” or “organic” dry cleaning. But just like the
questionable food labels “all natural” and “fat free” at the
grocery store, those signs that make grand, green claims can
often be misleading. 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.

Report: Homebuyers Willing To Pay Premium For Solar.  Okay, I’m a
little slow on the uptake on this but I’ve been pursuing a recent
report from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on the effect of
installing a rooftop solar array on the sale price of homes in
California.(It makes for dense reading and unless you’re really
into “hedonic pricing models” and “difference-in-difference
model,” you might want to stick with the two-page summary.)  The
upshot: California homes that sport solar panels sell for a
$17,000 premium for an average newish 3.1-kilowatt photovoltaic
array.  Posted. 

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Investment Strategies: Lessons
from the Past? Are the same strategies and market dynamics that
characterized the growth of the telecom industry in the late
1990’s surfacing in the emerging smart grid and electric vehicle
infrastructure market? For much of the telecom boom, Cisco
Systems was admired for their ability to identify, invest and
acquire promising technology from early stage ventures –
effectively outsourcing their research and development. Posted. 

Pressure Builds to End $4 Billion in Taxpayer Subsidies for Oil
Companies. In these days of federal budget-cutting (and high gas
prices), it was only a matter of time before subsidies for oil
companies came under closer scrutiny. That moment has come.
Chatter has been building for a few weeks and things came to a
head this past Saturday, when President Obama used his weekly
address to make the case for putting an end to the $4 billion
that U.S. taxpayers contribute to the oil industry. Posted. 

Michigan County Embraces Giant Wind Farms. While many communities
are imposing moratoria on commercial wind farms, one mid-Michigan
county is putting out the welcome mat to not one but potentially
three major wind developments. Posted. 

Arctic Ozone Levels Reach All-Time Low. In the past, massive
ozone loss over Antarctica has grabbed the headlines. But this
year, measurements by several different sources show record
levels of stratospheric ozone loss over the Arctic. Scientists
say the main reason for the record ozone loss this year is that
unusually cold stratospheric temperatures, which have endured
later into the season than usual. Posted. 

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