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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 16, 2011

Posted: 16 May 2011 13:53:57
California Air Resources Board News Clips for May 16, 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.


Noxious Odor Plagues Poor Desert Communities. The source is a
Coachella Valley soil-recycling plant on tribal land, regulators
say. Operators defend their enterprise, but agencies have cracked
down. Reporting from Mecca, Calif.— The burning stench first
enveloped Saul Martinez Elementary School in December, sending
two teachers to the hospital and forcing a classroom lockdown as
firefighters searched the grounds for the source of the noxious
odor. Posted.

State Knew Of Permitless Dump In Mecca, Failed To Act. 'Somebody
dropped the ball,' leader of grassroots group says. State
regulators say they knew a contaminated soil-recycling plant was
operating on tribal lands without the proper state permits, but
their own communication problems and budget constraints kept them
from taking action. 
The plant, Western Environmental Inc., has been named by state
and federal environmental regulators as the main source of an
intense, gas-like odor that has sickened scores of Mecca
residents since December. Posted.

Shell, EPA Near a Deal on Arctic Offshore Drilling Project.  U.S.
EPA's top air pollution official said today that the agency is
close to an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell PLC over an air
permit for the oil giant's Arctic drilling project, which has
faced years of setbacks.  Shell was planning to start drilling
exploratory wells this summer until a ruling by EPA's
Environmental Appeals Board sent the project's air permit back to
federal regulators.  Posted. 

Power Plant Union Asks Congress To Delay EPA Rules. A labor union
that is usually a stalwart supporter of the Obama administration
is asking Congress to delay U.S. EPA's new rules on toxic air
pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying jobs will be lost
if utilities don't get more time. The International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers said today that it is backing American
Electric Power Co. Inc. (AEP) as it lobbies Congress to give
utilities an extra five or six years to clean up or shut down
their oldest coal plants. Posted.


U.K. Manufacturers Say Climate Goals Will Damage Industry,
Competitiveness. Britain’s plans to cut greenhouse gas output in
half by 2027 risk damaging the country’s competitiveness,
crimping growth and curbing investment, a lobby group
representing 6,000 companies said. The government’s global
warming adviser, the Committee on Climate Change, recommended the
U.K. limit emissions to an average of 390 million tons a year
from 2022 through 2027, or half the 1990 level. Posted.

U.K. Government Battered by Criticism Over Climate Change
Actions, Divided Over Future Policy.  LONDON -- The United
Kingdom's coalition government declared its aim to be the
greenest government ever when it came to power a year ago. It is
either failing dismally, must do more, must do less or must
change direction or emphasis, according to a barrage of reports
that have suddenly dropped on the doorstep of No. 10 Downing St.
Climate Study Gets Pulled After Charges Of Plagiarism. Evidence
of plagiarism and complaints about the peer-review process have
led a statistics journal to retract a federally funded study that
condemned scientific support for global warming. The study, which
appeared in 2008 in the journal Computational Statistics and Data
Analysis, was headed by statistician Edward Wegman of George
Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Its analysis was an outgrowth of
a controversial congressional report that Wegman headed in 2006.

Britain Should Scrap Electricity Plans, Curb Utility Dominance.
Britain should scrap proposed legislative changes to the
electricity market and focus on reducing the power of the six
biggest energy companies to spur low-carbon investment, according
to a panel of lawmakers. The Energy and Climate Change Committee
said the dominance of these companies, including Electricite de
France SA and RWE AG, needs to be halted to encourage …Posted.

UCSD Offers Roadmap For Coping With Climate Change. Climate
change is real. It'll cause significant damage. But aspects of
the science of global warming aren't resolved. And many of the
political approaches being used to address climate change are
naive or ineffective. David Victor, a professor of political
science at UC San Diego, delivers this message in unapologetic
terms in his new book, "Global Warming Gridlock: Creating More
Effective Strategies for Protecting the Planet." Posted.

Los Alamitos Class Must Present Both Views Of Global Warming. Los
Alamitos – A new high school advanced placement class that
addresses global warming has prompted the school board to start
requiring teachers to present opposing views in courses that
include controversial topics. Los Alamitos Unified School
district trustees unanimously agreed to update the policy on
controversial issues at the request of board member Jeffrey
Barke, who said he is concerned about "global warming dogma" and
wants students to be offered a balanced perspective on the topic.
Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/news/-300559--.html

U.N. Prepares A 10-Year Program To Tackle Climate Change And
Clean Up The Environment. United Nations -- The United Nations is
attempting to embark on a 10-year moral crusade against resource
waste, carbon emissions and environmental damage in general, akin
to the one it launched against poverty in 2000. Back then, U.N.
officers and a variety of non-governmental organizations invited
government representatives to New York to adopt the Millennium
Development Goals, targets for cutting poverty and rates of death
from malnutrition and unsanitary conditions. Posted.


Jatropha Blooms Again: SG Biofuels Secures 250K Acres For
Hybrids. SG Biofuels announces 250K acres secured for with JMax
jatropha. In California, SG Biofuels announced it has signed
customers for the deployment of 250,000 acres of Jatropha using
its JMax hybrid seeds. According to SG, “the JMax hybrid seeds on
average provide double the yield of existing commercial varieties
planted in similar conditions, resulting in greater uniformity
and vigor while significantly reducing seed handling and
deployment costs.” Posted. 


Lawmakers Push For Electric Cars While Driving Gas-Guzzlers.  Two
Michigan Democrats are leading an effort to create charging
stations for electric cars in the Capitol complex.  Sen. Carl
Levin and Rep. Dale E. Kildee have offered plans in the House and
Senate that would task the Architect of the Capitol to install
electric vehicle recharge stations for lawmakers, congressional
staffers and others authorized to park in the Capitol complex. 

Germany Doubles EV Research And Development Aid.  BERLIN -- The
German government announced an additional 1 billion euros ($1.4
billion) in research and development aid for electric vehicles,
doubling its budget by 2013 in a bid to position itself at the
technology's vanguard.  Tax rebates, dedicated parking spots and
measures aimed at promoting government use of electric cars are
among the other incentives to...  Posted. 
Rising Fuel Prices: It's Time For Electric Vehicles.  The news
this week that energy prices could more than double in the next
decade is, unfortunately,not surprising - the first five months
of this year have seen some of the highest oil prices in memory.
At the time of writing, gasoline prices are pushing GBP1.40
(US$2.28) per litre - an astronomical price which affects
everyone's bottom line, from big businesses with fleets of
company cars to young families with a car for the school run. If
the predictions are correct, owning and running a
gasoline-powered car could become, for many, untenable.  Posted. 


SAN MARCOS: Permit Sought For Methane-To-Energy Operation.  The
San Marcos Planning Commission will consider a conditional use
permit Monday for a methane-to-energy operation at the former San
Marcos landfill in San Elijo Hills.  The operation initially
received a permit in 1988 to convert methane released by the
landfill to electrical energy on a quarter-acre parcel of the
80-acre site, a staff report to the commission stated. The
landfill ceased accepting trash in 1997 and formally closed in
2007, while the methane-to-energy operation continued.  Posted. 

Renewable Energy Can Exceed Global Demand, According To IPCC. 
“The report clearly demonstrates that renewable technologies
could supply the world with more energy than it would ever need,
and at a highly competitive cost,” said Steve Sawyer, Secretary
General of the Global Wind Energy Council.  The IPCC studied six
renewable energy sectors – bioenergy, direct solar energy,
geothermal, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy. Renewable
energy sources are expected to contribute up to 80% of global
energy supply by 2050, according to a new report published by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Posted. 

Ending Nuclear Power Is Possible In A Decade, Using Renewable
Energy – Report. Germany should phase out all of its nuclear
reactors by 2021, recommends a leaked draft report. The stance
reinforces a law passed almost 10 years ago in the country, but
that policymakers had worked to overturn prior to the Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. The shutdown target was passed
by former Chancellor Schröder in 2002, and Japan's recent
disaster has intensified the push to nix nuclear. Posted.

GM Begins Building Solar Field At Detroit Plant. General Motors
Co. broke ground last week on a 6-acre field of solar panels to
be installed in front of its Detroit-Hamtramck plan. The solar
field comes as part of an effort to add sustainability to the
production of GM's Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car. As
part of its Solar Currents program, DTE Energy will own and
operate the 516-kilowatt system. Posted.


Smoking Ban For California Residential Housing Seeks Approval.
For a number of years now the landlord community has hotly
debated the value of providing No Smoking units within apartment
communities.  A large number of property owners believe that the
detriments of smoking are so numerous and the economic cost of
smoke damage so high, that common sense requires owners to
implement broad No-Smoking policies.  Posted.

Leave Your Car Behind For A Day.  With rising gas prices, it's
not tough to find a reason to want to drive less. And when there
are incentives like prizes, it's even easier.  This annual event,
organized by Commute Connection, encourages community members to
take a day (or more) off driving and hop on bikes or use public
transit to ease the problems of traffic congestion and air
pollution.  Posted. 


Climate Change Denial Becomes Harder To Justify. “CLIMATE CHANGE
is occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and
poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural
systems.” So says — in response to a request from Congress — the
National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences,
the country’s preeminent institution chartered to provide
scientific advice to lawmakers. Posted.

California's High-Speed Train Wreck. The state's plan to build a
bullet train has become a monument to the ways poor planning,
mismanagement and political interference can screw up major
public works. We can do better. California's much-vaunted
high-speed rail project is, to put it bluntly, a train wreck.
Intended to demonstrate the state's commitment to sustainable,
cutting-edge transportation systems, and to show that the U.S.
can build rail networks as sophisticated…Posted.

Editorial: Locals Should Level Playing Field For Solar.
California has invested lots of money and sweat equity in
building the foundation for green energy, nowhere more so than in
the Sacramento region. It would be a crying shame if too much
government red tape got in the way of reaping the rewards. As The
Bee's Rick Daysog reported this month, contractors and others in
the business of installing solar panels are complaining about
exorbitant permit fees and inconsistent regulations from one city
or county to the next. Posted.

Viewpoints: As Gas Costs Rise, Clean Cars Will Help Consumers
Cope. Seven presidents have declared the goal of reducing U.S.
dependence on oil, with George W. Bush, an oilman from Texas,
lamenting the national addiction to oil. None has come close to
achieving this goal. But, over the course of this spring and
summer, the United States has an opportunity to dramatically
change the trajectory of national oil consumption. Posted.

Opinion: California's Missing The Boat On Trash-To-Power
Technology. In 2010, after recycling, California put 35 million
tons of municipal waste into landfills. The organic materials in
this waste stream contain the energy equivalent of more than 60
million barrels of crude oil. Theoretically, from just this
single waste resource, California could produce 1.6 billion
gallons of advanced, non-food-derived biofuels and some 1,250
megawatts of power, potentially reducing the amount of waste that
we place in landfills by up to 80 percent. Posted.

Opinion: Wind Energy: Its Time Has Come (Back) For California. 
On May 22-25, the American wind energy industry will gather in
Anaheim for the WindPower 2011 Conference and Exhibition, the
largest annual wind power event in the world with 1,200
exhibitors and 20,000 attendees expected.  It's a homecoming for
the industry, which was born right here in California in 1981
under a visionary young governor, Jerry Brown.  Then, as today,
America and California were faced with momentous energy policy
decisions. Posted. 

Natural Gas Just Won't Cut It In The Long Run.  Rep. Kevin
McCarthy and two members of the House Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform met in Bakersfield on May 6 to urge that
federal regulations to facilitate extracting oil and natural gas
be "streamlined." The committee spent government money to discuss
only one point of interest: natural gas.  Natural gas is
primarily methane with carbon dioxide and longer hydrocarbons;
hydrocarbons are burned to make heat. Posted. 


Philips Brightens Its LED Lineup.  LED lamps are expected to
revolutionize the lighting industry because of their sharply
reduced power consumption and their long life compared with
standard incandescents. But to date, market acceptance has been
slow given the high initial cost ($50 and up in many cases) and
limited brightness. LED lamps have only been able to emit light
equivalent to a 60-watt standard bulb.  Posted. 

$25,000, 350-Mile-Per-Charge Electric Car Could Be Reality By
2017, DOE Says. In an event flanked with all the electric cars
that have recently come to market and a handful of those that are
poised for sale later this year, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu
and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa flipped the switch today on
the 500th electric-vehicle charging station installed by Coulomb
Technologies as part of its ChargePoint America network. Posted.

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