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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 1, 2011

Posted: 01 Jun 2011 11:16:31
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 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 articles.


Texas Legislature has mixed environmental results.  HOUSTON --
The Texas Legislature ended its regular session with a mixed bag
of environmental rules, passing some bills that put it ahead of
the nation and others that are bound to infuriate the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.  Texas, an oil and gas
powerhouse as well as one of the largest polluters in the nation,
can only change and pass new laws once every two years, so the
legislative session is meaningful. Federal agencies and other
states often watch closely to see what energy and environmental
rules are passed or changed in Texas, a state that has often set
precedent in these areas - for good and bad.  Posted. 





Hearings to begin on NM pollution controls.  ALBUQUERQUE,
N.M.—The state was scheduled for hearings Wednesday on a plan to
reduce the rate hikes New Mexico electric customers will face for
federally mandated pollution controls at a coal-fired plant near
Farmington.  The state Environmental Improvement Board has
proposed a $77 million plan for improvements to meet new
Environmental Protection Agency directives, which it estimates
will cost the Public Service Company of New Mexico customers
about $11 a year, according to the Albuquerque Journal.  Posted. 

First ship ‘plugs-in’ at Port of Oakland.  APL flipped the switch
last week on a clean-air effort that’s part of California’s
maritime future.  The Singapore-based container shipping line
became the first to shut down, or, “cold-iron,” a vessel’s
engines to eliminate exhaust emissions at the Port of Oakland. As
others follow suit – and regulators say they must – cold-ironing
will become a staple on California’s coast.  “We have brought
cold-ironing to the port,” proclaimed APL Americas President Gene
Seroka. “When others do as well, we can further reduce vessel
emissions and re-enforce that global trade growth is
sustainable.”  Posted. 

Redding air gets quality marks.  While Shasta County again fared
poorly on air grades handed out by the American Lung Association,
Redding was in the top 10 when it came to cities with the
cleanest air.  The seemingly contradictory results show that
although Redding and Shasta County generally have good air, there
are days when pollution levels spike and make for poor air
quality, said Will Barrett, air quality and global warming policy
coordinator for the American Lung Association in Sacramento. 


Tackling Climate Change: New Reports Underscore Role Of Local
Leaders.  WASHINGTON -- More than 40 of the world's largest
cities have reported their greenhouse gas emissions along with a
comprehensive analysis of any climate change-related reforms in
studies released Tuesday night.  Gathered from areas representing
300 million people and ten percent of global CO2 emissions, the
reports show the impact participating cities have on climate
change and outline the role local leaders could play in reducing
their cities’ carbon emissions.  Posted. 

Carbon Market Shrinks for First Time in Hottest Year on Record. 
June 1 (Bloomberg) -- The global carbon market shrank for the
first time in 2010, snapping five years of growth as a lack of
clarity about the future climate framework hurt investment in the
hottest year on record, a World Bank report showed.  The value of
the market for greenhouse-gas permits and credits for cutting
pollution fell to $141.9 billion last year from $143.7 billion in
2009, also because of fading prospects for the introduction of
emissions-trading programs in countries including the U.S.,
according to the report published today during the Carbon Expo
conference in Barcelona, Spain.  Posted. 

Airline maneuvers intensify as E.U. cap on jet emissions looms. 
While American airlines are heading to a court battle with the
European Union over including their European flights in the
European Union's carbon dioxide emissions cap-and-trade program,
their Chinese competitors are trying to fly under the regulatory
radar by pushing for an exemption.  The European Union is
examining China's plan to cut domestic aviation carbon emissions
to see if it qualifies Chinese airlines for an exemption from the
E.U. Emissions Trading System (ETS).  Posted. 


Obama Draws on Business Expertise in Picking Bryson for Commerce
Agency.  President Barack Obama named former Edison International
(EIX) Chief Executive Officer John Bryson as his choice for
commerce secretary, drawing on business expertise for a job
central to his goal of doubling U.S. exports.  The choice of a
private sector executive for the commerce post is the latest move
by Obama to repair relations between the White House and the
business community that were frayed by disagreements over the
administration’s overhaul of health-care and financial
regulations.  Posted. 

President Obama nominates John Bryson as commerce secretary. 
President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated businessman John
Bryson as the next commerce secretary, touting his expertise that
“will help us create more jobs and make America more
competitive.”  Bryson, 67, is the former chairman and CEO of
Edison International, a California-based utility company. He also
co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council and serves on
the boards of several large companies and institutions, including
Boeing, Walt Disney and the California Institute of Technology. 
Posted.  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55926.html 

GOP plan slashes renewable energy.  House Republicans unveiled a
scaled-back $30.6 billion energy and water budget Wednesday that
makes deep cuts from energy efficiency and renewable energy
programs while trying to stabilize science and defense
investments within tighter spending caps.  Total energy and water
appropriations would drop another $1.06 billion on top of the
more than $2 billion in reductions already enacted in April. And
the cumulative effect is to push back annual spending –measured
in real dollars— to levels not seen since early in President
George W. Bush’s first term.  Posted. 

US builds electric vehicle charging stations.  In electric
vehicle research, the US Government is to build 125
solar-assisted charging stations from Knoxville to Memphis in
Tennessee.  25 have been completed in the state so far.  "These
join six Electric Power Research Institute stations that were
completed in Knoxville earlier this year. The remaining 94
stations are scheduled to be finished by the spring of 2012,"
said the US Department of Energy (DoE). "As a demonstration
project, these charging stations will provide information about
station performance, customer charging preferences, component
reliability and the impact on the electric grid."  Posted. 

Dustup over Florida wind farm.  Florida is the latest
battleground for greens anguished about the ecological costs of
green power.  This time, a proposal for a sprawling wind farm
just north of the Everglades is facing blowback from
environmental groups that worry it could become an avian
Cuisinart for the wading birds, raptors and waterfowl that teem
in the sprawling marshes nearby.  At least one statewide
conservation organization has come out against the project by the
St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group, which would feature as many
as 100 turbines as tall as the Statue of Liberty stretched across
a 20,000-acre swath of sugar cane and vegetable farms in western
Palm Beach County.  Posted. 


Hybrids' yellow stickers program expires July 1.  For the past
six years, those mustard-yellow stickers affixed to the haunches
of 85,000 California hybrid vehicles have been golden.  Not only
have they granted solo drivers free admission to the carpool
lane, they have also boosted the resale value of the vehicles by
thousands of dollars. But in little more than a month, the
stickers will lose their luster. On July 1, with hybrid cars no
longer an unusual sight in the Golden State, the decals will
expire, becoming worth no more than a fading, peeling bumper
sticker.  Posted. 


Car-free commute day at Lake Tahoe.  STATELINE, Nev. — Friday
will be car-free commute day at Lake Tahoe.  More than 60 staff
members of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and neighboring
offices are biking, walking or using alternative transportation
to get to work that day.  The event originally was scheduled for
Wednesday, but TRPA officials pushed it back two days to coincide
with the end of the Tahoe Bike Challenge.  Posted. 


New Energy Policy is the Key to Economic Renewal.  Creative
destruction is the term the economist Joseph Schumpeter used to
describe how capitalism stays vital and strong through constant
evolution. Innovation allows for the replacement of old
industries with new one, creating new markets and employment
opportunities. There is actually a revolution within the system
where new technologies and sectors replace old ones. Schumpeter
writes in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, “The fundamental
impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes
from the new consumers, goods, the new methods of production or
transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial
organization that capitalist enterprise creates.”  Posted. 

McCarthy bill a bad idea for valley air.  When the San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution Control District governing board meets, it
is incumbent upon the members to base their decisions on accurate
information as it is their duty to protect public health. In that
light, it was extremely irritating to attend the air district
board meeting on May 19.  A little background is necessary. Most
people know we have a serious ozone (or smog) problem in the
valley, especially from Fresno down to Kern County. Exposure to
ozone damages the lungs and reduces breathing capacity.  Posted. 

Alternative energy.  I applaud Das Williams and our
representatives for their wise direction to convert at least
one-third of our electricity to renewable sources. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently
reported that renewable sources can provide up to 80 percent of
electricity supply required by the year 2050. Advantages include
mitigating greenhouse gases, climate benefits, plus bringing
about more security in our nation's energy supply, improving
public health and creating new jobs.  Posted. 


Did Chris Christie just doom U.S. climate policy?  Maybe that
title’s a tad hyperbolic, but hear me out. Over the past five
years, covering the climate debate in Washington, my working
assumption (or delusion, if you’d prefer) has always been that
some big shift in U.S. energy policy was inevitable — and soon.
Maybe Democrats would use their big congressional majorities to
pass a cap-and-trade bill or, at the very least, a
renewable-energy standard. If not that, then Obama’s EPA could
use its Clean Air Act authority to start cracking down on
greenhouse-gas emissions. And if not that, well, circa 2008, a
whole bunch of states were undertaking all sorts of notable
climate initiatives — surely that would get things started, no? 

Cargo ship plugs in at the Port of Oakland to reduce diesel
emissions.  Gigantic 10-story tall ships that stretch three
football fields long line the wharf at the Port of Oakland.
There's constant movement as big white cranes load and unload
colorful shipping containers on and off the boats. Most of the
ships look pretty much the same, equipped with lifeboats, pulley
systems and flags hoisted on the decks. But one vessel has
something different: two thick cables, which look like over-sized
extension cords, that hang off the side of the boat and connect
to the dock.  Posted. 

Turning Garbage Into Car Fuel? Venture Gains Momentum.  The most
challenging yet potentially most profitable part of alternative
energy –- making fuel for cars and trucks -– is attracting
attention from a mainstream fuel supplier and a trash hauler. 
Enerkem, a Montreal company that makes ethanol from old utility
poles and household garbage, will announce Wednesday that a major
independent oil refiner, Valero, is raising its investment in the
company, along with Waste Management, a trash-hauling company.
With $60 million in new financing, total investment in Enerkem
will reach $130 million.  Posted. 

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