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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 8, 2011.

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 15:51:18
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 8, 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.


EPA Honors Placer County's Forest Debris System. Placer County
was honored Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency for
its work to create cleaner air. The EPA Clean Air Excellence
Award recognizes the work of the county's air pollution control
district in diverting Lake Tahoe area forest debris from burn
piles. "By transporting this forest residue out and instead of
burning it in burn piles we are reducing pollution put into the
atmosphere," said Supervisor Jim Holmes, who is in Washington,
D.C., to accept the award. Posted.

Federal Court Won’t Dismiss Lawsuit Accusing Exxon’s Texas
Refinery Of Violating Clean Air Act.   Houston -- A federal court
will allow environmental groups to pursue a lawsuit that accuses
the largest U.S. refinery of violating federal air pollution laws
thousands of times in the past five years.  The U.S. District
Court Southern District on Tuesday dismissed a request by Exxon
Mobil Corp. to dismiss the lawsuit regarding its Texas facility. 

Utility Groups Trade Blows On New EPA Emissions Rules. Coal-heavy
power companies and their cleaner cousins are continuing to spar
over new air pollution regulations from U.S. EPA, releasing
competing analyses this week on the effects of a pair of rules
that would make coal plants spend billions of dollars to control
toxic chemicals and emissions that lead to soot and smog. Those
two regulations -- the Clean Air Transport Rule, which would cap
key emissions that travel across state lines …Posted.

People of Faith Should Join Campaign to Fight Asthma in Their
Communities. The Center for American Progress Action Fund Pushes
for Cleaner Air. The Center for American Progress Action Fund, a
sister organization of CAP, is leading a campaign to curb asthma
and other harmful health effects from coal-fired power plants.
This campaign is already underway, and it will continue until
July 5, 2011. It provides a new opportunity for faith communities
to expand their environmental stewardship advocacy efforts at the
federal level. Posted.


EU Needs Stricter CO2 Target, Cap-and-Trade Rules, Report Shows.
The European Union should move to a stricter emissions-reduction
target for 2020 to attain its 2050 climate goal in a
cost-effective way, a report by a network of climate experts and
a research group showed. Standing by the current EU goal to cut
emissions by 20 percent in 2020 compared with 1990 levels would
mean a “rapidly accelerating reduction effort” to attain the 2050
goal of at least 80 percent, according the report by Climate
Strategies …Posted.

Aviation Has to Contribute to Fighting Climate Change, EU Says.
The inclusion of the aviation sector in the European Union’s
emissions trading system is a “practical example” of steps that
need to be made to prevent global warming, EU Climate
Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said. “‘If we had only done that
for European airlines only it wouldn’t be fair,” Hedegaard told a
seminar in Brussels today. “Everyone agrees the aviation sector
has to contribute.” Posted.

Solano Plans For Climate Change, Possible Floods From Rising
Oceans. The debate on the validity of rising sea levels and
climate change continues as Solano County agrees on strategic
plans to address both in the future. Two public hearings Tuesday
attracted several Solano residents to hear what supervisors had
to say about the two contentious issues. Posted.

State Climate Law Back On Track Following 'Baffling' Court
Overlap. Dueling court orders over the last few days that served
to confuse many insiders have left the California Air Resources
Board (ARB) just where it wants to be: implementing the state's
climate change law and back on track to go live with a
cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gas emissions by Jan. 1. For
now, anyway. Posted.

Climate Change Creates Health Risks Indoors, Too. Weatherizing
buildings to increase their energy efficiency could backfire by
creating new health risks for occupants, according to a new
report that warns climate change and efforts to combat it could
worsen indoor air quality. "New building materials and equipment
arrive on the market every day, and experience suggests that some
may bring unforeseen problems of indoor environmental quality
with them," the Institute of Medicine analysis says. Posted.

EPA Sends Final Rule On GHG Emissions From Trucks To White House.
The Obama administration is advancing its plan to finalize
greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty
trucks, although an announcement may not come until later this
summer. U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation have sent
the first emissions standards for trucks and buses to the White
House Office of Management and Budget for final approval,
according to a website that tracks federal rulemaking. Posted.


A Carbon Tax To Fund Renewable Fuels Could Help Countries Meet
Mandates – Study. A new World Bank policy paper says a carbon tax
could help buoy biofuels development more effectively than
subsidies alone. Lead author and World Bank Senior Research
Economist Govinda Timilsina suggests that the most effective
strategy for boosting biofuels is to use revenue culled from a
tax on fossil fuels in transportation to buttress subsidies.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/08/7


Porsche Reveals More Details About the All-Electric Boxster E.
More information has been shared by Porsche about their prototype
eclectic cars and the best news is they are being tested out on
the roads today. The Porsche electric prototype cars are being
used as part of the government-funded "Model Region
Electro-Mobility Stuttgart", which is a large-scale trial to
study the everyday reasonableness of using all-electric vehicles.

State Electric-Car Rebate Fund Runs Low On Cash. California's
rebate program for people who buy electric cars has grown so
popular that it's about to run out of cash. The state offers
rebates of up to $5,000 to clean-car buyers, on a first-come,
first-served basis. So many have applied during the current
fiscal year, however, that the program's $5 million annual
funding will probably be used up before the next fiscal year
begins in July, state officials reported Tuesday. Posted.


Turkey To Use GE Natural-Gas Plant Design With Renewable
Features. General Electric Co. (GE) unveiled Tuesday a new
power-plant design that integrates natural-gas generation with
intermittent sources of solar and wind power as a way to tap into
the broader trends toward cleaner sources of energy. GE has a
long history in the power business, tracing back to Thomas
Edison, who invented the light bulb. Posted.

Blustery States Boost Wind Power Over Gas With U.S. Tax Break. A
U.S. tax break has helped wind power stem the growth of natural
gas as a power-plant fuel in blustery states. The natural-gas
share of electricity generation increased by less than 1 percent
over the past decade in states such as North Dakota that have
strong winds to drive turbines, a Bloomberg Government Study
found. It grew 17 percent in states such as Florida, where there
was no wind to compete with gas. Posted.

Calling for ‘Achievable’ Target, Christie Plans Cut in State’s
Renewable Energy Goals. Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he
planned to scale back New Jersey’s goals for renewable energy as
he looked for an “achievable” approach to generating electricity
in the state. His change is part of an overhaul of the state’s
10-year energy master plan, which had been expected since last
year, when he asked the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to
evaluate renewable energy targets he found too aggressive.


Former Interior Secretary Calls Out Obama On The Environment.
Bruce Babbitt says Obama has failed to defend against Republican
and industry attacks on environmental safeguards. President Obama
has failed to answer Republican attacks on environmental
safeguards "forcefully and persuasively" and to articulate his
own vision for conserving American wilderness and water, former
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt charged Tuesday. Posted.


The Gas Is Greener. IN April, Gov. Jerry Brown made headlines by
signing into law an ambitious mandate that requires California to
obtain one-third of its electricity from renewable energy sources
like sunlight and wind by 2020. Twenty-nine states and the
District of Columbia now have renewable electricity mandates.
President Obama and several members of Congress have supported
one at the federal level. Polls routinely show strong support
among voters for renewable energy projects — as long as they
don’t cost too much. Posted.


Reimagining Auto Retail for Electric Cars. For independent
electric car companies, it’s so long, automobile row. Some
electric vehicle manufacturers have jettisoned the old model of
franchise auto dealerships in an effort to change not only how we
drive, but also how we buy cars. “Because we’re ushering in a new
powertrain, it’s an opportunity to say, ‘Should we shake up
everything?’ ” Steve Burns, president of Amp Electric Vehicles,
wondered in a telephone interview. Posted.

A Hybrid Power Plant Takes Shape in Turkey. General Electric. A
hybrid electric plant designed by General Electric. Mirrors focus
sunlight on power towers, top right, that make steam that is
injected through pipes into a turbine, center, to make
electricity. Wind turbines, rear, make electricity to either help
run the plant or to feed the grid.
How can the electric system take intermittent energy sources like
wind and sun and integrate them with conventional fuels for
electricity, like natural gas? Posted.

Global Warming As A Heat Wave Enhancer. Any time it’s hot or
hotter than average, the subject of global warming invariably
arises. The usual question I hear is: Is this global warming (or
climate change)? The answer I give is that global warming is not
causing hot weather but almost certainly intensifying it. In
other words, think of the greenhouse gases building up in the
atmosphere from human activities as steroids. Posted.

Program Offers Homeowners Cash Rebates For Energy-Efficiency
Upgrades. Bay Area residents may soon begin to see ads for a new
program that allows homeowners to better insulate their houses
while getting a considerable of rebate for doing the upgrade.
After an 11-month pilot program, the full version of Energy
Upgrade California -- a statewide effort to promote energy
efficiency -- is now going full throttle. Posted.

California’s Small Businesses Need AB 32 To Stay Strong. Some
people might be skeptical if they were told a bunch of CEOs got
together and agreed that restrictions on pollution are good for
business. After all, environmental regulations and economic
success are mutually exclusive, right? Wrong.California’s Global
Warming Solutions Act, AB 32, is under assault from opponents
trying to delay implementation of this landmark legislation.

First-ever Fuel Efficiency and Carbon Pollution Standards for
Heavy Trucks Move Closer to Adoption. This week, the Department
of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency took one of
the final steps toward adopting the first-ever standards to
improve fuel-efficiency and cut carbon pollution from highway
trucks by seeking final approval from the White House Office of
Management and Budget. This is a welcome development toward
cleaning up our freight transport and easing the pain at the pump
for truckers and businesses. Posted.

Summers Will Keep Getting Hotter, Stanford Researchers Say. While
California experiences cooler-than-expected temperatures for
early June, the rest of the country is reeling under a blazing
heat wave. According to a team of Stanford University
researchers, those furnace-hot temperatures soon may become the
summer norm for North America. Nations in more tropical zones
could experience “the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer
heat.” And the researchers say this is not a centuries-long
forecast. Posted.

California Energy Commission Extends Clean Vehicle Rebates in
California. Today the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the
Air Resources Board (ARB) officially finalized an agreement that
will make many EV early adopters in California smile. The
interagency agreement, which was publicly announced on Plug In
Cars in January, puts an extra $2 million dollars in the state
rebate program, known as the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).

Double Standard For Fuel Efficiency Is Literally Killing
Americans.  An economist at UC San Diego has made a startling
finding: The peculiarly American system of having one fuel
efficiency standard for cars and a different, less stringent one
for SUVs and trucks is increasing highway fatalities.  The
problem is that under the existing, two-tiered system, increases
in fuel efficiency standards force car makers to shrink cars even
faster than they shrink trucks and SUVs (which by law have to
remain above a certain weight, anyway).  Posted. 

EPA Critics Are Hogging The Air Time.  According to a Media
Matters report, cable news channels are flooding the airwaves
with people who oppose the EPA's rules regulating greenhouse
gases: They get four times as much airtime as supporters. Of 199
guests discussing EPA rules on cable news shows between December
2009 and this April, 152 opposed the rules, and only 35 supported
them. Posted. 

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