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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 20, 2011. Posted: 20 Jun 2011 14:59:23
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 20, 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. AIR POLLUTION EPA Deal Calls For Haze-Reduction At Western Coal Plants. Billings, Mont.—Aging coal-fired power plants across the West could be forced to install costly pollution control equipment under an agreement between federal regulators and environmentalists aimed at jump-starting a delayed clean air initiative. Many utilities already cut air pollution emissions sharply over the last decade to meet federal health standards. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/epa-deal-calls-for-haze-reduction-at-western-coal-plants/2011/06/19/AGi6EwbH_story.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/06/19/2432980/deal-would-speed-cuts-in-western.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18310633 Deal Would Speed Cuts In Western Coal Pollution. Aging coal-fired power plants across the West could be forced to install costly pollution control equipment under an agreement between federal regulators and environmentalists aimed at jump-starting a delayed clean air initiative. Many utilities already cut air pollution emissions sharply over the last decade to meet federal health standards. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/06/19/1739049/deal-would-speed-cuts-in-western.html UAF Researcher Studies Iraq Air Quality. Fairbanks, Alaska—Cathy Cahill has never been to Iraq, but the grimy DRUM Aerosol Sampler in her lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks provides her with a vivid portrait of downtown Baghdad. The device, which looks like a bulky black plastic suitcase, is covered with anonymous bird droppings and a layer of fine red dust. But it's the eight drum-shaped air filters inside that make it truly remarkable. The sampler is back at UAF from a tour in Iraq, where it tested the air at Camp Victory in Baghdad. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18311278 Day Of Reckoning On Mecca Odor As Lawmakers Make Visit. Angry residents demand answers as agency cops to 'mishandling' of permitting process. California lawmakers, holding an oversight hearing in a rural school in Thermal, heard impassioned testimony from residents Friday as well as the concession from a state official that her agency's mishandling of toxic waste permitting at a Mecca processing plant was “embarrassing.” Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110618/NEWS01/106180317/Day-reckoning-Mecca-odor-lawmakers-make-visit?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage Deal Would Speed Cuts In Western Coal Pollution. Aging coal-fired power plants across the West could be forced to install costly pollution control equipment under an agreement between federal regulators and environmentalists aimed at jump-starting a delayed clean air initiative. Many utilities already cut air pollution emissions sharply over the last decade to meet federal health standards. Next up are even deeper cuts, to improve visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas by clearing the air of pollutants that cause haze. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_de38aada-81f0-56c5-992c-7245e8bc0ef6.html CLIMATE CHANGE US Top Court Rejects Global Warming Lawsuit. Washington - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a global warming lawsuit against five big power companies, its most important environmental ruling since 2007 and a victory for the utilities and the Obama administration. The justices unanimously overturned a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that the lawsuit now involving six states can proceed in an effort to force the coal-burning plants to cut emissions of gases that contribute to climate change. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/20/usa-climate-lawsuit-idUSWAT01515620110620 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-20/climate-change-suit-against-utilities-rejected-by-top-court-1-.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts-law/supreme-court-blocks-states-global-warming-suit-against-power-companies/2011/06/20/AGKBJpcH_story.html http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/sc-dc-court-global-warming-20110620,0,6629506.story http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/06/20/national/w071324D97.DTL&type=printable http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/20/3713948/high-court-blocks-states-climate.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/06/20/2434092/high-court-blocks-states-climate.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2011/06/20/1740305/high-court-blocks-states-climate.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18314989 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18314989 http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_a32c93e4-11a5-5237-bfd6-e362c31330a7.html http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/06/20/1?breaking_news=bn Australia And New Zealand Leaders Agree To Investigate Linking Carbon Gas Trading Schemes. Canberra, Australia — Australia and New Zealand leaders agreed Monday to investigate linking the near neighbors’ greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes in the future as a means of reducing global emissions and bringing their economies closer. New Zealand recently introduced a national scheme in which polluters trade permits allowing them to emit carbon dioxide and other gases, while Australia’s plan to introduce a similar scheme is bogged down in a bitter political row. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/australia-and-new-zealand-leaders-agree-to-investigate-linking-carbon-gas-trading-schemes/2011/06/20/AGRU1OcH_story.html Rich Nations Break $30 Billion Climate Promise, Poor World Says. Richer countries have failed to supply the $30 billion of climate financing they pledged at the Copenhagen summit in 2009, developing world officials and non- governmental organizations said. Only about $5 billion of the funds due to be delivered through next year are "new and additional" as promised, with the rest of the so-called Fast Start money diverted from other aid budgets or previously announced …Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/06/20/bloomberg1376-LN2U2B1A1I4H01-7G5R8H3NB23RAE2P00SISE14S9.DTL&type=printable Napa County To Address Concerns In The Climate Plan. Napa County — As a county government plan takes shape to streamline evaluation of development projects in unincorporated areas under state environmental protection law, the draft document has come under fire from both sides for lack of clarity and supporting data. Environmental-protection groups and agriculture groups have taken issue with the methods and greenhouse gas emissions targets in the first draft of the Napa County Climate Action Plan, released around the beginning of this year. Posted. http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/35495/napa-county-to-address-concerns-in-the-climate-plan/print/ Calif., Google Collaborate On Climate Data Website. A new one-stop shop for climate data in California is aimed at everyone from homeowners to regional planners trying to avoid sea-level rise, wildfires and other damaging effects associated with climate change. Cal-Adapt, as the site is known, displays data on snowpack, precipitation, temperature, wildfire risk and sea-level rise from 1950 to 2100. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/20/7 FUELS Valley Plants Plan To Make Corn-Free Ethanol. Visalia -- With corn prices up and demand rising, work is under way in the Valley to develop two biorefineries to make ethanol without using the golden grain. In Visalia, fast-growing grasses and cornstalks could be the fuel of the future. EdeniQ, a local biofuel technology company, and Virginia-based Logos Technologies are building a plant to demonstrate the commercial promise of fibrous and woody materials. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/06/18/2432725/2-valley-plants-refine-ethanol.html#storylink=misearch Paris Air Show Spotlights Fuel Cost Fears. Paris—Airlines will be seeking a cleaner, cheaper way to fly and planemakers will be angling for billions in new contracts Monday at the Paris Air Show, which stars a solar plane, biofuel jet engines and the Boeing-Airbus rivalry. The search for more environmentally friendly aircraft is shaping up as one of the major themes of this year's Paris Air Show, the world's largest and oldest aviation showcase. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18311891 VEHICLES Ask Angie: Regular Vs. Synthetic Motor Oil. Dear Angie: Can I switch from using regular to synthetic motor oil in my car without damage? Dear Margaret: You sure can. In fact, many new car manufactures now recommend only synthetic engine oils and will actually void engine warranties if petroleum oil is used and a malfunction occurs due to its use. All vehicle engines, though, regardless of age, can benefit from switching to synthetic oil. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/06/20/2433843/ask-angie-regular-vs-synthetic.html#storylink=misearch Hybrid Cars And Stickers. As of July 1, those yellow "clean-air" stickers will no longer allow drivers of hybrid vehicles to travel solo in California's carpool lanes. A 2004 law rewarded owners of hybrid vehicles for their cars' low emissions by giving them the privilege of driving in the carpool, or high-occupancy vehicle lanes, even with no passengers in the car. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_traffic20.39ce6fa.html California Clean Idle Sticker Certifies You Can Do Exactly That. Need to idle the diesel engine in a late-model medium-duty truck longer than five minutes in California? Then you'll need to find a rig with this sticker. Truck drivers idle their engines for lots of reasons, but often it's to stay comfortable when they're parked at a job site for extended periods. But while an idling engine can keep a truck's occupants warm or cool, idling engines running at low rprm aren't very efficient when it comes to clean emissions. Posted. http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/06/california-clean-idle-sticker-certifies-you-can-do-exactly-that.html EVs Rev Up For Act 2. After years of preproduction buzz, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are generating interest among the people who count most: buyers. Most owners are charging their cars at home without any issues. They brag about cruising past the gas station. They're buying, not leasing. Drivers of the plug-in hybrid Volt are averaging 900 miles between fill-ups of the 9.3-gallon tank, General Motors says. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110620/RETAIL07/306209975/1261 GREEN ENERGY Fossil Fuel Subsidies Need 'Reforms,' OECD's Mountford Says. Fossil fuel subsidies should be "reformed" because they contribute to climate change and benefit middle- and high-income people, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development official said. Governments in emerging countries provided $312 billion in subsidies for fuels such as oil and natural gas in 2009, disrupting the growth of renewable-energy industries …Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/06/20/bloomberg1376-LN2T8C1A74E901-2MFR7VLAVJDU97P4IGV9PDVIL7.DTL&type=printable Gov. Jerry Brown Sees Future In Massive Solar Plant Near Blythe. California Gov. Jerry Brown, just a day after vetoing the Democrat-backed state budget, on Friday used the backdrop of the future site of one of the world's largest solar plants to issue a call for fiscal responsibility and investment in a green economy for the state's future. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011106180318 SDG&E's Big Solar Failure. In late August 2005, San Diego Gas & Electric proposed a $1.9 billion power line to connect the region to a green future in Imperial County, the land of constant sunshine and endless renewable energy promise. A week later, SDG&E announced what that green future would look like, unveiling a landmark deal with an upstart, unproven solar dish company that promised to turn the desert sun into a major renewable energy source for San Diegans. Posted. http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/environment/muck/article_e06051be-994c-11e0-b2af-001cc4c03286.html MISCELLANEOUS China 3 Gorges Corp. Defends Huge Dam From Critics. The operator of China's gargantuan Three Gorges Dam is defending it from deepening criticism over its environmental and economic impact. In a social responsibility report released over the weekend, China Three Gorges Corp. says the dam has proven its worth by helping to control flooding and boosting the country's supply of clean energy. It also claims it has helped with poverty alleviation, earthquake relief and other social priorities. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/06/19/international/i212539D42.DTL&type=printable OPINION A.E.P. Protests Too Much. American Electric Power, one of the nation’s largest utilities, warned last week that new air quality rules could force it to “prematurely” shut down about two dozen big coal-fired units and fire hundreds of workers. This is a deceptive and particularly cynical claim. The utility is making a business decision that has little to do with the rules. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/opinion/20mon1.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse# Contra Costa Times Editorial: Vote Against Subsidies For Corn Ethanol A Step In Right Direction. THE U.S. Senate finally mustered enough votes to end one of the federal government's most ineffective special-interest subsidy programs, giving new hope that there can be bipartisan progress on reducing unsustainable federal deficits. The Senate voted 73-27 last week to repeal the $5 billion annual subsidy just a couple of days after turning down a similar measure. The bill also would repeal a harmful 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, most of which comes from Brazil. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18301129 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18301129 Sen. Barbara Boxer: Fight Against Mecca Odor Shows Why We Need The EPA. Two weeks ago, I visited with children, teachers and parents in Mecca who have been struggling with harmful pollution from a local waste recycling plant. That day, as I sat at a table talking to officials from federal, state, local and tribal governments, as well as representatives from the community, I realized that Mecca serves as a shining example to the nation of working together for the good of all our families. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110619/COLUMNS26/106180361/Boxer-Fight-against-Mecca-odor-shows-why-we-need-EPA?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFrontpage BLOGS Supreme Court Says States Can’t Regulate Greenhouse Gases. The Supreme Court just ruled that regulating greenhouse gases is the Feds' job, as spelled out in the Clean Air Act. Good thing the Federal government is all over that one. (Sarcasm!) The decision was as unambiguous as they come: All eight justices on the case agreed that states cannot sue utility companies or other polluters for their greenhouse gas emissions under federal common law. Posted. http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-20-supreme-court-says-states-cant-regulate-greenhouse-gases Debunking Myths: How a Robust Cap-and-Trade System is Vital to California’s Economy. Since passage of AB 32 in 2006, a deliberate and collective effort in California by legislators, government agencies, advisory committees, academia, the business community, NGOs, and the general public has created a comprehensive portfolio of policy strategies to meet the law’s emission targets in the most effective way. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/06/cap-and-trade-california-economy/ Is The Sun Causing Global Warming? The sun is a key driver of the Earth's climate, but it isn't behind the strong recent warming trend. Over the very long term, variations in Earth's orbit that shape where and when sunlight reaches the planet are the main cause of ice ages, but this doesn't apply to our current situation. It's true that the Sun has produced more sunspots in recent decades than it did in the early 1800s. However, this mainly reflects an increase in the ultraviolet range of sunlight, which is only a tiny part of the solar spectrum. Posted. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/06/sun-cause-climate-change EADS Seaweed-Powered Zero Emission ZEHST Plane Could Travel from London to New York in an Hour. Before the official opening of the Paris Air Show, Airbus parent company EADS revealed what it has in the works to be the successor to the Concorde jet: the Zero Emission Hypersonic Transportation plane, which could reach 3,125 miles per hour or 4 times the speed of sound (Mach 4) while producing only water. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/eads-seaweed-powered-zero-emission-zehst-plane-could-travel-from-london-to-new-york-in-an-hour/ Price of Solar Energy Predicted to Fall to $1 Per Watt by 2013. According to a report released today from the independent consulting firm Ernst & Young, the price of solar energy per watt is expected to fall to $1 by 2013, down from $2 in 2009. The association says in a recent report that the price per watt of solar energy is already down to $1.50 in 2011 and should continue to fall in the near future reflecting reductions in the cost of materials and advancements in efficiency. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/price-of-solar-energy-predicted-to-fall-to-1-per-watt-by-2013/ Critical List: Rich Countries Renege On Copenhagen Promise; Solar Panels Get Cheaper. Remember when, at Copenhagen, richer countries responsible for most carbon pollution promised to supply aid to poorer countries suffering the consequences? Yeah, that's not happening. People want to give Tony Hayward, the ex-BP head, money to buy oil and gas firms in emerging markets, perhaps because the idea of rich people fiddling with the economies of less-wealthy nations gives them warm fuzzy nostalgic feelings of colonialism. Posted. http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-20-critical-list-rich-countries-renege-on-copenhagen-promise-solar- 7 Airlines Sign Letters Of Intent To Negotiate Purchase Of Biomass-Derived Jet Fuel From Solena Fuels; Up To 16M Gallons Of Fuel Per Year. A core group of airlines has signed letters of intent with Solena Fuels, LLC for a future supply of jet fuel derived exclusively from biomass to be produced in northern California. Solena’s “GreenSky California” biomass-to-liquids (BTL) facility in Northern California (Santa Clara County) will utilize post-recycled urban and agricultural wastes to produce up to 16 million gallons of neat jet fuel …Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/06/7-airlines-sign-letters-of-intent-to-negotiate-purchase-of-biomass-derived-jet-fuel-from-solena-fuel.html