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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.


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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 


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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.


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. 
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. 


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. 

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.

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.

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. 


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

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.

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.


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.


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. 

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. 

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.


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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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