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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 21, 2011

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 11:22:29
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 21, 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.


Court Blocks States' Greenhouse-Gas Suit. The Supreme Court
blocked six states from suing power-plant operators over
greenhouse-gas emissions, ruling Monday unanimously that pending
federal regulation under the Clean Air Act pre-empts the case.
But the justices split 4-4 on related legal questions, leaving
open the possibility that states could revive their action if the
Obama administration fails to issue a final emissions rule by May
2012. Posted. 

Supreme Court kills global warming suit.  Reporting from
Washington— The fight over global warming and whether to limit
carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants must be resolved by
the Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court said,
killing a suit in federal court brought against the nation's five
largest electric power companies.  The 8-0 decision Monday was a
setback — but not a surprise — for environmentalists. The outcome
puts more pressure on the Obama administration and the EPA to
follow through with promises to propose new regulations in the
fall that will restrict carbon pollution from power plants. 

Commerce secretary nominee John Bryson becomes pawn in political
chess match.  Tapping a respected Southern California businessman
as the next Commerce secretary seemed an astute move by President
Obama to mend fences with corporate America, but former Edison
International Chief Executive John Bryson still faces a rocky
road for confirmation.  Heading into a Senate hearing Tuesday,
Bryson, 67, has become a pawn in a hyper-partisan Washington
political chess match that has left dozens of nominees on hold. 

Climate Change: Public Skeptical, Scientists Sure.  The American
public is less likely to believe in global warming than it was
just five years ago. Yet, paradoxically, scientists are more
confident than ever that climate change is real and caused
largely by human activities.  Something a bit strange is
happening with public opinion and climate change.  Anthony
Leiserowitz, who directs the Yale University Project on Climate
Change Communication, delved into this in a recent poll. He not
only asked citizens what they thought of climate change, he also
asked them to estimate how climate scientists feel about global
warming.  Posted. 

China says it's committed to low-carbon economy.  BEIJING—Chinese
officials announced Wednesday a three-day international
conference to discuss how to address climate change, while
conveying to the world that China is determined to develop a
low-carbon economy.  Representatives from 30 international
organizations and 10 areas and countries will attend the
conference in Beijing starting Wednesday, said Huang Wenhang of
the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top
economic planning body.  She told a news conference that
delegates would focus on policy measures for green carbon
development, adapting to climate change and capacity building,
including how to widen fundraising channels.  Posted.   


NATURAL GAS: Texas passes fracking disclosure law.  A law signed
Friday by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) takes the state one step
closer to complete disclosure of the chemicals used in the
controversial process of hydraulic fracturing. The law will
require companies to publicize the chemicals used for hydraulic
fracturing jobs in the Lone Star State. In the past, companies
have protected that information, arguing that the chemicals they
use to carry out the shale gas drilling technique constitute
trade secrets. Posted.  BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. 

US military ready to buy affordable, homegrown jet biofuels. 
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- Maj. Aaron Jelinek of the Air
Force Thunderbirds flies his F-16 upside down, rolls it, thunders
past his teammates in breathtaking close charges and joins five
other fighter jets in precision formation.  And for the first
time in the 58 years of Thunderbird air shows, Jelinek's flight
last month was fueled by a 50-50 blend of conventional jet fuel
and biofuels.  "Flying is a blast," he said after the show at
Andrews Air Force Base, outside Washington. As for the biofuels
blend, he said: "There is no difference that I can tell." 
Biofuels have buzz in the military because the Air Force and the
Navy are taking a lead role in creating a U.S. market for them. 



PROMISES, PROMISES: White House misses own deadline for
installing solar panels on roof.  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Last
October, the Obama administration announced plans to install
solar panels on the roof of the White House by the spring of this
year, returning the power of the sun to the pinnacle of
prominence a quarter-century after Jimmy Carter's pioneering
system was taken down.  Spring has come and gone, and the
promised panels have yet to see the light of day.  Administration
officials blame the complexities of the contracting process, and
say the solar project is still an active one. But they can't say
when it'll be complete.  Posted. 



NATIONS: Middle East's push toward renewable energy spurred by
rising oil prices. There's a revolution sweeping the Middle East
that has nothing to do with street uprisings or Twitter protests.
It's a clean energy upheaval with international implications that
could transform the Arab world from North Africa to the Persian
Gulf. Solar plants are cropping up in Jordan and Morocco. Wind
farms are being built in Egypt and Tunisia. Eight Arab nations
and the Palestinian territories have a renewable energy target,
and at least five more are taking serious steps to promote the
domestic use of clean energy. Posted. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. 


EU project focuses on electric car batteries.  With €3.5million
in funding, a two-year research project has been launched by an
EU consortium with the aim of developing fast rechargeable
zinc-polymer batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.  The
research programme looks at fundamental material and process
advances in ionic liquids, ultra-fast pulse charge injection
techniques, conducting polymers, rechargeable zinc electrodes and
constructing prototypes battery units for industry standard
testing. It is hoped that the research will help create a battery
device that will be low cost, with low environmental impact,
while having the energy and power density to compete with
alternative battery technologies.  Posted. 


Lake Mohave: Houseboat center floats eco-friendly ideas.  A
floating building, decked out with environmentally friendly
features, is open for business in southern Nevada.  The facility
at Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, 14 miles east of Searchlight,
Nev., serves as the new operations center for Forever Resorts,
which rents a variety of watercraft, from WaveRunners to
houseboats.  The decking of the new building is made from rice
hulls, and recycled tires form much of the outer shell. With its
somewhat unconventional materials, the structure cost $642,000 --
more than the cost of traditional construction, the operators
say.  Posted. 

Protected bike lanes will change the fearful realities of urban
cycling.  I have seen the potential future of biking in cities
across the country.  And friends, our heart-pounding, car
door-fearing, bus-dodging urban rides may never be the same.  In
Chicago, you can get a glimpse of it. It is a protected bike
lane, the first of its kind in Chicago, under construction as
part of a federally funded test.  But I recently saw and rode a
fully operational version in New York, where 4.9 miles of
protected bike lanes have been built over the last few years. 


How politicians intimidate global warming scientists.  Politics
and science make for a dangerous brew, Raymond S. Bradley reveals
in his book “Global Warming and Political Intimidation: How
Politicians Cracked Down on Scientists as the Earth Heated Up,”
to be released next month by University of Massachusetts Press.
Bradley, director of the Climate System Research Center at the
University of Massachusetts Amherst, describes how politicians
who disagree with findings on global warming have intimidated him
and his colleagues.  Posted. 

Implications of Today’s U.S. Supreme Court Decision in AEP v.
Connecticut for Climate Change Regulation.  Thank you so much for
the warm welcome.  I really look forward to being part of the
dialogue and am honored to be joining this interesting group.  As
a first post, I wanted to share some reflections on today's
Supreme Court decision in AEP v. Connecticut. In an 8-0 decision
authored by Justice Ginsburg (with Justice Sotomayor recusing
herself), the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the Clean Air Act and
the EPA actions it authorizes displace any federal common law
right to seek abatement of carbon-dioxide emissions from
fossil-fuel fired power plants. Posted. 

Electric Vehicles: Federal Funding and Bi-Partisan Support. 
Advocates of electric vehicles are found throughout our political
spectrum from environmentalists seeking to address climate change
issues to national security analysts endorsing a reduction in the
import of foreign oil. Whether the motivation is the environment
or national security, one of the most noteworthy accomplishments
of the burgeoning electric vehicle industry is its ability to
transcend traditional, partisan lines. Posted. 

Do we have to choose between big or small clean energy projects? 
A recent Colorado news story captures the tension between two
visions of renewable energy, with a quote that illustrates the
conventional wisdom: "It's not an either or choice, that we only
put solar on rooftops or on people's homes or do utility scale,
large projects," said Pete Maysmith, executive director of the
Colorado Conservation Voters.  "As we move forward toward energy
independence, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, on dirty,
polluting sources of energy like coal, we need to move forward on
all fronts with renewable [energy], and that includes rooftop
solar and community solar gardens, local power. It also includes
utility-scale solar that is properly sited, and that’s really
important."  On the contrary, we may have to choose.  Posted. 

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