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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 28, 2011.

Posted: 28 Jun 2011 12:49:36
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 28, 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 Edges Closer To National Coal Plant Cleanup. Washington —
After years of delays and false starts under both Democratic and
Republican administrations, the Environmental Protection Agency
is close to finishing two measures to reduce pollution from
coal-fired power plants. Health experts say the pollution
reductions will save thousands of lives every year by sparing
people asthma attacks, heart attacks and other health problems.

UC Merced Study Shows Urban Rail Reduces Carbon Monoxide Air
Pollution. From reports. The opening of a major urban rail system
in Taiwan caused a meaningful reduction in air pollution,
according to a study by two UC Merced professors. "Despite the
importance of the transportation sector for air pollution, little
work has examined the air pollution effects of transportation
infrastructure directly," Professor Alexander Whalley and
Professor Yihsu Chen wrote in the paper. Posted.

Clean Air Funding Available. Applications are now being accepted
by the Tehama County Air Pollution Control District for Year 13
Carl Moyer Grant Funding. Projects that will be considered for
funding are remotely located diesel to diesel engine conversions,
diesel to electric conversions and replacement of agricultural
off-road equipment (i.e. tractors, forklifts, etc.). Other
projects may be considered on a case by case basis. The
application deadline is July 19. Posted.


American Climate Skeptic Soon Funded By Oil, Coal Firms.
(Reuters) - Willie Soon, a U.S. climate change skeptic who has
also discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal,
has received more than $1 million in funding in recent years from
large energy companies and an oil industry group, according to
Greenpeace. Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian
Center for Astrophysics, has also gotten funding from scientific
sources including NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. Posted.

Court: California Can Proceed With Cap-And-Trade Plan. San
Francisco -- A state appeals court has ruled that California can
move ahead with its plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from
power plants, refineries and other sources. California's 1st
District Court of Appeal on Friday overruled a San Francisco
judge who in May ordered the California Air Resources Board to
stop work on its cap-and-trade program. Posted.

Global Gas Flaring Reductions Slash Carbon Emissions. Orange gas
flares jutting from pipes and smokestacks are signs of working
oil fields across Russia, the Middle East and North Africa. The
same gas flares also spew hundreds of millions of tons of
greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere each year. In a
rapidly industrializing world that is using more oil, this has
become one of the biggest environmental issues to crack. Posted.

Reducing Black Carbon Would Ease Short-Term Warming Impacts.
Curbing soot emissions could go a long way toward reducing the
near-term effects of man-made climate change, according to a
report to Congress being prepared by U.S. EPA. Congress directed
the agency to complete the report on soot -- or black carbon --
by April 2012, as part of a fiscal 2010 spending law. Posted.
http://eenews.net/eenewspm/print/2011/06/27/1 By Subscription


Obama Considers Big Boost To Fuel Economy: 56.2 Mpg By 2025.
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is telling American
automakers that it would like cars and light trucks to average
56.2 miles per gallon by 2025 -- a boost to fuel economy that
would save consumers money at the pump and help with global
warming but drive up the cost of automobiles. Posted.

'Powering the electric vehicle' - ultracapacitors: a burst of
energy to electric vehicles.  Ultracapacitors have been used for
years in electrical appliances. Electric Vehicles integrate
ultracapacitors also but with different functionalities: from
backup energy sources to load stabilisers, ultracapacitors’
contribute is small but essential to electric vehicle operation.
In an ultracapacitor, the energy accumulates in the electrode,
not on the electrolyte as in batteries. Posted. 

California Green Vehicle Rebates In Jeopardy. California's rebate
program for electric and hybrid cars has run out of money for
this fiscal year. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project has been
offering California residents who purchase an electric or hybrid
vehicle a rebate of $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the type of
vehicle purchased. The state budget had allocated $5 million for
the program for the 2010-2011 fiscal year with an additional $2
million coming from the state's Energy Commission. Posted.


Riverside County May Add Fee To Solar Installations. The proposed
levy would require solar developers to pay 2% of their annual
revenue to offset the toll the plants could take on local
facilities and services. But solar developers say the fee could
make their installations unaffordable. Riverside County, home to
some of the largest solar energy plants in the state, is
considering imposing a development fee on such installations, a
move that critics say could chill prospects for the renewable
energy business in the region. Posted.

A Google Search Projects Big Future Economic Gains From Clean
Energy Investment. A new study by Google.org projects that
breakthroughs in clean energy technologies stemming from
aggressive federal and private-sector investment would add $150
billion in additional economic output and 1.1 million new jobs by
2030, with the gains continuing to grow in future years. The
study, "The New Prize: Clean Energy Innovation," is based on
McKinsey & Co.'s Low Carbon Economics computer modeling. Posted.


Landlords Protect Tenants From Secondhand Smoke. Several Tehama
County landlords have been teaming up with Public Health staff to
protect their tenants from the dangers of secondhand smoke. They,
as well as their residents, are reaping the benefits from this
collaboration. More than 84 percent of California adults do not
smoke, according to a release issued by Tehama County Public
Health. Most Californians are aware of the health hazards of
secondhand smoke and wish to be protected from it. Posted.


'Ode to My Hybrid's Expiring Carpool Lane Stickers'. O little
yellow strips of plastic --How you made my drive fantastic. [At
least you minimized the pain: With you, I used the carpool lane.]
The best eight bucks I ever spent Was for these babies. They were
meant To nudge us into hybrid wheels; And thousands flocked to
take those deals. It worked too well, and now they must 'As
chimney-sweepers, come to dust,' Expiring with the fiscal year
--That’s why my R.I.P. is here. Posted.

Now Is Time For California To Lead The Way On Reducing Emissions.
As deadlines approach for setting new clean car standards for
California and the nation, the Brown administration can play a
pivotal role. California has the power to reduce pollution, slow
the growth of climate changing greenhouse gases and shrink
America's deadly dependence on foreign oil. But convincing action
is needed now. Posted.

EDITORIAL: More Nanny State For You. California's busy-as-a-bee
regulators have taken another step to add to our reputation as a
"nanny state." The latest is the requirement that every
single-family dwelling in the state must have installed a carbon
monoxide detector by Friday. Apartment owners have until July
2013 to get their devices installed. The measure, which was
enacted in May 2010, says that failure to install such a device
(after an inspector has sent a 30-day warning notice) could
result in a $200 fine. Posted. 

Tank Standards Unchanged Since 2008. In her June 1 column,
"Government does a fine job not cleaning the air," Lois Henry
referred to California's above-ground gasoline storage tank rules
and the need for the California Air Resources Board to assist
businesses to meet requirements for certification. We couldn't
agree more. Posted.

Monkey See, Monkey Do ...It saddens me regularly to attend Solano
County Board of Supervisor meetings, as the behavior indicated in
Jon Riley's letter ("Criticism is fine", June 26) is too often
displayed. It saddens me even more that Mr. Riley resorts to name
calling, failure to validate, and innuendo in his letter. Mr.
Riley should have stuck to the topic: Poor behavior. Posted.

FORUM: A Better Solution For The Climate. Recent headlines show
that our state's efforts to mitigate climate change come not a
moment too soon: Thousands fled for higher ground along the
Mississippi River as floodwaters from torrential rains reached
record levels. Over a million acres have burned in
drought-stricken Texas. Posted.

The New "30 Years War" A 30-year war for energy preeminence?  You
wouldn’t wish it even on a desperate planet.  But that’s where
we’re headed and there’s no turning back. From 1618 to 1648,
Europe was engulfed in a series of intensely brutal conflicts
known collectively as the Thirty Years’ War. It was, in part, a
struggle between an imperial system of governance and the
emerging nation-state. Posted.


The Driverless Car: Innovation On Autopilot. As one of the great
innovators of Silicon Valley, Google is known for regularly
testing the waters with unorthodox ideas that appear to have
little to do with the company's core business. In just the past
two weeks, the company has announced a $280 million solar power
initiative and is in the process of conducting a new Google Ideas
conference for political extremists to discuss the role that
technology can play in de-radicalization efforts around the
globe. Posted.

Chevrolet Beat E.V. Hints at G.M.’s Electric Ambitions for India.
Absent the populist bombast that accompanied the introduction of
the Tata Nano, General Motors India recently unveiled an electric
vehicle prototype here based on the Chevrolet Beat, a microcar
related to the Sonic subcompact coming to market in the United
States and marketed elsewhere as the Spark. The Beat would be the
likely platform if G.M. were to produce a purely electric car for
India. Posted. 

Google’s Green Energy Wish List. For a moment, re-imagine Aladdin
as an engineer. He finds his magic lamp in an industrial park in
Silicon Valley or Boston or the Research Triangle in
Raleigh-Durham, and the genie who emerges offers him three
technological wishes. What should Aladdin wish for? Could any of
his wishes go wrong? Posted. 

Can Biofuels Save Sub-Saharan Africa? When soaring food prices,
climate change, growing energy demands, poverty, international
politics and social justice are in the mix, you have a tried and
true recipe for heated debate with just about anyone. I’m
referring, as you may have guessed, to the hot-button topic of
biofuels. Posted. 

GE Ad Calls Natural Gas Hot Stuff. A full-page ad in The
Washington Post states in big letters, “Natural gas is hot
stuff.” A bit of irony if I’ve ever seen one. The smaller print
of the ad extols the virtues of natural gas, including its
abundance in the U.S. and the energy independence its use will
bring. “Natural gas consists mainly of methane,” according to a
report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Posted. 

Electric Cars Set New Records at Pikes Peak. There were two
electric cars on the entrant list for this year's Pikes Peak Hill
Climb, and both set new records as they crossed the finish line
at 14,110 feet. First up was a 2011 Nissan Leaf, the first
production electric car to compete in the event, and – by default
– setting the initial record. Veteran Nissan off-road truck
racing champion Chad Hord was behind the wheel, and completed the
12.42-mile course in a respectable 14 minutes 33 seconds. Posted.

Nissan LEAF Becomes First Electric Class Pike’s Peak Champion.
Remember the stock Nissan LEAF that was planning to take on the
grueling Pike’s Peak Hill Climb? Well, it may not have had much
competition this year to become the Electric Production Class’s
first champion (read: any competition), but it did beat several
highly modified combustion-engined competitors to the summit.

Ford Spent $1.65 Million in First Quarter 2011 Lobbying for
Electric Vehicle Tax Breaks. It’s old news that automobile
companies spend a lot of time and money in Washington DC trying
to get what they want, but these days they’ve got their eyes on a
new prize - electric vehicle (EV) tax breaks. It was just
reported that Ford Motor Company spent $1.65 million in the first
quarter of 2011 lobbying for EV tax breaks – an increase of 20%
over the last quarter. Posted. 

California Hybrids Will Lose Their HOV Status This Friday. If you
live in California, it’s time to trade in your Prius for a Tesla
Model S. This Friday, July 1st, the state will strip hybrids of
their HOV carpool lane access — six months after originally
planned. But plug-in hybrids, fully electric cars such as the
Tesla Roadster, fuel cells, natural gas vehicles, and electric
cars with range-extending engines such as the Chevy Volt will
still have access to these lanes even with one person in the car
until 2015. Posted. 
Why Automakers Are Likely to Lose the Fuel-Economy Showdown.
We’re heading into a major confrontation on federal fuel economy
standards. It’s a question of who blinks first. Given the
outsized role that environmentally friendly California plays in
these proceedings, it’s very likely to be the automakers — who
hold a surprisingly weak hand as the negotiations proceed.

Berkeley Lab Study Finds That Residential Photovoltaic Systems
Boost the Sales Price of California Homes.  New research by
scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley
Lab) finds strong evidence that homes with solar photovoltaic
(PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar systems.
"We find compelling evidence that solar PV systems in California
have boosted home sales prices," says lead author Ben Hoen, a
researcher in Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies
Division (EETDPosted. 

Obama Mandates a Market for His Green Cars.  The Obama
administrations reported proposal of a 56 mpg fuel-economy
mandate by 2025 sets up an inherent conflict of interest for a
government that has given away hundreds of millions of federal
dollars to companies manufacturing batteries for electric cars. 

U.S. Politicians’ Campaign Of Terror Against Climate Scientists. 
U.S. politicians aren't just denying that climate change is
happening, they're actively using their position and power to try
to intimidate climate scientists into keeping silent on the
subject, says Raymond S. Bradley, director of the Climate System
Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  In
his new book, Global Warming and Political Intimidation:  Posted.

Westport To Work With GM To Develop Advanced Natural Gas Engine
Technology For Light-Duty Vehicles.  Westport Innovations Inc.
has entered into an agreement with General Motors to help develop
advanced natural gas engine technology for light-duty vehicles.
Both General Motors and Westport will bring their expertise to
developing natural gas engine controls, emissions and performance
strategies.  To support OEM programs, Westport plans to add
research and development facilities, such as a new Technical
Center in Michigan. Posted. 

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