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newsclips -- News Clips for August 5, 2011 Posted: 05 Aug 2011 14:15:58
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 5, 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 Suzlon to Pay $490,000 Pollution Penalty in U.S. Indian wind turbine company Suzlon Energy Ltd. will pay a $490,000 penalty for pollution violations in the U.S. over a period of four quarters, starting from the current quarter, the company said Friday. "This refers to a 2008 issue at our subsidiary Suzlon Rotor Corp., a Pipestone-based manufacturing facility," the company said in a statement. It added that it "has been in full compliance with all environmental norms in the state since this was discovered". Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903366504576489462322005674.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Chevron fined $170,000 for not fully reporting polluting releases. Chevron has agreed to pay $170,000 to air quality regulators for underreporting pollution from the flaring system at its Richmond refinery. A gas line at the refinery was sending gases to the flare stack in a way that bypassed the refinery's flare monitoring system. That meant that in flaring events on 27 days between 2005 and 2009, the company underreported how much pollution was released from the flare, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_18617889?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com Bill aims to kill Liberty Quarry. Hoping to protect land it considers sacred, an influential Temecula-area tribe is pushing state legislation that could quash the proposed Liberty Quarry project. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have signed on to the measure by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. As drafted, the legislation would expand a law that restricts gold and silver mining near American Indian reservations and sacred sites. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_quarry05.922f53ef.html Study: Bioplastics may harm environment. Bad news about “environmentally friendly” biodegradable plastics: They may not be so environmentally friendly after all. According to research from North Carolina State University, biodegradable plastics can release large amounts of methane while decomposing. And methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The study was funded by Procter & Gamble, a major manufacturer of plastic products. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/study-bioplastics-may-harm-environment-11916 CLIMATE CHANGE State pushes to expand recycling. Many Californians tend to associate car exhaust and factory emissions with greenhouse gasses blamed for climate change brought on by global warming. But how about paper, cardboard, old lumber and plastic? What role do those waste products play by being thrown away instead of being recycled? Apparently, one big enough that the state is preparing a new mandatory commercial recycling program designed to reduce the volume of goods produced with new raw materials at fossil-fuel burning plants that emit greenhouse gasses. Posted. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/04/recycling-mandate-to-expand-for-apartments/ New study helps track movement of CO2 emissions in the U.S. In a project that could help pave the way for a national carbon dioxide tracking system, scientists have determined which regions are carbon sinks and which are sources. In a paper out this week in the journal Biogeosciences, researchers conclude that dense crop regions tend to absorb carbon while areas that import and use a lot of agricultural products release more carbon into the atmosphere. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/08/05/5/ BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Bill gives Riverside County the OK for electric vehicles. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday that gives Riverside County and its cities the ability to allow smaller, slower electric vehicles on more roads. The measure is the latest of several bills over the years that have carved out exceptions in parts of California to the statewide rule prohibiting neighborhood electric vehicles from roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or more. Thursday's measure is by far the biggest in scope, making it possible that the electric vehicles -- sometimes referred to as "golf carts on steroids" -- will become much more common in the state's fourth-largest county. Posted. http://www.pe.com/politics/miller/stories/PE_News_Local_D_electriccars05.3a14875.html Toyota will build Tesla-powered RAV4 EV in Canada. Toyota Motor Corp. will build an electric RAV4 in-house in Canada next year rather than having partner Tesla Motors Inc. assemble the model at the plant it acquired from Toyota in California. The companies said this morning that Toyota's Tesla-powered EV will be produced in Woodstock, Ontario, where Toyota already makes the gasoline-powered RAV4 crossover. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110805/OEM05/110809876/1186 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Will fuel standards boost or bury electric vehicles? As auto industry leaders discussed a new round of fuel economy standards with the White House, their chief lobbying group released a series of ads decrying the proposed 56.2 mpg target, saying it amounted to "an electric vehicle mandate." Now that automakers have agreed to a 54.5 mpg level by 2025, it is unclear if they still think of the standards as an electric vehicle mandate. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2011/08/05/11/ BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Energy-efficiency program offer rebates. Brian and Kelley Johnson could tell their new home wasn't airtight. Drafts brought in the chill that permeates the Sunset neighborhood, deep within San Francisco's fog belt. The furnace didn't seem to help much. "I didn't like the fact that we were heating the neighborhood," said Brian Johnson, 45. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/05/BUK91KJEEE.DTL California utilities get 17 percent of power from green sources. The state's large investor owned utilities now receive17 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other green sources, according to a quarterly report by the California Public Utilities Commission. Under state law, investor-owned utilities such as PG&E Corp. and Southern California Edison are required to obtain 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, but the CPUC has provided the utilities with an additional three years to comply with the 20 percent target. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/04/3817906/large-utilities-in-state-now-get.html#mi_rss=Business Gov. Cuomo signs power plant siting bill. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Thursday that will allow New York to increase its power production and provide low-interest loans to homeowners and businesses for the cost of energy efficiency projects. The Power N.Y. Act will allow for the first significant increase in power plants to be built in New York since a previous plant siting law expired in 2003. The Cuomo administration said the new law will promote expansion of businesses and result in tens of thousands of new jobs. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/APb622e2623a644c5bbd5f61ee8f512d28.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/aug/04/apnewsbreak-cuomo-to-sign-power-plant-siting/ Southern Co. sees price tag of at least $13B for new EPA rules. Southern Co., the largest U.S. power company, would need to spend $13 billion to $18 billion through 2020 upgrading its coal-fired plants if U.S. EPA goes ahead with new and proposed rules for the power sector, the utility said yesterday. Yesterday was the deadline to comment on a high-profile proposal from the Obama administration, known as the "Utility MACT" rule, that would limit the amount of mercury, acid gases and heavy metals that coal plants can release into the air. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2011/08/05/3/ BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Bike sharing may not only save environment, it can aid health too. Public bicycle sharing is gaining popularity in cities around the world as people are trading cars for low-cost rental bikes used for short hops around town. While it's hoped this will have a positive effect on the environment, a study finds that it may benefit people's health as well. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-bicycles-health-20110804,0,7612648.story RV companies stung by recession look to green tech. Lane County's fragile recreational-vehicle manufacturing industry could find hope in an unexpected place - green technology. The Eugene Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/pGItWx ) RV manufacturer Country Coach has plans to develop a diesel-electric hybrid, but that plan will have to wait as the local luxury motor coach industry tries to survive. "I don't expect to see the type of numbers of manufacturing in the high-end that there was in the past. I don't expect to see that ever return," said Ron Lee, who early this year resurrected a much smaller version of Country Coach, the company founded in 1973 by his brother and legendary RV pioneer Bob Lee. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/aug/04/rv-companies-stung-by-recession-look-to-green/ OPINION GOP vs. Mother Nature. House Republicans, especially those of the "tea party" ilk, think they know the cause of our country's economic woes: environmental regulations. As a result, they loaded up the appropriations bill that funds the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency with dozens of riders that would encourage deadly pollution of the air and water, set back efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and allow uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, among other things. Such riders are commonplace on annual appropriations bills, but Washington insiders say they've never seen such a breathtaking assault on the environment. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-interior-20110805,0,6952661.story BLOGS What new fuel-efficiency standards mean to you. Environmental groups were pushing Obama to announce a 60 mile-per-gallon fleet-wide standard as the updated fuel standards, or CAFE, mandate. Obama initially indicated he'd go with 57.5 but then, seeming to compromise with critics who had yet to materialize, he announced 54.5. Even 54.5 is an upgrade from the current requirement of just 35 mpg. But, according to analyses by CERES and the Union of Concerned Scientists, Obama isn't just missing an environmental opportunity by setting the bar low for automakers; he's also missing an key opportunity to create jobs and put spending money in consumers pockets. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=94708 Revenue rises but losses widen at Tesla electric car company. Electric car company Tesla Motors Inc. posted a loss of $58.9 million in the second quarter as it sunk money into developing its Model S sedan and a crossover that it is calling Model X. Tesla, based in Palo Alto, is refurbishing an old Toyota factory in Fremont, where it plans to build the cars. The Model S, an all-electric luxury sedan, is expected to go on sale next year. The loss was 53% larger than the $38.5 million the company lost in the same period a year earlier. Revenue, however, grew 105% to $58.2 million. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/08/revenue-rises-but-losses-widen-at-tesla-electric-car-company.html E.P.A. Is ‘Greening the Apple.’ A belated welcome to the blogosphere, E.P.A. I was recently surprised to discover a new kid on the block: the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greening the Apple blog. Introduced in March, the blog was created by the agency’s regional office in New York and is the first one focusing on a single metropolitan area. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/e-p-a-is-greening-the-apple/?ref=earth New CAFÉ Standards: Is 54.5 MPG by 2025 Really Enough? Last week, the Obama administration made a dramatic announcement that unfortunately got lost in all the hoopla over the debt ceiling and the political maneuverings thereof. They announced a new set of ambitious fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks that will make a significant dent in our dependence on oil and our carbon dioxide emissions. These new standards require a 5% annual improvement for cars, and 3.5% for light trucks for the first five years, then 5% after that. The end result is the fleet average fuel economy for each automaker will be 54.5 mpg by the year 2025. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/08/new-cafe-standards-545-mpg-2025-really-enough/ Study: Worldwide Sales Of Electrified Vehicles To Hit 32.1 Million In 2025. Japanese research firm Fuji Keizai Group forecasts that combined sales of plug-in hybrid, electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles will hit 32.1 million units worldwide in 2025. Fuji Kezai says that sales of these electrified vehicles will climb to 5.46 million units in 2015, a six-fold increase compared to the approximately 900,000 electrified vehicles sold worldwide in 2010. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/05/worldwide-sales-of-electrified-vehicles-to-hit-32-1-million-in-2/ Fedex To Double The Size Of Its Electric Vehicle Fleet. With a whopping 19 electric vehicles, FedEx's battery-powered fleet isn't all that big. But, with FedEx Express adding more than 4,000 fuel-efficient vehicles within the next two months – including 24 of the electric-only variety – the package delivery company's fleet of electrics will soon more than double in size to, drumroll, 43 units. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/05/fedex-to-double-the-size-of-its-electric-vehicle-fleet/ EPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Will Force Some Dirty Coal Plants To Shut Down. Utility companies across the U.S. will shut down and retire aging coal-fired power plants following the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAP). This rule is intended to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide at coal-fired power plants and makes it incredibly costly for utility companies to modernize aging facilities to meet the stringent emissions standards. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/05/epa-cross-state-air-pollution-rule-forces-some-coal-plants-to-sh/ Siemens Study: Electric Cars More Convenient To Refuel Than Engined Cars. German electronics giant Siemens just released the results of a study of Munich EV owners and the results show that drivers in this compact European city find EVs quite suitable for everyday use – not really a big surprise after 10 months and 300,000 kilometers driven. But will the results translate across the pond to the sprawling U.S.? Posted. http://inhabitat.com/siemens-study-electric-cars-more-convenient-to-refuel-than-engined-cars/ BMW Group Releases Results Of UK-Supported EV Trial. The BMW Group released the data from the MINI E field trial in the UK. (Earlier post.) With 62 members of the public and 76 pool users running the battery-powered hatchbacks over two six-month periods, the Government-supported trial is the most in-depth of its kind in the UK to publish its findings. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/minie-20110805.html Increasing Engine Efficiency Through Extreme Compression. Engineers at Stanford University report on preliminary experiments using a lean, diesel-like combustion strategy for compression ratios of 30 to 100:1 with indicated efficiencies resulting from 52 to 60%. Their paper appears in the International Journal of Engine Research. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/compression-20110805.html Fuji Keizai Group Forecasts Global EV, Hybrid And Fuel Cell Vehicle Sales To Reach 32.1M Units In 2025. Japanese research company Fuji Keizai Group forecasts that EV, hybrid (standard and plug-in hybrid) and fuel cell vehicles will have combined worldwide sales of 32.1 million units in 2025. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/fuji-20110805.html