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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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 


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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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


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. 

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. 

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.  

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


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. 

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. 


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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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