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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 15, 2011. Posted: 15 Aug 2011 14:26:49
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 15, 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 Sacredness of Temecula-area quarry site adds to fight. Imagine having the Garden of Eden in your backyard and watching it disappear, one explosive blast at a time. Leaders of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians say something similar will happen if a proposed Temecula-area quarry is approved in the area where they believe the world began. "The origin of the Luiseño people is the single most important account in our culture," Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said. "Our present-day practices, beliefs and social structure are directly related to our creation." Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_sacred14.3ddd799.html Odors, air emissions and livestock mortality composting. Nearly all people initially think that a dead animal, if told nothing else about the carcass, smells badly. This is because typically their experiences are limited to road kill and mice in the garage. A well-managed composting system for on-farm mortality does not have to be an air quality concern! Similar to other areas of livestock production there are air emissions from composting livestock mortality. Greenhouse gases and ammonia are all emitted from the compost site. Posted. http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-news/Odors-air-emissions-and-livestock-mortality-composting-127757193.html?ref=193 EPA stays tight-lipped on ozone review. Two weeks after missing a self-imposed deadline for a review of the national air quality standards for ozone, the Obama administration dropped few hints about its plans Friday when it told a federal court it will need more time to make a decision. The filing with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia does not say when U.S. EPA will release a final rule that was sent to the White House in mid-July. The interagency review process should be finished soon, "after which EPA expects expeditiously to sign the final action," the filing says. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/15/5 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Obama administration encounters opposition to international climate agenda. President Obama spoke of lofty intentions to help the world reduce greenhouse gases when he addressed delegates to United Nations talks in Copenhagen in 2009. “We have charted our course, we have made our commitments, and we will do what we say,” he said. “Now I believe that it’s time for the nations and people of the world to come together behind a common purpose.” Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/obama-administration-encounters-opposition-to-international-climate-agenda/2011/08/01/gIQAnRWoFJ_story.html With Post-Its and Checklists, Schools Cut Their Energy Bills. Simple yellow Post-it notes with the message “When not in use, turn off the juice,” pointedly left on classroom computers, printers and air-conditioners, have helped the Mount Sinai School District on Long Island save $350,000 annually on utility bills. Energy consumption in New York City’s 1,245 school buildings is down roughly 11 percent since 2008, as motion detectors have been installed on classroom lights and unused refrigerators and freezers have been unplugged for the summer. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/education/15energy.html?_r=1 New study blames human beings for half of arctic ice melt. About half the recent record loss of Arctic sea ice can be blamed on global warming caused by human activity, according to a new study by scientists from the nation's leading climate research center. The peer-reviewed study, funded by the National Science Foundation is the first to attribute a specific proportion of the ice melt to greenhouse gases and particulates from pollution. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/14/1815947/new-study-blames-human-beings.html (paid subscription only) http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/08/14/2499493/new-study-blames-human-beings.html#storylink=misearch Parking? Yes, there's an app for that. Everyone who drives has had the frustrating experience of circling the block in search of an elusive parking space, or pulling into a garage to discover that it is full. All that time spent driving around in search of parking wastes time and gas -- and emits even more of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. That's where "smart parking" comes in -- the use of wireless technology and smartphone apps to make parking far easier, from directing you to open spots to facilitating online payments. http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18671794 Flurry of lobbying as Calif. Approaches final cap-and-trade design. As California's cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases nears the finish line, industry and environmental groups are still polarized on most of the major issues, from how many allowances industries should get for free to the stringency of the offsets system. Public comments were due last week on the second-to-last version of California's cap-and-trade program, which will be the first economy wide market-based system in the country for corralling greenhouse gas emissions when it takes effect next year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/15/2 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Northeast states considering low-carbon fuel rule based on Calif. model. A group of 11 states in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions is working on a plan that could cut the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by as much as 15 percent over the next 10 to 15 years. The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) is set to release a framework for a low-carbon fuel standard pending the completion of an economic analysis, which could happen as early as this month. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/08/15/2 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Carbon emissions from soil could limit sequestration efforts – study. The carbon-sucking potential of tropical forests could be diminished significantly by decaying leaves and plant matter, a new study from Nature Climate Change says. The culprit is a process known as the priming effect, said Emma Sayer, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the United Kingdom. The extra CO2 that is expected to enter the atmosphere in the coming decades will encourage overall plant growth in the forests. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/15/3 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Small-scale experiment yields a 'sponge' that traps power plant CO2.There is a new sponge that researchers hope could absorb greenhouse gases from power plants one day. In a recent study, scientists at Lehigh University created a new material that pulls carbon dioxide and methane selectively from a stream of other gases. In theory, the new spongy substance could sop up heat-trapping gases emitted from the burning of coal or natural gas. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/15/4 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY What is cap-and-trade? Program would lower greenhouse gas emissions, but panned by Tea Party. The cap-and-trade approach to handling greenhouse gases, while controversial, is hardly complex. The basic premise of the pollution management program involves imposing mandatory limits - the caps - on the amount of allowable emissions from certain businesses. Step two grants companies’ credits - basically, licenses allowing them to release a specific amount of carbon dioxide or other pollutants into the air. Posted. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/08/12/2011-08-12_what_is_capandtrade_program_would_lower_greenhouse_gas_emissions_but_panned_by_t.html#ixzz1V7ummfXI DIESEL EMISSIONS Pittsburgh panel OKs diesel limits for contractors. Pittsburgh City Council has approved a bill that would limit diesel emissions on contractors' vehicles used in city-subsidized construction projects. The bill was hailed as the first clean-air law passed by council since the middle of last century, though Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office says he was still reviewing the bill and uncertain if he would sign it. The bill passed Tuesday with a veto-proof 8-0 majority, however, making that a formality. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18468351 CARB rejects port truckers bid. After agreeing to a panel hearing, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has decided against a recommendation to delay the scheduled emissions upgrades for drayage trucks in the Port of Oakland. We did not accomplish our intended outcome,” Ronald Light, executive director of the West State Alliance told Fleet Owner following the hearing. The hearing was designed to give truckers hauling in and out of the area port the opportunity to voice their concerns about the impact of the scheduled Phase II …Posted. http://fleetowner.com/management/news/carb-rejects-port-truckers-0815/ VEHICLES DRIVING GREEN: Electric vehicle practicality. As Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs trickle into area showrooms, we have reached the dawning of the age of Duracell. Mass-produced electric vehicles are finally breaking out of their niche after languishing for more than a century, as other manufacturers are jockeying to bring their battery electric and extended-range electric cars to market as quickly as possible …Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/driving-green-electric-vehicle-practicality/2011/08/12/gIQATzo0BJ_story.html Surprise! Ford's V-6 gamble turbocharges sales of F-150. Five years ago, when Ford considered a push to put a pricey, premium V-6 in more F-150s, it seemed like a dangerous gamble with a macho, full-sized pickup known for toughness and capacity. To many dealers and company insiders, it seemed like a bad joke. "I once said, "Bubba don't buy nothing but a V-8, and we've got a lot of Bubbas out here,'" recalls Martin Gubbels, owner of Big Sky Ford-Lincoln in Torrington, Wyo. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110815/OEM06/308159983/1254 BY REGISTRATION ONLY Ford's new option: Home solar power. Floor mats, mag wheels -- and now solar panels for the roof of your house. The list of dealer-offered options gets a first with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric. Ford has teamed up with SunPower to offer a residential solar-power system. The system, which can produce 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, doesn't directly charge the vehicle's battery. But Ford says it can provide enough electricity to the house to balance out the strain that a 1,000-mile-per-month driver puts on the electric bill. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110815/OEM06/308159977/1186 BY REGISTRATION ONLY U-M Eco-Driving Index tracks environmental impact of new vehicles. A new national index by the University of Michigan shows that emissions of greenhouse gases per driver of newly purchased vehicles are down fourteen percent since late 2007. UMTRI researchers developed the index as part of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation. The U-M Eco-Driving Index estimates the average monthly amount of greenhouse gases produced by an individual U.S. driver who purchased a new vehicle that month. Posted. http://www.umtri.umich.edu/news.php?id=2854 Not sure about buying an EV yet? Just rent it first! Major US and Europe car rental companies are proposing and announcing the integration of electric vehicles (hybrid, plug-in and full electric) into their fleets, giving consumers the opportunity to rent almost every EV commercially available as soon as they hit the market. cars21.com summarised their offers below, focusing on the offer of plug-in and full electric vehicles to rent. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/63820110812.php GREEN ENERGY Corbett downplays Pa. green energy, conservation. A newspaper says the Corbett administration is putting aside renewable energy and energy conservation efforts emphasized by previous governors as it focuses on Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/onSYHd) that the administration has stripped employees from offices that oversee utility efforts to save energy and help schools and local governments conserve energy. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18684667 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18684667 One solution to the variability of wind power is more wind. The output from a single wind turbine can vary widely over a short period of time, as wind goes from gusty to calm. The adjacent graphic (from this report [PDF]) illustrates how a single turbine in Texas provided varying power output over a single day, varying from under 20 percent of capacity to near 100 percent! Posted. http://www.grist.org/wind-power/2011-08-11-solving-wind-powers-variability-with-more-wind-power Are California’s Renewable Energy Goals Achievable? California is committed to a renewable energy portfolio to provide 33 percent of its electricity by 2020 from qualifying resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and small hydroelectric facilities. Can this portfolio succeed? Ambitious goals take more than legislative action to have a chance for success. It takes an actual plan that can be implemented with actual engineering accomplishments. Posted. http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Are-Californias-Renewable-Energy-Goals-Achievable.html MISCELLANEOUS More colleges offering organic, sustainability agriculture programs as consumer interest grows. Misha Manuchehri slowly picks her way through plots of barley, wheat and peas. Every so often, the graduate student in crop science at Washington State University stoops to pluck an errant weed at a farm just off campus. With a bachelor’s degree in organic agriculture already under her belt, Manuchehri plans to continue her studies and ultimately find work in sustainable agriculture. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/environment/more-colleges-offering-organic-sustainability-agriculture-programs-as-consumer-interest-grows/2011/08/15/gIQAlWcSGJ_story.html OPINIONS High-speed rail: on track to better travel. When The Chronicle endorsed Proposition 1A, the $9.95 billion bond measure that provided California's share of funding for the statewide high-speed rail system, the newspaper said it represented an "ambitious vision that is well tailored to the state's transportation and environmental needs." The Chronicle argued that we will see the "economic and environmental benefits of connecting urban centers with growing inland cities that don't have major airports - and providing an alternative to the cattle-call flights between the Bay Area and Southern California." Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/14/INBD1KL73V.DTL&type=printable 'Leaf To Home': A Charging System That Powers Your Ev (And Then Some). Back in November, when I was invited to visit Nissan's American headquarters outside of Nashville to give the Leaf - the company's revolutionary, emissions-free electric vehicle - a spin, my main concern wasn't with how the car handled on Tennessee's lonely back roads (it handled just fine) but with its sleeping arrangements. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/15/1816631/leaf-to-home-a-charging-system.html (paid subscription only) Editorial: don't put brakes on transportation funding. The trauma of the past two weeks has driven the point home: America must reduce its national debt. However, we dread the next major battle between Republicans trying to cut spending and Democrats fighting to maintain the status quo. Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, proposes to cut federal funding for highway and mass transit construction and repair by a third. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108140313 Thumbs down: home owners associations should allow solar panels on condominiums. The Palm Valley homeowners association is setting the wrong example by denying a Palm Desert couple's request to install solar panels on their condo. The homeowners want to go green to save money on electricity and help the environment, a practical and noble effort. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108120339 Fuel efficiency? Be careful what you wish for. One of the persistent canards of the free-us-from-foreign-oil crowd is that if we can make our cars more economical – get more miles to the gallon – we can win release from Middle Eastern oil dependency. Not exactly. As Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe Columnist, explains: “Americans use energy far more efficiently than in decades past, and for that reason they consume more energy.” Posted. http://orangepunch.ocregister.com/2011/08/12/fuel-efficiency-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/47991/ BLOGS Film on Climate Refugees Strikes a Chord. During the shooting of his 2010 documentary “Climate Refugees,” the Irish-American filmmaker Michael Nash visited nearly 50 countries in about 18 months, interviewing politicians, scientists, health workers and victims of floods, cyclones, hurricanes and droughts. His conclusion was that short- and longer-term changes in climate are causing vast numbers of people to abandon their jobs, homes and countries to seek better lives elsewhere, or to simply survive. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/film-on-climate-refugees-strikes-a-chord/?ref=earth After 2 studies, methane puzzle persists. One climate-science conundrum, two research teams, two independent approaches, two seemingly conflicting conclusions. The unsolved mystery, or perhaps now, twice-solved mystery: Why did atmospheric methane levels, steadily on the rise since record-keeping began, abruptly level off and stabilize in the last three decades? Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/after-2-studies-methane-puzzle-persists/?ref=earth Measuring your plastic footprint. With climate change and carbon dioxide emissions dominating the environmental conversation much of the time, the issue of plastic pollution tends to get short shrift. Still, the problem is worrying enough to be stirring serious concern among environmental and scientific experts, especially when it comes to plastic that ends up in the oceans, where it never quite biodegrades and can form a swelling gyre of sludge. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/measuring-your-plastic-footprint/?ref=earth Usda, DOE award $12.2 million to 10 bioenergy crop projects. The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have awarded ten grants totaling $12.2 million to spur research in biofuel and bioenergy crops. The specific goal is to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of growing bioenergy crops. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/15/usda-doe-award-12-2-million-to-10-bioenergy-crop-projects/ DOE awards $175 million for development of advanced vehicle technologies. Can you build a better car for $175 million? The U.S. Department of Energy hopes so, and Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the DOE will award more than that amount over the next three to five years to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/14/doe-awards-175-million-for-development-of-advanced-vehicle-tech/ White house says job growth will come from higher mpg standards . Yesterday, President Obama visited the Johnson Controls advanced battery manufacturing plant in Holland, MI (pictured) and talked about how cleaner cars will add jobs to the American economy. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/12/white-house-says-job-growth-will-come-from-higher-mpg-standards/ How the 54.5 mpg cafe standard will really equal 40 mpg in the real world. First there was 62 miles per gallon, then 56.2 mpg, then 54.5 mpg, and now we could be looking at 40 mpg for Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) in 2025. What's that you say, you thought 54.5 was the official number? Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/12/how-the-54-5-mpg-cafe-standard-will-really-equal-40-mpg-in-the-r/ Nissan Leaf Will Power Homes in Japan. This week, automaker Nissan announced a two-way charging system that will allow the new all-electric Nissan Leaf to not only charge up, but also to reverse the flow of electricity to allow the car to power the home for brief periods during power outages or shortages. Considering the recent calamity in Japan’s power generation system, and the numerous blackouts that occurred in the aftermath, this capability will certainly be appreciated. Meanwhile, energy saving measures in the wake of the disaster have reduced Tokyo’s electric demand by about a third. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/08/nissan-leaf-able-power-homes-japan/ Agave as a Biofuel? A new study by University of Sydney and England's Oxford University researchers is investigating the possibility that the agave plant could be farmed as a fuel source in the Australian outback. The agave plant is best known as a Mexican plant used to distil tequila and mescal….'In terms of producing ethanol, agave is about the same as sugar cane - but the advantage over sugar cane is they survive in very dry areas on little water,'' The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 29 July. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/agave-biofuel/ Lifting the Lid on Climate Activism. With legislative remedies falling far behind the threat of climate change, nonviolent direction action is increasingly being seen as the critical next step for environmental activists and advocates. Filmmaker Emily James spent more than a year embedded with British activist outfits like Climate Camp and Plane Stupid to document their clandestine activities and offer unprecedented access to a community of people who refuse to sit back and tolerate the destruction of their world. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/lifting-lid-climate-activism/ Ecotricity Rolls Out the World’s First Wind Powered Car Charger. Ah Ecotricity, how we love your innovative and awesome ways. Not content with pioneering electric highways and eco-friendly supercars, the UK based renewable energy company has created the world’s first wind turbine-powered post for charging electric vehicles. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/ecotricity-rolls-out-the-worlds-first-wind-powered-car-charger/