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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 22, 2011.

Posted: 22 Aug 2011 12:55:06
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 22, 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.


Drivers encouraged to stay in the zone. Unlike most new fees and
taxes, this one might actually go away - if residents heed a new
alert system when air quality deteriorates. Starting next month,
San Joaquin Valley motorists will pay an extra $12 when they
register their vehicles. Why? Ozone pollution exceeded federal
standards on seven days last year, triggering a $29 million
penalty from the federal government. Posted. 


Hopes low before South Africa climate change talks.
Johannesburg—South Africa's foreign minister said Monday she is
hoping for compromise but expects only incremental progress in
climate change talks she's hosting, further lowering hopes the
Durban meeting will produce a dramatic agreement to stop global
There are fears that "politics cannot deliver on what science
requires," Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told South African business
leaders in a speech Monday. Posted. 


Farmers sought for biofuel project. Farm officials, hoping to get
California farmers to plant as much as 25,000 acres of Camelina,
an oilseed, for a biomass start-up project are offering
incentives to growers in San Joaquin County and other areas of
the Central Valley and Southern California. Camelina, which grows
on marginal land, would be feedstock for a biofuel plant
producing jet fuel substitute to be built in Bakersfield and
begin production in late 2012. Posted. 

UCR to use $1.2m grant to seek fuel alternatives. Finding ways to
reduce fuel consumption in cars and trucks by changing drivers'
habits will be the focus of a federally funded three-year
research project at University of California, Riverside, it was
announced this week. Posted. 

Brazil to build world's largest ethanol plant. Petrobras,
Brazil's state oil company, and São Martinho, a sugar and ethanol
group, have announced plans to build the world's largest ethanol
plant. "The plant will surely be the world's largest sugar-cane
ethanol distillery," said Fabio Venturelli, head of Nova
Fronteira Energia, the joint venture that will run the facility,
which is slated to produce 700 million liters of biofuel
annually. About 70 percent of the funding will come from the
Brazilian Development Bank, according to Venturelli. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/22/11 BY PAID


Volkswagen on road to carbon-free car: report. London (Reuters) -
Volkswagen will within two weeks unveil one of the first
single-seater cars, with the potential for zero emissions, the
Financial Times reported on Monday. VW's one-seat concept car
will illustrate the carmaker's ambitions to build electric
vehicles that generate no carbon dioxide, the FT said, citing the
company's head of research, Jurgen Leohold. "It's a new kind of
mobility, a new vehicle concept. Also, it's physics," he said.
Emissions. Posted.

Ford, Toyota to work together on hybrid trucks. A chance meeting
in an airport lobby between the top executives of Ford Motor Co.
and Toyota Motor Corp. has evolved into a deal between the auto
giants to jointly develop a gas-electric hybrid engine for pickup
trucks and sport utility vehicles. Posted. 

Study: Clean vehicle jobs likely to rise. The function of at
least 151,000 U.S. auto manufacturing jobs is to produce
fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, with that number likely to
grow, according to a report released Tuesday by the UAW and two
environmental groups. Posted. 

Where Will We Plug In? Electric cars, which have come and gone at
least twice since the dawn of the automobile era, are back. The
first mass-market EVs are here and more are rolling silently over
the horizon. The Obama administration loves cars with cords and
wants 1 million on the road by 2015. That’s an ambitious, but not
impossible, goal. Most major automakers promise to have an
electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid in showrooms by then. Their
commitment seems solid, and some are making big promises. Posted.

Human waste now powers hydrogen cars in California county. An
experimental fuel cell is turning the Orange County Sanitation
District into a filling station for hydrogen cars. The fuel cell,
which produces both hydrogen and electricity from waste gas at
the Fountain Valley, Calif., sewage treatment plant, began a
three-year demonstration run June 1; a "grand opening" was held
Aug. 16. If it proves useful, the project could be expanded in
coming years. Posted.


Is LEED Greenwash? According to Environmental Leader yesterday
the U.S. District Court in New York City dismissed a lawsuit
charging the U.S. Green Building Council with false advertising
over its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
certification. This is such an interesting case because it speaks
to the heart of the perennial question: What is greenwash?
Generally, greenwash applies when the following can be said about
a company or organization's green claims: - No meaningful or
verifiable criteria - …Posted.

Japan pins hopes on green power laws, risks abound. (Reuters) -
Japan's lawmakers have the opportunity to show how strong their
support is for boosting renewable power supply to replace nuclear
reactors with the passage of a green energy subsidy scheme likely
within days. The country is struggling to overhaul its energy
policies after the March quake and tsunami triggered a nuclear
disaster that shattered the public's confidence in the safety of
the atomic industry and delayed the restart of idled plants.

Trains That Run Like, and on, the Wind. It will not be easy to
run a national railroad on renewable energy like wind, hydro and
solar power, but that is what Deutsche Bahn of Germany aims to
do, for one simple reason: It is what consumers want. Deutsche
Bahn says it wants to raise the percentage of wind, hydro and
solar energy used in powering its trains from 20 percent now to
28 percent in 2014 and to become carbon-free by 2050 — targets
that exceed the German government’s already ambitious national
goals. Posted.

'Solar trees' sprout up in Santa Clara County-owned parking lots.
The frustrating search for a shady spot to park is about to get
easier. But the new trees being planted at nine big parking lots
in the South Bay aren't leafy green saplings, they're big silver
specimens with 12-foot-tall trunks and broad steel canopies that
will shield cars from the sun -- and produce solar power. Known
as "solar trees" because they are topped with photovoltaic cells,
the "groves" are sprouting up in parking lots at Santa Clara
County government buildings and health clinics in San Jose and
Gilroy, and at Elmwood jail in Milpitas. Posted.

Cogentrix Solar Applications Denied. Federal land managers are
rejecting a Goldman Sachs-owned company's applications to develop
solar projects on public lands in the sun-drenched Nevada desert;
years after the subsidiary filed more claims to build glimmering
solar farms than anyone else. For years Goldman's Cogentrix Solar
Services, LLC held exclusive rights to develop solar plants on
nearly as much federal land in Nevada as all other companies
combined - even though the firm had neither written plans nor
inked agreements with utilities to buy the power they proposed to
make. Posted. 

Monday newsmaker: Training renewable energy workers. Larry
McLaughlin is director of the Advanced Transportation Technology
and Energy Center at College of the Desert. It is one of seven
centers established by the California Community College System to
develop curriculum and conduct training for workforce development
in emerging transportation and energy industries. Posted. 

State sets up auctions for utilities to buy small renewable
energy contracts. California regulators last week approved a
variation on a feed-in tariff for small-scale renewables. The
California Public Utilities Commission's "renewable auction
mechanism," or RAM, is intended to fill in the gaps between other
renewables programs like the general renewables portfolio
standard, which sets an overall target of 33 percent renewables
by 2020, and the California Solar Initiative, which gives out
rebates for rooftop solar and solar hot water heaters. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/22/7 BY PAID

'Green' economy fails to deliver on promised number of jobs.
Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose, Calif., cut the ribbon this month
to open the new SolFocus headquarters, where the company produces
free-standing polar panels. Clean technology is the next wave of
innovation, said the mayor. It is also meant to drive the green
economy, but in the San Francisco Bay Area and much of the
country, green jobs aren't adding up to what many politicians
envisioned. President Obama once promised to create 5 million
green jobs over 10 years. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/22/10 BY PAID


As Governor, Perry Backed Wind, Gas and Coal. In the opening days
of his presidential campaign, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has railed
against a favorite target, the Environmental Protection Agency,
and declared himself a “skeptic” on the subject of humans as the
cause of global warming. If Mr. Perry wins the White House, his
national energy policy will focus on cutting federal regulations,
especially at the E.P.A., his spokesman, Mark Miner, said.

Pollution Starts In Bay Area. The San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District keeps telling us valley people to stop
polluting the air. But … If they would get up early in the
morning and go to Interstate 5 or Highway 33 and look towards the
north, they will see a very brown layer of air coming through the
Altamont Pass. Posted.

Letter: Valley positioned to lead the way. There is a direct
correlation between ozone pollution and vehicular emissions. The
U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program was created to
foster the use of alternative fuels. The valley is perfectly
positioned to lead this effort. Posted.


Republicans and global warming. Here’s a story Juliet and I just
put up on the web. Read it and then take cover! Excerpt: Four
years ago in New Hampshire, campaigning for the Republican
presidential nomination, John McCain said to voters, “I do agree
with the majority of scientific opinion, that climate change is
taking place and it’s a result of human activity, which generates
greenhouse gases.” He made global warming a key element of every
New Hampshire stump speech. Posted.

PICKET: EPA imposes Obama's cap and trade regs- energy prices
'skyrocket'. Although Congress never managed to pass President
Barack Obama's cap and trade plan, the Environmental Protection
Agency's new regulations imposed on coal plants did the job for
the president and Democrats on the hill pushing for C & T. Back
during the days of campaign 2008 Barack Obama told the San
Francisco Chronicle: (emphasis is mine) The problem is not
technical, and the problem is not sufficient mastery of the
legislative intricacies of Washington.  Posted.

What Drives Cities’ Runaway Growth? Urban areas are growing even
faster than urban population is, and by 2030 urbanized land
around the globe will expand by 590,000 square miles — an amount
almost equal to the land mass of Mongolia, according to a new
study. The rapid urbanization occurring around the world,
particularly in China and India, is the product not just of
population growth or economic growth. Posted. 

Fracking Oversight Raises Staffing Questions. A panel charged
with advising New York officials on regulating a controversial
form of natural gas extraction known as hydrofracking will first
examine whether the state government has enough staff members to
properly monitor and enforce new drilling regulations. The panel
of business, environmental and government representatives met for
the first time on Thursday, with 15 of its 17 members gathering
in Albany or taking part via videoconference. Posted. 

Solar Shift. Developers are moving toward photovoltaic panels for
utility-scale solar plants Photovoltaic solar panels are becoming
the new black for large-scale solar projects in California.
Developers of what’s billed as the world’s largest solar project,
spanning 7,000 acres in Blythe, California, say the plant will
get half of its 1,000 megawatts from photovoltaic panels. Posted.

Video: Stanford University Unveils Solar-Powered Xenith, The Car
That's More Aerodynamic Than A Bike. Tipping the scales at a
scant 375 pounds, the solar-powered Xenith has a 4-inch thick
thin chassis made of a blend of carbon fiber, titanium and
aluminum. A novel steering system puts the driver in control of
the front wheel, while a computer steers the two rear wheels.

Gasoline Demand Falls To 10-Year Low In July. The American
Petroleum Institute (API) reports total petroleum deliveries (a
measure of demand) fell by 0.5 percent in July, compared to the
same month in 2010. Though miniscule, July marks the first time
in 2011 that deliveries actually dropped when compared to the
previous month. Posted. 
Report: Solar Energy Could Match Coal's Price By 2015 In China;
Globally By 2020. Posted.

US Emissions Rose 4% in 2010, Partly Due to Increased Coal Use.
Despite all of the ongoing efforts to increase renewable energy
and curb our carbon footprints, carbon dioxide emissions in the
United States rose 3.9 percent last year. While this is upsetting
in itself, what’s even more worrisome is the fact that the Energy
Information Administration contributes much of the rise to
increased economic activity. Posted.  

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