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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110822/A_NEWS/108220316&cid=sitesearch CLIMATE CHANGE 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 warming. There are fears that "politics cannot deliver on what science requires," Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told South African business leaders in a speech Monday. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/south-africa-hopes-for-only-incremental-progress-in-climate-change-talks/2011/08/22/gIQARMwqVJ_story.html http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_18731391 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/aug/22/hopes-low-before-south-africa-climate-change/?print=1 FUELS 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. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110822/A_BIZ/108220301&cid=sitesearch 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. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108190303 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 SUBCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/us-volkwagen-emissions-idUSTRE77L2AQ20110822 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. http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/22/1825289/ford-toyota-to-work-together-on.html 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. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108200366 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. http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/08/ev-charging-infrastructure/ 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. http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/22/2369705/human-waste-now-powers-hydrogen.html GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/idUS88775971720110822 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. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/us-japan-renewables-idUSTRE77L1AR20110822 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/business/energy-environment/trains-that-run-like-and-on-the-wind.html?scp=3&sq=green%20energy&st=cse '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. http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_18730466?source=rss 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. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/aug/20/ap-exclusive-blm-rejects-goldman-sachs-02/?print=1 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. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108220303 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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY '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 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS 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. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/us/21ttenergy.html?scp=2&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse OPINIONS 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. http://www.modbee.com/2011/08/20/1822814/pollution-starts-in-bay-area.html 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. http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011108180361 BLOGS 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/achenblog/post/republicans-and-global-warming/2011/08/19/gIQAy7sMQJ_blog.html 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. http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/aug/20/picket-obama-08-energy-prices-will-skyrocket-under/ 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/the-city-limits-are-expanding-everywhere/ 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. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/staffing-is-top-concern-in-fracking-oversight/ 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. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2011/08/21/solar-shift/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FClimateWatchBlog+%28KQED%27s+Climate+Watch+Blog%29&utm_content=Google+Reader 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. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/22/stanford-university-solar-powered-xenith/ 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. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/22/gasoline-demand-falls-to-10-year-low-in-july/ Report: Solar Energy Could Match Coal's Price By 2015 In China; Globally By 2020. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/21/solar-energy-match-coal-price-2015-china-globally-2020/ 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. http://inhabitat.com/us-emissions-rose-4-in-2010-partly-due-to-increased-coal-use/