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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 25, 2011.

Posted: 25 Aug 2011 13:56:38
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 25, 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.


Crews to let burning propane tanker in N. Calif. town burn itself
out, avoiding risky maneuver. Firefighters are letting a burning
propane rail tanker burn itself out after determining the rail
car held much less propane than previously thought, a fire
official said late Wednesday. Firefighters had spent most of
Wednesday preparing for a bold attempt to drain a burning propane
rail tanker to head off a catastrophic explosion in a Northern
California town, where thousands of people have been evacuated
from their homes. Posted. 


California panel reaffirms carbon trading program. The California
Air Resources Board approves a revised analysis ordered by a
judge. Opponents plan another challenge to the long-delayed
program to trade emissions permits. The California Air Resources
Board voted to reaffirm its cap-and-trade plan Wednesday, a
decision that puts the nation's first-ever state carbon trading
program back on track, for now. Posted.

Air Resources Board Reapproves AB 32 Scoping Plan. California’s
ambitious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is taking a
big step forward. The California Air Resources Board has signed
off on an updated plan to comply with the goals of AB 32.  That's
the state's landmark global warming law, which requires
California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels
by the year 2020. The plan is called a "scoping plan" - and it
includes everything from the state's cap-and-trade program to low
carbon fuel standards for vehicles.  Posted.

State affirms cap and trade as climate policy of choice.
Sacramento, Calif. -- State air regulators gave a green light
yesterday -- for the second time -- to cap and trade as the way
to reduce greenhouse emissions from industrial sectors under
California's global warming law, A.B. 32. The Air Resources
Board's action was somewhere between a technicality and a line in
the sand. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/6 BY PAID

Study links El Niño weather events with civil wars in tropical
countries. El Niño weather conditions cause torrential downpours
and crop-killing droughts in the United States, but a study
released Wednesday theorizes that this hot-climate cycle can
contribute to far deadlier outcomes in parts of the developing
world. The study published in the journal Nature said the
probability that new civil wars will break out in 90 tropical
countries such as Burma and Colombia doubles in years when El
Niño Southern Oscillation arms the climate, compared with cooler
La Niña years. Posted.

Researchers find changing climate pattern can double civil
conflicts. El Niño, a global climate pattern that warms the
central Pacific Ocean, doubles the risk of civil conflicts in
tropical nations. That's the conclusion of research published
today in the journal Nature that adds to a growing debate over
the role climatic conditions play in triggering or exacerbating
violence. Researchers from Princeton and Columbia universities
say their analysis is the first to demonstrate that global
climate shifts can help cause unrest. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/3 BY PAID

EPA uses up to 4-year delay to protect sensitive data from
emissions reporting. Responding to privacy concerns across
various industrial sectors, U.S. EPA will defer the mandatory
reporting of potentially sensitive data tied to greenhouse gas
emissions for up to four years. Businesses prepare their
greenhouse gas emissions numbers by plugging in certain values --
raw materials, fuel types and quantities, production volumes and
other information -- into an equation. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2011/08/25/5 BY PAID

Toyota expands Prius range with seven-seat variant. Toyota Motor
Corp. plans to debut the Prius+, a seven-seat version of its
Prius hybrid car, at the Frankfurt auto show next month, ahead of
European sales beginning in the first half of 2012. Designed to
extend the appeal of the Prius range to families and those
needing more space, the Prius+ offers a three-row seating format.
The car is 155mm longer, 30mm wider and 85mm taller than the
third-generation Prius hatchback, from which it is derived. The
wheelbase has been extended by 80mm. Posted. 

GM partners with battery supplier LG on electric vehicles.
General Motors said today that it is partnering with its battery
cell supplier, LG Group, to develop electric vehicles. The
agreement, signed Wednesday by GM CEO Dan Akerson and LG
President Juno Cho, will “help GM expand the number and types of
electric vehicles it makes and sells,” the automaker said in a
statement. Posted. 

EVI and UPS Announce the Purchase of 100 Zero-Emission,
All-Electric, Delivery Vehicles. Stockton, Calif. -- Electric
Vehicles International (EVI) announced that UPS is purchasing 100
fully electric commercial delivery vehicles for deployment in
locations throughout California. This purchase marks the largest
deployment of zero emission delivery vehicles in California, and
one of the largest single deployments of commercial all-electric
vehicles in the world. EVI and UPS have been working for over two
years on this project, including a successful 90-day
demonstration in the fall of 2010. Posted.

Daimler builds hydrogen stations for upscale, fuel cell-powered
electric cars. Germany will become the first country completely
accessible to fuel cell vehicles in 2015, when carmaker Daimler
and the Linde technology group will build 20 new hydrogen filling
stations. The result will quadruple the number of public stations
available and make it possible for a fuel cell vehicle to reach
any location in the country. Daimler's plans to start
mass-producing fuel cell vehicles next year were severely limited
by the lack of public hydrogen filling stations in Germany.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/2 BY

China considers revising electric vehicle goals. Proposed targets
for electric vehicle production now seem far-fetched to the
Chinese government, prompting a re-evaluation of its strategy to
curb fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Beijing hoped to
develop a technological advantage in electric vehicle technology
over foreign competitors, but the time frame for development was
seen as too narrow. An article in a Communist Party journal
raised doubts about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's electric vehicle
proposal. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/08/25/7 BY PAID


Gov. Brown seeks to extend California energy surcharge. The levy
on electric bills has been in effect since 1997 and raises $400
million a year for renewable energy and efficiency programs but
is set to expire at the end of the year. Brown sees its
reauthorization as a way to create more high-tech jobs. In a
major effort to create more high-tech jobs, Gov. Jerry Brown is
sponsoring legislation to extend a state program that collects
about $400 million a year from utility customers and invests it
in renewable energy and efficiency programs. Posted.


Toxic dump near Kettleman City agrees to pay penalties. The site
operated by Waste Management Inc. will pay $400,000 in fines and
spend $600,000 on upgrades to manage hazardous materials at the
facility. The nearby community of mostly low-income farmworkers
is plagued by birth defects. A toxic waste dump near a San
Joaquin Valley community plagued by birth defects has agreed to
pay $400,000 in fines and spend $600,000 on laboratory upgrades
needed to properly manage hazardous materials at the facility,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.


Opinion: When writing regulations, make sure to consider all
pertinent data. It is all too familiar to hear criticism of
California’s regulatory process, also known as promulgation (10
points if you can say that five times fast), so when Senate Pro
Tem Darrell Steinberg and the recently appointed Jobs Czar
Michael Rossi highlight regulatory reform as key to restoring
California jobs the pronouncements garner the requisite ‘bravos’
and ‘hear, hears’. Is all regulation bad?    Posted.

China Eyes Competitive Edge in Renewable Energy. China’s State
Council (the national cabinet) is currently reviewing a set of
massive funding proposals for seven key “strategic emerging
industries”: environmentally friendly and energy-efficient
technologies, next-generation IT, biotechnology, high-end
equipment manufacturing, alternative energy, alternative
materials, and alternative-energy vehicles. Posted. 


Gas Is Cheaper, but We’re Still Driving Less. Driving less?
Perhaps stubbornly high gasoline prices are getting you down. All
the bad economic news may be holding you back from shopping or
eating out as much. Or maybe you don’t have a job to drive to in
the morning. Obviously, you are not alone. MasterCard
SpendingPulse put out its weekly gasoline report Tuesday, and
demand for gasoline is going south fast. For the week ending Aug.
19, demand for gasoline at gas stations across the country was
down by 4.2 percent compared to the same week a year ago. Posted.

Business Studies Become Environmentally Friendly. “Through the
roof” is how Adam Zak, an executive recruiter, describes the
demand for workers with sustainability-related job skills. “We
estimate about a 40 percent increase over last year in the search
assignments we are asked to conduct for these kinds of
individuals,” said Mr. Zak, whose clients include companies like
Coca-Cola, Andersen Windows and Del Monte. Posted. 

California's cap-and-trade program reaffirmed by board.
California's carbon-trading program got back on track Wednesday,
after the Air Resources Board voted to reaffirm its original plan
to create a market for carbon emissions permits. The
cap-and-trade program would be the first state-run market in the
nation, creating the largest carbon market in the U.S.
Wednesday's action is unlikely to forestall further court
squabbling, which began in 2009 when environmental justice groups
accused the Air Resources Board of failing to adequately consider
alternatives. Posted.

Climate change: Drought, floods, tornadoes part of 'new normal'?
Oklahoma has always been known for its bad weather. But this year
has beat all others, in nearly every category. In a year in which
the continental U.S. has experienced its most extreme weather on
record, Oklahomans may well be the symbols of the "new normal" of
unpredictable weather extremes caused by shifting climate due to
a buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. The
irony won't be lost on those who follow the political debate over
climate change in Congress. Posted.

California toxic waste case settled. A toxic waste dump near a
San Joaquin Valley community plagued by birth defects will pay
$400,000 in fines and spend $600,000 on laboratory upgrades
needed to properly manage hazardous materials at the facility,
federal authorities announced Wednesday. The settlement capped an
18-month joint investigation by the Environmental Protection
Agency and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control
into the Chemical Waste Management landfill about 3 1⁄2
miles southwest of Kettleman City, a community of 1,500 mostly
low-income Latino farmworkers. Posted.

Melting ice will loose highly toxic chemicals. Some of the most
dangerous pollutants we know, called persistent organic
pollutants, have been frozen in the Arctic tundra and ices caps
since they were banned in the U.S. in 1979 and internationally in
2001. But climate change is bringing the return of the repressed,
according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change.
POP exposure causes a range of health effects, potentially
affecting the endocrine, reproductive, immune and nervous
systems. It causes cancer and can cause death outright. Posted.

Nature paper examines cosmic ray climate change hypothesis, gives
support. From the journal Nature, a much-awaited paper examining
the role of cosmic rays and ammonia in cloud formation, a
phenomenon important to understanding global warming/climate
change. Those looking for a clean answer of whether additional
natural or human factors are vital to cloud formation won't find
it here. Instead, there's more uncertainty about the process.
Than first believed. Posted.

Air Board Should Move Ahead with AB 32 Scoping Plan: California's
Blueprint for Transitioning to a Clean Energy Economy. Moments
ago the Air Resources Board voted 9-0 to re-adopt and move ahead
with the AB32 Scoping Plan -- California’s blueprint for
transitioning to a clean energy economy. The new analysis will
supersede the original study that the San Francisco County
Superior Court found lacking earlier this year. In today’s
monthly Board meeting, the ARB considered the findings of its
evaluation of alternatives to the Scoping Plan for achieving the
goals of AB32. Posted.

Activists to Air Board: Keep the Cap, Lose the Trade. Members of
the “environmental justice” movement lost a major round to air
officials on Wednesday, when the latter voted to keep
California’s nascent cap-and-trade plan on track. The program is
a key component of the state’s landmark strategy to cut
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Activists sued
to stop the program, claiming it does little to curb toxic
emissions from industrial facilities and farming operations.

Down on the Farm: Nuts to Renewable Energy. California is just a
few votes away from changing the rules to allow farmers to
connect machines that create bioenergy to the electrical grid, a
privilege that has thus far been reserved for farm-generated wind
and solar energy. Passage of the bill — SB 489 — would mean they
could use the byproduct of their crops as fuel to create
electricity. Russ Lester, the owner of Dixon Ridge Farms, has
been leading the charge to get the rules changed. Posted.

For business, California’s cap and trade law provides new
opportunities. Gina DiCaro of CMTA implied in his piece,
California's cap-and-trade needs to be well designed to protect
manufacturers, that California’s landmark clean energy law, AB
32, threatens our state’s manufacturing industry. Manufacturing
in California has faced a range of threats for some time as a
result of larger economic trends – including heavy investment by
the Chinese government to grow Chinese manufacturing companies in
virtually every sector. Posted.

What will move the US towards Renewables? The Army's Need for
Fuel? On 10 August Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced
the creation of a new Energy Initiatives Office Task Force, whose
purpose is to assist the Army face challenges arising from rising
fuel costs. Army officials hope that Energy Initiatives Office
Task Force will be fully operational by 15 September and assist
in developing the large-scale renewable energy projects the Army
is seeking in its quest to achieve energy security, The Army News
Service reported. Posted. 

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