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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 31, 2011.

Posted: 31 Aug 2011 11:44:32
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 31, 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.


Alexandria coal plant may shut by 2012.  Alexandria’s
controversial coal-burning power plant, once considered one of
the largest single sources of air pollution in the Washington
area, will probably close by October 2012, its owner and the city
announced Tuesday.  The surprise announcement culminates a
12-year battle to close the six-decade-old Potomac River plant,
which local activists and environmentalists blame for causing or
contributing to dozens of cases of serious illness each year. 


Via Zipcar, Ford Seeks Young Fans. It wasn’t long ago that
car-sharing services like Zipcar were perceived as a threat to
the sales volumes of traditional automakers. But the Ford Motor
Company is taking the view that drivers who rent from Zipcar by
the hour just might be potential customers down the road. Ford
and Zipcar are expected on Wednesday to announce an unusual
partnership in which the Detroit automaker will supply its
vehicles to Zipcar locations on 250 college and university
campuses in the United States. Posted. 

Report: Nissan and Mitsubishi to standardize EV-home powering
system. Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. aim to
jointly develop a technology that allows electric vehicle owners
to power their homes from car batteries, a news report says.
Cooperation could lead to unified standards for the technology,
which attracted interest in Japan following widespread power
outages in the wake of the country's March 11 earthquake. Posted.

Beijing Rethinking Electric Car Policy.  A debate raging largely
behind closed doors among members of China’s ruling élite mirrors
a wider debate that has been gathering steam this year: the
viability of electric vehicles, at least over the next few years.
 An FT article says that Beijing is rethinking its focus on
electric cars as a means of reducing fuel consumption and
improving air quality, as it looks increasingly likely the
country will fall far short of ambitious goals to sell 1 million
electric vehicles by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.  Posted. 


Gov. Brown calls for action on clean energy. Las Vegas -- In his
first out-of-state trip since taking office in January,
California Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he plans to forge
ahead with aggressive renewable energy policies amid growing
evidence of climate change. "Climate change has become more
obvious, and we see great opportunity in investing in wind, solar
and energy efficiency, or 'negawatts,'" Brown told a gathering
here of 700 clean energy advocates. "This is like the computer
industry when it first started. Posted.

Solaria, already expanding in Fremont, seeks a second solar
factory site.  Fremont-based solar energy company Solaria wants
to buck the grim trend of companies scaling back manufacturing
operations in California.  The company has already been ramping
up production of solar equipment at its Fremont complex, but says
it needs another facility to keep up with demand.  "Ideally it'll
be a California location," said Dan Shugar, the company's CEO.
"That's our first choice."  Solaria wouldn't identify locations
where it has begun to scout for a new complex.  Posted. 

Fremont solar tech firm Solyndra to shut down, lay off hundreds
of workers. Solyndra, a Fremont solar tech manufacturer,
announced Wednesday it is suspending operations and immediately
laying off 1,100 employees. The company said it will also file
for bankruptcy. "Despite strong growth in the first half of 2011
and traction in North America with a number of orders for very
large commercial rooftops, Solyndra could not achieve full-scale
operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the
resources of larger foreign manufacturers," the company said in a
statement. Posted.

Biden calls for new clean energy policy for US. The United States
can't lead the world in the 21st century with its current energy
policy, Vice President Joe Biden told alternative technology
supporters Tuesday at a clean energy summit in Las Vegas. The
nation is already trailing China and Germany in green technology,
Biden said. It will trade its dependence on foreign oil for a
dependence on foreign clean energy technology if its leaders
don't act to help fledging green researchers and businesses, he
said. Posted. 


Documenting a Collapsing Ice Shelf. One of the more dramatic
events in the Arctic in recent years was the detachment, in 2010,
of a large section of the ice shelf attached to Petermann
Glacier, in northwest Greenland. A chunk of ice measuring 100
square miles, about four times the size of Manhattan, broke loose
and floated away. The possible connection of this event to global
warming drew immediate interest, including a hearing in Congress.

Steinberg bill would give locals power to raise fuel surcharge.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is pushing last-minute
legislation to give local governments power to seek new fuel
surcharges to fund certain transit projects. Senate Bill 791
would allow local transportation agencies to seek voter approval
for a "regional transportation congestion reduction charge" on
gasoline or diesel. Posted.

Study finds fewer Americans concerned about climate change in
2010 than in 2008. QUESTION: Does anybody really care about this
stuff outside of the "green" community? I know I sure don't.
Asked by Rick Abell, Steamboat Springs, Colo. ANSWER: As someone
who cares deeply, and who is often surrounded by people who care,
it can be easy to forget that not everyone attaches the same
level of importance to environmental issues. I understand -- not
everyone is an environmental science student who has to think
about climate change on a daily basis. Posted.

Is Cap and Trade Unfair? I should probably start by putting my
cards on the table.  I’m not really an advocate of cap and  
trade as compared with other forms of regulation.  What I care
about is getting effective carbon restrictions in place, whether
they take the form of cap and trade, a carbon tax, industry-wide
regulations, or something else.   The big advantage of cap and
trade from that perspective is that some systems are already up
and running, and unlike a carbon tax, it doesn’t directly violate
any political taboos. Posted.

Global biofuels production up 17% in 2010 to hit all-time high of
105 billion liters.  Global production of biofuels increased 17%
in 2010 to reach an all-time high of 105 billion liters (28
billion gallons US), up from 90 billion liters (24 billion
gallons US) in 2009. High oil prices, a global economic rebound,
and new laws and mandates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China,
and the United States, among other countries, are all factors
behind the surge in production, according to research conducted
by the Worldwatch Institute’s Climate and Energy Program for the
website Vital Signs Online.  Posted. 

Shutting Down America’s Dirtiest Coal Plants Will Not Affect Our
Power Supply.  When the EPA announced its new regulations for
coal plants back in July, the right wing media had a field day
saying that the new rules, which will force the nation’s dirtiest
plants offline, would result in a strained electric grid, putting
the lights out on millions of Americans. But, just like so many
things fear mongering anti-environmentalists preach, this just
isn’t true. Posted. 

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