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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 15, 2011

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 11:28:16
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 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 QUALITY: Bill would let districts collect revenue.  A bill on
Gov. Jerry Brown's desk would let the South Coast Air Quality
Management District try to cash in on the millions of dollars in
research and other clean-air ventures it sponsors.The district,
which includes western Riverside and San Bernardino counties, was
the sponsor of legislation that would give air-quality agencies
the power to negotiate revenue-sharing agreements with grant
recipients. Under such deals, districts would have a stake in
anything developed with district money. Posted. 

EPA hearing on gas drilling pollution in W. Pa.  The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency will hold three public hearings
in September on the agency's proposed standards to reduce air
pollution from oil and gas drilling operations.  The first public
hearing will be held in Pittsburgh from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on
Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the David Lawrence Convention Center on Ft.
Duquesne Blvd.  Posted. 


With millions of dollars at stake, utilities fight over emission
rights.  As the nation's fleet of coal-fired power plants gets
ready for a new emissions trading program meant to clamp down
further on acid rain, soot and smog, utility lawyers and
lobbyists are doing battle over an obscure accounting question
that will decide whether certain power companies make money or
pay it out to their competitors.  The Cross-State Air Pollution
Rule, which was finalized by U.S. EPA in July, will require coal
plants in Eastern states to hold allowances for their emissions
starting on Jan. 1.  Posted.  BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. 

EPA lets greenhouse gas deadline slip, promises new schedule. 
It's official: U.S. EPA has announced that it will miss a Sept.
30 deadline to propose a greenhouse gas rule for the power
sector.  "EPA is working on a new schedule to propose greenhouse
gases standards for power plants and will be announcing a new
schedule soon," the agency said in a statement this morning. 
"EPA has engaged in an extensive and open public process to
gather the latest and best information prior to proposing
pollution standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants, one of
the largest stationary sources of carbon pollution. We will fully
consider all this information to develop smart, cost-effective
and protective standards."  Posted.  BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY.  


Furor Over Loans to Failed Solar Firm. Republican lawmakers,
escalating the political furor over the collapse of a solar
equipment manufacturer that received a $528 million government
loan, released excerpts from Obama administration e-mails on
Wednesday suggesting that the White House pressed federal
officials to wrap up their review of the loan quickly for
political purposes. In the e-mails, officials at the Office of
Management and Budget expressed frustration that they were being
put under time pressure to sign off on the loan to the company,
Solyndra, two years ago so that Vice President Joseph R. Biden
Jr. could announce its approval at a groundbreaking for a
factory. Posted. 

White House defends Solyndra loan at hearing.  Obama
administration officials Wednesday denied Republican charges of
White House interference in a $528 million federal loan guarantee
to Bay Area solar manufacturer Solyndra, warning that the
company's failure should not lead the nation to abandon a
potential multitrillion-dollar solar energy market to China. 


Solo drivers of low-emission autos fume over fees to use carpool
lanes.  Drivers of electric and other alternative-fuel vehicles
enjoy a special perk: They can drive solo in California's carpool
lanes.  But under a controversial plan proposed by local traffic
agencies, those drivers will have to pay to use two heavily used
carpool lanes that are being converted to toll roads.  Posted. 


Unplugged, the Small Appliance Recycling Program, to Launch in
British Columbia.  On October 1st, 2011, British Columbians will
be able to recycle their used or broken small appliances at over
100 convenient drop-off locations through a new and unique
program called Unplugged, the Small Appliance Recycling Program. 
Unplugged will divert approximately two million small appliances
previously destined for the landfill, helping to reduce
pollution, save energy, and protect the environment.  Posted. 


Is It Weird Enough Yet? Every time I listen to Gov. Rick Perry of
Texas and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota talk about
how climate change is some fraud perpetrated by scientists trying
to gin up money for research, I’m always reminded of one of my
favorite movie lines that Jack Nicholson delivers to his needy
neighbor who knocks on his door in the film “As Good As It Gets.”
“Where do they teach you to talk like this?” asks Nicholson.
“Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.” Thanks
Mr. Perry and Mrs. Bachmann, but we really are all stocked up on
crazy right now. I mean, here is the Texas governor rejecting the
science of climate change while his own state is on fire. Posted.

Harrop: Global warming is here, all right. Bark beetles and
egrets don't care whether Governor This or Senator That believes
in global warming. They feel it in their whatevers. Responding to
warmer temperatures, plant life and wildlife are moving north or
uphill to cooler elevations, according to a new study published
in Science magazine. For example, higher temperatures in the
Rocky Mountains have set off a population explosion of bark
beetles now devouring its beautiful pine forests. Posted. 

Editorial: Marin green job training program showing results. 
SELF-EMPLOYED contractors have been a big part of Marin's economy
over the past few decades — creating jobs and spending money at
other local businesses.  They also have taken a huge hit as the
local construction, remodeling and and housing industries have
contracted along with overall economy.  This is an ideal time for
those workers to update their skills and make themselves more
marketable. A nearly $400,000 grant through the state is helping
them do just that — and building on the success of a two-year-old
green jobs program.  Posted. 

Lack of credibility fouls the air in ozone debate.  It's
September in the valley and the air is thick. But it's not ozone
stinkin' up the place, it's hypocrisy.  I'm sure you all read
how, for the first August since we've been tracking air
pollution, the valley didn't violate the so-called one-hour
standard.  And perhaps you also read how air quality advocate
groups didn't take the news so well. Nooo. In fact, they came out
swinging.  Posted. 


Separating Issues from Myths in Obama’s Solyndra Situation. Brad
Plumer of the Washington Post has filed a really nice, tight
deconstruction of five myths being propagated in the wake of the
failure of Solyndra, a solar company that received more than $500
million in fast-tracked loan guarantees from the Department of
Energy and became a photo opp for President Obama last year. (A
House committee held a hearing on the company and the
administration this morning.) Posted. 

Japan Plans Floating Windfarm Off Fukushima Coast. Japan’s
Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) announced it will invest as
much as 20 billion yen ($260 million) in a project to build a
pilot offshore wind project comprised of six, 2-megawatt (MW)
floating wind turbines off the Fukushima coast, according to a
Bloomberg News report. A feasibility study running through March
2016 will evaluate the project with an eye towards expanding
capacity thereafter. Posted. 

Range anxiety is clearly not a chronic disorder. GM has made
concern about "range anxiety" central to its marketing of the
plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. The term may work to instill some
doubt in the minds of those cross-shopping the Nissan Leaf, and
in fact a study (PDF) by the Technology Strategy Board in the UK
found that 100 percent of new electric vehicle owners did have
some level of concern about running out of juice before reaching
a destination when they first got their cars. However, it turns
out range anxiety is not a chronic disorder. Just three months
after taking ownership of the EV, 35 percent said they had no
more concerns about the range of their electric-only vehicles.

BP expanding Brazilian sugarcane ethanol business.  BP is
expanding its business in Brazil that produces ethanol from
sugarcane. The company is increasing its share in Brazilian
biofuel company Tropical BioEnergia S.A. to 100%, acquiring the
remaining 50% of the company from the joint venture partners for
about US$71 million.  BP is also taking an additional share of
Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Companhia Nacional de Açúcar
e Álcool (CNAA) from LDC Bioenergia S.A. for a price of
approximately US$25 million, bringing its holding to 99.97%. 

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