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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 19, 2011. Posted: 19 Sep 2011 12:38:22
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 19, 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 EPA chief on verge of quitting after Obama rejected pollution proposal. The ozone almost did her in. Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, was on the verge of quitting two weeks ago after President Obama rejected her centerpiece proposal for strict new air-pollution regulations, The Post has learned. Jackson told intimates she had been convinced Obama would back her up despite aggressive lobbying from Capitol Hill Republicans and business interests. Posted. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/epa_air_rage_at_bam_HB4xP0FSqv2aCNQvzqaFCN Bay Area Spare the Air officials urge less driving today, energy conservation. Officials issued a Spare the Air Health Alert for today, suggesting the public drive less and reduce energy usage. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert for the fifth time this year. "Due to the amount of air pollution we generate daily by driving and from other sources, unhealthy levels of smog are expected to accompany high temperatures," Air District Executive Officer Jack Broadbent said. Posted. http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_18927203 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18923960 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18923960?nclick_check=1 5 die at biker fest; carbon monoxide suspected. Clarksville, Tenn. (AP) - Fumes from a generator leaked into a camper, killing three men and two women who were at a biker festival to raise money for needy children, an organizer for the event said. Police were investigating the deaths but said no foul play was suspected. Two of the men worked security into the early morning hours Sunday during the festival's party, which featured motorcycle drag races, live music and bikini and tattoo contests. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/19/5-die-at-biker-fest-carbon-monoxide-suspected/ NOAA finds air pollution plummets by up to 90% when ships switch to low-sulfur fuel. In 2010, a team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) mounted instruments on an aircraft and the vessel Atlantis to capture emissions from container ships off California's coast. The team found that as container ships shifted from bottom-of-the-barrel bunker fuel to low-sulfur fuels, air pollution plummeted, with some pollutants dropping by as much as 90 percent. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/18/noaa-finds-air-pollution-plummets-by-up-to-90-when-ships-switch/ Evangelicals press Republicans to drop EPA mercury fight. House opponents of U.S. EPA regulations for mercury and air toxics are getting push-back from an unusual source: pro-life Christian evangelicals, with whom they are often allied politically. The Evangelical Environmental Network has run radio spots last week and this week in three markets, targeting a trio of Energy and Commerce Committee senior Republicans -- Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Ed Whitfield of Kentucky and Joe Barton of Texas.The ads focus on the effect of mercury on the health and neurological development of unborn children. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/19/3 CLIMATE CHANGE GOP senator sought money from renewable energy program he now calls 'reckless'. Republican Sen. David Vitter says the Obama administration has been "reckless" as it awards billions of dollar taxpayer subsidies for renewable energy projects, including a $528 million loan to a now-bankrupt California solar panel maker. The Louisiana senator and other Republicans have pounced on the bankruptcy of Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra Inc., saying the White House rushed to approve a loan guarantee to the politically connected company without adequate oversight. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SOLAR_MANUFACTURER_VITTER?SITE=PAREA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT AP Newsbreak: http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/09/19/2544161/senator-was-not-always-critical.html#storylink=misearch http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18927174 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18927174 Va. court sides with insurer in global warming case. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of an insurance company Friday in the nation’s first legal test of whether insurers may be liable for claims arising from global warming. The justices unanimously ruled that environmental problems allegedly caused by power-producer AES Corp.’s emission of greenhouse gases were not “occurrences” covered by a commercial liability policy issued by Steadfast Insurance Co. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/16/va-court-sides-insurer-global-warming-case/ Study shows how a global CO2 regime might prod laggard nations to reduce emissions. It's frustrating when someone else gets a free ride off of your hard work, but when it comes to curbing greenhouse gas emissions, researchers may have found a way to make sure everyone pulls his fair weight. Countries that go through all the trouble of scrubbing flue gases, buying carbon offsets and building wind farms may find it difficult to contend with nations that continue to spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from power and industrial plants. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/19/3 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Glut of unsold allowances complicates RGGI reform. New York -- Efforts to reform the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are complicated by an overabundance of unsold allowances from recent auctions, state regulators were warned at a public meeting under way today. Though the overallocation of allowances under the RGGI program means a lowering of the cap would have to occur for the system to be effective, carbon market experts also noted that the excess allowances still held in state accounts could keep the market moribund to 2018 even if that cap is lowered. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/19/14 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS The Battle in Seattle & Beyond. According to a front page expose in the Seattle Times “truck drivers who serve Seattle’s busy shipping port say they’re losing patience with chronically low pay and poor working conditions.” No truer words have been spoken. Port truck drivers, community activists, environmentalists and faith leaders used the backdrop of the annual American Association of Port Authorities convention in Seattle to bring attention to the dirty and broken port trucking industry plaguing workers and communities in port cities around the country. Posted. http://www.cleanandsafeports.org/2011/09/the-battle-in-seattle-beyond/ FUELS Biodiesel plants back from the brink. Across the nation, biodiesel plants have been restarting or ramping up production, spurred by a revived federal tax credit and renewable energy mandates. For more than three years, the SoyMor Biodiesel plant sat idle — victim of a slump that took down more than a quarter of the plants in the industry. But biodiesel is booming again, and a sign of the revival happened recently in this small southern Minnesota town. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-biodiesel-plants-20110919,0,3249373,print.story VEHICLES Automakers Resolve to Drop a Few Pounds. THE 64th Frankfurt Motor Show offers ample evidence that automakers still cannot agree on what energy source will power the cars of the future — petroleum, hydrogen, electricity or some fuel yet undiscovered. But they all agree on one point: cars are going to have to become lighter. A lot lighter. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/automobiles/autoshow/in-frankfurt-automakers-vow-to-drop-a-few-pounds.html?scp=1&sq=vehicles&st=cse Lawsuits could stall high-speed rail plans. Even if state officials can scrape together the billions of dollars needed to fund California's ambitious high-speed rail plans, lawsuits from local cities and opposition groups still could delay, divert or derail the project altogether. In the Bay Area, cities and nonprofits are suing over issues with the route and environmental studies. In Southern California, the city of Palmdale has gone to court over fears that rail officials will pull a planned Antelope Valley line through the city and reroute the tracks up I-5 instead. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/lawsuits-could-stall-high-speed-rail-plans-12588 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/19/MN4D1L5MQ8.DTL Toyota says rechargeable Prius will be be priced at $32,760. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest seller of gasoline-electric cars, said today the rechargeable version of its Prius hybrid will cost $32,760, including transportation costs, when it goes on sale early next year. The car goes as far as 15 miles solely on electricity, after which it runs as a standard 49 mpg Prius, Bob Carter, Toyota's group vice president for U.S. sales, told reporters here today. Toyota dealers will start selling the car in 14 states on the West and East coasts in March, he said. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110916/RETAIL/309169803/1186&template=printart New California Law Allows EV’s to be Towed for Not Charging. The state of California is known for its firsts, and this is defiantly one for the books. California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that allows all fully electric vehicles, as well as plug in hybrid electric vehicles, to be towed if the vehicle parked in a designated electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid charging parking space is not plugged in. EVs are becoming a common sight on the roads in some parts of California. Posted. http://gas2.org/2011/09/15/new-california-law-allows-evs-to-be-towed-for-not-charging/ Price of electric vehicle batteries to fall as manufacturing capacity outstrips demand. The total worldwide manufacturing capacity of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles will greatly exceed supply unless demand by automakers increases significantly in the short-term, according to new research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. As a result of the overcapacity, battery prices are poised to fall. Automakers have committed to producing up to 839,000 plug-in electric vehicles worldwide by 2013, up from just 124,000 to be delivered by the end of 2011. Posted. http://www.pacetoday.com.au/news/price-of-electric-vehicle-batteries-to-fall-as-man GREEN ENERGY Questions Raised Over Letting Another Lender Help a Failing Solar Company. The political brawl over Solyndra, the solar array manufacturer that received $528 million in government aid and then went bankrupt, shifted focus Friday to a decision by the Energy Department that allowed another lender to step in to help rescue the company. That decision in February gave Solyndra a temporary reprieve and a chance to survive, but it also forced the government to waive its privilege as first creditor in the event of a bankruptcy — which then occurred at the end of August. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/us/politics/queries-over-government-letting-another-lender-aid-solyndra.html?ref=earth Chinese Protesters Accuse Solar Panel Plant of Pollution. In a fresh indication of growing public anger over pollution, hundreds of demonstrators in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang on Sunday were camped outside a solar panel manufacturing plant that stands accused of contaminating a nearby river. The demonstration was the latest move in a four-day protest that has sometimes turned violent. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/world/asia/chinese-protesters-accuse-solar-panel-plant-of-pollution.html?ref=earth Senator was not always critical of loan program. Republican Sen. David Vitter says the Obama administration has been "reckless" as it awards billions of dollar taxpayer subsidies for renewable energy projects, including a $528 million loan to a now-bankrupt California solar panel maker. The Louisiana senator and other Republicans have pounced on the bankruptcy of Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra Inc., saying the White House rushed to approve a loan guarantee to the politically connected company without adequate oversight. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/19/v-print/1866751/senator-was-not-always-critical.html OPINIONS Obama’s green-energy scam. The Issue: The Obama administrations’ financing of the now-bankrupt company Solyndra. ***The bankruptcy filing by Solyndra, an Obama-favored green-energy firm with a half-billion- dollar taxpayer loan guarantee, is one whopping, green “I told you so” (“Let the Sun Shine In,” Editorial, Sept. 15). This is a green eye for the Obama administration, which is making Ozone Al Gore look better every day. The Obama administration rushed this loan guarantee through for political reasons. Posted. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/letters/obama_green_energy_scam_bbCWdmTjzmFvm2U24j6DWL#ixzz1YPv7qYoJ Al Gore and the battle for climate opinion. Al Gore isn't going away. And neither is global warming. With Gore's latest high-profile global warming-awareness event, "24 Hours of Reality", now over, political science still looks like the trickiest discipline in the entire realm of climate science. "Lots of people out there are wondering why floods, droughts and storms are more powerful than in the past," Gore says. "While the political system too rarely is responding." Posted. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/story/2011-09-16/al-gore-climate-change/50438464/1 Solyndra crash shows shakiness of market subsidies. Solyndra, the Fremont solar-panel manufacturer that went belly up last week, was the subject of a hearing Wednesday all the way in the nation’s capital. Lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Committee on Oversight and Investigations wanted to get to the bottom of how the much-hyped “green” company scored a half-billion-dollar federal loan guarantee two years ago this month. Posted. http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/09/solyndra-crash-shows-shakiness-market-subsidies Sustainable growth: Forward-thinking state mandate or misguided environmental mantra? For some, sustainable growth means jobs near their homes. It means easier access to trains or buses or bicycle trails. It means filling in cities instead of paving over surrounding farmland. For retired engineer Ed Miller of Lodi, "sustainable" is a buzzword born of a 1992 United Nations document that lays out a worldwide vision threatening the sovereignty of the United States and the American way of life. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110918/A_NEWS/109180320&cid=sitesearch Why utilities really want us to go green. I read an alarming article about medical insurance premiums in New York. Health insurance premiums are double and triple the cost of what they were in 2008. Insurance providers are experiencing more cancellations. Spreading that liability over fewer paying customers is becoming a serious problem. So, those who keep the insurance have to foot more of the bill. Enter the world of energy conservation, which in simple terms means using less or "going green." Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/18/v-print/1866180/why-utilities-really-want-us-to.html BLOGS Seeking better answers to climate change, extreme weather questions. The United States has suffered from a record number of billion dollar natural disasters this year, from the Mississippi and Missouri River flooding to Hurricane Irene and the Texas drought. With each of these events, many have wondered - did climate change have anything to do with this? Reporters and members of the public wanted to know: has climate change vaulted us into a new normal, as some climate scientists have warned for years, in which these kinds of devastating events will occur more frequently, and be more severe? Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/seeking-better-answers-to-climate-change-extreme-weather-questions/2011/09/18/gIQA7ViTfK_blog.html Cosmic Breitbart Climate Blunder. Earlier this month, I noticed a glaring error in an astonishingly distorted Sept. 6 piece on climate, clouds and cosmic rays on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog. There’s been plenty of overheated gushing on this subject by climate naysayers in recent weeks, triggered by an important, but heavily over-interpreted, experiment. But this piece stands out. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/cosmic-breitbart-climate-blunder/?pagemode=print EPA Chief: Cap & Trade a Distant Hope. Remember those national carbon trading bills that were moving through Congress as Barack Obama was setting up shop in the Oval Office? The head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency says: Don’t hold your breath. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s appearance on KQED’s Forum Wednesday seemed to confirm that her boss is picking his battles carefully. “What America’s talking about right now is jobs,” Jackson told host Michael Krasny. “Green jobs are what we have to be working on with everything we do.” Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2011/09/15/epa-chief-cap-trade-a-distant-hope/ Subway Train Wheels: The Next Power Source? Think of how much energy it takes to stop a moving subway train as it screeches into each and every station along its route. Right now, that energy is mostly dissipated as heat and noise. Imagine being able to capture some of that energy so that it can be used again. That’s exactly what that Vycon, a California company, proposes to do with it in its Regen (short for regeneration) energy storage system. They call it “energy recycling.” Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/09/subway-trains-next-power-source/ Green Drive Expo: CalCars' Felix Kramer ready to go beyond cars. In modern history, it is all too rare that a progressive activist is able to achieve his or her goals (just read A People's History if you doubt this). Felix Kramer – a name that should be familiar to many regular AutoblogGreen readers – is at that stage, though, and he took a moment to celebrate the arrival of actual, OEM production plug-in vehicles at the beginning of his speech at the Green Drive Expo in Richmond, CA this past weekend. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/19/green-drive-expo-calcars-felix-kramer-ready-to-go-beyond-cars/ Proposal Can Break Deadlock on Shipping Emissions. A report published yesterday by Oxfam and WWF shows how a proposed deal to apply a carbon price to international shipping can tackle the huge and growing greenhouse gas emissions from ships, and raise billions of dollars to help developing countries tackle climate change, without unfairly hitting developing countries. The deal offers a solution to the deadlock on shipping emissions that has lasted more than a decade. Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/proposal-can-break-deadlock-shipping-emissions/