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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 20, 2011. Posted: 20 Sep 2011 14:48:45
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 20, 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 China solar company pledges toxic waste cleanup for factory targeted in pollution protests. A solar panel maker targeted by violent protests over pollution from one of its factories in eastern China has apologized and says it will do what’s necessary to clean it up. Jinko Solar Holding Co., parent company of the factory in Haining city west of Shanghai, said in a statement Monday that initial tests showed pollutants may have spilled into a nearby river due to “improper storage of waste.” Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/china-solar-company-pledges-toxic-waste-cleanup-for-factory-targeted-in-pollution-protests/2011/09/19/gIQAmS4xgK_story.html New air alert issued in San Joaquin Valley. Fresno, Calif. (AP) --The San Joaquin Valley is under a new air alert as high temperatures, a high-pressure system and stagnant wind combine to trap smog. Air pollution officials are asking residents to limit driving and not idle cars while waiting for students after school or at drive-thru windows. It's the third air alert of the year issued by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District. The district is under a three-year federal fine for violating ozone standards set by the Clean Air Act. So far this year, no violations have occurred. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/09/20/state/n110256D23.DTL#ixzz1YWGOMAmi http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/20/2nd-day-of-smog-warnings-in-san-francisco/ http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/20/1868376/2nd-day-of-smog-warnings-in-san.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18935530 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18935530 http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110920/WIRE/110929993 http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=19384 http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/article/20110920/NEWS01/110920004 http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_650d53d4-e386-11e0-8b16-001cc4c03286.html 2 schools to test ways to get city drivers around traffic jams. The University of California, Los Angeles, and Rutgers University will study ways to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in Los Angeles and New York. The two schools, which won a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, will develop technology to monitor traffic and air quality and offer drivers alternate ways around traffic tie-ups. Those routes would be sent through on-board navigation devices. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/20/23 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA grants air permit to Shell for Arctic drilling. Shell Oil Co. on Monday took a step closer to tapping vast petroleum reserves off Alaska's Arctic coasts when the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved an air quality permit for one of the company's drilling vessels. The EPA approved the air permit for the drilling vessel Noble Discover, which Shell hopes to use for exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast, and its support fleet of oil spill response and supply vessels. Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith said the permit was a hopeful step. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18930887 http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_18930887 CLIMATE CHANGE Clinton raps GOP climate change stands. POLITICO's MJ Lee reports that Bill Clinton, midway through the second day of the Clinton Global Initiative, took a shot at the GOP contenders over climate change: “If you’re an American, the best thing you can do is to make it politically unacceptable for people to engage in denial” about climate change, the former president said on the first day of the Clinton Global Initiative’s seventh annual meeting in New York City. “I mean, it makes us – we look like a joke, right? Posted. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63944.html Ex-President Clinton: Green movement needs money. Former President Bill Clinton's annual philanthropic conference will get under way in New York City with a discussion about climate change. The Clinton Global Initiative is set to begin Tuesday morning with an opening session focused on addressing global climate challenges in coming years. The session will be co-hosted by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and South African President Jacob Zuma. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/sep/20/bill-clintons-annual-meeting-to-begin-in-nyc/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_8f169c81-6b01-560e-8f1a-c8aa12d99d84.html The Carbon Tax, Then and Now. In the debate over climate legislation in 2009 and 2010, it was conventional wisdom that a price on carbon was the sine qua non of effective climate policy. All Very Serious People knew that you could not reduce carbon emissions or drive clean energy innovation without a price on carbon, either through a carbon tax or a cap and trade system. Indeed, leading venture capitalist John Doerr used to travel around the country hammering home the three top things that the government needed to do to catalyze a clean energy revolution. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2011/09/20/the-carbon-tax-then-and-now/ Green groups ask Obama for greenhouse gas timeline. Environmentalists stepped up the pressure on the Obama administration today to set a firm, near-term deadline to finalize greenhouse gas rules for electric utilities. Nineteen CEOs of major environmental groups told President Obama in a letter that they were "deeply concerned" by U.S. EPA's announcement last week that it would miss a Sept. 30 deadline to propose new source performance standards (NSPS) for carbon dioxide emissions from utilities. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/20/5 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Climate Group launches campaign for a low carbon economy. New York -- The Climate Group called for accelerated action to reduce impacts of climate change yesterday, urging the creation of a coalition of 200 of the world's business, government and thought leaders to build the foundation for a low-carbon economy. A panel of distinguished guests, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Quebec Premier Jean Charest, expressed their support for clean and sustainable development at the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC 2011. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/5 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY U.N. climate chief bullish amid growing doubts about Durban talks. United Nations -- The head of the U.N. system's climate change offices continues to express confidence that the Durban, South Africa, international climate negotiations are headed toward success, despite reports of worsening rifts between developed and developing nations. With 11 weeks to go before the next major round of talks, observers fear that negotiations over annual financing for poor nations to respond to climate change could be stalling again. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/8 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Solar company projects cost parity with fossil fuels. Thin-film solar cell manufacturer First Solar Inc., the world's largest, expects its new designs to cost less than their Chinese counterparts and will compete directly with fossil fuels without government subsidies. David Eaglesham, First Solar's chief technology officer said that his company has produced a solar cell that converts 17.3 percent of sunlight into power, an improvement on the company's 11.7 percent average. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/9 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES GM OK's electric vehicle cooperation with China. Shanghai -- General Motors Co. agreed Tuesday to deepen cooperation with its flagship Chinese partner on development of electric vehicle knowhow amid pressure from Beijing to hand over proprietary technology. GM would not say how much it's investing in the venture with Chinese state-owned partner Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp., and gave few details of the deal. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/19/1868143/gm-board-in-china-set-to-deepen.html#ixzz1YW6Yrge3 Chinese government to provide major support for EVs, but challenges remain. The government of China is expected to adopt a plan later this year that foresees around a million plug-in vehicles and more than 2,300 charging stations by 2015. Recently the government representatives have announced that further incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles will be adopted. Chinese government to provide major support for EVs, but challenges remain. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/65820110920.php?AlertDate=2011-09-19 GREEN ENERGY Senators didn't always slam energy loan program. Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and other Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for awarding billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for renewable energy projects, including a $528 million loan to a now-bankrupt California solar panel maker. But the GOP lawmakers haven't always been so critical of the program. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show the Louisiana Republican wrote to the Energy Department at least seven times since 2009 seeking money for projects that would benefit his home state. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SOLAR_MANUFACTURER_VITTER?SITE=NEYOR&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT AP Newsbreak: http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/09/19/2544161/senator-was-not-always-critical.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18935308 China Shuts Solar Panel Factory After Antipollution Protests. The Chinese authorities have suspended production at a solar panel factory after protests by residents who blame the plant for fouling the air and water, a government Web site said Monday. Since Thursday, the Zhejiang JinkoSolar Company factory has drawn hundreds of protesters, some of whom overturned vehicles and ransacked offices inside the plant in the city of Haining, in Zhejiang Province. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/world/asia/china-shuts-solar-panel-factory-after-anti-pollution-protests.html?scp=10&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-china-solar-20110920,0,2015603.story Lessons on Solyndra and clean energy development. The collapse of Solyndra, putting 1,100 people out of work and the Fremont company into bankruptcy, is filled with cautionary tales. It shows what can happen when politics accelerates a decision to invest $535 million of taxpayer money in a fledgling enterprise. Worse yet, it shows the perils of an administration attaching its reputation to the fate of one company - and ignoring warnings that it may have placed a bad bet. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/19/EDA11L5KPG.DTL&type=printable GOP rep: Appoint special counsel in Solyndra loan. Washington -- The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday called for an independent investigator to look into a $528 million loan approved by the Obama administration for a now-bankrupt solar energy company. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said an outside lawyer is needed to determine "whether politics played a role" in the Energy Department loan for California-based Solyndra Inc., which declared bankruptcy this month and laid off its 1,100 workers. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/19/1867655/gop-rep-appoint-special-counsel.html#ixzz1YW7TySQX The small-town energy revolution. Until recently, the idea of powering a local economy with 100 percent renewable energy seemed unrealistic. That has changed: there's a small town energy revolution underway. Take Juehnde, a village in the German state of Lower Saxony: it reached total self-supply by 2006 with biogas and wood chip heating. It now attracts visitors from around the world (e.g. from Thailand). Posted. http://www.grist.org/energy-policy/2011-09-19-the-small-town-energy-revolution Ohio governor prepares energy and environment plans for his newly gas-rich state. The nation's fourth-largest carbon dioxide-emitting state is about to get a new energy policy that its governor says could be a model for the entire country. This week, industry representatives, state officials, academics and environmentalists are gathering in Ohio to craft a new energy plan for the state that will culminate in a major energy proposal from Gov. John Kasich (R) by next spring. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/1 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Leasing now an attractive option for home solar installation. Leasing has emerged as an effective option for homeowners who would like to use solar panels but are wary of the upfront costs. "We debated owning or leasing," Myphuong Le, a Denver resident. "But when you consider that service and replacement are part of the lease, it looked like a better deal." More than half of Colorado's 5,861 kilowatts of solar panels installed in the first half of this year were leased, according to the Colorado Solar Industries Association. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/20/10 BY PAID SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Led by Demand in China, Energy Use Is Projected to Rise 53% by 2035. Global energy demand will increase 53 percent from 2008 through 2035, with China and India accounting for half of the growth, the United States Department of Energy said on Monday. China and India will consume 31 percent of the world’s energy by 2035, up from 21 percent in 2008, the department’s International Energy Outlook projected. In 2035, Chinese energy demand will exceed that of the United States by 68 percent, it said. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/business/energy-environment/energy-demand-is-expected-to-rise-53-by-2035.html?scp=5&sq=fuels&st=cse OPINIONS Keep tabs on solar energy subsidies. Whatever the reality, the optics are bad and getting worse: The Obama administration loaned $535 million to a Fremont solar start-up that received venture capital funding from one of Obama's major campaign donors, only to have the company plunge into bankruptcy. House Republicans are investigating, and Democrats are demanding answers to their questions. Making the picture worse still, the FBI has served search warrants and picked through the building that housed Solyndra and the homes of executives. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/09/19/1867814/keep-tabs-on-solar-energy-subsidies.html#ixzz1YW741IsC BLOGS Solar Installations Rise, but Manufacturing Declines. Installations of solar panels are still expanding in the United States, but manufacturing is down, and a great deal of factory capacity is idle, according to a report on the solar energy market for the second quarter of this year. The number of solar cells put on the roofs of houses has retreated, yet nonresidential rooftop installation is thriving, according to the report, produced by the Solar Energy Industries Association and a consulting firm, GTM Research. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/solar-installations-rise-but-manufacturing-declines/?ref=earth For Obama, Peer Pressure from Nobel Laureates. With his approval rating among American voters at an all-time low, President Obama could use a little support from his peers. But this month nine fellow recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the Dalai Lama, sent the president a letter urging him to veto the construction of a huge pipeline that would bring bring crude oil to the United States from Canada. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/for-obama-peer-pressure-from-nobel-laureates/ EPA grants air permit for Shell oil drilling in Arctic. If you're looking for a smog-free venue, one of the last places left might be the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, the remote stretch of frigid water between Russia and Canada at the top of the planet. To help open the door to offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, though, the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued a final air quality permit that will allow Shell Oil's Noble Discoverer drill ship and the rest of Shell's drilling fleet to emit more than 250 tons of pollutants a year into the Arctic air while looking for oil. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/09/arctic-oil-shell-epa-air-permit-chukchi.html $43-million settlement approved for asbestos victims in Libby, Mont. For decades, the residents of Libby, Montana have lived a double life. On the outside, the town of 3,000 people along the Kootenai River is a picture postcard of why western Montana is one of the most gorgeous places in the country. Unseen, though, is how asbestos pollution from a former W.R. Grace & Co. mine has sickened more than 1,300 residents with a deadly lung disease, killing many of them and turning Libby into the deadliest Superfund site in the nation's history. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/09/libby-montana-asbestos-settlement.html Schwarzenegger urges regional action on climate change. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, speaking about climate change at a United Nations forum in New York this morning, said he will "keep pushing regional governments around the world to come off the sidelines" to enact green energy programs such as California did during his tenure. "We don't have to wait anymore for the national capitols to make it happen," Schwarzenegger said. " Posted. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/09/schwarzenegger-urges-regional.html 2011 Carbon Disclosure Project S&P 500 findings: Majority of US companies taking climate change action, despite absence of mandatory rules. The 2011 S&P 500 report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has found that while national and global policy remains uncertain, most large US companies recognize the opportunity to gain strategic advantage from acting to address climate change. Posted. https://www.cdproject.net/en-US/WhatWeDo/CDPNewsArticlePages/CDP-SP500-findings-Majority-of-US-companies-taking-climate-change-action-despite-absence-of-mandatory-rules.aspx The Case for a Carbon Tax. The case for putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions from human activity is not arguable. It’s undeniable. But what is arguable is the best way of achieving it in the working of a modern economy. Shi-Ling Hsu, a law professor at the University of British Columbia, argues for a currently less popular way in his newly published book The Case for a Carbon Tax. “There is no policy instrument that is more transparent and administratively simple than a carbon tax.” Posted. http://www.celsias.com/article/case-carbon-tax/ China to GM: Give us Chevy Volt secrets or it'll cost $19,000 more. Like many countries, China provides subsidies to support the use of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Considering the heavy levels of pollution often found in China's rapidly growing cities, this seems both admirable and understandable. It can also be significant, with subsidies going as high as $19,300. As General Motors seeks to introduce the Chevrolet Volt to the Chinese market, it's counting on these subsidies to help make the car attractive to potential buyers. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/20/china-to-gm-give-us-chevy-volt-secrets-or-itll-cost-19-000-mo/ EIA projects world energy use to increase 53% by 2035; oil sands/bitumen and biofuels account for 70% of the increase in unconventional liquid fuels. Worldwide energy consumption will grow by 53% between 2008 and 2035 with much of the increase driven by strong economic growth in the developing nations, especially China and India, according to the reference case in the newly released International Energy Outlook 2011 (IEO2011) from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/09/eia-20110920.html This Thursday is World Car-Free Day. World Car-Free Day – a day when people organize their own events to explore alternative transportation – is coming up this Thursday, September 22nd. The event is loosely run by the World Carfree Network (WCN), but individual events are being planned by people all over the world and submitted via wiki to the WCN website. Participating events include everything from group cycling to work to people standing in the streets to protest the lack of non-car transportation options in their cities. Posted. http://inhabitat.com/this-thursday-is-world-car-free-day/