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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 30, 2011.

Posted: 30 Sep 2011 12:36:07
California Air Resources Board News Clips for September 30, 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.


Valley Air Alert Gets Extended Again. San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District officials extended an air alert
through today because of the possibility of high ozone levels.
Officials expect weather conditions to improve today because a
cooling trend and better air flow over the region is forecast.
But they remain concerned about higher-than- anticipated ozone
levels violating federal air quality limits and stressed the
importance of the public's participation in minimizing emissions.

EPA: New England air quality improved in 2011.  New England's air
quality improved this summer compared with last year because of
fewer sweltering days, the Environmental Protection Agency said
Thursday.  Between April and September, the six-state region has
had 16 days when ozone levels were considered unhealthy,
according to preliminary data from the EPA. That's down from 29
unhealthy days in 2010.  Posted. 


California Supreme Court denies request to halt cap-and-trade
work.  The California Supreme Court Wednesday declined to order
state regulators to halt work on a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade
program while a lower court considers legal challenges filed by
environment groups.  The California Air Resource Board is
scheduled to adopt a final rules on October 21 implementing the
nation's first economy-wide cap-and-trade plan. While the program
is scheduled to start in January, CARB has decided to delay
enforcement until January 2013.  Posted. 

California Sup Ct Lets California Continue Its Cap and Trade
Work.  The California Supreme Court issued an order today that
allows the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to continue
implementing its cap and trade program.  The history here is
somewhat convoluted.   The state’s plan (called the scoping plan)
to implement the California Global Warming Solutions Act contains
within it a cap and trade programPosted. 

Businesses and federal agencies make final objections to Calif.
cap and trade. While California's first-in-the-nation
cap-and-trade program being voted on next month won't take public
comments into account, stakeholders are still trying to change
large parts of it, including the distribution of allowances,
market protection provisions and the inclusion of federal
agencies. A number of federal agencies are continuing to protest
being subject to California's jurisdiction, including the Defense
Department and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA),
which delivers hydroelectric power in Western states. Posted.

European fleets slash CO2, says GE Capital.  New company cars
across Europe’s major markets reduced their CO2 emissions by 7.2%
between 2008 and 2010, according to the Key Solutions CO2
Assessment published today by GE Capital.  Based on data from GE
Capital’s 250,000 vehicle pan-European fleet, the report reveals
that between 2008 and 2010 emissions fell by an average of
11gCO2/Km per car.  Posted. 

'Ozone hole' begins to heal, which could make Antarctica warmer.
The Antarctic ozone hole could show the first signs of recovery
within a decade, according to researchers at the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration. The scientists base their
findings, published yesterday in the Journal of Geophysical
Research, on a combination of data collected by specially
equipped weather balloons and computer models. Posted.


CARB-suspended filters are aftermarket, mufflers temporary.  Two
models of diesel particulate filters that were recently suspended
by the California Air Resources Board were not factory installed,
but aftermarket devices.  The filters, the LongMile truck DPF
unit and the off-road Allmetal DPF, were recently taken off the
market after the company that makes the units reported a failure
on one of its units.  Some reports have blamed a truck for
creating a spark that eventually turned into a major fire in
south Washington.  Posted. 

Port train line seeks to reduce emissions by retrofitting
locomotives.  Pacific Harbor Line is hoping to reduce emissions
by retrofitting 16 older locomotives that solely operate on 18
miles of rail within the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,
port officials announced Thursday.  A set of new, ultra-low
emission engines will be installed in the locomotives, emitting
85 percent less diesel particulate matter and 38 percent less
nitrogen oxide, port officials said.  Posted. 


Tesla won't ask for another U.S. loan, CEO Says. Tesla Motors
Inc. won't ask the U.S. Energy Department for another
vehicle-manufacturing loan from a program House Republicans tried
to cut, the electric-car maker's chief executive officer said.
Tesla, based in Palo Alto, has "significant" capital reserves and
more than enough money to develop its Model S sedan, CEO Elon
Musk told reporters today in Washington after a speech at the
National Press Club. Posted.

GM to develop electric cars in China with SAIC, but won't share
Volt.  General Motors Co. says it plans to develop an electric
vehicle with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp., and it won't be
just a copy of the Chevrolet Volt.  GM and SAIC announced the
project in a statement today and during various media events from
Shanghai this morning.  In a teleconference today with
journalists, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky confirmed that GM will
form a 50-50 joint venture with SAIC to develop an EV for the
Chinese market.  Posted. 

Ministry of Environmental Protection collecting opinions for new
hybrid vehicles standards.  The Ministry of Environmental
Protection has begun collecting public opinions for its so-called
"measurement methods for emissions from light-duty hybrid
electric vehicles", the China Securities Journal reported today.
The opinions will be used to determine emission standards for
classifying hybrid electrics.  Posted. 


From Dump to Paragon of Ecology: A First Peek. As befits what
used to be the world’s largest landfill, the future Freshkills
Park on Staten Island may represent the planet’s greatest act of
ecological atonement. The 2,200-acre site, which the Department
of Parks and Recreation calls a “reminder of wastefulness, excess
and environmental neglect,” will, as it evolves into a park over
the next 25 years, feature every environmentally correct practice
known to landscape architecture. Posted.

Energy efficiency programs may continue, but controversy remains.
The California Public Utilities Commission's president will push
to continue fully funding energy efficiency programs, despite the
Legislature’s recent failure to extend a special surcharge on
utility bills. In a letter dated Wednesday to Gov. Jerry Brown,
commission President Michael Peevey said he is initiating a
formal proceeding to consider alternate ways to pay for
efficiency and renewable energy programs that had been funded by
the surcharge. Posted.

CONGRESS: Bono Mack sought expedited reviews of solar projects.
Washington -   A year before Republicans seized on the collapse
of the solar energy firm Solyndra  as an illustration of
politically motivated spending by the Obama administration,
Inland Rep. Mary Bono Mack  pushed for the expedited review of
federal loan guarantee applications for solar projects, including
a pair of large ones in her Riverside County desert. Posted.

Obama administration approves 2 more solar energy loan guarantees
worth total of $1B.  The Energy Department on Wednesday approved
two loan guarantees worth more than $1 billion for solar energy
projects in Nevada and Arizona, two days before the expiration
date of a program that has become a rallying cry for Republican
critics of the Obama administration’s green energy programPosted.

Contra Costa County hacks down 100 trees to clear land for green
energy.  Clean green energy will save the environment -- even if
an acre or three of trees get in the way.  That theory apparently
led a Contra Costa County-hired contractor to clear-cut more than
100 venerable eucalyptus and oaks bordering Point Pinole Regional
Shoreline this month, all blocking the ideal location for solar
panels intended to power the County Jail in Richmond. Posted. 

Hartford school wins top 'green' certification.  A Hartford
magnet school has become Connecticut's first public school
building to achieve the highest possible rating for energy
efficiency and environmentally friendly design.  The Mary M.
Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School joins two other
Connecticut buildings to win platinum-level LEED certification,
which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. 
Posted.  http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_19010433

Latest developments in battery safety and technology.  Battery
Power 2011, an international conference on latest developments in
the area of battery technologies, was held between 20-21
September 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. cars21.com was a media
partner of the conference and summarizes some of the papers
presented during the event.  The conference gathered OEM design
engineers, manufacturers of battery technologies, battery
component providers and discussed the most recent advancements in
battery and power management technology.  Posted. 

Can the wind industry survive without federal tax credits? 
Minnesota wind developer Dan Juhl has seen the scenario before. 
The wind production tax credit -- seen as a key incentive to
bringing new wind energy projects online -- nears its expiration
date, expires without legislative action, and then comes
barreling back, reviving the industry after a period of
stagnation.  It's a sequence of events that has played out three
times in the last decade, most recently in 2003, and is unfolding
again today.  Posted. 

Can there be uniform, accurate energy efficiency labels for
dwellings? Measuring the energy performance and green attributes
of a home or business can positively affect the sale or rental
price of a house, a building or an apartment. The difficulty is
getting out information on performance labels so that people can
relate to them the way they do to fuel efficiency stickers on new
cars. To better understand the value of "green" and energy
efficiency labels …Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/30/5 BY PAID

Wood is best option for green buildings, says USDA head. Using
lumber leaves one of the smallest carbon footprints and should be
prioritized in sustainable construction, Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack said yesterday. "Wood should be a major component of
American building and energy design," he said in a statement.
"The use of wood provides substantial environmental benefits,
provides incentives for private landowners to maintain forest
land, and provides a critical source of jobs in rural America."
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/09/30/8 BY

Obama admin unveils awards for 'green schools'. The Education
Department announced plans yesterday to honor the greenest U.S.
schools with a series of new awards next spring. Education
Secretary Arne Duncan released final plans for the program and
nomination documents online, encouraging states to identify their
best candidates for the Green Ribbon Schools awards. The program
is modeled after the department's Blue Ribbon award for academic
achievement. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/09/30/16 BY PAID


E.P.A. Is Longtime Favorite Target for Perry. Gov. Rick Perry of
Texas has built a political career running against Washington,
and no agency more symbolizes what he considers the meddlesome
and economy-choking evils of the federal government than the
Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Perry’s conservative views
on business costs, states’ rights, job creation, energy policy
and global competitiveness — the core of his governing philosophy
— are illuminated most vividly in his clashes with the E.P.A.
over issues like pesticide regulation and global warming. Posted.

High-Speed Rail Would Take A Lot of Juice. Trains rolling through
the San Joaquin Valley chug along on diesel power, hauling
freight and passengers at speeds that range from a seeming crawl
— especially if you're stuck at a crossing — to upward of 75 mph.
But the 220-mph passenger trains proposed by the California
High-Speed Rail Authority would run on electricity, with overhead
power lines providing juice along the 800-mile route connecting
San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. Posted. 


Cleaner air, and rules, at the Port of L.A. Diesel truck
emissions there have dropped 80% in three years, proving that
there's no need to phase out independent truckers in favor of
unionized ones. For years, L.A. labor and environmental advocates
have been claiming that it would be impossible to clean up the
diesel pollution that sickens residents near the Port of Los
Angeles without phasing out the independent truckers who have
traditionally picked up cargo there and replacing them with
unionized employees. Posted.

Electricity surcharge should go dark.  Will Gov. Jerry Brown
never relent in his quest for higher taxes and fees? His latest
idea is a sneaky attempt to extend a 1.5 percent surcharge on
electricity bills, which is set to expire Jan. 1, 2012. The
surcharge, which raises $400 million a year for energy efficiency
and renewable-energy research, costs the average homeowner about
$1 to $2 a month. Posted. 


Surprise! U.S. might meet its climate targets.  Back in 2009, at
the global climate talks in Copenhagen, the United States
promised to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below
2005 levels by 2020. The conventional wisdom is that there’s no
way we can possibly hit that target, especially after the Senate
killed a cap-and-trade bill last year. But David Hone, the
climate change adviser for Shell*, has a worthwhile analysis
suggesting that the combination of the steep recession, new EPA
rules on power plants, and low natural-gas prices might actually
let us meet those goals, after all.  Posted. 

Global Warming Could Cost Canada Billions, Study Warns. A report
by an advisory board to the government of Canada estimates that
the effects of global warming will cost the country’s economy 5
billion Canadian dollars a year by 2020 and that those costs will
rise substantially afterward. Unlike earlier studies, the report
does not examine the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
it looked at the economic consequences of global warming. Posted.

Researchers from MIT and Sun Catalytix develop an artificial leaf
for solar water splitting to produce hydrogen and oxygen. 
Researchers led by MIT professor Daniel Nocera have produced an
“artificial leaf”—a solar water-splitting cell producing hydrogen
and oxygen that operates in near-neutral pH conditions, both with
and without connecting wires. (Earlier post.)  In a paper
published in the journal Science, they report that the cells
carry out the solar-driven water splitting reaction at direct
solar-to-fuels efficiencies of 2.5% (wireless

MIT Unveils Artificial Leaf That Creates Hydrogen Fuel from
Sunlight.  MIT researchers just officially unveiled a device that
uses sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The device
builds upon a breakthrough hydrogen producing technology
developed in 2008, and they are calling it an “artificial leaf”
because of it capacity to create chemical fuels directly from
sunlight. The cell is also made from common materials like
silicon, cobalt and nickel, which means that the “leaf” could
potentially be mass-produced. Posted. 

Solyndra bankruptcy is aberration, solar power executives say.
National media "chatter" surrounding the much-publicized
bankruptcy of Fremont, Calif., solar panel producer Solyndra Inc.
and the loss of $535 million in federal loan guarantees is
hurting more successful renewable energy companies and obscuring
the new industry's success, solar executives said. Posted.

Markets Can Be Very, Very Wrong. Muller, Mendelsohn, and Nordhaus
have a new paper in the American Economic Review that should be a
major factor in how we discuss economic ideology. It won’t, of
course, but let me lay out the case anyway. What MMN do is
estimate the cost imposed on society by air pollution, and
allocate it across industries. The costs being calculated, by the
way, don’t include the long-run threat of climate change; they’re
focused on measurable impacts of pollution on health and
productivity... Posted. 

Lighter and More Fuel Efficient, Boeing Delivers the First 787
Dreamliner. This week, US aircraft maker Boeing celebrated the
delivery of it’s first new-generation 787 Dreamliner to the
Japanese carrier, All Nippon Airlines (ANA). This follows a
series of setbacks which have beset the launch, delaying
deliveries by around three years. Despite the setbacks, Bloomberg
reported in August that the 787 is the fastest selling aircraft
ever. With the number of orders already secured, production of
the 787 represents about 7 years of work for the company. These
orders were all placed prior to 2011 however, and orders for 26
planes have been cancelled during 2011. Posted. 

The Problem with Politicizing Solyndra. “As much as I wish to be
able to answer the members’ questions, I have been advised by my
counsel that it is the better course for me to assert my
constitutional right to decline to answer questions under the
Fifth Amendment. While I hope to have an opportunity to assist
this committee’s inquiry in the future, on the advice of my
attorney, I must respectfully decline to answer any questions put
forth to me by this committee.” Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison,
Hearing on the Committee on Energy & Commerce, U.S. House of
Representatives, 9/23/11. Posted. 

Tesla expands in Europe with showroom opening in the Netherlands.
With the Model S slowly making its way through the pre-production
process, Tesla Motors is expanding its operations in Europe,
starting with the construction of a showroom and service center
in the Netherlands. In anticipation of continued success, Tesla
swung open the doors to its showroom in Eindhoven, Netherlands
and has raised the curtain on Europe's largest Tesla-only service
center. Posted. 

Nissan addresses Leaf battery life, replacement costs. Hundreds,
not thousands. That's the word from Nissan's chief vice-president
of global marketing communications, Simon Sproule, who believes
that after five years of repeated use, the battery pack in the
Nissan Leaf may require some maintenance, but not complete
replacement. Posted. 

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