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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 3, 2011.

Posted: 03 Oct 2011 15:00:06
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 3, 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.


EPA sues MotorScience Inc. over emissions documents. The agency
says the City of Industry engine certification company used false
or incomplete data to help its clients import recreational
vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a civil
lawsuit against an engine certification company in the City of
Industry, accusing the firm of using false or incomplete data to
get paperwork needed under the Clean Air Act so its customers
could import recreational vehicles. Posted.

Air pollution rules may have helped whales. Santa Barbara, Calif.
(AP) -- State regulations aimed at reducing air pollution may
have inadvertently helped save whales in the Santa Barbara
Channel from being killed by cargo ships. The Ventura County Star
(http://bit.ly/nYtM4W) says a panel of ship-strike experts
speaking at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said
Wednesday that before the California Air Resources Board issued
regulations in 2009 requiring cargo ships to use low-sulfur
fuels, as many as 7,000 cargo ships per year passed through the
channel. Posted.

Fairbanks hearing set on Prop 2. A hearing is scheduled to be
held on Proposition 2. That is the proposition that aims to
improve air quality in Fairbanks by banning hydronic heaters and
coal-fired devices, as well as creating emissions standards for
all wood burners. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (
http://bit.ly/nWfLhP) says Monday's hearing will focus on a
lawsuit filed earlier this month by three owners of hydronic
heaters acting through a group called Responsible Wood Burners
for Limited Government. Posted. 


With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Key Climate Protectors. The
trees spanning many of the mountainsides of western Montana glow
an earthy red, like a broadleaf forest at the beginning of
autumn. But these trees are not supposed to turn red. They are
evergreens, falling victim to beetles that used to be controlled
in part by bitterly cold winters. As the climate warms,
scientists say, that control is no longer happening. Across
millions of acres, the pines of the northern and central Rockies
are dying, just one among many types of forests that are showing
signs of distress these days. Posted. 

Conservative Means Standing With Science on Climate: Bob Inglis.
Normally, the country can count on conservatives to deal in
facts. We base policies on science, not sentiment, we insist on
people being accountable for their actions, and we maintain that
markets, not mandates, are the path to prosperity. When it comes
to energy and climate, these are not normal times. We’re
following sentiment, not science, we’re turning a blind eye to
accountability, and we’re failing to use the power of markets.
The National Academy of Sciences says, “Climate change is
occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses
significant risks.” Posted.

Proposed Keystone XL oil project draws a divisive line. At
hearings along the pipeline's route from Montana to Texas,
traditional political bases are at each other's throats.
Atkinson, Neb. Some might have been surprised to hear that plans
to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline through the Midwest to the
Gulf Coast — a source of new oil and thousands of jobs — would
drive an emotional fault line down the middle of the conservative
heartland. But any skepticism would have quickly evaporated here
in the noisy bleachers of the West Holt High School gymnasium.

Climate change threatens W. Africa cocoa industry. Climate
scientists say that the booming cocoa industry in Ivory Coast and
Ghana will be threatened by climate change. A report released by
Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture says
the expected annual temperature rise of more than two degrees
Celsius will leave many cocoa-producing areas in West Africa
unsuitable for chocolate production by 2050. Posted.

Retired Republicans Quietly Try to Shift GOP Climate-Change
Focus. To hear GOP presidential front-runner Rick Perry and some
tea party-backed lawmakers tell it, the Republican position on
global warming is that it’s a problem that doesn’t even exist.
That wasn’t always the case. And if prominent Republican elder
statesmen have their way, it won’t continue to be. Posted.

New Zealand considering banning some emissions offsets. New
Zealand's government is considering barring certain types of
emissions offsets by 2012. Nick Smith, the nation's climate
change minister, said New Zealand is looking into banning
hydrofluorocarbon-23 (HFC-23) and nitrous oxide credits, since
they distort the market. "The high value for destroying these
gases creates perverse incentives in developing countries to
manufacture more of them, bringing into question the
environmental gains," said Smith. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/10/03/10 BY PAID

U.N. regulators call for a global review of the Clean Development
Mechanism. United Nations -- Administrators of the U.N. Clean
Development Mechanism want the world to hold a "dialogue on the
future of the CDM" to be launched at Durban, South Africa, at the
end of November. Concerned that the Kyoto Protocol's signature
greenhouse gas emissions offsetting program is facing an
existential threat -- as the protocol itself is -- the CDM
Executive Board wants policymakers, industry, nonprofit
supporters and critics of the system to come together to
determine a future course. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/10/03/3 BY PAID

Plaintiffs fire warning shot on power plant standards for
greenhouse gases. A coalition of states and environmental
organizations is warning it might go back to court as soon as
this month if a new agreement is not reached with U.S. EPA
setting a timeline for new greenhouse gas rules for power plants.
The groups have sued to force EPA to propose New Source
Performance Standards (NSPS) for electric utilities, which
contribute more emissions linked to climate change than any other
sector in the United States. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/10/03/4 BY PAID

Climate change could melt chocolate production. Cocoa -- one of
West Africa's most important cash crops and one of the Western
world's guiltiest pleasures -- will be greatly affected by
climate change, a new study says. More than half of the world's
chocolate is sourced from Ghana and Ivory Coast, or Côte
d'Ivoire, where the cocoa-growing topography will be very
different by 2050, according to the study by the International
Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/10/03/6 BY PAID

Flammable landscapes make climate adaptation a challenge. Last
year was the hottest year on record, and as the world warms up,
the risk of more frequent and intense fires increases. The fires,
in turn, can worsen the effects of global warming. Global fires
"could lead to a dangerous feedback as more burning releases more
carbon into the atmosphere, further driving climate change," said
David Bowman, a professor of environmental change biology at the
University of Tasmania. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/10/03/8 BY PAID


Santa Rosa bus fleet gets a green upgrade. Santa Rosa is set to
roll out seven sleek new hybrid buses that promise to be quieter,
easier to maintain and more fuel efficient than those on the road
today. The 40-foot diesel-electric buses built by New Flyer
Industries of Winnipeg, Manitoba, come with a hefty price tag —
$4.5 million, or about $650,000 each, according to CityBus'
Interim Transit Director Jason Parrish. Posted. 


TransCanada Pipeline Foes Allege Bias in U.S. E-Mails. With the
Obama administration about to decide whether to green-light a
controversial pipeline to take crude oil from Canada’s oil sands
to the United States Gulf Coast, e-mails released Monday paint a
picture of a sometimes warm and collaborative relationship
between lobbyists for the company building the billion-dollar
pipeline and officials in the State Department, the agency that
has final say over the pipeline. Environmental groups said the
e-mails were disturbing and evidence of “complicity” between
TransCanada, the pipeline company, and American officials tasked
with evaluating the pipeline’s environmental impact. Posted. 

State Department and Keystone XL are BFFs, say emails. Hillary
Clinton's former deputy national campaign director is now
lobbying Clinton and the Department of State on behalf of
TransCanada, the company that wants to lay 7,000 miles of pipe
between Canada's tar sands and Texas refineries. Emails obtained
under the Freedom of Information Act show an unusually cozy
relationship between TransCanada and the State Department,
including multiple meetings between company representatives and
department officials. Posted. 

Oil pipeline argument focuses on jobs, environment. Backers of an
oil pipeline that would cut across Oklahoma to deliver crude oil
from Canada to refineries in Houston want the jobs that would
come with the project, but environmental groups say the damage to
natural areas isn't worth the benefits the shortcut would bring.
Supporters of the 1,700-mile pipeline that would carry oil that's
being extracted from Canadian oil sands also said at a Friday
hearing by the U.S. State Department that it's better to buy
crude from a close ally than from unstable sources from overseas.


Tesla wannabe owners get a gander at Model S Sedan. Fremont,
Calif. (Reuters) - Electric carmaker Tesla Motors threw open its
factory doors to customers who have preordered its forthcoming
Model S sedan Saturday evening. Customers were given tours of the
Fremont, California, factory, rides in a prototype of the Model
S, and a plea for support from Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, a
co-founder of PayPal. ``We need your help,'' he told hundreds of
customers after driving onto a stage in a red Model S, saying
many people thought of electric cars as unrealistic ``unicorns.''

Paris readies electric car-sharing program. Paris is preparing to
flip the switch on what aims to be one of the world's largest
electric car-sharing programs. Organizers say Autolib', so-named
after Paris' Velib' bike sharing system, will begin a two-month
testing phase Sunday before full-scale operations begin Dec. 5.
At first 250 of the four-seat "Bluecars" will be available for
hire, but organizers say they hope to expand that to 3,000 cars
at 1,000 parking stations around Paris and neighboring towns by
the end of next year. Posted.

US auto sales up in September on big trucks. Pickups and SUVs
helped accelerate U.S. auto sales in September, although
carmakers remain concerned that worries about the economy could
dampen demand later this fall. General Motor Co.’s sales rose 20
percent compared with last September, led by a 34-percent rise in
full-size pickups and SUV sales. Chrysler Group LLC's overall
sales rose 27 percent. Posted. 

Chrysler says US sales jump 27 pct in September. Chrysler's U.S.
sales jumped 27 percent in September, boosted by strong demand
for new models of car and trucks. Chrysler was the first
automaker to report sales on Monday and others will follow later.
Overall industry sales are expected to have risen around 10
percent from last September to more than 1 million cars and
trucks. Chrysler sold 127,334 vehicles, including 8,709 of its
recently launched Chrysler 200 sedan and 2,773 of its new Fiat
500 small car. Posted. 

An electric car for an electric company. An electric company in
central Louisiana is testing its first all-electric vehicle.
Cleco Corp. unveiled its first all-electric vehicle, a $60,000
2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric, on Thursday. George
Bausewine, Cleco Power president, said the Connect is part of
Cleco's "Green Smart Program." The Town Talk reports
(http://bit.ly/pyXbID ) that Cleco currently plans to use the
electric vehicle for mail runs and transporting light materials.


Homeowners and Businesses Embracing Small Wind Turbines. Most of
the buzz about wind power centers on the enormous turbine farms
that dot plains and hilltops around the world. But another
segment of the wind business is also gaining traction — small
wind turbines, the type that stand alone at homes or businesses.
In a report to be released later this month, the American Wind
Energy Association says that the market for small wind turbines
in the United States grew 26 percent last year — faster than in
prior years. Posted. 

Tevatron particle accelerator shuts down. Physicist Giovanni
Punzi discusses the 4-mile-long accelerator and its shutdown
after 26 years of smashing atoms. After smashing atoms together
for 26 years, the Tevatron particle accelerator powered down on
Friday. The 4-mile-long ring-shaped accelerator, located at the
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., was built
to hurl tiny bits of matter at each other in the hopes that they
would break apart into the basic building blocks of the universe.

Chevron to unveil solar oil field project. Chevron Corp. on
Monday will unveil a solar oil field project that has been hit by
cost overruns and delays but serves as a showcase for the
technology of Chevron-backed solar thermal company BrightSource
Energy. Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said Friday
that three of its executives would attend the launch of the
"demonstration project" in Coalinga, which is designed to use
solar power to create steam to inject into wells to improve the
flow of heavy oil. The 65-acre project consists of 7,600 mirrors
focusing sunlight on a 327-foot tower. Posted.

LED startup Switch Lighting hopes to light the way in Silicon
Valley. Silicon Valley is known for computer chips, software
companies and social networks - but not light bulbs. Switch
Lighting, a San Jose, Calif., startup, hopes to change that.
Later this fall, the venture capital-backed company plans to
release a new line of bulbs aimed at replacing the ones consumers
typically use in lamps and other fixtures. Posted.

Obama's energy chief defends clean energy loans. The Obama
administration's energy chief, facing increased pressure over the
failure of solar panel maker Solyndra, defended on Saturday a
loan guarantee program that has provided billions of dollars for
solar energy and other renewable energy projects. Energy
Secretary Steven Chu said a stimulus law program that expired
Friday will help develop the world's largest wind farm in Oregon,
several large solar power farms in California and Nevada, and the
installation of solar panels on 750 rooftops in 28 states, among
other projects. Posted. 

WALTERS: Power bill surprisingly sinks. Assembly Bill 724 was one
of the odder casualties as the Legislature wound up its 2011
session in the early morning hours of Sept. 10. The measure would
have continued a $400 million a year surcharge on the electricity
bills of millions of Californians, about $1 to $2 per month. The
"public goods" surcharge, which has been collected since 1997,
finances programs to improve energy efficiency, encourage energy
sources other than fossil fuels and finance energy research.

Loudoun opens first commuter lot with electric vehicle-charging
stations. Loudoun County officials and community members gathered
Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the first county-owned
commuter parking lot in western Loudoun, home to a grant-funded
pilot program that features five charging stations for electric
vehicles. Under cloudy skies at the Harmony Park and Ride lot in
Hamilton, several Loudoun supervisors spoke about the
significance of the new clean-energy lot, …Posted. 

Regulators reject Hawaiian Electric biofuel plan. The state
Public Utilities Commission has rejected a plan by Hawaiian
Electric Co. to buy 16 million gallons per year of biofuel
produced on the Big Island because of concerns about high costs
to ratepayers. Earlier this year, HECO and renewable energy
company Aina Koa Pono announced the agreement for crops grown on
the Big Island to be converted into liquid fuel. Posted. 

When renewable energy soars on Europe's grid, utilities give
power away. In windy northern Germany, the nation's 21,600
windmills produced so much power that major utilities EON AG and
RWE AG lost money on their electricity by having to pay consumers
to take the surplus off the grid. This is the 31st hour this year
that power companies have gone in the negative during renewable
energy peaks. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/10/03/9  BY PAID

China wind turbine installations slowed by grid bottleneck.
China, the world's largest wind power producer, will erect 8
percent less wind turbine capacity this year versus 2010, the
first decline in recent history, a new report by MAKE Consulting
shows. The primary factor driving this reduction is China's new
focus on increasing grid-connected capacity rather than installed
capacity, which has resulted in tightened project permitting
regulations, the report says. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/10/03/5 BY PAID

Five Awesome Solar Trends - How They will Change the World. Solar
innovators are always looking for ways to make the technology
more efficient, flexible and affordable. Some advances are
already on the market now, while others are still in development.
The most promising technologies still face challenges, but if
innovations continue at their current speed, it may not be a
matter of if, but when these five new solar trends change the
world. Posted. 


Rideshare Week encourages people to carpool. With gas prices
fluctuating and the economy sputtering, Ventura County's
Rideshare program is just the ticket for saving money, said Alan
Holmes, program manager for the Ventura County Transportation
Commission. Rideshare Week, which runs today to Friday, offers
first-time carpoolers a chance to try the program while earning a
chance to win prizes such as an Apple iPad2 or iTunes gift cards.
"This is the 25th year for Rideshare in Southern California. It's
a great alternative to save money on the commute. Posted. 

Industrial solvent TCE even more dangerous to people. EPA finds
trichloroethylene causes kidney and liver cancer, lymphoma and
other health problems. The decision could raise the cost of
cleanups nationwide, including in the San Fernando and San
Gabriel valleys. One of the most widespread groundwater
contaminants in the nation is more dangerous to humans than
earlier thought, a federal agency has determined, in a decision
that could raise the cost of cleanups nationwide, including large
areas of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. Posted.

Justices ask Obama admin to weigh in on 3 environmental cases.
The Supreme Court today asked the U.S. solicitor general for his
views on three environmental cases, an indication that the
justices are interested in reviewing the issues raised. At issue
in the three cases: the proposed construction of a coal-fired
power plant in Texas, California regulations that restrict
emissions from ships, and a dispute over compensation arising
from plutonium contamination in Colorado. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/10/03/2 BY PAID


Shifting the Suburban Paradigm. Is there anything made in America
that’s less innovative than the single-family home? While we
obsess over the new in terms of what we keep in our houses — the
ever-increasing speed and functionality of our Smartphones,
entertainment options built into refrigerators, sophisticated
devices that monitor, analyze and report on our sleep cycles,
even the superior technology of the running shoes we put on
before heading out the flimsy fiberboard door — we’re incredibly
undemanding of the houses themselves. Posted. 

The green-jobs fallacy. Think we could use 5 million new jobs
right about now? That's what President Barack Obama promised he'd
create by "investing" taxpayer money in so-called green jobs. And
not just any jobs, he said on the campaign trail in 2008, but
ones that "pay well, and can never be outsourced." Jump ahead
three years, and the only "green" you find is the billions being
poured into the coffers of renewable-energy companies lucky to
even stay in business, let alone create a high number of jobs.

Issa disputed, confusion on benefits, Greece’s woes. Please
inform Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, that the regulatory
environment in America has evolved over the last 40 years, not
just the three years since President Obama was elected, as he
infers in his essay (“Regulatory tsunami impeding economic
growth,” Opinion, Sept. 30). Nor did these regulations cause the
economic crash that put millions out of work as is often stated
by certain politicians – Wall Street did that. Posted.


Maryland Team Wins Solar House Contest. A team from the
University of Maryland has taken top honors at the Solar
Decathlon, a competition for small, cost-effective solar-powered
houses sponsored by the Department of Energy. The entries have
been on view on the National Mall in Washington for over a week.
A project manual and a video walk-through for the winning entry
are here. Recently Joanna Foster reported in The Times on an
entry from the New York area. Posted. 

Dominion begins EV charging pilot program. Dominion Virginia
Power began Monday a pilot program that will allow electric
vehicle owners to “fill up” during off-peak periods for lower
rates. The pilot was approved this summer by the Virginia State
Corporation Commission.  “This pilot program provides
electric-vehicle users an option to help them manage their
vehicle charging costs,” Kenneth D. Barker, vice president of
Customer Solutions and Energy Conservation, said in a statement.

Wood is the greenest building material, USDA says. A report from
the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday found that using wood in
building products yielded fewer greenhouse gases than other
common building materials, such as concrete and steel. According
to the report, which analyzed dozens of peer-reviewed scientific
studies, 2.1 tons of greenhouse gases were saved for each ton of
carbon in wood products versus non-wood materials. "This study
confirms what many environmental scientists have been saying for
years," U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said
in a statement. Posted.

Agency overseeing oil, gas exploration gets shakeup. The Obama
administration fulfilled a vow made just after the Gulf of Mexico
oil spill to reorganize and revamp the beleaguered agency that
oversees the domestic offshore oil and gas exploration and
production. The April 20, 2010, Macondo well blowout killed 11
men and spewed nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. It
also revealed that the Interior Department agency tasked with
managing the vast offshore energy sector, the Minerals Management
Service, was plagued by conflicts of interest, inadequate
resources and weak regulations. Posted.

Alan Taub: GM pushing on split-cycle engine technology in the
lab; looking for low-load efficiency and packaging. Noting that
split-cycle engine technology “really looks promising”, GM Vice
President of Global Research and Development Dr. Alan Taub said
that the company is putting on a “major thrust” in its R&D
laboratory to see if it can get split-cycle technology “moving”.

Keystone XL Pipeline Hearings Create Questions and Controversy.
The last week of September marked the start of a series of public
hearings in six U.S. states about the proposed Keystone XL crude
oil pipeline  .  The $7 billion pipeline would move tar-sands
derived crude oil from Alberta, Canada through Kansas, Montana,
South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.  Keystone XL is a
project of Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation.  Posted. 

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