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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 15, 2011.

Posted: 15 Nov 2011 12:23:02
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 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.


Trucking companies sue EPA over emissions regulations. Four small
California trucking companies are suing the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency over new emissions regulations. The suit comes
despite approval of the regulations by the trucking industry’s
largest trade group, the American Trucking Associations. The
companies claim they were left out of negotiations regarding the
new regulations. They say the new rules will require a change in
truck design and, therefore, substantial costs. Posted.

Military tests hybrid bulldozer in hope of saving fuel and lives.
 Few targets in Afghanistan and Iraq are as inviting to
insurgents as fuel convoys.  For that reason, military officials
hope a new diesel/electric bulldozer tested last week at Naval
Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme can save lives and money.  The
Caterpillar D7E would require fewer fuel convoys than what's
required by the thousands of diesel-powered dozers deployed in
war zones by the Army and Navy, which could means less time in
risky places for military personnel and contractors, they say. 

SunLine Unveils New Generation of Zero Emission Bus.  The
Coachella Valley is home to the latest milestone in clean energy.
SunLine Transit Agency unveiled their newest hydrogen-fueled bus
at their headquarters in Thousand Palms.  The 7th Generation
Hydrogen Fueled Vehicle, "The American Fuel Cell Bus" joined the
fleet of SunLine's busses at the cost of approximately $10
million with funds from the Federal Transit Administration, the
California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality
Management District.  Posted. 


Electric vehicles on display at Johns Hopkins University, College
Park.  Automakers and environmentalists are rolling out electric
and hybrid vehicles for the public this week in Maryland.  On
Tuesday, Johns Hopkins University’s Sustainability Office will be
discussing the latest in electric vehicles and other green
transportation technology at the school’s Homewood campus in
Baltimore. Ford will display its fuel-efficient vehicles outside
Mason Hall, where the public will be allowed to test drive them. 

Tesla's Model S helps you find your way. Tesla Motors (TSLA)'
upcoming all-electric Model S is a roomy ride that comfortably
seats five adults as well as two children in rear jump seats that
fold down. It will offer driving ranges up to 300 miles between
charges and provide generous storage space in its "frunk" -- a
front-end trunk located under the hood where most cars hide their
engine. But one of the flashiest features of the car, which Palo
Alto-based Tesla is now showing off in beta version in advance of
it hitting the market in mid-2012, is the 17-inch "Tesla touch
screen" nestled into the center of the dashboard. Posted.


Congress divided over continuing subsidization of wind power. 
Washington state sometimes has too much of a good thing: power.
In a state that relies heavily on water and wind for its
electricity, Mother Nature can be too generous, and it has been
causing headaches for energy producers.  Wind producers are irked
that the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency, can
cut off wind generation when there's a surge in river flows,
resulting in too much hydropower - that happened last spring. 

Bleeding Green: California losing green businesses. Sacramento,
CA - Green businesses have joined the exodus of California
companies leaving the state or expanding only outside state
borders. In 2011, 172 companies have moved out or are moving out
of California, Business Relocation Coach Joe Vranich said.
Vranich, who tracks the movement of companies, said the number of
companies moving out of the state is five times higher than the
rate of companies that moved out of California in 2009. According
to Vranich's research, the states most likely to receive fleeing
California businesses are Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada.

Does the U.S. Spend Too Much on Green Energy — or Not Enough? The
controversy over the failed solar company Solyndra — which
received $535 million in federal aid before it went bankrupt
earlier this year — has reignited the debate on how much, if at
all, Washington should be subsidizing clean energy research and
development. Critics of federal clean energy aid were given new
ammunition this past weekend, as a pair of articles in the New
York Times and the Washington Post made the case that much of the
public's money was essentially being wasted. Posted.

Clean energy has highest return rate of any federal program.  The
National Academy of Sciences concluded in 2001 that a handful of
clean energy technologies returned about $30 billion on a
research and development (R&D) investment of about $400 million.
The United States is an amazing venture capitalist when it comes
to clean energy R&D.  Posted. 

Wind electricity to be fully competitive with natural gas by
2016.  The best wind farms in the world are already competitive
with coal, gas, and nuclear plants. But over the next five years,
continued performance improvements and cost reductions will bring
the average onshore wind plant in line with cheap natural gas,
even without a price on carbon, according to analysis from
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).  Posted. 


Keystone pipeline builder proposes changing Nebraska route. It
would avoid the delicate Sandhills region above a shallow
aquifer. Many cheer, but some environmentalists say the fight
isn't over. The builders of the controversial Keystone XL tar
sands pipeline agreed Monday to reroute it around Nebraska's
ecologically fragile Sandhills in the hope the move would shorten
any delay in the project, which has posed political complications
for the Obama administration. Posted.

Dan Walters: Peninsulans still leery about high-speed train. When
the California High-Speed Rail Authority unveiled its
much-revised business plan for the proposed north-south bullet
train system this month, one of its implicit goals was to quiet
fierce opposition among the very affluent and politically astute
residents of the San Francisco Peninsula. That opposition stemmed
from the decision to route bullet trains to and from San
Francisco via San Jose and the Pacheco Pass, and thus along the
Peninsula, rather than over the Altamont Pass through Tracy.

Palo Alto council takes step toward officially opposing
high-speed rail project. The Palo Alto City Council moved a step
closer Monday to formally opposing the state's controversial
high-speed rail project. The council voted 8-1 to task its Rail
Committee with drafting a request to the state Legislature to
either kill the now-$99 billion project or place it on the
November 2012 ballot for reconsideration. "It's a big step and we
should be deliberate in taking it," Council Member Greg Scharff
said. Council Member Larry Klein cast the dissenting vote.


Jim Hartnett: High Speed Rail is needed, and new plan is
practical. The latest draft high-speed rail business plan "lays
out a sensible and politically feasible strategy for building the
line in segments," according to the Los Angeles Times. The Fresno
Bee, supporting the business plan as "much more realistic" and a
"wise path," says doubters "have no answer for the state's
dysfunctional transportation system if high-speed rail is not a
part of it." The San Francisco Chronicle asserts the planning is
"moving in the right direction with a business plan that is
decidedly more pragmatic, realistic and transparent." Posted.

Cap-and-trade scam. The cult of climate change is alive and well
here in the backwards state of California. The California Air
Resources Board has just approved plans for a cap-and-trade
system. The fact that it will have absolutely no effect on
climate whatsoever does not matter to them. That this most
regressive of taxes will affect the poor the hardest as energy
and gas prices skyrocket does not matter to them. The fact that
thousands will lose their jobs as businesses flee the high energy
costs or go out of business does not matter to them. Posted.

Greenhouse gas no issue in Lompoc.  Recently the Planning
Commission discussed a Greenhouse Gas addendum to the
Environmental Impact Report for the 2030 General Plan.  Although
greenhouse gases had been discussed in the original EIR, in their
effort to derail the potential inclusion of the Bailey Avenue
corridor within the Urban Limit Line the Santa Barbara County
Action Network alleged that the consultant didn’t follow the
California Environmental Quality Act guidelines to determine the
impacts of greenhouse gases.  Posted. 


A Green Light For Fisker’s Karma, But How Green Is the Car?
Fisker Automotive can now sell its plug-in luxury hybrid car
Karma in California, having just received certification from the
state regulators, the company told VentureWire. But while Fisker
has been promoting Karma’s green credentials, the California Air
Resources Board qualified the car as a fairly standard
smog-creator. Irvine, Calif.-based Fisker, which is one of the
most heavily funded venture-backed start-ups, delayed the rollout
of the first model of its vehicle compared with its own
projections because of the protracted approval process from the
Environmental Protection Agency and the California regulator.

Carbon Trading Initiative a Success, Study Says.  The Regional
Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a 10-state program that has been
testing a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system, may be in trouble,
with New Jersey planning to drop out and other states considering
doing the same.  But a new study says the program has saved money
for consumers, stimulated job growth and kept money in local
economies in the states that signed up.  Posted. 

Closeup: Climate Extremes and Global Warming.  Later this week,
as I noted on Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, meeting in Kampala, Uganda, will issue its report on ways
to manage risks from extreme events in a changing climate.  A few
hours ago, I was able to catch Chris Field, a leader of the
panel’s Working Group 2 focused on impacts and adaptation for a
brief text chat on the challenges in this charged arena.  Posted.
Consumer Reports Poll Shows Support for Stronger Fuel-Economy
Standards.  A poll conducted by Consumer Reports in late October
showed that an overwhelming majority of American consumers would
support higher fuel-economy standards and would be willing to pay
a premium for high-efficiency vehicles.  Nearly all, or 93
percent, of the 1,008 people interviewed supported an increase in
fuel efficiency. Seventy-seven percent agreed that automakers
should produce more fuel-efficient vehicles and that the
government should increase standards and enforce them.  Posted. 

Consumer Reports: Large majority favor stronger fuel economy
standards.  In advance of eagerly awaited details regarding
proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, Consumer
Reports has released results of a new survey, and – no surprise
here – 93 percent of respondents "support increased fuel
efficiency." Further revelations include 77 percent in favor of
car manufacturers producing more fuel-efficient vehicles, and 80
percent agreeing with fuel economy standards requiring fleet
averages to top 55 miles per gallon by 2025.  Posted. 

SunLine Transit unveils 7th generation hydrogen-fueled bus. 
Canada-based Ballard Power Systems has, together with consortium
partners BAE Systems and ElDorado National (California) Inc.,
successfully deployed a “Buy America”-compliant, fuel cell bus
for SunLine Transit Agency in Palm Springs, CA. This marks the
7th generation of hydrogen buses deployed by SunLine, which has
pursued an aggressive strategy of implementing clean technologies
into its fleet.  Posted. 

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