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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 16, 2011.

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 12:11:48
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 16, 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 quality district internal emails expose manipulations.
(Editor’s note: This is the second in a multi-part series about
questionable activities of the San Luis Obispo County Air Quality
Control District. Part one was Air quality district’s bloated
salaries. See Alleged flaws in the study at the bottom of this
story) It sounded like a good idea. Fine the Oceano Dunes State
Vehicular Recreation Area for allowing particulate pollution
caused by recreational vehicles. Posted.


Analysis: China climate role could be to corner U.S. China, the
world's biggest carbon emitter, could nudge the United States
into more action on climate change, rescuing the latest round of
global talks and improving its international reputation.
Expectations remain extremely low that a new global deal can
emerge from a summit later this month in Durban, South Africa.
But it could lay the foundations for a future deal and desperate
negotiators are looking to China to help isolate the United
States in its stubborn climate change denial, even if it is only
for reasons of enlightened self-interest. Posted.

Experts debunk polls claiming fewer Americans believe in climate
change.  Politicians, pundits, and the public have all been told
by the media and others that public belief in global warming has
dropped sharply. Except that it hasn't, as polling by Stanford,
Ipsos, and Reuters make clear.  Yes, other polls, notably by
Gallup and Pew, do seem to seem to show a sharp drop. But in
exclusive interviews with Climate Progress, two leading experts
on climate, public opinion, and media coverage -- Jon Krosnick
and Max Boykoff -- explain what's really going on.  Posted. 

With Federal Climate Policy Stuck in Neutral, California Moves
Ahead.  While there has been little progress on national climate
policy this year, California has quietly continued to make
strides in implementing its comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG)
emission reduction program. Last month, the California Air
Resources Board (CARB) voted to finalize the regulations
instituting California’s new greenhouse gas cap-and-trade
program. This program is one key element of California’s
comprehensive program to implement the Global Warming Solutions
Act (or AB 32), which was signed into law in 2006 by Republican
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Posted. 

Obama: Global warming pact is 'tough slog'. President Obama said
today he is still pushing for a worldwide agreement to battle
global warming by reducing carbon emissions, but it is "a tough
slog" in hard economic times. "Ultimately, what we want is a
mechanism whereby all countries are making an effort," Obama told
reporters today in Australia. "And it's going to be a tough slog,
particularly at a time when a lot of economies are still
struggling. But I think it's actually one that, over the long
term, can be beneficial." Posted.


With Plug-in Power for Ships Installed, Port of Long Beach Goes
Greener.  State and locally elected leaders joined shipping
company executives and Port of Long Beach officials this past
Monday to dedicate the Port’s newest shore power installation.
Shore power allows ships at berth to shut down their diesel
engines and plug into electricity to reduce air pollution. To use
the words of Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard
Steinke, it "allows the port to grow -- but grow smarter[.]"  The
Pier C container shipping facility operated by the Matson
Navigation Company and SSA Terminals Incorporation is the fourth
Port of Long Beach terminal to be equipped with shore power. 
Posted.  http://www.lbpost.com/news/staffreports/12775


California is first in U.S. for gas waste. Austin, Texas -
Californians are among the top fuel-wasting drivers in the
nation, burning up more than 38 million gallons in the most
congested roadways last year, according to a report released
Tuesday. The study by the Texas Transportation Institute examined
328 of the most congested stretches of highway in the nation and
ranked roadways based on the amount of fuel wasted due to
congestion. Seven of the top 10 fuel-wasting stretches were in
Los Angeles, accounting for more than 38 million wasted gallons
of gasoline and diesel in 2010, researchers found. Posted.

Iraqi Cabinet Approves Royal Dutch Shell’s Natural Gas Contract.
Baghdad — Iraq’s cabinet approved a multibillion-dollar contract
on Tuesday for Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant,
to collect the vast amount of natural gas emitted, and currently
burned off, as oil is pumped to the surface at three major oil
fields in the south. 
The project, which will eventually greatly reduce Iraq’s
greenhouse gas emissions, is intended to bring modern methods of
managing oil fields to an industry frozen in time by sanctions
and the war. Posted.


Air Resources Board may boost low-emission cars. By 2025, 15
percent of the new cars and small trucks sold each year in
California would have to be powered by batteries, fuel cells or
some other technology that produces little or no air pollution
under rules that state regulators will propose next month. The
rules, from the California Air Resources Board, would force
automakers to sell an increasing number of electric cars and
plug-in hybrids in the state beginning in 2018. Posted.

Green Car of the Year finalists: different approaches to 'green'
It’s not just about fuel economy anymore. The five 2012 Green Car
of the Year finalists showcase the different ways we can drive
with a smaller carbon footprint. “There’s all-electric, a diesel,
a natural gas and there’s a hybrid,” said John O’Dell, senior
editor at Edmunds.com. “That shows the industry is finally
getting to the point where there’s some consumer choice in green
offerings. When you look at those vehicles, they run the gamut of
fuel types, price range and vehicle types.” Posted.

Electric Cars, Solar Energy Headed to 'Green Graveyard'? Electric
vehicles have been fascinating consumers and investors since the
first whispers of their development. Early reports on the Nissan
Leaf and Chevy Volt seemed to entice both potential buyers and
analysts who imagined a speedy embrace of the new technology.
Investors also flocked to shares of Tesla (TSLA), the maker of
luxury electric sports cars, on enthusiasm for the general
concept for e-vehicles. Posted.

California Now Has 100 EV Charging Stations. California has
reached a major milestone in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure
with 100 EV charging stations. EV Connect, a leading provider of
electric vehicle infrastructure solutions and Clipper Creek,
producers of the world’s first Underwriters Laboratories listed
vehicle charge stations, announced the 100th charging station
deployment this week. It is located in the Waterfall Building
garage in downtown Sacramento. The public access garage serves
primarily government employees and the EV spaces are consistently
full. Posted.

More than 60% of UK companies willing to adopt EVs in their
fleets by 2013.  The results of the 5-month trial incorporating
electric vehicles (EVs) in major UK fleets demonstrate augmented
interest of companies in EVs and increased willingness of fleet
managers to include clean vehicles into their fleets before 2013.
 The final project of the two-year Smart Move EV programme led by
Cenex targeted twelve major fleets in the United Kingdom
including Indesit, Stagecoach, Asda or national car club
Commonwheels.  Posted. 

California Continues To Reward Electric Vehicle Buyers.  The
California Air Resources Board has tripled the annual budget of
its Clean Vehicle Rebate Project from $5 million to $15 million. 
The money will be used to reimburse new electric vehicle owners
and leasers up to $2,500.  San Diego County Supervisor Ron
Roberts, a member of the Air Resources Board, presented the first
of the rebate checks to Kim Adelman of Poway Tuesday morning. 

Ford: 68% of U.S. drivers have poor opinion of automaker's fuel
economy. Ford Motor Co. said 68 percent of U.S. consumers don't
believe the automaker's cars and trucks are fuel efficient.
"There are 240 million people driving vehicles in America and
only 32 percent have a good opinion of Ford on fuel economy," Jim
Farley, Ford's global marketing chief, said today at the Barclays
Capital 2011 Global Automotive Conference. "That means 68 percent
don't." Posted. 

San Francisco Gives Electric Car Love, Starts “EV Council”.  It’s
a known fact that certain areas of the U.S. are better known for
their love of the electric car than others, but San Francisco
wants to go one better with a bid to become the electric car
capital of the entire U.S.  In order to achieve this, elected
official and local business leaders in the bay area have joined
together to launch the EV Strategic Council, a workgroup designed
to develop the infrastructure needed to facilitate and encourage
mass-adoption of plug-in vehicles throughout the city.  Posted. 


Solyndra Was Asked to Delay Layoff News Till After Midterms, Memo
Says. Washington - The Energy Department asked the Solyndra solar
equipment company to delay an announcement about impending
layoffs until after last year’s midterm elections, according to a
memo by the Republican staff of the House subcommittee that will
call the energy secretary to testify Thursday about a government
loan to Solyndra. Posted.

Emails: Energy Dept. tried to delay solar layoffs.  The Obama
administration wanted the failing solar energy company Solyndra
to delay announcing employee layoffs last year until after the
2010 midterm elections, Republican investigators say.  A memo
prepared by GOP staff at the House Energy and Commerce Committee
cites an October 2010 email from an unnamed Solyndra investment
adviser to another unidentified investment adviser. The email,
according to committee aides, said Energy Department officials
were pushing "very hard" to delay making the layoffs public until
Nov. 3, 2010— the day after the midterm elections.  Posted. 

The push is on to discredit clean energy investment.  There's
always been a tension in U.S. culture between two competing
narratives. On one hand, Americans like to think of themselves as
pioneers, innovators, forward thinkers -- the country that
invests blood, sweat, and treasure today to create a better
future for the next generation. We tell ourselves stories about
building the cross-country rail and highway systems, gearing up
to defeat Hitler, going to the moon, inventing the internet. 

White House knew Solyndra's condition before Obama's visit. Top
Obama administration officials were worried about Solyndra's
financial condition just two days before the president's 2010
visit to the Fremont Company, yet allowed President Barack
Obama's trip to proceed, according to e-mails released today by
House Republicans. Posted.


L.A. Auto Show to debut more than 40 vehicles. More than 40
vehicles will be unveiled at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show, many of
them for the first time in the United States. Ford is leading the
pack by introducing four new vehicles at the show, which opens to
the press on Wednesday and Thursday.  The Dearborn, Mich.,
automaker will release the next generation of its Escape SUV,
Focus sedan, and a five-door Fiesta concept car. Among the
eco-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles that the public has
grown to expect at the L.A. event is a surprising three-wheeled
hot rod from Morgan Motor Co. Posted.

High-speed rail agency wants big firms to bid on first stretch.
The California High Speed Rail Authority on Tuesday said it
wanted large companies doing world-class projects to bid on the
first $2 billion rail leg through Fresno. Tens of thousands of
jobs would be created on that leg, which, depending on the
alignment, would run about 21 to 29 miles from Madera to just
south of Fresno, the rail authority said. Posted.

TTI Study: California roads top fuel-waste list.  Californians
are among the top fuel-wasting drivers in the nation, burning up
more than 38 million gallons on the most congested roadways last
year, according to a report released Tuesday.  The study by the
Texas Transportation Institute examined 328 of the most congested
stretches of highway in the nation and ranked roadways based on
the amount of fuel wasted due to congestion. Posted. 


Reader Rebuttal (Mike Levin): Cap-and-trade. Your Oct. 26
editorial ["Pollution czars' plan to choke California business"]
relentlessly criticizes the market mechanism known as
cap-and-trade, thus discounting the past accomplishments of
several Republican presidential administrations that enacted the
policy with great success. The implementation of cap-and-trade is
a positive development for the hundreds of Orange County
clean-tech entrepreneurs who are growing companies and creating
jobs. Posted.

Bruce Klafter and Pasquale Romano: Silicon Valley companies
support stricter clean-air rules for cars. Over the next few
weeks, our state will be in the spotlight as a leader in
clean-car standards. The California Air Resources Board will
unveil new greenhouse gas emissions rules to dovetail with new
national fuel-efficiency and tailpipe standards for cars, SUVs,
and light trucks. CARB will update the state's groundbreaking
zero-emission vehicle program as well. As a result, California
residents will get cleaner air and more fuel-efficient
automobiles. Posted.
http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_19341741   BY SUBSCRIPTION

Global warming is no government issue. Re "Tax carbon to slow
climate change" (Monitor editorial, Sept. 14): It's astounding
how irrational the Monitor's editorial advocating for a carbon
tax truly is. How do you make a leap from "Okay, the Earth seems
to be warming" to "Man caused this warming with carbon dioxide
emissions and only we can stop this warming with a carbon tax?"
This illogical leap leaves me stunned but hoping that most people
will see through it now that the ulterior profit-seeking motives
of climate scientists have been uncovered and revealed. Posted.

STATE: Pricey power. California needs a more realistic guiding
principle for renewable energy proposals than “money is no
object.” The state’s push for green energy does not justify
scrapping consumer safeguards. State regulators should ensure
that alternative energy plans will not saddle Californians with
exorbitant costs. The state’s Public Utilities Commission,
however, took a different approach last week. The panel approved
a deal for Pacific Gas & Electric to buy solar power at a cost
high above market value for 25 years, though the exact numbers
remain confidential. The electricity would come from a
250-megawatt Mojave Solar plant proposed for the San Bernardino
County High Desert. Posted. 


CO2 on the Up and Up. To my eye, this animated graph, produced by
the federal Earth Systems Research Laboratory, is one of the best
attempts to put the recent human-driven surge in carbon dioxide
concentrations in the atmosphere into long-term context: This
version, posted on my YouTube channel, trims the initial rise to
get to the visual take-home point. Here’s the full animation from
the earth systems lab, which is part of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Posted.

2 Views of Aerosols and Climate Change. Aerosols are small
particles or droplets suspended in a gas. While consumers tend to
think of them as being dispensed from a pressurized container,
some are natural and some are produced by pollution generated by
humans. Two recent studies suggest that the latter variety plays
an important role in the environment, actually changing weather
and climate. A study by a team of researchers led by scientists
at the University of Maryland indicates that increases in air
pollution from construction, power plants and other sources
creates more aerosols,…Posted.

Smith Electric to Build Trucks in the Bronx. New York would never
be mistaken for the Motor City, but on Tuesday, Smith Electric
Vehicles announced that it intended to assemble electric trucks
in the South Bronx, adding 100 jobs to the region. A package of
more than $6 million in state and city incentives sweetened the
deal. Smith, based in Kansas City, Mo., manufactures
battery-powered box trucks suitable for urban deliveries and has
already found customers in New York, including the Duane Reade
pharmacy chain and Down East Seafood. Posted.

In Los Angeles, Driving the Dark Horse in the Green Car of the
Year Sweepstakes. Los Angeles — The 2012 Green Car of the Year
Award will be presented Thursday at the Los Angeles auto show.
The diverse field of finalists includes two all-electric
vehicles, a gasoline-electric hybrid, a diesel-powered model and
another that runs on compressed natural gas, or CNG. This week, I
have the opportunity to test-drive the CNG entry, the 2012 Honda
Civic Natural Gas sedan; the other finalists are the Ford Focus
Electric, Toyota Prius V, Mitsubishi i and the Volkswagen Passat
TDI. Posted.

California's Clean Cars Program: Driving Innovation at the LA
Auto Show. With the LA Auto Show starting in three days, car
afficianatos and Joe-public alike will have the opportunity to
drool over the latest concept cars and next-generation crossovers
(we used to call them station wagons, remember)? One of the
biggest media highlights will be the array of cleaner and more
efficient cars being shown, including the latest plug-in
electric-drive vehicles. My colleagues, Roland Hwang and Max
Baumhefner, will join me at the auto show to talk about the
cleaner vehicles. Posted.

The health costs of climate change. How much could climate change
cost us in health care? According to a new study, more than $14
billion. The study is the first in the U.S. to look at estimated
health costs from events that are projected to worsen and become
more frequent with climate change – ozone pollution, heat waves,
hurricanes, infectious disease outbreaks, river flooding and
wildfires. The paper was published in Health Affairs and
conducted by Natural Resources Defense Council scientists.

NC Chevy Volt fire likely not caused by plug-in car. When news of
a fire in a North Carolina garage housing a Chevy Volt broke last
week, green car enthusiasts – and, no doubt, General Motors –
sucked in a collective breath. Had the lithium-ion battery pack
in the range-extending hybrid suffered from some sort of defect?
Or was perhaps the LiMn2O4 chemistry of the LG-supplied cells
inherently dangerous? Well, it now appears safe to exhale.

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