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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 29, 2011 Posted: 29 Dec 2011 13:56:42
California Air Resources Board News Clips for December 29, 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 No change in S.J. burn ban on the horizon. A surge in air pollution across the San Joaquin Valley is making this a December to remember for air quality officials - or, perhaps, one they would rather forget. One federal pollution standard had been shattered across various Valley locations for 25 days in a row as of Wednesday afternoon. That's the longest streak since late 2002, according to state air quality data. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111229/A_NEWS/112290312&cid=sitesearch Cold, stagnant air causing Bay Area pollution alerts. Unless Mother Nature changes her pattern, the Bay Area — including most of Sonoma County — is headed for a record number of high-pollution days when home wood fires are banned. The ceaseless dry cold weather has led to atmospheric conditions that have trapped pollutants close to the ground, resulting thus far in 10 so-called Spare the Air bans. That's more than the past two winter seasons and about as many alerts as there were during the first season three years ago when the crackdown started. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20111228/ARTICLES/111229561/1350?Title=Cold-stagnant-air-causing-Bay-Area-pollution-alerts Air pollutants rise in Lake, Mendocino counties, but no fireplace bans. Like the Bay Area, Mendocino County is suffering a spike in air pollution caused by chilly weather and an inversion layer that’s keeping fireplace smoke and other pollutants low to the ground. “We have been seeing the numbers go up,” said Mendocino County Air Pollution Control Officer Chris Brown. The number of tiny smoke-related pollution particles called PM2.5s found in the air in Ukiah and Willits in the past week is nearly double last year’s levels, he said. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20111228/ARTICLES/111229560 FUELS New Forms of Biofuel Fall Short. Hopes for a surge in production of alternative biofuels are falling flat, and the U.S. expects to continue to rely on corn- and sugarcane-based ethanol to meet a national mandate for renewable fuels in 2012. The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that a tiny fraction—less than one-tenth of 1%—of renewable fuels required to be used in the U.S. next year will come from cellulosic biofuel, based on projected production volumes, despite a congressional target that the fuel made from plant stalks and other inedible materials account for more than 3% of the total. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204296804577125082495631226.html?KEYWORDS=fuels SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY In Solar Power, India Begins Living Up to Its Own Ambitions. Solar power is a clean energy source. But in this arid part of northwest India it can also be a dusty one. Every five days or so, in a marriage of low and high tech, field hands with long-handled dust mops wipe down each of the 36,000 solar panels at a 63-acre installation operated by Azure Power. The site is one of the biggest examples of India’s ambitious plan to use solar energy to help modernize its notoriously underpowered national electricity grid, and reduce its dependence on coal-fired power plants. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/business/energy-environment/in-solar-power-india-begins-living-up-to-its-own-ambitions.html?scp=5&sq=green%20energy&st=cse India Asks State-Run Firms to Build Renewable Energy Projects. India has asked all state-run companies to set up renewable energy projects as part of efforts to combat climate change, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said Thursday. The companies can also buy renewable energy certificates "to offset their carbon footprints," the ministry said in a statement, adding that this can boost trading of such certificates in India. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204632204577128293128308070.html?KEYWORDS=climate+change SUBSCRIPTION ONLY All eyes on German renewable energy efforts. This tiny village of 37 gray homes and farm buildings clustered along the main road in a wind-swept corner of rural eastern Germany seems an unlikely place for a revolution. Yet environmentalists, experts and politicians from El Salvador to Japan to South Africa have flocked here in the past year to learn how Feldheim, a village of just 145 people, is already putting into practice Germany's vision of a future powered entirely by renewable energy. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GERMANY_MAKING_RENEWABLES_WORK?SITE=MIBAX&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT AP Newsbreak: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/world-eyes-german-efforts-to-become-leader-in-reneable-energy-resources/2011/12/29/gIQAzPjyNP_story.html http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/29/4150606/all-eyes-on-german-renewable-energy.html#storylink=misearch http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_19637610?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19637610?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/all-eyes-on-german-renewable-energy-efforts/article_fff00cc5-d62a-5c64-87c5-b9caf4c46d68.html#ixzz1hwWDbxdo VEHICLES Forget the Prius. The Future Of Electric Is the School Bus. As long as Americans love to drive far and fast, electric cars may never be the perfect answer to the country's green transportation needs. But the routine runs of electric school buses are another thing altogether. Bus maker Trans Tech Bus this year said it would start making an electric school bus in a partnership with Smith Electric Vehicles. The eTrans bus is one of a new generation of zero-emission electric and hybrid-electric models that are slowly making their way to school districts around the county. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203716204577018471878074352.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Industry perspective on the uptake of EVs: 2011’s interviews at a glance. 45 interviews from OEMs, suppliers, service providers, utilities, and battery manufacturers have been published on cars21.com in 2011. Every interviewee has been asked to formulate a 3-point global action plan for the rapid introduction of EVs on the market. Find here the summary of their answers. All OEMs agree that cost is a current issue for EV uptake. OEMs would like to see more subsidies for EV manufacturers, more incentives (both financial and non-financial) for consumers and the roll-out of a charging infrastructure. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/72320111229.php I-5 highway to get 100 new electric car charging stations. Vancouver is putting in charging stations to promote the local use of electric cars - but you may soon be able to drive one to Disneyland. Tonia Buell with Washington State's transportation department says by spring there will be at least 100 electric car charging stations along the Interstate 5 (I-5), from the southern border of Oregon all the way to the Peace Arch. The goal is to eventually have those stations reach all the way down to the California-Mexico border. Posted. http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/314498--i-5-highway-to-get-100-new-electric-car-charging-stations Mitsubishi Motors to launch electric light truck, report says. Mitsubishi has begun development of an electric light truck it hopes to launch by April 2013, according to report in the Nikkei Japanese business daily. The electric truck will be targeted at farmers, contractors and others who use light trucks for their work, the paper said. Plans for an electric light truck designed for work duties highlight the variety of electrified vehicles Mitsubishi hopes to launch globally by 2016. A plug-in hybrid crossover, widely expected to be based on its Outlander crossover, is slated for sale in global markets by April 2013. Posted. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111228/OEM04/312289895/1186 OPINION Finally, polluters pay. Without any last-minute meddling by the White House, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week published a long-awaited final rule strictly limiting how much mercury, arsenic, hydrochloric acid and other deadly toxins coal-fired and oil-fired power plants can spew into the air. The rule will save America billions more dollars in health care costs than industry will pay to comply with it, to say nothing of the suffering it will spare children, adults and families by reducing the avoidable deaths, developmental disabilities and disease caused or worsened by exposure to the plants' poisons. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/29/2004298/finally-polluters-pay.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/12/29/2663927/finally-polluters-pay.html#storylink=misearch http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/29/4150701/finally-polluters-pay.html#storylink=misearch Carbon standard will be costly. Re "Low carbon fuel standard aids economy, saves consumers cash" (Viewpoints, Dec. 15): Under the proposed timelines, the standard is unrealistic and harmful to Californians and our economy at a time of high unemployment. Technological, market, and practical challenges makes the large-scale adoption outlined in the current standard timeline difficult, according to a recently released report by Fueling California. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/28/4148190/letters-to-the-editor-volunteers.html#storylink=misearch MISCELLANEOUS L.A./Long Beach ports struggle to meet Panama Canal challenge. A major expansion of the Panama Canal is raising alarms in Southern California, where business, labor and public officials are warning that the project threatens to dent the region's role in international trade...a video the group has on its website that makes the case for expediting infrastructure improvements. It ends with several politicians and others, even Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, chanting, "Beat the canal." Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fi-panama-canal-20111229,0,7530643.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fnationworld%2Fwashingtondc+%28Los+Angeles+Times+-+Washington+DC%29 BLOGS Early-Adopter Pilots Drive Volts and Leafs. The first person to take delivery of a Chevrolet Volt was Jeff Kaffee, a retired airline pilot. Mr. Kaffee was only first in line. A number of other current or former pilots are owners of either the Volt or the Nissan Leaf. Dan Davids of Woodinville, Wash., is president of Plug In America and the owner of a Leaf and an older Toyota RAV4 electric car. He’s also a longtime pilot, a former flight instructor and airplane dealer who still owns multiple aircraft, from a glider to a twin-engine plane. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/early-adopter-pilots-drive-volts-and-leafs/ Google’s Green Czar Leaves for Facebook. In November 2011, Bill Weihl, left his post as the Green Czar at Google. Weihl oversaw much of Google’s $700M investments in clean energy and was a driving force behind Google’s Green Dream otherwise known as The Impact of Clean Energy Innovation. Now, it seems that Dr. Weihl, a former Computer Science professor at MIT, will be joining social networking giant Facebook, with its 800 million users. He told Fresh Dialogues that, “the focus will be on sustainability, clean energy, energy efficiency, etc.” Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/12/googles-green-czar-leaves-facebook/ Red Double-Decker Buses to Return to the Streets of London as as Fuel-Efficient Hybrids. London's red double-decker buses, called the Routemaster, have long been a prominent feature of the streets. What everyone loved about the old Routemaster was that you could jump on and off the back at will, without having to wait for doors to open. Sadly they were all taken off the streets by 2005 because of cost: the buses were getting old and required two conductors: one to drive and one to take tickets. Posted. http://www.treehugger.com/public-transportation/red-double-decker-buses-return-to-streets-london-as-fuel-efficient-hybrids.html Pike Research survey finds strong fundamental US consumer interest in EVs; price remains a significant barrier. To assess consumer demand, preferences, and price sensitivity for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Pike Research conducted a web-based survey of 1,051 US consumers in the fall of 2011 using a nationally representative and demographically balanced sample. The survey found that, based on Americans’ driving and commute patterns, PEVs should be a strong fit for a large number of consumers. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/12/pike-ev-20111229.html