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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for March 20, 2012

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 12:34:24
Happy First Day of Spring! ARB Newsclips for March 20, 2012. 

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.


Airlines Probably Will Get Global CO2 Market, ICAO’s Kobeh Says.
The global airline industry will probably need some form of
carbon market beyond 2015 to help protect the climate, said the
president of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation
Organization. It’s too early to foretell the outcome of a
three-year process ending in September next year that is
considering greenhouse-gas trading for the industry, Roberto
Kobeh, president of the organization since 2006, said yesterday
in an phone interview from Montreal. Posted.


CARB urges truckers to report vehicles to meet new March 30
deadline. The Air Resources Board (CARB) is reminding
California-bound truck owners that the deadline to report
information regarding their fleets has been extended to March 30.
 CARB provided a two-month extension from the original January 31
reporting deadline to give fleet owners more time to submit their
information before widespread enforcement of the regulation
begins. Posted. 


Appeals court overturns PG&E gas plant approval. A state appeals
court has sidetracked Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s plans for a
new natural gas power plant in Oakley. The 586-megawatt plant
would have provided electricity for PG&E's grid in Northern and
Central California. The company initially proposed to complete
construction by June 2014, but the California Public Utilities
Commission rejected the proposal, saying it exceeded PG&E's
demonstrated needs for 2014. Five months later, the commission
endorsed an amended proposal to bring the Oakley plant on line in
June 2016. Posted.

Natural gas industry high on future, despite current low prices. 
Despite looming federal regulations and rock-bottom market
prices, leaders in the natural gas business are confident the
shale boom that’s helped revitalize economies from Pennsylvania
to Wyoming is only just getting started.  Companies from across
the sector, from multibillion-dollar outfits such as Chesapeake
Energy to small-town hardware stores, have gathered in Pittsburgh
this week for the annual Marcellus Midstream Conference, one of
the largest industry meetings in the nation.  Posted. 

Diesel Reaches Highest Price Since Summer 2008.  The average
diesel price spiked 1.9 cents this week to $4.142 a gallon, its
highest price since the summer of 2008, according to the Energy
Information Administration's weekly fuel update. The price is the
second highest since diesel reached $4.145 on Aug. 25, 2008. 
California actually saw a very slight decrease of .2 cents, but
the state still has the highest diesel prices in the country with
an average of $4.481.  Gas prices rose 3.8 cents to $3.867. The
Gulf Coast was hit the hardest with an increase of 5.1 cents per
gallon.  Posted. 


Hybrid, electric or gas: What’s a car buyer interested in the
environment to do?  People interested in environmental issues
love a good game of this vs. that. Which is better for the
environment: Paper towels or hot-air hand dryers? Cash, check or
credit? Going to the theater or renting a DVD? While it’s an
interesting diversion, such cases are all cocktail party chatter
compared with whether, how much and what you choose to drive.
One-fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from
transportation, according to the advocacy group Environmental
Defense Fund.  Posted. 
Cutting the cord for electric cars.  Will the electric car
recharger be the next technology to go wireless?  That’s the
question posed by Evatran, a Morrisville startup that has created
a “plugless” charging station to juice up plug-in electric cars.
The company’s founders – and funders – are betting that cutting
the cord will be the next advance for electric cars, building on
the same concept that has untethered telephones and computers
from the tyranny of wall jacks.  Posted. 


At San Jose solar convention, SolarWorld's trade case against
China looms large. The looming trade war with China dominated the
conversation Monday at the San Jose Convention Center as
thousands of solar professionals gathered for PV America, a solar
industry trade show. Many fear that the Obama administration,
eager to create American manufacturing jobs, is about to apply
additional duties on solar cells and solar panels made in China,
possibly driving up solar prices and curtailing solar adoption in
the United States just as the industry is taking off. Posted.

House Panel to Cite New Flaw in Energy Loans. A Congressional
committee that has been investigating the Energy Department’s
loan programs is adding to its line of attack on the eve of an
appearance by the energy secretary before the panel. The House
Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been seeking with
limited success to portray the financial support for a solar
company, Solyndra, which eventually went bankrupt, as a
politically inspired boon to an Obama campaign fund-raiser who
was an investor in the business. Posted. 


Mower exchange offered by air district. The Yolo-Solano Air
Quality Management District has announced that its annual lawn
mower exchange program will begin on April 16. The program allows
Yolo and Solano County residents to receive a $100 discount on a
new rechargeable lawn mower when they recycle their old
gas-powered mower at one of Yolo-Solano AQMD's partner sites.

More Recycling: More Jobs.  The City of Stockton was home to the
8th annual REXPO, whose theme this year was “Unplugged,” on March
14, 2012 between the hours of 7:00 AM until 2:00 PM at the Hilton
Hotel. The event was hosted by Green Team of San Joaquin, a
program of the Stockton Chamber of Commerce.  Posted. 


Editorial: Stop dithering, pass transportation bill. Just back
from a break, the House of Representatives has a short two weeks
of work before it takes another recess. The No. 1 priority ought
to be passing a bipartisan transportation bill – as the Senate
already has done on a 74-22 vote. Lawmakers generally pass a
transportation bill lasting five or six years – because states
and localities need certainty to plan for multiyear projects. The
last transportation bill passed in 2005 and expired in 2009.

Does cap-and-trade produce technological innovation? 
Cap-and-trade is dead, but some folks never tire of kicking the
corpse. Corpse kickers received a boost last week from a paper
published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences, which purported to show that cap-and-trade programs “do
not provide sufficient incentives for energy technology
innovation.”  This strikes me as a classic example of a press
release overhyping and oversimplifying a paper to get attention.


Slimmer Majority of Americans Champions Renewables, Poll Finds.
The partisan battle over the cause of the increase in gasoline
prices has escalated as the average price of a gallon has crept
closer to $4, with Republicans accusing President Obama for
investing too much in alternative sources of energy at the
expense of conventional fuels and Democrats blaming geopolitics
and instability around the Persian Gulf.  Now comes a survey from
the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggesting
that more Americans may be moving toward the Republican way of
thinking on conventional energy. Posted. 

Environmental Groups Sue to Block New Desert Town. Environmental
groups have filed suit against a proposed development near the
Salton Sea that they say would irreparably harm the environment.
The Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity allege that
Travertine Point, a 40,000 acre development that would include up
to 16,655 residential units and 5 million square feet of
commercial space in a remote location 16 miles from the nearest
established town, would dramatically increase vehicle pollution
and further damage the already-imperiled Salton Sea. Posted.

What If Rest Of U.S. Did What California Has Done On Climate?
California, a state that’s historically been at the cutting edge
of environmental and climate policies, continues to take bold
steps in order to address climate change. Climate studies and
projections indicate that California will be hit hard by climate
change, losing a great deal of its snow pack (a vital source of
freshwater), and experiencing at least one meter of sea level
rise by 2100. With the most advanced climate plan of any state,
California is taking these threats very seriously…Posted.

MiEV Power BOX turns your electric Mitsubishi into a mini power
station. As anyone who's suffered through an extended blackout
can tell you, electric power can be a precious commodity. With
the advent of electric cars comes the ability to borrow back some
of the energy stored in traction batteries to help deal with
emergencies or other situations. Mitsubishi's MiEV power BOX -
soon become available as a dealer option – does just that, at
least for Japanese customers. Posted. 

2013 Nissan Leaf update will add new heater, up to 25 miles of
range in the cold. From what we know today, pretty much
everything about the all-electric Nissan Leaf is getting bigger
and/or better in 2012. From availability in Europe to 50-state
availability and production in the States, it's clear Nissan is
planning big things for its EV this year. Now, Nissan's Mark
Perry has told the The Detroit News that the 2013 Leaf will get
serious improvements when it launches later this year, including
a better heater, a darker interior option and leather seats.

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