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newsclips -- Newsclips for April 4, 2012 Posted: 04 Apr 2012 13:12:24
ARB News Clips for April 4, 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. CLIMATE CHANGE Gov. Brown looks to global warming fees to pay for high-speed rail. With a lower price tag and speedier plan to start zipping bullet trains up and down California, Gov. Jerry Brown's ambitious new high-speed rail proposal is still wobbly on one vital ingredient: billions and billions of dollars. The state still has no guarantee on where it will come up with about 80 percent of the funding needed for a project that high-speed rail leaders announced Monday will cost at least $68 billion. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_20308577/gov-jerry-brown-unveils-scaled-back-high-speed http://www.cnbc.com/id/46952655/Cap_and_trade_fees_become_key_source_for_rail_plan Poll: Many conservatives doubt global warming. The U.S. is not alone in its skepticism that man contributes to global warming – a 2009 Gallup survey found Denmark, the United Kingdom, Norway and the Netherlands were other countries where less than half of respondents blamed global warming on human activity. But there’s a stark difference when you look at who in the U.S. – and Orange County – is responsible for that skepticism. It’s not a difference resulting from education level but by political party affiliation. Posted. http://totalbuzz.ocregister.com/2012/04/03/poll-many-conservatives-doubt-global-warming/84049/ California Lawsuit Challenges Foundation of Next-Stage Carbon Offsets. Last week, two new challenges came into view for the carbon offsets program that underlies the United States’ first economy-wide GHG cap-and-trade program. Shortly after the California Air Resources Board announced it would delay the program’s first allowance auction, another first emerged – the first of perhaps many legal challenges to the ARB’s offset program design, and a challenge with implications for emerging offset programs around the world. Posted. http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=9000§ion=news_articles&eod=1 Architects' answer to rising seas: Floating homes. A floating mosque and golf course for the submerging Maldives islands. Amphibious homes in the Netherlands lifted to safety as waters surge beneath them. A hospital perched on 400 stilts to protect patients from Thailand's devastating floods and the encroaching sea nearby. Around the world architects and city planners are exploring ways mankind and water may be able to coexist as oceans rise and other phenomenon induced by climate change, including extreme, erratic floods, threaten land-rooted living. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/world/architects-answer-to-rising-seas-floating-homes/article_d4d622b2-6156-5ec3-8dca-16d6f7ccc36b.html#ixzz1r5OkS9EZ DIESEL EMISSIONS Mendocino County companies say new truck regs will put them out of business. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors heard last week from truckers and construction workers from throughout the county who are concerned that state air quality regulations that became effective in January would put them out of business. The California Air Resources Board adopted a diesel retrofit program in 2008, also known as the "Truck and Bus Regulation." Posted. http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_20313470/mendocino-county-companies-say-new-truck-regs-will FUELS Biofuel maker proposes Watsonville plant. New process transforms animal waste to biodiesel. Watsonville -- A company with a new process for turning animal fat into biodiesel wants to open its first production plant here. The city Planning Commission will review the proposal for 860 W. Beach St. on Tuesday. "Our technology is what could be leading the industry into the next decade," said Jim Levine, chief executive officer of North Star Biofuels, a joint venture of R. Power Fuels LLC of Emeryville and Agri Beef Co. of Boise, Idaho. Posted. http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20120403/BUSINESS/120403017/Biofuel-maker-proposes-Watsonville-plant Journal article explores hybridized life cycle analysis method. A recently published article in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Royal Society Interface suggests that in order for life cycle analyses (LCA) of biomass-based products such as biofuels to be most accurately calculated, modelers should develop a hybridized methodology that considers both direct and indirect effects, to measure the carbon intensity of production. Posted. http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/8689/journal-article-explores-hybridized-life-cycle-analysis-method VEHICLES U.S. Car Sales Keep Up Their Firm Growth. Automakers on Tuesday reported strong sales across the board in March, pushing the industry to its best quarter since before the recession, even though gasoline prices climbed to more than $4 a gallon in many states. Nissan, Hyundai and Kia each posted record sales last month, while Chrysler and Volkswagen had gains of more than 30 percent compared with a year earlier. The Ford Motor Company had its best month in five years. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/business/car-sales-keep-up-their-firm-growth.html?scp=1&sq=vehicles&st=cse Car Charging Group expands presence in California, US. Car Charging Group (CCGI), a provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging services, has opened a new office in San Jose, California, US, to expand its operations in the region. The new California office will be led by the company's chief operating officer (COO) Ted Fagenson, who will oversee operations, which will include staff focused on local and regional sales, marketing and web and mobile development. Car Charging Group chief executive officer Michael Farkas said California…Posted. http://www.automotive-business-review.com/news/car-charging-group-expands-presence-in-california-us-040412 Japanese develop prototype EV that can travel 350 km on a single charge. The latest Edition of Electric Japan Weekly describes how 34 organisations collaborate to develop the next prototype EV that will be able to travel over 300km on single charge and SIM-Drive engages in infrastructure deployment, teaming up with home building companies. Meanwhile, the Japanese Ministry of Economy…Posted. http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/78620120404.php Half-bike, half-car Velomobile goes 80 miles on 6 cents of electricity. Velomobiles are reclining bicycles with fiberglass shells on top, to make you super aerodynamic, weatherproof and sort of whimsical. The only thing better than a Velomobile is an electric Velomobile, which is the exact same thing, but with the addition of a kit to electrify the bike. We bought an electric bike in lieu of a second car, and I am telling you now, until you’ve gone 20 MPH uphill on a brushless 750-watt motor, the wind in your hair, your fuel and insurance cost reduced to zero, you are living a poor simulacrum of the life you could have. Posted. http://grist.org/list/half-bike-half-car-velomobile-goes-80-miles-on-6-cents-of-electricity/ MISCELLANEOUS A Satellite System That Could End Circling Above the Airport. Capt. Mike Adams demonstrated what the future will look like at the nation’s airports as he pulled back on the throttles of his Boeing 737 flight simulator, setting the engines on idle to glide smoothly from his cruising altitude all the way down to the runway. Starting in June, that’s exactly what actual Alaska Airlines flights will be doing when the airline begins testing the use of satellite technology to land at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport — all in the hope of saving fuel and reducing delays. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/business/a-satellite-system-that-could-end-circling-above-the-airport.html?scp=2&sq=fuels&st=cse OPINIONS Earth Log: Is California's cap-and-trade actually pay-to-pollute? Raise your hand if you have strong feelings about cap-and-trade for climate-warming carbon emissions. Now, raise your hand if you really don't understand what it is. My hand went up both times. I have strong feelings -- mostly anxiety about explaining cap-and-trade in stories. Bee reporter Tim Sheehan explained it on Sunday in a story about funding for high-speed rail. State authorities say cap-and-trade is a possible source of money for high-speed rail. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/03/2787171/earth-log-is-californias-cap-and.html Brown steals from most Californians to give to wealthy electric car owners. There was applause from environmentalists when Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Public Utilities Commission late last month accepted a $120 million settlement from NRG Energy Inc. for the part it and the bankrupt former electric generator Dynegy Inc. played in the power crisis that afflicted California 11 years ago. To be paid over four years, that settlement will see NRG spend 80 percent of the money on a network of electric-car charging stations along major highways and in the state's biggest cities. Only 20 percent will go to consumers in the form of very small rate reductions. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_20321742/brown-steals-from-most-californians-give-wealthy-electric Could - and Should - Cap and Trade Revenues Pay for High-Speed Rail? If the federal money never shows up, the project's budget could have a multi-billion dollar hole to fill each year starting in 2015 (see Exhibit 7-10 in Chapter 7, Page 15 of the California High-Speed Rail Authority's newly-revised business plan). But by then, says Tiffany Roberts with the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's Office, auctioning off greenhouse gas emissions could raise between $3 billion and $14 billion a year (see page 13 of this LAO report). Posted. http://www.capradio.org/articles/2012/04/03/could---and-should---cap-and-trade-revenues-pay-for-high-speed-rail Editorial: New train promised to be cheaper, sooner, longer, slower. High-speed rail devotees issue fresh set of promises; reality remains that project should die. Desperate to spend billions rather than allow taxpayers to keep their money, the California High-Speed Rail Authority boasted Monday that it has cut costs, scaled back and speeded up the construction schedule of a train that should never be built. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/train-347559-voters-billion.html BLOGS Chevy Hunts Generation Y, With Help From MTV. Chevrolet is out for young blood. The brand set up shop at the Classic Car Club in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon to detail its efforts to capture behavior patterns of so-called millennials, those young Americans who came of age with the Internet. As previously reported by The Times, the automaker hired consultants from MTV Scratch, a unit of Viacom that consults with brands about connecting with consumers. Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/with-help-from-mtv-chevy-hunts-generation-y/?scp=4&sq=vehicles&st=cse California Charges Forward on EVs. As you may have seen, California Governor Jerry Brown announced a $120 million settlement last week with utility company NRG. The funds will be used to develop a large scale infrastructure effort for electric vehicles. This statewide charging network will include at least 200 fast-charging stations and another 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/california-charges-forward-evs/