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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 3, 2012.

Posted: 03 May 2012 12:32:47
ARB Newsclips for May 3, 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.


South Korean Parliament Approves Carbon Trading System. South
Korea approved a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gases as
President Lee Myung Bak seeks support for new restrictions on
factories and power plants in the fastest-growing emitter among
industrialized democracies. The National Assembly passed a bill
to establish cap-and- trade, a market-based program that requires
companies exceeding their emission quotas to buy permits from
those that discharge less, with the backing of ruling and
opposition parties, according to the assembly’s webcast of
yesterday’s session. Posted.

Korea legislates for emissions trading by 2015. The Republic of
Korea, the world's 15th largest economy and one of Australia's
top trading partners, passed legislation last night for a
national emissions trading scheme (ETS). The Minister for Climate
Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, welcomed the move. "I
congratulate the South Korean Government and National Assembly
for taking this important step to drive sustainable growth and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Mr Combet said. Posted.


Uncertainty still clouds future of EU biodiesel. Senior European
Union officials failed on Wednesday to agree on how to measure
the full climate impact of biofuels, prolonging uncertainty in a
debate that threatens to wipe out large parts of Europe's
biodiesel industry. The talks followed warnings from scientists
that using biodiesel made from European rapeseed and imported
palm oil and soybeans does nothing to prevent climate change and
could actually accelerate it. Posted.

Plant-based biofuels expand with tech advances. Amid the push to
develop clean energy, new research suggests plant-based biofuels
could meet 30% of global demand for transportation fuel and slash
the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning fossil fuels.
Recent scientific advances raise the possibility that biofuels
can be made from non-edible plants engineered to grow on land
abandoned for agricultural use and thus not compromise food
production, according to an article this week in F1000 Biology
Reports. Posted.


Expert warnings on rail costs flawed by 'wrong numbers,' official
says. A report that warned of huge operating deficits for
California’s bullet train was based on “the wrong numbers,” an
official of the state High-Speed Rail Authority claims. Rail
board member Mike Rossi told a legislative hearing this week that
incorrect data undergirds a downbeat analysis of the bullet
train’s finances published recently by four Peninsula-based
financial experts. Posted.

U.S., German Automakers Push EV Charging Nissan Bypasses. Ford
Motor Co. (F), General Motors Co. (GM), Volkswagen AG (VOW) and
five other carmakers are promoting a standard for rapidly
charging electric cars that’s at odds with a method used by
Nissan Motor Co., the top seller of battery vehicles. Chrysler
Group LLC is the latest to join Ford, GM and Germany’s VW and its
Audi luxury brand, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), Daimler AG
and Porsche AG in adopting direct current fast- charging with a
single standard plug, said Mike Tinskey, Ford’s associate
director of vehicle electrification. The system can re-power
vehicles in as little as 15 minutes, he said. Posted.


EU green goals depend on CO2 market-Acciona. The European Union
could fail to hit its green goals unless it manages to drive
carbon prices on its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to around
three times current levels, Spain's Acciona Energy said.  
Acciona is among a group of businesses - including Royal Dutch
Shell, Unilever, Philips, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone - whose
leaders on Thursday met European Commission President Jose Manuel
Barroso and other senior officials from the EU executive. They
reiterated demands for ambitious future targets on renewable
energy and carbon emissions reduction, as well as to back urgent
action to bolster carbon prices. Posted.

Wind farm adds 55 turbines.  A stretch of 55 new wind turbines
that will supply energy for 44,000 customers of the Sacramento
Municipal Utility District are up and spinning in Solano County.
The new turbines are the latest expansion of SMUD's 5,400-acre
wind farm in Rio Vista. Altogether, the 107 new and existing wind
turbines in SMUD's Solano Wind Project are expected to churn out
230 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 79,000 homes, SMUD
said. Posted.

Crisis-hit Japan mulls shift to renewable energy. Another long,
stupefyingly hot summer is looming for Japan just as it shuts
down its last operating nuclear power reactor, worsening a
squeeze on electricity and adding urgency to calls for a green
energy revolution. On Saturday, the last of the country's 50
usable nuclear reactors will be switched off, completely idling a
power source that once supplied a third of Japan's electricity.


Fighting greenhouse gases: Demise of small business is greatly
exaggerated. The demise of small businesses due to AB 32 has been
greatly exaggerated. I should know – I founded a small business
and clean energy laws like AB 32 are a big part of the reason we
are still here. Not because I am a clean tech investor or venture
capitalist but because our company, which partners with
businesses and communities to convert organic waste to renewable
energy, is leading the wave of clean energy job creation that is
sweeping across the state. Posted.

With gas prices rising, is premium worth the cost? With fuel
prices on the rise, some drivers are pumping less-expensive
regular-grade gasoline into cars for which premium fuel is
recommended. Although that might save money initially, auto
experts are divided on the wisdom of such a strategy, which some
say could end up costing more. What you save at the pump can be
lost on the road as the electronics in the engine ratchet down
performance to deal with the lower-grade fuel, experts say. Using
the cheaper gas might also damage the vehicle over a long period.

Editorial, other views: Strawberry growers still without
effective fumigant. It's a sad irony that for years growing a
healthy strawberry conventionally has required methyl bromide, a
chemical so harmful it has been banned by international treaty
because it is destroying the Earth's ozone layer. Another dose of
irony: The soil fumigant at first favored to replace methyl
bromide, methyl iodide, is perhaps even more despised, with
studies linking it to cancer, birth defects and other maladies,
and now it has been yanked from the U.S. market. Posted.


Repair bill for San Onofre nuclear plant could hit $65 million.
Edison International officials estimate that the company's cost
for inspections and repairs at the closed San Onofre nuclear
plant will be between $55 million and $65 million, but said that
the costs may be recovered under a manufacturer's warranty. The
company, which revealed the figures during a conference call
about its first-quarter earnings, also incurred costs of $30
million for replacement power through March 31, Edison reported.
Officials did not give an estimate of what total replacement
power costs will be. Posted.

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