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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 9, 2012.

Posted: 09 May 2012 12:13:13
ARB Newsclips for May 9, 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.


Canada's effort to meet emission targets goes up in smoke –
report. Canada is falling far short of its goals to cut
greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade and has no plan
in place to change the dynamic, a new government audit warns. The
report from Canadian Commissioner of the Environment and
Sustainable Development Scott Vaughan -- who acts as Parliament's
watchdog -- is not surprising considering prior forecasts but
lays out in more detail statistically how far the country needs
to go to slash emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/09/7 BY

Are thunderstorms producing a greenhouse gas? Next week
scientists will begin sending airplanes into thunderstorms over
Colorado, Oklahoma and Alabama, where they will gather data to
determine whether these weather events are helping to produce
ozone -- a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. "When thunderstorms
form, air near the ground has nowhere to go but up. Suddenly, you
have an air mass at high altitude that's full of chemicals that
can produce ozone," said Mary Barth, a principal investigator on
the project, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/05/09/10  BY


Analysis declares 'twilight of coal-fired power' in U.S. The era
of U.S. coal-fired electric power generation will effectively end
as new federal regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from
fossil plants take effect, a new analysis from Bloomberg
Government concludes. The report, from energy analyst Rob
Barnett, posits that the new U.S. EPA rule, rolled out last month
and open for public comment until June 12, will effectively ban
the construction of new coal-fired power plants because the CO2
emission rates required of fossil plants are so strenuous that no
conventional coal plant could meet them. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/09/1 BY

Coast Guard steps up inspections of towboats. A new round of
inspections of towboats and tugs is starting in July as part of a
nationwide push by the Coast Guard to improve the safety of the
nation's rivers and harbors. Since a 2008 collision and oil spill
near New Orleans involving an improperly licensed towboat
captain, the Coast Guard has begun inspecting work boats across
the nation. So far, the Coast Guard says it has inspected 2,887
towing vessels that volunteered to be inspected in the 26 states
that fall under the Coast Guard's Eighth District, which is
headquartered in New Orleans. Posted.


Electric motorcycle has Hollywood debut. Manufacturer Brammo says
its Empulse, designed to be the first motorcycle to perform like
a traditional sport bike, can go at least 100 mph and as far as
121 miles per charge in city riding. The first electric
motorcycle that promises to deliver near the performance of
traditional sport bikes was unveiled in Hollywood. The Brammo
Empulse is designed to be "the first viable motorcycle that just
happens to be electric," said Brammo Chief Executive Craig
Bramscher, whose team started working on the bike in 2010.


Eco-homes and green scenery in sustainable community; includes
HGTV 'Green Home'.  As a day trip, Serenbe is bliss, a fresh
grass-redolent, shockingly restful sojourn to the country only 30
minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  But what
was once just a chance to feed a horse a sugar cube and shop the
local farmers market, has recently transformed into a research
odyssey. Spending the day at the sustainable community of Serenbe
has morphed from a mere country idyll into an occasion for
intensive green research.  Posted. 

1,300 Onofre tubes plugged; no restart date. Operators of the
troubled San Onofre nuclear plant now say more than 1,300 steam
generator tubes have been plugged in the plant’s two idled
reactor units. And despite statements Thursday from an executive
with the operator, Southern California Edison, suggesting a
possible restart of the reactors next month, the utility company
said Tuesday that no date has been set. The earlier statement was
an estimate, Edison said, and any startup plans must have prior
approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Posted.

San Lorenzo Valley air district to offer funds to replace wood
stoves. For San Lorenzo Valley residents who suffered "bad air"
days last winter due to smoke, there's good news on the horizon.
The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District plans to
repeat last November's popular giveaway to help people replace
wood stoves generating smoke. "We gave away $75,000" said Richard
Stedman, the district's air pollution control director. Posted.


PUGLIARESI: Ethanol’s hidden gasoline tax.  With regular gasoline
prices still averaging more than $3.50 a gallon nationwide, the
last thing drivers need is car troubles. Yet a new scheme from
Washington to boost the ethanol content of gasoline from 10
percent to 15 percent could gum up many motorists' travel plans -
literally as well as figuratively.  Ethanol has enjoyed a
trifecta of government largesse for many years: tariff protection
from imports, direct subsidies to encourage its use, and a
federal mandate requiring refiners and importers to blend it into
the gasoline pool.  Posted. 


BL On Our Radar: A Dry Year So Far.  A map prepared by NOAA
indicates that much of the nation has gotten off to a dry start
this year. [NOAA Climate Services]  Vermont is set to become the
first state to impose an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing, or
fracking. The move is largely symbolic given that Vermont is
thought to have relatively meager shale gas reserves, but a bill
awaits the governor’s signature. [care2.com]  Posted. 

Canada Is Slow to Act on Emissions, Audit Warns.  Canada will
probably not meet its already-diminished greenhouse gas reduction
targets, the country’s environment commissioner warned on Tuesday
in a report to Parliament. The commissioner, Scott Vaughan,
blamed a lack of government oversight, particularly for the oil
and natural gas industry, which is Canada’s fastest growing
source of greenhouse gas related emissions.  Posted. 

The Current State of Clean Energy.  The International Energy
Agency (IEA) is an organization that works to ensure reliable,
affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and
beyond. They are probably some of the most informed people on the
planet on the subject of energy. This is what Executive Director
Maria van der Hoeven recently had to say on our current energy
outlook in a recent report entitled Tracking Clean Energy
Progress.  Posted. 

Microsoft Commits to Carbon Neutrality.  Microsoft has committed
to become carbon neutral beginning on July 1, the start of the
company’s new fiscal year. The shift results from three years of
internal discussions within the company to improve Microsoft’s
carbon footprint and environmental performance. The company will
roll out the new changes, including a new accounting system,
across its operations in over 100 countries.  Posted. 

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