August 10, 2011 |
President Obama announced the first fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for long-haul rigs, work trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles Tuesday, the second mileage pact with manufacturers in less than a month. The regulations call for reductions on fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions by 2018 of 9% to 23%, depending on the type of vehicle. Trucks and other heavy vehicles make up only 4% of the domestic vehicle fleet, but given the distance they travel, the time they spend idling and their low fuel efficiency, they end up consuming about 20% of all vehicle fuel, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
July 15, 2011 |
After 10 months of negotiations and sometimes nasty public debate, Australia's government has finally announced the details of a carbon tax of $24.65 a ton, aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions by discouraging the use of fossil fuels and increasing investment in renewable energy. In 2015 it will be replaced by an emissions trading program. The plan, announced Sunday by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, will now go before Parliament, but its passage is assured as it is the result of a deal reached with the Australian Greens and two independents with whom the Labor Party formed a government last year.
July 11, 2011 |
Under a European Union law, all airlines that fly in and out of Europe must either cut carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from their planes, starting next year, or pay hefty fees and fines. U.S.-based airlines that began to see steady profits only this year after a steep drop in demand during the recession are fighting the law, saying the European Union has no right to impose such a plan on non-European airlines. United Continental Holdings Inc., the parent company of United and Continental airlines; AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines; and the Air Transport Assn., the trade group for the nation's airlines, argued against the law at the European Court of Justice last week.
July 1, 2011 |
Scientists have isolated a bacterium from the gut of Australian Tammar wallabies that allows them to consume and digest grasses, leaves and other plant material without producing copious amounts of methane, as cattle do. The microbe was discovered through a process described in a study published online Thursday by the journal Science. Ultimately, it might be put to use to reduce the carbon footprint of cows and other ruminants, said study coauthor Mark Morrison, a microbial biologist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Queensland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2011 |
Facing continued litigation, California officials will delay enforcement of the state's carbon-trading program until 2013, state Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols announced Wednesday. The delay in the cap-and-trade program, slated to take effect in January, is proposed because of the "need for all necessary elements to be in place and fully functional," she said. But in testimony before a state Senate committee, Nichols said the postponement would not affect the stringency of the program or the amount of greenhouse gases that industries will be forced to cut by the end of the decade.
June 27, 2011
When the Supreme Court rules in favor of power plants in a global warming case, the initial reaction is dismay. But the effort to control carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions won't be greatly set back by last week's unanimous decision rejecting a lawsuit by California and five other states against four power companies and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The states had sought to limit the greenhouse gases emitted by the power plants, but their lawsuit had a problem: It was brought not under the Clean Air Act but under the common law doctrine known as "public nuisance.
June 20, 2011 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court killed a potentially enormous global-warming lawsuit against the nation's five largest electric power companies, ruling Monday that the regulation of greenhouse gases is entrusted to Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency. The 8-0 decision is a setback for environmentalists who hoped the lawsuit would spur action to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. The outcome puts more pressure on the Obama administration and the EPA to carry through with promises to issue new regulations for the power plants by the fall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 2011
Bernard Greenhouse Cellist, founding member of Beaux Arts Trio Bernard Greenhouse, 95, an acclaimed cellist and founding member of the prominent chamber music group Beaux Arts Trio, died Friday at his Massachusetts home on Cape Cod, his family said. At a time when high-level piano trios were rare, he formed Beaux Arts in 1955 with violinist Daniel Guilet and pianist Menahem Pressler. "Greenhouse had the most beautiful sonority," Pressler told The Times in 1995, and became known as a major interpreter of the cello.
April 27, 2011
Despite the rants of some conservative politicians and fringe scientists, it's a fact that greenhouse gases produced by human activity contribute to global warming. Last week the Supreme Court considered one way that such emissions might be controlled: through a huge and unwieldy lawsuit brought by California and five other states against five power companies and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Several justices expressed skepticism about the suit, but if the court rejects it there will still be opportunities to abate greenhouse gases.
April 20, 2011 |
In a setback for environmentalists, the Supreme Court signaled Tuesday that it would throw out a huge global warming lawsuit brought by California and five other states that seeks limits on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants in the South and Midwest. Encouraged by the Obama administration's top courtroom lawyer, the justices said the problem of regulating greenhouse gases should be left to the Environmental Protection Agency. It is too complex and unwieldy to be handled by a single federal judge acting on a "public nuisance" lawsuit, some of them said.