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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 12, 2012. Posted: 12 Jun 2012 13:06:50
ARB News Clips for June 12, 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. AIR POLLUTION Idling limits the 'Rodney Dangerfield' of laws. Jodi Miller likes her coffee as much as anyone, but she admits to feeling guilty idling her car with a half-dozen others at a coffee shack on a residential street corner. Miller knows Salt Lake City recently passed a law that limits "unnecessary" idling to no more than two minutes. She's pushing the limit at Java Jo's in the Avenues neighborhood. "I usually turn my car off. I try to remember that but sometimes I just space it," said Miller, waiting for a carhop to deliver coffee. "It's hard at a drive-thru when you have to start, stop, start. When I saw this line, I thought, is it really worth coffee today?" Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jfq-4IvG5WbG9p_9H7_ZSI-RvXfg?docId=308235fe8f6848cbbbd8083b0031b7ec AP Newsbreak: http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20837413/idling-limits-rodney-dangerfield-laws?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20837413/idling-limits-rodney-dangerfield-laws?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/12/2869932/idling-limits-the-rodney-dangerfield.html#storylink=misearch http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47776685#.T9drIdVeSW8 China’s smog city: What Wuhan looks like with 20 times the U.S. dust limit. This is what residents of the Chinese province of Wuhan woke up to yesterday. At about 2 a.m. local time Monday morning, a dense smog began to cover the province. By early afternoon, it reached its peak density in the land-locked city of Wuhan itself. People posted numerous photos of the haze on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter. One blogger described her friends in the city darkly joking about being turned into Incredible Hulks. Posted. http://grist.org/news/chinas-smog-city-what-wuhan-looks-like-with-20-times-the-u-s-dust-limit/ Moderates float alternative to Inhofe mercury resolution. Sen. James Inhofe has long said that his resolution to strike down a U.S. EPA mercury and air toxics rule will put his colleagues on record as either supporting the coal industry or siding with the Obama administration's "war" on fossil fuels. The Oklahoma Republican's Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, which is expected to come to the floor by Monday, would bar EPA from writing a substantially similar rule in the future. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/12/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CLIMATE CHANGE Group warns of trade war over Europe carbon charge. The global aviation industry group warned Tuesday that governments might be moving toward a trade war over Europe's carbon charges on airlines and appealed for a negotiated settlement. China, India, Russia and 26 other governments that oppose the charges issued a joint declaration in February that cited possible retaliatory steps such as imposing charges on European airlines. "The last thing that we want as an industry is a trade war," said Paul Steele, director of environmental issues for the International Air Transport Association, at an industry conference in Beijing. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gcmp0STtrzIpC8IsEDTIp7zO5thg?docId=7d7ea1c0e13144d6aa9b4044b9923cc0 AP Newsbreak: http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20837642/group-warns-trade-war-over-europe-carbon-charge?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_20837642/group-warns-trade-war-over-europe-carbon-charge?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/06/12/2870040/group-warns-of-trade-war-over.html#storylink=misearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/12/group-warns-of-trade-war-over-europe-carbon/ IEA Calls for More Funds to Support Carbon Capture Technology. Governments must increase funds to support carbon capture and storage technology and ramp up efforts to improve energy efficiency or risk missing climate change targets, the International Energy Agency warned. Progress in deploying nine out of 10 technologies that curb carbon emissions and reduce energy use is stalling, the Paris- based agency, which advises 28 nations, said today in a report. Greater use of electric vehicles and pollution-trapping CCS equipment are needed to cut energy-related CO2 emissions by half by 2050, according to the IEA. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-11/iea-calls-for-more-funds-to-support-carbon-capture-technology.html http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/12/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY As the Earth warms, forest floors add greenhouse gases to the air. Huge amounts of carbon trapped in the soils of U.S. forests will be released into the air as the planet heats up, contributing to a “vicious cycle” that could accelerate climate change, a new study concluded. “As the Earth warms, there will be more carbon released from soils, and that will make the Earth warm even faster,” said Eric Davidson, who studies soil carbon at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts but was not involved in the new study. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/as-the-earth-warms-forest-floors-add-greenhouse-gases-to-the-air/2012/06/11/gJQATcIOVV_story.html EPA complaint says cap and trade racially biased. A coalition of environmental justice and civil rights activists has filed a complaint alleging that cap-and-trade provisions in California's pioneering program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions discriminate against people of color. The groups, which represent minority communities, accused the California Air Resources Board of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it agreed to allow polluters in low-income areas to use carbon offsets to buy their way out of pollution reduction under the state's global warming reduction plan. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/12/BAQI1P08C6.DTL&type=green UCI: Heating soil could worsen warming. Warming forest soil in mid to high latitudes could speed the release of its carbon, worsening global warming and creating a “vicious cycle,” according to newly published research by scientists at UC Irvine. The discovery solves a longstanding problem: whether the heating of carbon that has lain in soil for decades causes the same release seen in younger soil carbon. The answer is yes, the research shows — in fact, the scientists found a strong response to warming in most of the soils they tested. Posted. http://sciencedude.ocregister.com/2012/06/11/uci-heating-soil-could-worsen-warming/172695/ Humans play a 'dominant role' in warming of the seas – study. Human activities that produce greenhouse gases, like the burning of fossil fuels, have driven warming in the upper ocean over the past 50 years, a new study finds. Prior research had suggested that natural factors alone could not account for ocean warming during that period. But the latest research, published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, takes a more detailed view. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/12/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Which must come first for China, curbing CO2 or reforming energy prices? China's goal of expanding the use of non-fossil fuel won't happen until the government reforms energy price controls, experts say. It poses a chicken-or-egg problem that policymakers, outside analysts and private investors have just started to wrestle with. China has become the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter largely because 70 percent of its electricity comes from coal. China's 12th five-year plan aims to cut carbon dioxide emission by 17 percent and enlarge the proportion of alternative energy from about 9 percent to 15 percent by 2020. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/12/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Carbon tax might re-emerge as reform measure in nonelection year – economist. The prognosis on getting a climate-related policy pushed through this year does not look good, but after the election, a market-driven climate policy could make its way into broader fiscal reform, experts at the Brookings Institution said in a panel discussion yesterday. Regardless of which political party controls the next administration, a renewed push for a comprehensive climate policy looks doubtful, due in large part to a persistently high unemployment rate, said Ted Gayer, co-director of the economic studies program at Brookings. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/12/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Climate change requires a change in strategy from South African winegrowers. Higher temperatures, changing soil salinity and other consequences of a changing climate will mean South African winegrowers will need to embrace a diversity of grapes and growing methods, rather than specializing in one. Luckily, said Nick Vink, a professor of agricultural economics at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and co-author of a working paper on the topic, the South African wine already defines itself by its diversity. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/12/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Oil hits 8-month low as Spain optimism fades. The price of oil hovered above $82 a barrel Tuesday after touching an eight-month low near $81 earlier in the session amid concern Spain's bank bailout won't be enough to stem Europe's debt crisis and suggestions OPEC could boost production targets. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for July delivery was down 24 cents to $82.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier on Tuesday, oil dropped to $81.07, the lowest since October, having dropped $1.40 on Monday. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/06/11/financial/f220418D63.DTL Oil industry groups sue EPA over cellulosic requirements. Two oil industry groups sued U.S. EPA yesterday over its requirements for cellulosic biofuel production. In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and Western States Petroleum Association say EPA should have waived the requirements because the United States produced no cellulosic biofuel last year. EPA had set a target of 6.6 million gallons of production for last year under the renewable fuel standard, the nation's biofuel mandate. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/12/19 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Daimler Starts Production of Electric-Powered Smart Beating BMW. Daimler AG (DAI), the third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles, started sales and production of its first mass-market electric car today, beating Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) with the introduction of an emission-free model. Daimler began assembly of the Smart Fortwo electric drive at a factory in Hambach, France, which is being upgraded for more than 200 million euros ($251 million), the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said in an emailed statement. Deliveries will start later this year. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-11/daimler-starts-production-of-electric-powered-smart-beating-bmw.html GREEN ENERGY Renewable energy use grows by 275% in a decade – study. In the decade since the last U.N. Earth Summit, the percentage of renewable energy produced in the world's leading economies has spiked 274 percent, a new Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study finds. But on the eve of the next U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, in Rio de Janeiro, activists and energy economists say the goal of increasing the amount of renewable power to 15 percent of total electricity production, while in reach, will require a serious commitment by world leaders. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/12/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Shaky Battery Maker Claims a Breakthrough. Detroit — Lauded during a visit by President Obama, A123 Systems was supposed to be a centerpiece of his administration’s effort to use $2 billion in government subsidies to jump-start production of sophisticated electric batteries in the United States. Instead, the company, which makes lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, has stumbled along with the rest of the nascent industry and now threatens to give more ammunition to critics of the president’s heavy spending on new energy technologies. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/business/energy-environment/a123-us-backed-battery-maker-claims-breakthrough.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&pagewanted=print The Towbes Group Inc. Bans Smoking In 2,000 Rental Apartments. One California real estate group has decided to ban smoking in all of its apartments, but the aim of the ban isn't to make residents healthier. Under a recently enacted California law that allows landlords to prohibit smoking, The Towbes Group Inc. of Santa Barbara has decided to ban smoking in almost 2,000 apartments across 13 of its complexes, the Los Angeles Times reports. The smoking ban is primarily intended to cut costs, since cleaning apartments previously rented by smokers is generally twice as expensive as that of non-smokers. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/towbes-group-smoking-ban_n_1586909.html?utm_hp_ref=los-angeles&ir=Los%20Angeles OPINIONS Dan Walters: California's highways, roads run into trouble. California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to fast track an initial section of a bullet train system, perhaps by partially exempting it from environmental impact laws, even though there's no financing on the horizon to complete the project, and even though a new poll shows that most Californians don't want to build it. While the bullet train debate rages in the state's capital and in the media, everyone is ignoring a far more pressing transportation issue: the deterioration of highways and roads that most Californians use every day and that were once considered to be the finest such network in the world. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/transportation-358370-california-state.html Come Clean, Dirty Thirty. Most people are familiar with the slogan "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas." Well, this may come as a surprise to you, but it seems that this mantra is also taking a hold on some of the senators you send to Washington. NRDC Action Fund is here to shed a bright light under the cloak of secrecy on the latest group of elected officials, who we've dubbed the "Dirty Thirty." They may think what happens in Washington, stays in Washington, Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-taylormiesle/clean-air-congress_b_1588492.html BLOGS Toward a Greener Soda Can. Of all the materials that are commonly dropped in recycling bins, aluminum is by far the most valuable. New aluminum sells for almost $2,000 a metric ton, so recycling old cans would seem to be profitable. It takes about 75,000 cans to make a metric ton, so each one should be worth about 2.5 cents. But recycling the cans turns out to be harder than it looks, because the basic soft drink or beer can is actually made of two kinds of aluminum. The bottom and sides are made from an aluminum sheet that is strong enough to be stamped into a round shape without tearing. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/toward-a-greener-soda-can/?ref=science Warming Will Unlock Carbon in Forests, Study Warns. Climate scientists have long been concerned about the possibility that warming temperatures will speed changes on the earth’s surface that will in turn accelerate global warming. The best illustration of such a feedback loop involves the melting of sea ice in the Arctic. The ice reflects solar radiation back into space rather than absorbing it. When it melts, it leaves open water that absorbs the heat rather than reflecting it. The more warm water there is, the more ice melts, and so on. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/warming-will-unlock-carbon-in-forests-study-warns/ E.P.A. Soot Rules Expected This Week. he federal Environmental Protection Agency plans to propose new air quality standards for soot by Thursday and issue final standards by Dec. 14 under a tentative agreement with 11 states that sued the agency earlier this year. The states, including New York and California, blame fine particulate matter from diesel trucks, buses, power plants and other sources for respiratory illnesses and other public health problems. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/e-p-a-soot-rules-expected-this-week/ Fire and Warming – Different Forecasts for Tropics and Temperate Zones. Researchers using a decade of satellite data on fires and a suite of climate models have produced the first thorough global estimate of changes in the frequency of fires in the world’s forests under greenhouse-driven global warming. There’s ample uncertainty but the study, published today in the peer-reviewed online journal Ecosphere, points to a variety of outcomes, with fires likely becoming more frequent in zones you might expect — like temperate North America and particularly the western United States — but rarer in the tropics. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/fire-and-warming-different-forecasts-for-tropics-and-temperate-zones/ The Water That Fuels California’s Power Grid. How many gallons to run that microwave? We hear a lot about how green our energy is in California. Instead of using coal, the state runs on natural gas and increasingly, renewable power. But there’s a hidden cost to our energy supply: water use. In fact, every time you turn on a light, it’s like turning on your faucet. It’s been calculated that it takes 1.5 gallons of water to run a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours. The way water and power work together is a lot like a tea kettle. Steam drives the power industry. Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/06/12/the-water-that-fuels-californias-power-grid/