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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.


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. 

AP Newsbreak:

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. 

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

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. 

AP Newsbreak:


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
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/06/12/5  BY

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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


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.

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


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.


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


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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