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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for June 26, 2012.

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 12:43:28
ARB Newsclips for June 26, 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.


Court says pollution controls can be based on future
technologies.  Ruling comes in a suit brought by paint
manufacturers against the South Coast Air Quality Management
District, which regulates pollution from sources other than
vehicles. Southern California air pollution authorities may
require pollution controls based on technologies that do not
exist but may be reasonably anticipated, the California Supreme
Court ruled unanimously Monday. Posted.


Federal agency to examine Sinclair SO2 emissions. A federal
agency is preparing to examine sulfur dioxide emissions from a
refinery in south-central Wyoming. The Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry plans to look at three years of
data on air pollution from the Sinclair Refinery. The agency is
part of the Centers for Disease Control. The Casper Star-Tribune
reports (http://bit.ly/OpJiqT) that the Wyoming Outdoor Council
environmental group sought a broader public health assessment of
the refinery. Posted. 

Court upholds state pollution rules on offshore ships. The U.S.
Supreme Court rejected a shipping industry challenge Monday to
California's air pollution rules requiring ocean-going vessels to
use low-sulfur fuel within 24 miles of the coast, standards that
the state said would save thousands of lives. The state Air
Resources Board adopted the restrictions in July 2009 for ships
that cross the 24-mile threshold while bound for California
ports. The rules expire in 2015 when federal regulations take
effect that will impose similar standards within 200 miles of the
nation's shorelines. Posted. 

EPA study explains link between smog, heart problems. Smog has
been linked to heart problems and even death, and new research by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begins to explain why. 
Researchers found that healthy young adults who have been exposed
to ozone pollution – which is a major component of smog –
experience physiological changes that could be linked to heart
ailments in vulnerable populations, such as elderly people with
cardiovascular disease. Posted.

Winds stir up dust in west San Joaquin Valley.  The San Joaquin
Valley Air Pollution Control District warned that the northern
and western parts of the San Joaquin Valley would experience
blowing dust until about 11 p.m. Thursday. Because of that, the
district issued a cautionary health statement for those areas,
noting that people with heart or lung disease should avoid the
dust.  The western part of the San Joaquin Valley was expected to
see winds gusting up to 45 mph.  Posted. 

DWP tells state board it’s ‘done’ at Owens Lake. State air
quality watchdogs have a little less than two weeks to decide
whether the City of Los Angeles is required to continue dust
mitigation efforts on the Owens Dry Lake – despite city
attorneys’ adamant assertions that L.A. is “done” with any such
obligations. The California Air Resources Board met last Friday
to hear arguments from the Los Angeles Department of Water and
Power and Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District
regarding a disagreement between the two entities over mandated
mitigation measures. Posted. 


Federal court upholds EPA's global warming rules.  A federal
appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever regulations aimed
at reducing the gases blamed for global warming. The rules, which
were challenged by industry groups and various states, will
reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from large industrial
facilities such as factories and power plants, as well as from
automobile tailpipes. Posted.

Other AP Stories
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/26bn/1  BY

Researchers Observe Climate Change, First-Hand. As the climate
changes, scientists are documenting measurable shifts in the
natural world — from a tremendous loss in Arctic sea ice and an
increase in extreme weather like drought, floods and heatwaves,
to the migration of plants and animals to new latitudes. Posted.

Cap ‘n Trade: There’s a lot to learn from what’s happening out
West. Agencies across the United States are watching California’s
implementation of a state- wide cap and trade. Companies are
waiting to see how that program will impact business, and clean
technology industries are hoping that the expected revenues spur
innovation and new industries. Cap and Trade is a fairly simple
concept: ‘Cap’ is a legal limit on the quantity of greenhouse
gases that a region can emit each year, and ‘trade’ means that
companies can swap among themselves the permission – or permits –
to emit anything above that cap. Posted.


SFO official concerned about 'catastrophic' hydrogen explosion at
proposed fueling station.  A project to build a long-planned
hydrogen vehicle fueling station at San Francisco International
Airport is likely headed for the scrap heap due to squabbles over
liability and fears of a "catastrophic" gas explosion.  Now that
negotiations have broken off with the would-be operator of the
station at the southwest corner of SFO, the Airport Commission is
slated to vote Tuesday on whether to kill the project. Posted. 

Coal plants are the VHS tapes of the energy production flea
market.  When the Clean Air Act was updated in 1977, existing
power plants got a free pass: They didn’t have to meet new
standards until the next time their owners invested in them. So a
number of pre-1977 plants simply never upgraded. (This is always
a good thing to keep in mind during discussions of coal power.)
(You do have discussions about coal power, don’t you? At family
reunions and the like?)  Some of these grandfathered coal plants
have simply been shut down. But coal power has traditionally been
so profitable that massive, expensive upgrades to old plants are
worth the investment.  Posted. 


AABC Europe 2012: Better batteries with same chemistry.  The
third European Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) took
place 18-22 June 2012 in Mainz, Germany. Chaired by Bertrand
Largy, Renault, Session 4 of AABTAM focused on battery pack
engineering in automotive applications, aiming at making
batteries safer, more reliable and better performing through
better design, innovative cell-to-cell connection and modular
approach.  Posted.  http://cars21.com/news/view/4729 


Global visions of bullet trains. In the international race to
build bullet trains, California is not only getting crushed by
the likes of France and Japan, but also Saudi Arabia and
Uzbekistan. Dozens of powerful nations and even far-flung
countries on every continent except Antarctica are asking the
Golden State what's taking so long to join the bullet train club.
The answer could come as soon as this week, when the state
Legislature votes whether to start building the $69 billion rail
line. Posted.


Bill that reforms RGGI becomes law. State still enrolled in
energy program. Gov. John Lynch let a bill become law over the
weekend that reforms New Hampshire's involvement in a regional
cap-and-trade program, a move that disappointed environmental
activists who say it halves energy efficiency funding generated
by the multi-state compact. "Keeping New Hampshire in RGGI has
been a priority for the governor, and this bill does that," Colin
Manning, spokesman for the Democratic governor, said in a
statement. Posted.

Trade threat lurks as U.S. levies new tariff on Chinese solar
panels. The waves of a budding worldwide solar energy trade
dispute are washing over three continents this week as the U.S.
government called for new tariffs on Chinese photovoltaic
manufacturers and China's Ministry of Commerce fired a warning
shot at European officials who are contemplating a move similar
to their American counterparts'. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/06/26/4  BY


Chemicals in furniture target of Calif. Lawmakers. Judy Levin's
couch may not actively be trying to kill her, but it's far from a
benevolent presence in her home. Levin, of Oakland, had her
20-year-old couch tested for toxic chemicals and was upset to
learn it contains two flame retardants - V6 and TCEP, tris
(2-carboxyethyl) phosphine. TCEP has since been listed by the
state as a carcinogen under Proposition 65. But possibly more
upsetting to Levin is the realization that there's not much she
can do about it. The foam in furniture sold in California has to
meet flammability standards set by state regulators in 1975.


Letters: High-speed rail vs. reality. Re "Bullet train faces 'a
tight vote,'" June 24 When voters in 2008 approved the bonds to
start high-speed rail construction, we were told the cost would
be about $35 billion. Now the figure is nearly $100 billion. We
were also told private enterprise would step up to help provide
financing, but that hasn't happened. The first segment of the
bullet train is to be built in the Central Valley. If you are
going to build a bridge across a river, you don't start in the
middle. Nobody there wants it, and several groups are threatening
to sue if it is built. Posted.

Andy Ball and David Cush: California can't afford not to build
high-speed rail. In the midst of the debate surrounding
high-speed rail, the project remains a top priority to a diverse
set of business, labor, civic, transportation and community
organizations throughout California. High-speed rail development
is an essential component of a forward-looking economic agenda
that will immediately bolster California's job outlook and
improve our economy in the long-term. Posted.

Gas prices continue slide, but for how long? Enjoy it while it
lasts. Gas prices continue their surprising summer slide, with
the average in many Bay Area cities now under $4 a gallon. But
with July Fourth around the corner, some experts are already
predicting that they will resume their climb as motorists take to
the road for holiday excursions. On Monday, however, motorists
were savoring the $3.69 a gallon they were paying for regular
unleaded at Gas of America in AntiochPosted.

The Climate Post: Rising Oil, Gasoline Prices Push Politicians
and Reporters to Utter "Nonsense" In a major speech on energy at
the University of Miami, President Obama said rising gasoline
prices are a "painful reminder" of the need for alternatives. He
was on the offensive, trying to counter criticisms of the GOP
presidential candidates -- including Newt Gingrich, who promised
he'd get gasoline down to $2.50 a gallon. Countering calls to
"drill, baby, drill," Obama called the GOP candidates' ideas
"bumper sticker" strategies, "not a plan." Posted.

Murdock: A winning route along the pipeline. With his recent
swing-state bus tour behind him, presumptive Republican
presidential nominee Mitt Romney should plan his next road trip.
Romney should ride along the envisioned route of the Keystone XL
pipeline. Along the way, he should invoke, meet and even appear
with Democrats and labor leaders who agree with him on Keystone
and are frustrated with President Barack Obama's obstructionism
on this vital, job-rich energy venture. Posted. 

“Don’t write off cap-and-trade” It’s time to stop the
hand-wringing over carbon markets, writes Robert Stavins. Low
permit prices in Europe and America point to changing
circumstances and fixable flaws – not the failure of an idea.
Various journalists and advocates have, of late, described
America’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as being near
“the brink of failure” thanks to the trend of very low prices of
permits to emit carbon dioxide. Posted.


Could ‘Green’ Bonds Help Tackle Climate Change? Delegates from
across the world poured into Rio de Janeiro to attend the UN’s
sustainable development summit to discuss how to tackle climate
change. One item on the agenda: Could the issuance of “green
bonds” be part of the answer? Investor interest for green bonds
exists, but potential purchasers of such products are not being
offered appropriate investments on a big enough scale. Posted.

Can U.S. carbon emissions keep dropping? That depends on
Congress.  Here’s a green trend that more people should know
about: Since 2007, the United States has managed to curtail its
global-warming pollution by quite a bit — energy-related carbon
emissions have fallen roughly 6 percent over the past five years.
Some of that, it’s true, has been due to the recession. Less
economic activity means less demand for energy. But not all of
it. The drop has also come as cheap natural gas has forced power
companies to shutter their coal plants. Posted. 

U.S. Grants a Keystone Pipeline Permit. The Obama administration,
moving swiftly on the president’s promise to expedite the
southernmost portion of the disputed Keystone XL pipeline, has
granted construction permits for part of the route passing
through Texas, officials said on Tuesday. The Army Corps of
Engineers on Monday told TransCanada, which wants to build a
1,700-mile pipeline to carry heavy crude from Alberta to the Gulf
Coast, that it could begin construction on the portion of the
proposed pipeline that would end at the gulf port of Nederland,
Tex. Posted. 

Seeking a Profitable Place to Put Captured Carbon. Two major oil
companies joined by a chemical company and an investment group
have invested $9 million in a commercial carbon capture project
in Texas that will treat the flue gases from a coal-fired cement
kiln and turn them into marketable chemicals.T he $125 million
project, to be built in San Antonio with the aid of federal
grants totaling $28 million, is intended to turn a profit through
sales of sodium bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda.

A New Satellite Tool Tracks Deforestation. An international team
of researchers presented a new tool at the Rio+20 sustainability
conference last week: the first satellite system for monitoring
deforestation across Latin America in nearly real time. While
such programs have existed in Brazil for several years, the
program, called Terra-I, fills a much-needed gap for some smaller
Latin countries that are losing forests at an equal or higher
rate. “Everyone more or less understands maps,” said Mark
Mulligan, a geographer at King’s College London and one of the
project’s designers. Posted. 

A Fresh Look at Oil’s Long Goodbye. My bedtime reading tonight is
“Oil: The Next Revolution – The unprecedented upsurge of oil
production capacity and what it means for the world.” This
mind-bending report points to a prolonged period of rising oil
production, particularly in the United States (for reasons laid
out below), and a potential collapse in oil prices, with all
kinds of implications for security, international politics, the
economy and, without doubt, climate. Posted. 

A Tragicomic Take on Cape Wind. When the energy entrepreneur Jim
Gordon first proposed building the Cape Wind project in Nantucket
Sound, he assumed the project would be a slam dunk. Liberal
Massachusetts communities would surely embrace a clean energy
initiative, he figured. More than 10 years later, the offshore
project is still not up and running, although it has passed some
regulatory hurdles and survived a few legal challenges from
locals who oppose the project. Posted. 

Mark Landsbaum: OC Register's Resident Climate Science Denier.
The Orange County Register's stance on climate change and efforts
to contain greenhouse gases that contribute to the current
warming trends isn't exactly in line with widely accepted
scientific data. This is due in part to the presence of climate
change contrarian Mark Landsbaum on its editorial board.
Landsbaum, who had a previous stint at the Los Angeles Times
before joining the Register, has penned numerous columns for the
Register attacking climate science and cap-and-trade initiatives
going as far back as 2008. Posted.

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