What's New List Serve Post Display

What's New List Serve Post Display

Below is the List Serve Post you selected to display.
newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for August 8, 2012.

Posted: 08 Aug 2012 12:02:12
ARB Newsclips for August 8, 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.


APNewsBreak: EPA sets rules for Navajo power plant. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency has issued its final rule aimed
at cleaning up the largest single source of haze-causing
pollutants in the country. Rather than mandate that the Four
Corners Power Plant take one avenue to reducing nitrogen oxide
emissions, the EPA is giving the plant's operators a choice,
regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld told The Associated Press
on Wednesday. Arizona Public Service can either upgrade the five
units at the northwestern New Mexico plant or go with its own
plan to shut down three units and install controls at the two
others. Posted.


Residents near refinery fire heckle Chevron execs. A major fire
at one of the country's biggest oil refineries that sent hundreds
of people to hospitals with complaints of breathing problems will
push gas prices above $4 a gallon on the West Coast, analysts
said Tuesday. The fire, which sent plumes of black smoke over the
San Francisco Bay area, erupted Monday evening in the massive
Chevron refinery about 10 miles northeast of San Francisco. It
was out early Tuesday. The West Coast is particularly vulnerable
to spikes in gasoline prices because it's not well-connected to
the refineries along the Gulf Coast, where most of the country's
refining capacity is located, analysts say. Posted. 




Richmond: Air quality determined safe after Chevron refinery
fire. The air quality in western Contra Costa County has been
determined safe after test results for 23 petroleum-related
pollutants were analyzed Tuesday after a fire at a Chevron
refinery in Richmond on Monday night, according to the Bay Area
Air Quality Management District. The air quality has been tested
and determined not to be a significant health concern, with
potentially toxic pollutants found to be well under levels that
could impact sensitive populations, the air district said in a
statement. Posted.


Ouch! July in US was hottest ever in history books. This probably
comes as no surprise: Federal scientists say July was the hottest
month ever recorded in the contiguous United States. The average
temperature for the Lower 48 last month was 77.6 degrees. That
breaks the old record from July 1936, during the Dust Bowl, by
two-tenths of a degree. Records go back to 1895. Last month also
was 3.3 degrees warmer than the 20th century average for July.
The first seven months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the
nation. And August 2011 through July this year was the warmest
12-month period on record. Posted.

California Air Resources Board Maps Polluters. On the new Google
Earth map are 625 facilities that each produce more than 25,000
metric tons of greenhouse gases annually.  The map breaks down
facilities by industry, air district, zip code and by types of
emissions.  Stanley Young with CARB says the information is the
foundation of the state's Cap and Trade program, "The reason why
the accuracy and stringency of the reporting is important is
because that helps us establish their compliance obligation -…

http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/08/08/8  BY

U.N. Climate Change Goals: U.S. Reaffirms Support After
Criticism.  The United States reaffirmed support for a U.N. goal
of limiting global warming after criticism from the European
Union and small island states that Washington seemed to be
backing away.  "The U.S. continues to support this goal. We have
not changed our policy," U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said in a
statement on Wednesday.  Almost 200 nations, including the United
States, have agreed to limit rising temperatures to below 2
degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times to avoid
dangerous changes such as floods, droughts and rising sea levels.


Report: Pollution levels at Port of Long Beach show significant
drops. The air in and around the Port of Long Beach is cleaner
today than it was six years ago, according to an emissions
inventory report released by harbor officials this week. The
report showed significant drops in air pollution from 2005,
including a 75 percent decrease in airborne diesel particulates,
a 50 percent drop in nitrogen oxides, an 80 percent decrease in
sulfur oxides and a 23 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions.
It is the fifth straight year the port has shown improved
pollution numbers, which port officials have attributed to its
clean-air programs. Posted. 


Mustard goes from sandwiches to biofuel to fertilizer. You can
slather it on a ham sandwich, fuel up your pickup, maybe even
kill the bugs in your garden. Ken Kimes has high hopes for
mustard. Kimes is president of Farm Fuel Inc., which was founded
in 2007 with the aim of growing mustard for biofuel. Five years
later, the company is marketing mustard seed meal as an organic
fertilizer and is looking into its potential to replace chemical
fumigants in the production of strawberries and other crops.
"It's showing good promise at knocking back soil diseases," said
Kimes. Posted.



No support for low-speed electric vehicles in China. According Su
Bo, the vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information
Technology (MIIT), based on the “Energy-Saving and New Energy
Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2012-2020),” low-speed
electric vehicles will not be the focus of China’s development of
new energy vehicles. Low-speed electric vehicles will not be the
path followed by China’s EV industry.  Low-speed electric
vehicles usually use lead-acid batteries, which are can cause
pollution in some cities. MIIT requires that low-speed EVs
improve their product quality to must meet safety standards and
national standards.  Posted.  http://cars21.com/news/view/4848 

Offsetting Emissions at the Pump In California.  It is now
possible to offset carbon emission at the pump while refueling
for Fullerton, California residents who wishes to do so.  Propel
Fuels has become the first company to enable consumers to offset
their driving emissions at the pump any time they fill their
tank.  Propel's flagship fuel station in Fullerton, Calif. offers
customers the option to offset their carbon emissions by funding
clean air projects through the Carbonfund.org Foundation.  Since
Propel launched CarbonOffset in May, customers have chosen to
contribute $1 per fill to fully offset the emissions from their
purchase more than one thousand times. Posted. 


Merced City Council OKs time to plan high-speed rail station. 
The Merced City Council recently approved $50,000 in staff time
over three years to help move ahead with plans for the
construction and development of Merced's high-speed rail station.
The funding is to be used in conjunction with a $600,000 grant
from the California High-Speed Rail Authority, for hiring a
consultant on the project.  A request for proposals will be out
by September, and the project should be under way by the start of
next year.  The final planning documents will be put together
with significant input from the community, said Elaine Post,
development manager for Economic Development Department.  Posted.


Black Hills to close 2 Wyo. coal-fired power units. Black Hills
Corp. plans to close two coal-fired power units in Wyoming by
early 2014 because the company says it would be too expensive to
bring them in line with new Environmental Protection Agency
pollution rules. The Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/QfecwE )
reported Wednesday that the units slated for closure are the
Osage plant and one of six power stations at a complex in
Gillette. The Osage plant has been idle since October 2010 but
Black Hills has continued to maintain it. Posted.

Garbage drops as CA's recycling goal grows. Californians have
slashed the amount of stuff they throw away each day, pushing per
capita disposal rates down to a record low last year even though
the economy picked up steam. It’s a good showing — but residents
aren’t doing nearly as well as they might have thought, and state
officials are asking for help to dramatically boost waste
reduction and recycling by 2020. That likely will result in a
suite of new rules, programs and fees designed to improve reuse
of materials and minimize the need for more landfills. Posted.

SD council struggles with green grades in 2011. Environmental
groups on Thursday issued their annual report card for the San
Diego City Council and mayor. Only a couple of leaders got the
kind of grades they would want to show their parents. Council
members Marti Emerald and Todd Gloria each pulled in a B grade.
David Alvarez, chairman of the council’s natural resource
committee, was given a C-plus. Otherwise, it was D's and F's.

Bill Clinton comparing US foreign green energy use. Former
President Bill Clinton says U.S. renewable energy efforts lag
behind those in other countries, and he says action, cooperation
and "thinking big" are needed to change the future. Clinton also
told an audience at the fifth annual National Clean Energy Summit
in Las Vegas on Tuesday that government can help. He says tax
incentives are important, and countries like Germany and China
have used them to become leaders in solar power around the world.
Mitt Romney's green-jobs criticism carries risks. Mitt Romney's
presidential campaign has been savaging what it calls President
Barack Obama's "unhealthy" obsession with "green jobs." The
Republican challenger criticizes the government program that
propped up solar manufacturer Solyndra, and he mocks Obama's
vision of a boom in employment, citing a European study to argue
that new solar or wind-energy positions would destroy jobs
elsewhere. Posted. 


California Air Resources Board to host mobile Ag regulation
workshops.  The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will host
the first public workshops to discuss In-Use Self-Propelled
Off-Road Mobile Agricultural Equipment Regulation (mobile Ag
regulation) on Sept. 6 in the Central Valley and via webcast. 
The workshops will discuss how to reduce oxides of nitrogen
emissions and particulate matter from in-use off-road diesel
agricultural equipment.  Posted. 


The Silver Lining in the Drought. FROM where I sit on the north
end of America’s grain belt, I can almost hear the corn popping
to the south of me. The drought threatens to drive up global corn
prices beyond their level in 2007-8, when food demonstrations
broke out around the world. But such crises often lead to change
— and transformation is what is needed to make our food system
less vulnerable. We have become dangerously focused on corn in
the Midwest (and soybeans, with which it is cultivated in
rotation). This limited diversity of crops restricts our diets,
degrades our soils and increases our vulnerability to droughts.

Tobacco companies fight to keep smoke in our eyes -- and lungs.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control had some good news for the
health of the American public this week: Its graphic commercials
showing the ravages of smoking-related illness are having a
dramatic effect on people's desire to quit, according to a story
published this week by USA Today. It's hard to ignore a real-life
throat-cancer patient who speaks in a barely comprehensible rasp
as she dons her wig, her false teeth and an artificial larynx for
the day. Posted.

FORUM: How to gain energy independence. Many people are heading
to the beach or mountains this summer. I decided to break out of
the usual vacation routine this year. I went to Washington, D.C.,
so I could talk to members of Congress about climate change and
energy policy. That may not sound like much fun but I had a
blast, and in the process I discovered that there is hope for a
better future if enough of us engage in a meaningful conversation
with our government. A little background: In 1977, Jimmy Carter
was president. Posted. 

Opinion: Thomas L. Friedman: Getting natural gas right. We are in
the midst of a natural gas revolution in America that is a
potential game changer for the economy, environment and our
national security -- if we do it right. The enormous stores of
natural gas that have been locked away in shale deposits across
America that we've now been able to tap into, thanks to
breakthroughs in seismic imaging, horizontal drilling and
hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," are enabling us to replace
much dirtier coal with cleaner gas as the largest source of
electricity generation in America. And natural gas may soon be
powering cars, trucks and ships as well. Posted.

For the Next Audit—The Air Resources Board.  Last week, the
Department of Finance concluded a quick audit of the Special
Funds portion of the budget that, whether sufficient to look into
the situation or not, hopefully will start a trend in performing
audits on government program revenues and costs. Next in line
should be an audit on the California Air Resources Board, which
the Joint Legislative Audit Committee is considering in a hearing
today.  Many in the business community are concerned with the
lack of transparency on CARB’s responses to information regarding
the use of administrative fees charged to California businesses
under AB 32, the landmark greenhouse gases law.  Posted. 

The U.S. keeps passing more and more renewable energy milestones.
 So there’s this new television show on NBC called “Power Off” or
something that’s been heavily advertised during the Olympics.
(That’s not it’s name, but I can’t be bothered to look it up. If
you want to, go nuts.) The premise appears to be that the world
loses all of its power. It’s not clear why. So everyone runs
around fighting with bows and arrows, because I guess guns use
electricity now.  I raise that TV show both to make fun of it and
to assuage any concerns that it might have prompted. Don’t worry,
America. We’re getting better and better at making electricity. 


Sparing Sewers All That Restaurant Grease. Every hour of every
day, plants across the United States treat the waste that flows
through the nation’s sewers. The process is energy-intensive.
Wastewater treatment plants often consume more electricity than
any other service a city provides — sometimes even as much as 30
to 40 percent of its overall energy consumption, according to the
Environmental Protection Agency. In a push to produce more of its
own energy, a wastewater treatment plant in Gresham, Ore., is
turning to an unlikely source to generate power: the gray-white
grease-filled wastewater that flows out of restaurants and other
places where food is prepared. Posted.

Senate committee approves $2,500 federal tax credit for electric
two-wheelers. Last week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a
federal tax credit worth 10 percent of the price of electric
bikes and motorcycles, up to a maximum of $2,500. If the bill
passes, it would end an existing electric vehicle tax credit for
golf carts that can't be taken on public highways, unlike
electric bikes. The committee approved the amendment by a voice
vote as part of a broader package of tax measures after a debate
over whether e-bikes are worth it. Creating more U.S. jobs, and
not losing them overseas, was cited as a reason for supporting
it. Posted. 

Federal vehicle fleet larger, but more fuel-efficient.  Federal
agencies have been making their vehicle fleets more
fuel-efficient in recent years but the number of those vehicles
has been growing, a study for Congress has found.  The Government
Accountability Office reported that the percentage of agency
fleet vehicles using alternatives to conventional gasoline or
diesel fuel rose from 14 to 33 percent over 2005-2011. That
increase followed a series of laws and directives stretching back
20 years aimed at reducing the government’s fuel consumption. 

New Tool Maps California’s Biggest Greenhouse Gas Emitters.
Wondering where all the petroleum refineries are located in
California? Curious about which industries in your area emit the
most greenhouse gases? Or which counties have the most big
industrial polluters, and which don’t have any at all? A new
interactive map from the California Air Resources Board taps the
versatility of Google Earth software to transform eye-glazing
spreadsheet data into a visual, if wonky, feast. Posted.


Chevron Refinery Fire: Health Impact. Since Monday’s fire erupted
just after 6pm, more than 600 people have been treated in
emergency departments at Kaiser in Richmond and Doctors Medical
Center in nearby San Pablo for symptoms caused by the Chevron
refinery fire. One of them was Point Richmond resident Cheri
Edwards. “The smoke was kind of like an oily smell, it was an
oily smell, and I have asthma really bad. And right now I’m at
the bus stop trying to go to Kaiser because I have been having
respiratory problems.” Posted.

ARB What's New