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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 14, 2012 Posted: 14 Aug 2012 12:13:26
ARB Newsclips for August 14, 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 Smoke over Sacramento coming from Grizzly Island fire in Solano County. The heavy smoke that hung over Sacramento on Monday came from a fire burning on Grizzly Island in Solano County, according to Sacramento County's Regional Fire Dispatch Center. Sacramento-area fire dispatchers were inundated with calls from residents wondering about the location of the fire. Several fires also have been burning in areas north of Sacramento, which could have contributed to smoke in the area. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/14/4723285/smoke-over-sacramento-coming-from.html#storylink=omni_popular#storylink=cpy Sacramento area weather: Not only blazing hot but smoky too. Eye-smarting smoky, hot weather is predicted today by the National Weather Service. Conditions were miserable on Monday. Not only was it the hottest day of the year, the mercury hitting 107 in downtown Sacramento, a wildland fire sent smoke into the city around dinner time. The smoke that cloaked the city through the night mostly came from a fire that burned on Grizzly Island in Solano County. Today, government weather watchers say that Sacramento could experience smoke from bigger fires burning to the north. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/14/v-print/4724214/sacramento-area-weather-not-only.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/14/2329140/sacramento-area-weather-not-only.html#storylink=misearch SUBSCRIPTION ONLY RICHMOND REFINERY FIRE Chevron considered replacing pipe. Chevron officials initially deemed the pipe that failed dramatically last week, causing a major fire at its Richmond refinery, as possibly needing replacement last year but ultimately cleared it for five more years of service, The Chronicle has learned. Investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and other federal and state agencies have launched several inquiries into the Aug. 6 leak and fire. Both the damage and the investigations could leave part of the crude oil processing unit down for months. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Chevron-considered-replacing-pipe-3785841.php#ixzz23XCMYraY Refinery fire site too dangerous for investigators. Federal and state investigators are trying to determine how to safely enter the area where a fire broke out in a Chevron Corp. refinery last week so they can examine a failed pipe blamed for the blaze, which the company reportedly considered replacing nearly a year ago. Structural engineers on Monday determined the damaged crude unit that was the site of the fire in the facility was too hazardous to enter. The 8-inch pipe leaked and its contents ignited, sending black smoke into the sky above Richmond, Calif., and thousands of nearby residents to hospitals with complaints of eye irritation and breathing difficulty. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/14/refinery-fire-site-too-dangerous-for/ http://www.nctimes.com/business/refinery-fire-site-too-dangerous-for-investigators/article_290de67b-f120-5d13-8bcc-5025e29259b6.html Investigators wait on OK to enter Richmond refinery. Investigators looking into the cause of an oil refinery fire at Chevron's Richmond facility are waiting for structural engineers to determine if it's safe to enter the unit. Federal, state and company inspectors hope to get the all-clear and gain access to the fire site later Monday. The Aug. 6 fire destroyed an area of the refinery that produces gasoline that satisfies California's clean-air regulations, the toughest in the nation. It started as a pipe leak. Other parts of the refinery, which supplies 16 percent of California's daily gas consumption, are still producing fuels. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120813/A_NEWS/120819958&cid=sitesearch Richmond refinery repairs could take several months for Chevron to complete. The permit process to approve a replacement or repair of the fire-scarred Crude Unit No. 4 at Chevron's Richmond refinery could take "months" to complete, a top city official said. That estimate, from Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay, suggests that Chevron might not be back in full operation for three to six months. It's unknown how long repairs might take once the permits are approved. "I would expect it's going to take some months," Lindsay said. "That's just a guess. It could be several months." Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/business/ci_21308825/richmond-refinery-repairs-could-take-several-months-chevron?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21308825?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com CLIMATE CHANGE California Air Chief Says Carbon Auction Won’t Be Delayed. California plans to sell the first carbon allowances in November, undeterred by warnings from a federal energy commissioner that a system meant to curb emissions may harm businesses, the state air board’s head said. The agency is on schedule to develop a platform for a Nov. 14 auction of allowances, each allowing for the release of one metric ton of carbon under a state program that caps emissions from plants beginning next year, Chairman Mary Nichols said during an interview at Bloomberg’s San Francisco office. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-13/california-air-chief-says-carbon-auction-won-t-be-delayed Brown's office launches climate change website. Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday launched a website to document the effects of climate change and respond to those who question it, calling them climate change "denialists." Brown's office announced the site while he was at Lake Tahoe with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval for an annual summit focused on the health of the lake, which straddles both states. The Democratic governor said in a statement that climate change has irrevocably altered Lake Tahoe. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21302817?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/13/2950857/browns-office-launches-climate.html#storylink=misearch http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120813/A_NEWS/120819957&cid=sitesearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/13/browns-office-launches-climate-change-website/ California’s carbon-trading market will launch in November. The long run-up to California’s cap-and-trade program will finally end this November, as the state launches its market for carbon allowances. Polluters will buy allowances for each ton of carbon dioxide they produce on an open market. Producing more will therefore cost a company more, producing less will yield a cost savings. The system is intended not only to impose a cost on the pollution, but also to bring down the total amount of pollution. Posted. http://grist.org/news/californias-carbon-trading-market-will-launch-in-november/ DIESEL EMISSIONS Union Pacific to study low-emissions locomotives. Union Pacific said on Monday that it will spend $20 million testing low-emissions locomotives in California. The railroad may eventually test up to 25 locomotives with various low-emissions technology. They include one, to be based in Roseville, Calif., that will use several emissions-reducing technologies, including recirculating its exhaust gasses. The railroad and the California Air Resources Board will analyze the emissions reductions achieved by that locomotive over the next year and a half. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-13/union-pacific-to-study-low-emissions-locomotives Frito-Lay Rolls Out More Electric Delivery Trucks in California. California is now home to the largest fleet of Frito-Lay electric delivery trucks. State officials, including Gov. Edmund Brown Jr., joined senior leadership from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America division to announce the growth of Frito-Lay's California electric truck fleet. Once all of the vehicles are deployed by the end of 2012, California will be home to 105 all-electric delivery trucks, the largest deployment in any state. By the end of this year, Frito-Lay will have more than 275 electric trucks deployed in the U.S., making Frito-Lay the largest commercial fleet of all-electric trucks in the country. In May of this year, Frito-Lay reached a milestone of one million all-electric miles driven. Posted. http://truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=77741 FUELS Despite falling oil cost, California gas prices soar in refinery fire's wake. Gas prices in California are soaring a week after a fire damaged the Chevron refinery in Richmond, a critical piece of the state's supply chain. Prices at the pump jumped 25.8 cents in the Sacramento area over the past week, to $4 a gallon, according to market tracker GasBuddy.com. In San Francisco, motorists are paying $4.17 a gallon, according to a separate survey by AAA. And it may be only the beginning. "You probably won't see a break until mid- to late September," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/14/v-print/4723131/despite-falling-oil-cost-california.html Navy partners with local company in quest for new energy sources. Why should the Navy switch from diesel to biodiesel if the two types of fuel have the same energy efficiency? Naval officials asked that question 12 years ago when the change was suggested. Russell Teall, founder of local biodiesel producer Biodico, said biodiesel can be made in the U.S., alleviating dependency on foreign oil, which suppliers could cut off if political relations went awry. Also, emergency supplies are in underground salt domes in Texas and Louisiana that are vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/13/navy-partners-with-local-company-in-quest-for/ VEHICLES Korean scientists develop fast-charging battery. South Korean scientists have developed a new material for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that they say could cut charging time down significantly and prove a boon for electric vehicles. According to Yonhap News Agency's report on Monday, a group of scientists from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, who were funded by the country's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, has gone beyond conventional rechargeable battery technology. Posted. http://www.zdnet.com/korean-scientists-develop-fast-charging-battery-7000002577/ New coolant keeps EV batteries cool even during hot summer days. A team of German researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology has developed a new coolant for EV batteries called CryoSolplus, which is capable of absorbing between two and three times as much heat as water. The scientists’ next task will be to carry out field tests, trying out the coolant in an experimental vehicle. Overheating of batteries in electric vehicles (EVs), which in hot summer weather could easily happen, can dramatically cut their life by up to 50%. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4857 HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-speed rail forum brings together contractors, small businesses. About 500 representatives of small businesses from throughout the San Joaquin Valley and California are meeting Tuesday morning in Fresno with potential prime contractors for California's high-speed train system. An industry forum at the Save Mart Center outlined plans for construction between Fresno and Bakersfield. It also served as a networking session for businesses hoping to work on the project. "You all have a lot of experience, and we want to take advantage of that," said Hans Van Van Winkle, the construction manager for the statewide high-speed train project. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/08/14/2951735/high-speed-rail-forum-brings-together.html GREEN ENERGY Obama to push wind power in Iowa, Romney to tour Ohio coal mine. The presidential candidates turn to the topic of energy Tuesday as they travel to different battleground states with different interests in future U.S. energy policy. In Iowa, President Obama plans to talk about wind energy as he pushes Congress to extend the production tax credit for companies investing in this growing alternative source. In Ohio coal country, meanwhile, Republican Mitt Romney is expected to talk about Obama’s “war on coal” and the strain he says it puts on an industry that helps to power the state’s economy. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-romney-campaigning-energy-20120814,0,687578.story MISCELLANEOUS Effort to Cut Milan Traffic Halted as Court Favors Garage. It would seem to go without saying that a measure aimed at reducing traffic in the center of a city would hurt the business of a parking garage there. It would not even seem to be a matter of dispute, much less a court case. Yet in Italy, where obstructionism has been raised to a fine art, few were surprised when an administrative court, the Council of State, upheld a parking garage’s right to appeal and Milan’s six-month experiment with a fee that was designed to reduce traffic congestion hit a brick wall. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/world/europe/ruling-halts-an-effort-to-reduce-traffic-in-milan.html?_r=1 California fire fee ignites anger as bills go out. More than 800,000 Californians who own property in wildfire country will begin receiving bills this week for a new annual fire-protection fee, rekindling outrage among rural residents and leading to a likely lawsuit seeking to overturn the surcharge. The fee, passed by Democrats in the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, is intended to raise an estimated $84 million in its first year for fire-prevention efforts. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120813/A_NEWS/120819962&cid=sitesearch http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/12/bills-going-out-to-property-owners/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/california-fire-fee-ignites-anger-as-bills-go-out/article_aaf8c31e-b4a2-56bf-9234-42c1497453b1.htm l http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120813/COMMUNITY/120819854 OPINIONS Shale Gas to the Climate Rescue. The battle against runaway climate change is being lost. The green movement and the energy industry — while engaged in a furious debate on issues from nuclear power to oil sands — are missing the bigger picture. There is little recognition by either side that current policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are inadequate for dealing with the threat that they pose. It is the coal-fueled growth of countries like China and India that generates much of these emissions. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/14/opinion/shale-gas-to-the-climate-rescue.html Chevron's refinery, Richmond's peril. The facility that caught fire violates pollution rules and is a daily threat to workers and neighbors. Stay inside, close your windows and doors, and turn off air conditioning and heating units. Pets and all children in sporting activities should be brought inside, and have duct tape ready should you need to further seal windows and doors. These are among the "shelter in place" warnings made to Bay Area residents last week in response to a massive fire at the Chevron Corp. refinery in Richmond. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0814-juhasz-chevron-refinery-pollution-20120814,0,5532083.story Viewpoints: State's servants should be accountable. Almost 20 years after I helped initiate legal action against Pacific Gas and Electric for the contamination of the small town of Hinkley's tap water with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, this week the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group planned to file another hexavalent chromium suit to force the state agency charged with protecting our health to finally establish an enforceable standard for this dangerous chemical lurking in the drinking water supplies of millions of Californians. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/14/v-print/4722877/states-servants-should-be-accountable.html EDITORIAL: Time to end ethanol mandate. The notion of the government trying to pick winners and losers in the economy is one that has largely been rejected in the United States. Our historical record of economic growth and a healthy middle class was the result of allowing individuals to make their own decisions, with a loose set of regulations to try to minimize out-and-out fraud and abuse. To discuss where exactly to draw the line on what constitutes abuse is to wade into a gray area, and is an arena of political debate that has contributed mightily to the shaping of our elections through the centuries. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-time-to-end-ethanol-mandate/article_f5686838-621b-55e7-9602-b4ab9da73a56.html Murdock: The speech Romney should give. Mitt Romney cannot run from his record at Bain Capital. So, he might as well give this speech. ... Ladies and Gentlemen: You have heard plenty about my previous life as a rich businessman. Yes, I made some $250 million in free enterprise and am proud I did — just as Berry Gordy is proud that he produced millions at Motown and Steve Jobs was proud he yielded billions at Apple. Like these respected and wealthy entrepreneurs, I added value, delivered products and services that people wanted and created thousands of careers along the way. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/13/murdock-the-speech-romney-should-give/ Companies will exploit Cap and Trade. Anti-capitalists always complain that entrepreneurs exploit loopholes in all those nice laws liberals and progressives pass to help the environment, the baby seals, the rain forests, etc. You can bet that will happen with California’s Cap and Trade program, which launches in January and is preceded by carbon allowance auctions on Nov. 14. Reported Forbes: “Governor Jerry Brown’s budget plan, released in January, projected auction revenue of $1 billion in 2012-13. When the cap-and-trade program expands to include transportation fuels in 2015, auction revenue will ratchet upwards.” Posted. http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/08/09/companies-will-exploit-cap-and-trade/ BLOGS Should Candidates Talk About Climate Change? Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, just sent the note below about a new analysis of climate attitudes. I’m posting it here as part of a continuing effort to point to notable news and analysis out there in the fire hose flood: Today we are releasing a short report that draws upon data from our latest national survey (March 2012) and other research to investigate this question: On balance, will candidates for political office benefit or be harmed by talking about and supporting action to reduce global warming? …Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/14/should-candidates-talk-about-climate-change/ Do Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney disagree on climate change? Mitt Romney’s views on climate change can be difficult to pin down. In 2004, when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, his administration unveiled a detailed plan to reduce the state’s carbon emissions. As recently as June 2011, Romney was telling voters in New Hampshire that “the world’s getting warmer,” that “I believe that humans contribute,” and that “I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.” Since then, however, Romney has softened that stance somewhat. “I don’t know if [rising temperatures are] mostly caused by humans,” he told another New Hampshire crowd last summer. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/14/do-paul-ryan-and-mitt-romney-disagree-on-energy-policy/ Climate Change: Countries That May Be Hit Hardest. Rising seas threaten to drown island countries such as the Maldives and Kiribati in the era of global warming — a dire scenario that has forced leaders to plan for floating cities or consider moving their entire populations to neighboring countries. Most countries won't need to take such drastic steps to simply survive, but many more will similarly experience the uglier side of climate change. The countries potentially facing the worst fates may not necessarily experience the greatest climate change, but instead lack the resources to cushion their people against climate-related disasters such as hurricanes, floods, heat waves and droughts. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/climate-change-countries_n_1776064.html New Fisker statement on Karma fire: batteries not to blame. As we suspected yesterday, the first official word from Fisker about the Karma that caught fire in Woodside, CA this weekend is that the li-ion batteries are apparently not to blame. Fisker has released a statement, which you can find below, that says that independent investigators from Pacific Rim Investigative Group are looking into the cause of the blaze and that: Evidence revealed thus far supports the fact that the ignition source was not the Lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components or unique exhaust routing. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/08/13/new-fisker-statement-on-karma-fire-batteries-not-to-blam/