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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips August 29, 2012.

Posted: 29 Aug 2012 15:53:07
ARB Newsclips for August 29, 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.


Earth Log: Valley air pollution could halt road funds. The next
air-quality crisis in the San Joaquin Valley is brewing around a
precious $500 million in federal funds for building freeways and
roads. The money -- along with road-building jobs -- eventually
could be frozen if the local air district cannot come up with a
plan to clean up tiny bits of soot, diesel, moisture and
chemicals called PM-2.5. The Valley's PM-2.5 problem is one of
the worst in the country. This wintertime pollution is more
dangerous than warm-weather ozone. It triggers asthma and heart
problems. Posted. 


Trial run for cap and trade auction. Come November, California
will open North America's first full-scale carbon market, in
which companies buy and sell the right to emit greenhouse gases
from their factories, power plants and oil refineries. It's a
major undertaking involving hundreds of companies and -
potentially - billions of dollars. Success or failure could have
big implications for California's fight against climate change,
not to mention the state's fragile economy. So on Thursday,
California officials plan to stage a dress rehearsal. Posted.

In Arctic, Greenpeace picks new fight with old foe. Global
warming has ignited a rush to exploit Arctic resources - and
Greenpeace is determined to thwart that stampede. Employing the
same daredevil tactics it has used against nuclear testing or
commercial whaling, the environmental group is now dead-set on
preventing oil companies from profiting from global warming by
drilling for oil near the Arctic's shrinking ice cap. The
campaign took off in May 2010, when oil was still gushing from a
ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico. Posted.



Economists urge Calif. governor to resist weakening CO2 scheme. A
group of 56 economists have urged California's governor to resist
industry pressure to hand out all carbon allowances for free in
the state's carbon market, set to launch next year, claiming it
would create windfall profits for big emitters while widening the
state budget deficit. The economists, who hail from universities
and green groups including the University of California at
Berkeley and the Union of Concerned Scientists, urged Governor
Jerry Brown to retain plans to sell 10 percent of permits to
prevent big emitters profiting from the environmental law.
Posted. http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.1967303 BY SUBSCRIPTION

Some GOP delegates want to curb emissions but without carbon
taxes, new regs. Clean water for their kids, alternative energy
sources, preservation of landscapes -- these are all concepts
Republican activists say they support. But when it comes to
climate change, many delegates at the Republican National
Convention are conflicted. They say it would be good to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, but they fear that taking action would
damage the economy and put more people out of work. Take Jeff
Haste, a 53-year-old Pennsylvania delegate who considers himself
a conservationist. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/29/7  BY


Israel to export gas, but domestic use comes first. Israel will
allow a significant amount of its newly found natural gas to be
exported, but first it must keep enough reserves to satisfy its
own needs for 25 years, a government panel decided on Wednesday.
Ending months of uncertainty that cast a shadow on the country's
fast-developing energy sector, the committee set a cap of 500
billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas that can be exported from the
cluster of fields discovered off Israel's coast.

Obama calls for cars to get almost 55 mpg. The Obama
administration says automakers must almost double the average
mileage by 2025, part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, oil
consumption and dependence on foreign sources. The Obama
administration announced fuel economy standards Tuesday that
would require car makers to almost double the average gas mileage
for passenger vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Posted.





EPA grants Louisiana 10-day clean gas waiver. The Obama
administration is waiving clean gas requirements in Louisiana to
make sure residents have enough supplies as Hurricane Isaac makes
its way through the state. The Environmental Protection Agency
says it's lifting some Clean Air Act standards for 10 days. EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson says extreme circumstances are likely
to cause a gasoline shortage. The waiver covers 14 of Louisiana's
64 parishes and includes the cities of New Orleans and Baton
Rouge. Posted. 


NY Mayor Bloomberg: City needs more natural gas. New York Mayor
Michael Bloomberg has released a study finding that more natural
gas is critical for the city to improve air quality and public
health. Bloomberg says Tuesday that more gas is needed. His
comments came after he wrote a recent opinion piece in The
Washington Post expressing support for expanded natural gas
drilling. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to decide soon whether to
allow shale gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing - or fracking
- when an environmental review is completed. Posted. 
Neste Oil complete first phase of its microbial oil pilot plant;
feedstock for NExBTL renewable diesel. Neste Oil has completed
the first phase of its project to build a pilot plant for
producing microbial oil for use as a feedstock for NExBTL
renewable diesel. Construction of the plant is on-schedule and
on-budget. (Earlier post.) The first phase will enable the growth
of oil-producing micro-organisms, and the following phases will
concentrate on raw material pretreatment and oil recovery. 

New federal standard alone not enough -- Calif. air chief. The
nation's new fuel economy standard, while laudable, won't be
enough on its own to reduce carbon pollution to needed levels,
the head of California's climate programs said yesterday.
Because of that, California will continue its plan to require a
growing number of plug-in electric and other zero-emissions
vehicles. The Golden State's mandate will be binding only for
cars sold there, but Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairwoman Mary
Nichols believes it will have a wider impact. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/08/29/24 BY

UC Riverside developing biofuel formulations for California.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's College
of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology
(CE-CERT) are working with the state of California to develop
diesel formulations with higher levels of renewable biofuels.
This research supports several California legislative measures
and regulations that aim to increase the use of renewable fuels
and reduce greenhouse gases. These include AB 32, which requires
the state to develop regulations that will reduce carbon
dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by
2020, and the California Air Resources Board's (CARB's) Low
Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Posted.


High-Speed Rail Is Definitely Green. A recent UC Berkeley study
shows that an efficient high-speed rail network in California
will reduce pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions. Opponents of
high-speed rail contend that it's a boondoggle because of its $68
billion pricetag. But a recent UC Berkeley study provides
evidence that a California bullet train might be a good
investment, particularly when it comes to reducing greenhouse
gases and fighting climate change. Posted.


DOE questions Solyndra bankruptcy plan. Solyndra LLC should
provide more information about tax breaks that could be worth
hundreds of millions of dollars to private equity funds that
control the failed solar power company, government lawyers said
in a court filing.  Attorneys for the Department of Energy and
the Internal Revenue Service filed court papers last week
objecting to a disclosure statement filed by Solyndra with its
bankruptcy reorganization plan. Solyndra received a $528 million
loan from the Obama administration before filing for bankruptcy
protection last year. Posted. 

Energy Department, IRS want more information on tax provisions of
Solyndra bankruptcy plan. Solyndra LLC should provide more
information about tax breaks that could be worth hundreds of
millions of dollars to private equity funds that control the
failed solar power company, government lawyers said in a court
filing. Attorneys for the Department of Energy and the Internal
Revenue Service filed court papers last week objecting to a
disclosure statement filed by Solyndra with its bankruptcy
reorganization plan. Posted. 


L.A. opposes 710 Freeway extension above ground or by tunnel. The
L.A. City Council unanimously votes to oppose the options
presented by the MTA. It joins South Pasadena, La Cañada
Flintridge and Glendale. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously
adopted a resolution Tuesday that joined a chorus of voices
opposing plans to extend the 710 Freeway north either above
ground or by tunnel. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority on Thursday narrowed the 12 possible
options down to five and decided to cease exploration of any
above-ground extension. Posted.


On the right road with federal fuel economy standards. The Obama
administration's fuel economy standards will save oil and cut
greenhouse emissions. Republican opposition is misguided. There's
nothing really new about the federal fuel economy standards that
were finalized Tuesday — they were announced more than a year ago
and have changed little since — but now that we're on the verge
of a presidential election, they're generating more political
heat. Posted.

EDITORIAL: Coal-to-diesel plant fuels optimism. Muhlenberg County
officials are breathing a sigh of relief with last week's
announcement of a coal-to-diesel plant that will be built near
Central City. More than four years ago, the Muhlenberg County
Fiscal Court invested $625,000 of its single-county coal
severance funds in an effort to secure what was originally a $400
million project. For a minute, it appeared as the funds --
appropriated to help the company with design and engineering
costs -- were spent in vain. Posted.

EDITORIAL: The Bell Tolls: Transportation. The Virginia
Department of Transportation has ambitious plans for the revenue
generated by tolls. On Tuesday, The Times-Dispatch's Peter Bacque
reported: "Rebuilding the interchange of Interstate 95,
Interstate 85 and U.S. 460 in Petersburg would be one of the
state's top priorities if Virginia gets federal approval to put
tolls on I-95." His story detailed other priorities. All of the
projects rate as not only welcome but necessary. According to
VDOT, current funding cannot meet the needs for maintenance and
improvements associated with the I-95 corridor. Posted.

For trash pickup, L.A. would be better served by non-exclusive
deal. The City Council is set to choose a plan for imposing
franchise agreements on private trash haulers. An exclusive
system would be a bad deal for Los Angeles. Residents of Los
Angeles' single-family homes have their trash picked up weekly by
the city's Bureau of Sanitation, but the vast majority of L.A.'s
garbage is produced by multifamily residences and businesses, and
their waste is collected and dumped by private contractors. State
and city laws govern recycling, dumping and emissions and help to
balance legitimate environmental and labor concerns against the
efficiencies of the marketplace. Posted.

News Summary: New government gas mileage rules. THE NEWS: The
Obama administration on Tuesday finalized regulations that will
force automakers to nearly double the average gas mileage of all
the new cars and trucks they sell in 2025. All new vehicles would
have to average 54.5 miles per gallon in 13 years. THE IMPACT:
The change cuts in half the greenhouse gases produced by the
vehicles, and the government says it will save consumers $8,000
in gasoline costs over the life of a vehicle purchased in 2025.

Sardul Singh Minhas: World must slash carbon dioxide emissions.
Richard Muller, the physics professor at the University of
California-Berkeley and the co-founder of the Berkeley Earth
Project, was a long-standing skeptic of global warming. He
recently concluded that global warming was real. Ironically, the
Berkeley Project was heavily funded by Charles Koch Charitable
Foundation, which has a long history of backing those denying
climate change. Muller's conversion just puts him in line with
the vast consensus of scientific opinion, notably expressed
through the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change. Posted.

Carbon Emissions in U.S. Have Dropped. Could "Not Bad" Be Good?
The U.S. Energy Information Agency recently reported that the
United States -- the all-time career leader in greenhouse gas
emissions -- has lost a step. And that's a good thing. America's
carbon dioxide output for the first quarter of this year dropped
to a rate not seen since 1992. While it would be great to think
environmental policy-making was the cause of this good news that
appears not to be the case. Market-driven factors, such as the
affordability of natural gas, and a shift to fuel-efficient cars

Natural Gas: Bridge or Dead End? Natural gas is often touted as a
bridge fuel: an interim step between the heavily polluting fossil
fuels we depend on today and the clean renewable energy systems
we hope for tomorrow. But the infrastructure we deploy to
increase natural gas may actually inhibit the transition to solar
and wind power. Rather than a bridge, natural gas may be a dead
end. The idea of natural gas as a bridge draws on three main
points. First, natural gas produces significantly less carbon
dioxide than coal or oil. Second, it releases fewer impurities
like sulfur and mercury compared with other fossil fuels. Posted.

Pickens: Natural-gas vehicles will survive without Congress. T.
Boone Pickens said natural gas vehicles can survive just fine
without Congress approving his so-called Pickens Plan. "It's
going to happen, and you don't have to have Washington do it,
thank God," Pickens said at Wednesday’s energy luncheon hosted by
POLITICO. Pickens has had to increasingly tailor his proposal to
offer federal incentives for natural-gas vehicles in the face of
Capitol Hill stagnation. He now says the low price of natural gas
will serve the market for the vehicles well enough without the
federal assistance. Posted.


In California, Stickers for H.O.V. Lane Privileges Go Begging.
The gridlocked freeways of California are the stuff of infamy, so
when the state’s Air Resources Board began administering a
sticker program granting drivers of plug-in hybrids a free pass
into high-occupancy-vehicle lanes, a flood of applications was
expected. The flood, however, has instead been a trickle. Since
the program started in January, the California Department of
Motor Vehicles has issued 4,092 of the green-colored stickers to
drivers who own or lease the Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius
Plug-in Hybrid, the only eligible vehicles. Posted. 

Proposed Gas Pipeline, Endorsed by the City, Draws Criticism. New
York City needs cleaner, cheaper energy. That’s the only thing
everyone following a proposed natural gas pipeline in the
Rockaways agrees upon. But the project — running pipeline from
the Atlantic Ocean under the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay into
southeast Brooklyn — has drawn concern and outright opposition
since it became public earlier this year. Natural gas saves
customers money, eases dependence on foreign oil and is cleaner
than other fossil fuels (though extracting it by hydraulic
fracturing raises other issues). Posted.

Australia and EU announce world's biggest carbon trading system.
Australia and the European Union plan to link their
"cap-and-trade" systems to create the biggest emissions trading
market on the globe, energy and climate change officials
announced Tuesday. Under a cap-and-trade system, countries cap
the amount of pollution they are willing to allow, then issue
permits for how much each business or entity can pollute.
Businesses or entities that pollute more than their share can buy
credits from others that pollute less than allowed. Posted.

Lawmakers approve bill to allow San Francisco-to-Solano-County
trash hauling. The Assembly sent to the governor today a San
Francisco lawmaker's bill meant to ensure that her city's trash
can continue to be hauled to Solano County without restriction in
years to come. The measure by Democratic Assemblywoman Fiona Ma
would prohibit voters in a city or county from restricting or
limiting the importation of solid waste into a privately owned
landfill. Assembly Bill 845 passed the lower house by a vote of
46-15. Posted.

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