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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 30, 2012

Posted: 30 Aug 2012 11:43:44
ARB Newsclips for August 30, 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.


California's cap-and-trade program to cut emissions starts trial
run.  The eyes of the world are on California as it prepares to
roll out the nation's first comprehensive cap-and-trade program,
a cornerstone of the state's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and shift to an environmentally sustainable economy. 
So on Thursday, the state will stage a trial run of the online
auction of emissions permits for roughly 150 major emitters of
greenhouse gases to give the state time to work out any glitches
before the official Nov. 14 launch of the program.  Posted. 

EU, Australia plan carbon market link.  The proposed linking of
the European Union and Australian greenhouse-gas-reduction
programs will demonstrate to policymakers worldwide that carbon
markets can help address climate change, said Andrei Marcu. 
"Those who say there is no urgency are being contradicted on the
ground," Marcu, head of the Center for European Policy Studies'
Carbon Market Forum in Brussels, said Wednesday in an interview
from United Nations climate talks in Bangkok. "This is a very
good signal. This is not theory anymore."  Posted. 

Greenhouse gases could lurk beneath Antarctic ice sheet. 
Enormous reservoirs of the potent greenhouse gas methane could
lurk beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, hastening the rate of
global warming if portions of the sheet collapse, according to a
study published Thursday in the journal Nature.  Methane, a
byproduct of dead and decaying organic matter, probably exists
within the sediments below the ice sheet, according to study
authors. Though scientists have attempted to calculate the amount
of greenhouse-gas-generating substances in Arctic permafrost,
they have not previously considered reservoirs of methane beneath
the Antarctic ice sheet.  Posted. 

Heat waves will change breezy Calif. coast – study. Climate
change already is altering California's coastal areas, spawning
more intense and frequent heat waves, a new study said. Research
from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of
California, San Diego, found that residents who live near the
Golden State's beaches no longer can rely on ocean breezes to
moderate hot weather. The type of heat wave now seen includes
temperatures that do not drop significantly at night. There also
is more humidity, which previously was rare. Posted. 
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2012/08/30/18 SUBSCRIPTION ONLY


Truckers at Oakland's port undergo pollution inspections. 
Truckers at the Port of Oakland were met this week by inspectors
from the state Air Resources Board conducting spot checks of
diesel emissions on rigs traveling to and from the docks.  The
inspections, which began Tuesday and will be conducted at the
port through Thursday, are part of a monthlong statewide effort
meant to ensure owners of trucks using state roadways are in
compliance with air pollution regulations designed to reduce the
amount of cancer-causing emissions that spew from big rigs. 



Trucks Inspected For Violations At Port Of Oakland. The
California Air Resources Board and the California Highway Patrol
were both inspecting trucks at the Port of Oakland on Wednesday,
as part of a month-long campaign to ensure compliance with
California’s air pollution laws. CHP officers are making sure
truck drivers have the correct license, along with valid
registration. The state’s Air Resources Board is making sure
truckers are complying with state air pollution laws. “If we see
what looks to be the right model year range, we’ll pull those
over. If we see black smoke, we’ll pull those over. If they just
look like an older truck, we’ll pull those over,” said Beth White
with the California Air Resources Board. “Some of it’s random but
some of it isn’t.” Posted. 

California Reaches $100 million Milestone in Loan Assistance to
Truckers.  The California Air Resources Board and the California
Pollution Control Financing Authority, part of the State
Treasurer's Office, hit the $100 million mark in financial
assistance to small-business truckers so they can buy
cleaner-burning vehicles.  The funding is provided through a
program that provides small businesses with financial assistance
to obtain loans or lease-to-own arrangements so they can purchase
newer, cleaner trucks ahead of schedule for state clean truck and
bus regulations.  "The success of this program means that truck
owners are serious about using the financing options available to
them to prepare for the truck regulations we have in place," said
CARB chairman Mary D. Nichols. "California residents get to enjoy
cleaner air and more hardworking truckers are prepared to comply
with CARB's clean air regulations."  Posted. 

Study finds clear trend of increasing NOx with higher biodiesel
blends with CARB diesel; NOx neutrality achieved by blending in
renewable or GTL diesel.  A study by researchers at the
University of California, Riverside’s College of Engineering –
Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) and
colleagues at the California Air Resources Board (ARB) found a
relatively clear trend of increasing NOx emissions with
increasing biodiesel blend level at levels of B20 and above for
CARB-like/high cetane diesel fuels. The study is published in the
ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.  They also found
that increasing renewable diesel (Neste Oil’s NExBTL) and
gas-to-liquids (GTL) diesel blends showed NOx reductions with
rising blend level.  Posted. 


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. 

U.S. new fuel economy standards: Overview and Analysis.  "These
fuel standards represent the single most important step we've
ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,'' President
Barack Obama said in the midst of his election campaign.  The new
standards will reportedly cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars
and light-duty trucks by half by 2025. A midterm review will be
conducted in 2018 to ensure rules are achievable.  The new
standards also plan to give automakers "credits" towards meeting
the new standards if they build EVs, plug-in hybrids and vehicles
that run on compressed natural gas.  Posted. 


BIOTECH: Carlsbad firm uses yeast for 'green' chemicals.
Vegetable oils are versatile substances. They're used not only
for cooking, but also for making soaps and for biofuels. If
Carlsbad-based Verdezyne Inc. is successful, you may soon be
wearing them, in a manner of speaking. Verdezyne, a "green"
industrial chemical company, has just received a patent for a
method of making adipic acid, a key component of a rugged form of
nylon. Called nylon 6,6, the nylon is used in clothes, carpets
and industrial applications. Posted. 


No Need for Carbon Auction Says California’s Most Independent
Voice.  Last week the most independent voice in California policy
analysis said the following in a letter:  a cap-and-trade
“allowance auction is not necessary to meet the AB 32 goal of
reducing GHG emissions statewide to 1990 levels by 2020.” The
impartial Legislative Analyst (LAO) responded in a decisive
letter to Sen. Henry Perea who had asked three formal, basic and
highly appropriate questions: Is a cap and trade allowance
auction necessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
What are the steps the California Legislature would have to take
to stop the November auction?  Posted. 


Economists Voice Support for California Cap-and-Trade Auction. 
This week, nearly 60 renowned economists and other experts around
the country sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown emphatically
voicing their strong support for the design of California’s
groundbreaking cap-and-trade program, a key element of the Global
Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).  Sent just days before the
expected simulated auction of greenhouse gas allowances, the
letter to Brown commended his leadership “in implementing the
world’s most comprehensive climate law” and his commitment to
auction allowances – rather than give them away free – “as part
of the crucial launch phase” of the cap-and-trade program, one of
the critical strategies California is pursuing to achieve AB 32’s
mandate to reduce California’s carbon pollution to 1990 levels by
the year 2020.  Posted. 

What Will It Take? Two years ago, at a Washington symposium
observing the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, much of the
discussion centered around the use of the landmark pollution law
to try to address a problem its authors never anticipated –
climate change caused by increasing concentrations of carbon
dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.The
meeting took place just a few months after the Senate refused to
act on a bill passed by the House in 2009 that would have
addressed climate change by creating a cap and trade system to
reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Posted. 

Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon Organize Artists Against Fracking. Yoko
Ono said it was not hard to recruit more than 180 artists to help
convince Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York not to allow natural
gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale through the hydraulic
fracturing process known as fracking. She reached out to some
friends and soon, dozens of artists, many of them with homes in
New York, agreed to publicly join the campaign. Ms. Ono said she
was leaving it up to the artists to design their own advocacy.
“When people say, “What can I do?” I say, “think creatively,””
she said during an interview at The New York Times. “I’m thinking
about spirit and brains. We have the brains and the spirit.”

California Air Board Relents on College Carbon Credits. 
California universities appear to be in line for some relief from
the state’s imminent carbon pollution fees.  Implementation of
California’s controversial cap-and-trade program for greenhouse
gases is only four months away, meaning it’s crunch time for the
state’s Air Resources Board. On Thursday, the board will stage a
dry run offering likely participants an opportunity to practice
bidding on California carbon allowances — and allowing the ARB a
chance to test its platform.  Not like it doesn’t already have
its hands full. For months, cap-and-trade-eligible emitters
including private businesses, military bases, universities, and
waste-to-energy power-plant operators have been crying for
exemptions under AB 32, arguing that they would suffer undue
financial hardships.  Posted. 

The carbon tax, demystified.  “Carbon tax”: There’s something in
that term for everyone to hate. For lefties and climate hawks,
carbon — as in carbon dioxide, the largest contributor to climate
change — is public enemy No. 1. And we all know what folks on the
right thinks of taxes.  Yet the notion of creating a carbon tax
in the U.S. refuses to die — maybe because it’s a creative idea
that also holds some appeal across the ideological spectrum. It’s
a practical scheme to alleviate global warming — and it’s
market-based!  Here are some answers to the carbon-tax questions
we know you have.  Posted. 

The cultural divide over climate change.  I have published over
950 blogs, the vast majority of which have focused on the science
related to human-caused climate change. Since I began in August
of 2009, I have struggled to find a way to elevate the discussion
to a level of discourse that is consistent with the noble,
respectful and dignified nature of scientific research, reports
and papers published every day all over the planet.  I have
failed. Utterly. And I think I know why. I read a recent article
in the Stanford Social Innovation Review that helps explain what
we are all up against with this issue.  Posted. 

Study: Climate change threatens Atlantic seashores.  Climate
change is already hurting seven national seashores on the
Atlantic Coast and threatens to submerge some of their land
within a century, according to a report Wednesday by
environmental groups.  In five of the seven parks, more than half
of the land lies low enough (less than 3.3 feet) to risk becoming
submerged by the year 2100, says the report by the Rocky Mountain
Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Those parks include Fire Island in New York, Assateague Island in
Maryland and Virginia, Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout in North
Carolina, and Canaveral in Florida.  Posted. 

Are battery makers due for a "Ghosn shock"? Battery makers in the
Japanese auto market are quite nervous, with concern that "Ghosn
shock" may return in the wake of low-selling lithium-ion powered
electric vehicles. In 1999, Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn put the
squeeze on steel materials suppliers, pressuring them to reduce
prices as part of his corporate rehabilitation agenda. That's
when the term "Ghosn shock" was invented, and it's believed to
have triggered the steel industry's reorganization in Japan.
While Nissan has established a joint company with NEC Group
producing lithium-ion batteries, the automaker wants to have
access to lower prices from Hitachi. Nissan wants to add li-ion
batteries produced by Hitachi to its next-generation,
eco-friendly Altima and Pathfinder models, slated to be sold in
the U.S. in 2013. Posted. 

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