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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 4, 2012 Posted: 04 Sep 2012 13:01:55
ARB Newsclips for September 4, 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 APNewsBreak: EPA OKs use of Shell Oil drill ship. Royal Dutch Shell PLC has received permission to operate its drill ship in the Chukchi Sea under a temporary revision to its air permit, clearing another hurdle in its quest to drill exploratory oil wells in the Arctic Ocean this year. A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency told The Associated Press on Friday that it will issue a one-year air permit compliance order for Shell’s activities off Alaska’s northwest coast. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120831/us-shell-arctic-air-permit/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/ap-newsbreak-royal-dutch-shell-clears-hurdle-in-quest-to-drill-exploratory-wells-off-alaska/2012/08/31/b3235480-f396-11e1-b74c-84ed55e0300b_story.html http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-epa-shell-arctic-20120831,0,6058124.story No early Australian link to Californian carbon market. After announcing this week it will link its future carbon market to the EU's, Australia may look to California next as a potential emissions-trading partner, but the US state may be less keen to cement a trans-continental link, analysts said. On Tuesday, Australia announced it will link its emissions trading scheme to Europe's in 2015, a move hailed as the first union of two major emission markets.Posted. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/no-early-australian-link-to-californian-carbon-market-20120903-25afb.html Court overturns border-crossing pollution rule. A divided federal appeals court Tuesday overturned a regulation clamping down on power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states. In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the Environmental Protection Agency's cross-state air pollution rule exceeded the agency's statutory authority. The court faulted the EPA for imposing "massive emissions reduction requirements" on upwind states without regard to limits imposed by law. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21368832/court-overturns-border-crossing-pollution-rule?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com San Diego flunks air quality, again. San Diego’s air quality has improved steadily over the last decade, but it still deserves an F grade for pollution levels that pose a health risk to residents, according to a new American Lung Association study. The region ranks seventh for worst ozone pollution among metropolitan areas nationwide and 15th worst for short-term particle pollution in the 13th annual “State of the Air” report released Wednesday. The study uses data from 2008 to 2010. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/25/san-diego-flunks-air-quality-again/ CAP AND TRADE California kicks off carbon cap-and-trade trial. Californian officials have completed a successful trial of its much anticipated carbon trading scheme, which will be launched in November in an attempt to put a price on emissions from industrial facilities and power plants. Posted. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2202233/california-kicks-off-carbon-capandtrade-trial California Tests Cap And Trade System. California officials held a trial auction to test the state's new system for selling carbon credits today. Starting this November some companies will be required to pay for their pollution emissions as part of California’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. Many of those companies took part in the test of the auction software. Stanley Young is with the California Air Resources Board, which is running the auction. Posted. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/aug/30/california-tests-cap-and-trade-system/ http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21428079/trial-run-california-cap-trade-program-thursday-cut-emissions?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com California Ramps up Policy That's Taboo on Campaign Trail. Amid a presidential campaign that's studiously avoiding the whole topic, Californians are launching the world's second largest "cap-and-trade" program for ratcheting down industrial greenhouse gas emissions from large emitters. It's a development worth chewing over before next week's Global Climate Change Forum, a Carbon Disclosure Project event that will be moderated by Diane Brady of Bloomberg Businessweek and broadcast on Bloomberg.com. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-03/california-ramps-up-policy-that-s-taboo-on-campaign-trail.html CLIMATE CHANGE Obama to college students: ‘Denying climate change won’t make it stop’. Recently, climate change has been the Voldemort of the Obama administration: the “threat-that-must-not-be-named.” In January, the president omitted any discussion of climate change from his State of the Union address, since what really does the gravest threat to Americans — and indeed, all homo sapiens — have to do with the state of the union? Then the White House edited climate change from Obama’s Earth Day 2012 proclamation. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/obama-to-college-students-denying-climate-change-wont-make-it-stop/ Climate change breaks the ice: 3-man sailboat makes record voyage. Warming global temperatures and melting polar ice caps have helped a trio of explorers go where few men have gone before. In an account of their voyage posted Monday, the crew of the 31-foot Belzebub II — a fiberglass sailboat with a living space the size of a bathroom — described how they crossed through the M’Clure Strait in northern Canada, a decreasingly ice-packed route through the famed Northwest Passage. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-global-warming-northwest-passage-20120903,0,380298.story Report blames climate change for summer's heat-related maladies. The wildfires, extreme heat, fish kills and wilted crops that plagued the summer of 2012 were the products of climate change, according to a report released by the National Wildlife Federation. "Unfortunately, hot summers like this will occur much more frequently in years ahead," the report states. "If we don't enact the solutions we have on hand to reduce carbon pollution, wildlife, people and our summers will suffer." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/09/04/13 Viewpoints: Risk from climate change linked with social factors. Summer brings enjoyment of warm weather, long days, a refreshing swim and barbecues. But it also brings natural hazards. Temperatures in many parts of California are near or exceed 100 degrees. Many cities are also experiencing record high nighttime temperatures, and so the evenings bring little relief from the sweltering daytime heat. These hot, dry conditions mean wildfires. More than 4,200 fires have already burned parts of California, 20 percent more than the average over the past five years. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/02/4777248/risk-from-climate-change-linked.html DIESEL EMISSIONS New rules spur sales of big-rigs in North Bay. North Bay trucking companies are spending millions of dollars on new trucks this year in order to meet tough air quality rules aimed at getting older, smoke-belching cabs off the road. The state has provided grants to help pay for new, high-tech diesels that emit a 10th of the air pollution that the 2006 models produce. The latest grants provide up to $60,000 toward a big-rig that can easily cost $130,000 or more. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120902/BUSINESS/120839874 Cleaire to Offer Heavy Duty Emissions Testing Services. Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls® announced the opening of their Heavy-Duty Chassis Dynamometer Emissions Laboratory for outside contract services. Cleaire Advanced Technology Testing Services, “CATTS,” is located in Richmond, California on the campus of the Chevron Technology Center. As one of only a handful of CFR-compliant heavy-duty chassis dynamometers, the laboratory is capable of testing a variety of medium and heavy-duty power train technologies including diesel emission control systems, hybrid power trains, and alternative fuels. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Cleaire-to-Offer-Heavy-Duty-Emissions-Testing-3837982.php Natural Gas Trucks and Buses. Medium and heavy duty trucks and buses typically use large amounts of fuel due to the combination of low fuel economy, heavy gross vehicle weight, and, in some cases, long distances traveled. The high fuel consumption of these vehicles is motivating fleet managers to find strategies to reduce both the fuel costs and the environmental impact of their fleets. Owing to substantial and rising supplies of low-cost natural gas (NG), and the substantially lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of natural gas vehicles, natural gas has become an increasingly attractive choice for a transportation fuel. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/04/4784908/natural-gas-trucks-and-buses.html#storylink=misearch 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 month long 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. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21429198/truckers-at-oaklands-port-undergo-pollution-inspections?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com FUELS Researchers develop efficient fuel cell PROX catalyst with help of advanced imaging technologies. Researchers at Singapore’s A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) have developed an efficient catalyst for the preferential oxidation (PROX) of CO in hydrogen gas for PEM fuel cells, such as those applied in fuel cell vehicles. In their work, they used advanced imaging technologies—high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) and three-dimensional electron tomography—to identifysubtle, atomic-scale structural transformations that can activate and de-activate gold nanoparticle catalysts, a finding that may lead to longer-lasting hydrogen fuel cells. A paper on the work was published in the journal ACS Catalysis. Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/prox-20120902.html Air Force insists it has Albuquerque fuel issue under control. As environmental disaster sites go, it doesn't look like much. A scattering of rusting wellhead covers and a machine noisily sucking hydrocarbon vapors from the earth scarcely hint at what has grown into a $50-million headache. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-albuquerque-water-20120904,0,4824451.story Wind industry's survival could depend on tax credit. In the Philadelphia region, the rebirth of the defunct U.S. Steel site in Bucks County makes the best case for winning the high-stakes gamble being played out in Congress over extending vital, government incentives for developing wind-energy systems. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-mct-editorial-wind-industrys-survival-could-depend-20120903,0,93998.story Obama Gets Fossil-Fuels Boost After Green-Jobs Revolution Fades. Four years ago, Barack Obama pledged to promote a green revolution, saying the government would back alternative-energy technologies that could create 5 million jobs and free the U.S. from a dependence on overseas oil tyrants. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Obama-Gets-Fossil-Fuels-Boost-After-Green-Jobs-3837895.php GREEN ENERGY Direct Energy Launches New Leaf Energy to Offer Texans 100% Renewable Energy. Direct Energy has launched New Leaf Energy, a new Texas brand that offers 100 percent renewable, air-pollution-free energy, 100 percent from Texas wind turbines. New Leaf Energy brings expanded product choice in Texas' green energy market and a variety of plan options that ease the way for residential customers in Greater Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Corpus Christi and beyond to help support long-term sustainability of the region and the planet. "New Leaf Energy is committed to renewing the future, one household at a time," said Rob Comstock, senior vice president at Direct Energy and general manager for the company's Texas residential business. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/04/4784596/direct-energy-launches-new-leaf.html#storylink=misearch Gas pipeline operators set sights on NY. With a decision expected soon on whether to allow natural gas drilling in New York state, pipeline operators are already looking at setting up shop, and opponents are predicting environmental damage, safety problems and land seizures through eminent domain. There's already a proposal for a pipeline to carry low-cost natural gas from Pennsylvania to major Northeast markets, such as New York City and Boston. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/03/4782004/gas-pipeline-operators-set-sights.html#storylink=misearch New project in Oregon could make wave power a reality. For more than a century, people have tried to figure out how to turn the endless, repetitive motion of the waves into a source of energy. AtWired, author Alexis Madrigal outlined some of the bizarre contraptions intended to serve that purpose, metal and wood constructions depicted in complex diagrams that evoke alchemy more than science. As Madrigal notes, more than a thousand patents for converting waves into electricity exist, which “generally didn’t work at all or only worked for a short period of time.” Posted. http://grist.org/news/new-project-in-oregon-could-make-wave-power-a-reality/ Habitat for Humanity building a model of efficiency. Nakeia and Ramell Dismond are like most working-class families: After the rent is paid, they have no money left in the budget for their kids' activities or vacations. That will change in a couple of months when they purchase a new home on the west edge of River Falls, Wis. Crews there are building a housing development that will produce all its own power, saving homeowners hundreds of dollars each month. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-habitat-20120904,0,2951189.story Green energy slow going for Imperial Valley utility. Drenched in sunshine, the Imperial Valley has become a staging ground for the greening of San Diego's energy supply. The valley's local customer-owned utility, however, has been playing catch-up when it comes to providing more electricity from sources other than fossil fuels and nuclear reactors, according to a report published Tuesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jul/19/green-energy-slow-going-imperial-valley-utility/ Penny-pinched schools -- huge market seeks energy efficiency. Anthony Wright knows well how summer heat in Memphis, Tenn., can zap life out of even the hardiest souls, including the roughly 107,000 students and faculty who begin filling the city's roughly 7,200 classrooms each year in early August. As Memphis City Schools' coordinator for energy management and conservation, Wright also knows what the heat does to his district's bottom line, sucking tens of millions of dollars annually to keep buildings cool for up to 250 days a year. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2012/09/04/1 VEHICLES New 2013 Nissan Sentra delivers 34 mpg combined fuel economy, up to 40 mpg highway. Nissan’s all-new 2013 Sentra, featuring a new 1.8-liter engine and next-generation Xtronic CVT with sub-planetary gear, offers combined fuel economy of 34 mpg (6.9 L/100km). The new Sentra is 150 pounds (68 kg)—5%—lighter than the outgoing model, yet has slightly larger overall dimensions and more interior room. The lighter and more aerodynamic new Sentra allows Nissan to use the more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine, which along with the Xtronic CVT with sub-planetary gear helps deliver a 13% improvement in EPA combined fuel economy. With the FE+ models, Sentra achieves up to 40 mpg (5.88 L/100km) on the highway. Other CVT-equipped models are rated at 39 mpg (6.03 L/100km) on the highway. All CVT models achieve a best-in-class EPA rated 34 mpg combined (City and Highway). Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/09/sentra-20120901.html EVs to replace Diesel taxis at Amsterdam Airport ? “We are grateful for the support of the European Commission, the Dutch and Danish governments, Schiphol, Renault, and all of our partners in making this project happen in less than 18 months. We’re determined to demonstrate to Europe that electric cars can drive any distance in any country and aren’t just limited to short-distance driving” said Shai Agassi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Better Place. Awarded last year, the project consortium, “Greening European Transportation Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles,” is the first-ever de-carbonization infrastructure project co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T program. The Battery Switch Station was built in partnership with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and will initially serve 10 Renault Fluence Z.E. taxis operated by three leading Dutch taxi companies – Connexxion, Bios and TCA. The Schiphol station is exclusively dedicated for the use of the Renault Fluence Z.E. electric taxis at this time. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4899 Electric cars now primary vehicles. The majority of plug-in electrical vehicles in California are identified as a primary car by their owners, according to a statewide survey by the California Center for Sustainable Energy. Nine out of 10 owners said plug-in vehicles represent their primary ride -- though almost all had a second, conventional car, according to a survey with more than 1,400 respondents released this month. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/03/electric-cars-advance/ http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/04/tp-not-just-novelty-owners-put-electric-vehicles/ MISCELLANEOUS A conservative assemblyman gets in his right jabs. Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly was thundering on the chamber floor against a proposal to make drivers stay 3 feet from cyclists, a regulation he said would chip away at Californians' liberty. As his voice rose, a Democratic colleague stepped in. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-donnelly-20120902,0,6609809.story OPINION The melting Arctic shouldn’t be on the backburner. THE ARCTIC IS GETTING warmer faster than almost anywhere else on Earth. The latest evidence came in an announcement from the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center saying that, as of Aug. 26, the Arctic sea ice cover shrunk to 1.58 million square miles this summer, the smallest area since satellite measurements began in 1979. The trend is expected to continue in the next few weeks. Over the past three decades, the average extent of the Arctic sea ice has declined by 25 to 30 percent, and the rate of decline is accelerating. In the past, older, thicker ice would drift away and be replaced by seasonal ice. But now more of the older ice is melting in the Arctic, a phenomenon that had been relatively rare. Also, less seasonal ice is replacing it. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-should-take-the-lead-on-the-shrinking-arctic-ice/2012/09/03/afb2ed5e-f14f-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html You've lost that lovin' feelin'? He serves as the chief judge at the world's most prestigious classic car show, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. He's a widely respected automotive journalist and author, and he has a garage full of hot rods and other cool cars. But when it comes to his two teen children, "They haven't shown the slightest interest" in what's in that garage, Ken Gross laments. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2012/08/31/youve-lost-that-lovin-feelin-eisenstein/ Forbes: “Germany — Insane Or Just Plain Stupid?” If you want a good snapshot of the energy insanity that has swept Germany of its feet over the last years, James Conca has it at Forbes here. Short and to-the-point! Coal power plant Werdohl-Elverlingsen, Germany. How many German readers here at NTZ will disagree? Not many I suspect. Hat-tip Science Skeptical. Posted. http://notrickszone.com/2012/09/02/forbes-germany-insane-or-just-plain-stupid/ Cap and trade will give California edge. The closer you get to a goal, the tougher the going can get. As California prepares to launch America's latest cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases, opponents are making a goal-line stand. They're trying to persuade Californians that a carbon market will somehow hurt the state's recovering economy. As a California investor, I know the opposite is true. The new carbon market is one element in a broad suite of business-friendly clean energy and efficiency policies that California has carefully crafted over decades. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Cap-and-trade-will-give-California-edge-3836997.php Cap and trade is a good thing. Re "Will jobs be lost with cap and trade?" (Dan Morain, Aug. 19): As a local businessman with strong community ties, I support California's efforts to implement AB 32, specifically the cap and trade program. Instead of buying into the opposition's sky-is-falling argument, let's focus on the facts. California's clean energy policies are attracting clean technology investments, creating jobs and reducing our reliance on imported energy. By putting a cap on carbon, we can reduce air pollution and other threats attributed to climate change including forest fires and sea level rise. The system is fair, flexible and is not a new or untested concept. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/25/4745427/response-to-dan-morains-editorial.html Cracking down on diesel. California can, and should, lead the world in ending the menace of soot and black carbon pollution from diesel engines. We've all choked on black smoke billowing from diesel trucks and buses. It's obviously polluting, but what's not obvious is much worse. Diesel emissions are a major health hazard… Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-pope-diesel-emissions-air-quality-20120813,0,6756831.story BLOGS Dems back global climate deal in platform. The Democrats’ official platform expected to be approved at the party's national convention on Tuesday calls for an international deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The platform says Democrats will pursue efforts to combat climate change through regulations and market solutions, setting up a continued battle with Republicans who argue such steps could hold back the economy. Posted. http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/247257-dem-platform-backs-climate-change-regulations