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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 12, 2012.

Posted: 12 Sep 2012 15:33:13
ARB Newsclips for September 12, 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.


Lake Is Blamed for Stench Blown Across Southern California. Los
Angeles — Across Southern California, as far afield as Ventura
County to the north of here, Orange County to the south and San
Bernardino to the east, residents awoke this week to an olfactory
insult: a sulfurous smell, like rotten eggs, wafting across
hundreds of miles, source unknown. Some people checked the eggs
in their refrigerator; officials tested the air at landfills. In
some places, the odor was so strong that people wondered if a
sewer line had ruptured. “O.K., why does it smell like rotten
eggs? I smelled it in Sylmar, San Fernando & Porter Ranch,”
Jennifer Guzman wrote on Twitter before ending with a frustrated
expletive. Posted.





Slow economy, cleaner energy cut into carbon emissions. Los
Angeles -- The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from energy
production declined in the U.S. in 2011 - the third time in four
years and the fourth time in the past six years that has
happened, the Energy Department said Tuesday. As has been the
case in previous years, there wasn't necessarily a lot of good
economic news behind the positive result of reduced emissions.
The Energy Department, for example, cited slower economic growth
as one factor in the 2.4 percent drop in energy-related carbon
dioxide emissions last year. Posted.

Europe mulls suspending airline emissions charge. Berlin --
European officials signaled Tuesday that they may recommend the
suspension of the continent's carbon emission fees for airlines
to avert a trade war with major economic powers such as China and
the United States, allowing time to forge a global agreement on
climate charges for the aviation industry. China and India have
prohibited their airlines from participating in the European
Trading System because it will require airlines that fly to and
from Europe to buy permits for all the carbon they emit en

EPA approves Colorado plan to reduce pollution. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency has given final approval to
Colorado's strategy to reduce pollution, which relies on
switching some coal-fired power plants to natural gas. Gov. John
Hickenlooper announced the decision on the regional haze plan
Tuesday, praising it as a collaborative effort by utilities,
environmentalists, the oil and gas industry and others. "We
embrace this success as a model for continuing to balance
economic growth with wise public policy that protects community
health and our environmental values," Hickenlooper said in a
statement. Posted.

Court weighs challenge to EPA action on hazardous emissions. A
federal appeals court today tackled a Sierra Club claim that U.S.
EPA hasn't done enough to set emissions standards for three
hazardous air pollutants.  At issue in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit is EPA's 2011 issuance of
what is known as the "90 percent notice," in which the agency
says it has done its duty under the Clean Air Act to set
standards for seven hazardous air pollutants. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/09/12/1 BY


World's Top 10 Companies That Hide Their Emissions. The first
step to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to know where you're
starting from. That's why the Carbon Disclosure Project works on
behalf of investors to push companies to disclose their
footprints. Today the CDP released its annual report, including a
list of best performers and no-shows. First, the CDP's list of
shame. Here are the world's largest companies that don't provide
the requested emissions data: Posted.

Climate group sees progress in U.S. board rooms. An organization
promoting the reduction of greenhouse gases said its annual
survey showed big U.S.-listed companies making progress in
disclosure and in their carbon emission reduction goals, even as
lawmakers hesitate to regulate. The Carbon Disclosure Project
(CDP) said its 2012 survey showed a growing number of top-tier
executives and company boards of the 500 top publicly traded U.S.
companies were directly overseeing their firms' climate change
strategies. Posted.

UC Connect: Studying Sierra snowpack. From the white, sugary
sands of Hawaii to the white, powdery slopes of the Sierra
Nevada, natural sciences professor Stephen Hart has his eye on
climate change. For the past two years, the professor, who's
affiliated with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, has worked
with student researchers at remote sites in the mountains. They
manipulate the snowpack to see the effects of early snowmelt on
the forest, from how it affects the nutrients in the soil and
plant growth to how greenhouse gases are emitted from the soil.

Tree Deaths Linked to Climate Change. Hot and dry conditions
triggered by climate change are killing the world's trees,
according to a new report which examines dozens of scientific
articles on the subject. Stanford University graduate student
William Anderegg has seen this forest die-off firsthand. His
doctoral thesis documents the impact of drought on trembling
aspen, the most common tree in North America. “Posted. 


ARB slaps truck rental firm with $1MM fine despite 53 year
history of compliance. The California Air Resources Board (ARB)
today announced that a fine of $1,031,000 was paid by Ryder
System, Inc., a provider of transportation and supply chain
management solutions, for failure to conduct annual testing and
maintain associated test records. The penalty resulted after an
ARB review of records for heavy-duty vehicles that were in
service in 2008 and 2009. The large fine was imposed despite the
fact that this was Ryder's first ever ARB violation since it
began California operations 53 years ago. Posted.


Taxes Show One Way to Save Fuel. Just the other day, President
Obama unveiled another example of how our hostility to anything
that even remotely looks like a tax is leading us down the wrong
path, ultimately making us worse off. The president proudly
announced energy-efficiency standards negotiated with the
nation’s carmakers, which will have to nearly double the average
fuel economy of cars and light trucks sold, hitting 54.5 miles a
gallon in 2025. “It’ll strengthen our nation’s energy security,
it’s good for middle class families and it will help create an
economy built to last,” he said in an official statement. The
rules are a significant step in the battle against global
warming. Posted.

Board: Chevron failed to check bad pipe. There is no evidence
that Chevron conducted a crucial inspection last year of the
segment of the pipe that later ruptured at its Richmond refinery,
leading to a fire that destroyed part of the plant, federal
investigators said Tuesday. Given the deteriorated condition of
the pipe - which had retained only 20 percent of its original
wall thickness - Chevron would have been obligated to replace it
to comply with the company's own standards, said Don Holmstrom,
Western regional office director of the Chemical Safety Board.

Chesapeake Energy selling some assets for $6.9B. Oklahoma City --
Chesapeake Energy Corp. is selling the vast portion of its land
and infrastructure in west Texas for nearly $7 billion as the
company unloads debt and shifts more of its focus to drilling for
oil, rather than natural gas. The assets in the oil and gas-rich
Permian Basin are being sold in a series of deals to Royal Dutch
Shell PLC, and Chevron Corp., and in a previously announced sale
to affiliates of EnerVest Ltd. Posted.


Supercar makers adjust to environmental concerns.  Automakers,
like Aston Martin and Lamborghini, respond to rising gas prices,
awareness of global warming. As America scrambles to pay for
ever-more expensive gas and abandons buying new SUV guzzlers in
favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, automakers are
scrambling even harder to produce the high-mileage,
lower-emissions vehicles they think people will buy. But how are
the makers of supercars, whose engines environmental experts say
emit about three times the amount of carbon dioxide as everyday
passenger vehicles, responding? Posted.

Coda Cranks Up Battery-Car Sales After ‘Soft’ Start. Coda
Automotive Inc., a Los Angeles-based electric-car maker, is
boosting production of its namesake sedan and building a
30-dealer network to compete with larger competitors in the
slow-growing rechargeable vehicle market. The Coda sedan by next
year will compete outside of California in states including
Oregon and Florida with Nissan Motor Co. (7201)’s Leaf…Posted.


High-speed rail agency tries to ease farmers' fears.  Sacramento
-- Will high-speed trains blow away honeybees? Will the state's
proposed rail system throw a monkey wrench into ag irrigation
systems up and down the Valley? Will the roaring trains stress
out cows so much they'll produce less milk? Those were some of
the questions the California High-Speed Rail Authority took a
shot at answering at Tuesday's board meeting. West side farmer
John Diener, chairman of the Agriculture Working Group, an
advisory panel for the authority, presented a series of six
reports. Posted.


SF clean-energy program may profit Shell. In an ironic twist, San
Francisco's effort to go green with its own clean-energy program
could wind up adding tens of millions of dollars to the coffers
of one of the biggest oil companies in the world - Shell. Under
the terms of the CleanPowerSF program now before the Board of
Supervisors, the city would contract with Shell Energy North
America - a subsidiary of Shell Oil - to provide households and
businesses with 100 percent renewable electricity. The original
idea was simple enough: Buy five years of clean energy on the
open market and resell it to locals who want to go green. Posted.

Plasma Gasification Raises Hopes of Clean Energy From Garbage.
David Robau tours the country promoting a system that sounds too
good to be true: It devours municipal garbage, recycles metals,
blasts toxic contaminants and produces electricity and usable
byproducts — all with drastic reductions in emissions. Mr. Robau,
an environmental scientist for the Air Force, has been promoting
a method that was developed with the Air Force to dispose of
garbage with neither the harmful byproducts of conventional
incineration nor the environmental impact of transporting and
burying waste. Posted.

E.P.A. creates mapping tool for renewables development in
California. An online mapping tool which enables users to find
contaminated or degraded properties that can be converted to
renewable energy redevelopment has been launched by the United
States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of
Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Called the
Renewable Energy Siting Tool, it screens an estimated 11,000
contaminated, degraded or cleaned up federal and state sites in
California using aerial perspectives while overlaying streamlined
information on the site’s clean energy development potential.

GE Recycles 100,000 Refrigerators Using Emissions-Busting
Technology. Large appliances, like refrigerators, air
conditioners, and freezers are considered hazardous because they
contain refrigerants that can contaminate our air, water, and
soil. These "white goods" are perfectly safe to use at home, of
course, but when it comes time for them to be replaced, their
chemical components make it hard to dispose of them safely.
Recycling of white goods is a difficult process, as they must be
broken down carefully to conserve reuseable parts while
preventing the release of harmful substances. Posted.


Doug McIntyre: Big stink has nothing to do with Salton Sea. I'm
not buying it. The South Coast Air Quality Management District
has a theory on what caused that horrible stench that wafted over
Southern California for days. "A fish kill," they said. "From the
Salton Sea," they said. Yeah, right. Dead fish from 160 miles
away made the Valley stink? I have a different theory. One closer
to home. Like Spring Street. The latest proposal from Richard
"The Mustache" Alarcón to further embed illegal immigrants into
the fabric of the city stinks to the high heavens, so of course
it'll be quickly embraced by his colleagues on the council as
well as the mayor should he ever find himself in Los Angeles.

Editorial: Alarmism, not climate, grows more extreme. There have
been fewer climate-related disasters; despite what the president
says. For years, President Barack Obama has been curiously
low-key about global warming, or climate change, as politically
correct terminology now prefers. Perhaps that's because, when
running for office in 2008 he overpromised, declaring that his
nomination would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans
began to slow, and our planet began to heal." It wasn't quite
passing the buck, but the president altered his climate-change
rhetoric slightly last week in accepting the Democratic Party's
nomination for a second term. Posted.

Google's Business Is Booming, Its Carbon Emissions Are Not.
Google’s carbon footprint is growing but not as fast as its
business, the search giant said Wednesday. “Our carbon footprint
per million dollars of revenue – a measure of carbon intensity
commonly used to track corporate sustainability – has decreased
by an average of 10% each year since 2009,” Rick Needham,
Google’s director of energy and sustainability, wrote in a blog
post disclosing the company’s 2011 carbon emissions. Posted.

Climate Change Giveth and Taketh (But Mostly Taketh). Climate
Denial World is a strange and wonderous place. The inhabitants of
Climate Denial World live in an atmosphere unrestrained by facts,
science, or statistical likelihood. Here on Planet Earth, our
climate scientists are virtually unanimous in their assessment of
climate change, and time proves their research to be eerily
accurate. The effects of climate change are increasingly extreme
and unprecedented. Residents of Climate Denial World have a
sunnier disposition; climate change is a good thing. Posted.


Corporations Slow to Act on Climate Change, Report Says. While
many continue to argue, along with Milton Friedman, that "the
business of business is business," more and more publicly traded
companies around the world have been embracing sustainability as
a long-term strategic asset in the face of climate change. But
not enough of them are doing so, according to a report released
on Wednesday by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a British
nonprofit group that gathers information for investors about the
environmental policies of large companies and the environmental
risks they face. Posted.

An Ounce of Prevention in New York City. As I note in my article
about climate change, rising seas and the risks for New York
City, many local governments in the United States are drafting
contingency plans to address the prospect of more severe flooding
in coming decades. “Different cities are ahead in different
things,” said Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown
Climate Center, a think tank that assists cities in adapting to
climate change. Still, she said, few municipalities feel fully
prepared, and most struggle to come up with the funds they need
to shore up their resistance. Posted.

The Growing Might of Solar Power. From California to New Jersey,
the summer sun was hot this year — and so was the solar industry.
While the business of solar energy is still small enough and
young enough to record firsts at the fearsome pace of a toddler,
the milestones are getting more substantial. For instance, in
mid-August California’s utility-scale solar generating stations
combined to put out the same amount of energy — one gigawatt — as
a substantial nuclear or coal-fired power plant. Posted.

A 210-Million-Year-Old Puzzle. It is often said that geological
and paleontological investigations are like trying to put
together a puzzle with many of the pieces missing. Yet, while we
can’t travel back in time to observe every detail, the geologic
record contains a rich archive of past life and its environments.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we’re interested in not only
in the animals and plants that lived 210 million years ago, but
also their physical and climatic surroundings. Posted.

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